Naked Hot Dog Contest? Not in Chicago

lesco"I can't wait to burp."

That’s what tiny hot dog eating champ Michelle Lesco said after eating 28 Nathan’s hot dogs in ten minutes to win the tune-up competition in Bloomingdale, IL before going to the Big Leagues at Coney Island, New York, on July 4.

Kinda makes you proud to be an American, her statement.

But Lesco is from …. Arizona? You mean to tell me that a tiny little thing (albeit with the belch of a truck driver) from somewhere near the Cubs Spring Training camp can outdo a Chicago native at eating hot dogs?

Eric “Badlands” Booker came close, with 27 Nathan’s dogs consumed – and at four times the weight of Lesco (and a cool nickname), he looks the part of the prodigious Chicago trencherman.

You’d  think the intimidation factor alone would have sent Lesco packing. But the only packing she did was packing it away for a chance at the crown in NYC with the likes of last year’s female champion Sonya Thomas of Alexandria; VA, who will defend her title. Thomas ate 36-3/4” hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes last year. You have to love the “3/4.”

As for the men – it’s almost inconceivable that anyone, including Badlands Booker, could touch the world record set by Joey Chestnut of San Jose, CA, who ate 69 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes in 2013.

He’ll be gunning for his eighth straight title this year.

As a Chicagoan and a guy who enjoys hot dogs at a more leisurely pace, I’m hatching a plan. Let’s have a competition of our own, with the good folks at Vienna Beef – but at our competition, there will be no dipping of a naked dog in water.

We’re bigger than that – and better. Let’s make our hot dog eating contest all about the Chicago Style hot dog. Every dog has to be lathered in yellow mustard. Every dog will have to have green relish and onions and tomato slices and a dill spear and yes! Sport peppers!  And a generous dusting of celery salt.

Let’s see how many of THOSE you can eat in ten minutes, Lesco!  You thought you felt like burping before.

The winner of the Chicago Dog Contest will receive a “Go to the Front of the Line” pass for Hot Doug’s up until closing day in October for you and a friend. Of course you’ll still have to pay cash for your dog when you’re there. That’s the Chicago Way.

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