San Jose State student Joey “Jaws” Chestnut choked down 50 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes last week to break the American record heading into the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4 at New York’s Coney Island. There, he’ll face five-time winner and world-record holder Takeru Kobayashi of Japan, who once ate 53½.
Dan Daly of the Washington Times was amazed at Chestnut’s improvement since last Independence Day:
“Just a year ago, believe it or not, Chestnut was only able to eat 32 dogs. Hey, wait a minute. San Francisco Bay Area … dramatically improved performance … Did BALCO ever come out with any designer mustards?"
And this from the I.F.O.C.E. website:
Joey Chestnut devoured 50 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes today to set a new American record in the Las Vegas qualifier of the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Said IFOCE President Richard Shea: "This is the greatest thing to happen in the history of American sports. Joey Chestnut's accomplishment may change the course of a nation."
Chestnut's record tops Sonya Thomas' mark of 37 HDBs in 12 minutes, set on July 4, 2005.
The amazing Rich LeFevre set a personal best of 30.5 HDBs while Ron Koch ate 15. Screenwriter Josh Heald ate 11.
I think Richard Shae may be a bit too optimistic about the import of these events.