Kobayashi’s Presence at Hot-Dog-Eating Contest Makes Waves

There's only one Kobayashi!
There’s only one Kobayashi! Photo: Getty Images

Gersh Kuntzman, the former New York Post columnist now editing The Brooklyn Paper, is up in arms about this weekend’s Nathan’s hot-dog-eating contest. Takeru Kobayashi, the six-time champion and global face of the sport, is competing without having won a regional qualifier. “I think the whole thing stinks,” Kuntzman writes. It’s not just that Kobayashi is being given a technical pass, in recognition of his universally-admitted status as a contender. The Tsunami, as he’s called, hasn’t done any competitive eating since October, and still suffers from the so-called “jawthritis” that has crippled his career. We don’t agree with Kuntzman. A Nathan’s contest without Kobayashi would be like a Mermaid Parade with fully-dressed women, or a Nathan’s that only serves soy dogs. Sick or well, contending or not, America needs Kobayahsi — if only so current champion Joey Chestnut can wallop him again.

Hot Dog Heresy [The Brooklyn Paper]