July 4th is a special day for a lot of reasons, chief among them the national hot dog eating contest hosted every year in New York. Contestants,…

July 4th is a special day for a lot of reasons, chief among them the national hot dog eating contest hosted every year in New York. Contestants, competing for a ten-thousand dollar purse, have ten minutes to ingest as many hot dogs, with buns, as they can. As we all know, this week’s battle was won by the famed Joey Chestnut, who managed to insert 20,000 calories into his body in the time it takes most people to make a sandwich. The contest is said to have started in 1916, when it pitted four friends against one another. Since then, many changes to the tourney have been made, including the addition this year of a women’s only competition, which was won by Sonya Thomas, known as the Black Widow of competitive eating. Given that as recently as 1980, the championship was won by a measly 9 hot dogs in 10 minutes, and now over 60 hot dogs get consumed in the same time period, one can only imagine that the hot dog competition will continue to grow, inspire, and entertain with increasingly unreal levels of consumption.
– Will