on Sports
Chestnut Bests Koby @ Nathan's Again by Stan Silliman humor sports comedy cartoons articles


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
Chestnut Bests Koby @ Nathan's Again

         The Nathan’s Hotdog eating contest at Coney Island in Brooklyn is a popular July 4th event. So popular that when the governor of Alaska was told she couldn’t travel to the event on state funds she resigned her office. So popular, the governor of South Carolina planned on hiking the Appalachian Trail to make it… and except for a bad compass he would have. 30,000 people were on hand to watch Joey Chestnut gobble 68 hotdogs and buns in 10 minutes. Takeru Kobayashi came in second. This is three years in a row Chestnut has beaten Koby. Their eating styles are … er… rough, nothing delicate about it. Foodies or gourmets run from this display. Take it from me, Miss Manners, Emily Post or Amy Vanderbilt was not in the crowd. 

    You dip the buns in water to help them go down. Chestnut downed over 20 pounds of food and water in 10 minutes. Curious to me is that after 30,000 people screamed, whooped, hollered and encouraged the contestants to scarf this stuff as fast and as unappetizing as possible they then, after the event, lined up around the corner at Nathan’s for… wait for it… hotdogs. Don’t ask me WHY people are so peaked to eat a coney after watching almost 1000 dogs get munched in front of them without one bit of catsup or mustard. I can’t figure it. Did the crowds who watched public floggings hurry home to break out their whips?  “I say, Ol’ Chap, did you see the stroke on that whip master? Can we ever master his technique?” 
    Nathan’s has been hosting a contest since 1916. Back then if you ate 6 to 8 dogs in 10 minutes you were an animal. It stayed in the low figures for years. In 1984 Birget Feiden won a 12 minute contest with 9 ½ dogs. In 1998 Hirofumi Nakajima won with 19. In 2000 Kazutoyo Arai ate 25 1/8. The next year Kobayashi blew them away with 50 dogs in 12 minutes. He then took the next five years hitting a high of 53 ¾. Kobayashi weighs 132 pounds and he stays at that weight, except, of course right after a contest where his inflatable stomach holds an extra 16 to 18 pounds.

    Is Kobayashi only a weiner eater? No. He also holds the record for downing 17.7 pounds of cow brains in 15 minutes. Many of these guys go to other International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) events. The Shea brothers, Richard and George, run the federation and come up with the contests where you’ll find George emceeing many of them. George is what makes the contests work. His gift of hyperbole lends a humorous touch to the oddball events. Witness the typical George: “He was buried under 60 cubic feet of popcorn and he ate his way out to survival. He is the pancake eating champion of the world, the lumberjack breakfast champion of the world. He is the David Blaine of the bowel! The Evil Knievel of the alimentary canal! The Houdini of linguini!”
Chestnut Bests Koby @ Nathan's Again by Stan Silliman humor sports comedy cartoons articles
    Here’s even more George: “I have witnessed the leader of the Four Horsemen of the Esophagus. He has a cloven tongue with which he eats a cloven hoof! He is the pigs-feet eating champion of the world!”
    George introducing yet another contestant: “He has the sharpest incisors in the sport.
Let me hear it for the Shredder, Allen Goldstein!”

We’ll give it a try. “Here they are - the Goliaths of Gluttony, the Galloping Gullets, the Sultans of the Esophagus with stomping stomachs and menacing mandibles, Koby from Tokyo and Joey from Cali.” Okay, it’s not George Shea worthy, but what is?

Silliman On Sports
2405 Wilcox Drive
Norman, OK  73069

Phone #: 405-360-4800
Comments or Suggestions: Email