When someone thinks of Buffalo, three things usually come to mind first: snowstorms, the Buffalo Bills and, of course, chicken wings, which are celebrated every Labor Day Weekend at the National Buffalo Wing Festival.
Andrew Zona, a graduate student in the Integrated Marketing Communications Program, participated in the collegiate wing eating competition at the national festival on Sept. 2 at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo.
He placed second in the competition out of 11 other area college students. Although he finished his wings first, the judge said he didn’t clean his wings as well as a student from the University at Buffalo, so he was awarded second place. He ate 25 wings in just under eight minutes.
Zona, a Buffalo native, said he first heard about the competition on Facebook, and the reason he got involved was simple: “I love chicken wings, and I love Buffalo.”
This wasn’t the first time Zona participated in a competition like this. Two years ago, he participated in the Ridiculously Hot Chicken Wing Competition at the Wing Festival.
Zona said this year’s competition was harder because it attracted a much larger crowd.
“I was nervous going in because this was on stage in front of thousands of people, and this was my first actual speed-eating competition,” he said.
One thing that kept Zona’s momentum going through the competition were the Bonaventure fans cheering him on.
“I started off one of the slowest because my nerves prevented me from eating well at the start, but at the last minute I was able to kick it into overdrive and finished the competition,” he said. “For those Bonnies, they truly knew I won the competition.”
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Catholic Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them.