It’s July 4th – Independence Day in the U.S. – and as regular readers of the FFB know, there is only one story for us on this date. Yes, it’s time for the Nathan’s Famous Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest! And this year is a special one for the All-American New York City Tradition…
2015 Champ Matt Stonie hefting the Contest Cup and the Mustard Yellow
Championship Belt. Runner-up Joey Chestnut is poised to take the title back this year…
It is, in fact, the 100th anniversary of the Contest, which was first help at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog stand on Coney Island on this date back in 1916.
As the story goes, Nathan Handwerker – credited by historians as the originator of the Hot Dog as we know it – wanted to do something to promote his product and decided that getting his customers involved would be a great idea. Little did he foresee the evolution of his humble contest into an international sport it has become today!
Little did he imagine the universal favourite his invention would become – appealing to all ages, and economic strata of Western society!
Are you ready to (stomach) rumble?
The Contest has seen many eaters and many thousands of Hot Dogs consumes over the years. As time has gone by, record after record has been shattered. Now we witness a clash of the hungriest of the hungry – the world’s competitive eating elite.
This is the scene that confronts each competitor when he, or she, sits down at
the official Nathan’s Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest table:
A giant platter stacked with 60 regulation dogs!
One name stands out from all the others: 32-year-old American Joey Chestnut has won the contest 8 years running. But last year his streak was snapped by up-and-comer Matt Stonie. Chestnut ate 60 Hot Dogs with buns in 19 minutes. Stonie managed 62 to take the 2015 title. But don’t cry for Chestnut, Coney Island. He still holds the all-time record for the event, having downed 69 Nathan’s Famous Dos on a previous July 4th. Is it mere coincidence that both Chestnut and Stonie hail from California, where so many way-out people and stunts are born?
There is always a Women’s competition, too
Last year’s Women’s champ, Miki Sudo of Las Vegas, is looking to three-peat for the title this anniversary year. She’s up against two formidable challengers, Adrian Morgan of New Orleans and Sonya Thomas, Alexandria, Virginia. Sudo and Thomas are the top-ranked Women’s competitive eaters in the world. Sudo is looking to improve on her record, set last year, of 32 Dogs.
In case you were wondering…
Yes, events such as Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest are regulated, monitored and sanctioned by an uber-Association – the International Federation of Competitive Eating.
Watch it live!
You can watch the contest live on ESPN at Noon (E) today, with a replay later, at 3:00 pm (E) on a selection of other ESPN channels. Get all the details and some ‘Baseball Card’ stats on the top contenders at the ESPN website.
And have a Great 4th of July!
~ Maggie J.