By Ryan Petzar
In a landslide victory at SportsRadio 94 WIP's Wing Bowl XX, Takeru Kobayashi dethroned reigning champ Joey "Super" Squibb, by downing a record 337 wings.
Kobayashi shattered the previous high of 254 wings, set last year by Squibb.
As expected, it was a Kobayashi/Squibb final, but the wing-off was a formality as Kobayashi had a commanding lead of over 60 wings by the end of the second round.
"He was great," said Squibb after watching someone else be crowned Wing Bowl champion for the first time in three years. Great may have been an understatement, as Kobayashi has obliterated the previous overall record before the second round even ended. Squibb's disappointment is most likely tempered because he had just won a 2012 Chevy Camaro for being the local eater that ate the most wings.
Boos rained down from the top of the Wells Fargo Center as Kobayashi flexed his muscles after his coronation.
"I think people are just shocked that a local guy didn't win," said Tony Luke Jr., cheesesteak-maven and friend of Kobayashi. "That's all," he concluded.
Kobayashi was eating at a pace that astounded host Angelo Cataldi. "It looks like it's all over," he commented during the second round.
It wasn't a total cakewalk for the new champ, though. At one point early in the second round, Kobayashi gagged and nearly vomited. Since Wing Bowl rules dictate that "If you heave, you leave," it would have been a stunning development.
But Kobayashi was able to restrain himself, in fact appearing to re-swallow whatever came back up. After a few taps of his throat, he flashed a smile to the cameras before going right back to eating.