You know, I was having so much fun Saturday night, I didn’t get a chance to really take any pictures. That’s a good thing, because I promptly stuffed my face full of sausage and pulled pork. Sure, there was some bread and other side dishes involved, but it was mostly meat. You don’t want to see the carnage laid down. But I do have a chance to talk about the carnage, or lack thereof, I saw on the field. Who knows, I may talk about the world’s worst carnal secret as well. It depends on how much I feel like regurgitating. Bring a bib.
It’s been awhile since I had to get up for the early college football game. Last Saturday was the reprise and I’m thankful that the Lavaca Street Bar had a bloody mary bar to kick things off. There was alot of talk about Midwestern sensibilities in the last week and I was surprised at how the Lavaca catered to that. Speaking of the Midwest, it was Sunflower Showdown weekend and I had a front row seat, without actually being there. Did Lavaca Street Bar handle spectating well, or did I leave sucking on some cheese curds? Let’s find out.
Walking in, you wouldn’t suspect that Lavaca Street Bar was a big sports bar. It’s another in a long line of sports bar that look tiny up front but huge in the back. All around the bar, televisions lined the place. In the back room there is a huge projector screen television as well. The Direct TV made sure I was able to watch my team up on there. The wireless internet is free but they had some kind of weird sign up page that made things hard to login.
The best part of Lavaca Street Bar has to be the games. They have all the games that you need. They have Big Buck Safari, Golden Tee, a hard punch game, Pop-A-Shot, Skee Ball, and what I think could be a pool table. I see cue sticks but no table and I think it’s because of the bloody mary bar. At any rate, back to the Skee Ball. It’s a rare sight to see Skee Ball in any bar, let alone a sports bar. If you want to set yourself from the back, get a game like that in your bar.
The service was rather sparse. There was essentially two bartenders for the whole joint. The female one was rather cute and the guy, well, was a guy. We had to get up from the back a couple of times to order food and drinks. They did come out here and there though. The guy was nice enough to setup the whole back room for my games so I can’t dog them too much. He also turned the light on for me when I was getting my bloody mary because the place is real dark. Like go to sleep dark.
Now on to the beer pairing. Lavaca touted some Midwestern specials like cheese curds and brats. Guess what I got. The cheese curds were good but not northern Iowa good. I think the ones I make are better. I chose to have Wastach Brewery’s Pumpkin Seasonal Ale with the bratwurst. I wanted to do an Oktoberfest type ale but that was the closest thing they had on tap. I’m so glad I chose it. It has to be the best tasting pumpkin beer I’ve ever had. The brat itself was tasty but everything around it was average. The mustard, bun, sauerkraut, and even the basket was very low rent. But hey, that’s part of the appeal.
The Sunflower Showdown was the main event for the weekend for me. For some reason I was real scared about Kansas. Boy was I ever wrong. Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb has the 2nd highest passer rating in the Big 12. He did a good job, but the rest of the team was terrible. Meanwhile, on the other side, Kansas State’s Collin Klein put up all star numbers. He ran for 4 touchdowns and actually threw the ball pretty well. It helps when you are playing one of the worst defenses in FBS. Methinks Turner Gill’s job is in serious trouble right now.
The other games were a little more competitive. I got to watch was Missouri and Oklahoma State duke it out in Columbia. Seeing as Missouri no longer thinks they are Midwest material, it was nice that the Cowboys beat them down. Well, it wasn’t a beat down so to say, the Tigers kept it nice and close. I missed out on LSU vs Auburn because I was busy Halloween shopping. I also missed out on most of the action in the evening because I went and watched White Denim at Stubb’s. So the first big Hail Mary of the year that put Michigan State over Wisconsin was not to be had for me. Thanks to a lightning delay, however I watched the end of Texas Tech upsetting Oklahoma.
It has begun. The undefeated teams are starting to drop like flies. I still don’t know what to think about the weekend. I certainly didn’t expect Oklahoma being the team with losses going into this weekend’s game against Kansas State. Lavaca Street Bar had a super sweet setup, even though it was too dark and you had to try real hard to get service. The food is almost food truck level, which can be real tasty but lacking on the presentation side. I’d recommend this place to just about anyone if they want to duck in and see some great football. They have reserved areas for alumni groups like LSU and Wisconsin so be careful when you go.
