My headache is finally gone, so I figure it’s finally time to chronicle the adventures in beer and boobs that is Wing Bowl 15. Overall, the whole event was everything I’d hoped and imagined it would be. We pulled our U-Haul into the Holiday Inn parking lot at around 10:30 pm the night before and immediately started setting up our tailgating headquarters. That would last until 4:30 am, when the entire tailgating crew migrated through about half a mile of parking lots to the Wachovia Center.
I think Evan said this at some point in the night, and I agree, that Wing Bowl is like three events all rolled into one. The tailgating, the wing eating contest, and the after parties. Being old and out of shape, we skipped out on the afterparties, but the first two events are displayed in the following photos.
Beau, Evan and I cracked open some Yeung-Lings as soon as we boarded our train in Harrisburg en route to Philly. Evan is our agency copywriter and was trying to write some copy for an ad during when this picture was taken. I won’t divulge which client he was writing for, except to say that they’re the fifth largest ice cream distributor in the nation.
Pat Bertoletti (left) stopped by our party around 2 am. With him are me and Carey (right). Later, Pat left to squeeze in an hour of sleep in his Holiday Inn hotel room. I’m not sure how much sleep he would get because Crazy Legs and Eater X, who also stopped by after Pat left, went up to visit him. Despite the lack of rest Pat would eat 170 wings in Wing Bowl 15 to take second place.
Here I am with Joey Chestnut in the Holiday Inn lobby at around 4am after he’d just wrapped up an interview with the WIP radio crew. About 5 hours later Chestnut would be crowned the winner of Wing Bowl 15 after eating a record 182 wings.
Pete Miernicki’s crew was coincidentally set up across from us in the tailgating lot so we played beer pong and flip cup with them throughout the night. This game came down to the last cup and the flash from this photo was indirectly blamed for causing our guy (left) to lose his concentration and cost us the match. Yeah, I’m sure it was the flash and not the 15 beers he had that night.
Carey’s sister Chris (left), Beau, Me, and Carey kicking back in our tailgating wagon. Half the reason we got the U-Haul was because of the snow and rain that was predicted for that night. It didn’t rain, but the U-Haul was still a smart decision.
Some random guy came up and asked if he could heat up his burgers on our grill. He was excited.
Pete Meirnicky shows off his “Entourage Pass” which gets him behind-the-scenes access as a member of Joey Chestnut's posse.
Carey and Crazy Legs meet at last. Legs was wearing his trademark shorts despite temperatures hovering around 25 degrees. At one point, two girls came up to him asked “Aren’t you cold?”. When he explained that he wasn’t, they followed with “Is it hereditary?”
This was the view from our seats in the upper bowl. The cars on the right and the tables are behind that guy's head. I have to honestly say that I recommend upper bowl and lower bowl to the standing room floor area. The obvious reason being, on the floor you have to peak over everyone's heads and you can't watch the jumbotron which shows great angles of the eaters, the entrances, clips from past years and, of course, the Wingettes and Wingette wannabes in the stands.
Steakbellie makes his entrance with his entourage. His massive “Can of Whoop Ass” float was awesome and definitely the best prop of all the entrances.
Joey tearing into one of his 182 wings while his supporters look on. The fact that he was able to stay so focused on his wings despite the distractions surrounding him is unbelievable.
The projectile vomiting at the beginning and end of this clip is classic footage from the 2001 Wing Bowl of Matt "Sloth" Dutton's legendary reversal. Coincidentally, the clip was shown just as one of the competitors (who is he?) threw up and was DQ'd. He tries to force it back down, but the judges had seen enough.
Pat Croce, the commissioner of Wing Bowl 15, announces Joey Chestnut as the winner. As you can tell, the 20,000 fans at the Wachovia Center didn’t like “The World” eaters from the IFOCE and roundly boo’ed them every chance they got. In another video I shot of Sonya’s third place announcement, one guy next to me shouted “the world sucks!” and later “fuck the world!”
If you want to see some Wingettes getting frisky with each other or a flasher showing off her best top AND bottom assets, check out this video
or this video
. They suck a little bit because I shot them with my camera, but who cares.
A full set of my pictures from Wing Bowl 15 can be seen here
. You can also see WIP DJ Angelo Cataldi's photos here