History

About 150 people attended Wing Bowl I in 1993 to see a competition between two contestants in a hotel ballroom. By Wing Bowl 26, over 20,000 witnessed 29 contestants do battle in the city’s largest sports arena.

Wing Bowl is part sport, part circus, and all entertainment. The event pits competitive eaters in a chicken wing eating contest. The Wing Bowl is traditionally held on the Friday preceding the Super Bowl. The event, which began as a radio promotion, has grown to encompass television, the Internet, and a contest for women called “the Wingettes.”

Wing Bowl was the brainchild of WIP radio host Al Morganti, who came up with the idea when it became apparent the Philadelphia Eagles were not going to make the Super Bowl anytime soon. The first Wing Bowl was held in the lobby of the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel in Center City. Carmen Codero walked away with the inaugural title, receiving a hibachi as his prize.

Entry into Wing Bowl can be gained in two ways, the first of which is successfully performing an “eating stunt” on air during The Angelo Cataldi Show at the 610 WIP studios in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, with Al Morganti as judge. Stunts have included eating 20 cups of cooked oatmeal, eating 60 ounces of creamed spinach with 60 ounces of hot sauce, and eating five Big Macs.

The stunt must be completed within a time limit negotiated between the contestant and Morganti. Morganti, known to be a tough judge, has disallowed stunts that involved what he considers “cheating”, such as dipping bread into a beverage to make it easier to swallow, or breaking up a food item into constituent parts for easier chewing (such as separating hot dogs from their buns).

The other way to gain entry to Wing Bowl is to win a “Wingoff.” A “Wingoff” is a 10 minute eating contest held at an area retail location. The winner of these “Wingoffs” gain automatic entry into the Wing Bowl.

Former Philadelphia Mayor and current Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell attended Wing Bowls II, III, IV and VI, where he presented the winner with a “Liberty Bell” trophy. Other celebrities who have appeared include retired heavyweight boxer Randall “Tex” Cobb, former 76ers President Pat Croce, former Phillies manager Larry Bowa, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, Eagles center Jason Kelce (who competed in the event), Snooki, 76ers coach Brett Brown, Ric Flair, former Eagles coach Chip Kelly, Chazz Palminteri, Dennis Rodman, and more. Major-league umpire and Philadelphia native Eric Gregg served as the “Commissioner” of Wing Bowl from its second year until his death from a stroke on June 5, 2006. On December 4, 2006, it was announced that Pat Croce will be the new commissioner. In 2014, former Eagles long snapper Jon Dorenbos became the third commissioner. 

 

History of Champions
Wing Bowl | Date | Winner | Wings Eaten

 

Location: Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel

I | January 1, 1993 | Carmen "The Beast From the East" Cordero | 100

 

Location: The Main Event

II | January 28, 1994 | Kevin "Heavy Keavy" O'Donnell | 127

 

Location: Club Egypt 

III | January 1, 1995 | Kevin "Heavy Keavy" O'Donnell | 133

 

Location: Electric Factory

IV | January 26, 1996 | Glen "Fluffmaster" Garrison | 155

V | January 24, 1997 | Eric "Gentleman E" Behl | 120

 

Location: Spectrum

VI | January 30, 1998 | Mark "Big Rig" Vogeding | 164

VII | January 29, 1999 | Bill "El Wingador" Simmons | 113

 

Location: Wells Fargo Center

VIII | January 28, 2000 | "Tollman Joe" Paul | 90

IX | January 26, 2001 | Bill "El Wingador" Simmons | 137

X | February 1, 2002 | Bill "El Wingador" Simmons | 135

XI | January 24, 2003 | Bill "El Wingador" Simmons | 154 

XII | January 30, 2004 | Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas | 167

XIII | February 4, 2005 | Bill "El Wingador" Simmons | 162 

XIV | February 3, 2006 | Joey Chestnut | 173 

XV | February 2, 2007 | Joey Chestnut | 182

XVI | February 1, 2008 | Joey Chestnut | 241

XVII | January 30, 2009 | Jonathan "Super" Squibb | 203 

XVIII | February 5, 2010 | Jonathan "Super" Squibb | 238

XIX | February 4, 2011 | Jonathan "Super" Squibb | 255

XX | February 3, 2012 | Takeru Kobayashi | 337

XXI | February 1, 2013 | Jamie "The Bear" McDonald | 287

XXII | January 31, 2014 | Molly Schuyler | 363

XXIII | January 30, 2015 | Patrick Bertoletti | 444

XXIV | February 5, 2016 | Molly Schuyler | 429

XXV | February 3, 2017 | Bob "Notorious B.O.B." | 409

XXVI | February 2, 2018 | Molly Schuyler | 501