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Professor Thom’s Prepares for Blitz of Patriots Fans

IMG_0320Courtesy of Professor Thom’s The crowd at Professor Thom’s during the AFC
championship game.

According to the owner of Professor Thom’s, every one of the bar’s tables has been reserved for Super Bowl Sunday – mostly by fans of the New England Patriots. “If we had 10 more floors, we’d still be booked,” Pete Levin told The Local. He said the bar’s phone has been ringing off the hook since early Monday.

As The Times noted yesterday in its “Neighborhood Joint” column, the Second Avenue bar is a notorious Boston sports hangout. In fact, the first 100 customers that show up for its pregame tailgate party on Sunday will get “W.W.B.D. (What Would Brady Do)” wristbands.

Mr. Levin estimated that 98% of his crowd would consist of Pats fans. Kenny Williams, the head bouncer at the bar, expected to see a few Giants fans, as well. He’s sacrificing a day off to work on Sunday, but not because he expects trouble. “Sure, there’s a knucklehead or two, but that’s anywhere.” Referring to Giants fans, he said, “They’ll be fine.” Read more…

Rugby’s Six Nations Comes to Town

Rugby - fans 2Ian DuncanMembers of the Village Lions take refreshment.

Just in case it has escaped your attention, we are deep into rugby’s Six Nations tournament, an annual contest fought out by England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. No fancy ads, no halftime shows, just 30 burly, unhelmeted Europeans butting heads every weekend until March 19.

Even though the sport’s popularity with Americans has grown steadily in the last few years, for me – an Englishman new to the neighborhood – finding somewhere to watch the games took some sleuthing. The time difference with Europe, where the games take place at a more hangover-friendly hour in the afternoon, only makes things more difficult.

Luckily, on Google, I turned up Bret Costain, president of the Village Lions rugby club, and found that I wouldn’t have to go far. His friend and clubmate, Peter Cavanaugh, shows the games in full-HD, of course, on a screen above the smooth, pale wood bar at Dorian Gray, a saloon on East Fourth Street between Avenues A and B, which he opened on New Year’s Eve.

On Saturday, at the ungodly hour of 9:30 a.m., the earliest I’ve been up on a weekend since coming to New York, I walked through deserted East Village streets to join members of the club and Mr. Cavanaugh as Wales routed Scotland 24-6 in its first victory after eight straight losses. Read more…

Where to Find Your Football Fix

NFL SundayC.C. Glenn A typical sign outside East Village bars and restaurants on fall weekends.

Football season is upon pigskin fans, and you don’t have to wander far to seek out lively crowds, bargain beers, jumbo screens and crazy specials on caloric-heavy favorites like hot wings, burgers and mile-high nachos. The East Village, and its 10003 zip code, was recently ranked the nation’s second-most dense nabe for bars, with 73 in the area. (Wait – 73, is that all?)

On any given Saturday, Sunday and definitely Monday night, rowdy — and some not so boisterous — bars burst with sticky-fingered fans. Decked in jerseys and bright team colors, patrons take advantage, maybe too much, of cheap drink specials and let loose with indefatigable chants.

The East Village is a goldmine for football fans of all kind, bar none. But let’s face it, some are better than others, especially when seeking the winning combination of libations, vittles and good company. Jets and Giants games are ubiquitous, but where can you watch teams that are not housed in New Jersey? Urban Tailgate links like-minded fans with game-ready bars. Whether it’s the Bears or the Bulldogs, there’s a place where fellow football fanatics will, depending on the score, share your joy or pain.
Read more…