Usually the explosiveness holds off until after dusk on the 4th of July, but this morning’s emotional rollercoaster of will-it-happen, won’t-it-happen with the 2023 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest got the fireworks going early.
The annual men’s hot dog eating contest was postponed initially due to lightning and other severe weather in the area after the women’s competition managed to get theirs in just before they cleared the stages.
Then, tragic news struck, and 4th of July was in danger of losing one of its staples when it was announced that the men’s hot dog eating contest was canceled due to inclement weather rolling through Coney Island in New York.
I, like many others, was devastated. I could not believe that the annual contest that many cherish and love was just called off, when they just could have waited for the weather to clear, or even (hear me out) moved it to an indoor location.
But that’s when a glimmer of hope shined through. The man, the myth, the legend, the G.O.A.T., Joey Chestnut put the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on his back and said “not today” to the weather.
This tweet was sent out just minutes after the cancellation was announced, with the “Glizzy King” taking matters into his own hands and saving 4th of July (à la Will Smith in Independence Day).
The caption of post stated:
“Hear me out, I’m not saying the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is going to happen, but Joey Chestnut just came out and said and I quote, ‘I’m gonna get the rest of the guys out and we’re gonna do this f***er.'”
So just as quickly as it was ripped away from us, the 2023 edition of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest was back on, seemingly all thanks to competitive eating legend and possible greatest athlete the world has ever seen Joey Chestnut.
So the stage was set for 16 of the world’s best eaters to get out there and pound some water soaked dogs to see who would take home the title of World’s Best Hot Dog gobbler.
Only two minutes in, Chestnut reached the 20-dog mark and held an early lead, as he often does in the competition. You have to think that the chance of the contest being ripped away motivated him even more to suck down the dogs and maybe even go for the previous world record he had set in 2021 with 76 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.
5 minutes in, Chestnut had already downed 40 hot dogs, putting him well on pace to break that two-year-old world record. It’s probably hard to classify hot dog eating as an art form, but with Chestnut, he’s literally a modern day Picasso (who looks to be in great pain as he forces down the dogs).
He quickly got up to a 10-dog lead with only minutes remaining in the contest, and it was clear that not only did he bring the entire contest back to life, he was destined to win the whole damn thing.
No lightning, no thunder, no hindrance whatsoever could stop Joey Chestnut from doing what he does best. He went out there and did what God put him on this Earth to do: forcefully push hot dogs and buns down into his body at an incredible pace.
Chestnut finished with an impressive 62 hot dogs, so a little short of his former world record (and one shy of the mark he hit last year), but still good enough to beat the second place finisher by 13 hot dogs.
The “Hot Dog King” collected his 8th straight win and 16th career title in the 2023 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, and ultimately saved 4th of July as we know it. Throw all other politics aside, Joey Chestnut should be the President of the United States after this historic showing.
He stayed strong in the face of adversity, managed to un-cancel an event, then still had the energy and intense focus to blow all of the other competitors out of the water.
Long live Joey Chestnut, a legacy that this country has never seen before and will likely never see again. Happy Independence Day.