Takeru Kobayashi and Bill "El Wingador" Simmons will face each other at Philadelphia's annual wing-eating competition.
Al Morganti knows the Wing Bowl has gotten out of hand. When it comes to a party, no competitive-eating event does it quite like the annual chicken wing-eating contest, a 6 a.m. Mardi Gras-type atmosphere full of beer, bare breasts, big personalities, and about 3,000 Buffalo wings. It's an unofficial holiday for South Philly where those who've tailgated all night in the Wells Fargo Center parking lot gather—and sell out—the arena the Friday before the Big Game.
"No one has the carnival we have," says Morganti, the host of Sports Radio WIP's "The Morning Show" and founder of the Wing Bowl, which is happening for the 20th year in a row this Friday.
"It's one of the politically incorrect events that you'd be correct to attend. There's no redeeming social value to it and we don't pretend that there is. You're not going to meet afterwards and discuss the lessons you learn in life."
The Wing Bowl's began as a barroom wing-eating contest at a local Philadelphia hotel, an excuse to fill the void of the Eagles not making the Super Bowl in 1993. Since then, Morganti and SportsRadio WIP have helped turn Wing Bowl into one of the preeminent events in competitive eating. "When you do morning radio, there's a certain time of the day or certain period of the year where most men just want to go back to the seventh grade," he says. "Fortunately for us, we kind of live in the seventh grade, so we can go back to junior high and the girls come back to life and everybody's coming out to [the Wells Fargo Center] hoping not having to go to detention at noon."