Hot Dog! Countdown to the Crown Jewel of Competitive Eating Events

Friday, July 02, 2010

This Fourth of July, many of us will be enjoying a hot dog or three. But if you’re one of a few select Major League Eating athletes in Coney Island, you’ll more likely be eating forty, fifty, or sixty — in the space of only ten minutes. We refer, of course, to the competitors in the crown jewel of all competitive eating events: The Coney Island Nathans Hot Dot Eating Contest; which, since 1916, has taken place on July 4th, Independence Day.

George Shea and Richard Shea are the co-founders of the International Federation of Competitive Eating, and the chairman and president of Major League Eating. They share their insider knowledge of this weekend’s big competition. They tell us about the up and comers we should be looking out for, and the chances that the legendary Joey Chestnut will be able to hold onto the coveted Mustard Belt for the fourth year in a row.

John Hockenberry weighs in:

What constitutes a sport? The big shots on the “Competitive Eating Circuit” can make some serious cash. $150,000 is what you get for winning the Coney Island Fourth of July Hot dog Eating Competition. The International Federation of Competitive Eating sponsors 80 professional events around the world. Competitive eating has been pitched to the Olympics to no success. Hot dog chomping is just beneath the dignity of the people who bring you Ice Dancing, Curling, and synchronized swimming. But who cares about the IOC in the 21st century? The Shea brothers have it it dead-on: Competitive Eating IS a sport no matter what the Olympics pointy-heads say.  It’s a sport for the simple reason that it’s on ESPN."

Guests:

George Shea and Richard Shea

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [2]

nancy from uk

What constitutes a sport? The big shots on the “Competitive Eating Circuit” can make some serious cash. $150,000 is what you get for winning the Coney Island Fourth of July Hot dog Eating CompetitionIs it possible that as a culture we are unaware of how offensive an eating competition is?...................

Dec. 16 2010 11:59 PM
Jean-Marc Russ from Manhattan

In a world still filled with hunger and poverty... Is it possible that as a culture we are unaware of how offensive an eating competition is?
And to link it to the 4th of July celebration and suggest that it represents us as a nation is even worse... 70 hot dogs consumed by one man - dressed up as sport... it is not sport... it is far from sport... it is grotesque glutenous competitive consumption... and it makes me ashamed.

Jul. 02 2010 08:49 AM

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