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Super Bowl party kicks off with wings and breasts
Updated: 2005-02-05 10:47

Bared breasts, binge-eating and boozing, but no vomiting please -- it's Super Bowl weekend in Philadelphia and the party starts with an eating contest that draws more than 20,000 rowdy sports fans.

Defending champion Sonya 'The Black Widow' Thomas looks up at the clock Friday, Feb. 4, 2005, during Philadelphia's annual Wing Bowl. Bill 'El Wingador' Simmons, who consumed 162 wings in 32 minutes, won for the fifth time by defeating The Black Widow by one wing. [AP]

Bill 'El Wingador' Simmons, with a mouthful of wings, looks up at the clock during the last moments of Philadelphia's annual Wing Bowl, Friday, Feb. 4, 2005. 'El Wingador' defeated the defending champion Sonya 'The Black Widow' Thomas by one wing. [AP]
A truck driver from New Jersey who goes by the name "El Wingador" wolfed 162 chicken wings to reclaim the Wing Bowl, an annual pre-Super Bowl event with added flavour this year.

The Wing Bowl was conceived by Philadelphia sports radio station WIP as a consolation for fans of the local football team, the Eagles, after their team failed repeatedly to make it to the U.S. football championship.

But for the first time since 1981, the Eagles are in this year's Super Bowl, turning just another eating contest into a massive pep rally for the team before Sunday's big game in Jacksonville, Florida.

Stands were filled with the Eagles' green, white and black jerseys and logos adorned every available surface, including the naked breasts and buttocks of women who entertained the crowd during a three-hour wait for the eating to start.

A man poses with a scantily clad woman as another man looks on Friday, Feb. 4, 2005, at the Wachovia Center during Philadelphia's annual Wing Bowl. [AP]

A raucous capacity crowd of some 23,000 packed an indoor arena to watch 29 finalists try to eat the maximum number of wings in two 14-minute rounds and a final two-minute frenzy of wing-gorging. Scantily clad women dubbed "Wingettes" handed out plates of wings and wiped sauce from contestants' faces.

Thousands of fans who spent much of the night waiting to get in were denied entry after the organizers declared a full house for an event that is in its 13th year. Some of those that made it picked their way through a carpet of beer cans.

Student Colin Brightfield, 19, came to support his rugby teammate Douglas Detock, known to the competition as "Obi Wing," who qualified by eating more than 60 live cockroaches, and not throwing up.

Winner Bill Simmons, who weighed 312 pounds before the contest, edged out defending champion Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas, weighing just 99 pounds. The two were even at the end of regular competition among the 29 finalists and faced each other in a final two-minute "wing-off" which Simmons won by a single wing.

"This is amazing," said Mark Lacontora, 35, who left his home in northeast Philadelphia at 1 a.m. to come to the Wing Bowl. "It's so much bigger and better this year because the Eagles are in the Super Bowl."

Simmons, 43, who won a $17,000 (9,070 pound) Suzuki car, said he trained by eating Tootsie Rolls, and never vomits -- something that automatically disqualifies competitive eaters. "I never throw up," he said. "I gag a little, but it never comes up."

Despite his success, he won't be defending his title next year. "Hell no," he said. "This is it."

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