NBC Sports Off the Bench blog has an interview with Takeru Kobayashi about competing in the Crif Dog Classic.


  1. Anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 9:34 am

    Can you feel it? No denying it…the tide be a shifting… The the emperor (MLE/Shea/Antolini) has no clothes. The IFOCE ship is slowly sinking. Thank God! Karma baby.. what appear the ongoing blatant fixing of contest, competitor favoritism, not paying eaters etc. is catching up with these crooks. They stay afloat only because of the 50 cowards who continue to play ball with these snake oil salesman fools.

  2. Coward said

    June 29, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    Calling MLE eaters 50 cowards? Well there’s a reason to join “Team Kobi.” Fixing contests? Kobi gets to select his opponents and why did except money at fixed contests when he was with the MLE. Competitor favoritism? Kobi gets five times more money and fees than any independent while blantantly embarrasing (tacos) the other eaters for his own selfish ego. Not paying eaters? Kobi makes bags of cash over what the closest independent eater makes and the jury is still out whether any of those poor jokers will make any money while bending over for Kobi at Crap Dogs. Crooks? Kobi was arrested and jailed for resisting police while selfishly trying disrupt a national festival and was only released because a judge had pity on him. Of course, lets also not forget that he lies about not getting paid trying discredit others, continually bad mouths the one company that helped make him famous, and blames others for his own stupid decisions. Slowly sinking? MLE eaters this year made more money and had more events around the world than anytime in history. Kobi worshipers have an interesting view of the world. Anybody want to bet Crap Dogs will not be around next year after Kobi cashes in, tossing Crap Dog and the indie eaters away like he does now with Nathan’s?

  3. sorry said

    June 29, 2012 @ 10:56 am

    When you treat certain people like garbage it comes back to haunt you sooner or later. You have to wonder what the ass kissers of the organization would do if MLE went out of business? Where would they turn to? Unless the name is Joey Chestnut there is only one Kobayashi. Sorry boys. we can only pay him $15grand appearance fees and not you

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

    June 29, 2012 @ 11:07 am

    The tide be a shifting? Exactly what body of water are you looking at?

    50 cowards? And you’re anonymous? That’s a hot one!

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

    June 29, 2012 @ 11:23 am

    What time is Crif Dogs? I bet it is AFTER Nathan’s?

    How big are the Crif Dogs, as compared to Nathan’s?

    Either way, I can (almost) guarantee Koby will get credit for having eaten more dogs than Joey, even if Joey were to do 70+.

    I do think this event will get some attention, but compared to Nathan’s, it will be perceived by most as Minor League Eating.

    As great an eater as Koby is, as great of a legend as he is, when it comes to HDBs, he will NEVER outeat Joey Chestnut. He can outeat him in some other foods, but absolutely not HDBs. It just ain’t gonna happen!

  6. Coward said

    June 29, 2012 @ 11:36 am

    Rhonda, now I get it. It’s Kobi PR flacks HHR Media that are writing in here overblowing Kobi and Crap Dogs and trying to discredit MLE. They will say anything, lie, cheat, steal, discredit people, to get Kobi money and attention. They know nothing about competitive eating just how to get Kobi cash. So much for Kobi’s stong sense of independence and not sign a contract. Now does everybody see that he’s been willing to sign contract as long as it was for more money to fatten his wallet and provide attention to Kobi and Kobi only and to hell with sponsors or anyone else for that matter. That whole “Free Kobi” was a way he could blame others and leave the MLE because he saw his days of beating MLE eaters over after losing to Chestnut three years in a row. Now he can beat independents and take their money.

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

    June 29, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    Found the answer to one of my questions (thanks to a prior post on thread topic on this site). The contest starts at 11:00 AM, so it’s before Nathan’s. Now it’s a bit more interesting for me.

  8. Anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    Hold on Coward said, while I agree with your first four maybe five sentences, let’s not give Kobayashi credit for orchestrating the whole in advance, that is giving him too much credit. His English is simply not good enough to have communicated with MLE in the past, and his whole freedom (so called) movement seems to have been free-wheeling at best. His manager and interpreter/translator orchestrated all of that and likely even caused it to happen. Her english is fluent as is her spoken Japanese (not written though). Now maybe others are seeing opportunity and using him in a two way street but clearly for profit for both. It is a sad state of affairs when people do the ultimate say anything and try to take down others in the process. Frankly it is kind of crazy, sort of a war of PR without any moral foundation. For all that MLE has been and is, they are not liars. Really leaves a terrible taste in my mouth.

