Blurt: Seven Days Staff Blog

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38 posts categorized "Sports" Feed

May 24, 2012

Meet the New Seven Days Marathon Relay Team — and Prepare to Lose!

Ken PicardRemember last year's Seven Days Vermont City Marathon relay team?


Maybe that's because while you were pathetically limping up Battery Street at mile 15, we were already finished — kicking back in the Waterfront Park beer tent. Maybe this post-race photo of Seven Days staff writer Ken Picard from last year will jog your memory.

The 2012 Seven Days squad is even more elite than last year's super-elite team of runners — and prepared to kick your relay team's behind at this Sunday's Key Bank Vermont City Marathon and Relay. On the roster, we've got a childhood ballet dancer, a hungry jogger, a multi-tasking mom of two, a beer-swilling alternate and a former JV soccer halfback.

We actually weren't going to run the Vermont City Marathon this year. But after we were recruited to join the U.S. Olympic Team in London this summer, we figured it would be a good warm up.

Now, let's meet the Seven Days runners.

Continue reading "Meet the New Seven Days Marathon Relay Team — and Prepare to Lose!" »

March 22, 2012

The Vermont Brew Bracket: Results from Day 1, Voting Open for Day 2

Beerbracket-logoYesterday we kicked off the Vermont Brew Bracket with voting in half of the first-round match-ups. There are no big upsets to report so far; the higher-seeded brew won in all match-ups. Congratulations to Wolaver's Oatmeal Stout for winning with the largest margin, a 77.2% to 22.8% drubbing of McNeill's Pullman's Porter. The closest match-up popped up in the Nugget region, where Rock Art Ridge Runner edged out Zero Gravity TLA IPA by 9 percentage points.

Voting is now open for the Centennial and Simcoe regions, featuring the debut of more big Vermont beers (and Woodchuck Amber Cider, for the non-beer drinkers among us). Click here to cast your votes before the end of today.

Tomorrow we move on to the second round — the Sweet 16 Oz. The voting window for that will begin tomorrow and last through the weekend.

After the jump, see all the results from Day 1.

Continue reading "The Vermont Brew Bracket: Results from Day 1, Voting Open for Day 2" »

February 12, 2012

Rutland Basketball Uproar Makes National Headlines

RutlandA few weeks after I chronicled Rutland's tentative renaissance in our Feb. 1 cover story, RutVegas is making headlines again — this time in a decidedly less flattering light. The New York Times on Saturday covered the story of talented high school basketball players who left the Bronx behind to attend Mount St. Joseph, Rutland's small, and by all accounts struggling, Catholic high school. 

It seemed like a win-win proposition for everyone involved: The Bronx students enrolled at the private high school and boarded with local host families. In the process, they helped the Mounties turn around a terrifically terrible basketball team. After playing to a 2-18 record in the 2009-2010 season, the Mounties clocked 16 wins last season. This year, the team is 15-1, and blazing a trail to the state playoffs.

Down-on-its-luck high school sports team? Check. Talented young athletes fighting their way out of inner city housing projects? Check. Throw in the setting — hardscrabble, blue collar Rutland — and you've got all the makings of a feel-good Hollywood flick. 

But not so fast, reports the Times:

This month they beat their archrival, Rutland High School, for the first time in five years, a 62-49 game that drew more fans to Mount St. Joseph’s small gym than it had seen in years.

“I’ve never seen that kind of school pride since I’ve been here,” said Matt Sanborn, a junior from Rutland who is captain of the Division 2 team.

Though the atmosphere that night was electric, nasty comments have flown on Facebook, at basketball games and elsewhere in town, directed not only at the players, but also at Mr. Benetatos and Cam Gilligan, a local woman who agreed to host four of the boys in a modest brick home here. Racial epithets have been directed at the boys, all five of whom are black, as well as taunts like “Go back to New York.” 

Some say Mount St. Joseph is cheating, and that the new students are shoving local kids off the court. Countering the outcry about the "imports," officials at Mount St. Joseph say the decision to enroll the four Bronx students was about fulfilling the school's mission, not about winning basketball games. What's certain is this: In a city that's trying to claw its way out of economic depression, a story about racial prejudice and small town xenophobia scores no one any points.

Photo by Caleb Kenna.

February 03, 2012

Grazing: Maple-BBQ Glazed Wings from the Farmhouse Tap & Grill

WingsThough I'm nowhere near a die-hard football fan, I can appreciate the tactical slow burn of a good game — and during the Superbowl, I can definitely appreciate the food in all its greasy glory. What other day of the year can you completely give yourself over to chips and dips, nachos, sliders, beer and wings?

Mmm, wings. I've never tried to make them at home because I didn't think I could achieve the perfect crispness that comes from a deep fryer. So I rely on others for a fix. And a few weeks ago, I downed some pulse-stopping sweet and tangy wings — plump Misty Knoll beauties glazed with a maple-barbecue sauce and crumbles of Bayley Hazen Blue cheese melting into their sides.

What genius had thought to meld blue cheese right into the wings, rather than serve it on the side? That would be Phillip Clayton, executive chef at the Farmhouse Tap & Grill. Clayton hails from North Carolina, so he knows a thing or two about wings. And he's also good spirited enough to share his recipe with the football-watching masses. Lucky us!

