Now that the case against the competitive eating star Takeru Kobayashi has been settled, he wants to get something straight: it was all just a big misunderstanding! In a post on his website, Kobayashi claims his 4th of July arrest for jumping on stage after the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest was a crime of passion.
His site says, "In the blurry moments that ensued the conclusion of the competition, "Mr. Kobayashi swooped in the excitement of the moment, the cheer of fans to let him eat, and his earnest wish to be part of the celebration, he was ushered to the stage but the situation quickly went south and ended with him spending a night in jail. Upon release he had only one thing on his mind, naturally to eat hot dogs!" Well, at least he has his priorities straight.
Kobayashi wasn't allowed to compete in this year's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest due to a stipulation in his International Federation of Competitive Eating contract, which bars him from competing in non-IFoCE events. Kobayashi found this "not only to be unfair but stifling to the growth of the world of competitive eating," and would not renew his contract unless it changed. No deal was reached, and Kobayashi could not compete in the Hot Dog Eating Contest, which is an IFoCE event. But there's a silver lining; we may have lost a great battle between the Tsunami and Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, but we gained a new catch phrase! The site says, "The meaning of the Free Kobi slogan has grown now to be inclusive and representative for standing your ground for something you believe in."
For a look into how Kobayashi eats when he's just plain hungry, James Barron of City Room took the Tsunami out to dinner after his court hearing, where he ordered two steaks (filet mignon, medium and steak frites, rare), plus escargots, salad and a piece of chocolate cake with ice cream. That sounds like a challenge right there, but by the end of the meal he admitted, "I don't know if I'm full or not." He should have thrown in 54 hot dogs, just to send another challenge to Chestnut.