Sunday, August 9, 2009

8/9/09: Columbus vs. San Jose, A Fox Soccer Channel Viewing Odyssey

I will find thee Fox Soccer Channel.

I recently moved back to Pennsylvania and yesterday's game wasn't on direct kick. As a result, I knew I would have to find a bar in Erie, PA(50 minutes North) to watch the game. I went to a chain last year called Molly Branigans to watch an away game and emailed the general manager about watching the game on Saturday, no reply. But, I still figured Branigans was my best bet, since I had relative success before, so I decided I would try there unless I could confirm better.

I checked out my Fox Soccer Channel Pub Guide and found that there was an "English Pub" chain called the Fox & Hound who also had FSC, I emailed them and got this response:
We can put it on a tv in the dining room without sound, but we are showing UFC in our siderooms this evening.

Ultimate fighting getting the nod over soccer, hence the quotations around "English pub." I decided I would like some sound, so I figured I would try Branigans first. After a 50 minute drive, I got to Branigans that night around 8:20.

The place was nearly empty(no Ultimate Fighting) and I was thinking perfect. I asked the young lady to put on Fox Soccer Channel; she gave me an inquisitive look, checked the satelite in a half hearted attempt, and then she told me that they didn't have it. I said, "but, ma'am it says on the internet that you have it and I have watched it here last year. I'll buy drinks and dinner." She was like "ohh" great, checked it again, and apparently they got rid of it. Nice "Irish pub."

So, it's about 8:25 and I'm speeding across town in a panic, cursing at myself for overstepping my luck, "way to go Ryan, no sound but at least you get a picture." I get to the Fox & Hound around 8:40, a nice English pub that looks nothing like a pub next to a huge mall.

I have my hooligans gear on and the guy asks me at the door if I'm here to watch the Ultimate Fighting. I'm like, "no, I'm here to watch Fox Soccer Channel, the Columbus game." He tells me to talk to the manager guy in the corner. After explaining a while and saying I talked to the event coordinator, they nicely put it on. The game is five minutes in, 0-0.

Well, a few minutes later two other Crew fans come in to watch the game and sit to the right of me. Then another Crew fan, about my age, came to watch the game. And, then around the 30th minute two other guys in plainclothes ask me, "if it's just me sitting here?" I figured they wanted to steal my table for dinner with their family or something. I'm like, "yeah, but I'm watching the game."

And, they say, "well, were season ticket holders, mind if we join you." I'm like sh*t this is turning out alright.

So, four hours away from Columbus we have six Crew fans watching the game at the Fox & Hound, a place more like a family restaurant than a pub. I expected it would be just me there, fighting to keep one of the ten televisions in the main dining room on the Crew game. I had it on two televisions when I got there, but the other television I wasn't watching was soon turned to tennis, yes, TENNIS.

So, thankfully, I actually had a party of Crew fans and no one bothered us for most of the game. Actually our passion for the game, grabbed the attention of onlookers who asked us a few questions and joined in to watch for a while. The only trouble I had all night was around the 80th minute when a seriously drunk woman (who also looked on drugs), asked me "why I was watching soccer, it's a pussy sport?" I was in a good mood because we were destroying San Jose, so I just told her, "hey if it's a pussy sport than you should love it." She was confused and soon stumbled on to bother someone else.

We also made a lot of noise when we scored the three goals, all of us went a bit mental, we couldn't help it. But, thankfully we didn't get kicked out. We also all talked about the Bash Brothers, the Renteria deal, and a million other Crew topics. I was surprised that there were that many knowledgeable fans in Erie, PA. So, although the beginning of my Fox Soccer Channel Viewing Odyssey was bumpy, in the end it was a great experience.

I'll have more on the game later tonight.


  1. Hey, this was a great article. It's enjoyable to read something with substance, with a dash of wit, and a hint of literary originality. Was the hostess at Branigans a Laestrygone destroying your hopes? Or am I getting to nerdy ;-)

  2. Yeah she was pretty much a Laestrygone destroying my hopes. :-)

  3. Awesome Crewfighter!! Hey, are you still going to make it out to Columbus for the home games?

  4. You got lucky man. I can only see the games that are on espn2, and that's if I'm real nice to the bartender.