I lucked out again with Kansas State not playing at the same time Texas was. They were actually playing Baylor and on ABC. The nationally televised match up and the fact that it was not going against Texas led me to think that a remote sports bar south of the city should have that game on. So Saturday I found myself at the Backspin Texas Sports Bar & Grill. I’m glad that I picked that place for the game. Did the tiny nature and remote location lead to a great time?
Somehow I managed to get rockstar parking for the Backspin. When I pulled in, I had a nice view of the patio and a side way look to the joint. I heard online that it was a small place, but I was hoping it would be wider that what it turned out to be. Walking inside I instantly felt cramped. It was room for maybe 3 tables across and a ginormous sports bar. Okay that’s fine. Both outside and inside had some sweet looking HD televisions with a huge one in the main dining area.
As for the rest of the Backspin, it filled out as nicely as it could with its real estate. I was surprised to see a Golden Tee game there and alleviated any worries I had about their effort. Not only that, but they also had some BuzzTime Trivia, which gave me a chance to try out their app on my new Android based cellphone. All that internet juice was handled promptly by their free wireless internet. Connection issues were not a problem mainly because the place is so small.
The service there wasn’t so great. I got a primo spot in front of the huge big screen for the Kansas State vs Baylor game, but had the chance to watch the end of the exciting Texas A&M vs Arkansas game. It was about two minutes to go and they somehow accidentally changed the channel. It was so harried that a patron got up and started jacking with the Direct TV remote. Seriously, if you have a sports bar, you need to have workers who know how to operate the televisions. Also, the audio was out of sync for the end of that A&M game. That, the waitresses were pretty hot and they did a great job of making sure my beers were full.
For this week’s beer pairing, by the way, I had an unexpected mix of food and drink. I was hoping to get their Reuben but I had to try their Tzatziki dip and fried pickles appetizer. I’m happy I went that way. To wash down the lot, I chose some New Castle. Not only was it on special for $3 but the brown ale helped with the crispness of the fried pickles and the strange combination of yogurt and spices for the Tzatziki dip. I’ve never had Tzatziki before but it is a nice cool down appetizer to noms on with pita bread.
Now on the to the games. Non Big 12 wise I caught that big showdown of Wisconsin vs Nebraska as well as the Alabama vs Florida game going on at the same time. First off, Alabama looks legit and first year Florida head coach Will Muschamp has a little bit more work to do, including keeping his starting quarterback healthy. Big 10 wise, Nebraska got a great welcome to the conference with a whooping handed to them from the Badgers. Nebraska isn’t a complete team but it didn’t help them that Wisconsin had the free agent quarterback wonder that is Russell Wilson.
Big 12 wise, I watched a whole heckuva lot of football. While I was sweating away at the gym, I got watch Kansas go up early on Texas Tech. Little did I know that the Red Raiders would come back to win on the road in Lawrence. Both teams are in trouble against Kansas State, more on that later. So I mentioned Texas A&M and Arkansas. All I can say that it was awesome to see the Aggies choke again. They have never won a game against the SEC and will hopefully be competitive against Vanderbilt when they take off next year. Wow they have no heart.
The big game of the day for me was watching Kansas State host Baylor for their first big test of the year. Robert Griffin III is the mega stud quarterback for Baylor and he continued putting up great numbers. The combination between him and Kendall Wright torched the Wildcat defense all day long. But Kansas State was resilient. I don’t know how they keep close in these games, but they do. Everyone will put it on Bill Snyder 2.0 and deservedly so. Collin Klein kept consistent on the offensive side of the ball and linebacker Arthur Brown broke out and delivered the game saving interception. These Wildcats are now ranked and they have real good shot of going to a bowl thanks to Texas Tech and Kansas.
