Philly Wing Bowl produces new record, slim victory
By Jon Hurdle
PHILADELPHIA Feb 4 (Reuters Life) - Philadelphia's annual competitive eating extravaganza produced a winning record on Friday, a razor-thin victory, and a field of competitors that downed hundreds of chicken wings.
Jonathan "Super Squibb" Squibb, a 25-year-old accountant from Berlin, New Jersey won the 19th annual Wing Bowl by devouring a record-breaking 255 wings in 30 minutes. It was his third consecutive victory.
Squibb, dressed in a Superman costume, defeated five-times champion Bill "El Wingador" Simmons, a former New Jersey truck driver, by a single wing in the final two minutes of the contest that was witnessed by thousands of Philadelphians who nearly filled a 20,000-seat arena.
Squibb, who weighs 215 pounds won $20,000, a pickup truck, and a crown adorned with plastic wings. He said he would use the money to help pay off student loans.
The 27 finalists were assisted by teams of scantily-clad "Wingettes" who hand the eaters Styrofoam plates loaded with wings, and mop their brows during the gluttonous ordeal, to the amusement of the overwhelmingly male crowd.
The Wing Bowl, an important event for competitive eaters, is held each Super Bowl weekend by WIP, a sports-talk radio station, which came up with the idea almost two decades ago as a consolation prize for fans of the Philadelphia Eagles when they fail, as they have this year, to advance to the Super Bowl.
Caitlin Weiler, a 24-year-old school teacher from Northeast Philadelphia, said she came to see what all the fuss was about.
"It's something different - it gets some excitement into my life," she said. Continued...