Nathan’s hot dog eating contest host felt ‘gut punch’ after Joey Chestnut July 4 decision

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Joey Chestnut won’t beryllium competing successful this year’s Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July basking canine eating contest, and astatine slightest 1 personification associated pinch nan arena is sick to their stomach.

George Shea, nan boisterous big of nan yearly contest, said Chestnut’s determination to motion a woody pinch Impossible Foods — which will support him from competing successful Major League Eating Nathan’s festivities — has felt “like a gut punch.”

“It is for illustration a gut punch,” Shea told nan New York Times connected Tuesday aft The Post first collapsed nan story of Chestnut missing this year’s contest. “To maine this is simply a tradition; it is astir New York; it is astir nan Fourth of July. But possibly that’s conscionable maine and not what this is for illustration for everybody.”

Top-ranked competitory eaters Joey Chestnut (L) and Miki Sudo (R) airs pinch plates of basking dogs during a weigh-in ceremonial for Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest astatine Coney Island successful 2023. JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Chestnut decided to work together to nan woody pinch Impossible Foods, which will forestall him from competing successful MLE’s arena successful Coney Island that’s go 1 of Independence Day’s iconic events.

The 40-year-old has been almost unbeatable connected July 4, winning nan arena 16 times, including each azygous 1 since 2016.

Three of those 16 wins came against Takeru Kobayashi, who had antecedently won nan title six times successful nan early 2000s.

Kobayashi, coincidentally enough, had his ain problems pinch MLE and has not competed astatine nan Nathan’s title since 2009 aft he had a conflict complete his contract.

With specified dominance, Chestnut’s absence will beryllium looking losing a superstar, according to Shea.

Joey Chestnut won’t beryllium competing this year. Paul Martinka

“It would beryllium for illustration backmost successful nan time Michael Jordan coming to Nike, who made his Air Jordans, and saying, ‘I americium conscionable going to rep Adidas too,’” Shea told nan Times. “It conscionable can’t happen.”

Chesnut yet opened up astir not competing this year, saying that he was “gutted” that he won’t beryllium competing successful New York this year.

“I emotion competing successful that event, I emotion celebrating America pinch my fans each complete this awesome state connected nan 4th and I person been training to take sides my title,” Chestnut wrote connected X. 

George Shea opened up astir Chestnut not competing this year. Paul Martinka

The prodigious eater said he does not person a woody pinch MLE aliases pinch Nathan’s.

A root told The Post’s Steve Cuozzo that Chestnut was paid $200,000 to look successful nan 2023 title and was offered a $1.2 million, four-year contract.

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