Pulled Into Syracuse's 2011 City Wing Tournament

Now that college basketball season is in full gear, what better way to watch the Syracuse Orange than when accompanied by wings? After plenty of extensive research, Buffalo sauce drenched fingers and devouring pounds of chicken, I've decided to mesh the two together and undertake a City of Syracuse wing tournament in the style of an NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.

The field will separate into four divisions loosely separated by region with seeds 1 through 4 based on rankings determined by my own experiences and from other online review sites and Internet search results. Each participant will be judged on wing tenderness, size, skin, sauce flavor and amount, balance and heat scale, with maybe a couple extra points (free throws?) for blue cheese and celery.

Each bracket will start off with 1 seeds against 4 seeds, and 2 seeds against 3 seeds. Winners will be determined after tallying up the points in each category. The wings with the better tenderness, sauce, etc. will each receive a point and the wings with the highest point total out of the seven categories advances to the next round. If one particular category is a tie, no point will be awarded.

To encourage a little continuity, all wing orders will be "hot" unless no other option is available. That is, barbecue, char-grilled, Sal's, Asian-style, and breaded, will only be ordered if Buffalo style is unavailable.

I realize the argument could be made to judge participating restaurants on the basis of serving traditional Buffalo wings, but maybe that will be a tournament for another time.

Also, no chains. I'd love to include the "Wings Over" franchise because I love their wings and sauces, but I have to omit them.

Mind you, this is not an official tournament or anything. Just for fun and for reference.

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