The Five Worst Sports Bar Experiences

5. Middle aged frat party

This guy hasn't been out of the house in 20 years, and he's going to ruin your attempt to watch the game.
This guy hasn’t been out of the house in 20 years, and he’s going to ruin your attempt to watch the game.

Just because you’re 59, does that mean you can no longer live the sweet, sweet life of a bro? Of course not! Here’s what you do. Get a bunch of your same-aged friends. Maybe get an age-inappropriate escort if you’re a real creeper. You’re way too fucking old to get into any decent club, so head to the sports bar. Put on some 1980s music (think not just Journey, but Warrant and Mötley Crüe or other shit no one under 35 wants to hear), ask the bartender to turn it up. Make a fucking ton of noise ordering shots and hitting on girls who aren’t into you because you’re older than their dad. Talk to everyone at the bar and ask them where they are from, whether they want a shot (“Come on, do a shot with me”), even if they are deep into the game they came here to watch because this is the only nearby place with NHL league pass.

Great! Now you’ve ruined the experience of anyone trying to watch the game! Everyone else, too! To get extra points, do this during game six of the NBA finals or the World Series.

4. Bad food

Fuck me, I'm not eating that.
Fuck me, I’m not eating that.

90% of sports bars have only a deep fryer and a grill and that’s it. So you can get fries (often the best option), chicken wings, a greasy disgusting burger, or something covered in cheese and garlic butter sauce. The place might have a salad, but it’s going to be a pile of wilted greens from a bag, the same tomato slices they put on the burgers, two croutons and a couple of rings of onions all smothered in creamy ranch sauce. Fuccccck that. Better off eating at home.

Frito pie?
Frito pie?

Then you get the guys who think they are “chefs” and try to make something better. The cook at the neighborhood sports bar who spends all day slow roasting pork so he can make cuban sandwiches or frito pie. Have you ever had a frito pie? That doesn’t pass for gourmet even here in Texas. It’s gross. But the cook is so proud of his frito pie (or his chili, or his beef stroganoff, or something similarly nasty) that he’s got the bar tenders and waiters pushing it like it’s a new year’s meal at Noma. After being bullied into eating a frito pie, you never want to go back. Now the chef’s slow roasting pork for no one.

3. Big Boring Chain


Chains and franchises have their place. Imagine you are driving through Lewisville, Texas, and need to find a place to watch the big game. Are you going to go to the Redneck Heaven (a real place) or the play it safe and get to Buffalo Wild Wings? I’d go with the chain.

BUT, chains suck. They pretty much all have the same uninspired food (nachos, wings, pizza, yawn), the same company rules and procedures (read: no free anything, precisely measured shots), and the revolving crew of workers who usually don’t take the time to learn their clientele. Plus there’s something creepy to think that someone in Cleveland or Sacramento is having the same meal at the same restaurant at the same time as me.

2. Unfriendly crowd

That's not meet, but it might as wall have been.
That’s not me, but it might as wall have been.

It’s June 15th, 2011. Game seven of the Stanley Cup finals. The Bruins, who I’ve never seen win before, are playing the Vancouver Canucks. The game is on broadcast TV, but my girlfriend’s parents are staying over, so I walk to the bar down the way to watch the game. I get there right in time for faceoff.

As I enter, every single person in the bar is wearing Canucks gear. There’s no time to go home, get the car, and drive somewhere else without missing most of the first period. So I get harassed constantly during the game, but thank god (Go Bruins!) we win 4-0, and the hostile crowd quieted down by about the mid point in the 2nd. I don’t know if I could have put up with those drunk hosiers if the game had been close.

The trick in this situation is to not make too much noise or argue too much unless you want a fight. Or better yet, make sure the bar you are going to isn’t the local spot for the opposing team.

1. Won’t show the game

13 tvs and you won't show the game I want to watch?
13 tvs and you won’t show the game I want to watch?

This has never happened to me, so I quote Corner Route Editor-in-Chief Andrew Smith:

It was Thursday night. The UW Huskies were playing USC down in LA. The game was on ESPN, and for whatever reason, my cable wasn’t hooked up yet. A couple of friends  and I head to the bar down the way to get dinner and watch the game. Keep in mind, we’re in Seattle, maybe three miles from the UW campus.

The bartender says they won’t put the game on any of the big screens, because they are going to show the Thursday night NFL game there. That game was the Colts and the Texans. Think about that. They won’t put on the Huskies in Seattle on a big screen, because they want to show the Colts versus the Texans.

There were two other people in the bar, both of them said they didn’t care what game was being shown. The bartender said she’d put the game, without sound, on one of the back tvs, which are 25 feet off the ground and impossible to watch from any comfortable seat in the bar. This bar was empty other than two old guys who didn’t care what they put on.

So we headed somewhere else. The dawgs won 17-12. I haven’t been back to that bar since.

That story makes no sense to me. At least he had somewhere else to go.

About Joshua Schofield 3 Articles
Joshua Schofield is a Waltham, Massachusetts native, a UMass Amherst Grad, and a current resident of Dallas, Texas. His favorite teams are the Minutemen, the Red Sox, the Bruins and the Patriots. He is starting to like the NHL Stars and Dallas FC, but he doesn't think he'll ever like the Cowboys.

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