At the Nathan’s hot-dog eating contest July 4, competitive-eating fans across the world will be watching to see if Takeru “The Tsunami” Kobayashi can defend his title against the American upstart Joey Chestnut. But here at Grub Street, we’re always more interested in the local angle. New York is representing with two of the country’s top eaters, East Village roommates Tim “Eater X” Janus and Crazy Legs Conti.
Conti, though he’s become the sport’s public face via his numerous media appearances, has actually underachieved for much of his career, rarely winning. But the hirsute star surprised many when he won a qualifying contest at the Mall of America by eating 24 dogs in twelve minutes, a personal best. And Janus, who managed only 15.5 in his first contest three years ago, recently hit the once-unthinkable 40 mark in East Hartford, Conn. Major League Eating chairman George Shea says, “The world’s top competitive-eating talent now resides in Nagoya, Japan, and San Jose, California, but thanks to Tim and Crazy Legs, our city’s stature has not diminished.” It’s doubtful that either eater will challenge Chestnut or Kobayashi. But both guys have brought their games to another level. And that’s all Grub Street can ask of anyone.
Related: On Your Mark. Get Set. Pig Out. [NYM]