The video: Monday's Fourth of July holiday saw New Yorkers gleefully enjoying the city's many traditions: Rooftop barbecues, fireworks on the Hudson, and, perhaps most famously, a Coney Island hot dog eating contest. For the fifth year in a row, the 218-pound Joey "Jaws" Chestnut won the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, stuffing himself with 62 dogs. (Watch the first video below.) But just a few miles away, the "legendary" 127-pound Takeru Kobayashi inhaled a record-breaking 69 hot dogs at an unofficial exhibition at a rooftop bar in Manhattan. (See the second video below.) Because he is embroiled in a contract dispute with Major League Eating, Kobayashi was barred from the official Coney Island event, so his total won't be counted in record books — causing a dustup in the competitive eating world.
The reaction: Chestnut is obviously the real champ here, says Sean Pendergast at the Houston Press. Handing Kobayashi the title would be the "equivalent of Tiger going out and shooting a 62 for 18 holes on the course he lives on in Florida the same day the Masters starts and saying that he leads the Masters." Well, the whole controversy is ridiculous, says Eric Crawford at the Courier-Journal. Now even eating contests are the subjects of contract disputes? "I'm sick to my stomach over this one." See for yourself: