Competitive Eating Might Be A Sport, But A Dumb One.

Fortunately, I had something to do yesterday when the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest was on. But, the controversy in which former champ, Kobayashi, was arrested last year and the ensuing spectacle where he holds a separate competition this year is just silly. I mean, why keep him from competing? Apparently, signing a contract to compete in the competitive food eating contest excludes him from competing in others. (Shoulder shrug) I didn’t know the universe of competitive eating was more complex than the ranking system of modern boxing.

Now… None of this precludes it from being a sport, but I see it as a sport of no or at very least, dubious consequences. I got sick once more than two decades ago and there’s no way I’d voluntarily fly close to that possibility again. I just don’t understand it.

Every now and then, I talk with someone who dislikes Nascar more than I and they (not one person) always contend that Nascar (or golf– something with light activity) is not a sport. I have to disagree because anything worth contending is a sport. These things may be athletic pursuits with little consequence, but they are sports nonetheless. I think it’s a euphemism in Victorian English to call a “sporting man” a bettor.

Conversely a number of athletic pursuits are of marginal interest to many (bull riding?). Well, back to competitive eating: is it a sign of a non-sport that it takes itself too seriouy to allow a compettitor to compete in their contest without signing a exclusive contract? I mean, outside of the prize money, what is the real value of being the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating champ?

On top of that I thought Nathan’s were a brand of dogs that are to be appreciated? Who appreciates their 59th hot dog? Yeesh!


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