Sunday, January 15, 2006

Saturday, 7:02pm: Who can resist playoff-time? What playoffs, you ask? Does it matter? Football, basketball, soccer... shoot, even curling would be exciting if it meant the loser was going home. My neighbor and I head out to the best sports bar I know to catch the home town Patriots play the Broncos in Denver. 80 television screens and the best buffalo-wings I've come across in a long time. Xanadu!

7:28pm: We park on Harvard Street and walk down the street to the bar. It's one of the mildest January days on record, 62 degrees. I refuse to believe the weather forcast that says it's supposed to snow tomorrow.

7:34pm: Ok, Boston loves, loves, its sports teams. There's a long line out the door. Crap.

7:35pm: We get in line. Neighbor gets the scouting report on the wait: 30+ minutes just to get in the door. Hmmm, we could go somewhere else, but there's 80 TV screens in there.

7:55pm: Still waiting. Apparently, the place is so full, they're letting 1 person in for every 1 person that leaves.

7:59pm: Still waiting, but we're moving. I can see the door!

8:05pm: Ok, still in line, but we're close. Psychologists really do need to study the psychology of waiting in line. My hypothesis is your disdain for other people in line is proportional to the distance from your spot in line. You loathe the people in the front of the line, because they're so close to getting in and you pity the people really behind you because, hah! They're never getting in.

8:10pm: Kickoff. Luckily, this bar pipes the games through speakers outside and we can look through the windows.

8:12pm: We reach the Point-of-No-Return. We can't bail from the line now. It's now a point of personal pride that I get inside to watch the game.

8:20pm: Here's the deal - if the place is packed to capacity, you lose your spot inside if you go outside for a smoke break. And besides, two smoke breaks in 15 minutes means you're not really here for the football.

8:36pm: We're all getting a little punchy from waiting. People arriving by car or cab are met with sarcastic cheering - and don't even THINK about trying to sweet talk your way in sweetheart - get to the back of the line! What, but your friends are in there saving you a spot? Back of the line! Oh, sweet justice.

8:44pm: First quarter ends. Close game. And we're 3 people from getting in! Of course, when you wait in line for a long time you bond with the people directly in front and in back of you. Why is that?

8:50pm: Finally. We get inside.

9:25pm: Buffalo wings. Good. Napkin please.

9:45pm: What I love about games that I'm not really all that invested in, is I can spend time people watching. Bostonians take their football seriously. Lots of shouting, cheering, and lots of cussing in New England accents. Broncos take the lead. There's actually a guy in here wearing a Denver jersey. He starts cheering loudly. The locals are pissed.

10:38pm: Well into the second half now and it's not looking good for the Patriots. I'll spare you details.

11:47pm: Patriots lose. No Super Bowl this year. Broncos Guy is pumped. We leave.

Oh, and it did snow today.

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