What’s the dumbest thing you did this weekend? Drank a few too many beers? Got a little bit too close to the wick of an M-80? Or shoved away a few hours too late from the dessert tray? Well at least you didn’t eat 72 HOT DOGS in 10 MINUTES.

You didn’t dunk them in water, and choke them down your gullet. And as disgusting as it is to imagine ingesting 10 times your daily caloric intake on encased mystery meat and buns, it’s even grosser to watch that feeding fest on TV — grown men doing everything they can to make you go projectile yourself as they main-line some Nathan’s for 10 minutes on TV before making a run to the bathroom.

I get that this is an annual tradition. I get that it’s been going on — allegedly — since 1916, when four immigrants held a hot dog eating contest to settle an argument about who was the most patriotic. But if I never see another highlight of Joey Chestnut eating I’ll be fine. If I never have to see that dude covered in sweat and hot dog water, eyes closed — gagging down 7 cased carney meats per minute, I’ll still feel like I lived a long and fruitful life.

That this still happens is amazing to me. That we throw an HD camera and super-slo mo at a guy doing something that should only be done in the dark of night and in the daze of a black-out bender is beyond me.

Listen. I love food. I eat clean on the week days so I can eat whatever the hell I want on the weekend. And far be it from me to get in the way of this guy earning a living. But choking down 20k in calories in 10 minutes is inane. 1,300 grams of fat via HOT DOG could kill you on impact. And one of these days somebody is going to internally COMBUST on screen during the contest. All for 10k in prize money and a yellow mustard trophy belt?

Chestnut said he gained 23 pounds in 10 minutes — 15 from the dogs, 8 from the water. But how much damage has he done to the average guy who tries to flip on the TV and catch a game and all of a sudden runs into this slaughterhouse? Competitive eating isn’t a sport. It’s people at a trough.

So while he’ll probably throw some Lipitor at it and lay off the tubed meat for a few months, I already felt bad enough after pounding brats off the grill this weekend. Now I’m not sure I can ever look at a hot dog again.


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