Eating. We all do it. I’ve personally been doing it since infancy.
Even in utero, I was so anxious to eat that – lack of teeth be damned – I stuck a tube right into my stomach.
Eating comes so naturally to us that most people probably fancy themselves pretty good eaters (and, if you’re American, you’re probably right – in a sense).
How many hot dogs can you eat in ten minutes? Five? Ten? That’s one hot dog per minute. That’s obscene. But for Chestnut and Kobayashi, it’s child’s play.
Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is the Super Bowl of competitive eating. (Query: Does that make it the Super Bowl of super-large bowls of food?) The event is put on by Major League Eating (a real entity) every Fourth of July. Currently, Chestnut holds the Nathan’s record, having consumed 69 hot dogs in ten minutes in 2013. Kobayashi’s own Nathan’s record is a respectable 64.5.
Chestnut and Kobayashi are nonpareils in the world of competitive eating. No one has been able to match their pace for over a decade. Kobayashi won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest six years in a row (2001-2006); then came the (ongoing) reign of Chestnut, who has taken the last eight (2007-2014).
With both of them getting on in age (and presumably having much shorter lifespans than people who don’t consume 9,211 calories and 732 grams of fat in one sitting), there is a very real possibility that we won’t see them go dog-for-dog ever again.
“Can you quantify that possibility?” you ask. Why yes! Below, we take a look at the odds of Chestnut and Kobayashi meeting (m-eat-ing?) again and what will happen if they do.
Joey Chestnut vs. Takeru Kobayashi Odds:
Odds that Chestnut and Kobayashi will face each other in another competitive eating event: 1/1
A couple years ago, this would have seemed like a lock. Both are confident in their skills and seem to have pretty big egos (eat-gos?). But Kobayashi hasn’t shown any hints of reuniting with the MLE, and Chestnut only does MLE events. It’s really a Mayweather/Pacquiao type of road-block that’s all about money. But, gosh darn it, Money and Pac-Man found a way to get it done, so these two just might, as well.
If Chestnut and Kobayashi do face off again, who will win?
- Chestnut: 2/3
- Kobayashi: 3/2
Kobayashi hasn’t beaten Chestnut head-to-head since 2006. Chestnut has won eight straight Nathan’s events, including three straight against his Japanese nemesis from 2007-2009. Kobayashi seems to be in top form; despite suffering from an arthritic jaw, he downed 113 bunless dogs last Fourth of July. However, his top form has long been a fraction short of good-enough.
If Chestnut and Kobayashi do face off again, what are the odds that one of them suffers a “reversal”? 4/1
What, exactly, is a “reversal”? Imagine all those hot dogs going in the opposite direction. We’ll leave it there.
Both Chestnut and Kobayashi have iron stomachs and veteran savvy. But, if and when they go head-to-head next, they may push themselves beyond their limits in order to become de facto world champ. Going too hard and too fast in competitive eating inevitably puts your digestive tract into reverse.
Have any insider tips on Kobayashi’s next move? Let us know in the comments!
(Photo credit: Michael (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)