After 46 years as a postman, a Montgomery County man began his retirement Friday by taking in the spectacle that is the Wing Bowl.
Paul Lyons of Jenkintown, and his sons, spent Friday morning at Wing Bowl 21 where Lyons would get to see a fellow postman take home the award as best local eater.
“It was one hell of an experience. Everyone had fun and did what they wanted to do,” said Lyons. He had listened to it on the radio for years.
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Lyons’ children surprised him with tickets last week after they heard Wing Bowl was on his bucket list. Lyons along with his friends and sons recalled their first Wing Bowl experience in the parking lot.
His son Patrick Lyons described it as “a cross between the Mummers Parade and a nudie bar.”
A sold-out crowd watched the Wingettes parade the competitors into the Wells Fargo Center. More than two dozen wing-eaters partook in SportsRadio 94WIP’s annual world-championship of wing consumption.
The top overall eater – consuming 287 wings in 30 minutes -- was first-time competitor James McDonald. Known as “The Bear,” the Granby, Conn. resident represented New England.
“It was a lot closer, a lot more intense than I thought it would be, but it’s exciting,” said McDonald.
The Wing Bowl record of 337 wings was set by Takeru Kobayashi in 2012. “I’m happy to win, but my goal was to set a record. I will be back next year,” he said.
As top overall eater, The Bear won $20,000 in cash from Steven Singer Jewelers, a $7,500 Wing Bowl 21 ring and a medal. Jonathan “Super Squibb” Squibb of Berlin, N.J. fell five wings short of winning his fourth Wing Bowl.
With Squibb competing with the rest of the country, the top local eater was Voorhees, N.J. postman Dave “U.S. Male” Goldstein. For his 266-wing effort, U.S. Male won a 2013 Nissan Pathfinder S-L from Montgomeryville Acura. He also won best entourage for his “Bynumland -- Where Dreams Never Come True” entrance, according to CSNPhilly.
Of course the eating is only part of the spectacle. While leaving, Steve Rode of Franklinville said, “The wing-eating contest was my least favorite part.”
A portion of Wing Bowl’s proceeds go to benefit the Philadelphia Police Department Survivor’s Fund, The Police Athletic League, the Comcast-Spectator-Charities and other beneficiaries.