Who will be this year's champ of the annual Coney Island hot-dog eating showdown? Will it be Takeru Kobayashi aka Balls Deep or Joey Chestnut? Kobayashi from Japan is the title holder who's been battling a sore jaw and is the underdog for today's competition. Specialists have been treating Kobayashi with "jaw-thritis" and he's even had a tooth removed to ease the pain and to help him prepare for the competition. Chestnut, who is American is Kobayashi's biggest competition out of the 17 overall competitors. He inhaled 59 1/2 hot dogs in 12 minutes, exceeding Kobayashi's record of 53 1/2 dogs in the same time. As a side statistic, Americans this year will consume over 150 million franks this Independence Day. They will spend over $176 million dollars on hamburger patties and $120 million on chips and dip. Booze gets $303 million while watermelons come in at a sweet $149 million. The total bill? $2.5 billion.
For a month now, it's been clear that today's 92nd edition of the world's most-famous celebration of mastication would be one to remember.
Takeru Kobayashi, six-time world record hot dog eater, is claiming to have a jaw injury which may hamper his competition today at Nathan's Famous in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York.