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An Independence Day Tradition

Dan Bimrose

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Everybody has heard the phrase “As American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie. " These three things must typify all that is good about America.

I am certain that many Americans will be watching baseball this Fourth of July. I am also certain that many American's will eat some apple pie. But as far as hot dogs go some Americans will be eating more than the rest.

Legend has it that in 1916 four immigrants in an effort to decide who was the most patriotic decided to stage a hot dog competition. James Mullen won that competition which was held at Nathan's Famous hot dog stand at Coney Island. He consumed a rather weak 13 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Bigger and better things were to come.

Today Nathan's International July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest is held at Nathan's original restaurant in Coney Island.

For those of us who are not yet familiar with this contest this is serious business. It will draw tens of thousands of people and hundreds of thousands of people will watch it on ESPN. The mayor of New York is the one who performs the weigh in. These people are not messing around.

The event believe it or not is sanctioned by IFOCE, which stands for the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Can you imagine? Last years winner received the Mustard belt, 10,000 dollars, and a couple cases of hot dogs.

It is an international contest and unfortunately the Japanese have had good luck in recent years. The belt lies in the country of the winner so most of the last decade the belt has resided at the Imperial Palace in Japan. However, an American returned glory to the United States last year by eating a record 66 hot dogs.

By the way this competition underscores another American tradition. That being the ability to extract profit or make money from virtually anything.

Dan Bimrose is the creator of a website devoted to helping people help themselves. His “Attack Your Life" series aims to give people simple, easy to understand methods to profoundly change their lives. Help battling depression, anxiety and stress .


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