Joey Chestnut wins fourth Hot Dog title
In a dogged victory, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut scarfed down 54 franks in 10 minutes to take his fourth consecutive title — and the coveted mustard yellow belt — at the 95th annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on New York’s Coney Island Sunday.
But the excitement didn’t end with the last bite. Shortly after the final dog went down, six-time champ Takeru “Tsunami" Kobayashi of Japan tried to rush the stage and was arrested by police. He later was charged with resisting arrest, trespassing and obstruction of governmental affairs, the New York Post reported, quoting police.
Police sources told the paper that the former champ was trying to grab the stage microphone before cops took him down.
The contest was man bites dog all the way. Chestnut pushed and shoved the wieners into his mouth, then chomped and swallowed while simultaneously reaching for his next fistful and bouncing up and down on his toes. Despite the spray of bread, water and assorted food debris, he managed to avoid a yellow card for messy eating.
But Chestnut’s victory — in 90-degree temperatures — didn’t come close to matching his world-record 68 hot dogs last year. Chestnut, who held a bottle of Pepto-Bismol aloft after his victory was announced, didn’t seem perturbed that he failed to set a new record this time around.
“I came out and knew what I had to do,” he said. “I was slower than I wanted to be.” Before the match, he said he hoped to gobble down 69 or 70 dogs to set a world record.
He got off to an early lead, downing 10 in just over a minute. By the halfway point, he had polished off 34 and remained comfortably in the lead against 14 competitors, including two women, as the crowd chanted “Joey! Joey!” The closest runner-up, Tim “Eater X” Janus, managed a total of 45.
Among the thousands gathered to watch the Superbowl of Competitive Eating was Kobayashi, who won the Nathan’s title six years in a row before he was upset by Chestnut in 2007.
Kobayashi announced earlier he would not compete due to contractual issues with the event’s organizer, Major League Eating. “If he was a real man, he’d be on the stage,” Chestnut said following his win.
The 6-foot-1, 220 pound Chestnut, a California native who works as a construction engineer when he’s not inhaling food, makes about $150,000 a year from competitive eating, according to the Post.
So exactly how many calories did Chestnut consume in his gluttonous victory? Roughly 15,000, give or take a bun or two.