What does Philadelphia offer the Web? "Gluttony and strippers": Philly.com's Wing Bowl photos and live-blogging boosted last Friday's online readership to 4.1 million, the second-biggest ever and a little more than double the site's daily average. Only the Phillies' World Series win last fall won more viewers, says editor Wendy Warren.
The city's anti-Super Bowl, started in 1992 by WIP sports radio, has replaced the Mummers as our characteristic popular festival. Yahoo.com and USAToday picked up philly.com's coverage, and Reuters, the British news service, sent its own reporter. Here's how our cultural ambassadors looked in his dispatch, filed around the world:
"At 5 a.m. on a freezing January morning more than 15,000 Philadelphians crammed into a sports arena on Friday to witness the city's annual festival of gluttony and lust.
"It's the Wing Bowl, a competitive-eating extravaganza in which 27 men try to eat the largest number of chicken wings in 30 minutes. They are assisted by legions of bikini-clad young women called "Wingettes", and encouraged by a baying crowd which stayed up most of the night to take part in the spectacle." Full story here.