Joey Chestnut: Five-Time Winner Will Easily Win Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2012

NEW YORK - JULY 4: Joey Chestnut of San Jose, California walks on stage holding his old champion belt as the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest begins on July 4, 2009 in Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chestnut defeated Takeru Kobayashi of Nagano, Japan with eating 68 to his 64.5 hotdogs. Kobayashi won six previous competitions before tying last year with Chestnut. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Joey Chestnut is the Michael Jordan of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. He is to the classic Fourth of July contest as Rafael Nadal is to the French Open. Heck, his middle name should be Nathan.

What I'm trying to say is that Chestnut is going to win the competition once again, and he will do so easily.

The numbers back me up.

For one, he's won the contest five years in a row. He's the International Federation of Competitive Eating's top-ranked eater. (And no, I didn't make any of that up, I swear.)

Bovada has Chestnut at -800 and the field—yes, the field!—at +500. They've put his over-under at 62.5 hot dogs, while Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti comes in at 53.5.

And honestly, you should probably take the over.

Chestnut has surpassed that twice at this contest—including the 68 he ate in 2007, the world record and the number of hot dogs I've eaten in the past three years—and came close last year after inhaling 62 dogs.

The only thing that could slow him down is a lack of competition. In 2007, he had Kobayashi to deal with, and the two looked destined for a competitive eating rivalry of the Magic Johnson-Larry Bird variety.

But Kobayashi had contract disputes with Major League Eating, got a little bit crazy and rushed the stage in 2010, and hasn't been back since.

And fans of competitive eating—I'm assuming they exist and enjoy their incredibly niche "sport"—surely have lamented this lost rivalry.

Honestly, the only thing that can stop Chestnut from winning this contest would be something truly horrific, like a case of serious indigestion on the day of the contest or a sudden allergy to hot-dog buns. Even then, he would probably still be the favorite.

So go ahead, bet against Chestnut at your own peril. I'm sure you also bet against the 1992 Dream Team, predicted the Houston Astros would make the playoffs this year and are still in shock that Ireland didn't win this year's Euro Cup.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets want Dwight Howard to just get traded already, too.

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