I've always been fascinated with competitive eating. First of all, why? And second, what does it ultimately do to the human body? I imagine it would constantly fill full.

You may have seen a familiar name pop up in the news this week. Joey Chesnut, who holds dozens of world records and titles in competitive eating, is not participating in this year's Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. The 16-time winner recently inked a deal to be a spokesman for the plant-based brand Impossible Foods which is a conflict of brand exclusivity rights connected to Nathan's.

Chesnut responded in a statement that was shared with the Hollywood Reporter: “To set the record straight, I do not have a contract with MLE or Nathans and they are looking to change the rules from past years as it relates to other partners I can work with. This is apparently the basis on which I’m being banned, and it doesn’t impact the July 4th event,” he continued. “Sadly, this is the decision Nathan’s and Major League Eating are making, and it will deprive the great fans of the holiday’s usual joy and entertainment. To my fans, I love you and appreciate you. Rest assured that you’ll see me eat again soon!! STAY HUNGRY!”

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So when I saw this story, I remembered when Chesnut came to Owensboro in 2017 and 2019 to compete in the Mutton Glutton Slider Challenge at the BBQ Festival. Here's what happened:

Three eaters down to Joey's left was our own Chad, who only ate a fraction (three and a half sliders) compared to the 81 Chesnut downed in ten minutes. And yes, that was another world record for the competitive eater. Oh, here's Joey Chesnut sharing his training regimen, it's somewhat not for the faint of heart:

Just one day after his non-participation statement in the Hot Dog contest, it was announced Chesnut would be taking on another legend in competitive eating, Japan's Takeru Kobayashi, in the Netflix live-streaming event, Chesnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef, which will stream on September 2nd. Ironically, the hot dogs will be all beef. Yeah, I'm confused too.

It's been 15 years since the two competed against each other in Nathan's contest, Chesnut holds the hot dog eating world record at 76 consumed in 10 minutes, which was in the 2021 contest. The other irony is that Kobayashi is coming out of retirement to participate in this year's July 4th hot dog eating competition in Coney Island.

What a Day! Over 100 Photos From PorchFest in Owensboro

Music filled the air at PorchFest OBKY as 40 acts rocked 12 porches on Griffith Avenue. The community spirit was palpable as attendees savored delicious eats from food trucks and basked in the summer vibes of this neighborhood celebration. Here's a look back at a day of fun in the sun!

Gallery Credit: Barb Birgy

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