This will piss off folks. I have disdain for sports bars. There.
1) Sports bars are loud, visually chaotic, and take the television consumer to hyper-consumption mode. These herds of bar-goers usually drink cheap, mass-produced faux beer, the type that advertise on the channels available on the sportsbar’s screens, which increases the appetites of the consumers, thus increasing the intake of faux-food with zero nutritional value. An endless cycle of paying to shit & piss this crap.
2) Sports bars have televisions. In fact, if they don’t have a bank of extra-large screens, they might as well not stock the faux beer, because without the screens there would be no customers. Televisions have ruined the tavern. Once, people gathered at these inns of food & spirits to talk and share sustenance. No longer. They now stare at the hyper-produced visuals alone, even though they are surrounded with others, like theirselves. They don’t engage in meaningful conversation. They stare at sports activity with commercial time-outs, eat their pitifull chicken wings and wash it all down with another lite beer.
Blow up your tv. Enjoy locally-brewed beer, real beer, fresh and tastefull. And for the love of humanity, talk with the person next to you.
About the photo illustrating this post… that’s two legendary writers and localists, Studs Terkel and Mike Royko. In their case, it’s Chicago. These two icons of the local scene lived for open dialogue and in the celebration of all matters local, with neighborhood taverns serving as the oracle. At one time, every city, borough, berg and ville had such figures. Another example, Buffalo before and after Workd War II, as marvelously documented in THE LAST FINE TIME by Verlyn Klinkenborg
By the way, I don’t hate on sports. In fact, I love team sports, and I admire individual athleticism and devotion to a singular goal of winning by pushing one’s effort to full potential. But i do have a problem with the armchair quarterback, the Monday morning critic who makes his call from the sofa, bloated with Miller Lite and CheezWhiz.
And don’t get me started on the parents in the stands and on the sidelines. I raised two young men who participated in athletic contests and I endured having to hear shouts from the stands that embarassed all within earshot, players and other parents alike.