Lunchtime poll – Kobayashi's hot dog bow-out
June 29th, 2010
03:15 PM ET
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[Update: Jesse Solomon has MORE ON THE STORY]

Reports abound that wiener-eating wunderkind Takeru Kobayashi may bow out of this year's Nathan's Famous July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest due to contract negotiations breakdown.

George Shea, president of Major League Eating released a statement on the Major League Eating website stating, "Takeru Kobayashi is currently not scheduled to compete in the 2010 Nathan's Famous July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest. In recent weeks, Major League Eating has sought to arrive at an agreement with Kobayashi, but contract negotiations have reached an impasse. MLE remains hopeful that Kobayashi, who won the contest from 2001-2006, will decide to compete this July 4th in Coney Island, when Joey Chestnut will seek his fourth consecutive title."

Does this muck up your Independence Day plans for glutton gawking?

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Filed under: Buzz • Lunchtime Poll • News • Weird News

soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Ker Kernel

    Don Zinn is just alright ?!? Yer all outta whack !!! Are you some kind of Bolshevik sent by the Funyon Vegetarians?

    Don Zinn does more than just eat for competition. He truly lives the grease-laden lifestyle ! The upcoming competitions will just be a forum for him to spread his message across this beautiful land of lard.

    Once Joey Chestnutt has rightfully been destroyed, The Locust Don Zinn will be in power and his reign will last for a deep-fried fortnight ! Doubt now, pay later...

    July 5, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  2. Yettiker

    This whole contest is a complete sham. The MLE has participated in an active campaign to belittle and minimize the accomplishments of Don "The Locust" Zinn for years now and I am sick of it. If Don was allowed to compete he would dominate these other so called "professional eaters" and show what a real eater can do. Joey Chestnut, Koboyashi, Ed "Cookie" Jarvis??? HA! LOSERS! Don Zinn would dominate them all and the MLE knows it. The MLE is fixed just like that prison yard game they play in the NBA. Don Zinn will be home this weekend training as usual by drinking glasses of lard and eating sticks of butter. This is fact box. I once saw Don eat an entire 15 lb. ham. He regularly fries whole turkeys in his office and eats them for a snack. Then he goest to MC'ds, Wendy's, BK, Hardees, and Checkers and orders at least one meal deal from each for lunch. Can that sharlatan Joey Chestnuts say that? No. If you don't believe me go to the Cary, NC Harris Teeter on any Wednesday night. Don will be there in person scanning the meat section for mismarked beef products. He once bought a 7 pound roast there for .15 cents a pound. You can talk to him there and he will amaze you with his stories of greasey conquest. Can Kobyashis say that? No! Don "the Locust" Zinn is the center of the grease eating universe and all others are simply orbiting his greatness. He also like Chrysler products.

    July 2, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      Don Zinn is alright, but he can't out eat HUNGRY TODD RUNGY! Don Zinn's only about Don Zinn but Hungry Todd Rungy is eatin' for AMERICA!

      July 2, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
  3. Therestoftheworld

    Look. To all those who say that 'This money can be better spent' do me a favor... Turn off your internet, Get rid of your car.. sell all your stuff b/c that money can be better spent to feed the hungry in the world... go ahead I'll wait while you do it. No? Then STFU, Please. Take your liberal we can save the world if I could only take other peoples money bs and keep it away. Tell you what when you donate as much as you talk I might listed. Your no better than those priests who tell me to repent with an alter boy under his pulpit. People have a right to do what they want with their hard earned property. That right is natural and should be fulfilled. If I feel like taking my whole salary and donating to a homeless shelter good... if not then oh well. You owe them people nothing. and realize most people that you want to save would rob, kill, and rape you and your family in a heart beat. MORON.

    July 2, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  4. lovehotdogs

    Hot dogs are bad for you and shouldn't be sent to homelss or to the 3rd world.

    These competitors are doing everyone a favor by consuming as many as they can, to remove them from the food stream.

    Can't wait for the first one to slide a dog down. I already have it set to be DVR'd so I can watch and rewatch it.

    June 30, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  5. GuyNemeth

    Joey Chestnut is a national treasure. USA!

    June 30, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  6. Jax

    Well, frankly, I need to do some ketchup, but I look forward to the competition with relish.

    June 30, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  7. TW


    June 29, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
  8. zach chease

    Kobayashi retires, and LeBronyashi comes in and wins 3 straight hot dog eating championships.

