Overindulgence is as American as gorging on apple pie, so it makes sense that every year, on our nation's birthday, competitive eaters chow down at Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.
This year, contestants from across the country will try to unseat reigning champion Joey "Jaws" Chestnut who ate 54 hot dogs in ten minutes in 2010.
Chestnut's performance was overshadowed by the arrest of competitive eating phenom Takeru Kobayashi who did not compete in last year's event, but ran onto the stage after the crowd chanted "Let him eat! Let him eat!" The AP reported that Kobayashi did not join the contest because he refused to sign a contract with Major League Eating – the fast food equivalent of the NFL. He wanted to be free to compete in contests sanctioned by other groups.
Chestnut recently claimed his body was built to eat 68 hot dogs. His training regiment for the Nathan's contest includes fasting, running, consuming protein supplements and drinking gallons of water.
In an email to the Huffington Post, sports publicist Jimmy Shapiro reports that the chances of Chestnut again being victorious are 1 in 4. The odds of another competitor taking Chestnut's crown are 5 to 2.
The over-under on how many hot dog's Chestnut will eat is 60.5.
Major League Eating announced last month that, for the first time, women and men competitive eaters would be separated.