How many hot dogs could you eat in 10 minutes? One? Three? Try 68. That’s the current world record, set by California-born Joey “Jaws” Chestnut at last year’s event. This year, Nathan’s Famous July Fourth International Hot Dog Eating Contest pits Chestnut, a three-time wiener (whoops, winner), against his arch nemesis, Takeru “The Tsunami” Kobayashi. These two have been going head-to-head since Chestnut ate his way onto the scene in 2005, when he won a deep-fried asparagus contest by eating 6.3 pounds in less than 12 minutes. Yeah, that happened. Since then, he has been Hoover-ing everything in sight, from hot wings to matzoh balls. But the Tsunami—who is coming back with a vengeance—is reigning champion of the World Hamburger Eating Championship, and now his eyes (and stomach) are set on the Nathan’s dog (as well as world domination). It’s time to support the stars and stripes as American Chestnut attempts to eat his way to a fourth consecutive win.

Sun., July 4, noon, 2010