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Hot dogs at noon

By editorial assistant Sandy Toxic

Posted June 26, 2012
Room for another? Sonya Thomas in action. (Check bottom for credit)

Major League Eating (MLE) has just confirmed that the start of the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest will return to its original time of 12.00.

According to a press release I'm regurgitating pretty much verbatim because I've got about 20,000 other things to do right now, the decision to revert to the 12.00 time was taken "to accommodate the record crowds expected in Coney Island on July 4 to enjoy the beach, boardwalk, contest and Cyclones game".

No idea what a Cyclones game is but as I said, I'm really busy and can't be arsed to look it up on Startpage.

In fact, I'm so busy I'm just going to put pretty much everything in quotation marks.

Most newspapers and websites don't even do that.

They just pass it off as if they wrote it themselves.

Anyway, that Rake bloke's gone down the offie with Wahaxah and Lamprey so he won't find out till tomorrow, in which case it'll be too late.

And tough tits if he doesn't like it.

I've got a life as well.

But I digress.

Back to the press release...

"Organisers of the 2012 Nathan's Famous contest confirmed today that the 2012 contest will return to its traditional start time with the Women's Championship at 11:30 ET, followed by the Men's Championship at 12:00 ET on Wednesday, July 4," the press release states, although I've changed the times to 24-hour clock and also changed EDT to ET.

House style rules (HSR) it's called.

Rags do it all the time.

"The event," the statement continues, "which will occur at the company's flagship restaurant at Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island, Brooklyn, originally had been slated for 15:00 ET this year to accommodate ESPN's live broadcast of both Wimbledon and the contest."

"However, an expected crowd of some 40,000 for the contest followed by an early evening Cyclones game required the contest to be moved back to 12 noon."

"ESPN," MLE reports, "will distribute the event live on ESPN3 at 12.00 ET and tape-delay it on ESPN at 15.00."

"ESPN3 will also air the Women's Championship live at 11:30, as it did in 2011."

"ESPN's live multi-screen sports network is available in 73m households nationwide [I guess they mean the US] and is accessible online at, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to customers of an affiliated service provider."

"Coney Island has not been this hot since lines formed around the block to enter the Steeplechase," says MLE chairman George Shea.

"It appears that we are entering another golden age for Coney Island."

"With the amount of interest in this year's event, we thought a second helping of the championship was in order," adds Jason Bernstein, ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions.

"We're happy to add the ESPN3 and ESPN combo platter to the championship menu this year."

Now back to quoting the text of the press release as if someone was talking.

"The 10-minute, all-you-can-eat contests," it explains, "will feature nearly 30 eaters from the US and Canada, including five-time Nathan's Famous champ Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut of San Jose, California [we always call him 'the Jaws'; better make a note of that] and the 2011 women's champion, 100-pound eating sensation Sonya 'the Black Widow' Thomas of Alexandria, Virginia [she's our favourite]."

"Chestnut and Thomas each hold the men's and women's hot dog eating world records with 68 hot dogs and buns and 41 hot dogs and buns, respectively."

"The men and women will compete separately for the title of Men's Hot Dog Eating World Champion and Women's Hot Dog Eating World Champion as well as a $20,000 cash purse for each division."

Not sure what that is in quids but it sounds nice, doesn't it?

"More than 40,000 fans come to the free event, arriving several hours in advance," MLE notes.

"For these fans, Nathan's Famous produces a pre-show beginning at 10.00 that will include a death-defying performance by the Coney Island Strongman and several live bands."

Hopefully, Supine Orchestra and Frank's Hard Drive but it doesn't say so I don't know.

What it does say, though, is that "Nathan's Famous will also provide a jumbotron to increase visual access for fans", which I imagine is some kind of robotic elephant.

Anyway, the rest of the press release gives you instructions on how to get there but as most of our readers don't live in Noi Yoik I can't be arsed to explain.

However, you can read the rest of the press release here if you do happen to call the Big Banana or the Windy Apple or whatever it's called (twice) home and you want to go (which you should).

Up-to-the-minute details are apparently also available on the MLE's Titface pages here and here.

Right, gotta go.

Sod the spell checker, I'm off.

See also Chestnut still supreme, posted 26/6/12, and Finally a reason for the iPhone, posted 14/6/12.

Picture credit

Top and thumb: Photo of Sonya Thomas by Nate "Igor" Smith.

For licensing information click the above link.

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