Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest 2013: Why Joey Chestnut Is a Lock to Win Title

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04:  Competitive eater Joey Chestnut celebrates his victory after winning the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chestnut won the men's division by successfully tying his own world record by eating 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes; he has now won the competition six years in a row.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The Fourth of July is known as the birthday of the United States, but competitive eating legend Joey Chestnut will once again steal all the headlines Thursday when he wins the 2013 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.

The biggest eating spectacle in the world returns to Coney Island to captivate the droves in attendance and the millions more watching on television, via Joseph Gallivan of the New York Post, and Chestnut is determined to once again walk away with the mustard yellow championship belt.

Chestnut raised his game once again last year, tying his own world record by eating 68 hot dogs and buns in the 10-minute time limit. While most athletes would be satisfied with that much success, the 29-year-old star is looking for so much more.

With six-straight Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest victories and the world record, Chestnut told Gersh Kuntzman of the New York Daily News about his life as a competitive eater, how he approaches the July 4th event and what his career goals are:

Traveling around the world to eat, it’s a weird life, but I love it. There’s no better feeling than knowing I’m going to break the guy next to me. His body will shut down and I will keep eating. Then I will look out and see a crowd of happy people. I’m getting older and I’m smarter about how I eat. I won’t move around quite so much. In previous years, it felt like I was running. This year, I’m a thoughtful Joey Chestnut.

Seven is not the end. Ten is looking more and more likely.

That kind of confidence is the earmark of an elite athlete, and while many will scoff at the comparisons, he is the Michael Jordan of competitive eating.

Every year, Chestnut returns to the Super Bowl of the sport in great shape, dominates the field and sets the tone for how these athletes are judged.

Not only does the unwavering confidence give Chestnut the mental edge, the experience of dominating the sport for so long has given the California native the ultimate physical edge.His stomach has seen the good and bad of competitions and is battle tested.

Not only does the six-time champion think he is going to win, but every competitor on that stage also knows which eater is the best; Chestnut is in everyone’s head.

At the end of the day, there is no one better than Joey "Jaws" Chestnut.


Where To Watch the 2013 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

When: Thursday, July 4

Time: Women's Championship, 11:30 a.m. ET; Men's Championship, 12:30 p.m. ET

Where: Coney Island

Watch: ESPN 2 (Live at 12 p.m. ET), ESPN (tape delay at 1 p.m. ET)

Live Stream:

More Details: Major League Eating’s Official Website