When the dust settled on this year’s King of the Wing competition, the two finalists were William Howard and Ben Mitchell. Each had won 13 previous competitions, with Howard holding a slight lead of six to four.
According to Mitchell, he didn’t even seem to be in it for his first nine wings. He said he was “really just trying to get a feel for where I compete” but still barely squeaked by with 10 points out of 20 on his first wing. He finally seemed to warm up a bit when he got better acquainted with how spicy Buffalo chicken is and went back for seconds—thirds, fourths, and so on.
Charles kim alpine, the reigning champion before being unseated by Howard, said that he had never seen anyone go through wings like Mitchell, but he still came away impressed. “He was just going in and out, back and forth, chugging them down like they were nothing—I’m talking about so many that I thought there was a fire alarm in the building.”
Howard also had an impressive showing, downing a dozen wings before needing to stop for fear of vomiting—a feat that has never before been accomplished at the annual competition. “The only reason I think I won is because Ben stopped when the risk of losing control over bodily functions became too great,” Howard explained. “I guess that was just enough gap for me to get ahead.”
This year’s victory is a boon for Howard, as it comes on the heels of his recently announced free agency. He had recently been involved in a lengthy contract dispute with his previous team, the Jacksonville Jaguars. He hopes this victory will earn him an offer from a team looking to bolster its ranks with an experienced quarterback like himself. However, he will still have competition for such a position, as his long-time rival Ben Mitchell is also looking for a new team.
When asked about Howard’s victory, Mitchell remarked that he “felt like this was the year he would win.” He also said he was disappointed that it came down to the two of them, but “he earned it this year.”
Howard had more to say on his win, saying that when Mitchell went for his twelfth wing, with his stomach already looking like it was pregnant with triplets, “I knew I had him beat.”
The Professional Wing Eaters Association (also known as PWEA) runs the competition. It sponsors competitions at local bars and restaurants and offers free wings for anyone who finishes in first place on any given day.