“If I needed to eat another one right now, I could.”
Aaaaa-Joey Chestnut, after setting the world hotdog-eating record.

Some people will tell you that competitive eating is not a sport. I can't really argue with that. I think one of the stupidest mainstream arguments in the world is whether or not a certain activity is a sport or not. Every one of us has personal definitions of what is or is not a sport. And within those arguments the following activities are always scrutinized: billiards, cheerleading, ping pong, drinking contests, auto racing and wife-carrying. And really, I'm not here to participate in such a trite and unnecessary argument-gimmick. I'm not here to state that competitive eating is or is not a sport. But I am here to argue that no activity short of bombing brown people is more American than eating competitions.

And I have my reasons.

Hey, I have an idea. How about I list my reasons?

Competitive eating is a prime example of what it means to be an American because, unlike any other activity, competitive eating makes us take pride in being wasteful, gluttonous, slobs. You have to hand it to a country that can look at one of its major shortcomings and say, “Hey, we do that better than any other country. Be proud.” There is nothing more American than gluttony, with the possible exception of obnoxiously taking pride in said gluttony. Stars and stripes forever, baby.

Competitive eating may not just be limited to the hotdog, but the people who run competitive eating are well aware that their signature event is the hotdog eating contest. And the hotdog was invented in America by some guy who, presumably, did not think that sausage was disgusting enough. I don't think any food is more American than the hotdog. And so it is fitting that the most American spectator activity (call it a sport if you like) would feature the most American food, which, incidentally is goddamn horrible for you. I love this country.

The hotdog eating competition is on July 4th. July 4th is our country's birthday. I don't think any further explanation is necessary.

So, because competitive eating holds its signature event on July 4th, because at its signature event, competitive eating features the most American of foods and because competitive eating takes pride in the greedy, gluttonous and wasteful nature of Americans, it is, quite possibly the most American event on the planet.

So it doesn't even really matter if it's a sport or not.