It is as American as it gets. On this most important of days, our nation’s anniversary…there they were: On stage, four regular-looking guys (think of them as the Four Horsemen of the Esophagus given their dedication to their avocation), from various walks of life, pushing themselves past their limits, giving it everything they have, striving for greatness in front of the adoring crowd, one of them finally reaching the pinnacle of success from relative obscurity, in the process proving that in this country, hard work does indeed pay off. In this fairy tale of the American dream, there was only going to be one winner, and that was the edacious Matt “Megatoad” Stonie, who won the annual Nathan’s Hot-Dog-Eating Contest and defeated defending champion Joey Chestnut by inhaling 62 dogs in ten minutes. Chestnut, who ate 60 wieners, has nothing to be ashamed of: He held the contest’s Mustard Belt, indisputably the Holy Grail of the competitive eating circuit, for eight consecutive years, certainly putting him in the conversation for greatest athlete of all time, regardless of sport (he has been called “the Bill Russell of competitive eating“).
“I trained hard for this,” Stonie told ESPN, which televised the contest earlier today, a curious move for the network because the event doesn’t glorify violence and poor sportsmanship, the promotion of which seems to be the network’s raison d’etre.
With great confidence, Bud Fox News had reported that Chris Christie would participate in today’s contest. According to sources close to Nathan’s, Christie decided to withdraw after an explosive training regimen. One of Christie’s campaign advisors, who asked to remain anonymous, told Bud Fox News:
As it turns out, the Nathan’s dogs don’t mix well with the governor’s personal brand of hot air. Campaign volunteers were starting to think our training sessions were some sort of attempt to create a flatulence-based chemical weapon. Both the EPA and the Defense Department threatened to shut us down. But depending on the governor’s schedule, we might enter the Chacho’s World Taco-Eating Contest on August 15 in San Jose.
In addition to the Mustard Belt, Stonie won $10,000 for his victory today.