    June 29, 2010 at 7:40 pm |


    June 29, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  10. davec

    I enjoy watching competitive eating and have done a little bit of it myself. Pie eating is my thing and I'll even do apple pie although it's only my second favorite pie to eat.

    June 29, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      apple pie is the ,most american of all the pies!!

      June 29, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
      • kizza myazza

        And Blueberry pie will create a puke fest before the DNC get's rolling.

        June 29, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
  11. chuck

    Eating contests like these only prove the gluttony of our country. They are just one more reason while most of the world hates us, people are starving every where including here at home and we call pigging out like this a sport. Purely disgusting

    June 29, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      whatever OSama! eatin is good for america! why dont you go to france or some other country that doesnt respect the USA!


      June 29, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
      • kizza myazza

        Because then they would have to surrender.

        June 29, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • Bob

      Flag waving on July 4 only proves the extravagance of our country. It is just one more reason why most of the world hates us, people are freezing and cold everywhere including here at home and we call the waving of a blatant waste of valuable material like this a show of pride. Purely disgusting.

      June 30, 2010 at 2:34 am |
  12. America Fan

    Kobayashi is a coward who doesn't want to face Chesnut and lose again. Nobody out-excesses America. Let the rest of the world have soccer.

    USA, USA, USA!

    June 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      he knows even if he wins against chestnut he's gonna have to face RUNGY!

      June 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  13. Fatty McFat

    Stuff that food down your body baby! It's an entirely pointless/disgusting form of competition.

    June 29, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      go back to china!

      June 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
      • Fatty McFat

        How can I go back to a place I've never been?

        June 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
      • kizza myazza

        Why? Do you want CHINESE FOOD?

        June 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  14. Steve

    I don't know, guys... I think I'd much rather spend my $10 on a cat drawing!


    June 29, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  15. Baseball & Hotdogs


    June 29, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  16. rupert

    Seeing kobayashi in person is fascinating in a train wreck kind of way. The guy is ripped, he shows his stomach off and has at least an 8 pack. At the end of a competition he looks 5 months pregnant he is so full of food. He has actually figured out how to use his stomach muscles to compress the food. I'm not sure how the human form does it, but it does.

    June 29, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  17. Joe Fitzgerald

    I consider it a great tradition to watch these guys stuff their faces on the 4th of July as we...the normal eaters try to figure out how they accomplish this wonderful task in such a short amount of time. This is what America is all about....I am full of American pride to sit down and watch this compitition. Scarf away Joey C cause its all about great fun and the 4th of July celebration we all share as Americans.

    June 29, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  18. Bull

    My fat Uncle Rocco can eat more than those dudes.

    June 29, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  19. amwhoIam

    Every time I heare some dope refer to these morons as "athletes", I want to punch that person in the brain. That is about the stupidest thing a person can say.

    June 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      stuff your face! like any other sport, competitive eatin is hard work! you cant just walk in off the street and eat 40 hot dogs, that's stupid. you gotta train every day!

      June 29, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
      • amwhoIam

        ok, Stephen Hawking, pull the crack pipe out of your mouth.

        June 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
      • amwhoIam

        ok, Stephen Hawking, pull the crack pipe out of your mouth, and move out of your parent's basement.

        June 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
      • putz

        Youre a moron....and the only weiners you will be taking down your mouth are.....well you know how this one ends

        June 29, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
    • PS

      Silly man, these gallant men deserve your respect and admiration. All aspiring athletes, young men and women around the world should look to these role models to help guide their lives and budding athletic careers. Some evenings when I’m at the dinner table struggling to finish my last bite, I draw a mental image of Kobayashi in my head and repeat the mantra: What would Kobayashi do? (WWKD for short). It works every time!

      June 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  20. Stuffin'

    Ed "The Cookie" Jarvis was one of my all time favorite competitors. What ever happened to him? I know that "Bad Lands" Booker is doing rap music nowadays. Sonia "The Black Widow" could eat most under the table (she does a variety of foods very well), maybe even beat Takeru if he was having an off day. But this Joey guy, man, he can eat.

    June 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      i'll be yr new hero!

      June 29, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  21. PS

    Look, Kobayashi, Mr. Chestnut and the other competitors are highly-trained and well-disciplined athletes at the top of their game, but nevertheless, sometimes they need a break from the lime light, glitz and glamour of the competitive eating circuit. It’s not easy for them to balance being role models to our youngsters and constantly live their lives under a microscope always looking over their shoulders for paparazzi. We have to remember that these warriors are human and sometimes need a rest just like the rest of us.

