ESPN Bottomline 2.0

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Story - Pub Hop Leg One

Sometimes you need to lose yourself to know where you are going.

Weak winter sun filtered in through the unwashed plastic safety windows of the subway car as it made its way steadily south, away from Boston. Destination: Braintree. End of the line.

Yet it was a beginning.

The game at hand: A Red Line Pub Hop.

The rules were simple. Get on the subway, ride for an indiscriminate amount of time then exit at a random stop. The first pub you see is your destination. It is a peculiar bar crawl that suspends all sense of time and place in a dizzying, inebriating adventure.

Previously, I had only played this game in New York. Unlike New York, the Boston metro is not a ubiquitous entity. There are fewer lines and each is distinctly purpose driven whereas the New York system can wander and meander with two lines often bringing you to the same neighborhood from different directions. The rules would have to change.

The trip to Braintree had a depressing feel to it. People travel alone or in twos, talking in low tones, reading or sleeping. It is as if these people realize that they are returning to a more banal existence after their excursions into the city.

The Braintree stop is a sad place -- a commuter junction. It is a lonely median platform between to tracks that serve the inbound and outbound rails. I let the crowd filter out. Alone. Quiet, cold and depressing.


The problem with a bar crawl in suburbia is that pubs tend to be few and far between. After a short wander I found myself in the town center. I walked and found the old, white columned New England style town hall, something out of Rockefeller, quaint and crisp. It was affluent Main Street America, something stirred memories of my roots in Maine. Cozy yet distant. Familiar yet droll.

Sintra turned out to be my destination, by default than by choice. Small and elegant, the dining room was separated from the bar, leaving two distinct areas intermingled by common d├ęcor and smiling faces of the waitresses getting ready for Friday dinner service. I had the bar to myself and basked in the soft light and smells from the kitchen while admiring the mural of a Portuguese castle painted in broad black brush strokes on the white wall across the empty bar.

“That castle is actually in Sintra,” the bartender said, “The owner Brian (Jenkins) went there on his honeymoon and named the restaurant after it. American cuisine with Mediterranean flare.”

I have seen the like. Rising chef takes on his first opportunity to own a restaurant and creates an American Bistro. Exactly the type of place I love to explore, but time was short, the red line beckoned.

Next stop, Quincy Adams.

Nothing.

Another commuter junction. A Home Depot in the middle of an industrial park. I walked around until I found an intersection with a lady wearing bright pink scarf, leaning on a cane waiting to cross the busy highway. She laughed when I told her my mission.

“You won’t find anything here,” she said. “Will have to go to Quincy Center to find anything.”

She was right. The heart of Quincy was flush with options. A hip little district with shops and eateries a plenty, I had a plethora of options.

The first thing I noticed at Blue 22 were the ducks, plastic toy ducks that lined a wall separating the service area from the horseshoe bar that dominates the dining area. They flanked a prized possession, a box of Flutie Flakes encased in glass, signed by Doug Flutie himself. Televisions played ESPN and whatever was on NESN and the good ole boys camped on the corner of the bar taking in the cherished tradition of Friday Happy Hour at their favorite pub.

The bartenders and wait staff were all young women. They had a familiar rapport unique to veterans in the service industry. One waitress, a cute, slender brunette named Kristin, volunteered the story of the ducks.

“It started as a joke,” she said. “The owners used to put Christmas stockings up there with the ducks in them. Eventually the ducks took over and it became a tradition. People steal the ducks all the time but others come and replace them. We’ve had a Ninja Duck stolen three times.”

They had homemade fried dumplings which I was tempted to get, but time was short. I will be back. Maybe for Kristin, maybe for the dumplings.

Wallaston was an odd stop. It is an odd pocket of Chinese culture in the middle of the crusty white suburbs to the south and the commercial wastelands to the immediate north. Everything was written in English and Chinese, from bank signs to the bridal shop.

I found Hancock Tavern, a bustling English pub flanked by a Chinese stop-and-go restaurant and Chinese laundry mat. The good ole boys had taken up residence here too. They were bemused by my project.

“Shot and a beer, all the way down the line,” a man said. “Make sure, shot and a beer. Only way to go.”

It was a relief to escape.

North Quincy was wholly unremarkable. I asked the subway lieutenant, an old Irish man for a pub reading the Metro, for directions to a pub. He was confused and said there might be something in North Quincy center, but that was almost a mile and a half away.

