Wing Bowl, Wing Bowl, freakin’ Wing Bowl. It’s one of Philly’s biggest food related events and even with all the naysayers who dis it… we’ll say we’re kind of charmed by it. It’s Philly’s giant flag to the world announcing that it’s a working class town that’s unafraid to hold a buffalo wing eating contest with pretty girls and early morning beer drinking in a hockey arena. We like that aspect of Philly (as opposed to the aspects we wish we could singlehandedly fix: the massive crime wave effecting most of the city, SEPTA and L&I;’s institutional paralysis, the sickeningly tense state of race relations, etc.).
But onto the Wing Bowl. Dan Gross just gave us a full rundown on the goods for Wing Bowl XVI. It’s a good piece too: Gross shows a knack for compelling viginettes about the Bowl:
Shortly after competing in Wing Bowl 16, Dave “U.S. Male” Goldstein is off to Arizona for the Super Bowl. Goldstein turns 40 on Feb. 3, the day of the big game, but he’s just as excited to return to Wing Bowl. He placed fifth last year and came in second among local eaters. Goldstein is sponsored by P.J. Whelihan’s, the pub chain providing wings this year instead of Rib Ranch (Castor & Aramingo) which supplied them throughout most of Wing Bowl history. He’s a postal carrier in Haddonfield, N.J. “I’m not shooting for No. 1,” Goldstein says, noting this is “the best field in Wing Bowl history,” with El Wingador and Joey Chestnut competing in the same contest. Last year, U.S. Male emerged from a seven-foot mailbox, but this year the Army and National Guard veteran is going for a military theme.
To train, the 6-1, 250-pound Goldstein has been eating several pounds of vegetables for dinner and drinking a gallon of water every morning. He’s adopted a tip from El Wingador and is eating Tootsie Rolls for jaw strengthening. He works out five days a week. He’s joined the IFOCE and has fared well in burrito and waffle bouts.
Goldstein loves the carnival of the Wing Bowl and apparently so does his father. “My dad’s a pervert. He went last year and sat right up front,” Goldstein says.
The elder Goldstein is more interested in the scantily-clad hotties than in his son’s eating. Goldstein is taking pledges for Rangerforacure.info, a charity set up by Army ranger Chris Young, who battled thyroid cancer and now raises money to fight childhood cancer. Interested parties may contact Goldstein at USMaleWingBowl@aol.com. The Postal Service, by the way, has no beef with Goldstein competing so long as he doesn’t wear anything with the postal logo.
He’s representing the National Association of Letter Carriers, the postal union.
To all the contestants, we say: eat on.
Early forecast: Joey’s a winner [Daily News]