Pet of the Week
Pet of the week Journey jabs at America's hot dog eating champ
Name: Journey, as in the rock band Journey, the play A Long Day’s Journey into Night, and animated movie The Incredible Journey.
Birthday: June 8, 2014. I’m in the prime of my life, with a long journey left.
Ethnicity: Hey there, Corgi Girl, swingin’ down the street so fancy free. That’s right, I’m a Pembroke Welsh Corgi girl, super smart, calm and sweet — who loves nothing more than to sit on the couch, cuddle, and watch TV. I weigh 46 pounds, so scootch over a little, OK? I’m good on a leash. It’s best if I’m the only dog in the house.
Come and get me: I'm available for adoption at 11 am Friday at Citizens for Animal Protection (17555 Katy Freeway; 281-497-0591). Tell them, "Ken sent me."
Journey’s jabs: the U.S. Postal Service came up with a genius idea ... finally. On September 7, it’s releasing a John Lennon forever stamp, part of its “Music Icons” commemorative series. Beatles and Lennon fans will buy this stamp, lots of them, but never use them. These aren't postage stamps, these are collector's items, to be saved, not to be mailed. Pure profit. Still, the Lennon stamp savings will barely put a dent in the Postal Service’s red ink. The Postal Service reported a loss of $2.7 billion last year.
Babe Ruth used a similar trick to save money. The Sultan of Swat paid for everything with a check. He knew that nobody would cash his signed check — his autograph was more valuable than the amount of the check.
The hot-dog-eatin' GOAT
Next week, I will head to New York City to judge the Nathan’s July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island. It’s my favorite day of the year, and this will be my 12th year judging the Super Bowl of Competitive Eating.
I am working on an unprecedented 5-peat. In 2015, I counted hot dogs for Matt “Megatoad” Stonie when he wrestled the men’s title from legendary eater and 8-time defending champion Joey Chestnut. Some are calling it the greatest upset in sports history. CNN International invited me to its studio in midtown Manhattan where anchor Jonathan Mann interviewed me about the shocking result. (I know, slow news day.)
In 2016, I counted dogs for Chestnut and Miki Sudo, both winners. In 2017, I was assigned to Chestnut and Sudo again, both winners again. Chestnut inhaled 72 hot dogs, a record for the July 4 tradition. That made five winners in a row for me.
By winning the Coney Island contest 10 times, Chestnut is the undisputed greatest competitive eater in history — the GOAT. (In fact, he’s the only GOAT who actually can eat a whole goat.)
Each contestant has a judge standing in front, counting every hot dog consumed. The judge signals a “Bunette” standing behind the eater, who relays the score to reporters and TV cameras. Because I get to judge Chestnut, the back of my head gets major air time. ESPN2 will show the chowdown live at 11 am on July 4.
I spoke with Chestnut earlier this week and asked, “What number are you shooting for this year?”
Ready? He said, “Seventy-five.” He wants to set his legacy in stone — never to be beaten.
Dallas (Keuchel) is hot right now
Don’t know why, but I was surprised that pitcher Dallas Keuchel is the Astro appearing nude in ESPN’s “Body” issue. I would have guessed Justin Verlander. Again, don’t know why.
McDonald’s has started its phased ban on plastic straws. It’s McDonald’s doing right by the environment. I know, it’s a small gesture, but every little bit helps. The straw ban hasn’t reached Houston yet, but it will.
Dog lover? Ken Hoffman introduces you to an adorable pup available for adoption in Houston every Thursday.