Thursday, July 5, 2007

Chestnut Sets World Record In Hot Dog Eating But I've Got One Pondering Question!

Oh, the Fourth of July, time to kick back, relax and enjoy a hot dog or two. Unless you're Joey Chestnut, who wolfed down a world record 66 Nathan's Hot Dogs in about the time it takes most people to fire up the grill. The 24-year-old San Jose State University civil-engineering student , in a gut-busting showdown that combined drama, daring and indigestion, Joey Chestnut emerged Wednesday as the world's hot dog eating champion, knocking off six-time winner Takeru Kobayashi in a record-setting but repulsive triumph.

Chestnut, the great red, white and blue hope in the annual Fourth of July competition, broke his own world record by inhaling 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes...a staggering one every 10.9 seconds before a screaming crowd in Coney Island. "If I needed to eat another one right now, I could," Chestnut said on ESPN after receiving the mustard yellow belt emblematic of hot dog eating supremacy. Kobayashi, the Japanese eating machine, stayed with Chestnut frank-for-frank until the very end of the 12-minute competition. Once the contest ended, Kobayashi suffered a reversal, competitive slang for barfing -- leading to a deduction from his final total. How in God's name do you count puked hot dogs? There's a job I'm sure I'd not want to have and I wonder if there are classes on doing the calculation.

At 6 feet 3 inches and 220 pounds, Chestnut's far from obese. This blue-collar guy with hearty appetite and strong willpower is simply making dough (about $60,000 last year) doing what he enjoys. And he's got one heck of glutunous history. He entered the "I Can Eat More Crap Than Anybody" scene in 2005 with a break-out performance in the deep-fried asparagus eating championship by eating 6.3 pounds of asparagus in 11.5 minutes. Chestnut continued to impress the world (or depress for that matter) by beating Sonya Thomas in the Waffle House World Waffle Eating Championship and then beat her by winning the World Hamburger Eating Championship by downing 91 Krystal Burgers in eight minutes. He is famous for training with cheese fries. He is known to be able to eat over two pounds in 5 minutes. In 2007 Chestnut won Wing Bowl XV, by eating 182 chicken wings in 30 minutes, a Wing Bowl record. And finally, he's one of the few to successfully complete the gallon of milk challenge in 41 seconds.

The two gastric gladiators quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the 17 competitors, processing more beef than a slaughterhouse within the first few minutes. The two had each downed 60 hot dogs with 60 seconds to go when Chestnut -- the veins on his forehead extended -- put away the final franks to end Kobayashi's reign. The victory ended Japan's long dominance of the contest. The only previous non-Japanese winner since 1996 was New Jersey's Steve Keiner in 1999. "This title's been held by Kobayashi for six years, so it's about time it came home," said Chestnut, holding an American flag in his arms. "I knew going into this contest that Kobayashi was going to give 100 percent."

Just to keep the facts straight, Joe's 66 hot dog world record turns out to be 12,540 calories and about 33 feet of hot dog and he did this by consuming 5.5 hot dogs and buns per minute! Hell, I can barely eat 5 mini dogs with everything at Charlie's Hot Dog in Albany, New York! Oh yeah, the average person eats 65 dogs a year. Not me!

Congratulations Joey for brining this title home. Somebody out there is proud of you. and I'm wondering, what kind of fireworks did you enjoy after a couple of hours with 66 hot dogs in you? Maybe there someone out there who's job it is to report on that!