Another Fourth of July, another Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest from Coney Island in the books. And like last year (and the year before, and the year before…) it wasn’t pretty. But it was impressive.
Coming into the contest, the smart money was on Joey “Jaws” Chestnut (does a guy named Joey Chestnut really need an additional nickname?), who was at -1200. Behind him was Matt “The Megatoad” Stonie (not the guy from South Park) at +900. Then there was the rest of the field at +700. How many dogs did Vegas think would get destroyed? The over/under was 68, which meant bookies were begging for a new record to be made (the high is 69 by Chestnut). However, the field will be diluted this year with six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi holding his own bunless competition in Manhattan, so Chestnut was the man being pushed to set that record.
And for those scoring at home, Chestnut and Stonie are both from San Jose, which raises the question, “What the f&$k is wrong with you, San Jose?”
Other notables in the field were Erik “The Red” Denmark, Brian “Dud Light” Dudzinski, Jeff “The Beast Man” Butler, Tim “Eater X” Janus, Eric “Badlands” Booker, and our favorite name, Juan “More Bite” Rodriguez. All of these men in one way or another have grossed people out with their gastronomic prowess, but the one who deserves a shout out (of sorts), is Eater X, who holds the record for this:
The rules are simple: contestants have ten minutes to eat hot dogs with buns, which they may dip in water, and must hold down. That sentence alone should bring a tear to every American’s eye. And this year, after a glorious and disgusting 600 seconds, the final standings were:
It's official, Joey Chestnut does it again! 61 Hot Dogs! pic.twitter.com/FUxcCpD40k
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 4, 2014
It was actually a pretty close race, with Stonie taking the lead around the five-minute mark — but his pace slowed considerably toward the end, and Chestnut, ever the garbage disposal, powered through.
That’s eight straight Nathan’s titles for Chestnut. An ESPN News announcer actually said as the contest came to a close that this was “the greatest achievement in the history of man.” Okay.
Chestnut also proposed to his girlfriend before the event. She said yes. Now that’s winning.
UPDATE: As for Kobayashi, we just got a report from 230 Fifth that he ate 112 bunless hot dogs. How does that compare to Chestnut’s 61? What difference does a bun — or rather, 61 buns — make? (Probably a lot.) Read our interview with Kobayashi here.
Here’s video from Food Republic, which says he ate 113. Either way, that’s a lot of meat: