Kobayashi to compete in Crif Dog Classic in NYC July 4

(via Darren Rovell) CrifDogClassic.com has a press release announcing that Takeru Kobayashi will compete in a hot dog eating contest at Roberta’s in Brooklyn on July 4. Other listed competitors are Stephanie Torres, Tom Gilbert, Johnnie Excel, Dave “US Male” Goldstein and Brad Sciullo. No prizes or qualifiers are listed; two entrants will be selected using reddit.com. The competition will be streamed on SI.com.

Comments (47)


  1. Anonymous said

    May 5, 2012 @ 1:30 am

    Crif Dog top 10 combined will eat more HDB’s than the Nathans top 10 MLE employees combined will eat. Thats a bet

  2. anonymous said

    May 5, 2012 @ 6:12 am

    There aren’t 10 competitive eaters in Crif Dog. I would root for the Indy’s but definitely would take the bet in favor of the MLE eaters. Except for Kobi nobody else is going over 30.

  3. Naader Reda said

    May 5, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    From the info I see, looks like the contest will only feature 8 ppl. Wonder if one of the two eaters picked from reddit might actually be a big name?

  4. Joe said

    May 5, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    i think thats a good bet
    I’ll put 10.00 on that

  5. Anonymous said

    May 5, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    It sucks Kobi will not go up against Joey, that would be some pay per view type stuff.

  6. Nice guy said

    May 5, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    I think Joey Chestnut misses Kobi in competition… I really do. Joey, do you miss Kobi for competition’s sake?

  7. MOTIF said (Registered September 3, 2011)

    May 5, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

    Yeah, i really wish Joey could compete with Koby and settle the score right now, also for entertainment’s sake. Also, I’d bet you all that the top 10 Crif’s will look like Jokes comepared to the MLE. Statistically it shows.

    I believe as of now, out of all the Crif’s competitors Gilbert has the highest total of 30, steph with 29, and Johnnie somewhere in mid 20’s i dont know where brad is, Maybe OJ can help do a comparison?

    But truth is as its look is that 2nd place at Crifs is looking at low 30’s in my opinion, and low 30’s at the Nathan’s table is good for 6-8th place, probably lower this year with increasing talent. Joe, wanna bet $10? I got it in my pocket 😉

  8. Anonymous said

    May 5, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

    The most interesting thing to me about this is that it seems that Kobayashi and the others and Crifs have aligned with Sports Ilustrated (via Darren Rovel). Doing this on the 4th means that people may be interested in both since Crifs will be live streamed. It really doesn’t matter who is better in one way, the fact that Joey and Koby will never compete against each other in hotdogs means that that rivalry is lost forever, and it is the only one that really counted. No one else ever came close and likely never ever will.

  9. anonymous said

    May 5, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

    I find it hard to believe that some of these west coast competitors are flying to Brooklyn on their own dime. Kobayashi is probably getting a nice appearance fee but what are the rest of them getting ?

  10. Anonymous said

    May 5, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

    Crif Dogs are easier to eat than Nathan’s, so these numbers will get a boost.

  11. anonymous said

    May 5, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

    Perhaps Kobayashi has the pull with sponsors, to have his eaters flown in and put up just as the MLE does with Nathans. It’s not out of the question, is it? The real contest will be the undercard and who finishes 2nd-5th.

  12. Anonymous said

    May 5, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

    This is not exactly a done deal, is it? Sounds closer to a kickstarter project.
    It says that tickets will be sold, check back soon.

  13. anonymous said

    May 5, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    If that’s the case then hanging with team koby is not so bad after all

  14. Anonymous said

    May 5, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

    4:19 Crif dog is just a superior healthier hot dog than Nathans who we all know are not that good. If the numbers are greater it is only due to our dogs tasting better.

  15. Realist said

    May 5, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

    What a pathetic attempt for a product to be relevant, not to mention the eaters doing this. This is as bad as the Lingerie Bowl during the Super Bowl, without Angie Everheart in lace. Too bad, I might watch it then. What this will be is a spectacle as boring a Koby’s eating HBDs on the rooftop last year.

  16. Joe said

    May 6, 2012 @ 5:55 am

    Motif seeing tthat I have no idea what a crif dog is,the wager sounds like fun. Look me up on FB and we’ll talk about it

  17. Anonymous said

    May 6, 2012 @ 6:00 am

    Nice Guy: “I think Joey Chestnut misses Kobi in competition… I really do. Joey, do you miss Kobi for competition’s sake?”

