WIP’s Wing Bowl returned for a 21st year in 2013; making the event officially old enough to drink beer legally.
As has become the standard for Wing Bowl’s in the past, WIP’s Wing Bowl 21 sold-out the Wells-Fargo Center, and fans began entering in the wee morning hours of Friday, February 1st (after several hours of tailgating outside).
Wing Bowl 20 champion, Kobayashi, did not return to defend his crown in 2013 (and record 337 wings eaten) and it was widely assumed that odds-on favorite Jonathan “Super Squibb” would once again take his place atop the Wing Bowl hierarchy. Squibb had won Wing Bowls 17-19 before coming in second to Kobayashi in 2012.
WIP’s Wing Bowl 21 featured everything that has made Wing Bowl a Philadelphia phenomenon: floats, nicknames, eating, vomiting, celebrities, and of course, the Wingettes (yes, the breasts get even more attention than the wings).
Even new Philadelphia Eagles’ coach Chip Kelly (who called the event Philadelphia’s second most important bowl after the Super Bowl) made an appearance and addressed the crowd to a roar of cheers before the eating portion of the program began.
WIP’s Wing Bowl 21 added competitive eaters from a slew of other U.S. cities including Chicago, Boston, New York, and Dallas. Once again there was a big fat check for $20,000 awaiting the winner.
The eating was fast a furious in the first round. When the first buzzer sounded, it was US Male (Dave Goldstein) not Super Squibb who was in the lead, having eaten 148 (Squibb had 138, The Bear had 130).
The second round finished with the top three from round one still holding down the top spots. Squibb still sat in second place but The Bear (Jamie McDonald) had leap-frogged into first, eating 135 wings, to take a 265-253 lead over Squibb.
Squibb was able to narrow the gap in the final round but The Bear proved too strong, eventually beating out Squibb by a mere 5 wings, 287 to 282, to take the WIP Wing Bowl 21 crown.
You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):