Takeru Kobayashi is arguably the most celebrated competitive eater of all-time. In simple comparison terms, he’s the Tiger Woods of the sport (minus the password-free Blackberry).
Kobayashi was a gastro-athlete who combined a remarkable ease of winning with a dominant six-year run of laying waste to hot dogs and pounds of hamburger meat while making the sport seem okay to like. We all stood in awe and watched his amazing prowess.
And then, it all came crashing down. First it was the losses to Joey Chestnut, and then last year it was Kobayashi’s arrest for storming the stage of Nathan’s July 4th hot dog eating competition after he was banned from participating because of a dispute with organizers.
Now, comes the final nail in the coffin of Kobayashi’s once sterling reputation. The six-time champion, the former record holder at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Competition has had his name removed from the “Wall of Fame” by Major League Eating.
The horror! It’s like discovering Santa Claus is not real (he totally is, if you’re a little kid reading this!).
“The wall has been changed a few different times,” said organizer Richard Shea, according to the Daily News. “And they were all great eaters at the time.” It is difficult to determine if his nonchalance regarding the sport’s tarnished hero is covering up something larger or if the removal of Kobayashi’s name is just business as usual to promote the current stars.
Kobayashi, 32, could not be reached for comment, but it’s rumored he’s planning on eating the officials out of revenge. He was conditionally cleared of resisting arrest, trespassing and obstructing governmental administration at Kings County Criminal Court on August 4, 2010.
No word yet on whether he’ll be participating in the 2011 event.