At its best, a sports bar is like a petri dish. You put all these people together, you put the games on, and you see what happens. It's also an escape, a place where the lifetime slugging percentage of Will Clark is of more interest than the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a place where all men are equal, provided they can hold both their liquor and their own in a discussion of the Eagles-Niners game. A sports bar should have some history and a sense of permanence. It should be a place that starts arguments and resolves them. A place where someone will know that it's .497-- Clark's slugging percentage, that is--and won't be afraid to tell you. In sum, a place that feels like a community. Henry David Thoreau once said, "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they're after."
We feel the same way about great sports bars. The first time you go there may be to watch a game, but that's not the reason you go back.