South Jersey mail carrier and professional-eater Dave "U.S. Male" Goldstein is upset that he and other local pros are again barred from 610 WIP's Wing Bowl.
The 18th-annual celebration of gluttony and strippers, will be held Feb. 5 at Wachovia Center, and Wing Bowl ringleader Angelo Cataldi has again declared it an all-amateurs, all-locals contest.
"We may be pro, but represent our local neighborhood proudly," Goldstein says. "We had great entourages and floats and loved being in the Wing Bowl." In addition to Goldstein, other local International Federation of Competitive Eating pros are Micah "Wing Kong" Collins, "Humble" Bob Shoudt and Eric "Steakbellie" Livingston. Goldstein feels "a bit cheated since we all started at Wing Bowl and want nothing more than to be a part of it."
Wing Bowl 17 winner Jonathan Squibb, 23, looks forward to defending his crown and is confident that he'll be cleared to do so. We spoke yesterday with Cataldi about allegations that Squibb had competed in pro events this year, and Cataldi said, "We're going to have to look into that with the lawyers." Squibb says he competed in amateur events, including a wing contest in Virginia where he won $1,000.
Squibb, aka Super Squibb, of Winslow Township, N.J., who surprised everybody by chomping his way to a 203-wing victory in January, is not a member of IFOCE or Major League Eating.
"In my opinion, whether he's won a purse here or there, he does not in my eyes qualify as a major-league eater or a professional eater," George Shea, IFOCE president, told us last night, speaking of Squibb. "He is not competing at the level of the professional eaters nor in the contests they are."
The champion said yesterday that his training "isn't too intensive right now." Squibb, an auditor with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, says, "I don't want to go in too confident, because anything can happen." He's been talking to five-time champion Bill "El Wingador" Simmons for pointers about defending his title. "It's more difficult the second time," Squibb admits. "Everyone'll be gunning for me. . . . I enjoyed the dark horse status before, coming in under the radar," Squibb says.