LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — He’s been a Kentucky state trooper, a Tennessee Titans mascot, and a bodybuilder featured on a TV show with The Rock.
But now Bartley Weaver, a Harrodsburg native now lives in Bowling Green, can also call himself a 7th place finisher at Nathan’s annual hot dog eating contest.
This week he sat down with LEX 18 as he digested the 29 hot dogs he ate in 10 minutes.
“I think it was a pretty good debut for me, and I was just happy to be there,” Weaver said. “It's the Super Bowl of competitive eating, and at least I can say I've been there once.”
Checking Coney Island off his list, Weaver ate his way to a top 10 finish on the 4th of July, standing just feet away from the greatest professional eater of all time Joey Chestnut.
“You hear stories of people who used to play with Michael Jordan. and they got this experience, got that experience,” he said. “I'm like, Well, I’ve eaten hot dogs right next to him.”
Weaver didn’t beat Chestnut, but as far as he knows he’s the world’s only professional eater and bodybuilder. He spent weeks leading up to the contest strengthening his jaw and getting his stomach ready. So when a protester stormed the stage at game time, Weaver didn’t stop putting away hot dogs. He says he didn’t even get a single stain on his jersey.
“I didn't even know there was one by Joey, and Joey choked him and threw him down,” Weaver said. “So I didn't even know that was going on. I was like, Hey, I’ve got some hot dogs to eat, I can't be worried about nothing else, ya know?”
Pretty impressive for a guy who’s not even that into hot dogs. Weaver prefers pizza and dessert.
“I did the world donut hole eating championship last month in Indiana, and I did the world pumpkin-pie eating championship last October,” he said.
Weaver has spent the week doing cardio back home in Kentucky and has almost lost the 20 pounds he gained after the competition. He hopes he’s invited back to Nathan’s contest next year, but for now, he’s relishing his new memories with a permanent reminder in the form of a hot dog tattoo on his foot.