Joey puts away record 74 in winning his 11th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
We have a general rule we abide by here in the world of reasonable eating, especially when it comes to hot dogs. And here it is:
Amounts: One hot dog? Fine. Two hot dogs? If really hungry. Three hot dogs? Not a chance.
Location: Baseball games, bowling alleys, state fairs and holiday get-togethers.
So it is with considerable disgust, but free of indigestion, that we report Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, the defending champ and ranked first in the world in competitive eating, broke his own world record Wednesday by eating 74 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes at the 11th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest title in Coney Island, N.Y.
“I found a vicious rhythm,” said Chestnut, 34, after the event. “I was feeling good today.”
Sure, but for how long?
How does one train for this? Chestnut says by starving then slowly expanding his stomach capacity with milk, water and protein supplements.
What is the best technique: Take the dog out of the bun, dunk the bun in water and shovel as fast as you can?
If you feel you need a bathroom break, just make sure you have a hall pass.
The championship, staged before a cheering and wagering crowd (bookmakers told ESPN over $1 million had been bet), did not come without controversy.
For some reason, judges originally gave Chestnut credit for 64 dogs and buns, which were not toasted to insure maximum gooeyness. But instant replay revealed an entire dish of wieners had been left uncounted.
So Chestnut (accent nut) was awarded the new record, breaking the one he set last summer by ingesting 72. And in doing so, he gorged his way past 20 competitors, including the world’s No. 2 eater, Carmen Cincotti.
And when it was done, he was awarded the “Mustard Belt,” which he accepted with great relish. Bar-rum-bump.
This event is not limited to men. Miki Sudo won her fifth straight championship by gulping down 37 dogs and buns, leaving a field including, record-holder Sonya Thomas, with their mouths open in astonishment.
“I had to try on three dresses,” Sudo said on The Today Show Thursday, referring to the trouble she was having finding something to fit.
Chestnut burst onto the scene is 2005 and won his first Coney Island title in 2007 by eating 66 dogs and buns in 12 minutes (it was lowered to 10 in 2008) to dethrone Takeru Kobayashi, the six-time defending champ. One month earlier in Tempe, Ariz., Chestnut served an appetizer to the champ by consuming 59 ½ dogs, six more than Kobayashi’s mark. Game on!
According to his Wikipedia page, the hot dog record likely is Chestnut’s favorite. After winning in 2012 by eating 68 dogs, this is what he said:
“I will not stop until I reach 70. This ‘sport’ isn’t about eating. It’s about drive and dedication, and at the end of the day hot dog eating challenges both my body and my mind.”
Close your eyes and have someone read that to you. Tell us you don’t hear a little Vince Lombardi.
According to the International Federation of Competitive Eating, and why would we kid about its existence, Chestnut’s exploits have not been limited to hot dogs. Apparently, he is the greatest utility man the game has ever seen, able to handle any spot on a buffet with deftness.
Consider his other exploits, all of which represent world records.
Chestnut ate 47 grilled cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes in 2006.
Chestnut pounded 15 pounds of shrimp cocktail in 8 minutes in 2016.
Chestnut defeated 141 hard-boiled eggs, pre-shelled, in 8 minutes in 2013.
Chestnut devoured 12.8 pounds of deep-fried asparagus in 10 minutes in 2014.
Chestnut picked the meat from 13.76 pounds of ribs in 12 minutes in 2013.
Chestnut wolfed down 4 ½ pounds of steak, plus sides, in 8:52 in 2008.
Chestnut slurped 78 matzoh balls in 8 minutes in 2008.
Chestnut slipped 79 bratwursts down the hatch in 10 minutes in 2013.
Chestnut overpowered 32 quarter-pound pork roll sandwiches in 10 minutes in 2015.
And finally, Chestnut swallowed 81 4oz mutton sandwiches in 10 minutes in 2018.
There you have it. Chestnut is the LeBron James of competitive eating. Just try digesting that for a moment.