Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is a 4th of July tradition and spectacle

Legend has it that since 1916, Nathan’s competition has been held every year, with separate divisions for men and women. However, the legend doesn’t match the truth: in 2010, one of the tournament’s original promoters, Mortimer Mattes, admitted that they created it “in the style of a Coney Island pitchman.”

The event actually began in the early 1970s, and its current incarnation is fueled by a supercharged dose of patriotism from George Shea, who oversees the event with his brother Rich Shea.

Over the years, the Shia’s Rudolph W. Giuliani, Michael R. Mayors including Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio presided over weighty ceremonies filled with a line of grunts, slowly persuading. (In 2012, after Mr. Bloomberg issued one such rant famously noted Aloud, “Who wrote this [expletive]?”)

They’ve expanded the Coney Island event into a national showcase for competitive eating hosted by Major League Eating, which describes itself as “the governing body of all stomach-centric sports.” The men’s match will be carried live on ESPN2; The women’s match was shown live on the ESPN app.

For those of you curious, scientists (scientists!) have determined that the human body is capable of eating – at most – 83 hot dogs in 10 minutes, according to a study published in 2020, which is 39 years’ worth. Data from the competition.

According to that paper, the world’s most elite human competition eaters can go toe-to-toe with a grizzly bear in terms of the amount of food eaten per unit time.

Bears can eat eight hot dogs per minute, and Mr. Chestnut can eat 7.5 hot dogs per minute. But the Bears usually knock off about six minutes, while Mr. Chestnut hot dogs can be scarfed down for a solid 10 minutes.

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