Tuesday, July 5, 2011

God bless America...land of the hot dog eating champion!

Nothing says Happy Birthday America quite like watching Joey Chestnut shove 62 hot dogs in his face...

That's 62 complete Nathan's hot dogs- wieners and buns. Condiments were optional I'm guessing. The annual contest sponsored by Nathan's has become a Fourth of July weekend staple covered by the national media. You can even catch the highlights on ESPN SportsCenter while catching up on the weekends baseball scores. Ironic isn't it?

In a country where child obesity has become a national epidemic to the point that the younger generation is expected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parent's generation, we celebrate the accomplishment of a man shoving over 5 dozen hot dogs in his mouth in 10 minutes...and keeps them down. That's over 14,000 calories at one time.

But wait...there's more! This year, the contest was expanded to include a women's division where the victor consumed 40 complete hot dogs in the same 10 minute period. China entered 3 competitive eaters for the first time also in this year's contest. Wonder how that goes over with all those 'starving people in China' my mom was always using to get me to eat my vegetables as a kid?

But wait...this gets better! The annual hot dog eating event is actually sanctioned and governed by the Major League Eating franchise which, by the way, has officially banned former champion Takeru Kobayashi (aka Kobi) of Japan from the contest for failure to comply with contracting requirements. So how did Kobi respond? He held his own simultaneous eating exhibition on top of a Manhattan high-rise, which was also media covered, where he consumed 69 complete hot dogs in 10 minutes to break the previous record of 68 set by now five-time champion Chestnut.

Naturally, the record is completely unofficial though because it wasn't sanctioned by the MLE. (eye roll)

Granted, I may be a little bitter about all this hoopla over a blatant gluttonous display given I've been pretty serious about personal diet changes in my own life of late. Heck...I loved Nathan's hot dogs!  If you noticed the past tense used in that sentence, that's not necessarily due to said diet changes in place either. No. I caught an episode of How It's Made not long ago where  making hot dog wieners was featured. I've never looked at one with the same appeal since...

Still, I just don't think our country's unofficial motto of American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie would have sold very many Chevrolets in the famous 1975 ad campaign if the list had been baseball, turkey wieners and apple wedges. But that's just me, and I love America (although I drive a Mazda)!

Did I mention ESPN is owned by the Walt Disney Company, and Pepto Bismol is a major sponsor of the MLE?

You just can't make this stuff up folks...you just can't!


David-FireAndGrace said...

What great investigative report. I now feel sick to my stomach... but thanks Tony. It did feel nostalgic for the first couple of paragraphs.

Joyce said...

I consumed 2 Nathan's hot dogs on the Fourth - it was the American thing to do... As much as I love them, I don't think I could do more than two.

Mesha said...

GROSS! Good random facts though. :)