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This is what it takes to be a competitive eating champ. 

By Dan Gartland
July 03, 2019

This is what it takes to be a competitive eating champ

The Fourth of July is fast approaching, and that means it’s almost time for Joey Chestnut to test the limits of the human stomach.

Ahead of the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, ESPN premiered a new “30 for 30” documenting the rivalry between Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi. I couldn’t stomach watching the whole thing, but I’m glad I saw this clip of how Chestnut trains for competitions. 

Despite what some people may say, that video makes it clear that competitive eaters certainly are athletes. Chestnut isn’t just some guy that likes to eat a lot of food and sometimes does it for money. He’s chewing on stress balls and lifting weights with his teeth to make sure his eating muscles are in tip-top shape.

But don’t get me wrong, the whole thing is still profoundly silly. He’s purposefully filling his stomach with air and making physically squeezing it out to produce some earth-shattering burps. It’s no wonder he works out at home and not in a gym. 

No matter how ridiculous it looks, there’s no denying Chestnut’s training system works. At age 35, he’s won 11 of the last 12 Nathan’s contests and has extended his own world record in each of the past three years. How long does he have to keep doing this until we get glowing profiles about “The JC74 Method”?

What a thriller between the U.S. and England

The USWNT advanced to the World Cup final after beating England in an absolute barn burner

Christen Press and Alex Morgan were the goal scorers in the 2–1 victory, but goalie Alyssa Naeher was the hero with her late penalty save. 

Most of the talk, though, was about Morgan’s amazing celebration after her go-ahead goal. 

Everyone loved it—except for people in England, of course

Too bad. This team’s attitude is what makes it so fun. I hope the players are researching Dutch and Swedish stereotypes to mock with their celebrations in the final. 

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Email dan.gartland@simail.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.

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