There are many things synonymous with the Fourth of July in America, but there are none bigger than eating hot dogs with family and friends. It's only appropriate that the tradition was turned into a competition that we all know as the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.
The 2014 festivities at Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, were headlined by a battle between Joey Chestnut, who was looking to capture his eighth consecutive title, and Matt Stonie, the No. 2 ranked eater in the world.
Chestnut dominated this event for the last four years, winning by at least nine hot dogs each time and setting a new record with 69 dogs consumed in 2013. Stonie proved to be a worthy challenger, but he couldn't keep up with the defending champion down the stretch.
The one disappointment for Chestnut this time around was he didn't set a new record, actually falling well off his pace from last year with just 61 hot dogs eaten.
Since we couldn't be there to share in the hot-dog eating majesty with Chestnut and all the competitors, we are doing the next best thing and giving you an in-depth look at the results and reaction from the event.
|Position||Competitor||Hot Dogs Eaten|
Before the main event started, Chestnut may have pulled off the biggest win of his life. He proposed to his girlfriend of three years on the stage where he made his name:
Just to make sure that you never want to eat anything again, ESPN's "Sports Science" did a feature on the event broadcast, breaking down what the stomach looks like when you eat 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
Once all the pageantry was over, it was time to get down to the serious business of deciding a champion.
Even though it was expected to be another coronation for Chestnut, Stonie didn't go away quietly, as SportsCenter on Twitter pointed out:
Joey Chestnut being challenged. 2 minutes to go on ESPNews. pic.twitter.com/ZxOWoYTWoU— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 4, 2014
In case you were wondering—and you know you are—ESPN's Darren Rovell provided all the nutritional facts for Chestnut's consumption:
Nutritional info on Joey Chestnut's 61 hot dogs & buns: 23,790 calories, 1,189.5 g of fat, 60,390 g of sodium, 2,245 g of carbs.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) July 4, 2014
Rovell wasn't playing Debbie Downer with the caloric information. He also pointed out the positives for Chestnut's eating accomplishment:
Upside on Joey Chestnut's 61 hot dogs & buns? 793 grams of protein— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) July 4, 2014
Putting Chestnut's run of dominance in perspective, John Silver of SNYUConn.com compared it to the accomplishment of the Trinity College Bantams' 252-game unbeaten streak and 13 consecutive national titles in squash from 1998 to 2010.
Joey Chestnut and trinity squash are the most dominant dynasties in American sports.— John Silver (@JohnFSilver) July 4, 2014
The lesson here, kids, is that if you work hard, focus and know how to ignore the nausea that hits after consuming too much food, you can ride into Coney Island on a carriage to a massive audience cheering you on, propose to your girlfriend onstage in front of people and get a shiny trophy for all that effort.