When I lived in Knoxville, we used to go to the BEST sports bar ever. Now for those of you that live in Knoxville and have Google Maps already pulled up on your phone, ready to type my recommendation in, I should note that I haven't lived in Knoxville in 3 years, and after a quick search on Google, turns out it is now closed.
This sports bar was called Rookies and it was located in a questionable strip mall, but in a decent area of town. On football Sunday, fans would pile in. Team's from all over the country were represented, and every fan was accommodated by a television broadcasting their team's matchup. Not so surprisingly, there were very few Titans fans, despite being in the state of Tennessee.
It didn't matter your race, nor did it matter your gender, all that mattered was that you were ready to polish off a $6 order of cheese fries and split several pitchers of cheap beer with your buddies. It was dirty, it was dark, it was loud and unrefined. There were so many beer guts that it resembled Peter Griffin's fat guy coalition; the NAAFP: National Association for the Advancement of Fat People.
At the end of the first round of games, nearly all of the tables would free up, and a whole new crew of jerseys flooded through the front doors. Each time those front doors opened, you were reminded that it was in fact, still very much daylight outside. For a brief moment, you'd feel bad about your life choices for drinking Miller High Life in the dark on a perfectly good Sunday afternoon, but as soon as Romo connected with Witten for their second touchdown of the game to take the lead against the Eagles, that embarrassment left almost as quickly as it arrived. Yes, in case you were wondering, the Cowboys are very well represented in Knoxville. You don't think my Cowboy fever just suddenly developed as soon as I crossed the Texas border in the U-Haul, do you?
At Rookies, you could spend an entire Sunday, from the noon game all the way to the final play during Sunday Night Football, and your bill was usually about 25 bucks.
Rookies is now closed, along with every other dark hole us fans used to be able to crawl in and hibernate for a full 8-10 hours.
What has taken its place is a new breed of sports bar. A sports bar that looked at the Hooters franchise, and said I'll raise you thongs and $14 "craft cocktails." A sports bar that has already designated what every TV will play throughout the day, labeled each TV with a pice of scotch tape and some word art that says, "Texas vs Okalahoma: 3pm", and WILL NOT change the channel under any circumstance.
I kid you not, the sports bar that hosts the Tennessee Vol watch parties here in DFW serves SUSHI.
Sushi. At a sports bar.
This new strain of sports bar has very nice televisions. HUGE 4k screens with all the bells and whistles. In fact, they spent so much on their televisions, that they were only able to purchase 6. Six televisions for a weekend in the fall, $14 craft cocktails, sushi.... and you're going to call yourself a sports bar. You should be ashamed.
Every guide on "The Best Sports Bars in Dallas" are totally off. Don't get me wrong, they are fantastic restaurants with fantastic food and drinks, but they are not true sports bars. They are bright and filled with light from wall to wall windows, cheese fries are $15.99 and if you want a pitcher of beer your best bet is just give up and go to a bowling alley in Arlington.
For the past 3 years, I've sworn that if I ever come into money, I'm starting a sports bar. The Miller High Life draft will be our top seller, the walls will be lined with dart boards instead of windows, the TV ratio will be 1 to every 2 people, and if you want a martini that's fine, but it will come in a plastic cup and it'll still be the best damn dirty gin martini you've ever had in your life. The servers will probably be predominantly female, because let's face it, that is what sells, and honestly I'm good with that. The girls will wear actual jerseys though, no Green Bay Packers thongs or Colts officially logo'd bikini tops.
Because hey guess what, you can still be smoking hot and turn all the boys on without wearing a thong while serving my food. Sick.
So I've just ranted pretty bad, but I have a dream and won't stop until I've either found the solution, or built it myself. If you build it, a Cowboys Super Bowl and Tennessee National Championship will come...... (that's the saying, right?)