By Frisco Rosso
Just over a week agom the ESPN viewership had the option of watching time-delayed coverage of Nathan’s Famous July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island, New York.
Under the summer sun, human trash compactors Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas and numerous others stunned their elated fans, excess junkies and developing nations as they crammed obscene quantities of hot dog down their necks in the name of competitive eating.
In the space of just 10 minutes Chestnut managed to wolf down 68 dogs to be crowned champion for the sixth consecutive time, while Thomas inhaled the lesser sum of 45 – a new female world record, apparently.
Aside from the fact that backwards tournaments such as this have helped contribute to the US’s dubious title of most obese nation on the planet, they have also allowed citizens to garner an appetite for contemporary freaks who essentially stuff themselves to the brink of explosion for money. One can’t help wonder how this kind of ‘tradition’ has been able to survive.
Diabetic wannabe Chestnut has since gone on record to say the most stupefying thing I’ve heard in the last month or so, when asked in an interview if he considered competitive eating a sport:
“I consider myself an athlete. I consider it a sport. But I can see that there’s arguments from people who say it’s not a sport… There’s people who can pick things apart if they try, but if you actually look at competitive eating and watch the contests, you’ll see that we’re pushing each other and you see the competition among the people on stage.
It’s obvious it’s a sport. We didn’t just wake up in the morning and say, ‘I feel like eating 68 hot dogs.’ I trained for that contests for weeks and weeks and weeks and I tried to peak on the day of the event.”
This is not a sport. Fact.
Just because something involves training and competition doesn’t make it a sport or even worthwhile. Those of us who work for a living can testify to that. At best this is a public wanking outlet for Binge Eating Disorder, which slaps a wiener across the face of the world’s underprivileged.
Approximately 3,262 unsheltered homeless (an increase of 614 compared to 2011, according to the Hope 2012 survey) exist in New York, yet a minority of citizens decide to celebrate Independence Day by watching a further minority consume enough food in the space of 10 minutes to feed countless families for a week. To quote the late Amy Winehouse, what kind of fuckery is this?
According to Food Bank For New York City, there are 2.9 million New Yorkers battling to put food on the table daily. Granted, Nathans Original contributed 100,000 hog anus tubes to the Food Bank drive, equivalent to about 0.5% of its annual sales of 425 million dogs (although they sure as hell don’t cost $1.59 each to produce) – but it’s a pittance, let’s face it.
Considering that The World Health Organization and the United Nations World Food Programme claim there is enough food on this earth to feed everyone, it’s hard to understand why greedy bastards and their sponsor companies are given an international stage to glorify gluttony, while being handed thousands of dollars (undoubtedly millions, in the case of the corporates) in the process.
With 925-million undernourished people on the planet, it beggars belief that responsible nations are still willing to entertain the excess nourishment of the haves, while beaming it round the world as an HD ‘fuck you’ to the have-nots in the name of entertainment.
I’m sure the Major League Eating & International Federation of Competitive Eating would beg to differ, and has plenty of gastronomy-inspired rhetoric to defend its cause, but frankly it’s purely self-serving (pun most definitely intended).
Perhaps next year Chestnut, Thomas et al can see how many NY backstreet trashcans they can rummage through to gain ample sustenance in the space of 10 minutes, before feeling the urge to hack up their respective stomach contents and pose for pictures.
That genuinely would be an achievement, and one I’m sure even Fox would be willing to televise.
With more tension than your mother’s suspension, I am Frisco Rosso. I’m likely to deliver a few lines worth at any given moment regarding film, music, sport, books and anything morally unsound that strikes a blow between the eyes in the name of entertainment.