So that was my day at the Backspin. That place is super tiny but for where it is located, I can make some concessions. It’s by no means perfect. When you can’t figure out televisions on gameday, you go down big in my book. The food was decent and I like the beer specials. If I had an important game that I absolutely had to watch, I wouldn’t do it at the Backspin. If I wanted to sneak away from the city and hide out in a decent sports bar, the Backspin is where I’ll head.
It’s another week of college football and I’m starting to get comfortable down here. I had a quick detour to the Pecan Street Festival down on 6th street but after that it was all football nearby at the Draft Pick off Riverside Drive. The week of football was a welcomed one after all of the drama that was going on for the Big 12. There were tons of surprises but also tons of blowouts. Let’s sit right back and take a look.
Walking into the Draft Pick, I kinda felt like I was in an office building and not a sports bar. The architecture leading into the joint was somewhat modern and unassuming. The inside look totally made up for the outside look. Granted, there were no patios but the inside was all football watching business. Flat screens were all over the place, with one ginormous projection screen framing the square blocked bar. This is a place I can hunker down and watch some games.
Speaking of games, I couldn’t find any. Usually, a sports bar of ultimate greatness needs to have at least some Golden Tee or something, but the Draft Pick had nothing. This may be a philosophical decision. Their website proclaims that this bar was a project for serious football watchers only. That means there is not time for games. I can understand that, but please give me something to pass the time either at half or after the game.
Now that doesn’t mean the service was shabby. In fact, it’s been about the best I’ve ever had. The first question asked when I walked in was “What game are you watching today?” I have never heard that anywhere else in my 4 years of KCCGD. Color me impressed. Now, the ladies themselves were pretty svelte, even though there were some questionable candidates. Overall, however, it was pleasing to watch with the games.
I had the fortune of pounding a couple of drinks before the ole barspotting event so my taste buds were fully opened. The Draft Pick’s selection paired their famous All Star pizza with a little local fare from Independence Brewery called Austin Amber Ale. First off, the pizza tasted almost exactly like the kind I’ve had back in KC from Godfather’s Pizza, except the toppings were way thicker. That much food tossed down my gullet was massaged by the Amber Ale’s smooth flavor. If you ever want a great beer with some great pizza, pick an Amber up and wash it all down for some creamy goodness.
Now on to the games. I got to watch just wee little bit of Georgia Tech vs North Carolina and Notre Dame vs Pittsburgh from the gym in the morning. There’s nothing special going on there. Notre Dame barely eked by Pittsburgh and the Fighting Irish continue to cough up the ball more than any other team in the FBS division. Georgia Tech beat North Carolina, but they did not have a record setting performance like they did against Kansas. I guess it’s not so much a referendum on the Jayhawks.
The bigger games of the day saw LSU heading to West Virginia, Alabama taking on Arkansas, and Clemson battling with Florida State. I watched the LSU game at home and in between my naps, I realized that LSU may just be the real deal. It was a close 1st half but they pulled away easily in the 2nd. Nice night cap there. Alabama continued to take care of business against Arkansas. When LSU and Alabama fight, it will have national repercussions. Finally, Clemson continues to wear the up and comer jacket by knocking off reeling Florida State. Their head coach’s name is Dabo Sweeny. That’s a cool name.
Big 12 wise I only really got to watch the exciting Texas A&M vs Oklahoma State game and my Kansas State Wildcats heading to Miami. Both were on at the same time so I got to watch just a bit of the A&M and Okie State game. From what I saw, Texas A&M had a major meltdown in the 2nd half and Oklahoma State pulled it out at College Station. I guess their exit from the Big 12 may be a bumpy one. Kansas State, on the other hand, surprised everyone including myself by showing up against Miami. Not only did they show, but beat them! Collin Klein and company pulled ahead big in the first half and then held off Miami, culminating in a 4 down goal line stand late. Good job Wildcats!
And good job Draft Pick. The square box design of the place didn’t leave much to be impressed architecturally, but because they slapped televisions all over, it can be forgiven. The lack of any kind of games is worrisome but again, they went all out on the watching experience. The food was tasty and they have a decent knowledge of craft beers. I had issues logging on wirelessly but service staff gave me all the information I needed. If you need to hunker down and just watch football, chose the Draft Pick.
