July 03, 2006

Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest: Four-time world champion, and odds favorite, (1/3), Takeru Kobayashi of Japan will once again defend his title against top eaters from around the globe. The tough competition includes Eric "Badlands" Booker, (9/5), Oleg Zhornitsky, (4/1), and "Hungry" Charles Hardy, (7/1), while the 'field' is represented by notables Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas, US record holder, Joey Chestnut and 60 year-old Rich LeFevre and his wife, Carlene LeFevre. Santioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating it will, of course, meet their safety standards.

posted by geekyguy to other at 10:14 PM - 26 comments

In related news, Snoop Dogg Foot Longs

posted by geekyguy at 10:31 PM on July 03, 2006

I've been listening to Booker's CD of competitive-eating-themed rap songs (available at Badlands' site) in anticipation. The disc isn't bad, actually. Kind of goofy, but it's better than I expected, and way better than it had to be to be worth the purchase. I gotta admit I am more than a little stoked about this. I'm thinking this might be the year the Black Widow gives the Tsunami a real (dog)fight. (Badlands, on the other hand, is like Jan Ullrich (before this year's withdrawal, natch); he's one of the greats, and he's still a contender, but I think his best years are behind him unless his career finds a second wind.)

posted by chicobangs at 10:47 PM on July 03, 2006

Take Joey Chestnut in the big upset!!

posted by Fenton09 at 12:01 AM on July 04, 2006

Be prepared for some awful singing if the rehearsal I witnessed tonight at Nathan's is anything to judge by.

posted by ursus_comiter at 12:05 AM on July 04, 2006

I am going to have to go with the home boy, Joey Chestnut, in this exciting event. This could be the year of the upset!! Chico, is there no sport u don't know anything about? You must be a sport encyclopedia!!! You have my respect, sir.

posted by steelergirl at 01:11 AM on July 04, 2006

(I appreciate that, steelergirl. I'm still learning about cricket, and the vagaries of the NCAA are more or less beyond me. But really, it's just fun learning shit.) Oh, and Chestnut is still too new to get the title this time through. He'll be ahead at the halfway point, put a big scare in everyone, and then fade in the stretch. He'll learn, though. Watch for him next year.

posted by chicobangs at 01:17 AM on July 04, 2006

The gurgitator to beat is Sonya Thomas. Tak has let the fame -- the ESPN commercial, the annulled three-day marraige to Ashley Simpson, his stint at Betty Ford -- go to his stomach.

posted by rcade at 07:12 AM on July 04, 2006

Ah, the annual celebration of all things gluttonous. I still think I could take down one of those steak-challenges at one of those chain restaurants, but I'm too chicken to go find out. Mostly because I'd feel like an incredible pig. Not these guys (and girls) though. They've managed to grow beyond the new-school vomitorium into some strange kind of respected plateau. It's not enough to say it's a wasteful and astonshing display of greed and a celebration of over-consumption (the true national pasttime, some have said). It's a showcase of how a life-long passion and hidden talent becomes embraced by the world for what it truly is - a showcase of super-human abilities; and a walking, talking, sweaty archetype. Much like the line-up at the breakfast buffet in Florida, it is appalling, yet I cannot seem to look away. And I'll believe Tak is losing his crown only when I see it. The Widow is the more impressive creature by most standards, but the Tsunami hasn't seemed like he's ready to be shuffled to the second best table in the joint. He's still young, obviously internally elastic and without a gag reflex. Tak takes down 51 is my prediction.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:15 AM on July 04, 2006

Just because I love being deeply, cosmically, publicly wrong, I'll go down the board: Kobayashi: 50 (If he's watching the scoreboard during the competition, then this number could be much higher) Thomas: 48 (the Black Widow will be neck-and-gullet with for much of the competition, dropping a dog or so per minute towards the end) Chestnut: 40 (though he'll have 33 and the lead at the halfway point) rcade is (partly) right. The Tsunami is beatable. (I hear he lives at the Playboy mansion pretty much full time now, and that he's hired Drew Rosenhaus as his agent.) I still think he'll find a way to pull this one out, but if you're putting money down, 21/1 is an excellent number for the Black Widow. (Now watch her crap out in the first five minutes and the elderly Nevada couple will finish 1-2.)

posted by chicobangs at 08:17 AM on July 04, 2006

This is one of the most disgusting things in the world to watch live, but the announcer in the background is killing me: "Joey Chesnutt has the blood of patriots in his veins!" "For the love of God, can you yell for your man Joey Chesnutt!?" The ESPN guys are funny, too: "It all comes down to hot dog management now." Kobayashi - just announced as 53 3/4 dogs and buns in 12 minutes, new world record Chesnutt - 52 Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas - 37

posted by The_Black_Hand at 11:58 AM on July 04, 2006

I can't understand why the article gives Thomas and Lefevre more hype than Chestnut, when he has been the most noteworthy person in all of professionaal eating in the last year. Chico, I think you might be cutting the man short. He ate 32 last year, and since then has set three world records. I give him a minimum of 45. Sonya Thomas has not really gained any ground on Kobayashi in the last three years, and all of a sudden you see her almost pulling an upset? Not today, the physics just aren't right. As far as the Lefevres... they're fun, but not July 4th winners; I'd be extremely surprised if Rich walked away with the trophy... This year Tsunami and Chestnut down to the wire, with Chestnut ending Kobayashi's dominance... Just a guess On preview... Ouch

posted by everett at 12:01 PM on July 04, 2006

Very, very funny read..."Horsemen of the Esophagus" from the Atlantic Monthly a couple months ago. Tagline, "Among the super-gluttons, on the front lines of competitive eating..."