First, though, know you might not be able to exactly duplicate the Farmhouse version at home: Clayton and his crew cure, smoke, confit, fry and then glaze these wings before they arrive at the table — it takes hours, but the process lends them the smoky, complex flavor that goes so well with a pint of black lager. With some patience, though, you can come close. And maybe even bring a few sticky-fingered Pats and Giants fans closer together, at least at a party. Wings, the great uniter.

Maple BBQ-Glazed Local Chicken Wings

(Courtesy of executive chef Phillip Clayton of the Farmhouse Tap & Grill)

12 whole chicken wings, preferably local (Clayton uses Misty Knoll)
2 tablespoons kosher salt 

For the BBQ sauce:
½ cup diced yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon canola oil
1¼ cup ketchup
1/3 cup Vermont cider vinegar
1/3 cup Vermont maple syrup
1 tablespoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

For frying and serving:
Enough canola oil to fill a home deep fryer, or a frying pan three inches deep
3 tablespoons butter 
2 tablespoons Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese (or some other blue cheese) 

Rinse wings under cool water and pat dry. Toss with kosher salt and refrigerate overnight.

To make the BBQ sauce, sauté onions and garlic in oil until tender. Add the remaining ingredients, stir thoroughly, and simmer on very low heat for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Rinse the wings again, and dry them thoroughly. Fry the wings in 350 degree canola oil until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees (about 8 minutes), turning once.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter into ½ cup of the BBQ sauce. Toss the wings with the sauce and lay them onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle one teaspoon of Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese onto each wing. Place the wings in the oven for about four minutes in order to glaze the wings and melt the cheese. Remove from oven, and serve immediately. 

(Chef's note: For a healthier version, you can bake the wings in the oven as opposed to frying them — but to achieve crispness, sauté for a minute in oil before tossing with sauce and serving.)




October 06, 2011

Baseball Execs, Writers Step Up to the Plate for Flood Relief

Vtfarmers Many of Vermont's big names in music and art have stepped up to raise money for Vermonters affected by Tropical Storm Irene. Now it's the sports world's turn. If you're obsessed with your fantasy baseball team — or if you just watched Moneyball and find yourself suddenly interested in Sabermetric analysis — here's a flood relief fundraiser just for you.

ESPN baseball reporter, author and Vermont native Buster Olney is teaming up with his brother, Randolph farmer Sam Lincoln, to present Going to Bat for Vermont Farmers on November 12 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph. The event is a live roundtable on all things baseball with Olney, baseball reporter Peter Gammons, and three MLB general managers: Theo Epstein of the Boston Red Sox (at least for now), Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees, and Neal Huntington of the Pittsburgh Pirates (who's a New Hampshire native). Tickets are $20 for general admission, $50 for premier seating, or $250 for front row seats and access to a "V.I.P. Cocktail Hour" with the five panelists. So if you'd like to ask Epstein what the hell just happened with Terry Francona, now you can do it in person — for a good cause!

If you can't make it to Randolph for the event, you can still help by bidding in an online auction. Items up for bid include a round of golf with former major leaguer John Kruk, a jersey autographed by Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett, and an Olney-led tour of ESPN's Connecticut studio. Or you can just donate through Paypal. All proceeds from ticket sales, auction bids and donations will go to the Vermont Community Foundation's Farm Disaster Relief Fund.

Click here to read Dan Bolles' interview with Buster Olney from the January 19 issue of Seven Days.

July 05, 2011

Bike Maps Are So Hot

Cover What's hotter than West Texas pavement in late July?  How about the new Burlington bike map. Oh, yes. This smoking hot ticket dropped about two weeks ago and can be yours for free. That's right — free.

The new map, which features bike routes in Burlington, South Burlington and parts of Winooski and Colchester, is a revamped version of a previous map. This newest iteration features information about mass transit, recreational areas, environmental sites and other "points of interest," such as my bedroom. I kid. But it is a pretty jazzy work of cartographic excellence.

I promise you if you pick one up, unless you're a Burlington-area geography junkie, you'll find something you never knew about this place. Like the fact that Rock Point is home to a geologic feature called the Champlain Thrust  or that there's a biological waste water facility called the Living Machine in South Burlington. Learning new things — what fun!

On the map, you'll also learn tips for riding in traffic, how to use hand signals and where all the designated bike routes and lanes in the area are, as well as heavily trafficked roads, which you should avoid unless your idea of a good time is losing half of your adult teeth in some SUV's grill. Also included on the map are nifty diagrams on how to navigate various intersections, like the rotary at Shelburne and Ledge roads, and the nightmare that is the intersection at East Avenue, Spear Street and Main Street (Williston Road). 

The map is the work of the Burlington Walk/Bike Council in partnership with the Burlington Department of Public Works. It will be available at the DPW on Pine and Lakeside streets, as well as Local Motion's Trailside Center, tourist kiosks and the local bike shops, among other places. Pick one up. Wear a helmet. Buy some bike lights (they're the law in Burlington for night cycling). And get your hot fanny pedaling. 



