Two former servicewomen are going toe-to-toe — or should we say wing-to-wing — for the first time in Wing Bowl history.
A female veteran power eater and a novice are stretching their stomachs to beat out their male counterparts and be the first ones to earn the title of Wing Bowl champion Friday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Molly Schuyler and Danielle Gatlos join 94WIP Sports Radio host Angelo Cataldi, Dennis Rodman, the Wingettes, rumors of a Snooki appearance, and more than 20,000 fans for a morning of chicken wing eating, drunken debauchery, nearly naked women and a ton of buffalo wing sauce for the 2016 Wing Bowl.
Interestingly enough, most think of the Wing Bowl as a male-dominated competition. But, this year, Schuyler and Gatlos are changing the game.
“I think the sport needs to be broadened,” said Schuyler.
“It’s not necessarily a male-dominated sport. For a girl to have the guts to go out and do that – it's more something like it’s coming out of your shell.”
A mother of four and originally from Nebraska, Schuyler, 36, now lives in California with her family. She goes back home Saturday. She said her goal Friday is to beat last year’s wing-eating record of 440.
“I’m hoping to push over 500 wings,” she said.
One might think Schuyler, the three-time competitive eating champ, spent much of Thursday prepping to beat her record for Friday’s Wing Bowl, but it was getting groomed to be a Wingette that occupied most of her time.
That’s right. Schuyler is not only hoping to top her 2014 Wing Bowl championship title – when she downed 363 wings – at that time a Wing Bowl record, she’s also entering this year’s Wingette contest.
“They’re letting me compete for Wingette of the year as well,” she told Metro.
“That’s totally epic. I’m just excited to be there again. Win, lose or draw.”
Schuyler spent much of Thursday at New Jersey’s Rizzieri day spa – her first ever at a spa or salon, and compliments of Sportsradio 94WIP.
“They really gave me the Wingette look,” she quipped.
As for chowing down against another female for the first time, Schuyler said she couldn’t be happier.
“We’re an Air Force family. We’re both from the services. I have total respect [for Gatlos]. That’s awesome. I can’t wait to meet her.”
While Schuyler likes cheesy garlic and barbecue wings, Gatlos prefers hers sweet and spicy. She said she’s been practicing with “naked,” dry wings to boost her tolerance.
At age 26 and hailing from suburban Eagleville, Gatlos left the Marine Corps as a sergeant and served seven years active duty out of Beaufort, S.C.
In 2014, she won Chick’s Tavern’s Mussel Bowl in Bridgeport, when she became the first person ever to break the bar’s record of 300 mussels in two five-minute rounds. She downed 309 mussels that day.
Gatlos, a/k/a “Danny the Marine,” recently fooled Cataldi when he first hosted her on the air under the guise of that pseudonym, thinking “she” was a “he.”
During a mussel-eating stunt on 94WIP, Gatlos said there’s a clip of her face cringing when she bites into a mussel shell by accident.
“I remember trying to eat fast and was doing so well, I got minor pieces of sand, but then this big chunk of shell was in there. Time was of the essence. I just [bore] down and chewed through the piece of shell. I heard the people next to me just say, ‘don’t break a tooth!’
“I’m a fatty at heart,” she said.
“Anything good, I just love to eat.”