17 Sep 2009

Football Season on the Hill

Photo courtesy ElvertBarnes via flickr

Photo courtesy ElvertBarnes via flickr

Over the course of the last two weeks, we’ve entered into my favorite time of the year.  Not just because I love jeans and sweaters and pumpkins and the foliage, but because it’s football season.  With the NFL starting last weekend and the NCAA kicking off the weekend before that, it’s time to talk about the best spots to catch the games around the Hill.

I’ve got to be honest: things haven’t started out well.

I watched Maryland (my alma mater) start their season against Cal two Saturday nights ago after the Nats’ game at Lola’s.  The game wasn’t on when I got there, but the bartender was nice enough to turn it on so that I could watch my Terps get steamrolled in a late night, 52-13 loss to the Golden Bears.  I’m a huge fan of Lola’s and so when last weekend rolled around, my friend (a Dolphins fan) and I (a Ravens fan) set out to Lola’s early to get a seat at the bar and watch our teams.  Read how our plans were thwarted after the jump…

While they were showing the Ravens game, unsurprisingly, the ‘Phins showdown with the Falcons wasn’t on the schedule.  The bartender suggested we head next door to Molly Malone’s since they have many more TVs and NFL Sunday Ticket.  When we got there, they told us that there were some unclaimed TVs upstairs and we could head up and ask for our games.   The waitress was accommodating (at first) and gladly put on our games on two unclaimed TVs in a mostly empty upstairs.  We ordered beers and food and settled into our afternoon.

At around 1:30 – a full half hour past kick off – a group of 3 guys came in and asked us if we were watching both games.  We explained that we were, thinking that would be that.  Five minutes later our waitress came over and said that we had to choose one of the games to watch because these latecomers wanted to watch the Jacksonville game.

In fairness, she tried to be as accommodating as possible, offering to buy us a round and even offering to cancel our kitchen orders so that we could leave.  We took her up on the round, but opted to stick around to eat until the half, when we have more time to seek out another spot to catch our games.  However, the damage was done.  We got there early specifically so that we would have the opportunity to see both of the games we were interested in, and then a small group of latecomers arrive and we’re bumped.  Of course there are no formal rules governing this sort of thing, but standard etiquette (in my experience) is first come, first served.  The waitress said that the guys had been her regulars for two years (not sure where since Molly Malone’s hasn’t been open that long) – which is something that I understand, but her actions also lost the chance at gaining two more regulars.

We ended up at Trusty’s which had both of our games on two of their TVs, and the afternoon wasn’t a total bust.

Now, I know that Pour House and Cap Lounge are both reliable choices, especially for the NFL.  (Pour House is of course a Steelers bar.  As a Ravens fan, this is a less than ideal viewing spot.  And over on Frozen Tropics, there was recently a discussion about football at the Argonaut and a commenter mentioned that Cap Lounge is now an official Patriots bar, which is also an automatic disqualifier as far as I’m concerned.)  Neither of those places would be a first choice for me under ordinary circumstances, so I’m asking you, dear readers and Hill residents,

Where’s the best place to watch football (NCAA and/or NFL) on the Hill? What are your thoughts on how bars determine which games to show?

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2 responses to “Football Season on the Hill”

  1. Hill Guy says:

    Hold on. Seriously, you were at the best bar on the hill. Why leave Trusty’s? For football season, they open early on Sunday (only day of the week they open before 5pm,) Saul and Adam are two of the best bartenders/chefs on the hill, cost is low and you never have to fight for a TV. Please don’t tell all your friends.

    As for the Lounge (which is a great bar and could add a third floor with the money I have spent there) the idea that they are now a Pats bar is just a joke. As a Pats fan the actual DC Patriots fan club meets at Kelly’s Irish Times. Its the only time I go to Irish Times, but it is THE pats bar. Sorry Lounge.

    As for Molly’s telling you they are turning off a TV for latecomers, that is a cardinal sin. In fact, I think that’s how 99% of Sunday afternoon bar fights start.

  2. @Hill Guy – I’m a big fan of Trusty’s and I will definitely be back for football. They were awesome there (always are).

    My only beef with Trusty’s is that you always leave smelling like the grill. Not necessarily a bad thing though.

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