I went to D’Angelos and had a sub instead.

J.J.K./ UMass was not much better. Industrial and commercial, the sign for the Bay Side Expo dominated the landscape. The only bar to be found was at the Double Tree Club, though they were not too receptive to my journey. Time was short so I let them be. One hotel bar is the same as another.

Next on the list was Andrew. I had made it to Southie, finally. The pub I found was a genuine Irish joint, The Connection. Above the door there were dueling Irish flags painted. Exactly the type of place I had been looking for.
It was dark and depressing. Middle aged workers drinking at the end of the bar giving me the sideways eye, an invader on the sacred realm of their watering hole. It was too much. I took a picture of the Sinatra painting above the digital jukebox and got the hell out.

The night was still young and the trip had been long. There was still time to push forward. My next stops would bring me back to Boston and into Cambridge, where possibilities abound and the night life is just waiting to be discovered.

(See picture slideshow below)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bruins Rally on a Road Trip: Sunny Florida Edition


Last time I saw the Bruins, they had just been trounced by the bullies from San Jose. They were fatigued, they were fighting the puck. Too many games in too few days, all against quality opponents. The effects were beginning to show.

The wheels fell off in the third period of the February 10th tilt against the Western Conference leading Sharks. I asked All-Star center Marc Savard if the team got worn down by their counterparts from California.

“We only played 40 minutes tonight,” he said.

Big Joe Thornton had other ideas.
“We just kind of turned it on,” Thornton said. “When we turn it on teams really can’t handle us. Our speed, our size, everything. I don’t think you can handle the Sharks for 60 minutes.”

He was saying that as a matter of explaining the four goals the Bruins had allowed to Thornton and the Sharks that period and he did not really answer the question. As I looked down on him and across the locker room I said to myself, “man, these guys are tired.”
Savard was trying to take accountability for the Bruins only playing 40 minutes that night. Yet, after the intense seven games in less than 12 days stretch they had been through, I am not sure they could have finished that game strong, no matter how much effort they put into it. If there is a team that can handle the Sharks for 60 minutes, it is the Bruins. Just not at the end of that brutal stretch. I mean, it is hard to skate when your legs feel like jelly.

The Bruins embarked on a five game road trip that has led them progressively south, from New Jersey to Nashville, Carolina and into Florida for tonight’s game against the Panthers then tomorrow in Tampa Bay. Their last game was Tuesday against Carolina, giving them three whole days to relax and take in the Florida sun. From the buzz I have been hearing, they got all of Wednesday for fishing, golf and well-deserved melancholy on the beach.

Seems like as good a cure for malaise and fatigue as I can think of.

The Bruins are looking for their third win of the season against the Panthers and I expect to see some bounce in their skates.

So, here I sit in Boston, waiting for our team to get home, waiting to see if Blake Wheeler got a tan, waiting patiently for the Bruins to turn the fire from earlier in the season back on and grind through the stretch run to the playoffs.

Game does not start until 7:00 p.m. Have to wait a little more. . .

This article can also be found on my profile at numonefan.com

Red Line Pub Hop Part 1: Braintree to Park Street

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Cure to the Common Cold?

Earlier this year, after an interesting slap of a goal from P.J. Axelsson off a feed from Marc Savard I told Axie; "Hey man, you know how it is. Savard could feed a horse and it would score."

P.J. just grinned.

"He can be pretty with the puck. I'm not," he said.

Axelsson was skating with the top line in the place of Milan Lucic at the time. Lucic had been stagnant of late and head coach Claude Julien cast him down to the hard working third line to regain his grit.

Good thing for Axelsson.

The Bruins are battling through their longest winless streak of the year (0-2-2 the last four). Julien's attempt to jump start the offense has led him to change the lines for tonight's game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Good idea.

Let's break down the changes.

The first two lines are the generally goal scoring skills lines. The best of the size,
puck handling and shooting are placed in the top six. The sign of a good team is how deep they can go on their third line, though inevitable injuries usually make this unit a mishmash during the dredges of a long season. The fourth line is the checking line, the grit, the enforcers, the puck possession specialists that teams need to wile their way through 60 minutes of treacherous ice time.

The young guns who carried the Bruins are hitting a bit of a wall. Phil Kessel, still the team leader in goals, has three in his last 20 games. David Krejci has a total of 1-3-4 in his last nine. Blake Wheeler, who scored in the first period on the power play against the 'Canes, has rediscovered a little bit of his touch, but has had a rough time of after the turn of the calendar year. Except for this two first period goals against San Jose last Tuesday, Lucic has not had much luck lighting the lamp after coming back from a shoulder injury after the All-Star break.