  9. ojrifkin said (Registered July 27, 2005)

    June 29, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

    The 1916 Nathan’s origin story is a fabrication according to:


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

    June 29, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

    Leaves a terrible taste in my mouth too, sort of like a Crif dog.

  11. Coward said

    June 29, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

    The event starts at 11:00, Kobi’s contest, I mean victory, will begin after Nathan’s is over. But it doesn’t matter, Kobi will eat 70+ and Stephanie will eat 42. As for the “other eaters,” who cares there job is to stand there and eat to make it look like a contest. Besides, HHR media will have to troll around Nathan’s trying to get the reporters that are at Nathan’s to come over to the Crap Dog Kobi Checkwriting Festival to watch Kobi and Stephanie break the records. That’s why they held it in Brooklyn.

  12. Anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

    This is funny because actually PR includes embroidering and embellishing. So OJ, are you implying that MLE and the Nathans contest has a backstory/history of lying? These are murky waters for sure. The very idea of PR requires some entertainment. That being said, Kobayashi is not the upright citizen people are making him out to be. You simply cannot state that you were not paid for something the way that he did and expect that to not have some ramifications.

  13. mike landrich said (Registered July 4, 2007)

    June 29, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    Although the dogs won’t be the same, I have a feeling Joey will eat 1 more than Kobi. Of course, if the Crif dogs are tiny, Kobi may do 70+. Oh well, Nathans was, is and will be THE Hot Dog contest. Crif dogs may get known as A contest.

    I miss the Joey vs Kobi days. It made for great TV,.

  14. Good point said

    June 29, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    So you guys are blaming Kobi’s translator/PR guys for taking advantage of him? Isn’t that what MLE has been doing to there eaters for years before them?

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

    June 29, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    It sure did Mike. It was like two closely matched titans fighting it out: Affirmed vs Alydar, King Kong vs Godzilla, Ali vs Frazier.

    Now, in both Nathan’s and Crifs, it’s King Kong versus a family of spider monkeys and Godzilla fending off a schooly of nurse sharks.

  16. Coward said

    June 29, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

    Oh forgot, one more thing, Kobi gets to select his own judges too. So the people who are judging how much he eats, like that washed up rock guy, are actually working for him. Isn’t it miraculous that when Kobi was with the MLE, he’d avoid contests that he knew he’d lose to another eater, but suddenly when he’s independent Kobi out eats every MLE eater in every food. Turkey, hot dogs, boy I’ll bet Joey Chestnut would love to have a judge working for him. I remember one time, one time, in the MLE Kobi heard about Sonya Thomas’ and her fruit cake record which didn’t sound too impressive because he didn’t know what fruitcake was. So Kobi tried to break her fruit cake record and failed massively — that’s what happens when you have legit judges where Pat Bertoletti can beat Joey, Joey can beat Pat, Sonya can beat Joey, Joey can beat beat Sonya, etc. But in Kobi’s world of Teamkobia, no one beats Kobi because if you do Kobi will go independent and get his own judges.

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

    June 29, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

    Eaters sign a contract if they want to be a member of MLE. The rules are fairly easy to read and understand. Therefore, any surprises are only because of ignorance on the eater’s part.

    If would-be members agree with the terms of the contract they are free to sign, and if they don’t they’re free to refrain from doing so. No one is held hostage or blackmailed into signing.

  18. anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

    Every 4th of July Kobayashi will find another stunt to take the hype away from Coney Island. Next year i expect him to parachute out of a plane or helicopter with a napsack of 75 hot dogs while a simulcast of Nathans contest is shown on his hand held smart phone

  19. ojrifkin said (Registered July 27, 2005)

    June 29, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    Mortimer Matz admits he created a falsehood to promote Nathan’s hot dog contest (perhaps one justified in the interest of public relations). If the Sheas have a problem with Matz’ admission, they have had almost two years to address it.

  20. Anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

    This has become extremely interesting since it would seem that OJRifkin has greatly increased his stating of opinions. Always a stickler for the facts, just the facts, is the implication here that the Sheas should address this issue/public statement?

  21. Pat From Moonachie said (Registered December 10, 2005)

    June 29, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

    Rhonda, I never asked to be in The MLE ..I just wanted to do the Nathan’s contest. You or anybody can sign a waiver to do a qualifier, basically saying if you drop dead or choke yourself into a coma it isn’t their fault (Completely Understandable) and then AFTER you qualify for Nathan’s you get handed a “36 Month Performance Contract” to sign before you can compete in Coney Island. ..blackmail?..maybe not the legal definition but there’s certainly manipulation going on there ..i’d explain further but i’ll save it for the book!. 😉

  22. anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

    cant wait to read the book

  23. Good point said

    June 29, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

    you beat me to it Pat… well said.