The Bronx Salute. Everyone remembers it, or at lease they should. If you don’t, just think back to last year’s inaugural Pinstripe Bowl and Adrian Hilburn’s ‘salute’ to the fans after scoring a touchdown and moving the score to 36-24 and a 2 point conversion. He was penalized and the Wildcats had to go for 2 from the 18 yard line. They didn’t get it and lost the game. You could blame some poor play before, but I will point out that the NCAA changed rules in the off season due to this. So now it’s the 2011 season. I’m not asking if they will recover from that loss of the Pinstripe Bowl, but I will be asking about the loss of Daniel Thomas. And what I will see is Brown.
I’m sure you’ve seen my previous post about the major move down to Austin yesterday. Yeah I’m still pretty shocked myself and I’m the one that knew about it for over month. Never fear, we’ll still chug along and it continues today with this week’s Crib Sheep:
Missouri players get together and bond by paintballing. I’ve never done it myself but I imagine pelting someone square in the chest with a faux bullet brings some sort of joy.
They already are bucking tradition by introducing a championship game, so it makes sense that Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delany is trying to push for later start times on games. Everyone knows the Big 10 starts mega early, with the Big 12, so why go and change it? I want to maximize my football watching day.
Speaking of the Big 10, Nebraska lost its AAU membership. Ho man that just made my week. One of the strong points for Nebraska to move was its AAU membership. Now both the Cornhuskers and the Big 10 look dumb.
Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tubberville offered his viewpoint on the whole ‘birthers’ debate. It’s few and far between when football comments on politics. I’d rather have that then the other way around.
The BCS set the dates for the bowl games next year, but they have to wait until the NFL cleans up its mess before they can lock it down. I’m not sure how long they will wait, as the NFL can bump a month and still have a full season.
It looks like being a part of the big boys for Boise State means having a couple of NCAA violations attached to their program. Its secondary so they won’t suffer too much. Welcome to big time, guys.
The Pac 12 will get a mega buck deal from Fox and ESPN, much like the Big 12. Except it’s the biggest deal in history. Too bad they have 2 more teams to split up the costs with.
No more new bowls for the next three years. The NCAA will review the licensing process in that time to determine if enough is enough. Three years is plenty time for the FBS to expand so that the bowls can expand without leaving the chance of a school with a losing record in on the fun.
We’re still tucked away with snow here at KCCGD headquarters and it’s time to finally wind things down, college football wise. Spring practices and the draft is coming up, but that won’t be for a couple of months. This week’s Crib Sheet surely reflects that. Now I could waste a couple items with arrests and dismissals, but that happens every couple of weeks anyway. So grab yourself some hot cocoa, sit right back, and enjoy a nice little Crib Sheet:
Freshly signed Kansas State quarterback Daniel Sams opened up his tenure dropping the bomb that Collen Klein will move back to wide receiver. How does that bode for the Wildcats? Maybe Sims is that good that the best quarterback from last year gets bumped to wide receiver. Either that or the recruiters told him a fib. At any rate, Sams will be running some laps for opening his mouth.
Apparently transfer hungry Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier is looking at Kansas State as well as other schools. Will the Wildcats get this former Wolverine? You know, the other transfers from RichRods epic fail went on to do wonders for their team (think Ryan Mallet). Because of that, however, I’m thinking Forcier will head to a bigger school for his second chance. Still, it’s fun to dream.
No seriously. KCP&L cut off JJ’s Other Place’s power and was closed for the day. I was pumped about heading to my favorite hole in the wall to watch some sports but it was a no go. They recently upgraded their televisions and now I know where the money came from. No worries, folks. I won’t cut you off, but I may cut this one a little bit short. Long story short, I went to Lew’s and watch Missouri trounce Kansas State.
Another actual barspot and I’m keeping up on the known favorites with Lew’s Grill and Bar. I’ve been here a couple of times and have begun to become a regular here. They’ve upgraded the televisions and also the food. The day of football was long and fun, so I was glad I got the sweet spot for watching in the bar. Regarding the action on field, we saw some tight games and some surprising blowouts. It was a lazy day, but it sure was a weird one too.