Joey Chestnut Is Doing A Fourth Of July Hot Dog Eating Contest After All

Joey Chestnut at football game
Joey Chestnut at football game - Brandon Sloter/Getty Images

What would the Fourth of July be without fireworks, backyard barbecues, and watching Joey Chestnut stuff his face with tube steaks? Well, we almost had a chance to find out, as Chestnut was disinvited to appear at the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest -- yes, the event's official name is itself a mouthful, even for Chestnut. The reason why he won't be there this year is because he's endorsing Impossible Foods, a company that also makes hot dogs. Nathan's got its pants in a bunch, although it did offer Chestnut a compromise. It promised he could compete for his 17th mustard belt (2023's victory was his 16th) if he renounced his partnership with the plant-based food manufacturers, but Chestnut said no deal. Instead, he'll be celebrating the Glorious Fourth in an even more patriotic way, competing in a hot dog contest held on an army base.

On July 4, Chestnut will be on Fort Bliss, which is located in El Paso, Texas. Here he will go head to head, not against other competitive eaters, but against army soldiers who have trained on MREs and chow hall food. Not only do the four competitors get to eat something that may be tastier than the usual military rations, but their combined input will be counted against that of Chestnut. The contest will be shorter than Nathan's, as well, since it will only last five minutes instead of 10.

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We'll Have Another Chance To Watch Chesnut In Action Pretty Soon

Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut
Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut - Monica Schipper/Getty Images

While Joey Chestnut's next great eating feat won't be witnessed by millions -- just 15,000& soldiers and their families are expected to attend -- he nevertheless seems to be training as hard as he would if another world record was on the line. It's just as well that he's keeping his hand (or stomach) in the game, since he's got another major contest in a few months. Yes, the good news for competitive eating fans who'll miss watching Chestnut down dozens of dogs on national TV this Independence Day is that they only have to wait until the next holiday. That, and pony up for a Netflix subscription if they don't already have one, since this streaming service will be hosting the Labor Day contest.

The live streaming event, dubbed "Unfinished Beef," will feature Chestnut one-on-one against Takeru Kobayashi. Before Chestnut came along, Kobayashi was the undisputed Fourth of July hot dog-eating champ, bringing home Nathan's Famous mustard belt for six consecutive years. Even though Kobayashi has been rumored to be planning to retire from competitive eating, he insists that he wants to beat Chestnut just the one time before he does. So he seems to have the edge when it comes to motivation. Chestnut, however, has momentum on his side. While we won't know for sure who the winner will be until September 2, Vegas oddsmakers have indicated there's an 85% chance of a Chestnut victory.

Read the original article on Mashed.