courierpostonline.com – PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles won the Super Bowl, so Philly is losing Wing Bowl.
WIP announced Tuesday morning it’s ending the 26-year tradition of overeating and other excess.
“This was the right time to go out,” program director Spike Eskin said during the announcement on WIP host Angelo Cataldi’s morning show.
“When Wing Bowl started … a large part of it was the lead-up to the Super Bowl never involved the Eagles. We just wanted to get to the promised land.
“And through time, as we did not get to the promised land over and over and over again, Wing Bowl grew and went from a hotel lobby to the Electric Factory to the Wells Fargo Center … all the while we were waiting for the Eagles to finally get to the promised land.”
Eskin said the February 2018 Wing Bowl — the second before an Eagles’ Super Bowl appearance — turned the event that began in 1993 as a radio promotion into an all-out pep rally.
“The singular goal always was, let’s do this, make it huge, until we finally win a championship,” he said. “Last year just seemed like, when we all looked at each other, that this is the goal. This is what we wanted. There was a parade down Broad Street … If there was a time to stop doing this, after winning the Super Bowl was the time to stop doing this.”
Still, the end was obviously emotional for Cataldi, who introduced Wing Bowl in 1993 along with co-host Al Morganti.
“It’s been a very difficult decision to make because of our great affection for it,” Cataldi said.
Wing Bowl, held annually at the Wells Fargo Center on the Friday before the Super Bowl each year, was often slammed for gluttony, too much drinking and too little clothing — all starting before sunrise.
Excess is standard at Wing Bowl celebration in Philadelphia Jim Walsh
The scene — especially the part that included scantily clad Wingettes draping themselves over the contestants and guests — might have become harder to swallow in the #MeToo era.
But it was also very popular, and tickets were required to ensure entry into the packed house.
For the last 11 years of the competition, P.J. Whelihan’s supplied the 10,000 wings that were consumed by participants.
The eating competition made celebrities out of many of its winners, including South Jersey’s El Wingador, aka Bill Simmons, a five-time champion whose life took a turn into drugs and prison after Wing Bowl fame. He appeared at Wing Bowl last year as part of his plan to restore his image.
A number of women also won the eating competition: The 2018 overall winner — professional eater Molly Schuyler of California — received $5,000, a car and a $7,500 ring for downing 501 wings, a Wing Bowl record.
WIP is asking fans of the event to share their memories at wingbowlforever.com
Daamn this is definitely a surprise that I didn’t see coming. Also I’m ashamed to admit this but I’ve never attended a Wing Bowl, I know I know shame on me but it was hard justifying using a PTO day to get drunk at 4 am and to watch people binge wings and fight each other in the parking lot. For anyone that is unfamiliar with Wing Bowl I would def suggest falling down that YouTube rabbit hole.,……wooo buddy some of the characters that attended this could absolutely be in a movie.