Monday, July 7, 2008

2008 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

You may remember how I outed myself as a fan of competitive eating back in February, following the Wingbowl. Well while all of you were grilling and drinking beer, the Superbowl of competitive eating was held on Friday, the 4th of July: Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.

This event had been dominated by Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi for a while, winning 6 years in a row from 2001-2006. The contest became exciting once America became well represented with Joey "Jaws" Chestnut entering the scene, coming in a very close 2nd in 2006 (52 hot dogs to Kobayashi's 53 3/4). In 2007, despite Kobayashi's weakened jaw following surgery, the hype was at an all-time high to see whether Japan or the U.S. could take the Mustard Belt. Well, in an amazing finish, Joey Chestnut took the title with 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes to Kobayashi's 63, setting the world record.

You can imagine that this year, Kobayashi was coming back with vengeance to retake the title that he had held for so long. Chestnut had to represent the red, white & blue with determination and strength. Although a change back to what's thought to be the original rules reduced the eating time from 12 minutes to 10 minutes, Kobayashi and Chestnut did not disappoint. A photo finish declared that after 10 minutes...they were TIED!! (both at 59 hot dogs) Surprisingly, this was not the first tie in the history of the event, but let's put into perspective how ridiculous the event has become:

The last tie was in 1980. In 10 minutes, two contestants ate merely 9 hot dogs plus part of a 10th. In an eat-off, they both ate 3 1/2 hot dogs and were declared co-winners. How weak is that? Even the guy who came in dead last this year, in 17th place, ate 14 hot dogs.

So...since Kobayashi and Chestnut were tied, there was a 5 dog eatoff. First to finish all 5 would win. And Chestnut was that man, regaining the mustard belt for a second year. God Bless America.

And speaking of competitive eating, for those looking for a break from working out on the Wii Fit, WiiWare apparently offers a game called "Major League Eating: The Game," in which you can perform the eating techniques and motions with your Wii remote just like your favorite eating athlete! I think I may have to get this one - stay tuned.


David Oblas said...

o god, there's a video game that has competitive eating?? how fat and lazy is america getting?!

KW said...

Yes, it is kind of sad. This whole "sport" is pretty ridiculous considering people are starving everywhere. Ironically, the IFOCE, International Federation of Competitive Eating, donates money to various charities, including hunger-related ones.

I'm betting that people who buy and play this video game will probably as a majority not be fat and lazy people but rather people looking for a laugh.