Every 4th of July, Nathan’s Hot Dog’s down in Coney Island, New York hosts a contest to see how many hot dogs -and their buns- the contestant’s can eat during a 10 minute period. For 6 years, Takeru Kobayashi had been the winner but in 2007 a new contestant named Joey Chestnut came up and took the title. That year he consumed 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes, which at that time was a new world record. Chestnut has been the Champ ever since, keeping this 4th of July Title with an American.
Now this year seemed like a sweep for Chestnut because Kobayashi was not going to be competing. Unless some crazy eating fool stepped up to the table, no one would come close to beating Chestnut. And no one did. After the contest began at 12 noon EST, Chestnut was moving quicker than everyone else having devoured more than 10 hot dogs in just the first minute. He finished at the 10 minute mark with 54 hot dogs which is a far cry from his world record of 68 last year. The next contestant after him was Tim Janus with 45. So for now, Chestnut keeps the title!
But the biggest new of them all was the drama surrounding Kobayashi. He did want to compete in this July 4th contest, but refused to sign a contract with Major League Eating because, according to Kobayashi’s blog, he wanted to be able to compete in contests by other groups. But while in the crowd on Sunday, he must have realized he made a mistake because after the contest was over he went up on the stage and talked with George Shea, the host of the competition. Because he wasn’t suppose to be there, NYPD tried to peacefully usher him away. But Kobayashi didn’t want to go without a fight. He grabbed a barricade and was eventually dragged down the stairs. He has been charged with resisting arrest.
When all was said an done, Chestnut had held his title and Kobyashi went down. I hoped that would be the case, just not the way it happened.