Posts Tagged ‘football’

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this before, probably in the context of watching college football games.  I have slightly different feelings about my favorite places to watch a game in the city, so I figured I’d tackle this topic again.

Admittedly, I’ve not watched a sporting event in every single bar in town.  They all have TV’s so pretty much any bar is a “sports bar” of sorts.  But, I’ve been checking out new (to me) places during this playoff run the Wings are in (which, sadly, is probably going to be cut short.)

Right in the city, my thoughts about some of the more well-known bars are:

The Box Bar — The Box is a great bar as far as drink variety and menu are concerned.  There are two huge projection TV’s and some smaller TV’s around the bar.  But, I think it’s actually kind of hard to watch a 3 hour game there considering the way the TV’s and seating are laid out.  Projection TV’s also have lousy pictures.  The Box is also just a smidge pricey.  On a 1 to 5 star scale, I give sports viewing at the Box 2.5 stars.

Doyle’s Tavern — Doyle’s is intimate and there is plenty of good seating in front of or around the few screens they have.  It also has the covered patio with a TV if you want to sit “outside” to catch the game.  Doyle’s isn’t necessarily the most comfortable place to park for hours, but the drink prices are really good.  I think Doyle’s is the best value in the city in terms of drinks and isn’t that what you want if you’re going to watch a game at a bar?  4 stars.

Hermann’s Olde Town Grille — Hermann’s has good food and plenty of seating around TV’s.  It’s a cool place as well.  I would like it better if the drinks were better priced.  Admittedly, I’m a bit of snob as far as alcohol goes, so specials on cheap domestic beer don’t get factored into to my feelings about a pub.  I don’t drink Bud Light so it matters not to me if a place runs specials on it.  Having said that, I was a tad disappointed that I paid for a double glass of whiskey only to see that it wasn’t, to my eyes, a double pour.  If it was a double pour, the single pour is awfully small.  The price would’ve been great had there actually been 2x the amount of booze in the glass.  Doyle’s has Hermann’s beat for pours.  For that reason, I rate Hermann’s 3.5 stars.

1999 Tavern — Unless you catch the game out in the “garage,” on a nice summer or fall day, the tavern’s really not the best place to catch a game.  It’s a nice pub and restaurant.  I love their chicken.  But to watch a game at a place, I want to like more than the food.  2.5 stars.

Ironwood Grill — In my humble opinion, the Ironwood doesn’t know what it wants to be.  The decor suggests that the place is a slightly upscale bar.  But there are TV’s all over the place and it’s a noisy place to eat.  To watch a game there is fine, but there’s something about it that doesn’t draw me in for that reason.  It just seems like an odd fit.  2.0 stars.

Sean O’Callaghan’s  — Sean’s is the best place to be for a sport popular across the water, like soccer or rugby.  I’ve seen some Wings games there and I didn’t necessarily like the vibe.  It was the place to be, though, for last year’s World Cup matches.  I was lucky enough to get in there to see USA-England, which was quite a match.  For that experience, alone, I give Sean’s 3.5 stars.

Just because a place has a bunch of TV’s does not mean I want to try to watch a game at it, especially not start-to-finish.  It seems like all restaurants these days have TV’s all over the place.  That’s something, actually, that I find disappointing.  Sometimes it’s nice to eat in a quiet setting where there is little outside stimulation.  I guess we no longer just eat these days.  We have to be entertained constantly.

When you want to catch a game, though, all those TV’s can come in quite handy.  If you like getting out for a game and a drink or two, and you want to keep your money in town, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the place I mentioned.  Some are just better than others.

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This game has gone viral.  The ontroversial ending is all over the internet.  It is even on Rivals, the premiere websource for high school sports and college recruiting.  I’ve seen the youtube video posted numerous times on Facebook and discussed on spartantailgate.com, one of the most frequented websites in the world and maybe the most notable single team/school college  website on the net.  Below is the link to the rivals article.


As I’ve said before, I’m a John Glenn graduate.  In fact, I played a varsity sport there.  So I’m not upset to see them win the game.  There again, I’m a member of this community now and I support the local schools and teams (but do not really follow them.)  When it comes right down to it, though, I don’t care too much one way or another who won this game.  But I am slightly bothered by Plymouth High’s handling of the controversy, at least the way it is presented in the rivals article linked above.

