Notre Dame’s Army ROTC program prepares cadets for American military life, but this weekend members of the Fightin’ Irish Battalion will compete for German recognition. Four cadets will compete for the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency, awarded by the German Army, known as the Bundeswehr. Senior Josh Sandler, will compete for the award along with Holy Cross sophomore triplets Randy Jozwiak, Matt Jozwiak and Allen Jozwiak. The group will participate this weekend in Indianapolis, with Sandler serving as the team leader. Each will vie for his own badge individually. Sandler said though the German army gives the award, it is for American participants. “The German Armed Forces Badge is an award for military proficiency from the German army, authorized to be awarded to and worn by Americans,” he said. The competition takes place over two and a half days and is comprised of eight separate individual events — a 200-meter swim, a 100-meter sprint, a five-kilometer run, a long jump, a shot put competition, a first aid test, a 9 mm pistol shoot and a march carrying a 33-pound pack called a “ruck march.” Competitors have to meet or exceed a standard of performance in each event. These standards vary for different age brackets and are based on gender. Further, some events are referred to as “go, no go” contests, and others determine whether a competitor receives a gold, silver or bronze badge, Matt Jozwiak said. “Go, no go” means a competitor will no longer continue in the competition if they fail to meet an event’s standards. Jozwiak said an example of a “go, no go” event is the long jump, where competitors are disqualified if they do not jump at least 4.5 meters. Other events in this category are the 200-meter swim, the 100-meter sprint, the five-kilometer run and the shot put. Jozwiak said the first-aid test is similar to the “go, no go” physical event, as competitors must pass in order to receive a badge. The shooting competition and the “ruck march” determine the type of badge a competitor is eligible to receive, Jozwiak said. “There is a shooting competition with a 9 mm pistol. You have five chances to hit a target 25 meters away,” he said. “Three out of five is the minimum to still be eligible for a badge. If you hit the target five times you are eligible for gold, four times you are eligible for silver, and three times you are eligible for bronze.” The “ruck march” is the final competition and determines what type of badge an individual earns, Jozwiak said. Different distances and time standards for the march are required for different types of badges. Sandler said he wanted to compete for the German Armed Forces badge for the prestige. “In the Army, you wear your resume on your chest,” he said. “This is a shiny new bullet point.” Jozwiak said he is competing for the badge because he has never participated in a similar experience. “I really just wanted to do it because I’ve never done anything like the track-and-field events before,” he said. “The experience itself is what I’m looking forward to. I also want to better myself physically.” Sandler said all of the Notre Dame ROTC cadets have a chance at a badge this weekend. “It’s not a participation ribbon, but if we continue to put the work in every one of us is capable of coming home with some hardware,” he said. Jozwiak said he is confident at least one of the four teammates will come home victorious. “Personally, I don’t know how I will do,” he said. “I think as a team we’ll come back with some badges, at least one gold.”
What would happen if America ceased to be – if it failed to provide the leadership in the international arena for which it is best known? Professor Paul Collier, director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford, raised these questions and more in his lecture Wednesday titled “International Human Development: Has the U.S. a Leadership Role?” Collier, whose research includes the political economy of democracy and poverty, emphasized the distinct way in which the United States must exert its influence in the world so it may more effectively foster human development. He said the United States must lead by employing soft power, the power of influence and example, as opposed to the traditional notion of hard, physical power. With its “power of example, of imitation, [soft power] is much, much stronger than people appreciate,” Collier said. The U.S. should also use soft power to communicate particular values that have empowered America but are lacking in Africa, he said. Motivation is an important aspect of any healthy, vibrant society, including the United States, Collier said. Prosperous nations and successful organizations empower individuals to make a leap of identity, internalize objectives and become motivated. Africa, he said, suffers from a chronic “failure of motivation.” “If you look at the public sector across Africa – schools, health clinics – the fundamental problem is the astonishingly low productivity of the labor force because the labor force is not motivated,” he said. Collier defined another pivotal value, neutral regard, as two-pronged: it empowers individuals to achieve a cooperative solution to problems and allows for redistribution from the better-off to the worse-off in society. Here too, he said, the developing world struggles and must look to the developed world as an example. “Quite systematically, there are big variances, big differences, between the ability of different societies to reach [a] cooperative outcome,” he said. “It is much more difficult for poorer societies than wealthy societies.” Collier emphasized the power of integrity, which has reeled in the shadows of dictatorships and crumbling democratic governments. “The poorest countries have enormous problems with high levels of corruption, low levels of integrity in their government,” he said. But Collier said the virtue of stewardship – one that even Americans have not fully embraced– is one of the most pressing. “Stewardship is the central task of the present generation of African decision makers,” he said, “in the next decade there is going to be a resource boom.” Collier praised American society as an exemplar, but stressed the urgency of communicating its values to a world greatly in need. “[The developing world] needs role models of high integrity,” he said, “which is something that America has been able to deliver dramatically over the years.”
