Takeru Kobayashi continues to beef up his competitive eating record. Yesterday, the Japanese speed-eating demon defeated two-year reigning champion Joey Chestnut in the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship in Chattanooga, TN. Before a live televised audience and a crowd of 10,000, Kobayashi crushed the competition by eating 93 Krystal hamburgers in eight minutes over Chestnut's 81. In addition to reclaiming the title, which he's taken four out of six years, the Japanese victor also won $20,000. Although Chestnut won the Square Off last year with a record of 93 hamburgers, Kobayashi set a new standard by adhering to the contest's new rules. This year, Krystal imposed a "no dunking" rule, which prevented eaters from dipping their burgers in liquid. The competitors were also given five Big Angus Burgers at the start of the competition, each equal to five Krystal burgers in size. While I find competitive eating horrifying, I am still in awe of Kobayashi's accomplishment. I don't think I've ever eaten more than a large cheeseburger in one sitting. What's the most burgers you've ever eaten?
Takeru Kobayashi, once the unbeatable star of the competitive eating world, failed to break the fruitcake eating record last Friday. This isn't Kobayashi's first fall from grace: He was beat by Joey Chestnut in Nathan's Famous hot dog eating competition and the Krystal Square Off World hamburger eating championship.
To break the record, Koby had to eat more than 4 pounds and 14 ounces of fruitcake in ten minutes. He had never tasted fruitcake before and came just 6 ounces short, consuming 4 pounds and 8 ounces of the dense cake. While competitive eating may seem like an excessive, useless sport, this competition, held in Queens, was a charity event that raised money for the Food Bank of New York City.
Although the majority of you are done with competitive eating, would you think differently of the sport if every competition supported a charity?
In general, sports have been known to have a positive impact on one's health. The exception might be in the case of competitive eating, a sport that has developed a massive following this year. Although I have yet to understand the appeal of competitive eating, there's no question that it holds some aura of mystique, as it made multiple headlines in 2008; here are just a few of them.
Last week, a student in Taiwan died during a steamed-bun-eating contest. The 23-year-old was participating in his university's annual eating contest, an event that featured 60 students split into 30 teams of two. The student couldn't stop vomiting and fell unconscious during the competition. Although he was rushed to the hospital, it was too late. The cause of the death remains unclear, but some believe he choked to death.
At a time when American major league eating competitions are gaining popularity, I hope the news of this death will force people to wake up. Is a competition involving overeating — in a world where people starve to death — really necessary? What do you think of the news? Are you sick of hearing about eating contests?
Yesterday the world's best competitive eaters met at a pizza eating competition in New York City's Time Square. Joey Chestnut, the nation's champion in hot dog and hamburger eating, broke the record with an amazing 45 slices in ten minutes at the Famous Famiglia pizza eating competition. Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti was Chestnut's closest opponent — he ate 43 slices in the quick ten minutes.
Chestnut folded the regular cheese slices before launching them into his stomach. He washed the pizza down with water in paper cups and "never appeared to chew." After winning the pizza-eating contest, Chestnut is certainly the current star of Major League Eating. Although I find the whole thing pretty disgusting, I'm excited to see what other records Chestnut miraculously beats.
What do you think?
Yesterday competitive eaters Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi met for a highly anticipated rematch at the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship in Chattanooga, TN. The dynamic duo last faced off at Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Competition. Chestnut slammed Kobayashi with his quick consumption of 93 hamburgers in eight minutes. Rising star Patrick Bertoletti out ate Kobayashi by one burger and came in at second place. According to Richard Shea, the president of Major League Eating, the event was a momentous one:
There are precious few moments in professional sports when you can watch as a competitor affirms his place in the history books. With this win today, Joey Chestnut just said to the world: I am Krystal King hear me growl.
Chestnut was awarded $20,000 for winning. Although the sport of competitive eating continues to gain momentum and popularity, I remain grossed out. How about you? Have you warmed to over-eating as a competition? How many burgers could you stomach in eight minutes?