Despite New York City's proposal to crowd Coney Island with high rises, the original Nathan's hot dog stand will remain the venue for this year's hot dog-eating contest on July 4. For the last two years Joey Chestnut has beat six-time champion, and his arch rival, Takeru Kobayashi. But to clarify, last year was especially close. After they tied at 59 frankfurters in 10 minutes, there was a five-dog overtime! Whoever could shove all five in their mouths the fastest, won.
This year, Italy is sending its national champion, Franco Camerini, and Nathan's has been running a qualifying circuit around the United States in 16 cities, including Biloxi, Mississippi; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Norfolk, Virginia. The winner of each round moves onto the battle.
But, let's be honest. It's probably just another match between Chestnut and Kobayashi. If a recent battle in Los Angeles involving P'zones (a cross between a pizza and calzone) was any indication, Chestnut might have to hand over the Mustard Yellow Belt. Who are you rooting for?
And to note, the night before, Coney Island is holding another competitive eating contest, but with two major differences: it's just the hot dog buns, and a team of three humans will take on three elephants from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, reports the Brooklyn Paper. The odds may be in the elephant's favor in terms of stomach space, but they also might not understand the term "Go!"