The best place to truly gauge the pulse of NFL fans is at a sports bar near you. The weird thing about fans here in the New York area is that most of the people at our dives aren't Giants or Jets fans, but those who can't see the games at home and therefore attend to watch their out-of-town favorites. And with all of that diversity (and beer) comes some fairly colorful comments when it comes to every team being shown on the tube. Jersey Joe Concha, professional multi-tasker, can only imagine what is said at sports bars around the nation. Here are just a few ideas.
Young and restless
Overheard at an Indianapolis sports bar: "Do you think we'll win another Super Bowl?" Overheard at a Philadelphia sports bar: "Do you think we'll ever win a Super Bowl?" Overheard at a Cincinnati sports bar: "Do you think we'll win a playoff game this century?" Overheard at a Houston sports bar: Fan No. 1: "Dude, check out the Ryan Moats jersey I just got!" Fan No. 2: "How old are you?" Fan No. 1: "34." Fan No. 2: "You should know that the No. 1 rule of all guys is to NEVER wear a jersey of a player younger than you." Fan No. 1: "But no one on the team is under 35." Fan No. 2: "Hope you saved the receipt."
Miles to go
Overheard at a Dallas sports bar: "Did Miles Austin really go to Monmouth College? Where is that? Is he really making $14 million less than Roy Williams? The Roy Williams who coaches North Carolina is better than the guy we got!" Overheard at a New Orleans sports bar: "Sure, one of the few years we don't host a Super Bowl is when we actually have a Super Bowl team..." Overheard at a San Diego sports bar: "Can someone explain to me how Norv Turner still has a job? And when exactly did LaDainian morph into Edgerrin James?"
Overheard at a (insert city or town here) sports bar: "Can Belichick give the same running back more than 15 carries two weeks in a row just once? He's KILLING my fantasy team!" Overheard at a (insert city or town here) sports bar: "Dude, if you mention your stupid fantasy team one more time, you'll be banned from this stool. Seriously."
Living in the past
Overheard at a St. Louis sports bar: "Remember when we used to be good back at the turn of the century?" Overheard at a Chicago sports bar: "I really have no idea what to make of this team." Overheard at a Phoenix sports bar: "So we beat Carolina on the road in the playoffs when they were 12-4, but we can't handle them at home when they're 2-4?? I really have no idea what to make of this team." Overheard at a Los Angeles sports bar: "Do you think we'll ever get a team?"
Green Bay with envy
Overheard in a Green Bay sports bar: "This bar is a dive. Why don't we have any Dave & Busters anywhere in this town? Why is everyone focusing on Favre being better than Rodgers? Maybe if our defense wasn't worse than those DirecTV ads with Farley as a pitchman, we could have won one against that traitor! Who's next to hawk the advantages of satellite over cable? is Heath Ledger available?" Overheard in a Denver sports bar: "We used to be orange and blue, but now we're yellow, brown, navy, blinding orange...somebody make up their minds! Our coach still gets double-proofed here. Ahhh, who cares?! We can clinch the AFC West by Week 10!"
Overheard in Detroit: "I can't believe we lost to the friggin' Rams. I also can't believe I'm out of work and that guy with the receiver crush on draft day (See: Millen, Matt) is still employed by someone! I'm shocked our best team (the Detroit Shock) left town. I can't believe I live in Detroit." Overheard at a Kansas City sports bar: "They're wearing the retro uniforms again? Once, fine. Twice, pushing it. Three times? This thing is getting waaaaaay out of hand. My team has lost its identity right before my eyes. Do they sell hats in Indy that say 'Baltimore Colts' on them? This is humiliating!!!!" Overheard at a Tennessee sports bar: (See: "Overheard at a Kansas City sports bar"), and "Did Chris Johnson really say that we'd now go 10-6 with that defense???"
Overheard in a Tampa bar: Fan No. 1: "I hope we lose every game so we can draft Tebow." Fan No. 2: "Yeah, as a tight end." Fan No. 3: "At least we got to see Big Ben, Parliament and Tom Brady destroy us all in one (London) road trip!" Overheard in a Jacksonville bar: Nothing. All of their home games are blacked out.
Overheard at an Oakland sports bar: "Russell Maryland would have been a better quarterback than JaMarcus Russell. Man, this would never happen if Al Davis was still alive." Overheard at a San Francisco sports bar: "The appletinis are good here. Will the Niners ever win a tight game on the road this year? Well, at least they were smart enough to go back to their old uniforms."
Long live The King!
Overheard in a Cleveland bar: "I can't wait for them to get rid of Mangini! Derek Anderson is the worst quarterback in the league! I can't believe I live in Cleveland! But at least we have LeBron." Overheard in a Brooklyn bar: "Rex Ryan must go! Giants are horrendous! Bring back David Tyree! Well, at least the Nets will have LeBron soon."
Overheard at a DC sports bar: "Snyder is the swine flu of owners! There's no vaccine in sight! Cerrato's got to go! Zorn's got to go! Campbell is the worst QB in the league! Haynes-worth is worth-less!" Overheard up the road at a Maryland bar: "Crabcakes and football! That's what Maryland does! We're the best 4-3 team in league history!" Joe Concha Have some poignant thoughts to share about this column? Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org