Swallow Your Pride

A documentary film that satisfies your hunger

Wikipedia defines Wing Bowl as “an annual eating contest founded in 1993 by Philadelphia talk-radio hosts Al Morganti and Angelo Cataldi as a celebration of gluttony.”  You read that right: “a celebration of gluttony.”  Every year, on the Friday before the Super Bowl, 30,000 Philadelphians gather to watch 30 eaters compete in an annual wing-eating competition, the largest eating contest on the planet.  The contestants’ names range from El Wingador to Yao Wing to Hank the Tank.  They are escorted into an arena by beautiful wingettes who wear only enough clothing to cover a small Chihuahua and are cheered on by a crowd that had been tailgating since the night before.  Oh, and the festivities begin around 5am.

Swallow Your Pride follows 6 contestants, who qualify for Wing Bowl by completing an eating stunt for the radio station that hosts the event – from 20 hot dogs in under 5 minutes to 2 lbs of raw dolphin – on their road to Wing Bowl.  However, for the audience that yearns for outrageous live-eating footage, be patient, because the film moves way deeper than covering fat people eating enough for a small country.

The film introduces you to 6 different contestants, their families, their friends and their neighbors.  Among the 6 contestants we follow, El Wingador is the star.  A 4-time Wing Bowl Champion, El Wingador is Philly’s own and when the International Federation of Competitive Eating starts entering their members, El Wingador becomes the hometown favorite.  We watch him train, meet his family and in one his best scenes, we watch him show a cheering high school how he eats a wing.  Among the other contestants are three members of the IFOCE, and as we learn about them, the film shows us their passion for competitive eating as well as the growth and history of competitive eating as an industry.

The film goes far beyond the party that is Wing Bowl (which does, however, take center stage in the last 30 minutes).  It teaches you about an industry that you probably never knew existed and makes celebrities of 6 average people who have one thing in common: they can eat about 1 wing every 10 seconds for 30 minutes.

broadandpattison’s movie wing rating:
4 wings
(out of 5)


Photo: Jamd

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  • BS Mom November 18, 2008  

    For the first time, I’m truly disappointed in ES and can’t imagine it promoting this type of show. BS and Gansie, you should apologise to all your millions of readers – and also remove the post.

  • BS November 18, 2008  

    sorry, mom 🙁
    b&p – while my mom dissaproves of gluttony contests, I have to say it is a pretty great post…and yao wing is an amazing name

  • broadandpattison November 18, 2008  

    i could have written about it for hours. the winner 3 years ago was a 99 lbs asian woman (The Black Widow). El Wingador took back the title with a one wing victory in overtime a year later. last year, Joey Chestnut, who is regarded as the best eater of all time, beat El Wingador with 241 wings. in the Q & A after the movie, El Wingador said one of his greatest moments of Wing Bowl was afterward, when Joey Chestnut told him “You’re a great competitor and you forced me to win.” It’s amazing how much respect the IFOCE guys give El Wingador. I’ll be going this year for the first time since 2004.

  • BS Mom November 18, 2008  

    O.K. The Will has been changed and BS disinherited.

  • BS November 18, 2008  

    there go my millions.

  • MonkeyBoy November 18, 2008  

    woot!! I win!! Me and Paris gonna be clubbin’ on my inherited millions.
    BTW BS, I just bought half a lamb from http://www.virginiashirefarms.com Any thoughts on what to do with the kidneys? I’ve seen a recipe for grilled, and I suppose kidney pie too. Anything else?

  • henry cumeretsie January 8, 2009  

    forget to mention that these two geek assholes went behind the shea’s back and filmed ifoce members without ifoce consent. two sneaky nerds if you ask me

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