For some, July 4th isn’t about fireworks or barbequing. For some, like Joey Chestnut, it’s about competition. Each July 4th, Nathan’s hosts its world-famous hot dog eating contest on the Coney Island Boardwalk. This year’s competition certainly didn’t disappoint.
Last year, perennial hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut lost his coveted Mustard Yellow International Belt to challenger Matt “The Megatoad” Stonie. The upset sent the world of competitive hot dog eating into a frenzy.
Driven by clear desire, insurmountable hunger, and a classic revenge narrative, Chestnut went on to eat a record 70 hot dogs, while Stonie put down just 53. Not only did Chestnut demolish Stonie – he destroyed his own personal record of 69, which he scarfed down in 2013.
An emphatic Chestnut spoke to the crowd after his historic win. “Last year was rough,” lamented Chestnut. “This year was the best ever.”
It seems that Stonie’s defeat of Chestnut in last year’s competition awoke a sleeping, hunger-deprived giant. Chestnut downed hot dogs like a man possessed, as a crowd of onlookers in Coney Island cheered on their larger-than-life hero. Will Stonie be able to give Chestnut a run for his money next year? He has a year of training to prepare. At this point, only one thing is for sure, however: To Chestnut, the only thing more delicious than hot dogs is victory.