With Michael Ryder out (see blog post below) it has forced Julien's hand. Ryder had been growing stronger as the year went on, whereas the his younger counterparts slowed down. What is Julien to do?

Lines for February 17 against Carolina:

Lucic-Savard-Wheeler
Axelsson-Bergeron-Kobasew
Sobotka-Krejci-Kessel
Thornton-Yelle-Bitz

When you have a creator like Savard the cure is simple. Feed him skaters.

There is no better remedy for the common cold (errr, slump) than getting put right into Savvy's wheelhouse. Hence, Julien has put Wheeler on the the wily center's plate. Coupled with the return of Lucic to the top line the hope is that the two big boys will get the offense off the ground.

It is an interesting ploy to break up the speedy duo of Kessel and Savard. Earlier in the year the thought was to get Kessel going as an elite goal scorer and temper the lack of size with the bruiser Lucic. The combination was quite successful until the last week of December.

Wheeler changes that dynamic, providing another large body (though also an excellent stick handler) that can produce the dirty goals in front of the net that will be the key to getting Boston back to its high scoring ways. The move brings him back to the natural side on the right wing, which one would hope will be beneficial.

The second and third lines are muddled in this line up. Nominally the Krejci line would be considered the second with the Patrice Bergeron line the third. By bringing Kessel down to Krejci the expected result should be a spark for both players as Kessel can create chances for the Czech just like he did for Savard. Vladimir Sobotka, also a Czech, makes a lot of sense playing with his countryman as he can be a goal scorer and provides some grit as he is a speedy little cannonball that can ping pong around on the boards.

As I have mentioned before, I would like to see Bergeron with a little more fire power on his line, especially now that he is really starting to play really well after coming back from his latest concussion. With Ryder out (and Marco Sturm out for the season) there just are not any bodies that the Bruins can feed him.

The checking line is very important to this team, Shawn Thornton and Stephane Yelle are smart and work very well with each other while Byron Bitz has really gained my respect as a physical presence and a heads up player.

The results were encouraging. Wheeler banged his goal while playing with Lucic and Krejci on the power play and Kessel has had some great chances though is perhaps a little snake bitten right now as Carolina goaltender Cam Ward frustrated the young winger. Krejci scored in the final half of the third period on a nice little 1-on-1 break short handed back hander (say that fast).

Overall, not a bad effort by the new lines in the 5-1 win. The kids played well, with Wheeler and Krejci looking better. Kessel will eventually get uncorked but he had his chances. Sometimes it is just not your night.


Getting On The Trolley

Friday, February 13, 2009

State of the Red Sox Nation: Spring Report 2009 at StudyofSports.com


It is that time of year, my friends. Pitchers and catchers reported yesterday, with today the day for physicals and workouts. 

My annual State of the Red Sox Nation: Spring Report is exclusive this year to StudyofSports.com. Check out the inaugural address here.

It is going to be a long, great season. Check back here at Sports Chutney for all the exciting news and analysis all season long.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Biggest NHL Regular Season Game of the Year?




  





Big Joe is coming back.

For the second time since he was traded to San Jose on November 30, 2005, Joe Thornton is in Boston to take on the team that drafted him and helped make him a star.

Is this game big?

Yes, of course. It pits the top two teams in the league, the best in each conference, in their own only match of the year. The quiet buzz around the pressroom leads one to assume that is this a preview of what is the prohibitive favorite Stanley Cup match up. Big Joe coming back to Boston, normally the biggest of the big stories, takes a back seat to the teams. Yet, the question becomes. . .

Is this game important?

"Obviously it's two points and every game is two points but I think the magnitude of this one just going to be a test against the best team in the other conference," rookie defenseman Matt Hunwick said after the pre-game skate. "San Jose is the top dog over there, so it will be a good matchup to see exactly where we're at."

Maybe it is just me, but that answer does not scream to me "This is a must win game for us." It almost seems that the Bruins are much more curious than they are driven to beat the Sharks tonight. 

