Joey Chestnut during Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Photo credit: ESPN

There are only so many ways to give a play-by-play of a person eating 62 hot dogs in ten minutes, which means ESPN announcers have to get creative during the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Tuesday afternoon, SportsCenter anchor John Anderson and Major League Eating president Rich Shea were on the call for the popular Fourth of July event. And about six minutes in, as Chestnut was approaching 50 hot dogs, Shea attempted to describe why the reigning champion was so focused on winning the competition for a 16th time.

“He knows the benefits of winning, it’s a private table at St. Elmo’s [Steak House], it’s a luxury suite at the Colts game,” Shea said. “If you’re Joey Chestnut, the perks are Supreme Court level. You do not want to lose that.”

“Private transportation?” Anderson asked facetiously. “Has he got that from you guys yet? Or is that still coming?”

Chestnut has not received private transportation as a “perk” from the Major League Eating organization yet, but some Supreme Court Justices have, which would explain the quip. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Justice Clarence Thomas accepted paid luxury vacations for nearly two decades without disclosing them as required by federal law. And last month, it was similarly reported that Justice Samuel Alito previously took a luxury fishing trip with a hedge fund billionaire without disclosing said vacation.

With SCOTUS making major headlines by controversially deciding to gut affirmative action from college admissions last week, Shea’s Supreme Court joke on ESPN seemed intently timed. Critics will call for ESPN to stick to sports, but in this case that would have meant sticking to ten straight minutes of “Chestnut ate another hot dog,” which no one wants.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to