Burlington Express

(Formerly - Shakopee Shysters/Sioux City Salsa/Santa Fe Salsa)

November 1... Steve Tucker

Greetings fellow NIBLers and outsiders looking in,

Ah, the fourth year of the NIBL (just count the names) is getting underway in the beautiful state of Vermont. It has been a long and twisted road to the land of maple syrup and dill pickles. *

Those of you who have suffered through the travels of this team, evicted from the cactus light poles to the rented McBubble across the bridge from the Motel 6 to the dealings with Jesse from the cow pasture, will be happy to know of yet another long term lease agreement with the railroad city of Burlington. Actually, what happened was…

Burlington is a blue-collar city with a lot of railroad workers, as you might imagine, and apparently not a lot of entertainment. A group, calling themselves the Bur Association, representing the railroad workers, were most eager to have a NIBL basketball team in their midst. Well, they have this big abandoned building that they weren't doing anything with and agreed to rent it out for a share of the gate receipts. The building is downtown next to the rail yard. Actually it is sort of in the rail yard but right on the edge. You only have to cross a few sets of tracks from the nicely crushed gravel parking lot but they have all the gates and lights set up for safe pedestrian crossing.

The Bur Association through their surplus in the Railroad Retirement Fund has converted the large building into a first class arena. Beautiful hardwood floor, comfortable seats and sky boxes all the way around. It is a great facility compared to the other tents and bubbles we've had. Construction is still underway in the main lobby. It appears to be taking the shape of a mall type setting of small shops and windows you will pass through to get into the arena. They look to be extremely fancy ticket windows. I'm not sure what the final setting will be or what shops will be in place.

I only met the head of the association once and it was very brief. We were introduced and I didn't catch his full name, Don something or other. He said everything would be taken care of and ready on time for the start of the season. He snapped his fingers and had one of his personal assistants, Eddie, show me to my new office. What an office! Thick carpet, comfy leather furniture, a huge oak desk and a stocked bar with a bartender named Guido.

These railroad guys know how to run a first class operation. I expect a setting of this stature to provide a spark toward winning ways. I think we'll be very happy in Burlington for a long time.

Stephen C. Tucker - NIBL owner

* Mix with snow and you will have a popular northeastern winter taste treat.