Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Bars: Where Your Team Is Always at Home It's Game Time for Football Fans

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Bars: Where Your Team Is Always at Home It's Game Time for Football Fans

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Macdonald, Times-Union staff writer

This is that special weekend during the NFL season when the Jaguars are not playing.

That's the bye week, smart-alecks -- not the playoffs.

For some fans, that means a chance to devote a rare autumn Sunday to family duties, chores or even early Christmas shopping. For others, it means a chance to catch up with a former favorite team.

Of course, while much of the city is dressed in Jaguars teal and black every Sunday from late August through the end of the year, some Jacksonville football fans have never stopped rooting for their former hometown teams, be they the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns or Philadelphia Eagles.

In fact, it seems that packs of Steelers fans can be found in nearly every sports bar in town. You have to wonder if anyone still lives in Pittsburgh.

"We have a broad mix," said Travis Reier, owner of Box Seats on Blanding Boulevard. He said he sees large groups of Steelers and Oakland Raiders fans, and, he added, "We are getting a rather large Redskins contingent with Steve Spurrier coaching there now."

Sports bars all over town make sure to place the Washington Redskins game on a big-screen TV. Florida Gator fans want to see their old coach throw his visor, even if it is now colored burgundy and gold.

Pockets of fans make Sundays in sports bars as loud as a stadium. Owners said they have to keep an eye on certain fans.

"I sometimes wish that I had hired some bouncers," said Linda Williams, owner of Mulligan's Sportsman's Saloon on Fort Caroline Road, which pulls in Steelers and Miami Dolphin fans.

Fans of the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers congregate at Glory Days in Ponte Vedra Beach: "They go back and forth at each other," said owner John Henninger. "It gets a little rowdy."

Reier has a more politically correct way to describe the action: "It will get a little festive in here if the Steelers and Raiders are playing."

It's a given that if the Jaguars or Redskins are playing, they will be on in every sports bar in town. Here's a list of some area sports bars and the non-Jaguars fans they attract on NFL Sundays:

-- Wing It, 11018 St. …

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