Monday, July 03, 2006

Kobayashi vs. Chestnut

Update: Lots of folks are visiting this page. If youu're looking for current info (July, 07), find it here.

That's what it all comes down to, at the corner of Surf and Stilwell, Coney Island, Brooklyn, on July 4. While I believe Japan is a critical ally in addressing regional security issues and dealing with the North Korean nuclear threat, I'm going in heavy for the jingoism. My heart is with Chestnut, to break the 5-year winning streak of the dominator - Takeru Kobayashi.

Our man Chestnut is clearly the underDOG (see what I did there?). I don't know how to read an odds-making site, but Kobayashi is -320 to win, while Chestnut is +285. Another site makes Kobayashi a 4.5 dog favorite (so if you can get Chestnut +5 dogs, jump at it!) And an oddsmaker is quoted as saying, "Although Joey Chestnut is having an amazing year on the competitive eating circuit and set a new American record with 50 hot dogs, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to unseat the great Kobayashi. Champions respond under pressure, and like Jordan and Elway before him, Kobayashi is the most clutch performer in eating history." So it's a tall order.

So there you go: Jordan, Elway, Kobayashi.

But there's a reason that this is called 'The Super Bowl of Competitive Eating:' it's because on any given July 4, anyone can win!

You can watch Kobayashi at work here. But be warned: he is the perfect eating machine. It's scary to watch. Maybe Joey Chestnut will need to win to get his own video on YouTube. All I could find of him was this.

Read all about the contest here. And turn on your TV at noon, Eastern Time on the 4th. Because with 600 channels, I'm sure someone's carrying it. Probably WE.

Update: CNN just reported that Kobayashi took his 6th consecutive title with 53.75 hot dogs, surviving a great opening surge by Chestnut. Slow but steady won the race. Kobayashi breaks the tie he had with the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Yankees for consecutive North American championship titles, and he now trails only the John Wooden UCLA Bruins and the Bill Russell Celtics. Chestnut finished with more than 50 hot dogs eaten, so if you had Chestnut + the 4.5, you're sitting pretty.

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