Kobayashi vs. Chestnut: final showdown?

It’s almost Independence Day, and you know what that means… INTERNATIONAL HOT DOG EATING CONTEST. This age-old battle has been dominated by Takeru Kobayashi for the past 6 years, but his closest call came from a rookie named Joey Chestnut at last year’s contest.

Since then, Kobayashi has started suffering from debilitating jaw pain while Chestnut broke the world record on the road to the international contest, gobbling 59 1/2 hot dogs in Arizona, a full 8 more than Kobayashi’s record. Check this video of Chestnut wolfing down hamburgers in a preliminary for the Krystal Square Off:

I did not realize there was such an undertone of nationalism embedded in this competition. And of course Kobayashi went on to win the Krystal hamburger eating contest, barely edging out Chestnut. With a lot of speculation in the air, Kobayashi’s manager (eaters have managers?) has guaranteed that he’ll be in Brooklyn next Wednesday. Well, my manager says I will too.