Although Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi arguably gave the competitive-eating world the best publicity it had ever received when he got arrested at last July’s Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest, the contest’s organizers continue to mete out vengeance upon the six-time champion.
The Brooklyn Paper reports that Major League Eating has removed Kobayashi’s photo from its so-called Wall of Fame. To add insult to injury, they have replaced his photo with that of Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, who has never actually won the contest (last year she ate 36 hot dogs in 10 minutes, putting her in fourth place).
To recap, Kobayashi incurred MLE’s wrath last year when he refused to sign a contract with the league, on the grounds that he wanted to be able to compete in non-league events. MLE responded by banning him from the Nathan’s hot-dog-eating contest, but he showed up anyway, and, egged on by the crowd, stormed the stage. He was duly arrested, thus providing far more entertainment than the contest itself.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 21, 2011