Monday, September 15, 2008

A Brave, Unproductive, New World

A new era in my life has begun and there is almost no way that it can be positive in almost any way...

A sports bar has opened within stumbling distance of my apartment.

It was bad enough that my brother, who is my best friend and best sports-watching-buddy, and his new bride moved in across the street from me. That was enough of a distraction from real-world responsibilities (especially since they have Guitar Hero). But now that a sports bar has been thrown into the mix, my wife is in deep trouble. And apparently a bowling alley is being built across the street from the bar.

The bar, Big Wangs Wings, opened this past weekend was an absolute mad-house on Sunday for the NFL games despite that the air conditioning doesn't work yet and it was somewhere between 80 and 400 in there. There were people standing along the walls waiting for a table to open up (good luck) and it was the most egalitarian sports crowd I have ever seen.

With no L.A. football team, and with the fact that everyone from L.A. is from somewhere else, we tend to have pretty eclectic crowds, but generally if you go to a bar, there is always one team that dominates the crowd (Raiders, Chargers and 49ers usually, unless it is a "Patriots bar", etc.). The opening weekend festive atmosphere was perhaps to blame, but any time anyone did anything in any game, the place erupted.

I saw jerseys from all of the following teams: Seattle, New Orleans, Jets, Giants, New England, Denver, San Diego, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Oakland and even Kansas City. And I wasn't there for the early games!

When Jay Cutler held up his two fingers after scoring that last minute touchdown and the Broncos went for, and converted, the two-point conversion, the roof almost blew off of the place. It was one of the great sports-related moments I can remember being a part of (except for the openly weeping by the Chargers fan sitting next to me who was utterly confused by the no-fumble call that ruined his entire existence). There were people standing on top of booths hugging perfect strangers. It was spectacular.

To say the least, I will be back next Sunday. And as soon as I let my wife know that they have bloody mary specials on weekends, she will be joining me.

As for the games themselves, I only have a few observations from last weekend: Devon Hester was carted off of the field with a rib injury. Where are his ribs, because mine don't really have much to do with walking. Ladainian Tomlinson is a huge sissy. He missed three quarters with a jammed toe? Pull it out and get in there. You are the best player on your team/league; you are playing a divisional rival; you are already 0-1 and 0-2 = no playoffs; and you are the #1 draft pick in every fantasy draft in the country (except for those of you who smartly picked Adrian Peterson like I did). The Giants may never lose again (especially if they keep getting to play terrible teams!). Tom Brady is totally over-rated and should start looking for another team. Matt Cassel may have just "Tom Brady'ed" him...or not. The Pats may get things together and be good, but they aren't doing anything in January, but when the Jets figure out what the hell to do with their offense, they might be. USC got 61 of 64 first place votes in the AP poll. The three people who did not vote for them after they beat the #5 team by 32 should have the right to vote stripped from them. No one, but a shameless Georgia alumnus would vote for them after they struggled to beat a crappy team and USC did what they did. And finally, Vin Scully has a very hard time using linking verbs (but I still want him to tell me stories as I fall asleep each night).

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