I have requirements for a sports bar. I’m not entirely comfortable saying that, because it doesn’t seem to be me, but it turns out to be true. I discovered that tonight.
I’m well beyond the age when going out to a bar for St. Patrick’s Day is even remotely interesting, yet that’s what I’ve done for two straight nights. Friday is included because I went to Kells Irish Pub for their St. Patrick’s Day Irish Festival. (When my dad’s mother married my grandfather, my great aunt told her that she was now Irish. And so we’ve all been all Irish ever since.)
I went to Kells to watch boxing, not some pay-per-view event, but live amateur boxing. Except for “Rocky,” I’ve never watched a boxing match before Friday night. I will admit that secretly I’ve wanted to learn how to box – not the kind you get in an exercise class at health clubs, but the real deal – but I suppose a fear of getting a tooth knocked out, and well, not liking to get punched has stopped me.
I wasn’t sure what to expect – it is two people punching the hell out of each other. I normally get cheap seats for everything I go to, and this was no exception. Kells had taken over a parking lot behind their building and put up a huge tent, so this time my general admission ticket got me a close up view.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, a local boxing club challenged a boxing club from Ireland. The first bout seemed to be more about footwork than landing punches. I was thinking I could take it or leave it. During the second bout, I’d flinch as punches landed. The third bout, now that was some boxing. Hard, fast, aggressive. Even I felt the rush of adrenaline. The type of hungry anger I usually reserve for drivers who look only to their left, as they turn right while I’m in the crosswalk with the right of way.
The reason I was in a bar today, however, was not St. Patrick’s Day, but to watch the Timbers away game against Dallas. The first place I went to was packed. Not a fan of crowds, I tried another “sports bar.” One TV and they had basketball on. So I kept looking. Another two “sports bars” were just as bad.
I finally found a place that fits my bill for a sports bar: big screen TVs from every vantage point, the game is on, there are buffalo wings on the menu and there’s an empty stool at the bar.