There was a bit of controversy in the world of competitive eating this weekend, believe it or not, after a post-event scuffle between a former champ and police.
The incident happened after Joey Chestnut claimed his fourth straight Coney Island Fourth of July hot dog eating championship belt, with his biggest rival looking on from the crowd. Takeru “The Tsunami” Kobayashi didn’t take part in this year’s event because of a contract dispute with “Major League Eating” (which is actually a real thing).
The 32-year-old, wearing a “Free Kobi” shirt, snuck onto the stage after Chestnut downed 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes to claim the title. When security guards approached him he grabbed onto a railing and held on for dear life, but was eventually subdued and led away in cuffs.
It was a bizarre scene – it was as if he was really trying to make some kind of political statement with this act of defiance. It was even more bizarre to hear the people in the crowd chanting “USA!” as the whole thing went down.
Kobayashi’s contract issues with MLE were over his participation in non-sanctioned events – hence the “Free Kobi” shirt.
For all his trouble, the third ranked eater in the MLE was charged with resisting arrest, trespass and obstructing governmental administration – they take their hot dog eating competitions seriously down in the US!
As for Chestnut, he ate 14 less dogs than he did last year but still won the contest by nine full wieners, claiming his $20,000 purse in the process.
Imagine that, $20,000 for ten minutes of hot dog eating…what a strange world we live in!