Sure, while it seems grotesque that food would be wasted in such competitions, I don't find it any more offensive than the entire enterprise of say, NASCAR (talk about wasting resources for no good reason). Comparisons to vomitariums may be fair, too. Still, there's something oddly enjoyable about watching a wiry Japanese man consume more hotdogs than big fat Americans (except for one very special American).
So it seems somewhat sad to me that Kobayashi found something he was great at and will now likely have to quit, due to arthritis of the jaw. He's apparently been suffering for a couple of years now.
For those curious as to what makes an eating champion, here's a money quote:
Mr Kobayashi’s hotdog eating prowess is attributed both to his natural ability to push the stomach below the ribcage to accommodate more food and to his famous “solomon” method of splitting a hotdog and then dipping the bun in water to make it more edible.
Yet in an emotional entry on his blog, Mr Kobayashi revealed that his rigorous training regime, which involves stretching his stomach with large quantities of cabbage and water, had left his mouth all but paralysed.
And finally, we'll salute Kobayashi with video of the one American who ever truly crushed him. We're so happy Michael Buffer was there!
joey chestnut is taking it home this year. kobayashi is pussying out
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