Eat It

I'll admit: I made a point of tuning in yesterday to to watch Nathan Hot Dogs' Gluttony-fest 2007.  I've noted before my fascination with this competition, but this year's might have been the most interesting yet. On one side you had the legend, Kobayashi. On the other, the upstart American Joey Chestnut. Chestnut claimed his first victory over Kobayashi earlier this year, but yesterday was the Super Bowl of competitive eating. And Kobayashi nursing a sore jaw had me worried. But we all received the match-up we were waiting for: they both shattered world records, with Chestnut prevailing. This result will jettison the sport into a higher stratosphere.

At least you think so if you were listening to the commentators.

The only thing about the event that really left me scratching my head was some of the things the play-by-play guys said. They couldn't be serious, but since they weren't joking throughout the competition dialogue, you can't be sure.

First, they offered that yesterday's event, "could be the greatest moment in American sports history." Alright, we all get excited so we can let that slide. But another statement was even better: “Google the word ‘hero’ tomorrow, and you’ll get Abe Lincoln and Joey Chestnut.” Well, I actually tried that, and neither of their names showed up. Sucks for Lincoln, I guess.

Memo to hot dog contest announcers: allow the sport to stand on its own merit; don't over-hype it. Competitive eating doesn't need a Don King or Flavor Flav person selling the sport the event, hyping it beyond belief. Things will work out just fine if you let the eaters do the talking . . . or something like that.

What's in a hot dog, anyway?