A generation from now, when scholars attempt to explain the history of America – the greatest, most advanced civilization in one million years of mankind – they will point to the events that took place one morning in a packed arena on South Broad Street as the moment this blessed nation crumbled to its knees.
Wing Bowl IX.
We are doomed.
The annual debacle, broadcast live from the First Union Center on WIP-610 (AM), is ostensibly an all-you-can-eat Buffalo wing contest.
But for pure depravity, this year’s event had it all: Big-busted women bouncing on a trampoline, projectile vomiting, a guy who crushes beer cans on his head, pre-breakfast beer consumption, a near-brawl between a contestant and a judge and a wrestling match featuring bikini-clad babes doused in hot sauce.
Journalistic accuracy compels me to report that no bearded ladies were present. However, there were wrestling dwarfs and a live chicken.
Yet, it’s not just the unmitigated perversion, the vulgar excess, that stuns the sober soul. No, it’s the fact 20,000 people woke before dawn yesterday to witness it all.
By 6 a.m., the parking lots were jammed. By 8 a.m., it was S.R.O. and hundreds more were turned away at the door.
And for what?
As host Angelo Cataldi plaintively wondered upon watching an instant replay of an over-filled contestant spew his guts, “To see a man throw up – there’s gotta be more to life than this. ”
But as they say, the sideshow must go on.
And, thus, the famed El Wingador sucked down a stunning 137 chicken wings in little more than 30 minutes to re-take his crown as Wing Bowl champion.
He finished off nearly two dozen more wings than his nearest competitor.
“I don’t even know why I showed up,” proclaimed the confident, trash-talking champ, a/k/a Bill Simmons of National Park, N.J. “I shudda sent this in the mail. ”
He had every reason to boast. For in some quarters, there were whispered doubts that the ’99 winner had the stuff it takes to swallow so much bird. After all, he bowed out of last year’s feast because of an alleged illness.
Meanwhile, fearsome challenges were launched by the likes of longshot Damaging Doug (Douglas Canavin, of Folcroft, Delaware County) and last year’s champ, the corpulent Tollman Joe (Joseph Paul, of Bellmawr, N.J.).
One guy reportedly had dental surgery to remove a single tooth, to allow him to more efficiently strip meat from chicken bones.
But El Wingador was workmanlike, and he led from start to (belch) finish.
“It was easy,” he proclaimed. “Let’s go eat! ”
As always when large quantities of hot, greasy food are present, there was a brief moment of gastric unrest.
This one involved a grazer named Hank the Tank, a bald-headed hothead who apparently felt he’d been jobbed by commissioner Eric Gregg. After questioning Gregg’s honesty, Mr. Tank doused the dapper former major league baseball umpire with a cup of water.
“I should’ve hit the guy, but then I’d get sued,” said Gregg. “It was very unprofessional. ”
“He was upset that he got beat by a girl,” Gregg said, referring to portly but pleasant Donna “Belly Donna” Villee. “But the girl, she ate. ”
Villee finished with nearly 80 wings under her belt.
“It just proves what you can do when you put your mind to it,” she said.
Chalk another one up for the species.