My favorite thing about the 4th of July is the very unvegetarian Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, which is held every year in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. This year's competition was quite dramatic. At the end of the ten-minute contest, reigning champion and world record holder Joey "Jaws" Chestnut and six-time winner Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi of Japan were tied at 59 hot dogs each. But Chestnut ate himself to victory in the five-dog "eat off" held immediately after the competition. (Story here).
One year--I think it was 2006--one of the television commentators predicted that if Chestnut defeated Kobayashi, it would change the course of American history. I have nothing to add to that comment.
And while I'm on the subject of competitive eating, here's a fascinating article from Slate about competitive eating injuries.