Injured hot dog champion unable to cut the mustard

The Baltimore Sun

It's like holding the Masters without Tiger Woods.

The annual Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest will go on July 4 at New York's Coney Island, but Takeru Kobayashi won't be there. The competitive eating superstar is out with an injury.

And, no, the injury has nothing to do with an ulcer.

Kobayashi has an arthritic jaw. On his Web site, Kobayashi said: "My jaw refused to fight anymore." He can't open his mouth more than the width of a fingertip.

"I feel ashamed that I couldn't notice the alarm bells set off by my own body," he said. "But with the goal to win another title with a new record, I couldn't stop my training so close to the competition.

"I was continuing my training and bearing with the pain, but finally I destroyed my jaw."

Kobayashi would have been seeking his seventh consecutive Nathan's title. Last year, he consumed 53 3/4 hot dogs in 12 minutes.

Mr. Flip really doesn't want to know what happened to that other quarter hot dog.

Roger says

Roger Federer is a scintillating tennis talent. His personality? Not so much.

Here is a sampling of his responses to questions from fans at his Web site, rogerfederer .com:

"If you weren't Roger Federer, who would you like to be?"

"I'm OK with who I am!"

"If and when you lose, you always seem to smile and congratulate your opponent. How can you do that?"

"When I lose I am disappointed, but I surely respect my opponent when he beats me and thus can congratulate him with a smile."

"What would your favorite television show be?"

"I don't have one; I travel too much to have just one favorite."

"What's the most wonderful compliment you have received?"

"I don't remember just one specific one. But I certainly appreciate all of them!"

"Is there a special place you like to go to where you can be alone and have some quiet time to yourself?"

"Well, when I want to relax I go to my room, have a massage or watch TV."

Born to be wild.

Compiled from wire and Web reports by Mr. Flip, who does the same thing for quiet time, minus the massage.

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