"Coming out" Party
So as you all undoubtedly saw, my man Joey Chestnut took home the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Championship yesterday, bringing the coveted Mustard Belt back home to the USA for the first time since 1996.
It was crazy. Some of the most riveting, suspenseful, jaw-dropping live television I've seen in a long time. Fuck the Sopranos...if you wanted drama, you should have watched the end of the hot dog eating contest. You had everything you could ask for in a showdown of epic proportions.
It began with the Don King style "pre-eat" weigh-in.
You had the classic USA vs Japan matchup. A storyline that the WWE would just about kill for these days (no pun intended...since they tried that whole "death" angle recently and it failed. Miserably.)
You had the 6 time Nathan's defending champion Kobayashi vs the new world record holder Chestnut.
When the contest started I turned to Bridget, Avi and Lauren (we were watching the festivities at Bar Coastal) and said Chestnut's good for 60 today.
60 dogs? Chestnut's previous best was 59 1/2. Kobayashi? 54 1/2. Kobayashi would need to best his personal best by 6 dogs just to stay close with Chestnut. No way he could do that with a sore jaw right?
Translation of look on Kobayashi's face: Me have to eat 60 dogs??? Holy shit!
But there they were. Standing toe to toe. Going dog for dog. 60? You bet. Both competitors hit 60 with 2 minutes to go.
Both competitors battle it out with time running out
Kobayashi even took a slight lead 63-62. No way. Chestnut was on the ropes. Panic set in. Kobayashi was giving the performance of a lifetime. The TV announcers were comparing it to Curt Schilling's bloody sock effort in game 6 of the ALCS.
Then it all came out. Well not all. But some.
Yep...Kobayashi had reached capacity. Trying desperately to keep up with Joey, Kobayashi was pushing himself beyond the limits. It was a gutsy performance, but in the end his stomach and mouth couldn't handle it. But he kept going. And kept eating. And ESPN (of course as they always do) cut to commercial before the official decision was announced. When they left on break it was 63-62 Chestnut. But what about the puke? That's a DQ in competitive eating terms. Or as they like to call it "a reversal". So no matter how many hot dogs Kobayashi shoved in his mouth post puke, he would only be credit with those eaten up to that point. But in the end it looked like Chestnut had him. By at least a dog or two. But it was the grittiest, most mano y mano performance you will ever find in any sport. Two warriors battling it out till the last second.
Echoing shades of the epic battles between Ali vs Frazier and Sosa vs McGwire, Kobayashi v Chestnut II went to Chestnut (Kobayashi narrowly defeated Chestnut by a hot dog and a half last year).
But more remarkable was the amount of hotdogs eaten. Both shattered their personal and world records. 54 1/2 was Kobayashi's previous best. He ate 63. Chestnut downed 59 1/2 earlier this year. How about a 66 spot. In 12 minutes. That's one hotdog and bun roughly every 10.9 seconds! That's fuckin ridiculous.
Chestnut posing with 66 hot dogs after his victory
If you didn't think competitive eating is a real sport, think again. These guys pushed their bodies past the limits in a competition for world supremacy. Let that be a lesson to all of the other "athletes" out there who collect their fat paychecks and give 50% of their effort. Long live the IFOCE and all hail King Joey!
Thursday, July 05, 2007
"Coming out" Party