“The hot-dog contest is a physical manifestation of the concept of freedom.” Those are the words of George Shea, the man behind the annual 4th of July Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, New York. Have you ever heard a bigger pile of horseshit in your life? (Well, election season is upon us, so sure you have, but you get the point.) We love the spirit nonetheless! Ken Hoffman, who has been a judge at the contest for 10 years, takes a backstage look at this Independence Day tradition, from the highs (free dogs and fries for judges) to the lows (getting splashed when a contestant experiences what is euphemistically referred to as “reversal of fortune”). Celebrate America and have a read.