Sunday, October 09, 2005

US Chess League Announces 2006 Line-Up

After two days of intensive meetings, Commissioner Greg Shahade and DG's Mother-in-law emerged from US Chess League Headquarters in New York City to report to the media on plans for the 2006 USCL Season. Here is a transcript of their press conference.

Greg Shahade: I would like to thank all of you for coming. Today, we'd like to announce the team lineup and division structure for the 2006 USCL season. While the league will remain the same size next year, we wanted to provide opportunities for some new cities to participate. As a result, some very difficult decisions needed to be made. Now, here are next year's teams --

Eastern Division

Boston Blintzes
New York Bagels
Carolina Kreplach
Miami Matzo Balls

Western Division

Chicago Chubs
Kansas City Knishes
Houston Challah
Los Angeles Latkes

I'm sure there will be some questions about the 2005 teams which are not on the list, so let's cover each of them in turn. First, in the Eastern Division, the Baltimore Bialys...

DG's Mother-in-law: What is a Bialy anyway? Some sort of bastard cousin to the bagel. Oops, can I say that Greg?

Greg Shahade: I think it's ok.

DG's Mother-in-law: There really is nothing better than a New York Bagel. Bagels and Bialys just would have been too confusing.

Greg Shahade: I'm sure you can begin to see some of the hard bargaining and tough decision-making we've gone through over the past two days. Let's move on to the Philadelphia Perogies.

DG's Mother-in-law: From the old country sure, but so associated with a single country.

Greg Shahade: And after we decided to put a team in Chicago, we didn't want to do anything that might split the loyalties of a portion of their fan base.

DG's Mother-in-law: They did offer an alternative name, but Philadelphia Pastrami really doesn't roll off the tongue that well.

Greg Shahade: Who goes to Philadelphia for a pastrami sandwich anyways? ... Ok, before we move on are there any other questions about the Eastern Division? ... PETA?

DG's Mother-in-law: They're asking if we're concerned about PETA disrupting the matches in Miami?

Greg Shahade: Oh ok, I can handle this one... I had extensive discussions with Miami team officials. They assured me that they work exclusively with farms that raise free-range Matzos and that use only the most humane removal methods... Let's move on to the Western Division. Dallas...

DG's Mother-in-law: To be perfectly honest, until I got involved in this process I didn't even realize that Texas was part of the United States. In any case, the Dallas Donuts really wasn't on point at all. Hopefully they'll send their marketing people to a couple of Hadassah meetings before next year's selection process.

Greg Shahade: Next up is the San Francisco Sissel Bread.

DG's Mother-in-law: Bagels, Bialys, Challah, Sissel and then there was the late entry from Rochester.

Greg Shahade: Oh right, the Rye Toast.

DG's Mother-in-law: Why they didn't go with Rugelach, I'll never know. No matter, but in this day and age of low-carb dieting, how much bread can you really put on the table?

Greg Shahade: We couldn't really have two teams from California ... Well, sure, San Francisco has the longer chess history, but wait 'til you taste these latkes -- crisp, fried potato pancakes with a dollop of applesauce. Absolutely delicious!

DG's Mother-in-law: I made him an extra batch to take home.

Greg Shahade: Other teams that didn't make the cut? ... Well, there were actually two different proposals from Chicago. A group from the North side of the city put together the bid for the Chubs; meanwhile, South Siders were looking to form a separate team, the Whitefish.

DG's Mother-in-law: Of course, we couldn't have two teams in Chicago. Can you imagine how much confusion would have been created distinguishing Whitefish from Chubs? We had to line up both proposals side-by-side in order to make a final decision.

Greg Shahade: The Whitefish were definitely easier to eat, but the Chubs had so much more flavor.

DG's Mother-in-law: There was also the Lincoln Lox. But, between you and me, I bet you can't find half-a-dozen people in all of Nebraska who can explain the difference between a piece of Scottish Salmon and a slice of Nova.

Greg Shahade: We also had some preliminary discussions about 2007. We're considering allowing smaller cities and towns to combine forces. Two cities in Washington State -- Kennewick and Vancouver -- have already started talking in anticipation of this opportunity.

DG's Mother-in-law: The Kennewick/Vancouver Kasha Varnishkes -- alone each is nothing special, but together they are a tasty combination.

Greg Shahade: Well, I think we'll wrap it up there. The buffet tables up-front are now open. Everyone dig in!

DG's Mother-in-law: Be sure to try both the blueberry and the cheese blintzes and don't forget the sour cream.

Greg Shahade: In the meantime, I'll be heading back upstairs to attend to an acute personal bloating issue.

DG's Mother-in-law: Isn't he cute? Someday, he's going to make a wonderful husband for some very lucky girl ... You are going to want to put those directly into your soup, dear...

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