— Days Without Shea —

We talked about it Tuesday so we have to finish it Thursday

The world has a new Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Champion today. And for the first time in almost a decade, his name is not Takeru Kobayashi.

American Joey Chestnut ate 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes July 4th in Coney Island to defeat Kobayashi and regain the title for America…where it belongs DAMMIT.

In winning, Chestnut also set the new world record for most hot dogs eaten in a contest.

But Kobayashi did not give up easily. He ate 63 hot dogs and battled back from a debilitating jaw injury suffered in May. As the ESPN announcers aptly put it, “Kobayashi brought it today. Unbelievable valor from this man.” See the last stomach-clenching minutes of the contest here:

I think I enjoy the lexicon of competitive eating more than anything else. When someone throws up, it’s not called vomiting, or puking or anything technical like that. It’s called a reversal.

So it doesn’t seem as bad when Kobayashi “reverses” a mouthful of hot dogs into his hands and ESPN shows an instant replay of the reversal fragments and reversal goop dripping from the athlete’s fingers. In fact we fans need to study the reversal so we can decide for ourselves how many deductions the champ might be penalized.

God bless America. And bless Joey Chestnut.

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