    Without Kobi Joey has no real competition. Who’s going to really challenge Joey? Pat? Stonie? Bob? The answer is no one.

  18. Anonymous said

    May 6, 2012 @ 7:26 am

    Realist is right. WTF is a crif dog? I have been all around and in my nearly 40 years on this planet I have never heard, nor seen, a crif dog. Is that what gangs eat, like in the bloods and the crypts? I think people are following Kobi to this thing, only because it’s Kobi. He’s desperate and followers are desperate for tracking him.

  19. anonymous said

    May 6, 2012 @ 7:55 am

    where is furious pete and dale bonne?

  20. Anonymous said

    May 6, 2012 @ 9:38 am

    Lmfao. Its funny how eaters are so quick to sign up for this. This event is all about kobi, just like every event he is in. This event will be a bust like last years rooftop stunt

  21. Anonymous said

    May 6, 2012 @ 9:44 am

    I think Kobi is conveniently dodging Dale Boone. Dale is the better eater.

  22. Anonymous said

    May 6, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    Time to buy Crif Dog stock. I have never heard of CD but now thanks to Kobi millions of people will very soon. A bit of marketing genius for CD.

  23. Anonymous said

    May 6, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

    Obviously alot of non-New Yorkers commenting here. Crif dogs have two restaurants in New York, but they’re mostly known to foodies. Can’t believe they have the money to put this on.

  24. MOTIF said (Registered September 3, 2011)

    May 6, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

    I think your all overestimateing this marketing attempt, you can market with a name, but if in the end the product that stand it wont buy.
    Also for those who didn’t realized, surprisingly Furious Pete isn’t on this list. My sense of Pete is he knows how to handle his business/image, and assuming that he backed down from this, could mean it’s not as great as face value shows it. And yes, pete does avoid certian contests, but hes quick to join Kobi at the table whenever possible.

  25. Pondering said (Registered July 22, 2010)

    May 6, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    Looking for sponsors………so Motif and others have a point. Not marketing genius yet, the results are far away.

    Please fill out the following form to request information on sponsorship opportunities at the Crif Dog Classic. A member of our team will contact you shortly.
    Your Name (required)
    Brand’s Name (required)
    Your Budget
    $2,500 – 5,000
    $5,001 – 10,000
    $10,001 – $15,000
    $15,001 – $25,000
    Your Phone (required)
    Your Email (required)
    Please use this area to explain what sort of activation you are looking to implement at the Crif Dog Classic.

  26. Kobi FAN said

    May 6, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

    Seems like Kobayashi is leaving the opportunity for any other business that wants to hop in as a participating sponsor to do so. He and his people aren’t stupid. They surely have the main sponsors locked up with the money needed to put this event on. MLE would not let any other company join in a sponsor if they wanted too. Crif Dog looks to be a growing hot dog business in New York that is willing to take a shot on this even and the reputation of Kobayashi. I hope it works out for all of them. That is what America is all about – OPPORTUNITY. If you don’t like it, don’t watch. It’s as simple as that.

  27. MOTIF said (Registered September 3, 2011)

    May 6, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

    Kobi Fan, i think you have a self-proclaimed bias. Lol

  28. Kobi FAN said

    May 6, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

    No bias Motif, just stating what I personally think. I enjoy following all eaters and contests no matter what the affiliation (except Boone).

  29. Walter Lippman said

    May 7, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

    There’s an old saying in public relations to never get in a fight with someone who buys ink by the ton. Now, this event really doesn’t sound more than a pimple on a fly’s butt compared to world coverage Nathan’s receives. But, if I were any media organization I’d be very mindful of trying to cover both these stories, and MLE and Nathan’s would shut down your access the big event at Coney. Therefore, any of the other nets and media wanting precontest access with MLE eaters will keep their distance from this Criff thing. Also, Crifs will soon realize that Kobi has no intention of bringing any attention to Crifs. His lack of product loyality was demonstrated by the way he treated Nathan’s, who he truly owed loyality to. The day after this Crif debacle, Kobi will be looking for another hotdog company that will offer him a higher bid. All the other eaters at this Crif event are also being used by Kobi as backdrops for Kobi. Kobi’s handlers realized the failure of last year’s rooftop was no competitors, and he needs some chumps he doesn’t even know or care for to beat to make it look like an actual contest for the media. But it’s very naive, believe me the media knows the other eaters are jokes too and will treat this event with proper skepticism.

