I might as well say it one more time — I can’t stand the Super Bowl.
I hate it in the way that drinkers hate New Year’s, because it’s amateur hour. People who spend the fall and winter bitching about people watching too much football are now sitting next to you with a prop sheet in their hand saying things like, “I thought a field goal was worth four points. It’s not?” while you bash your head off the bar.
But what the Super Bowl does provide is yet another excuse to hit the bar. And there is such competition to get customers into the bar — Sunday isn’t exactly the biggest drinking day in the world — that they slash prices, offer tons of free stuff and entice you with giveaways. There are very few days when you’re going to get a better deal at a bar than Super Bowl Sunday. I don’t get out of bed for a Super Bowl party unless I hear “free buffet” as part of the offering.
Sorry, but this is for Super Bowl only. We’ll get back to the rest of the nightlife next week.
Game? Why wait for the game? Burke’s Tavern in Mount Pocono is offering free happy hour bar snacks not just for the game, but for the whole day. They’re also doing $2 beers and well drinks and a bunch of other food specials, like what I like to call The Instant Heart Attack, a half-pound hot dog wrapped in bacon. Apparently they’re drawing the line at putting five types of melted cheese on it.
The first Super Bowl party I went to at a bar was at Front Row, back in the day when it wasn’t a given that every bar would have a free buffet. But they did — and I’ pigged out to the point that I got my brother Erik to go with me the next two years on the promise of the free food. It never disappointed. Owner Barry Lynch has kept that free halftime buffet going and now Jock N Jills/Grace O’Malley’s has about 20 prizes to give away too. The restaurant will eb featuring two special wing flavors — Niners by the Bay (wings with an old bay flavor) and Ray’s Ragin’ Ravens for Ray Lewis (Cajun style wings) and the Creole flavor of New Orleans.
I don’t hear about stuff going on at Goal Line in East Stroudsburg that much, but they’ve got a nice little spread for the game. $1.25 drafts, $2 Miller Lite bottles and a free buffet during the game. They’re also doing T-shirt giveaways and have a raffle for a Miller Lite folding chair and two Yuengling fleece pullovers. I like it in Goal Line. I was in there randomly last summer for some reason and won a T-shirt playing Megatouch. I don’t know if they still do it, but every time you get the high score on certain Megatouch games, they give you a free T-shirt. I think it took me three games to get the high score on whatever game it was that I won on. I think it was Zip 21.
Making a drunken fool of yourself during the game is sooooo cliche. So why not wait until after the game? If that’s your plan, Panda’s Pub and Sports Bar in Marshalls Creek might be a good choice since after the game is over, they’re running they’re normal Saturday night karaoke contest. I’ll set the over/under at 2.5 songs before a group of 49ers/Ravens fans drunkenly sing We Are the Champions off key. You know, like this. As for the game, we’ve got the magic words in play — free buffet. They’re also doing trivia contests and giveaways — and one of the prizes is a flat-screen TV.
At Sarah Street in Stroudsburg, you can let someone else do the postgame singing with Pocono Due going on stage right after the game. Drink and wing specials too.
Maybe you’re more of the giving kind of person, and you’d rather see someone else win big prizes. OK, you’re not. No one is. But you can help a hot girl go to Jamaica at Mount Airy Casino Resort for the party at Gypsie’s. The Red Hot Models (we’ve talked about them before, I’m not explaining it again) will be on hand, and you can vote for which one you think is the hottest. The girl with the most votes gets a trip to Jamaica. What a good idea, let’s go to a bar and give a hot girl MORE free things than they already get! Go away, Bitter Mike. The bar is also having an all-you-can-eat buffet, though I’m not sure if it’s actually free or not, although it’s a $10 cover. And just so you know, the Andrew Dice Clay show at the casino Saturday is sold out.
Pretty touch to resist what Siamsa is selling: Free food, $1 drafts and a halftime raffle for authentic jerseys of both the 49ers and Ravens. I’m not sure which one I would take. Probably the 49ers because you could get more for it on eBay, I’d imagine. On a side note, this looks like a good place to throw this in. In a former life, I covered the Ravens for a newspaper in southcentral Pennsylvania. Went to every home game, every training camp, offseason workouts, agents called me during contract negotiations, the whole nine yards. Did this in 1998 and most of 1999. If you remember, the Ravens moved to Baltimore in the 1996 season, so the fans were just getting used to being football fans again. And they … they weren’t good. It’s gotten better now that they’ve been there for 15 years, but you’d swear these people had never seen a football game before. Highlights of my time covering the Ravens: Peeing in the stall next to Walter Payton, with me being so star struck all I could say was, “You know, I’m gonna tell all my friends I peed next to you” … A one-on-one, 90-minute interview with Brian Billick before his first year as head coach that taught me more about football than I had known in my previous 24 years … Getting in an accident (not my fault) on my way back from the first post-draft workout in 1999 that allowed me to ditch my college kid junker and get a new car … The dorkiest press box in the history of professional sports, rivaled only by the Orioles press box that was led by Tim Kurkjian and Ken Rosenthal. It was so dorky I looked like freakin’ Brad Pitt … Finding out Ray Lewis is a really good guy two years before “the incident” … Getting to meet Randall Cunningham, one of my childhood heroes, when the Vikings came to town.
The Mountainview Restaurant and Lounge at the Chateau Resort and Conference Center in Tannersville is doing a Super Bowl party too, perhaps the perfect end to a day of skiing at Camelback? Anyway, for $10, you get in to the party with a buffet and $2 drafts. It’s free if you’re staying there overnight.
It might not be a free giveaway, but the PourHouse Neighborhood Bar and Grille in Mountainhome is giving away a Twisted Tea mountain bike during the game. The raffle ticket costs $2. They’re also doing the drink special, food special thing.
OK, so, when a lot of places say, “buffet,” free or otherwise, it could mean a whole bunch of things. You never know what you’re going to get, you could show up and it ends up being a tray of cookies or something. That’s no fun. Jubilee/Pub in the Pines in Pocono Pines is at least telling you what you’re getting with its $15 buffet — and it’s pretty impressive. Granted, it’s more than you’d spend at Old Country or the Chinese buffet, and that’s before you’ve bought beer, but they had me at wings and taco/nacho station. Seeing as there’s also a humus platter (and a bunch of other stuff), I’m not sure I’d want to be anywhere near this place by about 10 p.m. I think I’d want to avoid avoid Pocono Pines altogether. The smell might be too much to take. What, they couldn’t finish it off with chili?
The Sycamore Grill in Delaware Water Gap is having its own little shindig, with free snacks at the bar, 45-cent wings, $2 Miller Lites and $3 SoCo and lime shots. Because nothing says football in February like SoCo and lime.