The strange things that go on in hot dog competitions.
In one corner you had the reigning champion- Joey Chestnut, the ex champion Takeru Kobayashi, the Major League Eating board and in the last corner an astonished public. Gawker explains…
Gawker: Joey “Jaws” Chestnut won his fourth consecutive title at today’s 95th annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island, eating 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes. His arch-rival, and six-time champ, Takeru Kobayashi was arrested after the competition.
Like most competitions there is always a lot of money involved, which kind of explains why Kobayashi sat this competition out. Unfortunately for him he couldn’t get the major league eating board to agree to have him compete with non binding stipulations, which is frankly wishful thinking on behalf of the competitors considering the amount of money that is at stake. How much money? Well last year Joey Chestnut managed to win himself $150 000 just for traveling the country and competing in hot dog eating competitions. Assuming you can stomach such work.
So if you can picture this there’s Takeru sitting there seething in the 95 farhenheit weather watching his nemesis once again win the Nathan’s Hot Dog title when he decides to join the stage now that the Joey is being awarded his check. To congratulate him you think? That too is wishful thinking…
Gothamist: Kobayashi had been watching the event from the crowd. Apparently the crowd’s chanting of his name inspired him to rush the stage;he said, “I went as a spectator to cheer on my buddies that I used to eat with. Everyone in the crowd kep chanting ‘let him eat, let him eat’. So I jumped onto the stage to prove that I am still the champ, but I was arrested.”
“…with one spectator thinking, “I thought he was going to congratulate Chestnut as he was lifting up his belt,” but another said, “For all I know, he was going up there to punch him out.”
Hmm Punch Joey out? Punch the Major League Eating Board, or just steal a hot dog that was probably lying around? Of course the police and security didn’t see it that way and for his efforts Kobayashi was locked away overnight. When Kobayashi finally got out of jail this morning he had this to say:
“I am very hungry. I wish there were hot dogs in jail.”
So next time you pick up a hot dog to eat, think about the madness that some professional hot dog eaters go through. Pity the league didn’t save at least one hot dog for Kobayashi…