HOT DOG!

Ken Hoffman's inside scoop on hot dog king Joey Chestnut's controversial Nathan's Famous world record

Joey Chestnut was ready to break his previous world record. Photo by Ken Hoffman

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

Competitive eating legends Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo repeated as gentlemen's and ladies' champions in a Nathan's Famous July 4th Hot Dog Eating contest filled with controversy, accusations of incompetent judging, hot and saucy weather, and a disqualification for the books. 

Chestnut's official count was 74 hot dogs and buns, a new world's record, while Sudo gorged on 37, which is four off the number she ate last year. It was Chestnut's 11th title, Sudo's fifth.  

That's what the record books will show. The men's contest ended with judges showing that Chestnut consumed only 64 hot dogs, while a fast recount came up with 74 hot dogs. 

The 74 total was certified as official by a local district attorney, so credit Chestnut with a new record, besting the 73.5 hot dogs he inhaled at a Nathan's qualifying contest two years ago. 

The inside story
Since I was one of two judges in charge of counting Chestnut's hot dogs, here's the story behind the story:

This was my 11th year as a judge in Coney Island and my third year counting Chestnut's hot dogs. In previous years, judges stood in front of contestants, practically eyeball-to-eyeball. We could see every morsel the contestants ate. 

This year, judges stood on a platform well below the contestants. When the contest began, Chestnut was partially hidden behind a mountain of 30 hot dogs, stacked high on paper plates, five to a plate. 

Each contestant had two judges in front of him, one to count the hot dogs, the other to flip a scorecard so ESPN could keep a running total for viewers. I was the flipper for Chestnut. My job was to show my scorecard to the ESPN reporter behind me, then turn and show the scorecard to emcee George Shea and the young woman holding a scorecard for the 35,000 fans crowding the corner of Surf and Stillwell in Coney Island. Plus, an ESPN camera person was elbowing me trying to get closeups of Chestnut. So I was pretty busy. 

Fact: Judges didn't have a good view of the contestants in action. Poor planning to lower the judges' platform. How can you judge (count) what you can't see?

64 or 74?
When the final whistle blew, my scorecard read 64 hot dogs. Immediately, Chestnut protested, claiming he ate 74. He showed 14 paper plates, demonstrating that he ate 70, plus a remaining plate with only one dog, meaning 74 total. 

Read more at CultureMap.

HARRIS COUNTY-HOUSTON SPORTS AUTHORITY INSIDER

United States Bowling Congress Open coming to Houston in 2022

Bowling will roll into Houston in 2022. Getty Images

The Harris County – Houston Sports Authority Insider will take you inside Houston Sports each Friday because #WeAreHoustonSports!

One of the world's largest participation sports events in the world is headed to Houston.

Approximately 50,000 bowlers will converge on the Bayou City for the 2022 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships. The 119th edition of the event will be played at a new mixed-use, state-of-the-art sports facitily that is being developed in North Houston.

Bowling is just the latest in a line of sports that have chosen Houston as a destination for a big event. The five-month run of events is expected to drive an economic impact between $75 million and $100 million.

"What an amazing opportunity for Houston and Harris County,'' said Chris Massey, Harris County – Houston Sports Authority Director of Events. "When you combine ingredients like a world-class sports town, an amazing new venue, and a top-notch event such as the USBC Open Championships, you really can't help but get excited.''

The city will also host the 2020 Men's Basketball Regional, the 2020 U.S. Women's Open, the 2021 World Transplant Games, 2023 Men's Final Four, 2024 College Football Playoff. In addition, the city was named to host one of eight XFL teams and is positioned to possibly become one of the 10 U.S. cities that will host 2026 World Cup games.

The 2020 Open Championships marks the first time bowlers will bring their marquee event to Houston. Since its inception in 1901, the event has been held all across the United States and 2020 will be the tournament's fifth trip to Texas, joining Fort Worth (1957), Corpus Christi (1992, 2006) and El Paso (2015) as hosts.

"We're excited to bring the Open Championships to a new host city in Houston, which has proven itself to be among the nation's elite and top-tier sports destinations," USBC President Karl Kielich said. "The opportunity to be the first major event in a new sports complex demonstrates the success and strength of the USBC Open Championships."

Participants will compete in three average-based divisions and the event will include enough lanes for the Open Championships, the Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC and team practice sessions.

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