The Frost Heaves are a reality, a dream taking shape
Posted: Tuesday December 20, 2005 4:43PM; Updated: Tuesday December 20, 2005 4:43PM
It may be quiet now, but the Frost Heaves' home may be hopping next year if initial fan interest is any indication.
Michael J. LeBrecht II/1Deuce3 Photography/SI
Alexander Wolff will periodically answer questions from SI.com users in his mailbag.
Not a week ago, I crawled out on the thinnest, greenest, farthest reaches of a limb to announce that I'm starting an American Basketball Association franchise called the Vermont Frost Heaves. It was 8 below zero when my wife Vanessa and I left our home in Addison County to meet the press at the Barre Municipal Auditorium, one of the places we plan to play. "If we could start our cars this morning," I said from the lectern, "we can start a pro basketball team in Vermont."
I've been a listener at uncounted press conferences, and as I rehearsed that line during the drive over, it sounded like the kind of thing that's said at press conferences -- just pithy and chesty enough to be credible. At the time I said it, I'm not sure I completely believed it.
Now I don't just believe it, I know it. In this state where strangers think nothing of pulling one another out of snowbanks, scores of Vermonters have volunteered to do virtually anything we need. We logged more than 100 merchandise orders in the first two days (to buy Frost Heaves gear go here). Season-ticket deposits are already showing up in our mailbox, sent by some of the Vermonters whose passion for hoops has led J.J. Cioffi, the longtime sportscaster at WCAX television in Burlington, to declare, "This is a hockey town, but Vermont is a basketball state."
Even Tom Brennan, the retired University of Vermont coach now relocated to an ESPN studio set, called from Smuggler's Notch to say, "My boy, Jerry Buss!" (The comment made Vanessa feel 20 years younger.)
The feedback has come from far beyond Brattleboro and St. Albans, too: An Egyptian apparel manufacturer has asked to do our uniforms. No fewer than five filmmakers have inquired about documenting our birth and life. And a Brit named Andrew gave us a what-for because the reply forms on our website had no provision for overseas fans to enter a foreign country and an exotic postcode. (As a longtime chronicler of global hoops, I'm still red-faced over that omission. It has since been rectified, so go ahead Andrew, and Roberto from Bologna, and Anthony from Melbourne -- you too can now join the Frost Heaves' online community, the Bump in the Road Club. You'll get updates like this one sent straight to your in-box and be eligible to vote on team matters over the Internet.)