vuvuzela. I’m not impressed that George Steinbrenner turned 80 today. And frankly, I don’t care where LeBron James plays.
The ONLY sports story that caught my attention today is Nathan’s 95th annual Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island. And yes, I do mean sports story -- it was broadcast on ESPN.
Nevermind that I can’t even eat ONE hot dog (a mouthful of mystery meat makes me gag -- I can only stomach the mini kind, and then only with mustard, NEVER ketchup).
I’m in awe of champ Joey “Jaws” Chesnut who gobbled his way to victory by consuming 54 hot dogs PLUS buns in 10 minutes -- that’s about a dog every 10 seconds. After his 4th straight win, he was seen holding the coveted mustard yellow belt in one hand and a bottle of Pepto in the other. And that’s NOTHING compared to his showing last year, where he downed 68 of Nathan's famous franks!
But there was drama in Hotdogville.
His main rival, Japan's Takeru “The Tsunami” Kobayashi got himself arrested for rushing the stage, probably overcome with grief because he couldn’t compete in the event he’d won 6 times. The guy even has a special visa to be in the country because of his skills as a competitive eater. And as well he should -- The Tsunami holds the record for eating the most cow brains (57 in a mere 15 minutes).
He now sits, hungry, in a Brooklyn jail. Apparently, he was in a contract dispute with Major League Eating so he could not participate in this year's gluttony. The fact that such a regulatory body exists is fascinating. It’s like the junk food NFL. Its website even warns amateurs should not try "speed eating" at home.
Joey Jaws had his rookie year in 2005, and is now the world’s #1 competitive eater, but I learned there are also 2 women in the top 50 rankings:
Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas comes in at #5. She is a 41 year old from Alexandria, VA, and is a slender 105 lbs. She’s eaten 552 oysters in 10 minutes, 65 hard boiled eggs in 6 minutes, and 80 chicken nuggets in 5 minutes. She believes the keys to her success are stomach capacity, jaw strength, and hand speed, but admits she needs to work on her "speed of swallow." She went nearly unbeaten in 2004, if it weren’t for a controversial baked bean eating contest -- hers were too hot. Amazingly she is single.
And "Lovely" Juliet Lee, in at #11, is a 44 year old from Germantown , MD, who mysteriously also weighs 105 lbs. Hmmm. Somehow this mom of 2 plowed through 7 chicken wings, 1 lb of nachos, 3 hot dogs, 2 personal pizzas and 3 Italian ices in about 7 minutes. She's never vomited, though had a close call after ingesting a world-record-setting 13.2 lbs of cranberry sauce. As a child in China, she apparently only ate what she could catch on the beach. Especially if it was covered in nacho cheese sauce.
Looks like Sonya and Juliet still need their day jobs, but Joey Jaws earns an estimated $150K per year just from eating contests. I am a big eater too, but all I get is fat.
How many hot dogs did YOU eat today?