Non-conference matches do tend to hold much more of a curiosity factor in the NHL than the other major sports. They are as much about point collecting as about letting the other teams' fans see the stars that they normally do not get to see (with the exception of the ever-exciting Islander v. Coyotes matches). Back up goalies tend to start the non-conference clunkers and teams do not skate quite as hard as they would against a division opponent. That being said, teams cannot lay an egg in all their non-conference games and expect to make the playoffs, but the intensity is often a touch on the softer side.

That will not be the case when the puck drops at 7:10 tonight, rest assured. There is too much pride on the line for each squad to lay down.

The boys on the Bruins have had this game marked, though only within the last couple weeks have they let it be known that it held any room in their brains. It has become "that" game, the game that punctuates one of the hardest stretches of the Bruins season where. In the last two weeks they have played the five teams directly below them in the standings, going a very respectable 6-1-3 in their last tens games.

Now march in the Sharks, the menacing aquatic predators form the West and they bring with them the ghost of a failed decade of Boston hockey, their former savior and number one overall pick, Joe Thornton.


"The way I've looked at these past couple of weeks, because we've played three or four teams that are kind of big, strong teams and this does include San Jose, so I think it's a good test because obviously they have the best record in the West and we're the best in the East so from that viewpoint it's going to be a good game," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said this morning. "I've just looked at the Washington's, the New Jersey's, the Philly's and the San Jose's how we've matched up against them because that's going to be like the playoff hockey against those types of t
eams. So this is just like another test in that respect."

Once again, "just another test." Big game, yes. Ultimately though, the only important thing about tonight's tilt are the two points for the winner and bragging rights for the rest of the season.

The important thing to remember tonight is that bragging rights do not bring Stanley Cups. Big Joe and the Bad Sharks will make for an entertaining evening in the Hub of Hockey but every game after tonight is just as important.

They just won't be as big.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Prelude to Spring

It has been an especially bitter winter here in New England. If that damn edible rodent in Punxutawney is right, more winter is on the way.

Yet, what is a little winter to New Englanders? Cold? Snow?
Yeah. Whatever.

But, after a while, it does start to wear on you.
That is why Friday is among one of the most exciting annual events for the denizens of Red Sox Nation.

What was it?
It was Truck Day: 2009.

It was the day that all the equipment, personal belongings (including motorcycles and various personal effects that the players leave in Boston over the winter) all get packed on to a couple of 18-wheelers and start the 1,480 mile trk down I-95 to Fort Myers, Florida, where the Red Sox call home for the spring.

The temperature read 27 degrees. The sun was shining. The thing about cold weather in the winter is that the sun does not make much of a difference. It provides no warmth, no comfort. It is there for illumination, nothing more. This light did not bring to mind the sun washed fields and ballparks filled with the smells of brats and baseball. It did not bring the smell of dirt
and grass, chants of encouragement from the grandstand and jeers and derision from the upper deck. Songs sung as a nightly ritual by 37,000 people do not occur on February 6th. That is something purely reserved for the dog days. The unbutton your shirt and drink a beer on the porch listening to the ball game days.

But those days are coming.
Friday was the signal. The day that awakens the hearts of New England denizens who have but one true love, the Red Sox.

Ah, they have an affinity for their other teams, a passion even. The Bruins play well and they get cheers and sell outs. The Celtics remind us that our fathers and their fathers witnessed greatness on a nightly basis. The Patriots are our team, our home, our life.

But none are our heart.

The Sox own that alone.

Wally the Green Monster was out and about. I walked up to Wally, gave him a fist bump and asked for a quote. He pointed down at his (non-existent) watch, put his hands on his hips and then stretched like he had just woken up. Then he started running in place as if it was time to get this show on the road.

Well Wally, it is. The trucks are on their way.

The event is much more of a media blitz than an actual celebration and send off. The crowd was decent, for a cold-ish day in January. Yet, it was full of reporters. As a journalist I can tell when I am surrounded by fans and when I am surrounded by my own breed. One can tell these things, even without the plethora of television cameras.

There was a woman from Boston University who preferred not to be identified because she was supposed to be in the office.

"I never miss it," she said. "I look at the banner and I think of warmth." She had her cell phone camera out, taking pictures of the truck and the men loading it. It's the sure-fire way to tell the reporters from the fans. Reporters use real cameras.

I then came across Karen Russel, a woman on a bike who described herself as a "collector of autographs and memorabilia" who was "on a fixed income." This was her second consecutive Truck Day. Last year she chased the 18-wheeler all the way down to the expressway on her bicycle.
 Yes, this is Red Sox Nation.
Little Johnny Pesky did the honors. He climbed into the big rig and hit the ceremonial blast off button, the ignition to a new season, a new lazy dream of summer nights and champagne showers in October.

