Joey Chestnut: Field Will Provide Little Challenge for 5-Time Champion

Rob GoldbergFeatured 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 attempting to win the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest for the sixth time on the Fourth of July. With his current competition, that will not be too difficult.

The field includes a number of professional eaters that should be proud to qualify for this stage, but none of them have what it takes to dethrone the champion. In fact, Bovada has the rest of the field at a +500 bet, meaning a gambler would win five times his original bet if anyone else wins.

Sure, Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti could have a great run and top his original best. Tim "Eater X" Janus could intimidate the field with his face paint. Teenager Matt "Megatoad" Stonie could shock the world and use his youth to his advantage.

Unfortunately, these outcomes are not likely.

The best possible competition would come from Takeru Kobayashi, the six-time former champ who still claims to own the world record. Unfortunately, contract disputes have kept him out of the competition for the past few years.

While the rivalry between Kobayashi and Chestnut could have been great for the event, Major League Eating simply will not allow the competition to happen. What is left in the competition is one dominant champion and a bunch of challengers hoping for second place.

Chestnut is not even looking at first place, but instead his goal is to break his own record of 68 hot dogs in the 10 minute period. He says he is just trying to "push myself to the limit."

Considering no other person in the field has approached that number in their careers, Chestnut's run as the best in the world should be safe.