Far from the pie-eating contests of yore, competitive eating like the Nathan's hot dog-eating contest is "an orgy of brown drool, flying debris, and masticated mush," writes William Saletan for Slate. Now "an industry with stars, managers, corporate sponsors, international marketing, and a pro league," it even has Mayor Bloomberg (remember the guy who banned trans fats?) praising its' "athletes'" feats of "deep-throating 68 wieners on ESPN." But "it's time to ask whether we've had enough," he writes.
"Fifty years from now, when historians are looking for a moment that captures the depravity of our age—the gluttony, the self-destruction, the craving for worthless fame—it won't be bathhouses, Big Love, or AdultFriendFinder," concludes Saletan. "It'll be Joey Chestnut stuffing that 68th hot dog down his unresisting gullet, live on ESPN. Or, worse, it'll be the guy who broke his record."