Jeremy & The Bandit
What drives someone to reach into another disc golfer’s private disc golf bag and secretly stamp a hot dog on it? That was the question on the minds of many-a-disc golfer during that fateful 2021 season when the Hot Dog Bandit was running amuck, causing chaos, confusion, and a slightly greater demand for store-bought wieners.
Why are we telling you this?
Well for one, it’s a cool story. How often do hot dogs wriggle their way into disc golf conversation? And two: we just released Jerm’s Hot Dog Bandit Collector Disc Set, of course! The Hot Dog Bandit Collector Box celebrates Jeremy Koling’s joyous hot dog romp as the bandit. Inside, you’ll find a treasure trove of Halo Star discs and mementos that will forever link disc golf to our favorite meal made of slaughterhouse byproducts.
So … What’s in the Box?!?
- 4 Innova Halo Discs including: Halo Roc3, Halo Thunderbird, Halo Sidewinder, and Halo AviarX3 (the first time we’ve released Jerm’s signature disc in Halo plastic). Each model has a different hot dog related stamp that was cooked up by Jerm and artist Tony Diaz.
- A bunch of other pieces of Hot Dog Americana that we dug up special for this box set.
**Jerm receives a significant portion of the proceeds from these box sets.
How do you illustrate a Hot Dog Phenomenon?
When embarking upon this project, Jerm and artist Tony Diaz tried to find the most ridiculous ways to portray a hot dog. “We just laughed on the phone for hours coming up with the stamp concepts,” said Jerm, who remembered originally wanting only one design. However, after seeing Diaz’s multiple mock-ups, “I thought there was no way I could do just one,” he said. Learn more about each disc here.
So What’s a Hot Dog Anyway?!
Love em’ or hate em’ hot dogs have certainly encased themselves into American culture. Try to go for a year without eating one. It’s impossible. And it’s equally impossible to not partially regret consuming one afterwards.
Drumroll Please …
So, when people open their Hot Dog Bandit set, Jerm wants them to fully appreciate the complexity that is the Hot Dog.
“I just want them to laugh at the ridiculousness and irony of hot dog and glizzy culture. If you break down what a hot dog is, it’s just the worst. Yet they are still so amazing at the same time.”
THE HOT DOG BANDIT STORY
It all started like most epic adventures do – at the Jo-Ann Fabric Store. Koling, known for being a big crafter, was there to re-up supply for ink pads for rubber stamps during the lead up to the 2021 Las Vegas Open. But once he got to that aisle something else caught his eye:
A little backstory: Like we said earlier, Jerm is pretty crafty – prints shirts and makes all kinds of things. He’s had a rubber stamp with his Big Jerm logo for years, which he’s used to stamp his discs and his friends’ discs as well.
Anyway, back to Jo-Ann’s. In the stamp aisle, Jerm spotted a bundle of rubber ink stamps he couldn’t pass up that included:
- A donut stamp
- A feather stamp
- A bird stamp
- A pizza stamp
- A hamburger stamp
- A French fries stamp
- And, A hot dog stamp
He brought these back to the hotel and showed Nate Sexton his sweet finds and asked him, “Do you want me to stamp any of your discs?” And that’s when Sexton hatched a most devious plan. “Get rid of all of them, but keep the Hot Dog. Stamp people’s disc with the hot dog and don’t tell em’ you did it,” Koling remembered Sexton saying.
Jerm said he and Nate were known to do little pranks here there, but this was the first scheme like this on such a grand scale.
The plan was three-fold:
1. Grab prized discs from the bag of fellow pro disc golfers without their knowledge.
2. Apply the hot dog stamp to the disc’s bottom.
3. Put the now hot-dogged disc back in the player’s bag in a clandestine manner.
The next day during a Las Vegas Open practice round, Jerm scored his first victim: Eric Oakley. Oakley had left his favorite disc in his bag while retrieving others on the driving range and that’s when Jerm sprung to action, and thus the Hot Dog Bandit was born.
A few holes later, Oakley picked up the disc and asked Jerm, “Hey, did you do this?” Jerm remembered him asking. Koling said his mind instantly went to work. Since he had previously stamped Oakely’s disc (with his permission) with the Big Jerm stamp, he pretended that was what he meant and said “Yes, I stamped my logo.” When Oakley corrected him that he was referring to the hot dog stamp, Jerm played it off like he didn’t have the foggiest notion what he was talking about and delivered a bald-faced lie to his friend, according to Koling. Koling said Oakley believed him, and from then on set out to find who this Hot Dog Bandit was.
Two tournaments later, Jerm was gaining confidence as the bandit and striking at will. More and more players were falling prey, often noticing they’d been hot-dogged long after Koling had done his business, further cementing the mystery.
One player, however, wasn’t so pleased after being hot-dogged. Alex Russell had made it known he wasn’t flattered, said Jerm, and he made a mental note not to hot dog Russell again. After all, he wasn’t in it to make enemies – just a little fun. However, he was getting consumed by the hot dog stamping and a little reckless because of it, stamping just about any discs he could get his hands on at this point. He soon found one in the field and quickly made his mark, only to regret it instantly because he managed to hot dog Alex Russell yet again.
By Waco the scheme and its notoriety had grown legs. Tina Oakley made a true crime mockumentary video of the affair. He even saw Hot Dog Bandit references on UDisc scoring and a Disc Golf Pin was made as well, said Jerm.
“It became this big thing. [It was] so much fun to watch what was being created about this identity without having to put any money into promotion,” said Jerm.
Jerm was definitely suspected by numerous people. His best and only defense was adamantly denying. Others like victim number one, Eric Oakley, were blamed for the banditry, which Jerm ate up. Ultimately, he said, Eric Oakley’s dedication to finding out who the bandit was significantly amplified the attention placed on the whole thing.
Of course, Jerm had players on his hit list. Some he snipped like Richard Wysocki, others like Paul McBeth he never got to. Then he heard that Adam Hammes got hit. But the thing was, he never hot-dogged Hammes. The unthinkable had happened. The Hot Dog Bandit had spawned a copycat, which actually turned out to be Thomas Gilbert. Later, a second copycat was also discovered.
End of a Wiener Era
However, no dream can last forever. By the fall, chatter regarding the Hot Dog Bandit had begun to fizzle and so had Jerm’s excitement of hot-dogging players. The death nail of the scheme, though, happened when his vehicle got broken into. Items stolen were lots of his discs, equipment, and a bag containing his hot dog rubber stamp.
When asked why he just didn’t run to Jo-Ann’s and buy another hot dog stamp, he figured the joke had run its course and he soon revealed his hot dog alter ego online. By the time Jerm’s Hot Dog Bandit reign came to an end at the Music City Open, Jerm had hot dogged between 12 – 20 disc golfers (He’s a little hazy on the exact number).
The Hot Dog Bandit Rides Again!
As time went on though, Jerm would occasionally catch a Hot Dog Bandit reference from friends and fans and realized people still thought it was funny. Jerm’s hot dog water juices began bubbling yet again as he began planning ways to commemorate the bandit, and thus the Hot Dog Bandit Collector Box idea was born. Now, it’s your turn to help immortalize the Hot Dog Bandit. Purchase this box set to help cement the bandit’s story among disc golf’s greatest lore.
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