By Kevin Wright Special to Published Nov 15, 2006 at 8:34 AM
There was something in the air last Thursday night at WoW Cafe and Wingery, and it wasn't just the scent of hot wings.  Twelve of the best eaters in the Milwaukee area had gathered to gorge themselves in hopes of becoming the 2006 Milwaukee Wingman.  All the big players were there:  "Catfish," "Tight-Pants," "Skippy," "The Drunk," "Big Nate" and even John "Feel Me Now" Hyland, himself.

As I surveyed this group of gurgitators, I tried to keep myself focused on the task at hand.  The group would be split up into two heats of six.  We would each be given a pre-weighed, three-pound bucket
of wings and an empty bucket for debris.  At the sound of the gun, we would have 10 minutes to consume as many wings as we could, throwing remains into the debris bucket.  At the end of 10 minutes, everything we had left (debris plus uneaten wings) would be weighed and subtracted from the start weight for our official score in ounces.

I had drawn the first heat along with Drew "The Drunk" O'Malley and "Big Nate."  We took our positions at the table and the buckets were laid out in front of us.  Because I hadn't eaten in about eight hours,
the large bucket of wings actually looked pretty appetizing.

Lane, the owner of WoW, gave us the ready signal and then we were off.

Now, I can't exactly describe what happened next, but if anyone has seen "Old School" and that scene where Will Ferrel answers the debate question, it was kind of like that.  I basically blacked out.  I was
cramming as much wing into my mouth as humanly possible.  All method or strategy went right out the window.  By the time I came to, my bucket was gone and only about three minutes had lapsed.

I gazed around at my fellow competitors and realized that none of them was even close to being done with their bucket so I began yelling for more wings.  They brought me another bucket and I dove in. This one didn't go down nearly as well as the first one.  At around the eight minute mark, I really started hitting the wall.  The food that had previously been somewhere around my esophagus had finally settled into my stomach and I was getting full.  Not to mention the distinct burning sensation all over my face.  Despite this, I was able to just finish the second bucket before time ran out.

When the results came in, I was a little shocked.  It turned out I had eaten 44 ounces, or 2.75 pounds. The next closest competitor was Big Nate at 31 ounces.  I was pretty excited, but you wouldn't have known it looking at me.  If I would have moved anything, even to smile, I felt like I might explode.

The second round began and I started feeling a little closer to normal.  Andy "Tight-Pants" Hansen won that round with 32 ounces, meaning I had won the competition by 3/4 of a pound!

Unfortunately, I will be unable to compete in the next round in New Orleans.  At the last minute, they informed us that airfare would no longer be included.

Oh well, at least I can claim the title of Milwaukee Wingman for the year.
Kevin Wright Special to

A 2004 UW-Madison Grad, Kevin now lives on the East Side where he spends his free time watching VH1 countdown specials and experimenting with his new deep fryer.

Knee deep in his third year of teaching Special Ed in the suburbs, Kevin often finds solace in making fun of his roommates' fascination of sappy network dramas. "Those things are crap," he often remarks.

In addition to a deep appreciation for education, Kevin is also a devout Wisconsin sports fan, a friendly bouncer at a North Avenue bar, and spends his summers directing a local summer camp.

If you are lucky enough to see Kevin wandering about town, be sure to ask him about his attempts to perfect his Borat impersonation, his latest fiscally-unwise Star Wars Lego purchase, and how proud of him his girlfriend is.