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Bill 'El Wingador' Simmons talks with Philly2Philly as he prepares for Wing Bowl 19


It's been three years since he last took the Wing Bowl stage, but Bill 'El Wingador' Simmons Bill 'El Wingador' Simmonshas returned to recapture his past Wing Bowl glory. This time around, he's taking a different approach to the contest. His new training strategy has made him bigger, stronger, faster, and more prepared than he has ever been to take down any wing eaters that may stand in his way.

In this exclusive interview, Philly2Philly discusses with Simmons his new outlook towards training, his community endeavors, what's in his refrigerator, why he's coming back, and if this is indeed El Wingador's last stand. 

Joe Vallee: It’s been three years since you last ate competitively. What made you come back out of retirement?

Bill 'El Wingador' Simmons: My four year-old son saw footage of me on television from 2005. He looked at me and said “Dad, how come I wasn’t I there? I wanna come and see you eat.” He doesn’t really know anything about it, so it kind of got my wheels turning a little bit about getting into one more Wing Bowl to let him see what it was all about. The second things were the products they are giving away (laughs). A $40,000 Dodge Ram, $20,000 in cash, a $10,000 Wing Bowl ring, and a diamond studded crown. Would YOU come back if you were good at it? (eating) Exactly! (laughs)

JV: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten?

BS: Wow....probably raw cow brains on a show for Fox called ‘Glutton Bowl.'  I ate about 10 pounds of that, I stopped because the smell starting overwhelming me. It smelled like bad feet. I also ate a 15 foot-long piece of sushi for the same show, and I won that event to get ranked eighth in the world. I came in fourth in the world eating the cow brains. I could have eaten more, but that smell was just bad.

JV: Describe what’s in Bill Simmons’ refrigerator.

BS: Do you mean what I can see? Because it’s packed! I made chicken legs and thighs tonight with my own recipe. I bought a rotisserary chicken yesterday at ACME. I think there’s a piece left in there. I also bought 16 pieces of fried chicken, so I have leftovers in there. The only reason they are still there is because of my kids. I would have eaten everything, but they have to eat, too! (laughs) There’s a lot of lunch meat, a lot of milk, juices, and a ton of water. I drink two to three gallons of water a day right now along with the ten pounds of food to help stretch the stomach. I don’t drink soda at all.

JV: You’re a pretty big guy. Have you ever used your size for intimidation in an eating contest?

BS: I just use my competitiveness. I back up what I do. I’m not gonna talk a lot of crap because I’m 6’5, 334 (pounds). I do my talking at the table.

JV: If you knew you had one meal left to eat on this earth, what would it be?

BS: It would have to be a big serving plate with about three different dishes on there. One would be some Spanish rice and beans with chicken because I am Puerto Rican. Probably the best pizza in the world, and a nice 12-pound turkey. I make two for Thanksgiving: one for me, and one for my family.

JV: Unlike previous Wing Bowls, you’re coming into Wing Bowl 19 with a different approach. What made you do this? And explain your new strategy if you can.

BS: Knowing I was going back to Wing Bowl, I knew I had to train better. My regimen was all healthy foods. I gained a little weight, but that’s okay because I still work out like crazy. The last Wing Bowl I was in, I wasn’t really mentally into it. After being off those couple years, I got the ‘eye of the tiger’ back. I also have something to prove to my son. I just don’t wanna go and participate, I’m going to bring him there and win.



JV: Do you notice a difference in how you feel training this way?

BS: I feel a lot better. I do work out a lot, if you’re a 49-year old man like me eating ten pounds of pizza and cheesesteaks, you’re gonna feel life crap all the time. But after eating all healthy stuff like the six pound bags of salmon and boneless chicken, I can eat that and walk around just fine. When I trained before with the bad food, I was very lethargic and had no energy. I feel so much better the way I’m training now with the Rastelli’s foods that I’m eating.

JV: People may not be aware of this, but you’ve done a lot of work in Gloucester County over the last several years for autism.

BS: I guess the people who ask me to help with the cause think of some sort of celebrity. The cause really hits home for me. My daughter goes to school with some friends who are autistic. As she got to know them better, and she really encouraged me to take an active role helping people with the disease. If I can help raise any kinds of money for these people, I’m gonna do it, and I’ve known been involved with different local groups for the past four years. There’s so many personal stores I could share with you from different people I’m associated with. If I can use my name to help people, I will. It rubs off on my kids, too. I want them to see that they can also do things to help people less fortunate than they are.

JV: Who do you think will be your biggest competition at the event?

BS: No not really. I could care less who is in it. I know what I have to go in there and do. I compete against myself. I hate to say this, but if I go in there and lose, I will be the first one to shake the man’s hand that beats me, because I know that he’s gonna be good.

JV: Is this it for ‘El Wingador’ after Wing Bowl 19?

BS: Who wants to see a 50-year old man participate in Wing Bowl? (laughs) Absolutely this is it! Get it on tape. Rerun it. I’m done!

Follow El Wingador's exploits on www.elwingador.com

Special thanks to Brian Mattson

Flipcam: Joe Vallee Sr.