Kobayashi declined to participate in this year's Coney Island Fourth of July hot dog eating contest because of a dispute with Major League Eating, which is a real thing and totally worthy of your respect. The famed Japanese eating contest champion balked at signing with MLE for fear of not being able to take part in non-affiliated eating competitions. And good for him. One day, when I desire a Hot Pocket throwdown, I don't want him to be constrained by contractual obligations.
So, with his longtime nemesis absent, Joey Chestnut coasted to an easy fourth consecutive victory by downing 54 dogs, a mediocre total by contest standards, but still nine more than second place finisher Tim "Eater X" Janus. That doesn't mean Kobayashi wasn't going to steal his thunder. Immediately after the competition ended, in an outburst that might or might not have been completely staged, Kobayashi stormed the eating area, only to be arrested by security on charges of trespassing, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration.â†µ
One hopes that integrity will one day be restored to the hallowed halls of professional scarfing and that Kobayashi will be forced to answer for creating additional publicity for the very serious, not at all circus-like event.