Happy Fourth of July Everyone!
On this annual celebration of independence from the tyranny the British would have invoked on our American brethren, it appears fitting to best celebrate the day with fireworks, beer and a whole lot of food. Had the Brits continued to rule, I am sure North American culture would have been limited to tea and crumpets. To assert American individualism, the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is performed as an example of everything great about the USA…plus some flag waving and fireworks.
At 62 hot dogs consumed, it’s great to see that Matt Stonie didn’t overdo it and attempt to clobber the runner up’s past record of 68. Restraint is always great to build a little mystery when it comes to the final minutes…also it ain’t gentlemanly to ‘run up the score’. Matt and Joey have known each other for years, both on a friendly basis and through consumption competitions. Although on a world stage, with few napkins, these focused fighters knew what was is store and came out chomping!
Training for such events is intense. You think just having an empty belly and hefty appetite is enough. Time limits, expandable stomachs, and a gullet that never dries out also have to be factored in by these guys. Considering our bodies are resilient mysteries, these eaters have honed their craft and skills to compete around the country, and overseas, for the titles I thought I should be earning at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Pies, donuts, corned beef, even cow brain tacos…if it’s edible, it’s worth competing over. I wonder if Rocky Mountain oysters have a record holder.
If you have hungry children, be sure to get them on board with competitive eating. I am sure Joey “Jaws” Chestnut will fight his damndest to earn back the praise and notoriety that comes only with this annual competition…but younger bellies and experimental surgeons willing to explore stomach expanding implants might make winning a little harder. Your kid might not be good enough for the NHL, but Major League Eating…maybe.
Sixty-nine hotdogs has held up for the last few years as the record beating goal, let’s see some new blood at the table next year…maybe even me.