MAN CRUSH OF THE WEEK: JOEY CHESTNUT
This Fourth of July I did something I had wanted to do for years. I went to the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island.
I can’t really explain my fascination with the hot dog eating contest. But I’ve been watching it on TV for years and years now. So the chance to go to it was too much to pass up.
It wasn’t nearly as crowded as I expected and was definitely much hotter than I thought it would be. And somehow it was a lot less repulsive than I imagined too. The entire production of the thing is built up mostly with the idea that everyone is in on the joke. The ridiculous introductions. The costumes. The (lack of) pants.
But once the show starts there’s no joking. It’s truly impressive to see. I was trying to figure out how many hot dogs I could eat in the 90 degree weather (which really can’t be overlooked, it was miserable just standing there).
And then Joey Chestnut starts eating. He is possibly the most dominant competitor in his chosen game (I tried so hard not to use the word ‘sport’ there). The guy who finished in second ate 52 hot dogs. There’s no stomach ache like, ‘Oh, I just ate 52 hot dogs and got destroyed’ stomach ache. Chestnut is like Lance Armstrong without the steroids. Or Tiger Woods before he liked sex. He’s dominant to the point you expect him not only to win, but win by a lot.
And best yet, he’s not all that big of a deal except on one day of the year. But for that day, he is the king of the sports word.
Honestly, I like to think our Founding Fathers would be proud of America for allowing such an event as the hot dog eating contest to exist. The whole reason why America was formed is because they didn’t like told what to do and thought they could do just fine themselves. Eating a bunch of hot dogs without regard for what people say is “socially acceptable” or “will give you butt cancer” is the meaning of liberty. Those hot dogs taste like freedom. All 68 of them. And you know Ben Franklin would have been in favor of it.
So Joey Chestnut, your ability to eat lots of hot dogs and help us stay free makes you this week’s Man Crush.
DOUCHEBAG OF THE WEEK: DWIGHT HOWARD
But Dwight is at it again. After reportedly claiming the Magic blackmailed him into signing away his right to opt-out of his contract, Dwight turned the tables and is now essentially blackmailing the Magic into trading him to the Nets, saying there is only one team he would re-sign with. Basically Dwight has taken away all of the Magic’s bargaining power as they try to unload the big man boy.
To make matters even more complicated, the Nets went out and traded for Joe Johnson, leaving very little of interest for the Magic to receive in return for Howard. So either Dwight is going to get his wish and play for the Nets for what amounts to spare parts (we’re talking about leftovers on the Nets here) or he’s going to get traded somewhere else for less than what he’s worth.
For as terrible as LeBron is, he never gave Cleveland an indication he would play for them and made that clear. They assumed the risk of not being able to resign him. Howard has been back and forth times on the Magic and their fans more times than Mitt Romney on his health care plan (boom, topical humor). I don’t think I would want my team to trade for Howard. He got his coach fired and now doesn’t even want to play for them. He’s a selfish child without the enjoyable parts like teaching the kid how to ride a bike or making free throws.
I honestly hope the Magic trade him to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum (a great return) and Dwight can’t deal with that meanie Kobe and throws another hissy fit, derailing his career and the Lakers in the process.
Follow Scott Bolohan on Twitter: @scottbolohan