My First Wing Bowl Experience – WOW!!

In Uncategorized on February 4, 2012 at 11:20 am

I thought I had seen just about everything until I went to my first Wing Bowl. I’d have to say this is quite a different event. Let me give you a little history for those not familiar with Wing Bowl. Wing Bowl was the brainstorm of Philly sports personality Al Morganti in 1992 when Morganti became tired of the Eagles not making it to the Super Bowl. The first Wing Bowl was held at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel in January 1993, the Friday before the Super Bowl, with only 10 spectators and the winner, Carmen “The Beast from the East” Cordero, eating 100 wings. Since then the event has moved to The Main Event (94), Club Egypt (95), the Electric Factory (96 & 97) the Spectrum (98 & 99) the First Union Center (2000-2003), the Wachovia Center (2004-10), and the Wells Fargo Center (2011-12). It is still held on the Friday before the Super Bowl every year. 2012 was the 20th anniversary of the event. Over the years there have been 11 winners including 5-time winner Bill “El Wingador” Simmons, 3 time winners Joey Chestnut and Jonathan “Super” Squibb. The record for the most wings eaten up until this year was 254 set by Squibb in 2011. This year’s event included professional eating champion, Takeru Kobayashi who smashed the previous record by eating 337 wings. The 2nd place finisher was Squibb at 271. The event has now become a sellout every year with 20,000 tickets being sold at $10 each with all proceeds being donated to charity.

The event is broadcast live on WIP radio and hosted by the Morning Show that includes Morganti, Angelo Cataldi and Rhea Hughes with several former Philadelphia athletes each year. Radio coverage starts during the night goes through the Morning Show and continues in to the afternoon shows.

Here’s how it works. The parking lot tailgating starts early in the morning or the middle of the night depending on how you’re looking at it. The Wells Fargo Center doors open at 5am and the bars and concessions open for beer sales at 7am. We arrived about 615am. We found a seat and watched as each contestant is introduced and their entourages parade around the floor of the arena. By now many scantily glad women are on the floor, riding a mechanical bull and in the stands. The bars are now open and packed and the heavy drinking has begun by many. It’s now 8am and the arena seats are pretty much full. The wing eating contest starts with a 14 minute eating period with 10 contestants. While the 14 minutes of eating is going on there’s a live band playing, a lot of drinking and a lot of skin being shown by woman throughout the arena. Once the first round is completed there’s a 10 minute break while the results are tabulated and 5 contestants are eliminated. During the break the “Wingette of the Year” is named. This year’s winner received a 2012 Harley Davidson Sportster 883 motorcycle. All the while the crowd is getting a bit crazier and more skin is being exposed throughout the arena. A second 14 minute eating period is now under way with the 5 finalists eating away. Just for entertainment you get the privilege of watching contestants “throw-up” on the big screen over and over again while the camera scans the crowd looking for females to partially expose themselves on the arena jumbotron. Believe me plenty were willing to do it! Once Round 2 is complete the results are tallied again and announced to the crowd. Finally there’s a 2 minute runoff of final wing eating. In this case the results were pretty well determined since Kobayashi had such a big lead. The fans started heading to the parking lots for “some serious tailgating”. The winner is announced and it’s now 9am and the event is over!!

My final analysis of the event is this, I’m glad I got to go one time to see it. It’s different than anything I’ve ever been to. I saw more skin in 3 hours that you’ll see on the beach on a 95 degree August day. The fans were drinking but were under control. There were no incidents or fights and overall everybody had a good time. I can’t say I’d hurry to do it again but it was a fun thing to say you’ve been to once.

  1. Your description of this event nails it. I also went once in one of those years it was at the Spectrum. Fun event, good time, glad I went to say I went once, will not be attending again anytime soon.

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