In an upset that must have shaken her down to her soul, reigning Wing Bowl champion Molly Schuyler on Friday lost the Super Bowl of eating contests at the Wells Fargo Center to Patrick Bertoletti, a Chicagoan who also set a Wing Bowl record.
The wonderfully svelte Schuyler, who hails from Bellevue, Neb., had previously lost only one eating competition in her career, a pie-eating bout last year. She was all grace after Bowl co-founder Angelo Cataldi named Bertoletti as the champ.
"He's awesome," Schuyler said of the new champ. "No shame in losing to this guy. I love this guy."
Bertoletti, who entered Wing Bowl 23 with 5-to-1 odds, ate 444 wings in a total of 26 minutes to take home a 2015 Harley Davidson Softail Fat Boy and $10,000 cash. His remarkable performance beat the Wing Bowl record, set in 2012 by Takeru Kobayashi, who ate 337 wings in 30 minutes.
Bertoletti said he wasn't sure he'd make it to the end. "I was full at the end of the second round and I had to dig deep. I didn't want to lose," he said. Schuyler, who is 5-foot-4 and weighs 125 pounds according to ESPN, on Friday put away 363 wings in 30 minutes. Bertoletti said of her, "She's amazing. Just the best."
Third place went to local contestant Notorious B.O.B., while the University of Pennsylvania's Stormin' Norman won the college contest.
The world-renowned contest this year almost was marred by scandal when former pro wrestler Mick Foley was disqualified after he was caught stuffing uneaten wings into his fanny pack. How unsporting.