Wiener Wars: Joey Chestnut Banned From Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Over Glizzy Grievances

Frankfurter Furor

Major League Eating ousted the 16-time winner after he put the proverbial ketchup on their “basic hot dog exclusivity provisions” and signed with a rival brand

Chaos has consumed the world of competitive eating after 16-time Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest winner Joey Chestnut was banned from this year’s competition over his new sponsorship deal with Impossible Foods, a rival purveyor of plant-based franks.

Major League Eating confirmed the ban in a statement shared on social media. The statement said the organization was “devastated” (devastated!) to learn that Chestnut had “chosen to represent a rival brand that sells plant-based hot dogs rather than competing in the 2024 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.” 

MLE went on to express its disappointment that Chestnut had chosen to upend the “basic hot dog exclusivity provisions” — a real thing, and no laughing matter — that have governed their relationship for the past two decades. “MLE and Nathan’s went to great lengths in recent months to accommodate Joey and his management team, agreeing to the appearance fee and allowing Joey to compete in a rival unbranded hot dog eating contest on Labor Day,” they said, adding: “However it seems that Joey and his managers have prioritized a new partnership with a different hot dog brand over our long-time relationship.”

The company concluded: “Joey Chestnut is an American hero. We would love nothing more than to have him at the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest, which he has dominated for years. We hope that he returns when he is not representing a rival brand.”


Chestnut has yet to respond to the ban on social media, and did not immediately return a request for comment. 

Chestnut is the most decorated glizzy gobbler in Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest history. En route to his 16 championships, he’s put up some of the most dominant dog-scarfing numbers imaginable: He’s set and broken the world record for most hot dogs and buns (or HDBs, in competitive eating parlance) consumed in a single event numerous times, setting the current benchmark of 76 in 2021. He also commands the top 11 spots for most HDBs eaten in a single competition, sharing the 12th spot with the only person to defeat him since 2007, Matt Stonie (Stonie bested Chestnut in 2015 with 62 dogs).