In an amazing display of intestinal fortitude and the fending off of challenge, Takeru Kobayashi won his sixth consecutive Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest yesterday, downing a world-record 53 1/2 dogs. It was the first time Kobayashi had faced any real competition since he took the event hostage six years ago; upstart Joey Chestnut came just 1 1/2 hot dogs short of taking down Kobayashi, who is still undefeated.
Our affection for the sport of competitive eating — and it is a sport — was inspired by this old Black Table story we edited, and we find the continued tale of Kobayashi's status as the Babe Ruth of the sport — setting the bar for other competitors, and then raising it — undeniably irresistable. And now he reigns one more year. Meanwhile, we must wait until next year for "the fastest 12 minutes in competitive eating."