Daily Dirt: No Joey Chestnut for this year’s hot dog-eating contest


Joey Chestnut is draped in the American flag after winning the 2010 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. He ate 54 hot dogs and buns to win his fourth consecutive title. | Photo courtest of Wikimedia Commons

Daily Dirt for Saturday, June 15, 2024

Much like Santa missing from the Christmas season, July 4 without Joey Chestnut just won’t be the same. Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 979 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Say it ain’t so!

Major League Eating (MLE) announced earlier this week that Joey Chestnut, the 16-time champion of the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, will not be competing in the annual Fourth of July event.

ESPN reported MLE said Chestnut had chosen to “represent another brand” and would not be allowed to participate in the Nathan’s contest. ESPN televises the event each year, live from New York’s famous Coney Island.

Chestnut, competitive eating’s biggest star known as “Jaws,” has won the event eight years in a row. He reportedly agreed to a sponsorship deal with Impossible Foods, a company that makes plant-based hot dogs. It is a competing company to Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs.

“It would be like Michael Jordan saying to Nike, ‘I’m going to represent Adidas, too,'” MLE event organizer George Shea told ESPN.

According to various media outlets, at least five petitions have been started across the nation, demanding Chestnut be allowed to compete.

I love watching Chestnut down those dogs. This makes the July 4 dogapalooza a wide-open contest. 

2. Our weekly celebrity birthday wishes go out to:

  • Former “Friends” co-star Courtney Cox turns 60 today.
  • Actress Joan Van Ark, who played “Val” on the classic night-time soap opera “Knots Landing,” will be 81 on Sunday.
  • Singer Barry Manilow will be 81 on Monday. Favorite Manilow song? How about “Mandy” or “Weekend In New England”?
  • Former Beatle Paul McCartney turns 82 on Tuesday. “The Long And Winding Road” would be rather appropriate right now, wouldn’t it?
  • Performer Paula Abdul, former co-star of the original “American Idol,” will be 62 on Wednesday. 

3. Yes, 40 years is a long time. It’s an entire generation, but the following songs still sound great. Here’s my top 10 from 1984:

  • 1. “Born in the U.S.A.,” by Bruce Springsteen: I was fortunate enough to see Bruce the E Street Band in concert at about this time. I still rank it as one of the three best shows I have ever seen.
  • 2. “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” by Tina Turner: This was one of three monster hits for Tina in 1984. She followed it up with “Better Be Good To Me” and “Private Dancer.”
  • 3. “Purple Rain,” by Prince and the Revolution: The best-ever effort from the diminutive one.
  • 4. “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” by Cyndi Lauper: The best part of this video was the performance of Capt. Lou Albano.
  • 5. “Like A Virgin,” by Madonna: Remember how every other girl you would run into at the mall or the supermarket was trying to incorporate the Madonna “look” at this point in time.
  • 6. “Take On Me,” by a-Ha: A great, great video.
  • 7. “Karma Chameleon,” by Culture Club: Say what you want about Boy George, but the man could certainly sing.
  • 8. “Stuck On You,” by Lionel Richie: Smoooooth …
  • 9. “Legs,” by ZZ Top: Speaking of great videos, this was another.
  • 10. “I Just Called (To Say I Love You),” by Stevie Wonder: We all need a little Stevie in our lives.

Steve Thought O’ The Day
I’m going to miss Joey Chestnut. Doggone it.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. With Joey Chestnut out of the running, Steve’s schedule appears to be open on July 4 to serve as a replacement. Who agrees?

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