Last year, San Jose’s Joey Chestnut, the world’s number-one-ranked competitive eater, devoured sixty-eight hot dogs and buns in ten minutes, tying his record as he captured the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest for the sixth year in a row. The man with an edible last name has also won titles by ingesting chili, funnel cakes, gyoza, ice cream, corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, jalapeño poppers, tacos, tamales, and other delicacies, but he was shocked in May when Matthew “the Megatoad” Stonie defeated him by inhaling nine and a half pounds of deep-fried asparagus to Chestnut’s mere eight pounds in Stockton. Chestnut will be defending his hot-dog title in Sweikert Alley in Coney Island on July 4, along with women’s champ Sonya “the Black Widow” Thomas, against a yet-to-be-revealed roster of challengers. The festivities for the ninety-eighth annual battle begin at 10:30 with performances by the Brooklyn Community Choir, the Ken Gross Orchestra, the Skyriders, and longtime competitive-eating favorite Eric “Badlands” Booker, followed by the women going at it at 11:25 and then the men at 12 noon, with $40,000 in total prize money at stake. The competition will also be carried live on ESPN.