The next best thing to tailgating

BY September 30, 2011



I will admit that I don’t much give a hoot about watching sports in general. Basketball…  too much running back and forth. I think I’m getting dizzy. Golf… snooze. Baseball… must they spit so often?

The exception to the rule is college football. I love college football with my whole heart. (This is due to the fact that I went to a school where you couldn’t not love college football without being shunned by the entire student population.) Two weekends ago, I went back to my roots—also known as Gainesville, Fla.—to see the boys in orange and blue take down the Tennessee Vols. But unfortunately for me, and everyone else whose alma mater is not immediately close by, sometimes we’ve got to forego the tailgating and close stadium quarters for a beer bucket and some big-screens. I’ve got my favorite spots, and I polled the other editors for their picks of places to go when they can’t make it to the game.

1.      Tavern on the Bay – When one whole wall of the place is a giant TV, you can’t really go wrong, but there’s more than 20 TVs total scattered throughout the whole bar. Plus it’s on the water, so if you’re with a crew who isn’t entirely enthralled with watching the game, at least there’s a view.

2.      Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill – Owned by former Miami Dolphins player Kim Bokamper, this sports bar at the former site of The Keg in The Collections at Vanderbilt is all about football. We particularly like how it’s divided into sections so the whole bar doesn’t have to watch just one game.

3.      Pelican Larry’s (Davis Blvd.) – Executive editor Jon pulled for this one, which, he says, has TVs in literally every spot you could look. Their food and drink specials aren’t exorbitantly priced, either.

4.      The Edison – OK, I’m biased. It’s the Southwest Florida Gator Club’s official headquarters, so there’s always a big crowd. They even serve Swamp Juice cocktails during games, which, if you’ve been to The Swamp restaurant in Gainesville, you’ve probably tried, whether you remember it or not.

Let us know if there’s another prime football-watching establishment we’ve been missing out on. Or come join us at any of these (um, provided you aren’t rooting for the other team).


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