5% ABV on draught
They say New York isn’t a college football town, but that isn’t exactly true. It’s not a college football town in the sense that the increasingly-less-and-less-relevant mainstream media gives a shit. And in NYC, if the clueless mainstream media doesn’t care about something then we are supposed to believe that no one cares. Also, except for the shameful few that root for the worst college football program in history, there are no local favorites in our town.
Having said all that, I think it could be argued that NYC is the absolute best college football town in America being that we literally have rabid fans–and plenty of them–from every single college and university in this country. Fans that wake up every single Saturday morning anxious to throw on their logoed gear and then meet up with their fellow supporters to get drunk and root on their schools. Try to find a Syracuse bar in Lawrence. Or a Boise State bar in Ames. A Michigan bar in Lubbock. Or a Florida State bar in Morgantown. I’m guessing you won’t. But you will find bars for all those teams in New York plus viewing locations for pretty much every single other team.
Since my once-proud college football program is in a downward spiral, I now have to take pleasure in attending the game watch parties for my friends’ teams. Cool with me. When my team is playing–and actually good–I am sub-human. A man only capable of using his left hand to slug beer, his right hand to slug the bar in anger or ecstasy, his mouth to yell out “Fuck!,” “Shit!,” or “Jesus Christ!” (again in agony or ecstasy), and his dick to eliminate all the toxic macrobeer from my system almost as fast as it enters it.
During my team’s games, I am oblivious to my surroundings. Unaware whether the bar is full of the hottest pieces of ass on the planet or the scummiest fans of a rival school. I only am cognizant of what is on the flatscreen on the wall and what my core group of doppelganger friends–all with the same biases as me, both positive and negative, both against or for our team–have to say. If Scarlett Johanson were to offer me fellatio during tense game action, I would turn her down briskly and with no prejudice. The only time I ever interact with someone beside my core of knowledgeable pals is when my team scores and then I’m going around in drunken revelry, hugging and kissing anyone and everyone whether they are of the opposite sex or not and whether they wish to accept my cheering affection or not. They usually do. And maybe if it’s a big enough score, now I‘m the one offering the knob slob. God I love my team, unfortunately, they’re the only ones sucking dick right now*, ruining my Saturdays and robbing me of a little slice of weekly pleasure.
That’s why I enjoy going to watch parties that aren’t for my team. Watch parties for your own team–at least for me–aren’t even fun what with all the tension and nerves, pinning your hopes for a good Saturday on a group of nineteen-year-olds that went to the same school as you but no doubt have had a vastly different university experience than you. What with the covered up date rapes, money paid under the table, skipped classes, oh and all the narcotics and firearms charges. Yeah, I was certainly much worse behaved than the student-athletes I follow. Those boys going early to bed, early to rise, eating healthy, and livin’ clean. Riiiiight. And you’re hoping these nineteen-year-olds don’t ruin your Saturday?
There is no tension or nerves when you go to another team’s watch bar. Now you’re free to just get loaded, enjoy the glory of the gridiron, gamble a bit, and ogle some fine young women. And why are women so attractive when clad in a tight college tee, perhaps a baseball cap, and maybe if we’re lucky a tiny cute-as-a-button temporary tattoo on their left cheek? Also, my Saturday won’t be ruined if my friends’ teams lose. In fact, it could even be elevated if you’re into the whole schadenfreude thing. Then again, you also are deprived of any chance of the crack high glory of an unexpected victory that keeps you going for the whole next week.
Last Saturday, I joined several friends and alumni at the University of Oklahoma watch party at The Press Box on Second. Suffice to say, it was not the rip-roaring fun I expected.
The first thing that happens any time you’re at a NYC watch party for, say, an SEC or Big 12 team, but I’m not picking on those conferences or their teams, is you look at the fans at the bar and think:
“These people live here?!”
Us New Yorkers are a guilty-as-charged snobby bunch and after just a year if not a few months of living here we’ve all already become skinny-from-always-walking, jaded-from-seeing-everything, pretentious locals able to scornishly recognize an outsider with ease.
So when you see a group of fat slobs squeezed into a cheap Champion Athletic team t-shirts celebrating some conference title game from a decade-plus ago all the while shoveling food into their mouth from a smörgåsbord of fried things so elegantly known as “the sampler,” you think, that’s not a local like me, that’s no New Yorker. That must just be some hick from home who happened to be in Manhattan on vacation or for business over this weekend and was somehow smart enough to google the location of the school-he-didn’t-even-attend-but-nevertheless-roots-for watch party bar.
And then you speak to these people.
“So where are you guys from?”
And through bites of sour cream slathered ‘tato skins, they twangily respond:
“Tribeca? As in…New York’s Tribeca?!”
And you can’t believe it.
“These people live here?!”
Not only do they live here, but they are fans of the same team as you. Such was the case at The Press Box as the Sooners took on the lowly Tennessee Chattanooga Mocs. A laugher of a game and a laugher of a crowd. The Press Box sucks with a set up like an old folks bingo parlor. Tables utilitarianly placed in staid row after staid row, preventing both good sightlines for the big screens and any sort of esprit de corps amongst fans. Not that I would want to be friends with any of the OU fans that I saw out embarrassing themselves. The men, so bulbous they can barely get their TRex arms together to clap for a big gain, the women just…gross. Too disgusting to even be considered slumpbusters.
CoCo Chanel famously said that “There are no ugly women, just lazy ones.” I think she would have changed her tune if she visited The Press Box on gameday. Or at least she would have to claim that these women were so lazy they were bordering on comatose. Though certainly not the kind of comatose where you have to be forcefed like Terry Schiavo as these ladies were eating willingly and frequently.
But at least the drink was adequate. I sipped on Bass, an underrated but ultimately unremarkable beer that can be found on tap at just about every bar in America. Buttery malts, smooth, and with a very sippable carbonation. And maybe the bartender liked my roguish charm or maybe he was just so overwhelmed by the insatiable behemoths that he forgot to keep track of my tab, but I got out of there cheaply.
Afterward we headed to the nearby Overlook, to see what an all-of-the-sudden good Missouri football watch party looked like. A stark difference and the stats tell the whole story:
Avg. age of OU fan at The Press Box: 45 years
Avg. weight of OU fan at The Press Box: 225 pounds
Avg. age of Mizzou fan at Overlook: 24 years
Avg. weight of Mizzou fan at Overlook: 150 pounds
Here were people having a great time!** Standing, slugging cheap macro beers, having shots even, raucously cheering on their team, and no doubt setting things in play to have nasty, nasty intercourse with a fellow fan they’d just met that night in celebratory camaraderie. It was a great thing to see and it shamed The Press Box all the more. I even talked with a few Mizzou fans and they were as nice as can be. Maybe I’ll adopt them as my new bandwagon team, heck my sister did go there.
So tell me New York readers, what are the best college watch bars from a pure partying standard–madcapped fun, ample and cheap drinks, tasty fried food, and libidinous women–regardless of how good the team is or isn’t? My Saturdays are now free as my crummy team’s games are only shown on internet feeds coming out of Prince Edward Island and I’m willing to let other colleges adopt the Vice Blogger for a season…
*Three blow job references in one paragraph. Well played, Aaron, well played.
**As it still stands, the best college sports watch party I’ve ever been to in Manhattan was when with an ex I attended a Cornell hockey playoff game at Ship of Fools. My lord! You won’t believe me but there were hundreds upon hundreds of fans, all decked out in Cornell hockey sweaters, living and dying with every single shift, unveiling traditional little cheers and slurs toward their opponent, getting wasted, and having a blast of an afternoon. Man, those second tier Ivy League nerds could party!