Friday 4 July 2008

News: Independence Day 2008; Competitive Eating

It's Independence Day (as well as being a UEA Open Day, so hello if you attended). You can see how we marked the day last year, here; alternatively, the New York Times has a variety of articles about this year's celebrations here.

Today, however, we're profiling an event that, year on year, has grown to greater prominence: the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, co-sponsored by Major League Eating and Nathan's Famous Frankfurters. Though internationally famous, the event is often felt to be a uniquely American cultural moment. The jewel in the crown of competitive eating, interest in the contest has grown exponentially since last year saw long time champion Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi dethroned by American upstart Joey Chestnut, who also set a new world record of 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Accordingly, this year's competition has received an inordinate amount of attention in the press. Here's the ultimate list of Nathan's Hot Dog Contest links:
We'll update with news (and footage) of the winner later. Meanwhile, what's to be made of this kind of contest in a climate of rising food costs and food shortages?

UPDATE: Well, Chestnut retained the crown - though it was close. Kobayashi and Chestnut were tied after the first round - and so began the historic sudden death 5 dog eat off...

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