  30. Naader Reda said

    May 7, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

    @Walter Lippman

    The fourth installment of the West Coast Hot Dog Eating Championship in Mission Viejo, CA is supposed to come back this Septmeber. No reason why Koby and the rest of the table can’t appear at that event also.

  31. The Masked Fan said

    May 7, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

    Mr. Lippman (or whatever your real name is), you are so far off from reality. Unless you have some inside conncection with Kobayashi, which you obviously don’t, cut the speculation. Kobayashi is a very humble guy and is not looking to embarass anyone. He is making an attempt to use his name to promote competitive eating in an honest and fun way. Crif dogs is making itself available to be a part of this event not knowing how much it will benefit them but so what, they are a small growing business.

    Perhaps it may take some time for you and everyone else to see Kobi’s dream but his intentions are all good. Eaters look up to him as an eater and I’m sure they are just happy to be at the table with a legend. It’s not always about money in competitive eating.

  32. Anonymous said

    May 7, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

    Fan’s mask is also covering his eyes.

  33. anonymous said

    May 7, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

    I think this event is comparable to Beautiful Brian Seiken going up against a bunch of 6yrs olds in the neat eating contest . Koby will crush this competition like taking hotdogs from a baby

  34. kindergardner said

    May 7, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    @ anon 7:23

    so basically CD will be exactly like Nathans.

  35. MOTIF said (Registered September 3, 2011)

    May 8, 2012 @ 12:56 am

    kindergardner, you pick a proper name. Joey definitly will be leading the pack, but the margine between him and Pat/X is much less then Kobi. Kobi can literally double 2nd, Joey can do 1.2x at best

  36. anonymous said

    May 8, 2012 @ 6:40 am

    Maybe Joey will do 1.3x or 1.4x. What makes you so brilliant Motif? The point is Joey and Kobi will both dominate and win.

  37. Kindergardner said

    May 8, 2012 @ 10:04 am


    ahhhh 1.2 margin… So Pat will be 10-15 less while X will be 15-20 less then Joey… Yes, very entertaining and exciting.

    Both events will be a blood baths. Until some unknown challenges either Joey or Kobi or they both retire, Nathans will be boring to watch.

  38. anonymous said

    May 8, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    I think MLE really screwed up with the Koby thing. They should have made an exception in his case and let him make his own moves without putting restrictions on him as far as signing a contract. In the long run he would have generated plenty of media attention for the Sheas and MLE with Nathans alone. I have a feeling Joey might have put pressure on the Sheas when he realized that Koby was doing stuff outside of MLE and told them “If he can do it why cant i do it? Plain and simple

  39. Pondering said (Registered July 22, 2010)

    May 8, 2012 @ 10:54 am

    I think MLE did what they were supposed to do and in the end what Kobayashi has been doing is proof of that. The only thing MLE lost by losing Koby is having a clear rivalry for Nathans itself to make the contest more exciting. By this time people are used to the idea that Koby is not with MLE. He will always have his name recognition and it will always be greater than Joeys, not because of anything he is doing now but because of what he did before. In the present, Nathans is so well established as is MLE that Koby is having to forge his own path based upon his idea of what freedom means. And as long as he is not fluent in english or at least enough to give interviews and do things without a translator, he is going to have his opportunities squeezed. MLE and Koby are gone and will never reconcile as neither wants to nor should they. Game over.

  40. Fredrick Rotanya said

    May 21, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    Crif Dog Classic is going to be awesome. I can’t wait to see it.. you guys talk about a heated up challenge between the players and who’s going to win. bla, bla .. Kobi won for 6 years, noone got tire or bored of watching that. They probably had Joey win after that, just to change the story; it looked really weird when he lost. A lot of people said that. The way Joey eats is so dirty and foul compared to Kobi; and as we saw and heard about it a few contests- that Joey full on cheats.. how could you ever really decide whether Joey won against Kobi or not with those very close numbers? .. especially with an organization like MLE judging.. you guys are nuts to not really look at the people holding down the show.
    Either way, it really doesn’t matter. Any show is about a fun, exciting, entertaining game. Even if Kobi wins again this year, which he probably will- it’ll STILL be great fun to watch the other eaters as well. NOT to mention, that they will get press. Anything with Kobi there will get press. And who cares if the this contest is as big or dominating the world of contests; like Nathan’s ?? Who the hell cares??
    That contest is boring now. Everybody wants to see something fresh and new.. even if it’s small. It’ll be cool. That’s all.
    Everyone’s down for a good healthy fun time- and the eaters chosen so far, are all very cool players, no matter what numbers they put up. Actually as far as I’ve seen- they are pretty strong eaters as well. There are a lot of whatever eaters at Nathan’s, so I think they would even put up a mean fight at Coney Island, if they were there.
    People like watching the underdog come up.. it’s exciting and it makes you want to really support him. Kobi has always been a super kind and cool kid.. people just like him. He and his new gang are probably taken care of and this contest is probably going to get all kinds of press. Good for them!
    ps. Besides, Kobi invited Joey to come to his table.

