Joey Chestnut Is Still Competing On July 4, Despite His Nathan's Ban

Joey Chestnut winning Nathan's hot dog contest
Joey Chestnut winning Nathan's hot dog contest - Bobby Bank/Getty Images

There have been few people in recorded human history who were as good at anything as Joey Chestnut is at eating, as he's the owner of more competitive eating records than anyone in history. And Chestnut is unquestionably best-known for downing hot dogs at the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island, including his record-setting July 4th performance in 2021. Thanks to an ugly public spat with Major League Eating over his sponsorship deal with plant-based Impossible Foods, however, 16-time champion Chestnut was unceremoniously banned from Nathan's 2024 hot dog contest. Now, though, it looks like Chestnut is going to be competing on July 4th after all -- albeit not with Nathan's.

Ahead of the September Netflix showdown between Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi, the Vallejo, California native is set to compete against military service members in El Paso, Texas -- though the contest will look a bit different than the one he's best-known for, as it pits Chestnut against not one competitor, but four working in concert. Organized by U.S. Army base Fort Bliss, the contest is banking on the idea that he himself is a bigger draw than the Nathan's event -- and they might well be right.

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Chestnut's New Contest Plays By Some Different Rules

Joey Chestnut eating chicken wings
Joey Chestnut eating chicken wings - John Normile/Getty Images

Despite being the greatest competitive eater in history, Chestnut got into some boiling water with Nathan's and Major League Eating over his sponsorship deal with Impossible Foods. Impossible's recent launch of a plant-based vegan dog was ruled a breach of competition rules since the company is regarded as a competitor to Nathan's. As a result, Chestnut was dropped from the competition. A representative for MLE said in a statement sent to Daily Meal: "We hope that he returns when he is not representing a rival brand."

In the meantime, he's off to Texas, where the rules of the Fort Bliss contest are a bit different than Nathan's, for some obvious reasons. The duration will be five minutes rather than the typical ten featured at Nathan's, and will pit Chestnut squarely against soldiers. Seemingly, no one individual present at Fort Bliss could beat Chestnut in single hot dog combat -- which is why he's competing against four of them at once. This means Chestnut's total of downed dogs will be weighed against the combined total of the other competitors. We don't yet know whether the competition will be televised or live-streamed, however, but it'll add even more to Chestnut's fame if we can all watch.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.