SportsRadio WIP’s Wing Bowl is an action-packed adventure in the gluttonous sport of competitive eating. It is a Philly tradition, that takes place just before the Super Bowl, in which contestants try to eat the most buffalo wings that they can in three rounds. The first two rounds are comprised of 14 minute sessions to weed out the weaker competitors, culminating in a final 2 minute blitz round for a total of 30 minutes of buffalo wing eating madness. On top of all this food eating frenzy, you will also find crazy floats, crazy people, hot wings, and even hotter women. Thus, it’s no surprise that when it was time for the 20th anniversary of this great event, you would find the Bring The Wing crew there to cover this hot wing extravaganza. So with a hop skip and a jump over the Delaware, we stopped by the Wells Fargo Center to see what the city of brotherly love had to offer.
Our crew arrived at the event around 4am and the streets were already crowded as everyone fought their way to their very own parking lot party. It became apparent almost immediately that many of these patrons didn’t just wake up… rather, they just didn’t go to sleep and continued to keep the party going. The music was blasting, the party was jumping, and the beer was flowing as we made our way into the arena.
With our Media Passes in hand, we were able to get a rare behind-the-scenes look as the contestants prepared themselves for the event. We spoke with 3 time champion Jonathan “Super” Squibb as well as first time Wing Bowl Eater Peter “King Kong” Cox to see what their strategies would be going into the competition. The best advice we got was from Super Squibb to just focus on the wings and do what was necessary to win, even if that meant eating 300 wings. And with 5 time winner Bill “El Wingador” Simmons and world famous competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi as opponents, eating 300 wings wasn’t a pipe dream; it was a necessity to pull through as champion.
As the clock struck 6am, the contestants made their way into the packed arena with 20,000 fans cheering them on. Many entered on dramatic floats with some of the sexiest exotic dancers in the area by their side. The contestants came equipped with their own Wingettes and entourages including an appearance from adult film stars Ron Jeremy, Mary Carey, and Jenna Jameson. While the band played and the crowd hollered, the tone was set for an exciting morning as the contestants took their seats. After the ceremonial breaking of the egg, it was time to begin round one of the Wing Bowl.
For 14 minutes it was a non-stop wing eating celebration in which meat was stripped from bones in a matter of seconds and plates were cleared faster than humanly possible. Each contestant had their own unique style, and it was amazing to see how much these eaters could take in almost effortlessly as some bebopped to keep the rhythm of their eating. After a short break, the contestants were narrowed down to ten as round two began for another 14 minutes of insanity. Only the greatest would survive, though, as we headed into the final 2 minute round. With only five competitors remaining, all eyes were set on Super Squibb to see if he could take down Kobayashi’s lead in the final seconds.
With 337 wings, Kobayashi crushed last year’s record by over 80 wings and was crowned champion of Wing Bowl 20. The proud Takeru walked off with $20,000 and a $7,500 Championship ring from Steven Singer Jewelers. Super Squibb placed 2nd with a final count of 271 wings, and as “Local Winner” was awarded a new 2012 Chevy Camaro. As for the rest, they walked away with their bellies full and heads held high, because even though they may not have won, they got to EAT WINGS!!! (and really is there any better food?)
Click below to watch the highlights from Wing Bowl 20