The Campfire

Joey Chestnut: The great American sports hero

Joey Chestnut scarfs down a world record amount of hot dogs on America’s birthday. What better way to celebrate the birth of this great country of ours.

By Neil Harrington

The name Joey Chestnut may not ring a bell, but you see this great American sports “hero” on television once a year, each Independence Day holiday — breaking records and cashing checks.

Once again, Joey Chestnut racked up another title in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest, winning his 11th World championship in record-setting fashion, while collecting a tremendous payday in the process — whose net-worth is approaching nearly 1 million dollars.

Joey Chestnut scarfed down 74 hot dogs (and buns), a new world record. The moment didn’t faze the (now) 11-time champion,  who according to the Associated Press, was all business after his historic July 4th day:

“I found a vicious rhythm. I was feeling good today.”

I love how Joey Chestnut acts like he’s Stephen Curry getting hot from behind the arc, or Tom Brady picking apart the Atlanta Falcons pass after pass. I’m convinced Joey Chestnut would put himself up with those two and the other  — and that’s what makes all of this so amazing.

Nothing sums up America more than eating food and getting paid serious dough for it. For me, all I’ve ever wanted to do is lie on the beach and eat hot dogs — so I see the appeal of this freak show.

The event is precisely that; a freak show. Yet like a car wreck,  I can’t seem to turn away but stare in total awe and disgust at the same time, each July 4th holiday.

It takes major stones to enter this “sport,” because the aftermath can’t be pretty. Even though Joey Chestnut didn’t throw up any of the hot dogs during the event, they aren’t staying with him very long — if you catch my drift.

I love hot dogs more than any food, I scarfed down three of my own last night with my ice cold beer to celebrate America’s birthday. But, eating 74 in the same sitting is flat out bold — is bold the right word?

Joey Chestnut isn’t the hero that America wants, but the one we deserve. This is ‘Merica, folks — and we won’t catch the world champion slipping anytime soon.

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