Watch CBS News

Joey Chestnut: 'The Wing Bowl Was Anarchy, It Was Debauchery'

(CBS Local)- Joey "Jaws" Chestnut is most well-known across the United States for being the 11-time champion of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest held in Coney Island, New York every Fourth of July. But, the current World No. 1 eater on the Major League Eating circuit is known in Philadelphia for taking home the coveted Wing Bowl title three straight years from 2006-2008. He set new records for number of wings eaten in those three wins, eating 173, 182 and 241 respectively over that span.

The fans in Philadelphia, forever rooting for the hometown guys and girls in the contest, didn't exactly welcome Chestnut's dominance over the competition. And they made sure that Chestnut knew it. Wing Bowl ended in 2018 after 26 years of competition and we asked Chestnut about his memories of the event when he stopped by the CBS Local studios.

The Sit Down: Joey Chestnut by CBS Local News on YouTube

"It was just anarchy. It was debauchery," said Chestnut who was in New York for the premiere of the new 30 for 30 documentary "The Good, The Bad, The Hungry" which features a look inside the rivalry between he and Takeru Kobayashi. "It was weird. The bars would close down Thursday night or I guess Friday morning and then people would start tailgating. They start letting people in at five in the morning and the event begins at seven. And they sell more beer at that event than any other at the arena. It's amazing. These guys from age 17 to 65 just obliterated, yelling at you to eat wings and it's a weird feeling."

"Then, I'm from out of town and it's Philadelphia so there are bottles being thrown at me and they are just terrible," continued Chestnut. "And they know they're terrible and I don't mean that in a bad way, but they're going to let you know they don't want you there."

Philly fans may have some quibbles with that characterization, but the fan base is famously known for being tough on opponents and in these cases, Chestnut was exactly that. An opponent from outside of Philly. However, Chestnut understands that mindset and it didn't keep him from returning for another eating competition in the city last year.

"I went back for a donut eating contest last year and it was fun," said Chestnut. "The people were really nice to me. Not all Philly fans are bad. But, Wing Bowl, it brought out the rough ones."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.