Competitive eating legend and American hero Joey Chestnut is human, folks.
The man whose name is virtually synonymous with the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, came up short in his bid to 9-peat at the St. Elmot shrimp cocktail eating contest.
The contest is held in Indianapolis — a city known the world over for its seafood — and Chestnut had won it the 8 previous years. In a shocking upset, Chestnut not only failed to make it to the top step of the podium, he missed it altogether, finishing in 4th.
First of all, what a warrior. Can you imagine getting cocktail sauce up your nose? It has to sting like crazy what with all the horseradish.
Does this mean that one of the most dominant athletes of our time is about to hit the skids?
Chestnut Is Still An Elite Eater Despite The Loss
Joey Chestnut is a hot dog guy first and foremost. That’s the granddaddy of them all. There are eating events the entire year, but I’m sure he’d give up winning a grilled cheese sandwich eating contest in Schenectady or a tamale eating contest in Albuquerque if it meant retaining his wiener-eating crown.
No disrespect to these other contests but they’re not on the same level as the 4th of July staple that is the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Do you know why? Because I’ve never rearranged my schedule to watch some dudes scarf down shrimp cocktail (not saying I wouldn’t, just that I haven’t).
This contest was outside of Chestnut’s primary discipline. He won it for 8 years, but maybe some shrimp cocktail-guzzling phenom emerged from the wilds of central Indiana and caught everyone off guard. someone who had spent the entire year practicing the finer points of shrimp cocktail gluttony while Chestnut was focused on hot dogs.
Look at it this way: Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time, but he still lost Super Bowls. A shrimp cocktail eating contest isn’t a Super Bowl. It’s not even a conference championship game. It’s a Week 9 matchup against a 3-5 team. He should win it, but you know, crazy things happen.
Chestnut will be fine, and he’ll be burying 60+ dogs in his gut come July.
Perhaps he’ll get back on the winning horse a bit sooner than that. We’ll see how things turn out at the World Bagel Eating contest in January.
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