116 Comments
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

John, I'm totally fine with this column 😎🤣

You absolutely Clinched it, by quoting THE Mike Leach!!

Expand full comment
author

It fit so well.

Expand full comment

Leach was and still is one of if not the most intelligent football coach in the NCAA.

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

John, you nailed it. I have been thinking the exact same thing all morning. Joey is not an athlete. A performer for sure. Good timely article. And in my experience the handshake test is spot on.

Expand full comment
author

I always feel sick after watching someone eat so much.

Expand full comment

Yep me too

Expand full comment

Ditto

Expand full comment

I thought a 2nd maple bar with coffee in the morning was a big deal...after reading that list of accomplishments I may never eat a hard-boiled egg again let alone a big Mac

Expand full comment
author

How fast do you eat those maple bars?

Expand full comment

Very slowly but then I'm old and choose to enjoy the intake...

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

“There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games,” Ernest Hemingway once wrote

‘nuff said 🏁

GO DAWGS

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Hemingway said that after two too many single malts. Anyone who thinks torturing an animal in front of thousands of screaming people (can't call them fans) is drunk, nuts or both.

Expand full comment
author

He knew the audience

Expand full comment

Unfortunately, you are likely right.

Expand full comment

It's primitive and disgusting. I always root for the bull.

And Europeans think they're so sophisticated?

Expand full comment

Single malts + decades = changed perspective

GO DAWGS

Expand full comment

Ahh, single malts, "those were the days, my friends; we thought they'd never end, we'd drink and dance the night away". Been thirty eight years ago for me.

Expand full comment

10 here, your 38 is my high bar.

Expand full comment

One day at a time, my brother. Next thing you know you have 'em racked up, but are also a very old (but wiser) guy. Play on, Charlie

Expand full comment

Anyone here been watching all that cage fighting on ESPN? I have not, except for the unavoidable promos, but it is a helluva lot more savage than the bull ring.

Expand full comment

I agree Charles that cage fighting is despicable, however I agree with Eric, no animals die and both cage fighters make a choice.

Expand full comment

No people or animals die in a cage fight.

Expand full comment

Once in a while.

Expand full comment

The bulls die approximately 100% of the time in a bull fight.

Expand full comment

Too soon to tell but would expect dementia to start showing up around 40-45 and severe handicap or death anytime around or after 50 yrs of age. I have no argument or opposition to your feelings about the bulls, but in either case it's a no win deal. My issue is condemning cultures of which we have no knowledge or experience. That's why I qualified my initial comment by asking if anyone had ever seen a bull fight. Plus I was probably standing up for my folk hero Hemingway. No big deal, just exchanging points of view. Thanks for your thoughts. Charlie

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Good one! But Chestnut is covered by ESPN and is usually found in the 'sports sections.....". Just saying.

Expand full comment
author

It’s a little like America’s Got Talent to me…

Expand full comment

well, if that’s the qualification... 🤯

GO DAWGS

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Typical of 'Papa'--the only real "sports" are where there is the risk of severe injury or death. If he'd lived longer he might have included pro football in his list.

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Anyone here ever been to a bull fight? I have, and within the context of the culture where it exists it is a mysteriously beautiful experience.

Expand full comment
author

Hemingway… excellent

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

This guy is just a glutton! Eating contests are disgusting!

Expand full comment
author

It’s mind blowing.

Expand full comment

I agree--it’s so gross. I cannot watch that. He’s definitely a performer. Good for him. He’s more PT Barnum

Expand full comment
author

Sort of like sword swallowing…

Expand full comment

Agree.

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Depends on how one defines an athlete. Probably not in the terms we normally think of. But the successes he has had and the career he had built, I raise this hot dog to him and say well done!

Expand full comment
author

Success… no doubt

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Some might find this among your cheesier columns, John. The great Bill Raftery might declare, ‘ONIONS!’

As for me, I need time to ketchup while digesting the story.

(Sorry.)

