Is it a Sport? Thousands Chose Joey Chestnut Over the Yankees, who at least Won

Patrick ReadSenior Writer IJuly 4, 2008

Washington DC

July 4th, 2007

It is the only game in town worth watching nowadays on this, the most Americana of all national holidays, July 4 weekend. Joey Chestnut won in an "eat off", the sudden death of competitive eating, against a man known to most by one name, Kobayashi.

Of course, the whole thing was sponsored by Nathan's in New York City, the home of the hot dog, and I don't mean A-Rod. Go to their web site and order some, 'cuz they are good. And unlike A-Rod, and his new affair, they are good for kids, too.

Hot dogs were invented on Coney Island at their Amusement Park, and I know...Chicago is ticked about it. Build a bridge Chi-town, and get over it. Celery salt on a dog is a crime, and so is ketchup, unless you're under 12 years of age.

There is a weiner named for the founding city, too, it is called a coney, and it is a spicy sausage in comparison. Personally, I like Hoffman hot dogs from Syracuse, NY; or Steiger Walds, who have won the "Dog of the Year" (sit A-Rod!) for consecutive seasons in NY. But no way I am downing 60 anything, unless it's popcorn. 

Hold the relish Batman, Chestnut just beat Kobayashi last year, who was looked at as unbeatable with six consecutive Hot Dog Championships. That type of winning streak had to come to an end, because as Yankees fans now know, nothing lasts forever.

Now, there is a new streak in town. Two Championships in a row by Chestnut, who won last year's All-American contest while smashing the record (yes, they have records too) by eating 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. What?! 66 dogs in 12 minutes? The result, as seen above, was a cash prize, and a big ole case of gut busting "meat sweats." 

Forget 25-cents a day Catholic Charities, hire Chestnut. This guy, and his dogs alone, could feed a starving village for a month!

The two ended this year's competition, which was two minutes less this year, in a tie. After 10 minutes, they each downed a mind boggling 59 dogs. What can you do in 10 minutes?

In an eat-off, Chestnut downed Kobayashi again, stuffing five dogs in his mouth, faster than A-Rod looking for a date, totaling 64 on the day. Not even close to his record-holding 66 last year.  His technique is called a "stuffer," who "chipmunks" his food into that big ol mouth.

Two championships in a row is a feat that even Boston fans could envy. And beating the favorite again, the Sox fans know the feeling as they are currently beating the Yanks for the second game in a row during "crunch time," pardon the pun to eaters everywhere. 

Is eating a sport?

Of course it is. I contend that just about anything that requires an unnatural competitive drive to win is a sport. Prostitutes in the 1800s were referred to as "sporting women," and card players were "sporting men," alluding to the need for a result in monetary gain in order for it to be called a sport. 

Chestnut took $10K in his latest victory, just hours ago. Heck, the fact that Joey Chestnut has a "tag," and Yankee reliever Edwar Ramirez doesn't, makes Joey legit!

Besides, as I learned from Mike Golic of ESPN Radio, they get meat sweats, which would turn any normal person's stomach vegetarian! It shows determination to say the least. And here I thought meat sweats were something that had to do with Giambi's last gimmick, before the 'stache. Just golden, huh?

If one can hunt Bambi for sport, by sitting there just waiting to take aim, then stuffing hot dogs down your pie-hole in an unnatural fashion, to the tune of 64 in less time than it takes for Manny Ramirez to beat up an old guy, then competitive eating is a sport as well.

The fact that it is being covered at all is an indication that hot dog eating is for real.

ESPN has covered the event, as have other publications, for quite some time now. Mike and Mike fully endorsed it as a sport, by inviting the top ranked eaters on the show for a display in a wing-eating contest, during baseballs' offseason.

The only Game in town, Hot Dogs beat baseball in NY, as this years' pastime, and they could probably beat the Yankees too...

For now, Chestnut is the King of New York, all the rest haven't even come close to this kid's success, save the NY Giants' "perfect upset" over the Patriots, which was a Godsend in hindsight.          

Chestnut "roasted" the Yankees, pulling fans to actually root, and loudly, for a man they can admire. A man who beat the odds, not once, but twice by being all heart, and never quitting until the last dog was down.

Something Yogi Berra, who has 10 rings, said long ago, "Never quit 'til the last out, of the last game." From this fan's eyes, the only Yankee with any heart is Jason Giambi, who may well win Comeback Player of the Year again. 

Hey Chestnut, could you help Edwar Ramirez learn to eat some hot dogs, too? He needs to gain weight big time, then that changeup might have more affect, especially if he adds a little "umph" behind the fastball...Steinbrenner would do well to watch this kid eat, he has heart, and he stole Steinbrenner's fans away, if only for a day!

Getch'er Hot Dogs here! No A-Rod, not you, sit down! A hot dog you are though, because you certainly ain't no Joe DiMaggio! His Yankees just like to win a lot more.

By the way, check this commercial out if you like dogs and sausages, it is the best, and bound to cheer up even the most frustrated of all Yankee fans. 

I had to laugh while writing this piece, ah the power of humor.


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