POSTED ON JANUARY 11, 2012:
Looking for good sports in a cold environment
Oh no Tulsa, whatever shall we do. Football season creeps to a close. While local area "experts" begin talking up the NFL Draft or meaningless college football spring games, let's enjoy the variety in front of us.
Two weeks into the New Year you can count on the Chili Bowl to spice things up in T-Town. In case you forget about the yearly mega event, friendly reminders pop-up all over town especially from our "adult entertainment clubs" welcoming out-of-towners. Good times.
Check out this item from a recent press release.
"The entire world seems to be living on Tulsa time; or at least it would seem that way with all the teams, fans, and drivers making the trek to Green Country for the 26th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire."
Unlike a local area basketball event, no sales job is required on our part to get the masses keyed up. You know the event. You know the entertainment value. And unless you just moved to Tulsa from north of the Mason Dixon Line you understand the spectacle.
The Chili Bowl remains the largest indoor Midget sprint car race. Two-hundred seventy drivers from 32 states and five countries are revved up and ready to race the quarter-mile clay oval inside the QuikTrip Center, 4145 E. 21st St.
Tony Stewart is participating again. He's won the event twice (2002, 2007). No big deal.
"Having taken a few years off from competing in the Chili Bowl, I'm really looking forward to returning to Tulsa and the event in 2012," Stewart said. "It's one of the biggest Midget races of the year and it's just a lot of fun to compete in the Chili Bowl. I'm also glad that we'll be able to give our partners, Chevrolet and Chevrolet Performance Parts, another shot at a Golden Driller."
Any time a Golden Driller is up for grabs, you know it is about to get serious.
Kevin Swindell returns for a run at the three-peat. No official word whether the QuikTrip Center would be renamed Kevin's House if he captures the trophy again.
"There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about what things might have gone different for us to get the win," Broken Arrow's Jonathan Beason said. "Last year, the Midget stayed in the garage all year between the 2010 and 2011 Chili Bowl so it was almost a surprise to us to run so good. I think we'll be even faster this year."
Beason finished fourth last year. He was the top Oklahoman and hopes to protect the home clay. He is joined by 35 additional in-state drivers battling for the checkered flag.
According to Chili Bowl officials, reserved seating tickets for Wednesday through Saturday are sold out but single and multi-day pit passes are available.
Pit passes will gain you access to general admission, first come first serve, seating along the back straight-a-way.
Throughout the five-day event, there is a tradeshow area for businesses to showcase products. To claim the tradeshow is as popular as the racing would be hyperbole. However, it is pretty damn fun in and of itself.
Championship night culminates Saturday.
Chili Today, Hot Tamale
When Tulsans want the scoop on what's happening around town, they pick up an Urban Tulsa. It is not surprising visitors to our city grab a copy and locate the hidden gems.
If you are one of those visitors, welcome to Tulsa and hope you move here with a job. Here is a synopsis of the sports goings-on in Tulsa these days.
Our once mighty college basketball team is treading water. The Tulsa Golden Hurricane men's team once threatened elite programs. Now they just threaten a losing record. Has anybody studied the programs at Gonzaga? At Marquette? Xavier?
On the other hand, the football team at TU continues its rise to prominence. New Head Coach Bill Blankenship once led a local high school team to national recognition. The transition in his first year patrolling the college sidelines was seamless.
We used to have an exciting arena football team. They fled for what they hope to be greener pastures.
Our Tulsa Oilers hockey team cranks out the hits. The games inside the BOK Center are a perfect combination of excitement and value. If you have time, check out one of their games while here.
Ever hear of Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder? Well we have the Tulsa 66ers. The D-League squad is run by the same ownership group. The best thing about 66ers games is the plethora of great seats available.
Here is a question for locals and everyone else. Would UTW readers like to read about gun shows? Is there anything sporty about tables lined with metal firearms and semi-related items?
Here is something pondered when reading billboards across the city. Which gun show is actually the biggest since they all make similar claims? Also, would vendors even allow cameras to snap a few shots of mini-bazookas?
Anyone want to find out?
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