Joey Chestnut has been a force at the annual Coney Island event, winning each of the last three in commanding fashion and setting a new record of 74 hot dogs consumed in 10 minutes at last year’s event. Miki Sudo, a five-time champ, has ruled the women’s division in similar fashion after finally dethroning Sonya Thomas in 2014.The winner of both the men’s and women’s division each take home a cool $10,000 prize along with a fancy championship belt, but the monetary prizes don’t have to be limited to just the contestants. Below are some of the odds and prop bets that can be wagered on by fans looking to make an extra dollar during Independence Day.(All odds per MyBookie Sportsbook)Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest odds 2019It’s no surprise that 11-time champion Joey Chestnut is the heavy favorite to claim his 12th Mustard Belt. Chestnut’s 74 hot dogs at the 2018 contest were a full 10 more than runner-up Carmen Cincotti, who won’t even be participating in this year’s contest. Will Joey Chestnut win?Yes -900No +500Miki Sudo has a winning streak even longer than Chestnut, and the odds reflect it. Sudo defeated runner-up Michelle Lesco by nine hot dogs last year.Will Miki Sudo win the women’s division?Yes -1200No +600Prop bets for the 2019 hot dog eating contestChestnut set the bar high last year by setting a new world record with 74 hot dogs. He has increased his total amount consumed every year since 2016. Sudo ate 37 hot dogs last year, but has consumed at least 38 1/2 hot dogs in two of the last three years.Hot dogs consumed by the men’s winnerOver 73 1/2 +120Under 73 1/2 -160Hot dogs consumed by the women’s winnerOver 38 1/2 -120Under 38 1/2 -120Will PETA interrupt a contestant? (Bovada)Yes +700No -1600This isn’t that crazy of a notion. A PETA supporter interrupted the contest in 2016, throwing fake blood all over one of the contestants. Here’s the video of the PETA attack, probably would have hit 80 Hot Dogs without that lost time #JustSaying pic.twitter.com/iy27TW57VF— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) July 4, 2016Can you bet on the hot dog eating contest?The annual hot dog eating contest occurs in New York, but those watching in New Jersey will not be able to gamble on the event after the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement opted not to allow sportsbooks to take bets despite several requests. If there’s one thing more American than eating gluttonous amounts of hot dogs on the Fourth of July, it would be gambling on eating gluttonous amounts of hot dogs during the Fourth of July.Thanks to a few online sportsbooks, the latter is a possibility during the 2019 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. That hasn’t stopped, however, several gambling websites from making the contest a little more interesting for those looking to wager a buck or two.Has anyone ever beaten Joey Chestnut eating hot dogs?While Chestnut’s reign as Major League Eating’s top-ranked competitor does seem daunting, you only have to go back to 2015 when Matt Stonie upset Chestnut to win the contest. Stonie ate 62 hot dogs to Chestnut’s 60 and will be competing in this year’s contest.2015 marks the only blemish for Chestnut since his first Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest victory in 2007. Chestnut ended the reign of Takeru Kobayashi who had previously won six straight contests.