Wine & Spirits

The Sports Bar Factor

Now that we all have 42-inch HD televisions, there seems to be little reason to watch a game at a bar.

Now that we all have 42-inch HD televisions, there seems little reason to go to the bar to watch a game. Sports bars usually have inferior food and cocktails, there might be idiot Packer fans, and you can actually get arrested if you throw something at the television. But here’s a reason you should go: to practice your fan technique.

When the Twins lost in the play-offs, some scoffed at the notion that it was tied to the lethargy of the hometown crowd. Don’t they remember ’87 and ’91 and the corny decibel meters inside the Dome? The advantage of social support has been empirically proven, but just to be sure, I conducted my own experiment.

For years, my own personal Metrodome has been the Uptown Green Mill, for all the key elements: cheap wing specials, lots of purple, plenty of flat screens. But with the Vikes down by a touchdown, the normally ultra-violet Mill crowd seemed sullen. So I walked down the street to Old Chicago, where everybody was jumping up and down and screaming, and a bunch of fat guys were bragging that they had “converted” what was once a Packers bar. “We’ve been getting here early the last few weeks,” they said. Two Grape Apes (Buddy’s grape and vodka) later, Percy Harvin took it to the house. Practice makes perfect.