The Struggles And Distractions Of Watching Your Team In A Crowded Bar
Your college or pro football team of choice has a massive game this weekend. It’s been circled on the calendar by anyone that calls themselves a fan since July. And somewhere along the way a plan was concocted amongst you and your friends - it all seemed like such a good idea when it got floated in the group chat.
Kickoff isn’t until 3:30 p.m., and plus there’s a great slate of games before that which means everyone can meet around 1:30 or 2, catch the tail end of the nooners with a metric fuck ton of chicken wings and beer in front of them and then you can all watch the game you came to see in its entirety.
The bar that you’ve agreed upon is your college teams bar. It has memorabilia lining every wall and the DJ even turns the music off when your team plays games so that you can listen to the announcers in real time. And that plan in the group chat seems legitimate on a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon while you wallow away in your cube.
But then Saturday rolls around and you’re getting out of an Uber in front of that sports bar you planned to meet at. There’s a line to get in, and from outside, as you’re waiting to get your ID checked it appears that it’s standing room only.
So let’s say one of your more responsible friends got to that bar in time to secure a table and actually has a seat for you sit down in. That’s great that you’ll have a server and you won’t have to jockey for position at the actual bar, but there are people surrounding your table.
There are randoms setting their beers down near your chicken wings, encroaching on your space and oddly making you feel anxious. I hate when I’m sitting down somewhere - it could be at home, in a bar, or at the office - and there are just people in my general vicinity holding a conversation while I’m trying to focus on something else.
I don’t know what it is about it but it makes me uncomfortable. I just want to say something like “why don’t you sit down and stay awhile?” ya know? But you can’t do that in a bar where it’s difficult to even push your chair out to go the bathroom.
Let’s say you don’t have one of those people in your group who sets things up on a routine basis. Then you’re really screwed.
You end up being the guy who stands next to someones table for the duration of a four or five hour football games and keeps asking if it’s alright if you can rest your beer on a sliver of their table. You lean against walls. You stand at a bar four rows of people deep trying with all your might to order another round and the game? Well the game is the last thing on your mind. You’re just trying to get to the bar and back to the spot where all of your friends are standing around.
But this issue of whether or not you get a table is really the least of your worries. I don’t care how big of a fan you are.
When you’re at a lively spot drinking heavily with a table full of your friends, the focus quickly turns away from the game, and you forget the entire reason you went there in the first place. You will watch the first few minutes of the first quarter intently, slowly but surely getting drunker, fatter, and sloppier as the minutes tick by the clock. And yeah, the entire bar will cheer or get deadly silent depending on big plays happening, but you won’t see them live. You’ll watch the replay of whatever just happened and then get back to whatever worthless topic of discussion your table was having.
Going to a bar where it’s all about your team and your game is fun, but it’s so much better to just watch from home. I’ve talked about how much I prefer it to physically going into a stadium, but I’m at a point where I’d rather have the home watching experience than go to a bar because I’ve realized that very little watching of the game actually happens when you organize something like that.
It’s just a lot of jockeying for position and not paying attention to what’s going on on the screen. Have your people over to your living room and make everyone bring a dish to pass. It’s much easier this way and you won’t have some random dude asking if the empty chair at your table is being used every five minutes. Spoiler alert: it is being used, your buddy just had to get up to go take a piss. He’ll be back in twenty minutes when he gets to the front of the obnoxiously long urinal line.