If it's July 4th, it means it's time for Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. After some concern over scheduling conflicts (stupid Wimbledon!) that had sent the contest to 3 p.m., the time for the gluttonous competition was restored to its traditional 11:30 a.m. start for the women's showdown and noon for the men's. And Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas set a new women's record by eating 45 hot dogs!
ESPN's announcers called Thomas the "Katniss Everdeen" of eating, which probably would make Mayor Bloomberg say, "Who wrote this shit?" Anyway, this is Thomas's second victory in a row—women got their own contest last year. FYI, second place eater was Juliet Lee with 43.
The men's competition is coming up, with defending five-peater Joey Chestnut the favorite (he ate 62 hot dogs last year; he set the standing record in 2009 with 68 hot dogs). Stupidly, ESPN isn't broadcasting a taped edition of the contest until 3 p.m. (it's supposedly on ESPN 3 now, but it's actually on delay).
FYI: Joey Chestnut compares hot dog eating training to marathon training.
Boom: Chestnut tied his 2009 record by eating 68 hot dogs. He was disappointed in himself for not giving the crowd a new world record (but noted that no one was pushing him, a la Kobayashi) but, hey, there's always next year.