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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wing Bowl: Celebrating Losers

I wasn’t going to mention the stupidity that is Wing Bowl again after Friday’s Week-in-Review, but then I saw a Facebook thread on the topic initiated by Jon Marks of the 97.5 The Fanatic. Obviously, he’s from the rival station of the creators of Wing Bowl, which is a 610 WIP production created by Al Morganti, so Marks took some abuse.

But to see people commenting on the Facebook post calling Wing Bowl a Philadelphia “tradition” made me want to, well, puke. I even saw a video on YouTube in the last few days, which wasn’t worth bookmarking, that showed WIP’s “Big Daddy” Graham comparing Wing Bowl to Mardi Gras. I believe I saw at least one Facebook commenter compare it to the Mummer’s Parade. I’m no big fan of the Mummers, but there are some redeeming qualities of the parade. The same has never been true of a contest for mostly obese people shoveling as much food in their faces hoping they don’t puke.

Could we set the bar any lower Philadelphia? Wing Bowl is a tradition? No it’s not! It’s a radio shtick that has become one more excuse to get into a drunken stupor. And, if that’s your thing, fine. But like everything else in Philadelphia, we have to have a faction of idiots who want to elevate it to the status of something to treasure in the city.

It’s one of the more pathetic things about Philadelphia. And, yes, in case this is your first trip to the Ink, I’m from the area and root for all the teams – though I’m seriously questioning my Eagles fandom lately.

I also happen to be old enough to remember how this radio promotion started. For all the genius 20-year-olds who think they know all about Philly sports – damn, do I sound old – Wing Bowl celebrates losers. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.

Morganti has recounted how Wing Bowl started many times. He came up with it because the Eagles were never in the Super Bowl and WIP decided long ago that people in Philadelphia don’t care about the game without the Eagles in it. So they came up with this promotion.

Of course, even on the one occasion in the last three decades that the Eagles actually made the Super Bowl, WIP’s morning team with Angelo Cataldi made the Wing Bowl their priority. When the Eagles are in the playoffs it is at best a secondary issue to their precious Wing Bowl.

The fact that people call the Wing Bowl a tradition is the part of Philly I can’t stand. It’s basically celebrating a loser mentality. And by the way, an eating contest as a radio promotion? It’s horrible. I briefly went back to listening to their morning show because 97.5’s Mike and Mike is horrendous, but I just couldn’t take all the Wing Bowl crap.

I turned on the show the day after the Super Bowl, pleasantly surprised to hear Cataldi talking about the close finish. My surprise turned to disgust when it became clear the moron was talking about the damn Wing Bowl. He spent at least 20 minutes talking to one of the contestants as if he was interviewing an athlete.

And we wonder why Philadelphia gets mocked? Sometimes, we earn it. I know it’s an argument I’ll never win because most of the people looking for material on Wing Bowl are the ones saying, “Dude, it’s naked chicks and beers. What’s not to love?” But calling it a tradition is just one more way Philly opens itself up to ridicule.

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