Dan Gross: 'El Wingador' is coming back!

Posted: December 08, 2010

FIVE-TIME Wing Bowl champ Bill "El Wingador" Simmons revealed yesterday on 610 WIP that he will return to Wing Bowl 19 on Feb. 4 at the Wells Fargo Center. Wingador, 49, announced his retirement from competitive eating minutes after losing Wing Bowl 16 to Joey Chestnut.

The South Jersey resident told WIP's Angelo Cataldi last week that "he ate two pizza steaks and two pizzas and realized he was still hungry and his hunger extended to the glory of victory."

Wingador says his 4-year-old son, Sean, inspired his return. Sean saw footage of his sister Felicia, 11, with their father at Wing Bowl and "said he wanted to go and watch me eat," Wingador told us yesterday. "He eats a lot like me but as a 4-year-old version," says Wingador, who will have Sean, Felicia and their sister, Ashley, 15, on his entrance float.

Four other contestants have been chosen for Wing Bowl after completing eating feats in WIP's studio, but we know that one group Wingador won't face off with are professional eaters.

Cataldi says the boss of the International Federation of Competitive Eating, George Shea, asked his pros not to participate in Wing Bowl due to the involvement of Japanese eating machine Takeru Kobayashi, with whom Shea is feuding. Shea declined comment. Kobayashi, Cataldi says, will not eat at Wing Bowl 19 but will serve as international ambassador to Wing Bowl. Asked what that requires, Cataldi admits "It's an absolutely bull---- title."

"He wants to witness the event live to determine if he wants to compete in Wing Bowl 20," Cataldi says. "He's never been in competition that involved bones. It's a scientific approach he takes to his craft," Cataldi says.

There are $50,000 worth of prizes up for grabs this year, including $20,000 in cash from Steven Singer Jewelers.

"People keep asking me about our plans. We make this up while we go along. We don't have any idea what we're doing," Cataldi says. "If we do Wing Bowl and nobody dies, it's a success."

Rose's girlfriend turns heads

Pete Rose remains bitter about not getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame. But he's still getting into model Kiana Kim. The Phillies legend, 68, brought Kim, 29, who has appeared in Playboy special editions, with him to McStew's Irish Sports Pub (5316 New Falls) in Levittown Monday night, when he appeared on WBCB 1490 AM's Bill Werndl show.

WBCB Program Director Paul Baroli, host of its afternoon Coffee with Kahuna show, also sat in on the interview in which Charlie Hustle discussed being snubbed by the Hall, and traveling to Vietnam with Joe DiMaggio on a USO trip. Kim drew stares from the gathered crowd.

Banned in Cambodia

"Who Killed Chea Vichea?" - produced by South Philly's Rich Garella - screens at 7 p.m. Friday at Scribe Video Center (4212 Chestnut). The film, a documentary about the 2004 murder of Cambodian garment-workers union leader Chea Vichea, won the best-political-film category at the last Philadelphia Independent Film Festival and has been banned in Cambodia. Garella, a Penn grad, will answer questions after Friday's screening, which costs $5 to attend.

For more info on the film, see scribe.org

/events or whokilledcheavichea.com.

Cavs dunk into Davio's

Cavaliers Anthony Parker and Anderson Varejao popped into Davio's (111 S. 17th) for a late dinner Monday, after arriving in town for last night's game against the Sixers.

Marketing merger

Michael Steinberg, formerly of Premiere Sports and Entertainment, was just hired as executive vice president and marketing director at Cashman & Associates, Nicole Cashman's PR and special- events company, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Steinberg says he'll expand C&A's work in global marketing and sports management.

Designer's a local after all

We goofed yesterday in reporting that although designer Jonathan Adler, who opens a boutique at 33 N. 3rd Street on Monday, is an Eagles fan, he isn't from the Philadelphia area. Adler was raised in Bridgeton, N.J., and is the son of the late Judge Harry Adler, who presided over Cumberland County court.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or e-mail grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit go.philly.com/dangross.

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