Yesterday afternoon, millions of Americans made for sports bars so they could cheer their local teams amid an atmosphere of comradarie. Unfortunately for most of them, the atmosphere was also thick with smoke and leavened dubiously by weak, industrial beer. So through a blue haze, they watched 30-inch screens flicker, bouying their mood--if not their palates--with Bud Light and onion rings.
Yesterday I lounged at the St. Johns Pub in digs nicer than any luxury box in the land. The McMenamins pioneered showing TV broadcasts of sports teams at the Mission Theater maybe five years ago. When my brother-in-law, a sports fanatic from Boston, visited two Labor Days ago, we saw the Oregon home-opener. As he came into the theater and saw the screen--15 feet tall, Ducks like ghostly giants in electric yellow and green--his eyes bugged out: "This is tremendous!"
The St Johns Pub is even better. The McBrothers have put in a series of love seats (sports fans might prefer "small couches"), you can lounge on, comfortable as if you were in your own living room. Of course, you have access to a dozen taps of craft beer, a full kitchen, and the comraderie of sixty Duck fans. (Doesn't hurt when they win, either.) At the picture to right, which is a grainy cell-phone photo, you'll see fans celebrating Oregon's first touchdown.
Further proof that we have an embarrassment of riches in Beervana.