A Tip for Saturday

As you are aware, the Akron Zips will visit Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday for a noon kickoff that will be televised (against VPI @ UNC) at noon ET. We have weighed into the inconsiderate and puzzling nature of this scheduling ‘strategy’ in this key entry. (I guess this is a way to keep all you evil supportersa and tailgaters out of the parking lots before games!!!)

We decided to pen this entry as advice since the majority of StateFansnation will be watching the game on the tube (and since we are predicting a less than stellar physical turnout for the game because of the inconvenient nature of the scheduling time).

You need to make sure that you understand some “television basics” before finding and watching the game on Saturday.

(1) The game can only be found on ESPNU.

(2) ESPNU is NOT carried by Time Warner Cable (TWC). If you live somewhere that has cable, but not TWC, then you need to check your local listings for ESPNU’s availability on your cable system.

(3) If you have to go to a bar or local spot to watch the game, please realize that not all venues will have access to the game. Just like residences, only venues that subscribe to television service providers that carry ESPNU will hae access to the game.

I have never been short on exasperation and awe how 95% of all “sports” bars do absolutely NO educating of their employees regarding the central core of their business – SPORTS ON TELEVISION. In far more instances than I can fathom, even the folks owning and managing the places don’t seem to have a clue about the simple nuances of service providers, game feeds, game times, etc, etc. This topic is so frustrating to me that six years ago I started draft article for the old Statefans.com that I never finished that was titled, “I like sports and I like beer, so I’m going to open a sports bar!”

For example, earlier this week I had lunch at Champions Sports Bar & Restaurant in the Marriott in downtown Charlotte at the corner of Trade and Tryon. I did my best to ask the questions as simply as I could about their television feeds to figure out if they were going to be able to carry the Akron-State game this weekend. Throughout lunch different/numerous employees in the restaurant and bar came over to the table to see if they could answer my simple question of, “Do you have DirecTV or Cable TV? (I’m trying to figure out if you have ESPNU to watch Saturday’s Akron-NC State college football game).

Not a single employee of the sports bar could answer my question. In fact, they were so ‘attentive’ and ‘understanding’ that the (55 year old female) manager ultimately came over with a remote and a piece of paper asking what game is that we would like to see (right now)? Flabbergasted, I politely went through the whole thing again and she ultimately decided that they have cable and not satellite (even though I still don’t know if she was being accurate). I know that I could have simply clicked ‘menu’ or ‘guide’ on the remote to confirm, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

So, if you want to find the State-Akron game at a local sports bar, do NOT ask the sports bars if they “are going to have the NC State game on Saturday?”

Most employees of these places don’t have a friggin clue about how the television feeds work. They (understandably) think that they “have the package” so therefore they can get “any and all games”. The odds are high that you will get some kind of response like, “We have the package. If the game is on television, then we can get.”


Odds are also high that if you simply ask if they get ESPNU then you will also get an automatic response without an ounce of actual listening or thought to the question.

So, I suggest that if you really want to insure that your sports bar of choice is going to carry the Akron @ NC State game on ESPNU that ask someone at the bar (like a manager) to verify that their feed is from satellite (DirecTV or Dish) and NOT Time Warner Cable. Without confusing them too much, this is probably the best way for you to quickly get to the truth.

General Media NCS Football

15 Responses to A Tip for Saturday

  1. StateFans 09/08/2006 at 4:27 PM #

    A thread on PP’s message board included a quote that was classic and fits this nicely:

    The only problem with Damon’s is the people that work there can’t figure out the remote for the TV until 20 minutes into the game. other than that, you should be golden.

  2. PalmettoWolf 09/08/2006 at 4:32 PM #

    I have had EXTENSIVE experience with this in multiple states and multiple sports bars. Ten times out of ten, I get pissed off.

  3. Jeff 09/08/2006 at 4:45 PM #

    ^ Me, too!

    As an example…I’ll never forget the infamous NC State implosion nasketball game (Feb of 2000?) at Maryland (black uniforms, John Clougherty’s BS charge and technical foul call against Damon Thornton).

    I was in Little Rock, Arkansas…where I had never visited in my life. I called a couple of places ahead of time who “definitely could get it”. Showed up…and no friggin game!

    Since the Pack was killing the Terps early in the game, I thought that I gotten very lucky and found a dive off the interstate to watch the game (albeit 10 minutes into it). Unfortunately, I got to watch the nightmare unfold.

  4. choppack1 09/08/2006 at 4:59 PM #

    I have to pat myself on the back now – I know exactly how to find good places to watch these games.

    My breaking point was the State-Syracuse football game when we were playing at Syracuse. I was in the DC area – my wife was going to go shopping while I watched the game. I called ahead and the bartender assured me they had the game. Well, the game started at noon – and after about 12:10 when the game wasn’t on, I figured that the game wasn’t on the channel. The nimrod working the bar couldn’t understand that the game really started at noon and as a result, it wasn’t on this channel. By the time I found a place w/ it on, we were down 17-7. (I also remember this spooky painting in there of the devil chasing some girl, but that’s another story.)

    Since that date, I’ve learned to grill managers when I call. You can usually tell if the person has a clue and if the customer-oriented- he’ll offer that they have satellite or something like every game that is played in the NFL, we’ve got on a tube. I found a place in Waterveile, NY (great Sports bar) where they turned it to the State-USC basketball game in December on Sunday afternoon – no small feat. We’ve watched wall to wall ACC tournament action in the Big EZ – whatever.

    Where you run into trouble is if you’re running around or asking folks. Sometimes you just have to get out the phone book – and oh yeah, you gotta know your town. I’ve found the best sports bars aren’t the chains but rather those half-scary type joints that your wife would probably want to avoid if you drove by it.

