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Clemson, Alabama players eat up a visit from Joey Chestnut

The Sports Fan Journal logo The Sports Fan Journal 1/6/2019 Emily Van Buskirk, The Sports Fan Journal
a man standing in front of a building: Clemson players chat with professional eater Joey Chestnut on Saturday. © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Clemson players chat with professional eater Joey Chestnut on Saturday.

As Clemson and Alabama rolled into Saturday’s Media Day ahead of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, many questions were expected from the swarms of media milling about the SAP Center floor.

The “How are you feeling about the game?” the “What do you think the difference-maker Monday night will be?” and the occasional “What did y’all eat at In N’ Out this weekend?” questions were customary for the sound bite-hungry media members.

But it was the questions from 6-foot-1 world champion competitive eater Joey Chestnut that broke the football humdrum, infusing the conversation with talk of chicken wings, sliders hot dogs and perfectly cooked steak.

The mustard-belt toting Chestnut surprised players and coaches by inquiring about their favorite pre-game meals, searching for each team’s biggest foodie and trading wing-eating secrets with varying offensive lineman. Alabama offensive lineman and well-known food connoisseur Jonah Williams shared his top secret cookie recipe with Chestnut as fellow lineman Ross Pierschbacher divulged his competitive eating food of choice. Chestnut even traded stories of cheese Coneys with Clemson offensive lineman Jackson Carman – Carman shared a sweet story about beating his dad in a cheese Coney contest when he was just 11 years old.

Chestnut was even recognized, and hailed by Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. In fact, Clemson president James P. Clements told Chestnut, an engineering major, that if he ever decided to go back for his Masters there is a spot for him at Clemson University.

In the 2018 hot dog eating contest in Coney Island, Chestnut set a world record by eating 74 hot dogs.

Check out the video detailing Chestnut’s entire National Championship media day experience, see what kind of championship advice he gives Clemson wide receiver Amari Rodgers, and catch the prediction he gives Sideline Sass’s Kaleigh Krish for Monday night’s showdown.

Related slideshow: Best of CFP championship (provided by USA Today Sports)


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