Kobayashi to compete in Safeco Field Hot Dog Eating Contest
The Great American 4th of July tradition of the hot dog eating contest once again comes to Safeco Field, and this year, a surprise contestant is hoping to live up to his name.
The Second Annual Safeco Field Charity Hot Dog Chow Down will take place just before Wednesday’s Mariners game against the Baltimore Orioles (1:10pm first pitch). Among the contestants will be one named Kobayashi. Not the great competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi, but Nobuyuki Kobayashi, who covers the Mariners for Tokyo’s Daily Sports.
Kobayashi’s competition includes KING 5’s Chris Egan and Jesse Jones, Q13’s Bill Wixey, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune, Mike Salk and Matt Pitman of 710 ESPN, and Kevin Shockey of Sportsradio 950 KJR. All contestants will be vying for bragging rights, and a $1,000 check to the charity of his choice.
Although Shockey is the defending champion (four hot dogs consumed in two minutes), a lot of the pre-event buzz has focused on Kobayashi, also known as Nobu.
And what has Kobayashi done to prepare?
“Everyone has been asking. I have to try to find out how to not have heartburn. Maybe I will have enough breakfast in the morning,” says Kobayashi.
While some speed eaters stretch their stomachs before a big match, he finds fault with that approach.
“Two minutes is very quick. It doesn’t matter how big your stomach is but how fast you can put (the hot dogs) in your mouth,” says Kobayashi.
In preparation, he’s been watching his name-sake, who last year downed 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes at an “unofficial” contest in New York.
A quick check of YouTube shows the following Kobayashi technique:
- Separate the sausage from the bun.
- Eat the sausage.
- Dip the bun in water, crumple it in a ball, shove it in your mouth.
- Repeat, repeatedly.
- Do a little dance every few mouthfuls to help it all go down the esophagus.
Kobayahsi thinks this will help him not only win, but survive the match. “After eating I have to work. I can’t get sick.”
If he wins, Kobayashi will donate the prize to Japan earthquake and tsunami relief.
If you’re not at Safeco Field on Wednesday for this epic match-up, you may miss your only chance to see Kobayashi—at least Nobu—in action. He vows, “If I cannot win, I will retire.”