Thursday, July 18, 2024

Korked Bats

That Funny Sports Blog

Nathan’s Made The Right Call Banning Joey Chestnut From The Hot Dog Eating Contest… Yeah, I Said It!

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, the iconic American institution behind the annual 4th of July hot dog eating contest, recently made the controversial decision to ban Joey Chestnut from this year’s event due to a sponsorship conflict. And you know what? As much as it pains me to see an American icon not compete this year, it was the right call. Grab a hot dog (or sixty-eight) and let me explain.

Look, don’t let my stance get things twisted. Chestnut is the Jordan of competitive eating. Wait, scratch that. Jordan is the Chestnut of basketball. Joey C. has won 16 titles. SIXTEEN! Choke on that weiner, Tom Brady. Jordan only has a measly six. Brady has seven. But Joe Chessy? He has enough titles to pass out as party favors. So let it be known, that while this take may seem piping hot, Joe C. is still insanely revered by the likes of this blog.

But let’s cut to the meat of the matter— Joey Chestnut’s sponsorship conflict is just that: a conflict. Nathan’s Famous has always been the true hot dog of choice. It’s not just a brand. It’s the brand. It’s a tradition, a symbol of American summertime joy. It’s as American as Chevy, Miller Lite, or Luke Combs. I know Joey is used to scarfing down dogs, but you still have to make sure you don’t bite the hand that literally feeds you. And quite frankly, his affiliation with Impossible Foods is a mustard stain on his pristine image. However, Chestnut is crying foul and alluding that the organizers of the Nathan’s contest, Major League Eating, changed the terms of his agreement around endorsing other products.

“Everything with Impossible was perfectly fine by all my previous agreements. They changed terms and conditions [around] exclusivity. And it’s not the first time they’ve changed some things, but it’s the first time they’ve really changed things after the fact, and I had to say, ’Hey, it’s too late, I’ve already started working with this brand.’ This was never an issue in the past. And they tried to dance around it — they changed a lot of terms, and then they escalated things to a degree they didn’t imagine when they started leaking information and telling people I was banned and that I turned vegan, which clearly isn’t the case.”

But look, this isn’t about Joey endorsing another brand. To me, this is about the brand that Joey is endorsing. Impossible Foods makes a 0%-beef hot dog. Call me old fashioned, but hot dogs are supposed to have beef and/or other combined mystery meats that probably aren’t good for us. And Nathan’s is the Jordan of making hot dogs. Wait, scratch that. Jordan is the Nathan’s of basketball. They made the right call by prioritizing their integrity over one man’s stomach capacity.

And let’s not ignore the humanitarian aspect here. Watching Joey Chestnut consume 70-plus hot dogs in ten minutes is like watching a python swallow a goat—it’s fascinating but also mildly traumatizing. Maybe banning Joey until he drops ties with his vegan-loving soy brand will be better for his health than the meatless dogs he’s hocking. Maybe he’ll live a year or two more to the ripe old age of 52 by sitting this year out. Maybe the dude (and his toilet) could use a break. This may not be a populate take, but here’s to Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs for this decision. So if you’re asking me to take a side, I’ll take a side. While Joey Chestnut is an American icon, if he’s going to start hocking some vegan franks, I just can’t – as a red-blooded American – get behind that. So I’m sticking with the brand that not only made Chestnut, but makes the greatest all-beef Franks around. Happy 4th of July.

With all that said, Joey will forever be a hero for this…


Austin hosts a country music morning radio show in Chicago after nearly a decade in sports talk radio (The Jim Rome Show, Steve Gorman SPORTS!) Colin Cowherd and Smash Mouth follow him on Twitter and he wears pants every day.