Chen heroically captures his third Wing Bowl crown

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Max Cohen ('12)/Eastside Sports Editor (Photos by Thomas Hudson ('14)/ Eastside Staff)

The 6th annual Wing Bowl was an event fraught with wild antics, tough competition and most importantly, voracious wing-eating.  Erdong Chen (’11) captured his third title in four years even after coming late to the competition following his wrestling match.

The contestants had been eagerly awaiting the competition for days as they rigorously prepared.  Before the competition, many of them refused to show their nerves as they expressed confidence.

“I am going to be the most fabulous person on that stage,” said David Nahum (’14) as he prepared for his first ever Wing Bowl.

Another contestant, Brad Cutler (’11), had to deal with a sprained ankle he suffered earlier in the day.  “They would need to cut off both of my legs and seven fingers to keep me from winning,” said Cutler.

As always, the majority of contestants wore costumes of their choice to express themselves as they paraded in with their entourages.  Greg Frank (’13) definitely stole the show with his entrance in a green man suit while doing the popular hip-hop dance, the Dougie.

Former champion Mr. Rick Friedman showed the contestants the proper way to eat  a wing before the competition, as he would be the judge on what an eaten wing was for the night.

Once the eating began, Frank dominated.  He ate 29 wings in the first round and fought through a chipped tooth on the way to his early lead.  Brandon Weinstein (’11) came in second with 19 wings, followed by Jason Warren (’11) and Therapon Georgiou (’14) with 18 apiece.  Leonard Fussell (’11)  devoured 17 wings for fifth place while David Nahum (’14) ate 15.  Eric Kessler (’12) ate ten wings
(and a salad), Jon Brown (’14) chowed down on eight and Julie Coben (’11) finished with six.

The top eight competitors of the two groups combined would move on, so the first round contestants awaited the results of the second group to see if they would advance.

The second group proved to not be as strong as the first group at wing-eating, but they did not lack entertainment.  Mr. Greg Rouen of the Physical Science Department represented the faculty in the competition.  Rouen donned a top hat, tie and suit for the competition as he carried a briefcase.  As the eating began, he opened the briefcase to reveal fancy silverware along with a glass plate, cup and candle as he proved willing to dine at this wing-eating competition.  Rouen seemed unfazed by the competition around him as he slowly sipped on his seltzer water and downed his two wings, but not without measuring their dimensions with his handy ruler.

Rouen was realistic about his aspirations to represent the faculty well at the event.  “I’m going to let them down for sure,” said Rouen.

The competition with the other eaters was just as surprising, as Chen had not shown up when it was time to start eating. As the expected favorite, the competition clearly needed him but he had a wrestling match and missed his starting time.  Cutler took advantage of Chen’s absence and led the way with 14 wings, followed by Seth Levy (’11) with 13, Daishi Goto (’13) with 11,  Jerrod Herr (’14) with ten, Doug Ownbey (’14) with eight , Divakar Gouda (’14) with six and Rouen with his two.

The totals were then tabulated to figure out the top eight contestants to advance.  Frank, Weinstein, Warren, Georgiou, Fussell, Nahum, Cutler and Levy all advanced.  However, Fussell withdrew after the first round and was replaced by Goto in the second round.  The totals of the first round would be added to the total of the second, as the competition was cumulative from round to round.

Weinstein was very excited for the second round.  “It’s going to be a wing massacre,” he said.

The four-minute round began with Frank dominating once again.  However, with three minutes left, Chen literally burst through the doors and ran to the stage and began to eat.  The crowd begged for him to be included in the competition and Chen returned the favor by devouring 24 wings in those three minutes, more than double what anyone else ate in the round in less time.  In fact, his total in three minutes was more than almost everyone’s total in the six-minute first round.

The top four finishers based on the cumulative totals were to advance to the final round.  Frank advanced with 40 total wings, Weinstein with 35, Georgion with 33 and Warren with 30.  However, the crowd once again begged for Chen to be included after his dominant performance.  SGA decided to include Chen as he was in fifth place, behind Frank by 16 wings.

Chen remained unfazed by this seemingly large ground to make up.  “Let’s do it,” uttered Chen before the third round.

The third round was filled with drama.  Frank vomited towards the beginning of the round, forcing Warren and Georgion to leave the table in disgust.  It seemed as though the competition would be between Chen and Weinstein as they both remained at the table.  However, Frank attempted a comeback to win it even as Chen clearly was dominating and destined to win.  Georgion also followed Frank back to the table to finish.

Since Frank vomitted, he was not allowed to move on to the finals, according to Wing Bowl rules.  Thus, Chen and Weinstein moved on to the final two-minute round, with Chen already up 16 wings.

Chen completed his heroic comeback as he ended up eating 61 wings total.  Weinstein placed second with 38 total.  Frank and Georgion took third and fourth, respectively.

Both Weinstein and Chen were thrilled with their finishes.

“I’m definitely satisfied keeping up with him [Chen],” said Weinstein.

“It feels awesome knowing I cam back late from a match,” said Chen, who not only won Wing Bowl but propelled East wrestling to victory as he gave the team the points advantage in the second to last match earlier in the evening.

Overall, SGA credited the event as a success.

“The people who turned out seemed to like it.  It was a nice twist that Erdong came late and still won,” said SGA President Jason Warren, who finished fifth in the competition.