NEW YORK -- The city of San Jose scored a trifecta of headlines at Friday's annual hot dog eating contest when hometown hero Joey "Jaws" Chestnut won his eighth-straight mustard belt by besting another San Jose eater and also fit in a marriage proposal to his girlfriend, also from San Jose.
Chestnut, a San Jose State alum, dropped to one knee and proposed to his longtime girlfriend before the contest, then packed away 61 franks and buns to hold on to his coveted mustard-yellow winner's belt.
Chestnut fell short of his record of 69 dogs and buns, set last year, but he still beat second-place finisher Matt "Megatoad" Stonie, who downed 56. Stonie, a 22-year-old alum of Evergreen Valley High School, looks to be the heir apparent to Chestnut's throne, with the eventual handoff having the potential to echo the contentious quarterback transition between San Francisco 49ers legends Joe Montana and Steve Young.
The contrast between the two San Jose men is stark: Chestnut stands 6 feet tall and weighs about 230 pounds, while Stonie barely reaches 5 feet 6 inches on a good day and checks in at 120 pounds.
Chestnut, 30, took a quick timeout before the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island to make it official with his longtime girlfriend, Neslie Ricasa, also a competitive eater, who ranks 34th in the Major League Eating circuit.
It might be prudent to look into 18-wheeler rentals to supply the wedding reception.
In the women's division, defending champion Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas lost her title to Miki Sudo, a Las Vegas resident who wolfed down 34 franks and buns. Thomas, of Alexandria, Virginia, was only able to devour 27.
In 2010, Chestnut's former rival, Takeru Kobayashi, refused to sign an exclusive contract with Major League Eating, the food equivalent of the NFL, and was banned from competition.
This year, the native of Japan, nicknamed "The Tsunami" -- he once competed in a televised hot dog eating "competition" with a Kodiak bear and lost handily due to general laws of nature -- competed against five other competitive eaters at a separate event on Fifth Avenue in a quest to down the most hot dogs without buns in 10 minutes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.