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A contestant gorges on chicken at the Philadelphia Wing Bowl
Photograph: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Scoop Smith

Go on our Philly Wing Bowl scavenger hunt for a deeper look at the annual gorge fest

By Patrick Rapa

Once regarded as a monocle-popping maelstrom of shocking gluttony and shameless ribaldry, the Wing Bowl has, more recently, taken on an air of institutionalism in the city’s consciousness. (And yet it persists, with the 26th such contest taking place on Friday at the Wells Fargo Center. It’s a sold-out crowd once again.)

Sure, Wing Bowl is still an event in which buffalo wings are eaten competitively in a hockey arena. And, by most accounts, there’s no less crude humor, ogling or vomiting than there used to be. So much vomiting. But as society grows ever more sophisticated, we find ourselves numb to its excesses. In 2018, we are tempted to view the contest on another level—as a rare opportunity to appreciate moments of beauty, sadness and truth.

Here then, is your Wing Bowl Contemplation Scavenger Hunt. Please bring along this checklist and note which of these scenes you observe. Top prize is a sense of wonder and oneness with the universe.

Score one point if you see…

⃞ A husband holding his wife’s beer as she arches over a trash can—and he does not drink from it

⃞ The winner thanking Jesus in an otherwise unintelligible victory speech

⃞ A man in an unlicensed Nick Foles T-shirt quietly lean toward a scantily-clad Wingette and whisper, “Pardon me ma’am, but it appears that your nipple has popped out”

⃞ A contestant regurgitate his wings and feed a nest of baby pigeons

Score three points if you see…

⃞ Someone shout “woo” and mean it, like really mean it

⃞ A Wingette stare off into the middle distance with a single, glittery tear rolling down her cheek

⃞ A contestant achieve a moral victory

⃞ A father regale his son with the story of The Time He Met El Wingador And He Seemed Like A Good Guy

⃞ The winner quote the movie Invincible in an otherwise unintelligible victory speech

⃞ Sports radio host and Wing Bowl founder Angelo Cataldi acknowledge that while the day’s events may “celebrate mankind’s worst impulses,” we should keep in mind “how funny it is to watch a bunch of fat people eat so fast”

Score five points if you see…

⃞ The Rapture occur and have no effect on proceedings

⃞ A husband hold his wife’s hair as she arches over a trash can and says, “Babe, I love you”

⃞ The winner perform Nora’s monologue from A Doll’s House

⃞ A contestant look upon a heaping plate of wings and think, “I’ll enjoy this more if I take my time”

⃞ Estranged family members reuniting in the line for the restroom

⃞ An off-the-clock professor help an exotic dancer with her homework

⃞ You see a person for whom the gluttonous bacchanalia of the day’s events is new and wondrous, and you remember when you used to feel things

Score seven points if you see…

⃞ A newly pregnant Wingette smile, aglow with possibility

⃞ The winner leading the crowd in a rousing rendition of "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" from Guys and Dolls

⃞ A father of three from Mayfair wonder aloud why he’s watching people eat wings at six in the morning: “What am I doing here” he says to no one. “What are any of us doing here?”

Score nine points if you see…

⃞ A flock of chickens perched on the rafters, silently taking in the scene

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