They can dunk, jump, or pull them apart. But if the dog comes back up, you're out of the game.
"If the dog revisits you, you're done," said New York Johnny's Hot Dogs owner Johnny Saltarella. "You're out. If you touch somebody else's dogs, you're out. "
The second annual New York Johnny's Pacific Northwest Hot Dog Eating Contest was hosted at Moscow's Eastside Marketplace last Saturday. Last year, the winner managed to eat 17 hot dogs, and this year, he came back to defend his title.
"I'm feeling great," said defending champion Brian Morris. "I'm kind of hungry, I stopped eating on Tuesday so I'm ready to just get some dogs down."
The event has attracted hundreds of people both years that it has been running. It's inspired by a contest that is held in New York every Fourth of July.
“So my friend, a friend of mine asked me one day, ‘Dude how come you never thought about having a hot dog eating contest?’ said Saltarella. "So I was like, ‘I don’t know why I didn’t think of it. That’s a great idea.”
New York Johnny has his father send him some of the ingredients for his dogs all the way from New York. However the competitors were not eating the specialty dogs with spiced onions. In fact, they didn't even have ketchup. Just the bun, the dog, and a bunch of water.
When it was time to compete, a crowd surrounded the stage to cheer on their favorite competitor. Many people were watching the defending champ, and the the guy jumping up and down next to him. But in the end, the winner was Doug "The Bottomless Pit" Torrance from Moscow.
"I've always been fascinated by the whole competitive eating thing," said Torrance. "I was like 'That would be really fun to do one day.' And lo and behold, there's one right here in Moscow. And I applied for it and I was selected, so I decided to do it."
Torrance ate 18 dogs. He won $500 in cash and free hot dogs at New York Johnny's for a year.
Information about next year’s contest will be available on New York Johnny’s website.