Japanese competitive eating champ Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi has been released following an arrest at the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest held at Coney Island this past Fourth of July.
Per The Daily News, as he was escorted out of Brooklyn Criminal Court following his arraignment still wearing his “Free Kobi” T-shirt, he told reporters: “I’m really hungry. I wanted to eat hot dogs.” Kobayashi will answer to charges that include trespassing, resisting arrest, and obstructing governmental administration. He was released without bail pending trial.
Several videos of the arrest have already gone live.
Joey “Jaws” Chestnut may have won his fourth consecutive championship Sunday, but all anyone will be able to remember is Kobayashi storming the stage. The six-time champion and unfriendly rival of Chestnut’s did not compete in this year’s contest due to a contract dispute with Major League Eating, a governing body of the competitive eating circuit. After the event, however, as the crowd chanted, “Let him eat! Let him eat!” he says he got swept up in the moment and got up on stage. In minutes, security was forcefully removing him.
It’s like the best thing to happen to pseudo sport since the WWF steroid scandal of ’91.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 5, 2010