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Hot Dogs Submerged in Water

Coney Island by Paul Corceiro is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hot Dogs Submerged in Water

Estimated Reading Time: 1 Minutes

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest takes place every July 4th in Coney Island, Brooklyn.  It has aired live on ESPN since 2004.

Mixed between MLB scores
And NBA news
Comes the familiar July 4th refrain
And though none were wondering
Upon its result
We’re shown what happened at Nathan’s
And we’re supposed to exalt.
In the annual frenzy of hot dogs
Submerged in water,
That same guy won again

We know Nadal
And Roland-Garros,
How he’s won eleven since ’05.
If someone says women’s basketball,
We think UConn.
‘Eight straight Finals’?
Has to be LeBron.
And we’d know the answer was Joey Chestnut
if someone asked:
Who’s the greatest hot-dog eater alive?

Does leading the pack for so many years,
Always have to be some incredible feat?
Sure, a dozen years with one loss.
But the trophy comes with a vomit clause.
When they call it competitive,
And its on ESPN,
For some reason, we care how much Joey can eat.

And before you ask, yes it still counts,
As eating when its hot dogs,
submerged in water,
in enormous amounts.
This year Joey stuffed down,
A new world-record serving.
Is that right?
Please do not show a slow-motion replay or highlight.
I mean, yeah,
That’s a lot for one man to accomplish in ten minutes, but is such praise deserving?

An eating contest alone is synonymous
With county fairs and blue ribbons
With familes delighting under blue skies
Crowds laughing and cheering-on contestants eating pies
The contest turned serious
Is a mutant creature that’s moved on to hot dogs
Submerged in water
At the end of Brooklyn

On Coney Island each summer lies a special horizon,
In the human condition.
At a weird American event,
On a hot American day,
The joy of competition is shown,
In a demented way.
Congratulations, Joey,
You’re still the king,
Of one fucked-up,
American tradition.

Andrew O'Neill is a sports fan and writer originally from New Hampshire who has been a regular contributor to The Turf since July 2017. He also writes for The Tribe Sports @, a blog offering philosophical sports commentary.

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