Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

BBQs, pool parties, fireworks and family... that's what July 4th is all about. Right? Well, yeah, you're right. But no July 4th is complete without taking in the spectacle of Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Every Independence Day at noon ESPN broadcasts this event live from Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. Contestants like Joey "Jaws" Chestnut and Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi stuff as many hot dogs into their bellies as ten minutes will allow. When I say "stuff," I mean it literally. Contestants are regularly seen pushing the contents of their stomachs to the side so they can fit more hot dogs inside their bodies.

And just how many hot dogs do you have to eat to win a competition like this? Well, two years ago (2007), Joey Chestnut ate 66 hot dogs in the twelve minute contest... a new world record. Chestnut's championship marked the first time Kobayashi didn't win the event in six years. In 2008 Kobayashi and Chestnut downed exactly 59 hot dogs within a ten minute period. Chestnut was declared the winner after he gobbled down 5 extra wieners faster than Kobayashi in overtime. You probably never knew eating could be so dramatic, huh? Heheh...

It's gross. It's disgusting. People puke and and smear hot dogs all over their face, but it's competition... something I thoroughly enjoy. So don't call me at noon on Saturday. I'll be firmly planted in front of a television, watching a group of grown men and women stuff themselves with pig intestines and who knows what else.

It's my American tradition.

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