The hot dog eating world has its buns in a knot today after scandal hit the sacred stage at the Nathan’s annual contest in Coney Island. As three-time world hot dog–eating champion Joey Chestnut took the prize over 15 rivals, former champion Takeru Kobayashi rushed the stage and was arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest. That is nothing to relish.
The organizer of the event, Major League Eating, was requiring all competitors to sign a contract, but Kobayashi refused. Major League Eating then barred him from the competition.
Kobayashi is a member of International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) (yes, there is such an organization) and the past holder of the world record for hot dog consumption.
With a simple transfer, this could produce an epic showdown with Morgan County Jail where the sheriff fed prisoners nothing but surplus corn dogs.
My biggest concern is that this conflict is robbing the sport of competitive eating of its inherent dignity and refinement. These athletes are role models of over-eating children everywhere. What are they going to think when they see a dog demigod like Kobayashi carted away in a police car?
This was Kobayashi’s showdown with an actual bear:
Source: Brooklyn Paper