Nathan's International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest six-time consecutive champion Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi has finally been dethroned. I am somewhat saddened by his loss, but I'm glad that an American won. I acknowledge that Julie scooped me earlier today, but I'd planned to write about this already, I swear!
Every year, I relish watching this contest. Yes, I watch every year. Hush, you.
I admit the main draw for me is Kobayashi, who, despite today's defeat, remains the top-ranked eater in the world, according to the International Federation of Competitive Eating. There is something awesome about witnessing a 5'7", 154-pound Asian man wolf down scores of HDBs (hot dogs and buns) and beat the buns of big burly boys twice his size, who can do nothing to ketchup to the whirlwind Tsunami.
Alas, today the Tsunami didn't cut the mustard. Don't worry. My stupid hot dog lingo ends here. Promise.
Most people are probably unaware that today Kobayashi was actually the underdog. Having lost just last month to 6'1", 230-pound Joey "Jaws" Chestnut (record holder for waffles, grilled cheese sandwiches, pork ribs, and chicken wings, among other foods) in a pre-contest battle in which Chestnut downed 59.5 HDBs to Kobayashi's 53.75 HDBs, Kobayashi entered this year's contest with "jaw-thritis" and was unable to compete with full mandible motion.
Well, congratulations to Chestnut for winning this year's contest. Today, he devoured 66 HDBs to Kobayashi's 63. I guess it's appropriate for an American to win something as American as a hot dog eating contest. It was just a little sad that the Tsunami ended with his own tsunami...of puke.
Personally, I think the Tsunami should go back to his old hairstyle. I miss the punky bleached spikiness. Maybe his new conservative look held him back. In honor of the fallen champion, I present to you this awesome clip.
Happy Fourth of July!