Saturday, August 11, 2007

Coming to South Bend?

Based on a thread started at Blue and Gold Illustrated's message board, I thought it would be a good idea to have a list of bars near the campus and around town, as well as a small description of how they are on a football weekend. Yeah, I'm bored.

(From campus --> outward)

Legends- If you have deep pockets and an appreciation for beers you've never heard of, then sure, try the bar in the parking lot of the stadium. On a budget? Read on.

Linebacker- As far as the drinks are concerned this is probably the most bang for your buck. You pay a small cover charge but get a ticket for a free drink. I recommend the Long Islands (more expensive than the cover, so you're making money.. and yes, it'll destroy you). This is also a weekend favorite for local coeds to strut their stuff on a dance floor crowded by drunk, eager middle-aged men (on football weekends anyway). The best part about the cheaper drinks? You'll spill more than you drink, but others will spill ON you, so by osmosis it evens out.
--- Don't --- Wear --- Sandals ---

Tailgaters- Located southeast of campus its not really near any other nightspots but again they have good prices. Its a little more hole-in-the-wall'ish but its never TOO crowded. Sometimes they have the mechanical bull there. I have the shirt to prove it.

Oscar's- Not really a bar, its more of a pool hall with a bar in it, but I hear they're adding dancing this fall. We'll see.

Club 23- Speaking of holes-in-the-wall (thank you past English teachers), this one has the most tradition around campus. This bar will be PACKED, almost guaranteed on the Friday before the game but even though I have many under-aged memories in that bar, I just can't put it as a game weekend favorite.

Corby's- You'll stand in line so often at this bar on a football weekend that you'll think you're at Cedar Point. Seriously, its not worth the waiting.

Oyster Bar- Classy on the first floor. Business Casual on the second floor. College on the third floor. Decent prices, good bartenders and close to Corby's so when you get sick of standing in line, its just a few blocks away.

Fiddler's Hearth- Right next door to Oyster Bar and they have a fantastic whiskey/scotch selection. The prices are a bit on the high side but if you're in the hankering for a Jamison 12 year this is your place. The food is quite tasty but if it's busy, your service may be a touch slow. Side note: This is the only non-smoking place on my list, so if you enjoy a cancer stick now and then like I do, they do have a patio but its small and pointless after October.

Club Fever- Don't go there unless you really like to pretend you're on MTV.

Rum Runner's- I heart Rum Runners. Pure and simple. Now, they just moved to downtown South Bend (the old Benchwarmer's right next to the pizzaria) and I hear its bigger inside and nicer. However its pricey on football weekends but the dueling piano's can be quite entertaining on a good night. Wednesday is the best day to go with 75 cent mixed drinks.

Blarney Stone- a.k.a. Finnegan's, The Library. If you're over 21, there's no reason to go here other than to hit on people who are under 21.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Look Back to April

In early April, I began a blog that got lost when my laptop went ka-poot. One of the very few posts I made was my baseball predictions for 2007. So what better time to go back and check it out than in August when the races really start to pick up? I decided to look back and I realized that I very well could have picked the National league perfectly.

In the West I picked San Diego who is only 1.5 back from the Diamondbacks right now. In the Central I picked the Cubs.. and they just took over first place. In the East I took the Mets. Who, barring a meltdown, should take that division. For the wild card I have the Dodgers, who, by the way, are currently a half-game ahead of both the Cubs and Brewers for the wild card lead right now.

It's also looking like the Cubs are the hottest team in the NL, if not in the majors and the Mets are probably the most talent-heavy. So my prediction of Cubs defeating Mets in the NLCS isn't too bad right now.

In the American League, things are a bit more.. umm.. mixed up. In the west, I had the Angels, who are a meager three games ahead of a surging Mariners team for now. In the central I had the Twins which seems to be my only major mistake thus far, because I just don't see them coming close to the playoffs this year. For the East, as expected, Boston is already on vacation as there's no way the Yankees are catching them, as much as Sportscenter makes it sounds like they're doing. As for the wild card, I had Detroit taking that, but they may be taking the division and home field advantage instead.

I had Boston defeating Detroit to go to the World Series and so far so good I think. Those seem to be the two best teams in the AL, hands down.

Hey, there's a lot of games left and this is not even close to being over, so take this with a grain of salt.. but maybe you should have put money on my predictions.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Ahhh, August

It's the hottest month of the year (at least up here in northern Indiana, that is).

Baseball has just passed the trade deadline and the playoff races are starting to heat up.

And football is starting its engines.

As this is my first blog I'll explain one thing right here, right now: I love all things Notre Dame and Chicago (unless its something to do with a south-side baseball "team").

So in a few months, when the NFL is getting into its own playoff hunt, don't be surprised when its all about the Bears and not about the AFC West.

But I digress. This post isn't about me, it's about football. Specifically college football (I'll get into the NFL later this week).

This coming weekend, thousands of students will return to their campuses and begin training for yet another football season. New coaches are about to be scrutinized. Freshman are going to be given huge expectations for not only the year but their career. New quarterbacks will have cameras and media surrounding them.

Fans are already dusting off their jerseys and flags. They're making travel plans to the Meccas of sports and making plans also to walk into their enemy's backyard with head held high and hoping it stays there on the way out.

The media is already picking their favorites to win the conferences and championships and picking their preseason rankings, so hey, I guess I'm next.

So here it is, my preseason top 10 and predictions for the BCS.

1) USC- This hurts me because I hate them, but they. are. loaded.
2) Michigan- I'm pretty sure they are one of the more talented offenses in America right now.
3) Texas- They're always top five until proven otherwise in my book, and Colt is a year older now.
4) Wisconsin- Yes, that Wisconsin.
5) Florida- Sure they have some play makers but they're young and untested. They probably have the most upside.
6) LSU- I'd put them higher but they have questions on offense this year.
7) Ohio St.- They lost some big names last year on offense and will have to prove they can fill those spots.
8) Boise St.- They own the nation's longest win streak, so beat them before you eliminate them.
9) Louisville- Probably the best quarterback in the nation if you include talent AND experience.
10) West Virginia- Steve Slaton. Enough said.

Orange Bowl- WVU def. Florida St. (Too much offense from Morgantown)
Rose Bowl- ND def. Wisconsin (Irish return to Pasadena, might be a dream of mine)
Fiesta Bowl- Texas def. UCLA (UCLA loses only to USC in regular season)
Sugar Bowl- Florida def. Boise St. (Boise goes undefeated again, but Florida is much different than Oklahoma)
BCS Champ- USC def. LSU (LSU is the best one-loss team in the nation after the season)