Fireworks, hot dogs, American flags, all staples of the July 4th celebration. While most of the nation will be enjoy all three of those at once, for competitors in the 2015 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, only one thing matters - the wieners sitting between the hot dog buns they gorge on between needed gulps of water. The Coney Island contest will be entering its 99th annual running, which has some added drama this year. One of the all time great sports rivalries will be renewed - Joey Chestnut vs. Takeru Kobayashi.
For the hardcore competitive eating fan, you know of the antics Kobayashi has been involved in in the past decade. He hasn't competed in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest since 2009, after he didn't sign a contract with Major League Eating, the group who watches over the contest. Of course it sounds ridiculous, but athletes have problems with their residing organizations all of the time. Kobayashi has had run-ins before, in 2010 he was arrested for reportedly attempting to jump on the stage after the contest in an attempt to disrupt the proceedings, the charges were eventually dropped.
While drama has been attached to Kobayashi, the reigning champion 8 years running, Joey Chestnut, looks to continue his dominance. Kobayashi has beaten Chestnut in the past, but the past 8 years Chestnut has beaten even Kobayashi at the event. He currently holds the record with 69 hot dogs, which he set in 2013, consuming all of them in 10 minutes. I'm sure a win the 2015 Nathan's contest against Kobayashi will be a great feather in his hot dog cap.
Here is the video of the 2013 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest, if you'd like to see what it looks like to eat 69 hot dogs in a span of time it takes most people to eat 4, maybe 5 if enough beer is consumed. Warning, it isn't pretty.
For those who want to watch this year's contest, it starts at 1pm on ESPN2. The Major League Eating group and ESPN signed a long term deal, with the sports network showing the contest through 2024. God bless you, ESPN, God bless you. While watching, look out for something called a "roman method incident" or "reversal of fortune", which is just a technical term for vomiting. So be sure to impress your friends at your hot dog eating contest party with correct verbage!
Image via: YouTube