America Opens Wide On Birthday


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It was fitting that America finally celebrated a victory in the sporting world yesterday, on July 4, when patriot [Joey Chestnut became the world champion] for hot dog eating, smashing the world record in the process. Chestnut consumed 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes at the Coney Island competition, a mind-boggling pace that calculates to one every 10.9 seconds. Competitive-eating juggernaut and international sensation [Kobayashi](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takeru_Kobayashi), who competed [against doctors' orders](http://www.nypress.com/blogx/display_blog.cfm?bid=42494307), downed a personal-best 63 dogs, but it wasn’t enough, as his six-year reign as International Federation of Competitive Eating [champion came to an end](http://www.ifoce.com/).


Thankfully, the good old USofA has now regained its dignity in world competition, as we have had our struggles of late on the international stage. In the first-ever [World Baseball Classic] last year, which centered around America’s national pastime, the USA finished behind Japan, Cuba, Korea and the Dominican Republic. We have also had some embarrassing losses in basketball recently—a sport we used to dominate—falling to athletically irrelevant countries like Greece, Argentina and worst of all, Yugoslavia. For the record, Yugoslavia [isn’t even a country anymore](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbia_and_Montenegro). Finally, however, Joey Chestnut has restored some respect to the Stars and Stripes, by flaunting Americans’ greatest strengths: our big mouths, even bigger appetites and our shamelessness.


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