Buffalo Wild Wings: A necessity for sports fans living away from home

Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings iconic logo.

Upon moving to Ohio four years ago, I found myself wondering the streets of Athens trying to see what this new town I would be call my home for the next five years had to offer. I found it to be a quant college town that bares a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of a bigger city like Pittsburgh, where I grew up.

While wondering, I quickly found many places and buildings alike that would be critical to my success during my time spent in Athens while attending Ohio University. There was one place though, that I found early in my travels that would be far more important than all the rest, despite having nothing to with academics.

That place was the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant located on W. Union St. As a Pittsburgh native who proudly embraces the stereotype which assumes any Pittsburgher to a sports-crazed maniac when it comes to his or her hometown teams, Buffalo Wilds Wings was paramount in allowing me to maintain my reputation as a sports-crazed Pittsburgher, not to mention it gave me a little taste of home every Sunday.

As a fan of Pittsburgh sports, there really is no worse place to live than Ohio, surrounded by rival fans everywhere you look. Whether they are Cleveland fans or Cincinnati fans is irrelevant, they will hate all this Pittsburgh no matter what. This is something I have leaned over and over again throughout the past four years, where the last two of which I have I have spent with roommates who are die-hard Cleveland sports fans.

Due to my rather unfortunate living arrangement where the ratio of Cleveland fans to Pittsburgh sits at two to one, I often lose the battle over the TV remote and subsequently what game should be put on in the living room. An ironic and sad turn of events considering the living room TV is my TV, not my roommates.

Luckily for me, just a short walk from my Court Street apartment is Buffalo Wild Wings. The place where the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates are always on, and for a few hours every week it’s like I never left my beloved city where we bleed black and gold.

How are OU Students Watching Professional Sports?

As an upperclassman living off-campus who can’t afford over-priced cable packages, my boyfriend and I found ourselves at Buffalo Wild Wings on Union St. watching game three of the MLB World Series. Not to mention, beer and wings are always welcome while enjoying America’s favorite pastime. Now as the NFL season is in full-swing and basketball season approaches, students everywhere are getting creative when it comes to finding ways to watch their favorite teams.

Online streaming has become a very popular way for students and people everywhere to access professional sporting events. For students whose ride-or-die teams are out of the homestretch of Athens, OH, streaming services especially come in handy. Depending on the service students choose to use, some even have the option to stream on their smartphones at any location.

I watch (the game) on my phone and scare my roommates,” said passionate Pittsburgh Steelers fan, Kelsie Malloy. 

635748128968195773-NFLSundayTicket.TV-UDirecTV has created a promotion package that makes it easier for college students away from home to watch their home teams play. This promotion is called NFLSundayTicket.TV U and offers a discounted subscription for students to watch a full season of games via any streaming device of their choosing. The subscription requires students to be attending  a four-year university and confirms student enrollment by finding potential subscribers under student record. So, there’s no way anyone can pose for a student discount.

Although streaming is convenient, most quality services cost a fee of some sort. That doesn’t stop some students from finding the game.

“I download live stream links along with multiple computer viruses,” said Allyson Clifton, Ohio University junior and Cincinnati Bengals fan.

So it’s important to be careful when trying to (illegally) stream a game online.

The off-campus residents who actually pay for cable are few and far between. However, those who do have it for the main purpose of watching sports. These passionate fans bite the bullet of pricy cable packages out of love for their teams, although they’re still not happy about the bill that arrives in the mail box.

“I do watch them at home,” said Cleveland Browns fan Ben Rottersman, “the fact that I have to bundle to get what I want is outrageous.”

Some students say that a football game isn’t complete without a bar full of fellow fans surrounding them. Others disagree and think that groups of drunk football fans are too extreme and overwhelming.

Photo Cred: Cleveland.com
Photo Cred: Cleveland.com

Although Rottersman watches most football games in the comfort of his living room sofa, he still joins other Browns fans at Cat’s Eye Saloon on Court St. every Sunday. “It’s an official Browns backer bar, part of the Browns organization,” he said.

Even though she’s also a Browns fan, Allison Danielle said the bars are always too crowded. “I watch ESPN on my computer,” she said.

Most people who do go Uptown to watch football, find a bar and stick to it. Many of the bars are known for being representative of a certain NFL team. So when game day nears, be sure not to stumble into the wrong bar with the wrong name and number on your back.

Top 7 relationships in Athens, Ohio

We have all heard about the Hollywood celebrity dating scene, but I bet you didn’t know we have our own celebrity couples in Athens, Ohio. The rich and famous have made their way to our college town and I bet you run into them more than you think. That’s right, I’m talking about the bars and restaurants that are open after dark. We crowd them, take pictures, and follow their every move. You have been so focused on your favorite that I’m sure you haven’t noticed that they are all secretly in relationships. It’s true, and we have the inside scoop for you!

JACKIEOS_UPTOWN

Jackie-O’s and Uptown Grill

Let’s start with two of the most famous establishments in Athens, Jackie-O’s and Uptown Grill. These love birds have been eyeing each other from across the street for years. After hanging out, listening to music, and enjoying the unique beers Jackie-O’s has, you can walk down the street and order the famous Chicken and Waffle sandwich. This is one couple you do not want to mess with.

CASA_MAMMAS

Big Mamma’s Burritos and Casa Nueva

Big Mamma’s Burritos and Casa Nueva is one couple that is juat too hot to ignore. They are both so bold, but together would be a powerhouse. If you start to get hungry after too many margaritas, your next stop should be Big Mamma’s for one of their signature burritos. While there is a separation between them, these star crossed lovers can’t be separated. Te amo!

