Every year, competitive eaters assemble at Coney Island and gorge themselves on hot dogs in a fit of clean, lowest-common-denominator entertainment. Through my travels I’ve met some people who really like the tradition and others who find it mildly amusing. Finding someone who has a strong negative feeling toward Joey Chestnut and others pigging out has been more difficult.
Peter King, accomplished football writer, fits the bill.
As ESPN’s 30 for 30 on the sport aired last night, the NBC scribe offered his thoughts:
This is not the first time King has made his displeasure known. Here he is in 2017 debating the morality of the contest:
It is admirable to point out the issue of child hunger in America. The fact that 1 in 5 kids goes hungry at some point during the year is a national disgrace.
At the same time, there are a few different avenues to challenge King’s position should a person be interested. In total, we’re talking about a few hundred hot dogs. One wonders how many hot dogs are thrown away at NFL stadiums on a given weekend.
Also, he covers the NFL, where the disconnect between greed and basic needs is on full display. Each and every contract could conceivably bring the same handwringing. The league is also built on guys destroying their brains and lives for entertainment and has a serious domestic abuse problem.
Anyway, as we head into the Fourth of July, perhaps this is the perfect thing to look at to highlight how great this country is. King can say the hot dog contest is bad and you can respectfully disagree. Then we can all move on to the next thing civilly.
Something to chew on there.