Top 8 Most Disgusting Competitive Eaters
Controversy is brewing at this year's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, set for the Fourth of July: News came this week that former champion and competitive-eating rock star Takeru Kobayashi may not show this weekend because of a contract dispute over how much he'll be paid for attending.
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If you are less than floored by that announcement, it might help to know that Kobayashi is the Babe Ruth of competitive eating, the man who essentially put Nathan's nearly 100-year-old event on the pop culture map in 2001 when he shattered the previous hot-dog-eating record (25) by scarfing an astounding 50 dogs and buns. That watershed victory more or less launched the competitive-eating craze, and it's why the Nathan's event has even been televised on ESPN.
But let's be honest. Gob-stuffing contests may have taken on the airs of a pseudo sporting event, but they're mostly about watching people make revolting pigs of themselves. We may be impressed by the contestants' porking-out prowess, but it's the humiliation and stomach-churning mess that draw the crowds. And so, in the true spirit of this weekend's hot-dog-eating contest, we present this list of the world's Top 8 Most Disgusting Competitive Eaters.
8. Takeru "the Tsunami" Kobayashi
Actually, for a competitive eater, the Japanese Kobayashi is damn near fastidious is his eating habits, but he gets honorable mention here for his contributions to the sport. For example, he perfected the nauseating art of dunking his hot dog buns in water to create a soggy mush that goes down faster. He also gets extra disgusting points for his world record in consuming cow brains: 17.7 pounds in 15 minutes.
7. Joey Chestnut
Professional eater Chestnut is ranked No. 1 in the world by the International Federation of Competitive Eating (yes, there is such a thing) and he has beaten Kobayashi three straight times at the Nathan's event, setting a world record last year of 68 dogs and buns. But while he may be the world's most formidable eater, but he's not a particularly filthy one, and he ranks no better than 7 on this list. He is known for his records in hot dogs and asparagus (yawn), but to his credit he has set marks in much messier foods like chicken wings (7.5 pounds in 12 minutes), Philly cheesesteaks (19 sandwiches in 10 minutes), and pulled pork (9 pounds, 6 ounces in 10 minutes).