For some, Fourth of July is simply an American holiday meant to honor U.S history. For others, it’s the ultimate summer weekend, often marked by outdoor cookouts or a beach day — even better that it falls on a three-day weekend this year.

But for one particular subset of people, it’s the day that Nathan’s famous Hot Dog Eating Contest takes place… an event that is worthy for celebration.

For the uninitiated, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is exactly what it sounds like: a high-intensity competition that sees contestants race against each other to eat as many sausages and buns as possible within a certain time frame. As always, the event will take place in Coney Island.

The reigning champion Joey Chestnut is favored to win the men’s competition, boasting 14 wins to his name.

The bigger question is whether he beats his own record of 76 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.

In the women’s category, eyes are on Miki Sudo who has captured the crown every single year since 2014.

The exception was in 2021 when she opted out of the competition due to pregnancy.

According to a 2010 New York Times story, Kobayashi had a dispute with MLE surrounding the exclusivity rights involved in signing a contract.

MLE allegedly barred its athletes from earning money in other competitive eating events.

The contracts also gave MLE the right to negotiate outside revenue opportunities, like sponsorships and media appearances, like the NIL of today.

MLE would allegedly earn 20 percent of those profits for setting up external cash flow.

I understand the MLE dispute from both sides. Kobayashi brought competitive eating to the masses.

If he wanted to do what he pleases because of his Godfather-like status, so be it.