  5. BJD95 09/08/2006 at 5:01 PM #

    I hate to ever say anything nice about Chapel Hill, but the original NC Sports Bar did everything right, and i never had a problem during my 3 years of law school. They always found (and televized prominently) any NC State game I requested. They found the Big 12 (or was it still 8 then?) equivalent of Raycom for the Baylor game. they even got the local Alabama booster squad to foot the bill to pay for a closed circuit broadcast of the State/Alabama game in Tuscaloosa. I knew the guy who owned and ran the place, and he did things right.

    I was there from 1995-98. I’ve heard it has indeed gone downhill since.

  6. VaWolf82 09/08/2006 at 6:08 PM #

    The food at BWW is average at best (and overpriced), but at least the one here has every sports package known to man. I am always amazed at the number of people who eat there with absolutely no interest in any of the TV’s.

  7. redfred2 09/08/2006 at 6:09 PM #

    I think it was 3 or 4 years back and I was working on a Saturday. I snuck out for lunch with the intention of seeing a little of the ACC tournament on the tube. When we got to the restaurant we watched the pre-game wrap up and just as the tip-off began the owner, who is about 6’4″ and weighs at least 380 lbs, and that’s being easy on the guy, sat down on an over matched barstool and proceeded to change the channel to a 15 year old re-run of Hart to Hart. He absolutely refused and would not change it back. We had just gotten our food, the massive blob was sitting there with his mouth wide open watching Jonathan Hart (Robert Wagner) kicking some accountant looking guy’s ass all over the place while Mrs H (Stepanie Powers) jumped to and fro and out of the way, in her revealing pajamas at what looked to be about 4 O’clock in the afternoon, Hart to Hart time anyway. All of the fighting was done while both men were wearing bell bottom pants so big that the wind resistance slowed the action to something more resembling slo-mo.

    I swear, the restaurantEER looked as entralled as any of my daughters ever did at three years old when watching Barney. Mouth open practically drooling there as he chuckled, smiled a little smile when Mrs. H gave Mr H a kiss. I wanted to take a ketchum bottle, a bar stool, or whatever, put the man out of his misery for about 45 minutes. Then turn the channel, calmly sit back down and finish my meal while watching the ACC tournament like most red blooded NC men of the masculine persuasion do. Instead, we choked down the food and hurried out to hear the radio broadcast on the back to the office.

    I was a little H O T! at lunchtime on that particular ACC Saturday.

  8. choppack1 09/08/2006 at 8:46 PM #

    “I hate to ever say anything nice about Chapel Hill, but the original NC Sports Bar did everything right.”

    I’ll second that. We used to go watch NFL football there. That’s exactly the kind of place I’m talking about – incredibly junky looking on the outside – not so good looking on the inside – but a great place. They had that hoops goal in there that was pretty cool – and a very nice bartender if memory serves correct.

  9. BJD95 09/08/2006 at 10:15 PM #

    ^ Very right on the bartender! It was a dank pit, which is perfect for a sports bar. My drinking buddy correctly noted that it would be 100% perfect if it had troughs against the walls or if you could just piss on the floor.

    I think they gentrified the place around 200. very sad.

  10. wolfpack80 09/09/2006 at 12:01 AM #

    If anyone reading lives in Greenville, Professor O’Cools is the only place I’ve found that carries it. I went for the ESPNU basketball games we had last year and was pleased to see the place was packed(no pun intended) with State fans in ECTC town.

  11. Alex_01 09/09/2006 at 8:29 AM #

    Anyone know of a location in charlotte that will be showing the game today?

    Jeff: The local State Club is evidently going to CANS Bar and Canteen at 500 W. 5th Street at the Corner of 5th and Graham (704.940.0200). I haven’t checked it out yet…but, I have a 6 month old that I don’t want to take into a bunch of smoke. My Clemson buddy went to “Pepperoni’s” in Park Road Shopping Center to watch the Tigers on ESPNU last week and enjoyed it. (Said it was smoke free) I will probable go there.

  12. IrishPackFan 09/09/2006 at 8:43 AM #

    Anyone wanting to watch the game in the Charlotte area I suggest taking a little trek into downtown Matthews. There’s a sportsbar called Kristopher’s that is bad-arse! They have banners for every ACC team (and others – although the NCSU banner is NOT the traditional block-S, but the crappy diamond shap logo), NFL teams and baseball teams you could want. They have satelite and the whole staff is knowledgeable about the system they have. The owner, Kristopher, is a cool cat who will change any one of the over 20 televisions to a game that you want. The chances the game will be on anyways is pretty high since he understands that this is ACC country and ACC rules the area. I live in Concord and make the trek on the weekends because I love the place (my wife’s family eats there about 4-5 times a week). I’d love for Kristopher’s to turn into a State bar on the weekends…my in-laws will hate me if that happens (Tarhole fans), but seeing more red and white on the weekends will do my heart proud! Seriously; Kristopher’s in downtown Matthews is AWESOME. Every menu item is delicious and is named after ACC teams (the Wolfpacker is a fried chicken breast sandwhich done “chicken wing” style in a hot sauce that is out of this world!)…please check this place out. I’m usually the only Pack fan there sitting with my Tarhole in-laws/wife.

  13. Jeff 09/09/2006 at 10:15 AM #

    ^ Thanks for sharing that.

  14. TomA 09/10/2006 at 7:35 AM #

    Too bad Amedio’s doesn’t have televisions..you know there would be no problem having the Pack games on there! MMMMMM…Amedio’s pizza…

  15. BoKnowsNCS71 09/11/2006 at 2:48 PM #

    Ruckus Pizza at Mission Valley always has the State games on. ESPN-U included. The owner is a dyed in the wool Wolfpacker. They have had several players work there and now one is a coach (Red is an assisistant coach for the Pack). IN BB season, this was the only place I could find the game on.

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