Captain Caveman gives us this week's Gamebook, from his experiences yesterday at 200 Fifth in Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood. He arrived near the end of the 1:00 games in order to minimize Sunday drunkenness, and left seconds after Seneca Wallace's fumble for a Vikings TD sealed a Seahawks loss.
- 200 Fifth is where I catch most Seahawks games that aren't nationally televised. By regular standards, it's a terrible place to watch football: always overcrowded, and the number of Steelers and Jets fans is IQ-lowering. But it's the only real sports bar in a neighborhood best known for lesbians and hipster/yuppie couples with pretentiously named children, so I guess I should move to a neighborhood that sucks less instead of bitching about my only option.
- Brian Westbrook scores on a ridiculous 52-yard catch-and-run that Berman is going to use to get his WHOOP! on, and the Eagles fans go batshit. They do the E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES! cheer that's similar to the Jets' famous cheer, but only one-third as annoying.
- Bruce Gradkowski has 27 seconds and one timeout to lead the Bucs to a field goal. The game is over, right? Matt Bryant, obviously motivated by the newfound possibility of a kicker becoming Meast of the Week, kicks the second-longest field goal in NFL history for the win. While the Bucs fans taunt the Eagles fans (rather cruelly, I thought), the shot of Donovan McNabb on the sideline is classic: he's smiling in a 4th-and-26, "You're a worthy adversary" kind of way.
- Legions of jersey-clad Yinzers own the back of the bar, but I'm standing next to a Falcons fan. Thank God. The emotional back-and-forth at the end of regulation: Michael Koenen makes a 56-yarder (we rejoice!), the realization that a timeout was called (cheering, furniture overturned in the back), Koenen misses the 56-yarder (whooping, sounds of fire being discovered), a penalty flag (high-five!), and Morten Andersen's missed 52-yarder (more pandemonium). Usually when I get jerked around like this, a woman is involved.
- I point at a TV in the corner. "Wow," I say, "KC's about to kick a game-winner against San Diego." Exactly no one looks at the TV.
- After Morten Andersen kicks the game-winner in OT, the entire bar turns on the Steelers fans. To the dulcet tones of "Nah-nah-nah-nah, hey hey hey, goodbye," the Yinzers respond with a raucous "Here we go Steelers, here we go!" chant. Uh... They know the game's over, right? Are they cheering their team into the showers? Onto the plane home? I suppose a "Five-time champions!" chant would have been a little too creative.
- My Falcons buddy stands on the rungs of his bar stool to cheer when the game-winner went through, which prompts the Redskins fan behind us to say, "Hey, sit down!" Terrible sports bar etiquette on the DC homer. Any game-changing or game-winning play mandates view-blocking celebrations. Fucking Man Law.
- With only three afternoon games televised, the crowd thins out a little. I'm one of seven or eight Seahawks fans in the bar; the Vikings have two or three representatives. Aggregate total of Seahawks-related clothing items we're wearing: zero. Perhaps this is why Seahawks fans have a reputation for not existing outside the Northwest: we don't wear team merchandise publicly. I've always thought that I just don't like the idea of being a grown man wearing another man's jersey, but since I'm cheering for the 'Hawks, I'm willing to admit there may be some shame involved, as well.
- Matt Hasselbeck gets Kimo'd. Seneca Wallace warms up. I've seen a lot of Seahawks fans defend Seneca over the last couple years, but I'm not fooled. Watching Seneca Wallace warm up is like watching Tommy Maddox warm up. It's tied 10-10 in the third quarter at Qwest Field, where the Seahawks haven't lost in 22 months. Nevertheless, this game is over.
- Things start to unravel. My vision gets all blurry and red during Chester Taylor's 95-yarder, but Seneca bounces back from an INT to lead Seattle to a rousing FG drive. 24-13, Vikings. The long-haired hippie next to me shares my pain. "I wanted that touchdown," he says after Darrell Jackson drops a would-be touchdown on third-and-goal. "I bet the over."
- I come back to the bathroom to find a guy in a Vikings hat eyeing my bar stool and the one next to it for his girlfriend. "'Scuse me," I say as I slide past him and reclaim my seat, and -- WHAT THE FUCK? There's a book by Noam Chomsky on the bar. Fabulist conspiracy theorist and known cocksucker Noam Chomsky. AT A SPORTS BAR. Me: "Take your Chomsky and get outta here, you goddam communist!" Christ.
- Seneca Wallace gets sacked at the two and fumbles. Touchdown, Vikings. I put my jacket on. Hippie: "Well, I got the over." Me: "I don't care about your fucking over. I care about the Seahawks." Eat shit and die.
God, I hate football. Wait, football, come back! Baby, I love you. You know I didn't mean that.