Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



I watched the annual July 4 hot dog-eating contest at Coney Island yesterday. I don’t know why. Perhaps because Melanie Collins hosted on ESPN2, and she’s amazing.

What a debacle. Disgusting. Totally devoid of dignity.

I overeat. (Gee, no kidding? Really?) But not on television, and not in drooling, spitting and slobbering fashion.

The winner, 10-time “champion” Joey Chestnut, only got $10K.

You gobble, choke, gulp and sweat on national TV, and you only get $10K. I'd say Chestnut is underpaid, except I can’t believe he gets paid at all.

Another big gripe: They don’t really eat hot dogs.

They deconstruct the hot dogs, then chow down. Dip the buns in water, etc. What they eat isn’t a hot dog.

Keep the dog intact. Put on some mustard and relish. Kraut. Onions. Chili-cheese. That’s a hot dog. Eat those. That’s a contest. Make 'em a foot long, like Eddie's at Conneaut Lake.

The hot dog-eating contest is just stupid. No skill is required besides gluttony and lack of self-respect.

But Melanie Collins, though…

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