Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Unexplained Phenomenon of Sports Bars in Santa Barbara

This is the Santa Barbara Brewing Company, pictured to the left. Every Sunday, this little hub at the corner of State and Haley shows every NFL game on the schedule.

Check out the great HD screens in the picture above. It's just one fantastic setting to meet friends and check out the big matchups.

And yet... it occurred to me this month that if I couldn't make the Brewco, I'd be able to go to Madison's nearby, or Sharkeez across the street, or if it was really busy, Sandbar or Left At Alberquerque's. All of them have NFL Sunday Ticket!

That just covers one street. I discovered later on that our bowling alley in Goleta, Zodos's Bowling and Beyond, hosts its own Sunday Ticket Event. Then at the Camino Real Marketplace, where the little multiplex is, we have the Hollister Brewing Company and Chilis, both with spankin' new HD flat panels and Sunday Ticket.

The kicker is that WOODSTOCK's now has NFL Sunday Ticket. Woodstock's is a venerable, highly populated pizzeria in the thick of Isla Vista, where UCSB's academic faithful check in to have lunch and study for their Physics exams.

...ok not really with the Physics.

I was about to end my observation at that, only to find out that my nearby pub, Derf's, carries Sunday Ticket. Little ol' Derfs! I didn't even cover the Uptown Downtown Brewco over by the Sandman Inn.

The density of Sunday Ticket outlets in my town is staggering. To give you an example how rare this is, consider my home town, Oxnard, CA. In Oxnard, you have to really go out to the corners of the city limits to find even one sports bar with Sunday ticket. Several of them just settle for the local games. Even BJ's, a nice, large brewery restaurant, only shows local games last I checked.

Ventura is similarly barren. I believe there might be a couple of spots in different areas, but nothing like the abundance of bars out here.

Most striking is that Los Angeles, for all its glitz and glamour, doesn't have nearly the same number of Sunday Ticket Bars per capita.

I don't know how it happened or why, but Santa Barbara is the capital of Sunday Ticket. It's a pigskin paradise, and I ain't lookin' back! So when it's 10 am Sunday and the big game's not your TV, come on out here! You don't even have to find the bar, it will find you.

So where am I going tomorrow? Of course, some place in Thousand Oaks. Go figure :-)

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