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Competitors weigh in for Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest

Competitors weigh in for Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest
Competitors weigh in for Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest 02:08

NEW YORK - Tens of thousands are expected to converge on Coney Island for the holiday weekend, and no Fourth of July celebration would be complete without the Hot Dog Eating Contest.

CBS2's Steve Overmyer was on hand Friday as the top dogs weighed in.

The top eaters in the world have been weighed and measured and found wanting more hot dogs.

"I can't wait. It's such a rush of energy, competing in front of the crowd. I really feed off the screaming and the yelling and the cheers. It's a great feeling," said Miki Sudo, the top-ranked female eater.

For the first time in three years, the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest will welcome back 25,000 fans to Surf and Stillwell.

"When Joey Chestnut is introduced, we are going to raise the roof. I am talking the dome of heaven will collapse," MLE emcee George Shea said.

Shea's over-the-top presentation sets the tone for the event, and year after year we all join together in a laugh.

"It is a real contest. It's incredibly hard fought, but it's also very light-hearted, very fun, very silly, and it's just perfect for the Fourth of July," Shea said.

"Is it a celebration of absurdity?" Overmyer asked.

"It is a celebration of absurdity. When you see me rap with Badlands Booker, we are in the absurd," Shea said.

Joey Chesnut is the undisputed 14-time holder of the yellow mustard belt. He sets a new record seemingly every year, but this year the champ is on the ropes with a foot injury.

"You got an injury, and injuries can always be a game changer," Overmyer said.

"I think I feel better than I look. I look pretty rough in the leg, but I'm gonna go out there, and I'm gonna go out hungry and I'm gonna eat. It's something I love doing, and this Fourth of July, I'm gonna push it," Chestnut said.

This has emerged as the greatest sporting event on the Fourth of July, as synonymous with the holiday as football is with Thanksgiving.

"It's awesome that you mention the hot dog contest in the same sentence as NFL on Thanksgiving ... We're Americans. We love sports, we love food, and we love America," Chestnut said.

And nothing honors the birth of America like a little gluttony.

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