Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hot Dog Hero ???

On CBS Sportsline's main sports page, any "breaking news" sports stories are placed at the top of the page in a yellow box. As to draw attention to this late breaking story that all must know. Past examples of stories worth of this yellow box were Manny Ramirez being suspended 50 games by MLB for a positive drug test, the NCAA stripping Florida St of 14 victories over an academic cheating scandal, and the Lakers winning their 15th NBA championship. Big stories, breaking news, highlighted box at the top of the webpage.

Today however, I went to CBS Sportsline to check on some baseball scores, and noticed that yellow highlighted box at the top of the page. What important and late breaking sports story was I about to be informed of? Did Lamar Odom sign a new contract with a team other than the Lakers, or with the Lakers? Did another big name baseball player get suspended for cheating? What, I wondered, was the big news. The title, "Hot Dog Hero", with the caption "Joey Chestnut wolfs down a world record 68 dogs in 10 minutes to win his 3rd straight title on Coney Island". Are you kidding me?

To start off, eating hot dogs is not a sport and has absolutely no business whatsoever being reported on a sports website. I can drink Coke with the best of them, doesn't make it a sport, or me an athlete. Eating is not a sport, it's a necessity to keep from dying. Tiger Woods will not die if he doesn't play golf, but you can rest assured Joey Chestnut will most certainly die if he doesn't eat. Eating fast or in large quantities does not make a necessity of life a sport. Absolutely incredible!!! Perhaps one day I will read on CBS Sportsline about Joe Toggle breathing a world record 450 breathes in a single minute, or how his heart beat for a world record 123 years, or how he drank water for a world record 44,000 consecutive days.

Which brings me to another point, what's this "world record" garbage? If there is such a thing as a world record for most hot dogs eaten within 10 minutes, then these "records" are getting far too loose. When I was growing up, world records consisted of the oldest man, the tallest woman, the fastest this, the slowest that. Biggest, smallest, oldest, longest, widest, heaviest, lightest ..... legitimate records. Most hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes? If we have gotten that broad with these world records, excuse me for just a moment. Ok, I'm back. I just set a world record. I am now the world record holder of placing a dime on my head, a Tissot watch in my left hand, a key to an Audi in my right hand, a checkbook stuffed in my waistband and standing on my right foot balancing a stapler on my left foot. I achieved this for one minute, a world record.

Finally, not to be forgotten, is the use of the word "hero". Hot Dog Hero. Listen people, words such as hero and love, for example, start to lose their meaning when they are overused. If somebody tells his wife that he loves her, then goes about his day and tells 65 other women that he loves them, the word love kind of loses its meaning. Same with hero. In today's America, it doesn't take much to be called a hero. Let's take a gander at the definition of the word hero, shall we? 1a - A mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability. 1b - An illustrious warrior. 1c - A man admired for his achievements and noble qualities. 1d - One that shows great courage. Which one of these, I wonder, does eating 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes fall under? When anybody who rubs two sticks together is a hero, than being a hero really doesn't mean anything. A man who runs into a burning building to save a child is a hero, somebody whose actions save a country is a hero, eating 68 hot dogs is eating 68 hot dogs. Nothing heroic about it.

Eating hot dogs is not a sport, I don't care how many you eat in what amount of time. It is not a sport, and it most certainly should never be reported as a breaking sports story. Joey Chesnut's hot dog eating abilities are as much of a sport as Sarah Palin resigning as the governor of Alaska, although I will admit about the same number of people care about each story, approximately 10.