Who Is The World’s Best Eater: Joey Chestnut Or Takeru Kobayashi?
Magic Johnson or Larry Bird? Is LeBron James the next Michael Jordan, or is Kobe Bryant the “air” to the throne? There’s nothing like a good sports debate. It’s in our nature to analyze greatness, and that emotional discussion can, at times, get heated.
Over the years, it has become a “thing,” in even the most mainstream of circles, to debate who is the greatest living competitive eater. Is it Joey Chestnut or Takeru Kobayashi?
Most of the debate stems from their epic battles at the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. It started back in 2007 when Chestnut won his first title, beating the six-time champ and breaking the world record, eating 66 hot dogs to Kobayashi’s 63. The following year, the two tied, eating 59 hot dogs each. The competition went into “overtime,” where Chestnut defeated Kobayashi by being the first to eat five hot dogs. Kobayashi fell one bite short.
What followed was one of the more dramatic moments in eating history. After a somewhat long contract dispute between Kobayashi and the Major League Eating organization, Kobi was arrested at the 2010 Nathan’s event when he tried to make his way onto the competition stage. Since he wasn’t a sanctioned eater, he was considered a trespasser.
Kobayashi then took a more independent path, eventually setting up his own 4th of July hot dog eating competition, known as the Crif Dog Classic. This event, in its first year, was built to rival the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. This only builds the battle and continues to force the question: Who is the greatest living eater?
Let’s go to the tale of the tape.