    I’m actually interested in seeing if this Jamie McDonal guy is going to get his pay for bonelss wings after doing all this indy stuff. I’m sure MLE has already offered him a contract.

  24. Coward said

    June 29, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    You’re the boss OJ, but are your suggesting that the Shea’s tale of Nathan’s is the same as Kobi’s false claims of not being paid or why he left the MLE. I’m not seeing the connection because tongue and cheek advancement of an urban myth about two guys eating hot dogs in hot dogs in 1916, is different than someone lying about not being paid or as to why you left an organization to garner false public sympathy. Kobi’s charges are mean spirited and deceptive. Shea’s folklore hurts no one.

  25. Anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

    The introduction of the Crif Dogs Classic is causing Nathan’s hot dog brand some negative publicity. Kobi has the ear of the press seemingly at will and his statements in regard to Nathans essentially ripping him off is bad PR. If MLE responds, Crif Dog wins, if they don’t Crif Dog wins so I don’t see them responding in any way. Responding will fuel exposure of the questionable theatrics employed by this promoter as they have been accused of time and time again. Does contest maipulation by MLE, promoting known cheaters, favortism, unfair labor practices actually exist? Probably to a point, but you can’t and don’t have to tweak Joey’s numbers so it isn’t all a fraud just maybe most of it to create interest and make MONEY!
    Love this site for being open to opinions and welcoming all points of view.

  26. Coward said

    June 29, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

    Pat, every organization of any significance, sports or otherwise, is going to have you sign a contract. The contract is to protect their organization and associates (in this case Nathan’s) from doing media or other public events that would not be in the best interest of those whom you signed the contract with. If MLE never existed, Nathan’s lawyers would of had you sign one with them and then see how many other contests the Nathan’s people would have let you attend for the next 36 months. It is because of these types of contracts that MLE can secure the types of events with major companies and not rinky dink shops like Crif Dog. I can guarantee you, if Crif Dog was of any significance they would of had you sign a contract to protect them from you from going out the day after the “contest” and hold a press conference about how crappy their hot dogs are and the contest was a complete Kobi checkwriting scam. Kobi doesn’t get that, that’s why large companies rarely have Kobi do any events for them. He is unreliable and potentially damaging in promotion of their product because he stages events against competing sponsors. Kobi only cares about Kobi and sponsors know that. Later on next year he’ll be eating hot dogs on the West Coast.

  27. Good point said

    June 29, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

    Kobi is his own brand… Nobody knows if he signed a Criff Dogs exclusive contract with Crif Dogs. Maybe he will eat Hot dogs elsewehere, maybe not. Crif Dogs is ponying up the money to have a contest with Kobi and in return it promotes their product. Nathans seems selfish in making MLE promote Nathan’s and Nathan’s ONLY, MLE actually is taking work away from their eaters by limiting themselves to only one hot dog company.

    Kobi is creating new contests for himself, and now indy eaters that they weren’t getting before. He’s creating work, not taking it away from them.

  28. Pat From Moonachie said (Registered December 10, 2005)

    June 29, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    And where’s the “Quid Pro Quo” that’s required in ANY binding agreement? ..is it “The Benefit of Ranking” that’s in the MLE contract? ..I felt THAT benefit when they billed The Alka-Seltzer U.S. Open as having “The Top 16 Competitive Eaters”..I was ranked 16th and was told that FX chose lower-ranked eater to participate, sorry! ..yeah, some benefit!.. They could run a virtual monopoly in 2001 ..not these days, there’s waay too many other options out there..i’ll be exploring some of them while you tow the company line.

  29. Coward said

    June 29, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

    The views and opinions expressed by Anonyomous 3:04 p.m. were paid for by HHR Media and Takeru Kobayashi. That’s great that Kobi’s finally signed a contract with HHR Media. But what happens if HHR Media gets Kobi a contract with Hebrew National? I guess HHR Media won’t let him eat Ballpark Franks. Boy oh boy, now there’s a dilema. But he is independent and free. I guess HHR media is going to have the other eaters sign a contract too if they get a major sponsor for a contest because I doubt a major company could risk the embarassment. Okay, let’s add it up. Kobi’s sold out MLE eaters, past sponsors that helped make him money, and now, the independent eaters he embarasses for credibility as well as his fans he lied to over that “Free Kobi” crap. Whose next? Bend over Kobi’s coming.

