Hot dog eating champ faking an injury?

Takeru Kobayashi, six-time world record hot dog eater, is claiming to have a jaw injury which may hamper his competition today at Nathan's Famous in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. Some think the champ is faking, playing head games with Joey Chestnut, who beat Kobayashi's record of 59 1/2 franks and buns two weeks ago. The two are the favorites in this year's event at Nathan's.

Would Kobayashi really pull such a stunt, potentially tarnishing the great sport of competitive eating?

As an aside, this article I'm linking to refers to the governing body as the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE). I thought I had read that they changed their name to Major League Eating recently. I'll have to check.

Scandal in professional gluttony?

Okay, I checked. From Wikipedia:

The IFOCE, which first established eating as a sport in the 1990s, has recently launched Major League Eating to serve as an umbrella for competitive eating worldwide while also providing a recognized brand for licensing of t-shirts and other products. The Major League Eating website,, is considered the most dynamic website in this sport. It features videos of contests and eaters and offers a complete online community similar to MySpace, for eating fans.

UPDATE: Sore jaw or not, Kobayashi lost to Joey Chestnut, meaning the Mustard Yellow Belt has returned to American, where it belongs, damn it! NO ONE outeats us. USA! USA!

Food Gross Miscellaneous

Posted on Wed Jul 04, 2007


I heard he had developed arthritis of the jaw after years of manic eating. Is that possible?

I can't believe I lead the sort of existence where I hear about the sport injuries of recod hot-dog eaters. Not just in one place, but several. How does that happen to a person?
Posted by Nona  on  Wed Jul 04, 2007  at  06:30 AM
The Kobayashi/Chesnut smackdown of last year was a real nail biter. If memory serves, Chestnut sprinted early, but slowed toward the end. Kobayashi was strong and steady, and kicked into overdrive at the last few seconds, and left Chestnut in the dust. I personally relish these odd-ball sports, and I was glad I saw the Clash of the Titans last year. I'm timing my bicycle ride into town so's I don't miss this year's bout. My money's on the Kobester, jaw arthritis or not. Chestnut looks like fun at parties, but Kobayashi is a serious competitor. Go, Ko
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Jul 04, 2007  at  07:50 AM
Jaw injury? Unbelievable.
Posted by Renquist  in  Glasgow, Scotland  on  Wed Jul 04, 2007  at  08:57 AM
I just watched it while getting ready for work. Joey Chestnut pulled ahead early, but Kobayashi slowly came back. At the gun the unofficial count was 63 each. But Kobayashi had a little "return" right at the end and also seemed to have a little more left than Joey.

After the commercial break they came back and Kobayashi had 63 dogs. Second place. Joey beat him with 66. (How it went up 3 I'm not sure, but the numbers during the competition were "unofficial".)
Posted by Tah  in  Idaho (Yes, Idaho)  on  Wed Jul 04, 2007  at  01:55 PM
And some people say that the USA is no longer the leader of the World. God Bless You, Joey Chestnut, you are showing the way to the youth of America.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jul 04, 2007  at  08:02 PM
I read that Kobayashi recently had wisdom teeth extracted and had chiropractic treatment prior to the competition for his sore jaw.
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  in  St. Louis, MO  on  Wed Jul 04, 2007  at  11:27 PM
ESPN said that Kobayashi had some wisdom tooth-related work done recently and has had acupuncture. He still managed to eat a buttload of hot dogs.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jul 05, 2007  at  02:34 AM
Nobody beats Americans at eating, that's why we're so fat.

On a somewhat related note, or maybe not, does anyone find it odd that the SWISS are the defending America's Cup champs? Here we are with all that ocean around us and the defending champs are a bunch of guys whose biggest body of water is a moderate lake. It's our cup, actually named after the yacht America but who cares, give it back or we'll sue.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Thu Jul 05, 2007  at  09:59 PM
Rosie O'Donnell should become a competitive eater. The USA would win hands down every year.
Posted by Craig  on  Fri Jul 06, 2007  at  11:08 AM
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