Friday, July 4, 2008

What's Fourth of July Without Eating Sixty Hot Dogs?

Coming back from camping, we stopped by a diner where the TV was tuned to ESPN's coverage of Nathan's annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest. For those of you who don't know, competitive eating has been dominated by a 128-pound Japanese dude named Takeru Kobayashi, who has had back-to-back Nathan wins from 2001 to 2006. Prior to 2001, the previous record had been 25 hot dogs in 12 minutes--Kobayashi ate 50 hot dogs in his rookie year.

However, Joey Chestnut claimed "The Mustard Belt" in 2007 with a whopping 66 dogs in 12 minutes. This year, the contest was reduced to 10 minutes but with Chestnut and Kobayashi both having consumed 59 dogs each when the buzzer went off, the contest went into its first overtime since the contest began in 1916. Chestnut once again emerged as the victor following the "Dog-off," eating five more hot dogs before Kobayashi and claiming the $10,000 prize.

After two defeats, Kobayashi may never reclaim the title as hot dog eating champ of the world but you can relive his glory days when he was immortalized in his own anime series by SNL's TV Funhouse.

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