In an event that has really seemed to take off in recent years with the exposure of television, July 4th marks the annual tradition of the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island. Last year before a crowd of roughly 40,000 American Joey Chestnut won his fourth consecutive title, downing 54 hot dogs (and buns) in 10 minutes. 1.677 million people tuned in on television, and likely more will do the same today as they will watch Chestnut attempt to win his fifth title belt.
Last year got heated when six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi showed up at Coney Island but had refused to compete in the contest after going through a contract dispute with Major League Eating, the governing body of the 4th of July hot dog contest. An altercation broke out after the contest in which Kobayashi was arrested by police.
It sounds as if Kobayashi will not be at the event this year, but it has been rumored he will be eating by satellite. As for Chestnut, he spoke of his rival Kobayashi-
"First off, he's an awesome eater. You can't take that away from him. He was on top for so long," Chestnut said. "But when I started to beat him and kept beating him, he didn't bow out gracefully. He became a 'fame [expletive].' If I started to lose, I would be thankful for the ride and go out fishing."
I'll predict Chestnut wins his fifth title in a row and once again keeps the Nathan's title belt in the United States.