Expand full comment
author

You are on fire Barry!

Expand full comment

Sorta imagining Joey Chestnut’s unathletic gut was on fire (in a diff way).

Expand full comment

And yet, he was planning to down some beers!

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

I think Joey is a vacuum cleaner disguised as a human being.

A fun take, thank you. Hold the kraut and onions!

Expand full comment
author

I needed a break from the media rights beat.

Expand full comment

Don't we all?

Expand full comment

I was at PIR that day riding with Bourdais. I’d driven competitively so the speed wasn’t what got my attention. It was the braking and the timing and, most importantly, the g forces. I left the track wondering how their bodies could withstand that kind of pressure for long periods of time.

Without a doubt, high performance drivers are highly trained athletes. Mr. Chestnut is something else. I’m just not sure what.

Craig Walker

Expand full comment

Number one hand to eye coordination: race car drivers. No. two: baseball players. So I've heard.

Expand full comment

He’s no athlete. He’s simply a guy who found a way to turn a disgusting thing into a living. I hope that he’s got some good financial planners so when this inevitably ends he will have something to fall back on.

Not my favorite topic but the comments are the best. I love this community you’ve created John.

Expand full comment
author

This comment section is unrivaled.

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023·edited Jul 6, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Performer, yes. Athlete, no. Many performers spend a lifetime training for their craft and no one claims, say, that a standup comedian is an athlete. Nor, in my younger days when I drank and ate to extreme excess, did a sober wife standing off to the side exclaim, "Oh yeah, baby, you're an athlete now!"

BTW, thanks for a break in the PAC 10/12 drama.

Expand full comment

BINGO Mike - well played! Charlie

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Another clever, entertaining and thought-provoking piece of writing. This one alone is worth $6.99, but please don’t think about taking the rest of the month off ;)

Expand full comment
author

I love writing too much to take more than a day here or there.

Expand full comment

Reading is one of my pleasures and you rarely disappoint. Thanks John!

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

I don't know. But I bet his ability to endure pain signals that the body sends and continue to push on despite his body telling him to quit exceeds the ability of all of us who are leaving comments. That attribute is certainly is a key component of being a successful athlete, regardless of how we choose to categorize him.

Expand full comment
author

Sword swallowing is amazing in the same way.

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023·edited Jul 5, 2023

Perhaps with pain, but not with endurance. If the Nathan's challenge were 5 minutes, there would be a lot less differentiation among the competitors.

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Yah. Can't get past a weak handshake. Sad to hear about the dead fish he put in your hand.

That said, he's a National Treasure. An American Icon. It's fun.

But he's no more an athlete than the drikin' buddies I see on the Professional Cornhole Tour. Yes, that's a thing.

It's awesome and the guy deserves all the money and accolades he gets. Fitting it was Joey who insisted the contest go on, despite calls to cancel it due to weather.

Expand full comment
author

I gave him a second chance on the handshake… failed the sequel on the way out. Just shook my head.

Expand full comment

Bobby Dillon, I hear, had the same handshake. I agree with Coach on his approach for processing this. When asked for an autograph, Bill Russell would warmly say " I can't do that, but I would like to shake your hand", then, as Dan Jenkins would write in "Limousine", you would "put it in the vise" with Bill Russell.

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

More important, does Joey think Joey is an athlete? Me? I think he has some kind of savant-like mo Jo he recalls when needed. In the middle of the hot dogs, he also managed to collar an eco-demonstrator, almost looking like he was an MMA athlete at the same time .

Thanks for a timely article about an amazingly unexciting guy, who manages to make interviews seem like a royal pain.

Expand full comment
author

I found it interesting that nobody recognized him when he came in the radio building.

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

1st item on the list made my mind jump to Cool Hand Luke

Expand full comment
Jul 5, 2023Liked by John Canzano

50 eggs, no time limit. "Kick a buck"!

Expand full comment
author

😂 same

Expand full comment