I woke up at 4 a.m. and rolled a J for my roommates, who proceeded to smoke while I ate two English Muffins and drank coffee. A day like any other day except that it started much too early and I saw a male sexual organ by accident (it was hanging between someone’s drunken knees in the ladies’ room at the First Union Center). My friends and I were some of 22,000 people who greeted the butt crack of dawn to watch large, large men (and one large woman) stuff chicken wings down their gullets. I had no expectations and none were met.
The actual contest did not start until the crowd was drunk on stadium beer and had leered at as many fake tits as a playboy photographer. I’m talking tits. Tits like mascots paraded around above waists thick and thin; tits strung together by lycra or pressed flat by too-tight shirts. The Wing Bowl is clearly a male-oriented phenomenon and clearly a phenomenon unique to Philadelphia. I can’t imagine anywhere else in the world celebrating blatant gluttony of a both sexual and epicurean bent with so much enthusiasm. And still, the Wing Bowl is something special, to be coveted like the first turd a stubborn child finally drops in the toilet. It is a source of pride not only for Eagles fans and buffalo-wing devotees, but for the obese men and women who finally have their hour. I was bored to death.