After a couple of years of being held in different places based on the Coronavirus pandemic the time-honored Nathan’s hot dog eating contest was back on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenue’s in Coney Island. 2020 found the event going virtual and last year it was at the nearby baseball stadium but there is truly nothing like having this out on the street in front of the very first Nathan’s restaurant. As expected there were thousands in attendance and the heat of the day was about 85 degrees but sadly I would not be out there in the mix and instead was tuning in again from the household. Truth be told, despite my going to some concerts and conventions I’m not 100% there yet with a crowd like this one that is heaped on top of each other with barely an inch to breathe. I think the media gets placed in a special area of their own but having never looked into the whole thing I was not certain. The rallying was mostly behind the current and continued men’s champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut but there were a few notable contenders looking to unseat him. For the women, Miki Sudo was returning and looking to claim the belt back from last year’s champion Michelle Lesco. I am happy to report that both Chestnut and Sudo won their side of the competition.
Last year, the annual tradition of the hot dog eating content that happens at the Coney Island Nathan’s was held virtually due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. There was an EXTREMELY limited audience of dignitaries and press but for the rest of us it was time to tune into the broadcast on ESPN. Now in 2021, the world is slowly but surely moving towards a better place but instead of being on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues the event would be held at the nearby MCU Park baseball stadium. There were thousands present but you needed an access to enter since it was in the stadium and like many event spaces you needed to show vaccination proof. I had interest in attending but had only just returned from a family vacation so didn’t look into working this out. The odds were high that Joey Chestnut would once again bring home the Mustard Belt but the women’s champion Miki Sudo would be sitting this one out based on being pregnant.