Here’s a bit from the article that stood out and that I found somewhat disappointing

Sawchuk wants no part of that – or being an Internet sensation. He just wants what he feels his team earned: A victory.

“It’s something that’s a protest in my eyes,” he told the paper. “We won the game. We played our tails off and they (Glenn) should not be happy with the win.”

The “protest” is so strong that the team’s official website has yet to record a final score of the game.

I have no problem with the Wildcats athletic director or football coaching staff lodging a complaint over the play.  They might be right.  Perhaps the refs should have — or maybe did — blow the whistle.  They could have been screwed.  Sometimes, though, being a good sport means accepting with as much grace as one can muster those calls that don’t go your way.  For the coaches to talk like the Wildcats didn’t lose the game is a bit too much.  The game won’t be replayed.  Two weeks later the score won’t be set aside.  The Wildcats will not be declared the winners.  It’s time to accept the situation as is and move on.  The kids on the team will learn that life often requires this.  Some of us have to continuously swallow bitter pills, suffer grave injustices (or at least perceived ones.)  The best thing the coaches could do for the players is to let this matter go and move forward.

That’s easy for me to say.  I didn’t play.  My child wasn’t on the losing side of the field.  I do recognize, too, that the Wildcats did shake hands with the Rockets after the loss, a very dignified and appropriate response.  I applaud them for that.

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Westland John Glenn (my high school alma mater) got a lucky break, on an incredibly controversial play, and beat the Plymouth Wildcats on a last second touchdown at Glenn’s homecoming game last week.

The Wildcats blocked a field goal attempt but the ball did not pass the line of scrimmage. It was picked up by Glenn’s kick holder and, after some confusion on the field, run in for a touchdown. The play was upheld by the refs and the game awarded to Glenn. There’s some dispute over whether Glenn’s #87 downed by the ball by kneeling while in possession, but that was not seen or called by the refs.

A crazy play like this is a tough way to lose a game. It’s also an incredible way to win it. The play is on youtube and you can see it here.

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I’m a proud Michigan State University alumnus (BA 1993, JD 1997) and I make no apology for that.  What I often wonder is how many MSU supporters like me are here in town.

Plymouth is something of a border town.  Our post office serves the outlying communities that straddle western Wayne County and eastern Washtenaw County.  It’s 20 miles from my door to Michigan Stadium, a/k/a “The Big House.”  The Detroit metro area, as much as Ann Arbor itself, is generally Wolverine territory.  I grew up two cities over and I know this first-hand.

But I also know that many unashamed MSU alumni and supporters make Plymouth home.  The Plymouth-Canton Educational Park schools send their fair share of graduates to Michigan State.  When I catch one of MSU’s games at The Box, there’s always a good Spartan presence.

Saturday’s the big game.  The 6-2 MSU Spartans take on the 2-5 UM Wolverines — yep, 2 wins, 5 losses, something that’s never happened in my lifetime — at Michigan Stadium.  Especially since the Wings season is still young, the Tigers are on the golf course, the Pistons haven’t gotten started yet and the Lions, yet again have embarrassed themselves, local sports fans have turned their attention to Michigan-Michigan State.  It’s the “Civil War,” the “Backyard Brawl,” the “Domestic Disturbance,” the “Fall Brawl,” “Sibling Rivalry,” the “Michigan Melee,” or whatever clever name you want to call it.  It’s the game of the year, particularly for State fans.

This is the week that folks who haven’t been flying their college flags dig ’em out and put ’em out in front of the house.  Block S’s and M’s are prominently displayed around town.  Because I think too much about these things, I decided to take an informal count of MSU and UM flags in town on my way from lunch to work the other day.  Counting my MSU flag, I tallied 7 MSU flags and 4 UM flags.  Two of each of those flags were the divided flags that have both the M and the S on them.  It would appear that these people simply couldn’t decide who they like better, the Wolverines or Spartans.  Whatever their issues might be, it is making very difficult my highly unscientific inquiry into which team Plymouth residents are supporting this weekend.

For me: Go State!  Beat the Wolverines!  They’re awful this year.  Whoever you support, good luck and have fun watching the game.  May the best team win.

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