The Kobayashi story

The Kobayashi story
Photo by Butch Moran

Has Takeru Kobayashi fallen from gustatory grace? Look at his rise and fall and judge for yourself:

• 1978 — Takeru Kobayashi is born.

• 2001 — As a competitive eating rookie, Kobi doubles the former Nathan’s Coney Island hot dog-eating record by wolfing down 50 hot dogs and buns in just 12 minutes.

• 2001-2006 — Breaks his own record three times, and demoralizes Nathan’s competition six consecutive times.

• 2006 — Breaks his own world record set for speed-eating hamburgers, raising the bar to 97 burgers in 94 seconds at the Krystal Square Off.

• 2006 — Sets the world record for downing bratwurst, downing 58 sausages in 10 minutes.

• 2007 — Joey Chestnut sets a new record with 59-1/2 HDBs in a qualifying round. Kobi loses to Chestnut in the finals, 66-63, claiming a jaw injury.

• 2008 — Chestnut again upsets Kobayashi.

• 2009 — Kobi defeats Chestnut in a Pizza Hut P’Zone competition.

• 2009 — Chestnut defeats Kobayashi at the Nathan’s championship, 68-64-1/2.

• June, 2010 — Kobayashi declares his free agency, announcing that he won’t sign the Major League Eating contract.

• July, 2010 — Chestnut wins again at Coney Island, as Kobayashi is arrested for trespassing.

• November, 2010 — Kobi fails in an attempt to set the world record for speed-eating a 12-inch pizza.