When a team's motto is "The hit's not real unless it bends steel," you might assume that its members engage in a sport that involves full body armor. Considering the fervor of Denver's Harlequin Wheelchair Rugby players, maybe their endeavor should involve such protection.
The team's passion is a combination of wheelchair basketball and football, explains president Jason Regier. The Harlequins are quadriplegics, with a combination of upper- and lower-extremity impairment. Despite this, the athletes are intense. How intense? When "quad rugby" was first introduced some thirty years ago, it quickly became known as "murderball" because of the aggressive nature of the game. There are now forty organized teams in the United States alone.
Denver's squad, whose members share a zeal not only for the game, but also for drinking beer and cheering the Broncos, started a Buck the Raiders party two years ago. The tradition continues today at the Grand Slam Sports Cafe, 9660 East Arapahoe Road in Greenwood Village. A portion of the $25 entrance fee goes to the Harlequin team and gets you your first beer or soft drink, plus an appetizer buffet, drink specials and entry into a raffle. Go to www.bucktheraiders.come for more information and to register for $5 off the admission price. The 21-and-over party starts at 1 p.m., with the Broncos-Raiders showdown kicking off at 2:05. Everything, of course, will be wheelchair-accessible. -- Sara Behunek
Chick It Out
Panicking Poultry race has families flocking.
With the corporate softball season behind us, you may have thought your opportunity to bond with others on the basis of poor athleticism and a bad team name was over. Not so. The fourth annual Panicking Poultry 5K Run/Walk, which benefits the Multiple Sclerosis Society, takes flight today. Jog, trot -- hell, even go on stilts (it's been done) -- to the Boulder Reservoir, and run your tail feathers off.
"The biggest difference between us and other races is that ours is truly a family event," says spokesman Lance Jaeger. That's why there's a free kids' fun run, goodie bags, a canned-food drive, a silent auction and a cornucopia of prizes.
So don your most festive garb and join the pre-Turkey Day gobbling gala. The race begins at 9:30 a.m., but plan on being at the reservoir until about noon. Race-day registration fees are $30, $25 for children sixteen and under and seniors sixty and over. Team registration is also available. For more information or to register in advance, go to www.nationalmssociety.org/ COC/home. -- Sara Behunek
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