Not sure why the BBC waited two months to share its coverage of Wing Bowl with the world, but we have it at last. And all of Ronnie Polaneczky’s criticisms about the sexism of the event seem a little sharper in light of this particular anecdote.
As the competition rumbles on – 30 minutes of wing-scoffing separated by a few commercial breaks – our eyes are on the Can Cam – a camera that picks out the chests of individual audience members and broadcasts them on the gargantuan JumboTron screens.
The first few women broadcast are expecting it.
They cheer and pull up their shirts the moment they see themselves on screen.
A few have even worn specially coloured bras in anticipation.
But the camera, and the crowd, turn unforgiving.
The women chosen by the Can Cam are no longer the designated strippers, or those actively courting the lens, but ordinary punters – women in sweatshirts and knit caps making every effort to be left alone.
One woman notices herself on the screen and titters awkwardly, trying to wave the camera away.
The audience starts heckling her, but the camera doesn’t move.
The boos grow louder, and at last she realises it will not pan away until she does.
Half a second of her breasts, and the camera grows bored, moving on to the next victim.
Ick. Somebody needs to tell these boys that “no means no” — even at Wing Bowl, maybe especially at Wing Bowl. Angelo Cataldi may get his feelings hurt over criticism of the sexism of his little tradition and defend it by pointing to all the charitable works it funds, but that’s a little bit like Romans saying they tithe earnings from their gladiator bouts to the local church. Ick.