Thursday, January 31, 2008

Slobs Gone Wild!

For the last 16 years, the Friday before the Super Bowl has had a unique twist to it in Philadelphia. Starting in the middle of the night, a sellout crowd will descend upon the Wachovia Center, home of the Flyers and the Sixers, waiting for the doors to open at 5:00 AM.

The event they're lining up to see? Wing Bowl, a Philadelphia tradition that combines the country's fascination with eating competitions, the good-natured boisterousness of Philly sports fans, and a Mardi Gras-like atmosphere. This year, 30 competitors have survived qualifying stunts of their own design to see who can eat the most chicken wings in a half hour.

Created in 1993 by the hosts of WIP Sports Radio's Morning Show, it has grown from a two man contest in the lobby of a local hotel to an officially sanctioned competitive eating event that sold out a 20,00 seat sports arena in 45 minutes.

It's a crazy contest with but one rule: "You heave, you leave!" It's fun to listen to on the radio, or over the station's internet feed. You can even check out video of the qualifying stunts at philly.com, although they're not very appetizing. And while I've never been to the Wing Bowl, I know several guys who go every year without fail.

Yes, it's a celebration of all that is unhealthy and politically incorrect. It rewards gluttony and sloppiness. It is all that. But on a weekend when Philadelphians have had no rooting interest in the Big Football Game on Sunday for 15 of the last 16 years, it gives us something to cheer about.

Wing Bowl

Philly.com Wing Bowl coverage

The Count: Snooze = +25, Push-Ups = +31
(Of course, after posting about how well I was doing on Tuesday, I wound up hitting the snooze button yesterday morning after adjusting my alarm incorrectly!)

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