Every so often a matchup comes along in sports that transcends it's era. Some rivalries are embedded in our collective sports consciousness. The Yankees and Red Sox, Cowboys and Redskins, Ali vs. Frazier, Cats vs. Dogs, and there are many more. But tomorrow, on the 4th of July no less, we will watch two bohemoths in a clash of the Titans. It is as if God smiled on these two athletes and blessed them with the ability to stun spectators with their talent.
I am of course speaking of the two greatest athletes on Earth, Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut. These two hot dog heavyweights will go toe to toe in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. While many sports fans say that the 2005 Rose Bowl between 2 time defending champ USC and Texas is possibly the greatest game of all-time, I am flat out convinced that the world will feel the tremors and shake off it's axis tomorrow afternoon. You think the Red Sox and Yankees has history? Psssh. I scoff at you.
Takeru "The Tsunami" Kobayashi, is the top ranked eater in the world according to the IFOCE. (I don't know what the initials stand for but let's call them the "International Fatties on Couches Eating) Let me give you an idea of how clutch this man is. His only loss in an eating contest came to an 1,089 pound kodiak Bear. He is such a gluttonous gladiator that the world has to cross species to defeat him! Give me a moment, once again Kobayashi's feats have taken my breath away.
He also held the world record in hot dog eating for almost 6 years, with 53 consumed in 12 minutes, until an American, Joey Chestnut, topped the record with a mind blowing 59 1/2 hot dogs. Images of Ray Charles singing "America the Beautiful" are beginning to dance in my head. (My eyes are tearing up so much I can barely read the words on the screen.)
Kobayashi nearly bowed out of the historical event citing an inability to open his mouth due to jaw tendinitis, leading me to call him The James Coney Phoney. But just like Willis Reed did for the Knicks it appears the Japanese Jawbreaker will forge ahead and compete. No, I take that back. A victory from Kobayashi would be a hybrid of Willis Reed, Kirk Gibson, and Michael Jordan playing with the flu combined into a 154 lb. Japanese body. If there is ever a sequel to Braveheart I would suggest Mel Gibson step down from the role of William Wallace and give it to this man.
Chestnut has questioned Kobayashi's intestinal fortitude, literally, and called him a faker. But if you ask me, a certain Rumble in the Jungle comes to mind when I see Kobayashi go through the motions of keeping his mouth closed. Could we be seeing a sandbag effort like Muhammed Ali's famous rope-a-dope tactic versus George Foreman? Methinks so. If this historic comeback occurs I propose we tear down the Statue of Liberty and replace it with a shrine to Kobayashi, bronzed hot dog in hand.
However, the heart of a patriotic American stirs inside of me. I can only hope that Joey Chestnut can take defend our homeland and defeat the bohemoth. While a loss to Kobayashi would not go down in history as a day in infamy like Pearl Harbor in 1941 it would at least be as heartbreaking of a moment as opening day of Michael Bay's film version of Pearl Harbor. Americans all over still have yet to forgive Ben Affleck for that.
A loss from Chestnut would only increase the world's increasing view of America as a falling power. Every great empire falls. Could this be the beginning of the end for the leader of the free world? When you go to bed tonight I suggest you say a prayer that Joey "Jaws" Chestnut takes a stand against the Godzilla of Eating Contests. If he can't hold off this beast then what's to stop him from eating us out of our own houses? Enjoy your 4th of July my red-blooded Americans, I will be storing some Ball Park Franks in my basement. God Bless America. We're going to need all the help we can get.