Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy July 4th!

Besides fireworks and baseball, another July 4th tradition is the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest, which was shown by ESPN. Takeru Kobayashi (simply known as Kobayashi) won his fifth straight title by eating 49 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Just for fun, I made some notes from today’s contest.

ESPN had profiles of many of the competitors including Tim Janus, who wears face paint and calls himself “Eater X.” No, I’m not making this up. Janus is also the 2004 International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) Rookie of the Year. Again, I’m not making this up.

Sonya Thomas, who finished 2nd in this year’s contest with 37 hot dogs, lives in nearby Alexandria, Virginia. She weighs in at 105 pounds and once ate 65 Hard Boiled Eggs in 6 minutes, 40 seconds. Take that Paul Newman! She also ate 11 pounds of cheesecake in 9 minutes. Essentially, she ate 10% of her body weight in less than 10 minutes. That really doesn’t seem right, although it was cheesecake and not deep-fried asparagus. If you didn’t already know (and how could you not), Joey Chestnut, who I believe finished 3rd in the hot dog eating contest, is the world deep-fried asparagus-eating champion by eating 6.3 pounds in 11.5 minutes.

My favorite comment of the day had to be about 409-pound Cookie Jarvis. The announcers said that he is having a rebuilding year. How does one rebuild in competitive eating? Did he get a new intestine?

Anyway, Kobayashi (who was a great character in The Usual Suspects) was 4.5 hot dogs short of his record set at the 2004 hot dog eating contest. With about 30 seconds to go in the contest, the announcers were critical of Kobayashi saying that perhaps he partied too much in Midtown the night before. Of course, earlier in the telecast, the same announcers were comparing him to Tom Brady and Lance Armstrong. Oh, and he beat Thomas by 12 hot dogs.

Congratulations to the marketing people at Pepto-Bismol and Alka-Seltzer. Pepto-Bismol had several commercials during the ESPN telecast and later this month, is the Alka-Seltzer US Open of Competitive Eating.

Well, I’m getting ready for a BBQ and then to see some fireworks. I’m hoping to eat 2 hot dogs in 10-15 minutes!

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