posted by vito90 at 12:09 PM on July 04, 2006

They gave Thomas and Lefevre more dap because of the experience. It's not that Chestnut has none, but he didn't have as much. He did do better than I thought he'd do today, and he said it himself; he's young, he'll be back. He just got tired a little too soon. More jaw exercises, less press & promotion the week of the competition, and next year he'll be able to do 55. Kobayashi is going to have to raise his game to keep up. I have no doubt that he can, but for maybe the first time, he's going to have to. He's a rock star now. Titans clash, all of that. It'll be a whale of a race next year. And does Paul Page, The Voice Of The Indy 500, love broadcasting this event or what?

posted by chicobangs at 12:14 PM on July 04, 2006

Doesn't matter to me who wins, but I've had Nathans Hot Dogs and they can't hold a candle to the ones I can get a few blocks from here in L.A. at Pinks. Best dogs anywhere, hands down.

posted by commander cody at 02:24 PM on July 04, 2006

Yeah, but how many can you eat in 12 minutes, huh?

posted by chicobangs at 03:06 PM on July 04, 2006

The list of competitors is from 2005. Carlene LeFevre, Oleg Z. and Charles Hardy did not compete in today's contest. Sonya Thomas' website has a list of the 2006 competitors: sonyatheblackwidow.com

posted by ojrifkin at 03:30 PM on July 04, 2006

That was one of the grossest things I've ever watched. Whatever Chestnut was going to those hot dogs was really, really nasty.

posted by Samsonov14 at 04:30 PM on July 04, 2006

Yeah, but how many can you eat in 12 minutes, huh? Only a couple, but I enjoy every bite. Love 'em.

posted by commander cody at 04:57 PM on July 04, 2006

Pink's is good, Nathan's are better. Just ask Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. They both have trouble "binging and purging" on Nathan's while they are in town. Pink's come up real easy. I'd say Portillo's in Chicago may be the best!

posted by topjimmy13 at 11:15 PM on July 04, 2006

This year's event is dogged by controversy -- Tak hocked a dog:

At about 1:50 p.m., with just a few minutes left on the clock, the 6-foot-1, 230-pound Chestnut was tied with his diminutive competitor as they neared the 50-dog mark. Suddenly, Kobayashi appeared to regurgitate -- a move that results in automatic disqualification and that speed eating experts call "a reversal of fortune." As Kobayashi lifted a cup of water to his mouth, a spray of bread chunks and wiener bits shot into his cup, which the 170-pound champion immediately gulped down. Chestnut, unable to spit out words, pointed and gestured toward judges to draw their attention to the slip. "The judges found a quarter of a hot dog in his cup," said Patrick Chestnut, Joey's older brother who witnessed the spew from the front row as he cheered on his brother. "If that's not grounds for disqualification, what is?" Gersh Kuntzman, the judge who ruled in Kobayashi's favor, saw it differently. "The effluvia never touched the table," Kuntzman said, a distinction he claimed was part of the International Federation of Competitive Eating's official rules. "When the hot dog came up, and some of it came out his nose, Kobayashi sucked it back down. To me, that's the testament of a champion and great athlete."

posted by rcade at 06:48 AM on July 05, 2006

"When the hot dog came up, and some of it came out his nose, Kobayashi sucked it back down. To me, that's the testament of a champion and great athlete." I just hope, one day, someone describes me in such a glowing fashion.

posted by SummersEve at 07:51 AM on July 05, 2006


posted by The_Black_Hand at 11:03 AM on July 05, 2006

Go Pat Bertoletti!

posted by tim at 11:42 AM on July 05, 2006

Jordan, Gretzky, Montana, Ruth, and now Kobayashi. I'm glad to say that I experienced these great athletes in my lifetime

posted by dmontez1392 at 06:28 PM on July 05, 2006

Jordan, Gretzky, Montana, Ruth, and now Kobayashi. I'm glad to say that I experienced these great athletes in my lifetime
You've done what now?

posted by geekyguy at 06:54 PM on July 05, 2006

Jordan, Gretzky, Montana, Ruth, and now Kobayashi. I'm glad to say that I experienced these great athletes in my lifetime Ruth too? Just how old are you anyway?

posted by commander cody at 12:01 AM on July 06, 2006

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