Wing Bowl XXI is taking shape, even though "shape" hardly describes some of its contestants. The big new wrinkle: A two-tier system, in which local wannabes have a shot at winning a new car.
Before a qualifying "Wing Off" this morning at P.J. Whelihan's in Cherry Hill, 94WIP "Morning Show" host Angelo Cataldi spelled out details of the annual gluttonfest - once again scheduled for the Friday before the Super Bowl at the Wells Fargo Center. That's Feb. 1.
Tickets will go on sale Dec. 11 for $10 through Comcasttix.com.
Last year, professional eater Takeru Kobayashi destroyed the field, inhaling a record-shattered 337 wings, and raising fears of another non-competitive event, Cataldi explained.
Because of that, a two-tier system was implemented for this year. The first tier will be reserved for champs of eating contests held in other cities across the country. Ironically, Kobayashi won't be returning, but Philadelphia's honor against Dallas, Boston, New York and other cities will be defended by three-time Wing Bowl champ Jonathan "Super" Squibb. He told the morning crew, including Wing Bowl originator Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes, that he's already started preparing, hoping to challenge Kobayashi's record.
Those in the second tier have a chance to win a new Nissan Pathfinder, and could add $20,000 on top of that by tallying the high wing total for the event.
This morning's three-minute "Wing-Off" featured 18 eaters, tackling plump and spicy specimens. The result was a tie, with Dave "U.S. Male" Goldstein of Voorhees and Dave "Tiger Wings & Things" Brunelli both polishing off 20 wings.
A playoff was waived, and both were officially accepted into the competition.
Besides competing at one of half-dozen or so Wing-Offs, hopefuls can present an eating stunt to perform at WIP's studios. Typically, stunts are negotiated through on-air phone calls, but they can also be proposed online at www.cbsphilly.com/wingbowl.
The top entourage in the event-opening parade will get a dozen trips to a resort in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, and the best of the Wingettes -- helpers who, unlike most contestants, enhance the event's visual qualities -- will win a Harley Davidson Sportster.
For complete coverage of Wing Bowl XX, including photos and more, click here.