Joey Chestnut Smashes World Gyoza-Eating Record!

Records were made to be broken—so sayeth the tired sports journalist's cliché. This one was obliterated. Hadron Collider-style. Space stuff. Gone. Particles. Dust. Nothing but old ink in old books.

Get your heads around this truth: Joey Chestnut ate 384 Day-Lee Foods gyoza in 10 minutes. Let that sink in and try to wrap your mind around that number. (You will have better luck explaining the Hadron Collider to a brick.) It is an astonishing number, one made even more incredible when considered alongside the previous world record, which was 286. And I say 286 was a world record because it isn't anymore. So isn't.

How? Why? But mainly, how? Chestnut would not lose to world #2 Matthew Stonie on this day. Not. A. Chance. And Stonie would push Chestnut to the absolute limit. The gyoza—the very same gyoza used in previous contests—were soft and moist. To an MLE eater worth his or her salt, that equals speed. And speedy they were. Down, down, down. Each plate of 25 Day-Lee Foods gyoza disappeared in seconds. Chestnut and Stonie were neck-and-neck through out, each pushing the other to new heights. They both broke the previous world record at the six-and-a-half minute mark. And then into unchartered territory: What happens when you eat 300 gyoza? No one knew because no one had done it! K2 scaled, thence to Everest for a better view, down below where mortals dwell. 350. The mortals with their small lives and lowly totals. And higher still. 360, 370. 380—STOP EATING!

And that was that. Plates were counted. Deductions were made. Most smiled. Few frowned. But this day belonged to two men: Matthew Stonie and Joey Chestnut. In defeat, Matthew Stonie knew that he had achieved greatness. Life is not a No Fear T-shirt. Second-place is not the first loser. Second place with 377 Day-Lee Foods gyoza is a human triumph for the ages. When we lose our appreciation for that, we lose everything.

And then there was one. Three hundred and eighty-four Day-Lee Foods gyoza in 10 minutes. Joey Chestnut. Now with 33 World Records. Another win and a great win. One not for the record books and the chin-strokers. One for the ages and for mankind. When Chestnut and Stonie embraced at the end of presentations, it was real, it was loving and it was all this old hack wanted to see. Damn it if your correspondent didn't well up a little and think, if but for a second, hope is not lost forever.