  30. Anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

    The “Coward” poster sounding alot like Evans Hmm. 60 minutes should do a expose’ on mle the self proclaimed dicktators of CE and expose the all the behind the curtain shea’nanagins once and for all. A once great american company like Nathan’s Famous now reduced to and associated with cheating and not paying its prizes. Either its more like the WWE (it is) or the UFC. Does anyone think MLE is100% legit… 50… 10?
    This Rhonda bitch calling out another anonymous for being anonymous is really mental but thooroughly entertaining
    BTW Nathan’s dogs taste greasy oily salty and are overpriced… you think they would be able to pay Kobi? Very sad

  31. Anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

    There is no such thing as a tell all book, only a tell all from one person’s experience and viewpoint. Plus, books, in general, even one about Koby would have a very limited market. Yes, lots of new opportunities in CE, people can pick and choose, but if your goal is to get even for perceived past wrongs, then you are moving backwards. Just move forward, you will be happier in the long run.

  32. anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

    Well if anyone has a story to tell it is Pat if you go back to the pest days and his expulsion from IFOCE. Ryan Nerz would be the logical choice for a tell all book about the insides of Shea Communication because he worked in the office and heard all the gossip and first hand info as it took place

  33. anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

    For Rhonda to go under anonymous is like wearing one twopay on top of the orginal one

  34. Anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

    Ryan Nerd proclaimed competitive eating as boring. He said that. No wonder he’s not there any more.

  35. Anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

    What is wrong with you people? Ryan already wrote his book, so did Fagone. There is no tell all.

  36. anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    Ryan was a friend of Dave Baer the silent partner of the Sheas. He is a Yale grad wrote several books with a few big name hollywood celebrities before he was hired by the IFOCE. They needed an extra MC and he fit the role perfectly. Even though he knew very little about the sport he used his intellect and wit to make up for it on stage. When he learned the ropes and gained more insite he became more polished and found his niche as the number 3 man on stage behind George and Rich. Mike Castellano was probably the best of all four

  37. anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

    Oh please Sheas used Ryan as a ginny pig to write that joke of a book. Although they basically gave him permission to “eat it” meaning it’s his baby, they still had final say in the final production. We want the real juice from Ryan

  38. ojrifkin said (Registered July 27, 2005)

    June 29, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

    MarijuanAmerika appears to have stalled, so Nerz might be looking for a new project.


    A second competitive eating book would presumably not be authorized by Shea Communications like Eat This Book was (and would cover 2006 and after.)

  39. Anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

    Mike Castellano is sorely missed.

  40. anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

    A tell all Nerz book about the secret confines of Sheacommunications would become a best seller in a hearbeat and put “Eat this Shit” to shame

  41. anonymous said

    June 29, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

    Mike is missed without question a huge talent

  42. Anonymous said

    June 30, 2012 @ 7:44 am

    Kobi is a washed up has been. No one cares that he is “breaking records” especially when it’s against himself. It’s called COMPETETIVE eating, not “I went on this show or was in someone’s office and ate something fast. Crif Dog is NO exception! It was created by Kobi, for Kobi, judged by associates of Kobi – it’s rigged. The rest of you are idiots to even think about doing it. Especially for a bunch of Eaters always complaining about contests being “fixed” when this one obviously is. It’s an exhibition featuring Kobi and you chumps are there to entertain the masses of people (paying $10 for their tickets) after he smokes you all. This is a poor man’s (independent eaters) Nathan’s. Good luck chasing Joey’s shadow Kobi- you’ll need it. I’d much rather see him get hauled away from Nathan’s in cuffs again- that’s entertainment!

  43. Anonymous said

    June 30, 2012 @ 7:47 am

    Kobi HAS to keep working and winning or he’ll loose his work visa you idiots. They’ll ship him back to Japan!

  44. Anonymous said

    June 30, 2012 @ 8:07 am

    This is what team Kobi does. If you look to your right you’ll notice that if it wasn’t for that 20k that he won in the WingBowl fix he’d be at 13k in wins. Kobi is one of the lowest grossing eater on the circuit above Brunelli and Menchetti and those 2 work hard for their payouts. We can’t have that now can we? So he makes a deal with WIP that they can use his celebrity in exchange for 10k apperance fees and the 20k win. He has Crif set up to walk with another 15k putting him about 7k behind the top 2 eaters in the world. Coincidence? I don’t think so. He can’t stand that Joey and Pat can wipe the floor with him. Kobi is only as fantastic as he has himself scheduled to be. I’m over him. I think the sport needs more Matt Stonie’s!

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