It's the middle of the summer, which means sporting events of importance are few and far between. Like a gift from the heavens, the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is brought to us on the 4th of July.
This competition will likely come down to Joey Chestnut Vs. Takeru Kobayashi. Chestnut is vying for a shot at his fifth consecutive title.
Kobayashi had a contract holdup that kept him from competing last year. His last 4th of July ended with a scuffle with police, when he tried to take the stage.
The last battle between Kobayashi and Chestnut resulted in a world record by Chestnut, who put away an astounding 68 hot dogs. Kobayashi wasn't far behind, with a whopping total of 64 1/2 dogs downed.
Kobayashi's absence led to a lesser competition, as Chestnut was able to attain victory with only 54 hot dogs downed.
Kobayashi was a pioneer in the art of hot dog eating. He paved the way for guys like Chestnut to put away an astonishing amount of hot dogs. Prior to Kobayashi's 50 hot dog performance in 2001, the winner of the competition in 2000 only put away 25 hot dogs.
It was unclear whether or not he would ever have any competition, but Chestnut has served as a valiant eating rival.
In the midst of summer, with the entire sports world watching, Kobayashi will try to take back what he believes to be rightfully his. A year removed from competition, Kobayashi has been waiting far too long for the chance to dethrone Chestnut.
Will this be the year that Kobayashi takes back the throne as the king of hot dog eating? Will Chestnut establish himself as the greatest eater in hot dog history? Perhaps a member of the field will rise up and challenge Kobayashi and Chestnut.
Regardless of who wins, we expect to see a phenomenal battle between hot dog eating royalty. We could be awaiting a record-breaking performance from one of them.
You can catch all of the action on ESPN at 12:00 PM EST on July 4th.
For complete coverage of Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, keep it right here, where we will be updating this Live Blog with all of the latest action.
It was all Joey Chestnut yet again. Listed below are the final results of the competition;
1. Joey Chestnut 62
2. Pat Bertoletti 53
3. Tim Janus 45
*EDITOR'S NOTE: Kobayashi will not be in the competition. Instead he will down hotdogs at a rooftop bar from an alternative location*