  41. Rhonda Evans said (Registered March 6, 2008)

    May 21, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

    To FR: Of course Koby invited Joey. Joey showing up there, even if he were permitted to, would be like A-Rod going down to one of the Yankee farm teams for batting practice.

    I do agree with you on Koby being a super kind, cool kid, however. I’ve always been a fan, and I still think it’s sad that the most recognized name in competitive eating has lowered his standards so much.

    It’s really ironic that, because of foolish pride, Koby’s not eating with MLE; yet, he’s doing things which are beneath him, behaving as if he has no pride.

  42. Rhonda Evans said (Registered March 6, 2008)

    May 21, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

    The 4th of July is boring. It would be more entertaining (if not feasible) to just let Joey do an exhibition by himself and let the other eaters participate in the actual competition.

    As it is now, I can record it and play it back at bedtime to help me sleep.

  43. Dodger said

    May 21, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

    Fredrick, yeah real awesome. The best eater Kobi will be eating against is a former 21st ranked MLE eater and the other half couldn’t even qualify for Nathan’s. Awesome. Keep drinking that Kobi Kool Aid, dude. So every year that Kobi won, the Nathan’s contest was fine. Joey kicks Kobi’s ass and suddenly they’re cheating. Man what a loser. Press, don’t even know who these MLE reject eaters are. Kobi’s a real nice guy, yeah right. He’s been allowed to stay in our country as a guest, than he selfishly goes and holds his own hot dog eating contest in Brooklyn on the Fourth of July. The people of Brooklyn and New York now see Kobi for what he really is, a egotistical self-promoter willing to step on Amercian traditions to benefit Kobi. Kobi should be ashamed. Kobi couldn’t disrupt Nathan’s when he tried to storm the stage, he couldn’t get any attention at his rooftop Kobi self mastication fest, and this “contest” will go the same way — nowhere, Furious Pete is right to stay away from this sham so should other eaters with any self esteem. “His table” huh? See guys it’s all about Kobi and his overinflated ego. Crif Dog and Rosarios Deli should be picketed and banned by the people of Brooklyn until they agree to cancel or hold this sham on another day.

  44. Krystal Ball said

    May 21, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    (sorry if this is a double post but it appears it didn’t go through the first time)

    I agree with Rhonda here, Kobi truly was the only one who could push Joey and vice versa. Both Contests will be boring to watch. We all know who is going to win, so the only real intrigue here is, 1st how many will Joey and Kobi eat, then who is gonna end up in 2nd and 3rd place (Not 1st because we already know)… also if your a fan, you track the eaters who are less then 4 or 5 years in and their progress (Stonie and Morgan) as it seems as though who’ve done it 4 plus years have already hit their limits.

    I like some of FR’s views in the sense that it gives other eaters outside of MLE some pub but I strongly disagree that the other MLE eaters at the Final Nathan’s table are just “Whatever” eaters… Really? Whatever eaters? If they are “whatever” eaters then what are the others eaters at Crif Dogs??? It’s clear what side you’re on here with such contradicting views.

    As a CE fan, I like both MLE and the Indy scene, there really is no need to make it a bitter rival… after all, like you and Rich L said, it’s all about fun. So let’s let it be just that… FUN! I guess in a perfect world, the Indies and MLE could all compete with each other (Ala Dr Martin Luther’s dream on an eating scale) as I would like to see where guys like Pete and Goose can stack up.

  45. Rhonda Evans said (Registered March 6, 2008)

    May 21, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

    Actually, Koby has earned the right to be “egotistical.” He singlehandedly launched a new era in competitive eating, July 4, 2001. No one else in the world can say that.

  46. hmmm said

    May 21, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

    the question is, where will BB will on July 4?

  47. anonymous said

    May 21, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

    I think BB would be smart to cover Crif Dog classic. The hell that he went through last year in Coney isn’t worth his time and effort

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