Last Monday, the United States celebrated its birthday with the 4th of July. A day for remembrance, celebration and apparently hot dogs. Yes, it was the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog eating contest at Coney Island in New York City.  It’s an annual event that gets its own hour or so time slot on ESPN. Why would they devote airtime to a hot dog eating contest you may ask. Well read on and I’ll give you my take on the whole affair.

I probably wouldn’t even know that this event existed if it wasn’t for my family. During family vacation every year, we watch the contest on TV and also grill Nathan’s brand hotdogs as a sort of 4th of July event.

So basically they stuff their faces with hot dogs for 10 minutes and the winner receives The Mustard Belt, a cheap belt knockoff you’d probably find at a bargain store. Joey Chestnut (pictured below), who hails from San Jose, California, won for the 5th year in a row with more then 60 dogs. All the competitors are on this stage and each get their own judge to count eaten dogs and a podium girl who flip panels on a pole to count each eater’s eaten dogs. It has this whole pageantry and the hour long slot has little promos highlighting various eaters.

This whole event and everything that comes with it are probably one of the grossest things I have ever seen. These people just stuff food repeatedly into their mouths and don’t even wait to finish one hotdog before shoving in the next one. These people aren’t just proficient at eating hotdogs, but are champions of eating the most jalapenos, oysters or french fries in whatever amount of time. No wonder we’re such an obese nation when there is this event, given prime time TV coverage, that glorifies mass consumption. Instead of eating hotdogs they should have an event where people compete to plant the most trees or pick up the most trash, something that actually would benefit us and our planet.

So you will have to wait till next 4th of July to witness the spectacle that is the Nathan’s Famous HotDog Eating Contest. I know I’ve already mostly blocked the very graphic nature of it from my brain.