Jul 1, 2011, 11:09 AM EDT
Takeru Kobayashi is acting more and more like the spurned girlfriend who just will not accept that her guy has moved on. Banned from the premiere competitive eating event he used to dominate, Kobayashi has teamed with Jose Cuervo to devise a way to compete at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest anyway. He’ll do it from a rooftop on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, starting at exactly the same time as the contestants at Coney Island, in synch with a giant plasma TV screen showing the event. Can you say ‘Hot dog stalker’? The official press release (yep):
NEW YORK, June 20, 2011 – Today, 230 FIFTH, New York City’s largest Rooftop Garden Bar and Penthouse Lounge announced it will be the site of Takeru Kobayashi competing, via satellite TV, against the contestants of the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. At noon on July 4, Kobayashi, the internationally renowned competitive eating champion, will take on the annual Nathan’s Famous frankfurter face off — the contest which from he was banned last year and his name subsequently removed from the Coney Island Wall of Fame, despite the six consecutive Nathan’s world championships he won. Next to a giant outdoor plasma screen showing the live ESPN broadcast of the Coney Island wiener chow-down, Kobayashi, will ingest hot dogs in sync with the contestants at the Nathan’s event seven miles away.
The event will be free and open to the public, with admittance available at 10:30 to the first 400 fans. For more information about 230 FIFTH, visit http://www.230-fifth.com.
It’s true that Kobayashi won the Nathan’s crown six years running (making him the Lance Armstrong of eating?), but he made his biggest headlines at the event last year when, banned from the event, he rushed the stage anyway and was arrested. Charges were later dropped.
Kobayashi last competed at Nathan’s in 2009, having been banned the following year for refusing to sign a contract with competitive eating’s governing body, Major League Eating; thus officially making this the stupidest controversy in the history of everything.
But it will be fun to see the backlash if Kobayashi wins this.
Meanwhile, from the Houston Chronicle:
I’m all in on Joey Chestnut winning his fifth consecutive hot dog crown on July 4, but I’m digging rival Erik “The Red” Denmark’s training regimen.
“In past years, I have used conventional training techniques to get ready for this, the Super Bowl of competitive eating,” Denmark said. “This year I am using an abstract technique of training where I eat hot dogs at a continuous and steady pace for an entire Creedence Clearwater Revival. I’ve made it through almost their entire catalog of work in the past few months. I’m working up to their greatest-hits album in my final week of preparation.”
I love CCR — best U.S. rock band ever! This guy has exquisite taste. Proud Mary should be good for three hot dogs alone. CCR did an 11-minute version of I Heard It Through the Grapevine. Four hot dogs. Denmark is on to something here.
Tension builds in world of competitive eating [Houston Chronicle]
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