Thanksgiving Throwdown: A History

Posted by Shades Mountain Student Ministries | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nothing says Thanksgiving like eating buffalo wings.

No you say?

Well you're wrong.

Last night 45 high school students and leaders descended upon our humble abode and devoured wings. Lot's of wings. It's a become a tradition. 2 years running. (You only have to do it twice to make it a tradition).

Our master chef Scott Leveille, who's recipe has been passed down from his native home in Buffalo, did his magic and made the greatest wings available.

The drill is, Scott continues to pop out wings until you couldn't possibly eat another wing...then comes the main event. The wings have been hot, but they pale in comparison to what comes next.

The Hell Brew

Please understand that I don't use the H-E-double-hockey-stick word lightly. If you've had onc you would know that there is no other way to describe their eternal burning.

Each year the recipe varies but the essence stays the same. Take the hottest sauce you can find, chop up fresh habanero peppers and then boil the life out of this concoction until it makes a smoldering paste. This is then placed over the wings and anyone with anything to prove steps up to the plate (literally) and shows how much of a man (or woman) they are.

There is a sordid past to this tradition. Though girls are included in the Thanksgiving Throwdown it use to be a "male only" affair that took place yearly in the kitchen of SMI under the title "Wing Throwdown." Guys gathered around the steel counter tops clutching pitchers of water with the chance at greatness slowly cooking in the distance.

I would like to rehearse a few of the past triumphs and failures that have unfolded in this greatest of traditions.

Addison Canavero
He was a small Hobit of a man but his size didn't represent his bravery. He was the first to try the Hell Brew and was the first to fall victim to it's power. After eating the wing his face began to open up evrey pore on his face and spill it's contents on the floor beneath. Sweat, tears, snot, drool. It was all flowing with great abundance. His hands clutching the steel counter as he cried and screamed.

The Hell Brew took its first victim.

My Story
My first experience of the the Throwdown was almost on accident. I had heard of the get together but had forgotten about it happening. I just happen to stop by the church to check something and smelled to lure of its devilish temptation. I was welcomed in to the kitchen and introduced to the experience. As the year passed I became a member of this sacred club as my capacity to eat wings increased.

One night in particular I had eaten close to 4 pounds of wings. Needless to stay I was stuffed. In an effort to test the limits of my masculinity I enlisted the help of my trusted friend Jeremy Carter to punch me in the stomach to see if I could contain all four pounds of sweet decadent wings. It's my pleasure to announce that I did in fact "stomach" and contained all 4 pounds.

This was in fact untill the HELL BREW made its way to the center of the room.

I downed an H Brew and soon found myself releasing all 4 pounds into a sewage grate outside of the lunch room.

The Hell Brew remained victorious.

And now..the coup de grĂ¢ce of all wing stories.

Josh Bowden
It had begun as most throwdowns do. Chit chat, classic rock on the radio, sounds and smells common to the male gender..and of course wings.

The Hell Brew was brought out and guys were placing their manhood on the line.

Everything was wonderful until Josh Bowden attempted his Hell Brew consumption. He took two bite of the deadly wing and soon vomited in the trashcan near the counter. He hung his head in defeat and sulked out of the kitchen. No one stopped him, as we knew he wasn't quite the man we thought he was.

It was a sad day for him and for the Throwdown.

5 minutes later Josh returned to the kitchen with a renewed sense of courage and announced his intent to hop back on the horse and give that wing another try.

He positioned himself in front of the bowl, clutched the wing and took his first but. But again, it was still too much to handle. In a fit or rage and embarrassment he took te uneaten wing and threw it into the same trash can he had vomited in only minutes later.

He began to leave the kitchen for the last and final time when a deep voice rang out saying, "Stop!"

It was the voice of Jim Wall, ex-marine and true man's man. "I can't let you do this." He proclaimed, reaching in the trash can. Grabbed the uneaten wing, which had been sitting in the vomit, and eat it in one bight. This act of manhood and redemption brought grow men to tears as the hooting and hollering turned to hugging and high-fiving.

One man had fallen to the power of the wing, but at the throwdown...there's no man left behind.

I hope you've enjoyed this retelling of an ancient tradition. So as you throwdown this Thanksgiving, may you remember those that have gone before us and paved the way for men like me.

Here's a little taste of this years festivities

Comments (5)

I have heard these stories so many times, but I am so glad you have immortalized them on paper, er, screen....
Oh the wing throwdown...there's just not any more that can be said...

Yii...that story of Josh and Jim always gives me the heeby jeebies....

but you DID leave out one part of the old tradition...but maybe that's best. Genny Rollings probably wouldn't want to know what would happen AFTER the Wing Throwdown upstairs...

Yes Rachel. I've yet to find my voice as a writer when I talk about poop. I"m taking notes from you.


It took me a long time too. And I must say, it's easier to talk about a toddler's poo than an adult's...and probably easier to talk about a baby's than a toddler's.

So don't worry if your voice doesn't come in yet...when Taylor arrives, it will arrive too!

Well then, I have something to look forward to.