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Saturday November 22nd 2014

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January Brings Football Bliss

By James Hagan

Now that New Year’s is over, the big event for January is the start of the NFL playoffs and, of course, the culmination of the college football season. While sitting at home with the buddies watching football on the big screen is always a good time, nothing quite beats the thrill of drinking beer while being surrounded by a bunch of screaming strangers yelling at the TV for their favorite team to score a touchdown at a bar. Whether you’re an Alabama fan or LSU booster looking for fellow like-minded fans to help cheer your university on to a national championship, there’s no shortage of places to help you enjoy what will surely be a defensive struggle on Jan. 9. On the professional side, in a league with little defense but loads of offense, this weekend kicks off the opening round of the NFL playoffs as the Green Bay Packers start their quest for a second consecutive Super Bowl, and Tom Brady’s New England Patriots seek a fourth ring to cement their dynasty.

With no shortage of possibilities as to who will end up as Super Bowl or BCS champion, January is surely the most exciting time for football fans. Here now is a quick guide to some of the best, and presumably, boisterous places to watch the action unfold.

Miller’s Ale House features over 60 HD TVs and a full bar, including over 20 beers on tap. The popular chain has become a hot spot for both locals and tourists, and features nightly drink specials. The kitchen stays open late for those needing to comfort eat a painful loss away.
5906 N. Davis Hwy.  millersalehouse.com

Play located at 16 S. Palafox features seven HD TVs and dollar draft specials during football games. On Sundays during the football season, the “barcade,” which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, has featured “potluck” lunches, including pizza delivery. There are plenty of classic arcade games, such as Pac-Man, to divert your attention just in case LSU and Alabama play to a 9-6 finish again.
16 S. Palafox iplaypensacola.com

Ticket Sports Bar features wall-to-wall TVs, and nightly drink specials. A low-key, and casual hangout, filled with pool tables and dartboards, The Ticket makes no pretense at being anything other than a sports bar, and is known for its popular, and very competitive, team trivia nights.
7250 Plantation Rd., 2115 W. Nine Mile Rd. and 820 E. Gregory St. ticketsportsbar.com

Seville Quarter needs no introduction. Pensacola’s largest, and most popular complex, features several rooms with multiple TVs for your football viewing pleasure. Featuring daily drink specials, and no shortage of available servers and bartenders that will make sure that you don’t miss a pivotal play, Seville Quarter has become one of the best places for college football fans to root for their alma mater. One of the rooms, Lili Marlene’s, offers the treat of people belting out some karaoke while the game plays on the big screen. Football is always better with a little “Sweet Caroline” in the background.
130 E. Government St.  sevillequarter.com

Sidelines is arguably the best place to combine sports watching with the comfort and beauty of Pensacola Beach. Boasting over 32 HD TVs, the bar is famed for their Buffalo wings (a steal on Thursdays at only 45 cents). Whether you’re a snowbird from Pittsburg rooting for your Steelers to win yet another Super Bowl, or a Saints fan cheering on the “Who Dats?” to pull off another shocker, this popular beach spot is sure to be rocking on game day.
2 Via De Luna sidelinespensacola.com

New York Nick’s A favorite of sports fans, as well as Springsteen aficionados, the “rock-n-jock-n-pub-grub” features nightly drink specials and over 25 TVs featuring all sports packages. The bar, which doesn’t close until the games are done, is the spot for the hardcore sports fans that don’t hesitate to celebrate when their team crushes the hopes of the people at the next table over.
11 S. Palafox newyorknicks.net

Helen Back features three HD projection screens, a full bar, and offers one of the best balcony views of downtown that will leave even the most cynical person “Tebowing.” The recently opened bar has become a favorite of sports fans due to its energetic atmosphere and popular pizza.
22 S. Palafox pensacola.helenbackcafe.com

These are just a few of the myriad of options to satiate your football needs over the coming month. Regardless of preference, however, or team loyalty, it is hard to argue that even the most boring football game is just a little better with a bucket of beer and chicken wings. Just be sure not to “intercept” your buddy’s drink.