After 26 years of wings, wingettes, and wildly intoxicated Eagles fans, WIP is officially ending Wing Bowl.
WIP hosts Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti, who founded the annual wing-eating contest in 1993, announced the end of Wing Bowl on the air Tuesday morning.
"I can't believe how emotional I feel about it being over," Cataldi told listeners.
Morganti originally came up with the idea for Wing Bowl to replace the void left by the Eagles' inability to make it to the Super Bowl. He compared the situation to Sisyphus, who according to Greek mythology was condemned to an eternity of rolling a boulder up a hill and watching it roll back down.
"It's like that Greek god who put the rock up the hill. It went over," Morganti said. "They won the Super Bowl."
The raucous event drew upward of 20,000 people to the Wells Fargo Center every year early on the Friday before the Super Bowl. Celebrities who have attended Wing Bowl over the years include wrestlers Ric Flair and Mick Foley, actor Chazz Palminteri, former NBA star Dennis Rodman, and musician Coolio.
In the 2018 event, Molly Schuyler set a record by downing 501 wings on the way to her third Wing Bowl championship.
"We had a lot of conversations, and a little bit of frustration on all sides, but I think we've come to a place where this is the right thing to do for the fans of Philadelphia," said David Yadgaroff, Philadelphia market manager for WIP's parent company, Entercom.
Wing Bowl drew its fair share of critics, thanks to the mix of intoxicated Philadelphia sports fans waking up early to ogle at strippers and scantily clad wingettes competing for prizes. ESPN once dubbed it "the worst event ever," and my colleague, columnist Ronnie Polaneczky, described 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."
For that, Cataldi responded on air by calling Polaneczky an expletive "who needs an enema."