    June 29, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • amwhoIam

      are you serious??? calling these people athletes??? what he hell is the matter with you???

      June 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      the only person kobayashi's a hero to is bin laden!

      June 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  22. Dennis Moore

    That's pretty amazing, but i think the winner of the Italian ice competition that was held in New Jersey last weekend would give him a run for his money.


    June 29, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      Hungry Todd Rungy would destroy those stupid little fascist ice pops but I don't eat nuthin that aint american! Take yr fruity ice toys and go back to russia!

      June 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
      • kizza myazza

        so you don't eat "FRENCH FRIES"? TURD

        June 29, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
      • Hungry Todd Rungy

        kizza, i eat FREEDOM FRIES!

        June 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
      • kizza myazza


        June 29, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  23. JoeyC

    I'm totally taking my vevuzela there!

    June 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  24. lacrosseson

    It's just Kobayashi's latest excuse. Ever since Chestnut beat him, Kobayashi's been a whiny punk.

    June 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      he's a stupid foreigner! we don't need them in our country muckin up our competitive food eatin' events, especially not ones on AMERICAS BIRTHDAY!

      June 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • Aww

      He just afraid of losing again.... GO TEAM USA....Futbol is go GLUTTONY !!

      June 29, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  25. eastcoast6

    People who are "offended" by competitive eating: Change the channel. Stop reading about it. Stop talking about it. There are plenty of legitimate things to be offended by, so stop trying to hinder the fun of others.

    June 29, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      people that are offended by ocmpetitive food eating are the same people that like to read books! Stupid heads! USA!

      June 29, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  26. HotDogBoy

    I think it's all a ploy to raise the hype for the tv ratings of the event. now people will turn in to see if he shows...
    I wonder what the budget for the show is since ESPN picked it up ?? It's gross to watch but still somehow entertaining, in a gastro intestinal way...

    June 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  27. Bare Foot and Pregnant

    I liked whem his hair was orange. He looked like a pokeman.

    June 29, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
    • kizza myazza

      From the looks of your name it looks like some one was also getting pokemaned.

      June 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  28. Fred

    OMG. Does this mean the 4th of July is going to be cancelled?

    June 29, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  29. Me

    I'm offended by these contests. No one needs to eat that much, and imagine how much rice and water that wasted money could buy to feed the rest of the world.

    June 29, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      I'm offneded by you! Competitive food eatin' is more patriotic than complaining on the internets! The more we eat the less china has to eat! Eatin' for America! Hungry Todd Rungy! WOO!

      June 29, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
    • Mike

      The money spent on these contests is nothing compared the billions of revenue raked in from other national sports, but you don't oppose those? They could feed entire nations yearly, but they don't.

      June 29, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
      • Me

        Actually, Mike, I do. I think all sports like that are a waste of time, and money. I know people like them, and are willing to spend huge sums of money just to watch grown men fight, or chase around a ball.... I don't understand that mindset, and I never will.

        That money is better put to use on education, reform, charity....

        June 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • AJ

      I can see your point about wasting food while people all over the world go hungry. But your point about major sports earning too much money or not appropriating it correctly doesn't make too much sense, really. At least not in the sense that they're blatantly wasting resources.

      Major sports are multi-billion dollar industries, but the point you're overlooking is that they DO put large sums of money towards numerous charities. But just because a business earns billions doesn't mean they shouldn't still profit off their work. Maybe that profit is too much. That's not really the point. The point is they shouldn't have any moral obligation to do anything with that money but keep it, but they don't. They spread it around for all types of things. That should be good enough.

      As for that "mentality"... well, it's been around since the beginning of time. I understand a desire to invest in education. That's certainly more important than a game of baseball or what have you. But people need entertainment too. It just so happens that entertainment is a higher grossing business than education. Unfortunate, maybe. Not all that unfathomable though.

      June 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
      • Hungry Todd Rungy

        just ignore him, he's probably hates america!

        June 29, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • Brian

      No one needs to drive 500 miles at 200 mph and burn up gas and numerous tires, not to mention all the wrecks and engine blowouts, but racing is still pretty popular.

      June 29, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
    • Ian

      It's not wasted and really nothing was spent on it, Nathan's donated the dogs and labeled the cost as advertising. And they've tried to feed the hungry, but the dictators and warlords just steal it. Soooo... don't be offended.

