Happy 4th Everybody! What a great holiday. It’s a beautiful day in New York! It’s not scorching hot, I’m not sweating too badly, the cats haven’t melted, and we’re all getting along together. I just finished making about ten pounds of pulled pork, and I’m going celebrate by eating as much of it as I can before I barf. America!
And speaking of eating a disgusting amount of food, today is the day of the Hot Dog Eating Competition down at Coney Island! This was an exceptionally exciting one too, because of the big upset. Joey Chestnut holds eight straight titles as the Hot Dog Eating Champion. He even holds the ultimate record at 69 hot dogs and buns from the 2013 tournament. But this year, Mr. Chestnut has been dethroned. The winner of the 2015 Hot Dog Eating Contest goes to Matthew “Megatoad” Stonie with 62 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Joey Chestnut came in second with 60 hot dogs, and Tim Janus took third place with 35.5. Congratulations Matt “Megatoad” Stonie!
I’ve seen some strange discrepancies in the history of the Contest recently, and decided that I wanted to look into it. According to some, the contest has been going on for almost 100 years, but others say prior to the 1970’s there is no evidence that the contest ever happened. So what’s the deal?
The legendary beginning of stuffing your fat face with hot dogs goes back to 1916. According to the story, four men were down at Coney Island, it was the 4th of July, and like most Americans they were arguing over who was the most patriotic. So, like most Americans, they decided to hold an eating contest in order to measure patriotism, I mean machismo, I mean penises. Whatever. Whoever was able to eat the most hot dogs in ten minutes loved America harder. The men wandered over to Nathan’s Famous and got to work. At the end of the ten minutes, Jim Mullen had eaten 12.5 hot dogs, and was the victor. I assume he ran off to the bathroom and booted half eaten patriotism all over the wall.
However, according to the New York Times, that story was a fabrication, created by a man named Mortimer Matz who is a mastermind of promotion. Apparently, the Eating Contest really did start in the 1970’s. Nathan Handwerker, the founder of Nathan’s Famous, was furious that the people participating in the Contest were not paying for their hot dogs, so he cut the show short at 12 minutes. To appease the crowd, Mortimer stepped in and said this is how they had been doing it, all the way back to 1916. He then created this story about patriotism to create more support for the event, and it took off. According to Mortimer himself, “In Coney Island pitchman style, we made it up.”
Since then, the Hot Dog Eating Contest has happened every 4th of July, except for one year when it was on Memorial Day. It has become an international sensation, and people travel from all over to compete.
As I wrote this, I became curious as to how many calories the winners had just eaten. So, let’s math! According to the Nathan’s website, there are 150 calories in just one hot dog. 150 multiplied by 62 is, uh, hang on. I need my calculator. Okay, after eating 62 hot dogs, “Megatoad” just consumed 9,300 calories. Oh-my-god.
Well, who am I to talk? I am also about to stuff my face. Happy 4th of July, everyone! And with this, go and eat your faces off!