Inside Nathan’s National Hot Dog Eating Contest
This Fourth of July, no hot dog is safe. In fact, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans will consume as many as 155 million frankfurters on the holiday alone! But hey, you’re eating one, two, maybe three hot dogs tops, right? That’s small-time, kid. If you’re looking to
To some, the competition is a marvelous munching media blowout. To others, it’s a truly grotesque display of American avarice. But regardless of which side of the bun you land on, you have to agree: Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is a marvel of contemporary marketing. According to Wayne Norbitz, president and CEO of Nathan’s Famous, the contest got its start as just another Coney Island sideshow, the brainchild of PR guru Max Rosey. “We waited for a couple of fat guys to walk by,” Norbitz says of the fateful 1977 day of the first Nathan’s contest.“We asked if they wanted to eat hot dogs in a contest …We ran a quick little contest, and the whole object was to get a photo in the New York Post.” Since its humble beginnings, the competition has exploded, airing yearly on ESPN, with fiery rivalries between now-famous competitors like Takeru Kobayashi, Matt “Megatoad” Stonie, and aforementioned reigning champ, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut. This Independence Day, whether you’re in the crowd at Coney Island, watching in awe as 20 adults inhale absurd quantities of film-wrapped mystery meats, or at the park, quizzically guessing at the chemical makeup of a half-eaten frankfurter on a picnic table, take a moment to thank the humble hot dog. It may be the most American meal you eat all year.
A Doggone Good Time
tangle with the big dogs, take a trip to Coney Island and check out the world-famous Nathan’s
Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Each year, on the anniversary of America’s fateful inception, the world’s greatest eaters warm up their chompers on the biggest stage in competitive consumption. Then, in front of a cheering horde of Major League Eating fans, they feast. But as I’m sure you’re aware, this ain’t your dad’s barbecue. The clock runs for 10 minutes, and whoever devours the greatest number of doggies —buns and all — is crowned top dog. These competitors chow down at a pace unfathomable to us mere mortals. Chew on this for a second: Last year’s champion, Joey Chestnut, dispatched a whopping 70 dogs. That’s seven a minute, folks —more than one every 10 seconds.
If you’ve ever been so much as pulled over, you know that law
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enforcement officers will try to get you to admit to something wrong right away. A confession is the surest evidence, and they will do everything they can to elicit one. The South Carolina Department of Corrections is full of inmates who would not be there if they had only remained silent. A good rule of thumb is, before you talk to the police, talk to an attorney. Just because you’re not directly admitting to a crime doesn’t mean that the statements you make won’t be used against you in court. You have to remember that while the court considers defendants innocent until proven guilty, law enforcement don’t always feel the same way. They can be more concerned with their own statistics than they are with proper procedure. You should
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