It strikes me that Joey Chestnut of San Jose, the world's competitive eating champion represents all the is right and good about American sport. Competitive eating is perfectly designed for a county in which some 40% of residents are overweight or obese.
Worried about losing out to Japan? Are Toyotas and Honda clogging our highways to the detriment of American car companies? Well, Joey Chestnut has salvaged our pride with his sixth consecutive win, matching the previous champion, Takeru Kobyashi, and setting the all time record of 68 Nathan's hot dogs and buns consumed in ten minutes.
I have been subconsciously training for this event every day with at least three meals and often, as Taco Bell proclaims, my "fourth meal" comes into play. I even had four hot dogs as a recent Giants game and got real full, but I didn't soak the buns in water as Joey and his competitors get to do.
With the London Olympics two weeks away, it's unlikely that folks like me could do well in the decathlon, or compete with world class swimmers in the pool, or achieve the proper dismount from the pommel horse. But watch out for us at the concession stands, where we could make Olympic symbols out of onion rings.
We're all goal setters in the USA. Sonya "the Black Widow" Thomas stated her personal goal of eating the number of hot dogs to match her age of 45, which she achieved in winning $10,000, the same prize amount as Joey Chestnut.
The prize amounts are pretty low considering it would take close to that amount just to buy Nathan's dogs all year long for training purposes. Maybe I should just keep my amateur status and concentrate on going to the driving range with my trusty six iron. I note that the last place finisher, number 76 in the Greenbrier Class Golf Tournament last weekend took home over $11,500. But I need to lose a bit of weight to help my swing.