Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ex-Hotdog Champ Takeru Kobayashi: Fighting the Hot Dog Muscle Men?

Former hot dog eating champion Takeru Kobayashi pleaded not guilty to a variety of charges and was released without bail Monday.

Sunday, Kobayashi jumped on stage at Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot-Dog-Eating Contest, even though he did not compete due to a contract dispute. (See video here.) His actions caused quite a stir and a bunch of funny headlines, like NBC's "Terror at the Hot Dog Eating Contest!"
According to NBC, Kobayashi's move may have not been the work of a mad hot dog eater, but a bold act of civil disobediance. It seems that Kobayashi, who helped put the Nathan's hot dog eating contest on the map, was barred from competing because he wouldn't sign an exclusive contract with an outfit called "Major League Eating (MLE)"

According to Geekosystem, the contract allegedly stipulated that Kobayashi can only compete in MLE eating events, and barred him from eating in any other contests. That means if a shopping mall decided to throw a marshmellow eating contest, Kobayashi would be forbidden to enter.

Picture this scene. A skinny Japanese guy enters a smoke-filled room somewhere in New York City. "Sign, Kobe, or you'll never eat another hot dog in this town." His lawyer throws up his hands. "Whatdayagonnado?"

We visited the MLE web site and were appalled to see that they are indeed attempting to corner the market in puke-inducing events. They have a contest where participants shovel pounds of shrimp down their gullets, and another featuring shrimp wontons by the hundreds. Then there's the Spamarama (who would have thought it would be possible to eat six pounds of spam in 12 minutes?). Let's not forget the Reindeer Sausage eating competition. (See here for more disgusting events.)

CBS says "something/anything called Major League Eating must surely be stupid on its face."

Stupid, sure. But apparently powerful enough to stop the skinny Japanese guy from being a contender.

Photo courtesy of wtc3353
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