The Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest will go on with no fans (but with Mike Golic Jr. and Jason Fitz on site) at the usual location in Coney Island. Like any other sporting event attempting to soldier on with the backdrop of a global pandemic looming, it will be a difficult endeavor. Contenders coming in from certain states will have to quarantine for 14 days. Getting down to Coney Island comes with the risk of infection. There are a lot of variables.
However, I humbly suggest an alternative to Major League Eating that would eliminate many of those variables. I offer up my empty apartment in Astoria as the location for Joey Chestnut to continue his reign as the best professional eater in history. Space will be limited, as I did not win the lottery recently and am living in an apartment the size one might expect from a 24-year-old in New York City. But there are few downsides otherwise!
Consider: it has been empty since May. There is no lingering bacteria to worry about. It is also a 15-minute walk from LaGuardia's Marina terminal, meaning competitors can simply stroll to the front door rather than risk an Uber or Lyft or an actual taxi. If MLE has the resources to move my furniture around, there's enough space for the standard Hot Dog Eating Contest table we've seen on TV all those years. I have a nice Kendrick Lamar tapestry to serve as backdrop. There are two bedrooms (one of which is a decent size), and a queen-sized air mattress for whoever draws that short straw. There are no windows in the living room, so sunlight won't be an issue for the broadcast team to deal with. All-unnatural, baby. I have a pretty good air conditioner, and my god is my ice machine kick-ass. Cool beverages for everyone!
Now, there would be some conditions. First, I would like a signed Joey Chestnut hot dog for my willingness to give up my home. Doesn't seem like a big ask. Second, a clean-up crew would have to be included. I can't lose my security deposit because of hot dog water stains on the floor that will never go away, not to mention that the bathroom would definitely need a deep clean after the contest. Third, please do not touch my bookcases. I went through a big (read: not very big) effort to organize them by author and series. If my Eragon collection is out of place, I will notice.
Honestly, I don't see a downside if those conditions are met for either party. I can say Joey Chestnut ate many hot dogs in the same spot I usually play video games and drink cheap beer. If all parties involved are comfortable, his competitors can fly in, walk to the apartment, compete, and leave in the same day, solving many a logistical issue. They can Support Local Businesses and order stellar cannolis from Martha's Country Bakery around the corner for dessert. It would show MLE is a real organization of the people if they held their biggest event at a humble residence of a humble fan.
I can be reached via my direct line. I'll be waiting your call, MLE.