NFL Football season is in full swing.
Fans nationwide wear a shirt with someone else’s name on it, and yell at the TV like the players can hear them. Joking aside, though, NFL football is the most popular sport in the nation. When polled, 36% of people said that their favorite was NFL football in comparison to America’s national pastime, baseball, which was only favored by 13% (sportsbusinessdaily.com).
Now let’s face it, watching the game is always better when you can watch it with all your friends and a little friendly rivalry. I know at my apartment I can’t fit everyone in comfortably or see all the games I want to watch. Hawaii doesn’t go out of its way to air my Miami Dolphins. So, for most fans the best option is going out to a bar. This way they can see the team they want while watching their fantasy players, competition, and getting all the food and drinks they need. Cheering can really work up an appetite.
For those of you wondering how to choose your Sunday watering hole here are some guidelines to choosing a great sports bar.
Some of you are probably like, duh. It is more complicated than just having TV’s. With today’s technology, we have all come to expect certain things. First, there has to be enough screens for every game to air at least once throughout the space. Now, if it is a great bar, then you can watch multiple games without craning your neck. Unfortunately, I do not know all the great places throughout the country, but some examples in Hawaii are Legend’s Sports Bar or Round Table Pizza. Secondly, these screens should be in high-def. If I am spending money to watch the game, static will not do. Neither will plasma TV’s that have the previous image burned into the screen.
Beer and NFL football go together like peanut butter and jelly; why else would Budweiser have paid $1.2 billion to be the official sponsor of the NFL (adweek.com
)? So, wherever you go to watch the game a great beer selection is crucial. Here in Hawaii, Lulu’s and Rivals have great craft beer along with your standard Corona, Heineken, and so forth.
A bar offering beer cocktails is also a great. Tropics Taphouse has a great take on the michelada. For some, however, a great deal on beer is more important. So, pitcher specials and cheap pints will lure you in. It can be even better when they include wings with your pitcher like Snappers with a $12 pitcher and wings deal.
Something unique to your time zone is always nice. For instance, to watch the game live in Hawaii, fans are up at the bar, drinking, at 8AM! So a bloody mary bar is a huge selling point. Ironically, Cha Cha Cha and Kelley O’Neil’s have great bloody marys at an even better price.
Like I mentioned earlier, cheering on your team can really work up an appetite, so food is important. Again, it is not only good enough to have it; taste is what really sets apart a great sports bar. Classics such as pizza and wings are common, but if you are looking for something unique check out Kelley O’Neil’s. They have a great Irish Moco, which consists of homemade corn beef hash, rice, gravy, and fried eggs. It is the perfect meal to help soak up the alcohol from the early game and it goes great with beer! For Monday and Thursday night games, my favorite food is nachos. It has the perfect amount of saltiness, spice, and crunch to compliment my beer while not taking away from my ability to be glued to the game. In Honolulu, the best nachos are easily at Cha Cha Cha.
This particular topic can go two ways: seated for team rivalry or just plain old comfortable seats. In regards to the first option, this is great for people who love competition or watch the games with their fantasy league. Small tables with their own TV is a perfect way to keep all the trash talk at a single table. In Hawaii, Legends Sports Bar is a great example. In regards to comfort, large cushioned booths, full sized couches, and hot tubs are all great. Home Bar and Grill has great seats and food. It is easy to lose yourself in their comfy booths for a day of NFL football. Rivals bar has your ordinary bar stools, comfy booths, and hot tubs to choose from; and for those of you who think that I have mistyped the word hot tub, I am being serious. If you go outside to get a little Hawaiian fresh air, their patio is fully equipped with TV’s and hot tubs!
There are two groups of people that make the bar even better: your service staff and the fans. I don’t think this needs much explanation. No one wants to go to a bar with no one in it and a grouchy staff. The crowd makes the game electric. So, once you find your local watering hole please post and let everyone know where the best place is to watch the game in your neighborhood!
For those of you with the ultimate home set-up, here are some drinks to make game day even better!
Ultimate Bloody Mary
1 ½ oz vodka
Juice of a ¼ of a lemon
¼ – ½ oz Worcestershire sauce
Dash shiracha hot sauce
Dash old bay seasoning, horseradish, and pepper
½ oz pickle juice
Sargent Peters bloody mary mix
Add all the ingredients to a shaker with ice and toss a couple times to mix. Bloody Mary’s are different everywhere you go, so whether you salt the rim or how you garnish it is up to you. My personal favorite is celery and pickled okra, but the sky is the limit.
1 ½ oz silver tequila
½ oz Cointreau
½ oz simple syrup
¾ oz lime juice
~3 oz beer
When it comes to choosing a beer, I feel lagers work best. If you want you can also use a beer with a strong citrus note like Blue Moon or Chain Breaker. Add all the ingredients, except beer, to a shaker or blender with ice. Pour into a glass, with salt if you like, and top with the beer. Garnish with a lime and enjoy!
Heaven and Hell
½ oz Jameson
½ oz Fireball
Just add the two liquors together in a shot glass the next time your team scores!
Maui Coconut porter
1-2 scoops ice cream
Maui coconut porter is a delicious beer and an even more delicious contrast to all the savory wings during the game. Add your choice of ice cream, I like mac nut or vanilla, and you not only have dessert, but you also have a delicious cocktail. It is a match made in heaven!
By Krystle Tarkington