How To Be A Hot Dog Champ!
238 years old! That sounds like a cause for a celebration to me if I ever heard of one. Not that I’ve ever needed much of an excuse to have a good time, but the 4th of July for me is right up there with Christmas, Easter, Veterans Day, and my Mom’s peanut butter cake. There are just things that need to be celebrated. The birthday of our great country is one of them. How are you celebrating this 4th of July? Maybe you are heading out to the lake to meet some friends and family (note to self……check the tow strap on the boat, and pack the duct tape), or just staying home to enjoy all the creature confines of home like a great grill, flat screen tv, and a freshly mowed back yard. Wherever you find yourself, just make sure to enjoy some great CHB steaks and all beef hotdogs before breaking out the birthday cake and ice cream. Speaking of all beef hotdogs- has anyone been catching the late night re-runs of the hot dog eating contests? July 4th is when over 2000 hot dog eating contests are held across the country. If you are thinking about putting on your own hot dog eating contest this 4th of July, then I think we better discuss some ground rules.
First off, before you try to run off and emulate Joey “Jaws” Chestnutt or Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, you should realize that they practice a few months before the contest begins. It has to do with something about stretching out your stomach to help avoid dangers like acid reflux, stomach rupture, inflammation or tearing of the esophagus, or possible choking…..in other words- kids do not try this at home. Or, at least kids do not practice without some supervision and a little moderation. Remember the human stomach can hold a little more than a quart, or for our English brethren (now friends) across the pond that is approximately a liter.
Ok, so you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “I got this.” Sure maybe you are that freak of nature that puts down 37 of Maxine’s famous chicken fried steaks with gravy, fries, and a “liter” of cold frosty beverage before taking your pretty heifer out for a night on the town every Saturday night. In that case, let’s move on to discussing what technique works for you.
Now with technique, you can go traditional or modern. Traditional technique involves the eating of the hot dog and bun all at once. Over the years though as new challengers to the sport of hot dog eating rose, then the modern theory of eating the hot dog separate from the bun evolved. Now days the modern philosophy eats the hot dog and then dips the bun in a liquid like water or sprite before engulfing it. Preferably myself, I’d go traditional- but they better have ketchup! Whichever technique you choose for yourself just remember that the “Black Widow” says the key is in the coordination. Meaning you have to be fast, but smooth. No one wants to be that person that kills the most hot dogs but gets disqualified for spilling all their buns.
Make sure you know the time limit. Like Rocky had Coach Mickey in his corner, find a friend that can have the fortitude to get you motivated for that one last bite. Most contests are 12 minutes. The record is 69 by “Jaws” Chestnutt. I don’t recommend trying for the record without practicing first.
Another sure way to lose is to vomit! If you’re going to eat it to win, you better keep it down. Suppress the gag reflex unless you want to relive the moment every time your friends get together and play that infamous YouTube clip. Trust me; nobody wants to be that guy. If you have any more questions, you can check out the website for the (IFOCE) International Federation of Competitive Eating.
As for me after researching it and thinking it over….I think I’ll just stick with the great tasting CHB beef and hanging out with the family. But, if you make it one day to Coney Island and happen to win the coveted hot dog eating contest, then give a shout out to LB. I’m sure I’ll see it during some sleepless night.
Happy Birthday America,