Sunday, February 05, 2012

All I want for Super Bowl Sunday Monday

I'd like to find a bar/restaurant that is actually showing the game....
(Last year, a lot of places surprisingly didn't bother to open for it.)

.... with a decent picture and audible commentary, in English....
(All of the major sports bars have at some point in the last few years proved unable to find a decent satellite link, and have ended up showing the same crappy BTV6 coverage in Chinese that we could watch at home; or, in the case of the disastrous Luga's Villa last year, decided not to open for the game at all! And Paddy O'Shea's last year, despite having good English coverage, was overdriving its loudspeakers so badly that the commentary was incomprehensible.)

.... without charging an exorbitant door fee, or attempting to insist on advance reservations...
(Last year, the wretched Stumble Inn had been advertising a preposterous 150 kuai door charge! And asking for reservations!)

.... that isn't ridiculously overcrowded...
(The proliferation of Americans - particularly young Americans - in Beijing in the last few years, and the withering in the number of sports bars, has meant that there is now often extreme pressure on available space for events like this.)

... and is reasonably accessible.
(I suspect that Grinders or The Irish Volunteer are likely to be two of the most amenable venues; but that's a hell of a long way for me to be going at 7am!)

Home Plate BBQ would be my dream venue for the game, but I don't think they've got satellite TV yet, and I haven't seen them advertising anything for tomorrow. And it is a bit far away from me.

Next likeliest option is the James Joyce - which is, hopefully, still sufficiently 'below the radar' to avoid excessive crowds (it's become my favourite place to watch English Premiership football games for that reason). It if it is too heaved out, I suppose the just revamped Luga's Villa is the likeliest emergency option - although they really don't deserve the support after last year's fiasco (and their generally dismal showing as a 'sports bar' over the past two or three years).

Actually, I fear the likeliest option is that I'll just not have the energy to attempt to go and see the game in public, and will make do with BTV6 at home. That's if I don't oversleep, and miss the game altogether.

Kick-off in 8 hours, and I don't feel like going to bed yet. And it's a 'Super Sunday' in the Premiership as well, - Chelsea v Manchester United likely to keep me up until 2am. Hmm, perhaps I won't subject myself to another round of Beijing sports bar HELL tomorrow: cheap beers in the fridge and a comfy sofa are starting to seem very appealing.


Froog said...

Ended up watching at home. No regrets. Bitter Arctic wind out yesterday.

And there really aren't any 'sports bars' I enjoy in Beijing any more.

A good close game, enjoyed from the comfort of my own sofa. Was able to stay in bed an hour longer beforehand. Didn't spend any money. I may even have learned some new Chinese from the BTV commentary! Much better all around.

KingTubby said...

I would like to strangle Alex Fergusan with piano wire for strangling the English language. City: got all the parts, but not yet a team. As noted on my site, I'm an Arsenal supporter and not because of Robin Van Persie's precision foot.

My final D @ P endnote. I have also seen the Dudly Moore Trio.

Q @ A Froog. Which of the two had a public school background.

I have the answer, but didn't obtain it while swilling gin with Peter Cook during his campus tour of tubbyland. And the smirking one certainly had a capacity for Bombay juniper juice. A goodly supply was actually written into his tour contract.

Froog said...

I'd never really thought about where they went to school, but I'd imagine Dud was of rather more modest origins, probably a grammar school boy.

I'm a neutral in the Premiership these days. My hometown team was always lower division, and dropped out of the major leagues some time ago. Leeds United were my token top flight team to follow when I was a kid (a somewhat random choice - I think I liked the white kit: pure fluke that they were one of the dominant teams during the first half of the 1970s); displaced by Villa a little later on, because my dad had a fondness for them, having grown up in and around Birmingham.

These days I just enjoy the football, and cheer for anyone who plays well. Although ancient antipathies are hard to shake: I liked Chelsea in the Glenn Hoddle/Ruud Gullit era, but couldn't quite escape the memory of having been required to abhor them as a child because of the bitter Leeds-Chelsea enmity. I've disliked Liverpool for years, mainly on such unreasonable grounds as the unattractiveness of the local accent, and the silly haircuts they all had in the 1970s, and the fact that it got a bit tedious when they kept on winning everything through so much of the '70s and '80s. United I have slightly more tangible grounds of dislike for: the relentlessness of their marketing which ensures that they are the only team most people have heard of in so much of the developing world; Ferguson's constant carping at, and attempts to manipulate, officials; the smug sense of entitlement they've always seemed to emanate. I like the football they play, and will root for them in Europe; but in domestic competitions I'm always looking for an underdog to support against them - even if that underdog is Liverpool or Chelsea.

In the last 15 years or so, though, I have had an abiding soft spot for Arsenal - big fan of Wenger, as I think I've said on here once or twice. He's done a great job of sourcing talent on a more constrained budget than the other big clubs, and their attacking football is just sublime at times. They don't have the consistency or the strength in depth in the squad to dominate as they once did, but when they're on song, there's no-one better to watch.

I can't be a true Arsenal fan, though, because I'm also quite fond of Tottenham, and have been very glad to see Harry doing such a great job in getting them back into the top flight at last.