      June 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  30. Tom

    This is outrageous. How could he not compete?! Kobayashi is the greatest Asian athlete in the world, a true champion. Kobayashi and Chestnut ranks up there with Russell-Chamberlain, Yankees-Red Sox, Michigan-Ohio State as one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.

    June 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      you dont know what yr tlaking about! Kobayshi vs Rungy would've beent he greatest rivarly since white people and injuns!
      but he chickened out once he saw THIS!

      June 29, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  31. Hungry Todd Rungy

    Kobayashi is AFRAID of ME, Hungry Todd Rungy! As soon as I got on the internets to let the world know who i am and whats im about, he chickens out! USA!

    June 29, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • Mike

      Go Hungry Todd! America believes in you!!!

      June 29, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
      • Hungry Todd Rungy

        thanks mike! yr a true patriot! keep eatin' for america bro!


        June 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  32. jhavajoe

    Want to create a winner? Study the movie: The Human Centipede.

    June 29, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
    • Adam

      my exact thoughts. i would just hope to be the first person of the human centipeded.

      June 29, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
      • nans

        what an idiot!

        June 29, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
  33. OU812

    I once knew a farmer that drank too much and would often try to plant his chickens.

    June 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • stanley


      June 29, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
    • Earl Hatleberg

      Really wonderful indeed ! Thanks for the prolonged chuckle.

      June 29, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  34. Jerry

    Well this opens the door for Chestnut to get his 4th title. I dont see anyone beating him if Kobayashi isnt there.

    June 29, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      only because hungry todd rungy isnt competiting in hot dogs anymore!

      June 29, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  35. JT

    Mmmm.... cancer.

    June 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  36. Matt A

    Personally, I don't care about eating contests. But to those that may have answered they were offended by the practice of eating contests, I want to get something across. the "professional" eating contestants are like Kobayashi. They do some odd intensive training involving weights and the like in order to make them better equipped to eat all of the food. If you notice Kobayashi is not fat in the least.

    June 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
    • Matt B

      Personally, I do care about eating contests. I just wish I read your post prior to voting "I'm actively offended by it", I would have changed my answer to "I'm avidly interested" had I known that about weight training.

      June 29, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  37. MR LUCK

    LMAO contract impass he is a weinie nazi "no nathans for you"

    June 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      he's TERRORFIED of ME!


      June 29, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
      • Ryan

        That reminded me of "The Losing Edge" episode of South Park.

        "Bat Dad knows no fear! Bat Dad knows no pain! I want you Marsh, I want youuu!"

        June 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  38. frankz

    Joey Chestnut is a national hero!

    June 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
    • Ashley

      He's my cousin!

      June 29, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  39. j-dub 504

    Like I want to see people stuff themselves then puke...

    June 29, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
    • Hungry Todd Rungy

      yr stupid! if you puke you lose! dont you know nuthin about competitive food eatin?

      June 29, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
      • j-dub 504

        Not only did I not say anything about winning or losing, but not everyone can do this. Those who think they can then find out they can't, end up pukin!

        June 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
    • pjl

      j-dub 504, stop while you're ahead. Anyone in the Nathan's contest knows their limits. This is not an open competition to anyone who wants to plunk down ten bucks. There are local and regional qualifiers to get to the July 4 eat a thon.

      June 29, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
      • JimmyEatHotDogs

        Stop while you're ahead? Who put you in charge? If you have never seen anyone puke at Nathans on the 4th then you have never been there. Some of them do it on purpose cause once you place farther than 8th you are out of the money and who wants to walk around with 20 hot dogs in the pouch? Kobayashi has been accused twice of using the "Roman Method" but cleared both times. The point is people do it ... i have seen them and you are a self serving jerk trying to look like he is a food eating competiton efficienado ... the question is why?

        June 29, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
    • HotdogsRmylife

      You must realize this is a national sporting event. Haven't you even seen cheer leading on ESPN, this is way more difficult. There are no amateurs here!

      June 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
      • gretchen

        No, it is NOT "a national sporting event". It's a bunch of slobs who stuff themselves to "win" a little trophy. It's incredibly wasteful, and that food can be given to the homeless and hungry of the world instead.

        June 30, 2010 at 2:59 am |
      • GuyNemeth


        June 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
    • Perfect Eater

      Technically in the sport of competitive eating it's called a "reversal." In the International Journal of Professional Competitive Eating (IJPCE) they publish the reversal of fortune rates. Amongst the pro eaters it's surprising low, and this is probably due to extensive training these athletes do.

      June 30, 2010 at 12:10 am |
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