Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Competitive Eating

Competitive eating fans, your wait is over. Today the Michael Jordan of hotdog eating, Kobayashi, goes for his 7th consecutive Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Championship. By the way, the undefeated Kobayashi is 145 pounds and has a six pack. This time he has a worthy competitor, American Joey Chestnut, who broke Kobayashi's record of 53 3/4 (guess what happened to the 1/4) with 59 1/2 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Kobayashi has been struggling with jaw problems, but says he is ready. "I really haven't had practice with my injured jaw. It was getting bad," he said through a translator. "Now I can get two fingers in [my mouth]."
Kobayashi may not stand a chance if Chestnut follows his plan. "I don't know what to expect," Chestnut said. "He looks ready. He looks like he's going to be at 100 percent, so I'll give 110 percent." 110%! That's like 66 hot dogs! By my calculations, Kobayashi will have to give 123% just to keep up.


Rudi said...

I watched with American pride as the American won back the title (if any country deserves to be atop an eating contest, it's us).

Some observations:

Kobayashi was so committed that he literally ate puke. He had (as the announcers called it) a "reversal of fortune" where he threw up into his hands, and started sucking the puke back up. Even as I type this, I just gagged a little- that was edge-of-your-seat entertainment.

When Joey Chestnut won the title back, one of the announcers commented that this was "without question, the greatest accomplishment in American sports history." I can hear Al Michaels on the call right now: "Do you believe in indigestion? YES!"

In my hometown area of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, a long-time tradition of a Brat-eating contest has, in recent years exploded in popularity as it has become one of the "major events" on the eating circuit. Kobayashi was here last year, and the locals went crazy.

Jon Vander Plas said...

USA! USA! As proud as I am of Chestnut, I think Kobayashi is better for the sport. It's great theater: watch a skinny little Asian eat more than fat white guys! Maybe if Chestnut wasn't so unfortunate looking, or if he had a mohawk or something, I could cheer for him whole heartedly. He won this contest, but I hope he will be the Phil Mickelson to Kobayahi's Tiger Woods.