The trucks then pulled away to the fanfare that can only exist in Boston. Where most teams have some mild send off (or just slink away in the night) the Sox turn it into something special, an event, a trumpet that soon this winter will be over, soon our grass will grow again and soon our boys of summer will be back.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ryder Will Be Missed


The Bruins found out before Saturday's game against Philadelphia that Michael Ryder will be out indefinitely with a facial fracture that he sustained in the third period of Thursday's game against the Ottawa Senators.

The Bruins took a flier on Ryder when they signed him as a free agent last summer. He had come off a poor year in Montreal where he found himself in coach Guy Carbonneau's dog house and went 14-17-31 in 70 games after a 30-28-58 year in 2006-07.

This year Ryder has been back on pace for a 30-goal season as he was already at 19 (with 17 assists) through 52 games played while manning the right wing on the second line with David Krejci and Blake Wheeler.
(Courtesy of the Associated Press)
With the Bruins battling various injuries that have tested their depth and forced head coach Claude Julien to become overly creative with his line choices, the second unit has provided strength and stability to power the Bruins all season. Krejci is having a Marc Savard-like breakout while Wheeler has been nothing short of a revelation in his first year out of the University of Minnesota.

Ryder provided the anchor for the unit, a veteran with a scorers touch who has played decent two-way hockey, as is evidenced by his 24 +/- ratio. The line was the center of attention through much of December and January as the Bruins battled injuries on the first line. Julien juggled players off the third line to team with Savard on the first, thus breaking down the overall continuity of the team. Yet, the Wheeler-Krejci-Ryder combination remained intact and productive, propelling the offense and thus the Bruins whole attack.

Opposing teams began to realize that Boston's punch was centered through the second line
during this stretch and keyed on them. It was no coincidence that when the Bruins lost their 10 game winning streak it also coincided with the stop of Krejci's (and thus the line's) point streak. Wheeler, perhaps running into a bit of a rookie wall, has been less effective and teams have been boring down on Krejci as they realize how dangerous he can be. That leaves the veteran Ryder to keep the unit strong and productive and he had been doing recently, with his strong night in Philadelphia on Wednesday an example. Yet, Saturday the Ryder-less second line was more or less non-existent in the 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers.

Shawn Thornton temporarily filled the spot on the right wing before rejoining his customary cohorts of Stephane Yelle and Byron Bitz in the third period when it was clear that Krejci and Wheeler were game time no-shows.

Julien does not blame the unit's poor performance on Thornton but rather poor play by the two other forwards.

"It's hard to gauge because I didn't think that line was very efficient for us. It's hard to assess Thorny's job, but I threw him on the other line with Yelle a few times and you could see he was back in the groove with that line. So I don't think I was necessarily disappointed in his game. He played the way he used to play all the time."

The problem with the "way he used to play all the time" is that Thornton does not possess Ryder's goal scoring acumen. He is a bruiser and a banger, a good defensive forward whose five goals this year are a career high (through 191 career games). He joked after a game recently a
bout his prowess at putting pucks in the net.

"You guys surprised? I think they are all highlight-reel goals," Thornton said. "Obviously I am not the type of guy the type of moves to do before I get out there." (Thornton Courtesy Getty)

So, by his own admission, Thornton is really no Ryder. The thinking behind putting him on the second line was to add a little more toughness, the same way that Julien put Lucic (and for a while Kobasew) with the dynamic duo of Kessel and Savard on the first line. At the same time he may have gauged the parts a touch wrong as Wheeler and Krejci cannot support a goal-scoring attack the way that Kessel and Savard can. Part of that is a natural fatigue that has occurred after a rough stretch of very tight games against quality opponents. Part of it was the lack of their anchor. That line needs a solid shooter and skater like Ryder to bind them, not a banger and boards guy like Thornton.