June 28, 2011

Women's World Cup is Happening... Without the Vuvuzelas and the Media Hype

Picture 4 Question: How many of you knew that the FIFA Women's World Cup began on Sunday?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say about three of you. And for two of you, it's because you saw the story about the Muslim female soccer players in the Sunday New York Times. If you're not one of those three, you can be excused for not knowing that this event was happening. I didn't know it was going on and I like to think I know a thing or two about women's sports. That said, I'm pretty embarrassed that the World Cup took me totally by surprise.

But why didn't we/I know the tournament — arguably one of the largest in the women's athletic calendar— was happening? During last year's men's World Cup, people were tripping over themselves to watch the games at bars around Burlington and talk about their mutual hatred of the South African vuvuzela. Seemingly everyone had an opinion on Cote d'Ivoirian player Didier Drogba's fearsomeness and Spaniard Carles Puyol's Weird Al-like hair. We collectively crossed our fingers that powerhouse Ghana would become the first African nation to win a World Cup (They didn't. They were routed by Uruguay in the quarterfinals.). And we all grimaced when the slick-rick U.S. team couldn't make it past their bracket. Again.  

Continue reading "Women's World Cup is Happening... Without the Vuvuzelas and the Media Hype" »

June 06, 2011

Any Excuse for a Picnic: The Decade Ride


Yesterday afternoon, a crowd of nearly a hundred eclectic Burlington characters gathered in the parking lot of an undisclosed location for a relatively hush-hush cycling event known as the "Decade Ride." The secrecy is just for thrills, but it also ensures that the event grows each year by word of mouth alone. Despite the lack of advertising, the countryside parking lot teemed with spokes and bodies.

The ride didn't start in Burlington itself, so folks filled their truck beds with bikes and made a caravan out of town. There was just one requirement for the ride: To come in costume, be it theatrical feathers and tutus, hipster plaid, or biker-geek Spandex.

Continue reading "Any Excuse for a Picnic: The Decade Ride" »

May 26, 2011

Meet the 7D Marathon Relay Team... and Weep

7dmarathon-back Attention, Burlington Marathon relay teams: Prepare to eat our dust!

That's right. Seven Days is no longer just an awesome source for Vermont news and entertainment. With the debut of our relay team at this Sunday's KeyBank Vermont City Marathon, we are now officially an unbridled athletic juggernaut. And we're gonna waste your pathetic relay team.

Our five-member squad is stacked with elite athletes who've spent months training for this awesome challenge. While the rest of you spent your winters on treadmills with TVs at some cushy, heated health club, the 7D runners were training deep in the Siberian wilderness — sawing logs, lifting bags of rocks and mushing on all fours like freakin' sled dogs.

It's that kind of intensity that's going to propel us to an easy-breezy, chest-slapping finish at Waterfront Park this Sunday. When you're done puking and nursing your sore hammys, come find us. We'll be the ones in the blue 7D T-shirts (designed by our own Don Eggert) kicking back with Gatorade martinis.

Now, let's meet the Seven Days runners.

Continue reading "Meet the 7D Marathon Relay Team... and Weep" »

March 18, 2011

Pending Sale of Bolton Valley Nordic Area Collapses


***UPDATED BELOW*** at 1:06 p.m.

A proposed land deal that would have reduced the Bolton Valley Nordic Ski Center from 100k to 6k of trails has fallen through. In an email dated March 17, Larry Williams, owner of Redstone, the commercial real estate development company that owns Bolton Valley, indicated that the potential buyer is no longer interested in the 1000-acre parcel. 

As reported in Seven Days last week, Bolton Valley is on the market and could be sold piecemeal or in its entirety. An unnamed buyer expressed interest in purchasing 1000 acres of property owned by Redstone and its partners that would include the Nordic ski area and considerable backcountry terrain. The provisional sale agreement did not require the new owners to create an easement for the ski trails, thus substantially limiting the resort's Nordic skiing options.

While this particular deal has collapsed, Williams confirmed in his email that the land is still up for sale without easements. Williams, an avid skier, said Redstone would prefer to sell the property to someone who would maintain access to the ski trails. The price has been set at $2000 an acre and the development company is currently reaching out to potential buyers who had expressed interest in the parcel in the past.     

Friends of Bolton Valley Nordic, a group of concerned skiers, has begun mobilizing to preserve access to skiing. They have reached out to Vermont Land Trust, Green Mountain Club, the Nature Conservancy and other land conservation organizations to explore ways to keep the land open for recreation. With the collapse of the pending land sale, the group now has time to figure out a strategy. There may yet be ample Nordic skiing next year at Bolton Valley.

UPDATE: According to Redstone owner Larry Williams, the potential buyer of the 1,000-acre parcel is reconsidering his interest in the property. Initially, Williams wrote in an e-mail that the buyer they had lined up had pulled out. Now that buyer is indicating that he might still be interested in the land deal. Williams noted in a recent phone interview that this "might be an opportunity to marry what [the Friends of Bolton Valley Nordic's] goals are with [the potential buyer's] goals." 

Photo courtesy of Bolton Valley

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