Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Greatest American Athlete of All-Time

Michael Jordan, Alex Rodriguez, and Tiger Woods all have one thing in common: They are undoubtedly the best our generation has given us at their respective sports. But, who among them deserves the title "Greatest American Athlete of All-Time?" That award should go to another superhuman: Joseph Christian "Jaws" Chestnut.

Fame and fortune rewarded the efforts of the first three elite athletes I named. The fourth is merely a college student, but already arguably the greatest competitor ever to live. EVER.

Growing up, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut must have wanted to be the best, Wondering, what is it that America does best? Baseball? Basketball? The answer was so obvious. (Think loathing health officials and jealous media members. "Blah, Blah, Blah... obesity epidemic, Blah, Blah, Blah.") Americans can eat!

(Feel free to boo this next bad pun and explain to the other people in the room why you are booing -- don't forget to give them the full www address). Hungry to achieve, Joey challenged himself to become the best competitive eater in the world.  The San Jose State University student broke into competitive eating just five years ago, and has since built up a resume that any overweight American would envy. 

He ranks #1 in the world and just this weekend he devoured 47 burritos in 10 minutes to set another record (the reason I'm writing this blog today -- timeliness).

Here are a few of his most notable career highlights (just typing out this list gives me a stomach ache):

- 1 gallon of milk in 41 seconds
- 103 hamburgers in 8 minutes
- 241 chicken wings in 30 minutes
- 10.5 LBS of macaroni and cheese in 7 minutes
- 231 gyoza (time unknown)
- 45 slices of pizza (time unknown)

Finally, his greatest and best known feat -- on July 4, 2009 -  he devoured 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Some naysayers might incorrectly argue that competitive eating is not a sport. An international governing body called Major League Eating runs it. There are rules, rankings, records, and most importantly, competition.  Above all, like in baseball, hockey, football, and soccer, food competitions take training and preparation, there are clear winners and losers, and vomiting is frowned upon (although that applies outside of sports as well).

Joey Chestnut does it better than anyone else.  He has become the best American at what Americans do best.  That is why he deserves the title "Greatest American Athlete of All-Time"

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