Gluttony returned to Surf and Stillwell avenues in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, New York this Independence Day. The biggest activity in American athletics, Nathan’s famous hot dog eating contest, was once again held on the boardwalk, as competitors vied for the mustard belt.
This year was special, as the event was once again in full view of the Town, in the shadow of the Cyclone, not in Maimonides Park like last year or in a gloomy interior location during the first days of the pandemic heatwave. coronavirus in 2020. Also adding to the drama, was the sight of Joey “Jaws” Brown showing up at his weigh-in on crutches due to a tendon rupture. The Babe Ruth-Michael Jordan–Wayne Gretzky–tiger forest of competitive eating, Chestnut is the 14-time champion of this esteemed event, whose GI tract is surely platinum-plated.
Las Vegas odds were at -3000 for Chestnut (in other words, he bet $3000 to win $100) even with him forced to race with a boot. (Whether or not this injury was due to rapid eating in a competitive setting is unknown.)
But before the gentlemen ate, the ladies climbed onto the platform. miki sudo, after a year’s hiatus (not hiatal) due to pregnancy, outshone the competition, downing 40 sausages and buns. In second place to her was her friend and her former roommate (which was that I like it?) michelle lesco with just 26 dogs. This is her eighth win in nine years for the New York-born champion. (Other achievements include the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival World Cake Eating Championship, the World Famous St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail Eating Championship, and the Three Rivers Festival West Virginia Pepperoni Roll Eating World Championship.)
Chestnut, who started on “the stud circuit” according to ESPN commentators, came off a bit slower than usual, perhaps because of his injury. The 15 brave competitive tube steak warriors dunked their dogs and buns in glasses of water for a full 10 minutes, avoiding “reversals of fortune” in the hot July sun.
Chestnut consumed 63 dogs, well below his personal best of 76, beating number two, Geoffrey waitat 8 p.m. For a brief moment, a protester in a Darth Vader mask threatened to disrupt the event, but Chestnut, in the middle of a bite, choked the guy before security dragged him out.
What nobody dares to ask a champion like Chestnut is what will happen to him in 12 to 24 hours.
Happy 4th of July everyone!