The Bruins have had their fair share of injuries this season that keeps the bus between Boston and Providence bus busy. Yet, to this point, they had only played one game without Ryder. His absence creates a peculiar depth problem because there is nobody on the roster (nor in Providence) that can really take the place of a veteran go-to goal scorer. Patrice Bergeron could be an option but he has professed disinterest in playing wing after multiple years on the dot. Moving Chuck Kobasew up from the third line is probably the best option yet that move takes a significant amount of fire power away from Bergeron (who is teamed with the defensive minded P.J. Axelsson on the other wing) with no real scorer to step up in that wing spot.
(Courtesy Getty)
Thus, the loss of Ryder for an extended period of time creates a dynamic that this Bruins that injuries to other players do not create. At the same time, after streaking together tough wins and tough points through the toughest portion of their schedule, the Bruins have the ability to be creative with their personnel decisions, to give players rest and get back into a crisper mode of hockey, the kind the fans who throng to TD Banknorth Garden saw in November and December.

This team handles adversity well. Yet they should still hope for a speedy recovery from the wily Ryder if they want to continue their conference dominance down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

MVP? Like Hell You Say. . .


Paging Mr. Herman, paging Mr. Herman.

Yes, Pee Wee, what a great adventure it has been. You found your bike, you danced on a bar, you saw the big dinosaur. . .

Damn Pee Wee, when did you get so short?

Welcome to the Laser Show, my friends. The role of Pee Wee Herman will be played by none other than. . . 

Dustin Pedroia?

Have to say, I was expecting . . . more. Why can't the Sox get a normal second baseman? Where is Joe Morgan when you need him? (Don't tell ESPN I asked about him. There are a few simple mantra's in life and this one qualifies here: Don't pick a fight with Disney if you want to keep your cojones.)

Can't we get a guy with a smooth stroke and a stride like a gazelle as opposed to this wide open, choppy little guy? Rod Carew, eat your heart out, I present to you the Red Sox newest second baseman: Robinson Cano. All that wasted potential baking in the hot bronx sun that would, should be ours.

Now, I know what you are thinking. Why take the Kwame Brown of baseball when you can get your hands on some real prime meat? Chase Utley, take a bow. There is another ring is in your immediate future, though none of us really believe that you got that first one. Plausible deniability, right? I mean Chase, buddy, whaddya say?

What Mr. Utley? That hamstring is flaring up? Come on up to Boston. We have some of the finest medical care in the world here. We won't even take it out of your HMO. . .

That goes for you too, Mr. Kinsler of Arlington, Texas.

Rickie Weeks, you've got great potential. I am sure Mr. Magadan would be very happy to help you with the flaws in your swing. Hey, fielding problems? No problem. We've got a great short stop who can help you with all your fielding woes. Ever met Julio Lugo?

I mean, really. We have this runt here in Boston who just talks too much. Swings too hard and is constantly bothering our beloved Youk over his facial hair decisions. And he beats Tito in cribbage. It is too much, just too damn much for us to handle. This was the guy who got himself listed at five-foot, nine-inches by wearing stilts to gym class. The doctor overlooked it because he felt sorry for the poor kid. 

Yet, something strange is happening here. Pee Wee has actually become the star of the show and for some reason we do not mind. He conquered the bullies, made some friends, found his bike and got the girl.

Wait! What in the hell was that?

Yeah, I saw it too.

The runt, that pee wee is standing on second base. 

The ball is missing a couple stitches.

Go grab your bike Pee Wee. It is almost Spring in Boston and it is going to be a great adventure.

What is Sports Chutney?


To understand Sports Chutney, you must understand the story behind Sports Chutney.

I was a chef for a long time. Too long. For those of you in the industry, you know, you've been there. Long days, fire and knives. People yell, they curse, they sweat. You have to carry heavy things long distances.

The nights are just as long. Ask a chef friend of yours how often he wakes up on somebody else's couch. The answer will probably be "too many."

Yet, I loved being a chef. I love food. I have a peculiar affinity for the fine delicacies of the industry, the minutia and exactness of the grind. I loved the characters you find in restaurants, even if I sometimes did not like them. I respected the lifestyle, hell, I loved the lifestyle. It is a grind, like all hell, it is a grind.

Through my years of service to the hungry masses I made a name for myself. I would love to say that I had gained some type of preeminence or even notoriety, but that is not the case. What I got was a nickname.

Chutney.

What is chutney? How do you make it?

These are the questions that got me in trouble. Let us just say I had a particularly long answer one day while sitting a the bar on the fine processes that go into making this fruity topping. 

Yet, the name stuck. No matter what I did I could not shake it. So, I embraced it. I am Chutney, Chutney is me.

Now, my friends, I bring you food, sports and life, in the style peculiar to chutney, the food and the person. 

Enjoy the site,

Thanks,

Dan Rowinski