DP_BRO

Broney’s Alumni Grill and D.P. Dough

Our next couple may be long distance, but Broney’s Alumni Grill and D.P. Dough will always be close at heart. With the word “alumni” in the name, it’s safe to assume that a lot of alums visit while reliving their glory days. Since they are veterans, they know how to beat the hangovers. They can order their calzones and meet it in the hotel, just in time for bed!

TONYS_INSOM

Tony’s and Insomnia Cookies

What is better than cookies and coffee? Nothing. Tony’s and Insomnia Cookies is a match made in Heaven. After drinking a Hot Nut, a mixture of coffee and liquor, the only thing that would make your night better would be a warm cookie! The best part is that Insomnia is open until 3 am, so you can pick it up on your way home!

KISERS_PIGSKIN

Pigskin and Kisers on Court BBQ

Life would be a “boar” without Pigskin and Kiser’s BBQ together. This relationship was a no brainer. Nothing goes together like beer, BBQ, and country music. These two have just that! Kiser’s on Court is now open until 3 am on Friday and Saturday. This combination would be the perfect “cure” for any weekend night!

USD_SKULL_CATSD

Union Street Diner, Cat’s Den, and The Smiling Skull

Here in Athens, Ohio, we don’t judge. When we heard that Union Street Dinner, Cat’s Den, and The Smiling Skull were in a relationship together, we welcomed them with open arms. All three of these places are located on Union Street and you can’t have one without the other. While these bars are considered “townie” bars, students just can’t resist them. After listening to the music and sitting on the patio, the only other logical stop would be the dinner. Thankfully it’s open 24/7.

BW3

Buffalo Wild Wings

And, of course, there’s always that one friend that will fall into the “forever alone” category. That friend is Buffalo Wild Wings. This restaurant serves food and alcohol late into the night. Between the beer, wings, and giant TV’s, why would you need anything else? Don’t worry BW3’s; we still love you!

Since the lifestyles of the rich and famous are constantly changing, what relationships are your favorites? Comment below and tell us your favorite duo in Athens, Ohio. You never know who might be next!

All photos and graphics of Athens, Ohio were taken and made by Hannah Funderburg

Football and football: the confusion, the fun

Ghana fans during a game. Source: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Ghana fans during a game.
Source: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The excitement that accompanies football all over the world is overwhelming, especially during tournaments and leagues.

The fans, cheers, music, dance, and bets set the tone for any football game, be it home or away.

However, a simple Google search, depending on your location, produces different results for this name. In the United States, football involves quarterbacks, tight ends, special teams, offensive guards, only to mention a few.

On the other hand, football for those in Europe and Africa especially, includes a goalkeeper, forwards (strikers), midfielders and defenders.

U.S Soccer Fans Source: theepochtimes
U.S Soccer Fans
Source: theepochtimes

 

 

Confusion and disappointment

Most Europeans and Africans are not privy to American football, though some may have heard there is something called American football. Some get confused and ask questions when they arrive at the stadium (if not told what to expect) to watch football, thinking it is soccer, as it’s known in America.

One of these people is Daniel Osei. He said, soccer came to mind when one of his friends mentioned football in a conversation. When he found out it was actually not what he was thinking, he was disappointed.

“I was so happy and decided to join my friend for one of the games, only for him to tell me he was talking about American football.” Daniel said, he tried to find places on campus to watch his favorite team, Chelsea FC, play in the Premier League but was not successful.

So far, on Ohio University’s campus, Buffalo Wild Wings has been the go-to place to catch a glimpse of soccer games during tournaments. The scene, atmosphere, cheers and applauds during the 2014 FIFA World Cup made it evident there is a love for the game on Ohio University campus. The eatery was a sight to behold as the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) was poised to eliminate the Ghana Black Stars from the tournament.

ghana usa
Ghana vs USA, Brazil 2014 FIFA Worldcup source: bbc.co.uk

The USMNT had already suffered two defeats at the hands of the Black Stars, who were seen as underdogs in their previous two meetings. The Americans were hungry for a win. It finally came via a late header by John Brooks.  The USMNT beat the Stars 2-1 to cancel out one of the 2-1 losses they have suffered at the hands of the West African team.

Where do we go to watch the game?

If there are so many football (soccer) lovers on OU campus, where do they go to watch a game, particularly in this period when the English Premier League (EPL) and the UEFA Champions League are ongoing?

Ohio University football team in a game. Source: bleacherreport.com
Ohio University football team in a game.
Source: bleacherreport.com

A visit to several Court Street bars reveled managers aren’t as concerned about football as the American football. They may give it a try, but only when a team of interest is playing, such as the USMNT; there’s nothing to show of the EPL or Champions League.

Some fanatics of the game of football (soccer) go the extra mile and subscribe to channels, mostly online, to watch the game. NBC Sports Live Extra and ESPN are some of the online platforms where people go to watch the game. On a good day, it is shown on TV for other fans across the U.S to enjoy as well.

For most international students, subscription is not the way to go though they couldn’t substitute American football for football (soccer).

“Of course I love football but I won’t go the extra mile to subscribe and watch it. I will look out for highlights on YouTube and elsewhere,” Bismark Adusei said.

Some international students also gather to compete among themselves during summer to substitute for what they have lost and have a feel of the game.

So, be it American football or football (soccer), one thing is sure: The fans will always go hog-wild but the mix-up of the two games will forever remain.