The World Cup of gluttony

July 4, 2010 • 2:07 pm

God bless America!  What other country celebrates its independence with a show of extreme gluttony?  The most famous American event on July 4th, aside from fireworks, is the annual hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s at Coney Island, New York.  The winner is the person who eats the most hot dogs (buns and franks) in 10 minutes.  It’s a lot of fun if you like these things (thousands of people attend the eatoff), but there’s also a prize of $10,000 and two cases of hot dogs.

The contest was less than an hour ago, but the video is already up on YouTube.  Joey “Jaws” Chestnut has won for the fourth time, downing 54 dogs, or an average of one dog every 11 seconds.   That’s not near the record of 68, set by Chestnut last year, but it’s an increase of more than 100% since the record of 25.12 dogs a decade ago.  Here’s the clip, with a particularly noxious and jingoistic introduction. Note that Chestnut’s technique is to eat the dog and bun separately, squishing up the bun with water to reduce its volume.

14 thoughts on “The World Cup of gluttony

  1. Whenever I’ve tried to watch some such eating contest I find that my gag reflex kicks in. These contests are just not for me as either a participant or as a spectator.

    1. I completely agree. Just watching someone vacuuming down food like that makes my stomach hurt.

  2. Their time would be better spent contemplating the meaning of patriotism, and the circumstances of the quadruple amputee military service member on the front page of today’s NY Times.

  3. I can’t watch the actual contest, but I have watched the event, because the perform a pitch perfect parody of sportscasting, like you’re getting ready to watch the Kentucky Derby.

    I’m just a fan of spoken performance. I’d go to a tent revival if I was told the guy was good at it.

  4. Hey! I might not be a world class scientist, but I HAVE won the Travis High School pie eating contest in 1977 (22 slices of lemon meringue pie in 5 minutes time). 🙂

  5. You’re such an elitist, Jerry – all this posh mincing about with hot dog eating contests and barbeque when you should be getting down with the people at the ballet.


    1. Ophelia, you crass wench. Ladies and Gentlemen do not “get down” at the ballet. They appreciate it quietly, while maintaining a properly clenched decorum. They set a proper tone.

  6. I can’t actually watch these contests, because like jdhuey and microraptor, I’m in danger of throwing up.

    That said, if there were anything I’d be inclined to gorge myself on, it would be Nathan’s hot dogs. Best evah. So are their pickles.

  7. I’m feeling sick now. How do THESE guys fit into the theory of evolution, shouldn’t participants for such things have died out centuries ago?

  8. Have you ever eaten a hot dog bun that got a little bit soggy? It’s gross! How they can manage to stuff down hot dog bun mush is beyond me.

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