Football fandom for complete dummies

By Tom Conroy |

Staff Writer

The weather is cooling off and the leaves are starting to change, which means it’s time to stay inside all day Sunday and watch football. That’s an easy task if you are a football diehard like myself. However, that can be far more daunting for someone who may only be a casual fan or for someone who does not watch at all. If this is you, and you find yourself at a bar or a Sunday watch party, here is how to get by like a pro:

 

  1. Following multiple games is necessary

 

Your friends might all be Bears fans, but don’t be alarmed if someone insists on switching over to the Steelers-Bengals game. It probably means that someone at your gathering has Ben Roethlisberger or A.J. Green in their fantasy game. Things can get even more confusing if your host has the NFL RedZone channel, which switches between games automatically if a team is close to scoring. If you find yourself lost, just latch on to the Bears’ bandwagon and cheer whenever you see the navy-blue-and-orange pop up on the screen.

 

  1. Everyone hates Roger Goodell, and you do, tooYour friends will probably bring up the NFL commissioner at least once and it will be negative. Whether it has to do with the national anthem, concussion protocols, new penalty rules or his absurd $200 million contract, Goodell will always draw the ire of fans regardless of their viewpoints. Do not waste time forming your own opinions about the man; just hiss whenever you hear his name.
  2. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are necessary evil

Bears fans are sick of losing to Rodgers and the Packers. The entire NFL is sick of watching Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl. However, refrain from wishing season-ending injuries on either quarterback. I was at the Bears-Packers season opener at Lambeau Field and witnessed Bears fan cheering at the sight of Rodgers leaving the field with a potential knee injury only to exclaim in agony when he returned later in the game to pull off the victory. Guess what? It was one of the most exciting and compelling games I’ve ever watched. Rodgers and Brady may win all the time, but football is more compelling when they are on the screen. If you hear your friends complaining, remind them how unwatchable the Packers were last year with A.J. Hundley at QB.

 

  1. Sundays are now your new cheat dayDiets are hard when pizza, wings, beer and every other game-day-indulgence surround you. If you know that you will be gorging yourself on Sunday, plan ahead. Get in your exercise and healthy eating during the week. Pack some fruit if it is a potluck gathering. And make sure to drink plenty of water to avoid a Monday hangover.

Published October 2, 2018

Local pubs to open early for World Cup fans

By Matthew Reiss | Community Contributor

With soccer’s World Cup returning June 14, all eyes will be glued to TV screens around the
country—despite the U.S. team’s shockingly early exit from the tournament.

Over three billion people worldwide watched the 2014 Brazil World Cup, with public viewings in Chicago set up in Grant Park and Soldier Field drawing tens of thousands of local fans.

This year, without the U.S. team to root for and with the games primarily airing in the morning due to the time difference with host country Russia, it will be more difficult for soccer fans, such as myself, to find public venues to watch games.

But never fear—for the truly dedicated fan, there are still ways to get your World Cup fix in Chicago.

Fado Irish Pub, 100 W. Grand Ave., has been a hotspot for European soccer league coverage, and will be opening its doors early for each and every World Cup match. They are also available to book for group watch parties.

Upscale sports bar Theory, 9 W. Hubbard St., is also committing to World Cup coverage. Managing Partner Joel Sorinsky said that Theory will show all games kicking off after 9 a.m., and brunch will be available on every game day.

The Globe Pub, 1934 W. Irving Park Rd., has long been a site for supporters of the Chicago Fire MLS team, including their Pub to Pitch shuttle service to and from home games. The Globe is currently remodeling, but General Manager Megan Kosmensky said that they’ll be reopening with upgraded screens and amenities the week before the Cup.

They will be showing every game, and will allow children accompanied by adults to come to viewings of the first round matches.

Fans can stay close to home with some residential buildings offering special viewing events. The Aqua in New East- side, 225 N. Columbus Drive, will open its media room—complete with theater seating—to residents for every match of the tournament.

Published June 5, 2018