Saturday, July 5, 2008

Hot Dog Eating Contest - A Sport?

I still can’t get over that the word “competitive” is placed in front of “eating” and is actually a “sport”. ESPN is even showing the highlights right now on SportsCenter. There are even “techniques” involved and apparently some are not legal in every state. Contestants were using the controversial “cannonball technique” this year which is legal in New York where the 2008 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest was held. This year, Joey Chestnut defended his title against the ever-present threat of Takeru Kobayashi. Even that sentence seems odd to me as I type it.

Alright, I am one to consider a lot of things to be sport and many individuals to be athletes. You could completely argue that Takeru Kobayashi is athletic. I watched a documentary about his workout routine and his preparation. This guy has a very chiseled six-pack and every other muscle developed on his body it seems. That said, I have a hard time calling competitive eaters athletes. I searched the web for answers and, sure enough, there are leagues and federations that beg to differ. These people are quite serious.

So I’m open to argument here – is competitive eating really a sport? Are participants in these events really athletes?


Lindsay said...

I'm going to go I sport should involve burning calories, not gaining them. Just my opinion. Not that those contests aren't interesting. People love stuff like that. Then again, darts is probably considered a sport, which involves standing around, drinking a pitcher and throwing stuff.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Good point - but the consumption isn't actually required in darts!

Anonymous said...

hey - we have a similar blog topic. Maybe we could collaborate on something? - Lyndsey

Apryl DeLancey said...

Totally! Let's do it!

Monica 08 said...

Is competitive eating really a sport? In my humble opinion, Yes.

Are participants in these events really athletes? Yes.

Probably not a demanding sport like tennis and soccer with a busy schedule throughout the whole year. It's still a sport to me and I'll respect the hungry "athletes."

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thanks for your input, Monica! We have to search far and wide for what is not a sport - there is sport in so much!