Every Fourth of July, Americans celebrate their country’s independence in various ways. Most notably, the evening is filled with fireworks in the sky, illuminating most major cities into the wee hours of the morning. During the day, however, it is Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest that has become a yearly tradition for many. The event has been going on since 1972 and has gained national attention over the years, with the men’s portion being streamed live on ESPN. One competitor that has captivated the masses with his impressive jaw strength and charming personality is Joey Chestnut.
Chestnut’s personal best at the competition came on July 4, 2021, when he managed to eat 76 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes. This year, he hit the Ric Flair mark with his sixteenth Mustard Belt win but did so with fewer dogs than in ’21, ONLY putting away sixty on the way to his win. That number should come with an asterisk, however, since the event did not go off as planned this year.
The past Tuesday, Coney Island was hit by a severe lightning storm that delayed the event for over an hour. At one point, the rain and lightning became so intense that the NYPD decided to clear the area for safety purposes, and the event was officially canceled, a decision that stunned and angered many. One man was not about to let that decision stand, and that was Joey Chestnut.
“Joey Chestnut just came out and said and I quote ‘I’m going to get the rest of the guys out and we’re gonna do this f***er,'” one correspondent on-site reportedly overheard Chestnut say as he walked off stage.
It appears as if Chestnut single-handily got the event back on track, rallying his fellow eaters, and getting the ESPN camera rolling for a brief period of good weather.
“There’s a guy there that loves his hot dogs,” WWE Hall of Famer Teddy Long told me on yesterday’s Haus of Wrestling episode.
Chestnut’s actions saved the tradition and brought smiles to many. It also, in some ways, showcased the indomitable spirit of America, pressing on against adversity to achieve the goal in front of you.
“I think that was brilliant,” Long continued. “What a brilliant idea. I mean, the storm, you know, was out there, but my man says, ‘Hey, no, I came here to eat hot dogs. People want to see me eat hot dogs, and we’re gonna eat hot dogs today.’ So, I’m with Joey, man. Go ahead, man. I love it, brother. Like me and you were talking about before we came on, I stopped by the store the other day, and I grabbed me two Nathan’s hot dogs. Those hot dogs are really good.”
Yesterday’s Haus of Wrestling episode with Long, and WWE Superstar Santos Escobar, is now available on Premier Streaming Network and on the Haus of Wrestling podcast feed, available on all major podcast platforms.
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