Friday, December 08, 2006

THG Returns to Wing Bowl

It's hard to believe that in 2007 it will have been 7 years since I last attended the annual eating competition (and black eye to Philly's family-friendly tourist image) known as Wing Bowl. For those of you unfamiliar with the event, it began as a Super Bowl weekend spectacle intended to take fans' minds off the fact that the Eagles were once again not playing in the big game.

Fast forward 15 years and the event has grown from a small gathering in a hotel to a massive early morning spectacle that sold out (yes, SOLD OUT) the Wachovia Center in about a day. Home to the struggling Flyers and Sixers, this may be the most entertaining event all year at the arena formerly known as the FU Center (for First Union pottymouth... get your mind out of the gutter).

I attended Wing Bowl back in 2000 when I was working for one of the event's sponsors and the event so scarred and horrified me that: a) I couldn't even say the word "wings" for six months; b) it took me about six years to write about it; and, c) I haven't been back since.

But that will all change on February 2, 2007 when I get up at some ungodly hour and make the trek up I-95 to meet up with friends both old and new to witness this spectacle.

To spice up the competition (no pun intended), the event's sponsor has limited the number of "professional" competitive eaters and plans to fill the eating ring with local competitors. We already know that local eater/blogger Steakbellie has made the cut thanks to his devouring a 2' Wawa hoagie and a half-gallon of lemonade in less than four minutes.

We'll keep updating the qualifiers and other Wing Bowl news as the days till the event tick by. And for more on the world of competitive eating be sure to check out Dave Shoffner's excellent, entertaining MegaMunch.

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