The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is a much-anticipated event for many Americans on the 4th of July and, if you've watched undisputed eating champion Joey Chestnut in action, it isn't hard to see why. Unfortunately, many viewers watching ESPN weren't able to view the entire event (including me) and were furious they missed chunks of Chestnut's latest record-breaking feat.
Joey Chestnut once again stunned the world and broke his prior record of 75 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Unfortunately, due to an unknown broadcasting error during the competition, the pictures blurred out several times during the event and cut to commercial inexplicably a few times. At first, it seemed as though ESPN intentionally cut to commercial during the event, which seemed like a terrible call by the network:
If only that were the case, but it soon became apparent ESPN was not in control of the errors occurring during the competition. The feed cut out once again inexplicably with around 20 seconds left in the competition, right as Joey Chestnut completed his 75th hot dog. He would eat 76, a new record, but audiences wouldn't find out until long after, as the camera cut shortly before the big moment:
What resulted after the feed cut was a picture reminiscent of an abstract watercolor painting, followed by yet another commercial by ESPN. Americans celebrating Independence Day were quick to the draw, meme-ing in honor of our freedom and making light of the situation:
Others were furious, perhaps partly because of a prop bet DraftKings (a sponsor of the event) posted ahead of the competition. Users were allowed to bet up to $25 at +125 on Joey Chestnut clearing his previous year's record, a seemingly impossible feat. Of course, people wanted to know if Chestnut beat his record and if they were slightly richer for betting on the champ to do the unthinkable:
I was one of those people who had faith in Joey Chestnut but, apparently, I was only one of a few. It seems like some people were just pissed they missed Chestnut gobbling glizzys because early reports indicate a very small percentage of people actually bet that Chestnut would exceed his record of 75 hot dogs this year:
This means only 1% of people felt moderately better to see that Joey Chestnut ate 76 hot dogs when the feeds finally returned, and the rest were likely disappointed to have missed it. Totally understandable considering Chestnut once again conquering that record feels like a lofty goal, and there's no guarantee we'll see him do it next year. After all, even Ric Flair and Michael Jordan had to retire, which makes it all the more important we capture these moments of legends while they're still in their prime.
Unfortunately, we'll all have to wait another year for a new Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. The good news is there are plenty of opportunities to see Joey Chestnut devour food on the web, including this wild video in which he crushes a bunch of McDonald's Big Macs.