Hot Dog!

Well it’s TV Tuesday and here are the best and worst things I watched on TV this holiday weekend. The best was, without question, the 2005 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Championship broadcast live on ESPN on July 4th. While the actual hot dog eating had that “can’t avert my eyes - train wreck” thing going for it. I mean really – don’t you just watch these things to see if people puke? The commentary by the ESPN announcers was priceless and made it all worthwhile. The ESPN guys treated the nation’s oldest established eating contest with the respect it deserved.

The commentators really saw this as a competition between the reigning world champion Takeru Kobayashi and the very teeny tiny American woman Sonya Thomas (my fav.) Therefore giving short shrift to the other dedicated professional eaters. Like “Badlands” Booker a NYC Transit worker who they say sweats gravy and has his own rap album “Hungry and Focused” Or Jammin’ Joe LaRue – called the missing link, not between man and ape but between man and god for all that he can eat. And the announcers were certainly not expecting the rookie Joey Chestnut (how great is his name) to make such a strong showing in third with 32 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Joey C. did look a little pale towards the end causing the announcer to say “you can not have a reversal this late in the game” But in the end they were very impressed with Joey Chestnut’s performance and said with great seriousness and reverence: “In sports, certain athletes cause certain words to come to mind. With Venus Williams it’s strength, with Terrell Owens it’s greed and with Joey Chestnut it’s capacity”

Sonya Thomas came in second with 37 hot dogs beating her personal best and setting the new American record. The only way to truly celebrate our nations independence is with a new American record and we got one! The winner was, of course, Kobayashi with 49 dogs – 4 fewer than his record setting number last year. The announcers speculated that he was off this year has he had gone out last night and perhaps partied a bit too much.

What certainly added to watching the event on TV was that it was sponsored by Pepto-Bismol and they had a lock on at least 75% of the commercials. Sadly Pepto couldn’t get the sponsorship deal for the US Open Eating Championship – that went to Alka-Seltzer. One thing you can say is that Pepto and Alka Seltzer know their target audience which was in stark contrast to the worst thing I watched on TV this weekend which was the terrible coverage of the Live 8 concert on MTV and VH1.

I could only watch it for 5 minutes or so with out yelling at the TV. I would keep checking back during the day thinking the coverage would get better, it never did. What idiot at Viacom decided to cut off The Who and Pink Floyd in the middle of a song? Any thing that makes AOL look good has got to be bad. It was more nauseating than the hot dog eating contest.


TMC said...

Ya know, I was actually watching that and thinking about recording the best quotes so that I could enter them here, but I didn't have the gumption to do it. So I'm glad Lesley was here to do it, because that event made for great watching.
My favorite part was when they talked about Joey Chestnut dealing with all the groupies and the fame that comes with being the hot new rookie on the IFOCE tour. Either that or Sonya Thomas' ridiculous Black Widow promo where, in mangled English, she made some kind of threat to poison Kobayashi.

And just a little tidbit: Sonya Thomas is a local villain because, in 2004, she became the first non-Philadelphian to win the Wing Bowl, polishing off 167 wings in 30 minutes. Luckily, El Wingodor reclaimed the title for Philly this year in an overtime victory.

joe said...

I've always wanted to enter a hot dog eating contest for the free meal aspect of it. Would that be unethical? Let’s say it's around lunch time and I'm at a baseball park, places where food is ten times what it costs in the real world. Let's also say I'm hungry and broke (neither of which is ever out of the realm of possibility) and they're about ready to commence a hot dog eating contest. What if I sauntered up to the registration box, got on board, and then didn't rush my hot dog consumption, eating only one or two dogs at a leisurely pace, not in the spirit of competition, but simply because it was noon and I didn’t have five bucks to spend on a Nathan’s? Is their retribution for that kind of thing? Could they charge me for hot dogs eaten if I don’t attain a certain number? Could I be barred from future competitions? Could I simply claim that I was ignorant of the amount of skill it takes to eat a hot dog extraordinarily fast?

Someone needs to look into this.