Takeru KobayashiSonya “The Black Widow” ThomasPatrick “Deep Dish” BertolettiI won’t even bother trying to explain or defend my position on Competitive Eating because it totally rules and that’s just the way it is. Hey, it’s covered live on ESPN so it’s got to be a real sport, right?

The sport has really taken off due to recent live televised coverage of the Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest held annually since 1916 on the 4th of July at Nathan’s Coney Island. With the help of The International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOC) the sport continues to grow to almost mainstream heights.

Another key factor in competitive eating’s rise to fame lies in the hands, and stomach, of it’s number one ranked star Takeru Kobayashi. If you are in a contest with Kobayashi you are going to loose. He is the Michael Jordan of eating. The Japanese wonder is also responsible for changing the perception that in order to win an eating event one must be fat. At just 165 pounds Kobayashi proved the power of training and technique over shear girth. Some recent records include 97 Krystal Burgers in 8 minutes and 53 3/4 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and buns in 12 minutes.

My favorite eater has to be Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas. Although she weighs in at miniscule 105 lbs, she is currently ranked number 4 in the world and has some amazing wins under her tiny belt. 11 lbs of Downtown Atlantic Cheesecake in 9 minutes and 44 Maine Lobsters (11.3 Pounds of meat) in 12 minutes.

I also have to mention Chicago home town eating hero Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti. The 21 year old culinary student has risen to a number 3 ranking in only a couple short years and shows no signs of slowing. He’s eaten nearly 2 lbs of chocolate in 7 minutes and a whole 5 lb turkey in 12 minutes.

Feeling hungry yet?