Are You Ready for Some Football! Yes. But…Where? - August 5, 2011

" finding a place (to watch all the games) is like finding someone who’s never watched or heard of Oprah..."

Here’s what was really at stake in Spheroid Wars (otherwise known as the NFL negotiations).  One network, unnamed—but which may be tapping my and your phone and reading our email at this moment—stood to lose so many $,$$$,$$$,$$$ that it would have taken 13 years to make up for the revenue depletion.  And, of course, there was the little matter of the billionaire owners losing a bit of cash, as well as the guys who actually put their bodies on the line and in the backfield for 16 weeks—or if you’re a Pittsburgh or New England fan 19 or 20 weeks—in order to perform on the number one party day of the year: Super Bowl Sunday.

So as predicted by many a sports pundit—who are quite a bit more accurate and honest than their political counterparts—the professional football world figured out that they had 9 billion reasons to start playing again, and done the deal.  It reminds me of what former, and long time ago, Senator Everett Dirksen used to say.  “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”

Now we come to the part where Script and Screen justifies writing about this subject.  NFL is entertainment, it’s the biggest sporting event(s) in these United States and one of the biggest in the world and, most importantly, it’s all—and I mean every moment, from training camp, to preseason, to regular season, to second season, to post season—on your TV.  The only problem is it’s all on your TV only if you can afford it.

I mean, yes, there is one company offering a deal if you order their service, they will throw in the NFL package for free this year.  That gives you all the games, commentary, fantasy news and statistics, and predictions, weekend and week out.  However, if you already have the service, or any service that allows you to pay many hundreds for the NFL package, then you have the option of staying in your man-cave and absorbing all the games on some Thursdays, some Saturdays, all Sundays and Mondays during the season.

If you don’t have the service and still want to watch, then you have to take what the local stations provide, which is mostly Dallas and Denver, or seek out commercial establishments that allow you to see your special team in action.  What I am getting at is where do you watch the Lions, the Bears, the Ravens, Panthers, or my beloved but frustrating Falcons? At what sports bar is this whole zoo available right here in Santa Fe?

A few years ago there were some places where a fan could go to view his/her favorite squad.  But the economy and other factors have winnowed that down, and now finding a place is like finding someone who’s never watched or heard of Oprah. They are out there, but really, really rare.

First, any such so called sports bar would have to meet specific criteria.  They would have to have the NFL package so that all the games could be could be showing at 11:00 a.m. (when the largest number of games is shown).  Next, they would have to have at least 10 televisions so that every one of those games would be available for someone’s viewing pleasure.  Last, it would be nice if the place were really meant to host football fans and not just have a few TV’s and the NFL package as a BTW product.

Much to my dismay, there isn’t such a place that I could locate in Santa Fe.  The closest I can come is:
The Locker Room Sports Bar and Grill 2841 Cerrillos Road (across from Jackolope).  When I called, I was told they would have seven televisions, the NFL package, and be open by 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning for the NFL season.

Tiny’s Restaurant and Lounge on 1015 Pen Road (in a strip mall on the corner of St. Francis and Cerrillos), which has six TVs and the NFL package.  When I called they assured me they would be open at 11:00 a.m. on Sundays during the NFL season.

Blue Corn Café Southside at 4056 Cerrillos Road (again in a shopping mall, but off Rodeo Road near the intersection of Rodeo and Cerrillos), which has only five TVs and the NFL package.  They, too, assured me they would be open at 11:00 a.m. on Sundays.

Please understand, I am not endorsing, recommending, or favoring these places above any other establishments in our “fare” city.  I am simply saying they are the only ones I have found that have more that two or three TV’s, the NFL package, and the correct opening times in the fall to fall within my criteria for where to go to watch your favorite team(s) on Sunday.

Because no place in town meets the full criteria, some folks looking to watch their favorite team on Sunday morning will be just flat out of luck and that is not a good situation.  So if there is a sports bar that meets the criteria and I missed it, please contact me and I will be more than thrilled to not only put it in an update blog, but see you there on Sunday to root on our favorite NFL gladiators.

Updated, 10:33 p.m., Aug. 5

EXTRA, EXTRA, and you got it, EXTRA!
Found a place that meets all the criteria—or so the guy on the phone assured me.  It's:
Junction Restaurant 530. S. Guadalupe Street (with plenty of parking on Sunday).  I was assured that by the time NFL season opens, the restaurant would have 10 or 11 TV's, the NFL package, and would be open at 10:55 on Sunday morning.
So there you have it.  A list of places to get your NFL fix.  See you at one of these Sunday morning, September 11th.  And, oh yeah, GO FALCONS!