The Brooklyn Paper touched on Takeru Kobayashis health problems, but an ABC News profile of the Tsunami goes more in depth about the turmoil hes faced since his mother passed away in March of 2007. Its going to be harder than ever to root against the poor guy, especially since his jawthritis prevents him from using his much feared Solomon method of demolishing hot dogs two at a time. Perhaps hell take a page from the book of Crazy Legs Conti and Tim Eater X Janus, who are profiled in a Voice piece maybe hell resort to the reverse bunning method that Crazy Legs also discussed in his New York Diet. Either way, with the contest down from twelve minutes to ten this year (not to mention a forecast of rain), its just not going to be the same especially with the Wall Street Journal putting still more of a damper on things by pointing to a study that indicates that competitive eaters risk the possibility of permanently stretching their stomachs to the point of needing surgery. And then theres the real tragedy: that Daniel Mosca Maurer will not be at the table this year. Sigh.
Bonus Video: In a move akin to Christopher Hitchens getting waterboarded, a Time reporter tries, and fails, to go dog-for-dog with reigning champ Joey Jaws Chestnut.