Friday’s Headlines: That’s a Lot of Hot Dogs Edition

The champ: Joey Chestnut hasn't competed against Takeru Kobayashi in a decade, but the Japanese legend's shadow still looms large over all stomach-centric sports. Photo: ESPN
The champ: Joey Chestnut hasn't competed against Takeru Kobayashi in a decade, but the Japanese legend's shadow still looms large over all stomach-centric sports. Photo: ESPN

He’s never built a mile of protected bike lane or daylighted an intersection by removing parking spaces. He’s never resignaled the 7 line between Main Street and Vernon-Jackson. He’s never ticketed cars for blocking bus lanes on White Plains Road.

But for one day every year (seemingly), Joey Chestnut is our hero. And, indeed, once again, the Californian with the jaws of rubber, esophagus of Teflon, cardiac sphincter of elastic and stomach of Spandex triumphed at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest at Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island.

No, 71 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes was not a personal best for the now-12-time champion — he did 74 HDBs last year — but his achievements over his illustrious career put him not just at the very pinnacle of stomach-centric competition, but certainly must rank him in the top-10 athletes in human history. Our old school editor — who makes an appearance in ESPN’s current documentary “The Good, The Bad, The Hungry” about Chestnut and his former rival Takeru Kobayashi — says Chestnut should be ranked somewhere between Michael Jordan and Secretariat.

Still hungry? Here’s some news:

  • From the assignment desk: Gov. Cuomo will be in Long Island on Monday to announce that taxpayers will spend $300 million on a new LIRR train station next to Belmont Park, where the Islanders are building a new arena. Maybe some young reporter will ask the governor to explain why taxpayers are spending $300 million (plus the inevitable unforeseen costs) so that a team that lost money in Brooklyn can move to Long Island and make money. And here’s another one: Why build a new station that will still require shuttle buses to get fans to the games when there’s already an LIRR station exactly where the new arena will sit? (Long Island Business News)
  • For the record, it was wrong for the DOT and the NYPD to close the bike and footpath on the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. — even though cars were allowed to cross the entire time. Is there any explanation why cyclists are more of a security risk than cars? Subways after the big show were horrible. (Angela Stach via Twitter)

  • Remember that garbage truck driver who ruined commutes for tens of thousands of bus riders stuck at Port Authority on Wednesday? The Times didn’t explain what happened, preferring to do a passenger reaction story. A Jersey paper, the Morris Daily Voice, had the scoop: The driver apparently had a heart attack.
  • In case you’ve forgotten, Queens is going to give us all a refresher course on why a political machine is called a machine. (NY Times)
  • And, finally, the New York Times doesn’t have anyone on staff who would ever do this story (sorry, Cliff, but you don’t), so we turn to the Guardian to debunk all of the myths about bike lanes that drivers (and their enablers in politics) keep telling.

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