After 26 years, Philly Wing Bowl’s end met with cheers and regrets

Two days ahead of Super Bowl LII, competitive eaters consume large amounts of wings during the annual Wing Bowl competition at the Wells Fargo Center. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

Two days ahead of Super Bowl LII, competitive eaters consume large amounts of wings during the annual Wing Bowl competition at the Wells Fargo Center. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

Angelo Cataldi of 94WIP served up the news Tuesday that Wing Bowl, a promotional wing-eating contest held during Super Bowl weekend since 1993, has ended.

 

Cataldi went on to encourage fans to go to wingbowl.radio.com to share their favorite moments of the past two decades. The website also has every single Wing Bowl available for fans to watch.

The event drew thousands to the Wells Fargo Center the Friday before Super Bowl Sunday. Last year’s contest winner, Molly Schuyler, earned the honor after eating 501 wings.

Although loved by many sports fans, the event also faced a lot of heat for featuring intoxicated fans vomiting, strippers, and scantily clad wingettes. People on social media wasted no time sharing.

Cataldi and his co-host, Al Morganti, came up with the idea as a tongue-in-cheek way to celebrate something in February when the Eagles never made it to the championship game. That all changed earlier this year when the Philadelphia football team won the Super Bowl for the first time.

Ronnie Polaneczky, a Daily News columnist, has been adamant about her distaste for the Wing Bowl. Polanecsky said she liked the idea initially, but “when they brought the strippers, it lost its hilarity. It took on this sleazy quality that just wasn’t fun anymore.”

She wrote about her experience going to the 2014 Wing Bowl where she referred to the event as “a gigantic, boozy frat’n’bachelor party at a disgusting strip joint that just happens, one night, to hold an eating contest.”

She related the experience of being slapped on her butt as she walked around the premises. She said she felt that the attendees considered a woman’s mere presence as consent.

“This is something that women would have gone to and now it’s just crude and misogynistic,” she said. “Some people say, ‘oh, it’s a tradition’. [The strippers] wasn’t the tradition. They lost their way.”

A representative of Club Risque, one of the strip clubs that was a staple at the Wing Bowl, said the club will likely do its own party the Friday before Super Bowl Sunday to keep business and to keep some aspect of the tradition going.

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