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July 5th, 2012
02:15 PM ET

Only In America: Hot dog eating contest

On Tuesday, Piers Morgan used his "Only in America" segment to issue a frank commentary on the annual serving of gluttony that has quickly become an exercise in excess:

"From small town parades to big city fireworks, this great nation will celebrate Independence Day tomorrow and the traditions are numerous," opened Morgan. "Here's one July the Fourth custom that could literally ruin your Constitution for life. Yes, it's the annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest."

Referring to the event as a "star spangled stomach ache," the host set the scene:

"Incredibly, 40,000 people will be in New York's Coney Island to watch grown men and women devour as many hot dogs as they can in just 10 minutes."

Introducing five-time reigning champion Joey Chestnut, Morgan rolled an interview clip from the man who "wolfed down 68 hot dogs" in his 2011 victory:

"I will do a practice contest. Then I'll fast for days, just drinking water," explained the competitive eating superstar. "I'll get a little heart burn, but Peptobysmal. My body is made for this. The doctor I'm going to now is an awesome doctor. He's a doctor feel good. He's on my side. He is - he likes that I monitor my diet. I monitor, I recover after every contest."

Precautions aside, Morgan recognizes the event's popularity, but still can't seem to swallow it's purpose:

"This event will be covered live on ESPN 3 with frenzied play by play commentary. But the great unanswered question remains, why on Earth would any sane person want do this?"

As any self-respecting journalist might do, the "Piers Morgan Tonight" host buried himself in research, all in hopes satisfying his hunger for greater understanding:

"Now I studied closely the Declaration of Independence. It speaks of life, of liberty and the pursuit of happiness," he revealed. "There is no mention of rampant hot dog gorging."

"Only in America" concluded Morgan, would the forcing of frankfurters be celebrated alongside a day otherwise noted for it's freedom:

"It's your country. It's your Independence Day. So whatever rocks your boat. As for me, I'll be spending the day quietly cursing the end of British rule. God save the queen!"

Editor's note: On Wednesday, Chestnut successfully defended his title, earning the famed mustard yellow belt by gobbling down 68 hot dogs, in 10 minutes, for his sixth straight win at the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.
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