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  1. #1
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    Kobayashi to miss Hot Dog Eating Contest

    I thought about posting this under sports, but I guess it didn't really matter if showed up here or there.

    With the U.S. out of the World Cup, time for some news about the other sport of the future: Takeru Kobayashi, a six-time winner of Nathanís Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, will not compete in this yearís iconic event at Coney Island, The Wall Street Journal's Metropolis blog reported Monday.

    Kobayashi, perhaps the most recognizable figure in the world of competitive eating, is currently ranked No. 3 in the world by Major League Eating (MLE), the organization that oversees the Nathanís Famous event and dozens of other contests around the globe. Attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

    Is the slender 32-year-old from Japan too full to compete? Has he suffered another jaw injury? Nope. Itís a contractual dispute between him and MLE, according to the league.

    Professional eaters sign contracts agreeing that theyíll participate in only MLE-sanctioned events; these contracts donít guarantee pay for eaters, who instead earn money from league-approved endorsements and prize earnings. Richard Shea, the organizationís president, issued a statement Monday indicating that negotiations with the 160-pound professional eater had reached an impasse, but offered no other details. Reached in the afternoon, MLE chairman George Shea (and brother of Richard) declined to elaborate.

    During his six consecutive Nathanís wins from 2001-2006, Kobayashi seemed unbeatable until the coveted Mustard Belt was brought back to the U.S. in 2007 by California resident Joey Chestnut. Since then, Kobayashi has been defeated a number of times, and not just in the leagueís premier event. This leads some eaters in the league to speculate that he may want to retire from competitive eating on a relatively high note, rather than gradually slide out of memory.

    Competition on the eating circuit has increased dramatically in the past few years, and even top-ranked Chestnut (who has won Nathanís the past three years) can be beaten. In the past year, No. 2-ranked Bob Shoudt of Philadelphia has out-eaten Chestnut in ribs, grits and chili spaghetti championships.
    http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story...Contest-062810

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    Re: Kobayashi to miss Hot Dog Eating Contest

    He was arrested today trying to storm the stage:
    [youtube:qm2gllyt]sAwrD0et2aU[/youtube:qm2gllyt]

  3. #3
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    Re: Kobayashi to miss Hot Dog Eating Contest

    I wonder if this was before or after the event. I know Chestnut was talking shit about Kobayashi not being in the event after he won today.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Kobayashi to miss Hot Dog Eating Contest

    The arrest is explained in this article:

    New York (CNN) -- He didn't compete for the hot dog eating title this year, but he did cause a scene at the contest.

    Takeru Kobayashi was arrested at Coney Island after his rival, Joey Chestnut, won the annual Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

    The six-time champion of the contest was trying to make his way on stage after this year's event, according to a representative for Kobayashi and a New York police officer at the Brooklyn precinct booking desk.

    The incident was not a publicity stunt, Maggie James, Kobayashi's spokeswoman, said Sunday night.

    "He got excited when people chanted his name after the contest .... so he jumped up on the stage because he wanted his fans to see him and (he thought) maybe they would chant, 'Let him eat,'" James said, referring to a dispute that kept Kobayashi from the table this year.

    Kobayashi -- who took home the title every year from 2001 to 2006 -- did not compete because of a contract dispute with Major League Eating. He watched from the stands.

    Chestnut won by consuming 54 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. The win -- Chestnut's fourth straight -- was short of his 68-hot dog record set last year.

    A statement from the New York Police Department's public affairs office following the arrest said Kobayashi was charged with two misdemeanors and one violation, with the violation considered a low-level charge similar to a traffic violation. The two misdemeanors were resisting arrest and obstructing government administration (specifically, interfering with police). The violation was trespassing.

    Kobayashi was being held at a police precinct in Brooklyn, and it was unclear whether he had a lawyer or when he might have bail set.

    His spokeswoman, James, said it appeared that he would spend the night in jail unless he could get a hearing -- unlikely on a Sunday night and also a holiday night.

    In the days leading up to the event, Kobayashi said he loves the contest and he wanted to participate, but that the contract was too restrictive. Speaking through a Japanese interpreter, he said that all his income is earned through competitive eating. He said the new contract required by the competition would bar him from competing elsewhere in the United States or Canada for a year.

    Both sides said contract negotiations went on until Saturday morning.

    MLE chairman George Shea called Kobayashi's arrest "unfortunate."

    "It makes you wonder what his thinking was," Shea said.

    "Major League Eating made an enormous effort to get him into the contest," he added. "We wanted him there. Nathan's wanted him there. The fans wanted him there."

    Hailing from Japan and weighing in at 160 pounds, Kobayashi, 31, rose to frank-feasting stardom in 2001 when he devoured 50 dogs, shattering the previously held record of 25 1/8.

    But in 2007, having entered the challenge with a jaw injury, Kobayashi met his match in Chestnut.

    Chestnut, the 230-pound contender from San Jose, California, downed 66 dogs to Kobayashi's 63 that year. Kobayashi has not won the competition since, and Chestnut is currently ranked No. 1 in competitive eating by the MLE.

    For a hot dog to be counted as finished, competitors must consume both the hot dog and the bun.

    Currently ranked third, Kobayashi still holds world records for eating cow brains (17.7 pounds in 15 minutes), lobster rolls (41 in 15 minutes) and rice balls (20 pounds in 30 minutes).

    "This guy did great things for our sport," Shea said. "He's a fearsome competitor."
    SOURCE: http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/07/04/kob...ex.html?hpt=T2

    I'm just surprised that this league is organized to the extent that they actually have no-compete contracts. Amazing.

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    Post Kobayashi Freed from Jail

    Japanese hot dog eating champ leaves NY jail after hot dog fracas, says he's hungry

    NEW YORK

    Japanese eating champion Takeru Kobayashi, arrested at a July Fourth hot dog-eating contest, was freed Monday after a night in jail, looking a little weary and saying he was hungry.

    Kobayashi, wearing a black T-shirt bearing the message "Free Kobi" in green letters, was freed by a Brooklyn judge after he pleaded not guilty. The slim, boyish 32-year-old said he consumed only a sandwich and some milk in jail.

    A contract dispute had kept Kobayashi out of Sunday's annual Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest, but he showed up anyway.

    "I was there as a spectator, just to cheer on my buddies," he said through an interpreter outside court Monday. Fans chanted for him, and "in the heat of it, I jumped on the stage, hoping they would let me eat."

    His attorney, Mario D. Romano, said his client was waved up onstage after spectators began chanting "Let him eat!"

    "Shortly after he got on the stage, he was grabbed from behind by officers," Romano said.

    Kobayashi was charged with obstruction of governmental administration, resisting arrest, trespassing and disorderly conduct.

    Kobayashi, who's currently living in New York, had refused to sign a contract with Major League Eating, the fast food equivalent of the NFL. On his Japanese-language blog, he said he wanted to be free to enter contests sanctioned by other groups.

    But a few days ago, he told Japan's Kyodo News: "I really want to compete in the (Coney Island) event."

    Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, of San Jose, Calif., won by downing 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

    After witnessing the drama involving Kobayashi, Chestnut said, "I feel bad for him."

    Chestnut claimed the mustard-yellow champion's belt and a $20,000 purse but was disappointed with his own performance. The 26-year-old was aiming for a record 70 dogs in 10 minutes. Last year, he ate 68 dogs, four more than Kobayashi.

    Major League Eating issued a statement calling Kobayashi's actions "inappropriate and unfortunate."

    "Kobayashi was a great champion and we hope that he is able to resolve his current situation and move past this," the organization said.
    SOURCE: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/07/05...est=latestnews

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