Sports

Football Watch

Chronicle prognosticators need redemption

Last weekend was a rough one for the Chronicle's NFL prognosticators. I went a measly 1-3 (thanks Jets!) while Robert Gabriel was shut out 0-4. Let's hope we fare better this week and that none of y'all are laying any hard-earned cash on our picks (even though I was 25-21-2 against the spread heading into the postseason, just sayin').

Before I get to this week's picks, let me note that the Ravens-Steelers and Jets-Patriots games lived up to the mountains of hype. I could care less about Rex Ryan's alleged foot fetish or if Tom Brady is an asshole, I just want to see some exciting (and close) football games and I was afforded the opportunity by these four excellent teams. Thanks guys.

I'm not betting against the Steelers anymore so I'll take them minus 3.5 at home vs. the Jets (5:30pm, Sunday, CBS) and pray their battered offensive line can hold up, not that I mind seeing Ben Roethlisberger slammed to the ground whenever possible. Against my better judgment (much like taking the Jets last week, my only correct pick), I'm going to take the Bears and 3.5 points at home vs. the Packers (2pm, Sunday, Fox). This is a gut call more than anything (which of them aren't?), but I like the points at home versus a team the Bears beat at Soldier Field earlier in the year. Robert's picks are the opposite of mine, he's going with the Packers and the Jets.

Area Bars and the Football Teams/Fans They Cater To:

Aussie's catered to Browns fans last year but is focusing more on the Texans and Cowboys this season. 306 Barton Springs Rd., 480-0952.

Bagpipes Pub & Eatery supplies the setting for Alabama Crimson Tide football fans. 9070 Research, 467-8700.

B.D. Riley's Irish Pub is the place to go if you're a fan of Tom Brady's tresses or his football team, the New England Patriots. Fittingly, the pub is also home for Notre Dame games. 204 E. Sixth, 494-1335.

Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill (both locations) is a straight-up Steelers bar. 6901 N. I-35, 454-2247; 214 E. Sixth, 469-0001.

Billy's on Burnet is the "unofficial Packers bar of Austin." 2105 Hancock, 407-9305.

Black Sheep Lodge has a good contingent of Saints, Redskins, Vikings, Texans, and Titans fans. USC and Ohio State lovers cheer on their teams on Saturdays. 2108 S. Lamar, 707-2744.

Cedar Door hosts USC and TCU supporters. Second & Brazos, 473-3712.

Cool River Cafe is the place for Nebraska Cornhuskers fans. 4001 W. Parmer, 835-0010.

Hog Island Italian Deli hosts Philadelphia Eagles watch parties. 1612 Lavaca, 482-9090.

Joe's Bar and Grill Attention Colt McCoy lovers, Joe's hosts fans of the NFL's Cleveland Browns. 506 West Ave., 473-0885.

Mangia Pizza Mesa is the official home for Auburn football. 8012 Mesa, 349-2126.

Pluckers North Austin is the official home of the Arkansas Razorbacks. 9070 Research, 533-9464.

Pluckers South Lamar is the official place to be for Michigan Wolverines games. 3909 S. Lamar, 443-9464.

Shoal Creek Saloon is the home of the Saints. 909 N. Lamar, 474-0805.

The Tavern sees a lot of Steelers and Ravens fans show up for NFL Sundays. 922 W. 12th, 320-8377.

Third Base Round Rock caters to Giants, Chargers, and Steelers fans. Arkansas Razorbacks lovers meet there on Saturdays. 3107 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/388-2273.

Third Base Southpark Meadows is the place to be for Saints, Vikings, and Steelers supporters. In the NCAA, it's Oregon State, Minnesota, and Texas Tech territory. 9600 S. I-35, 381-2273.

Third Base Downtown has a good following for the Texans, Saints, and Vikings and generally a "pretty mixed" crowd. As far as college goes, it's the official home for Illinois Fighting Illini and Florida Gators fans, as well as followers of Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Kansas. 1717 W. Sixth, 476-2273.

The Warehouse Saloon & Billiards sees a lot of Vikings fans, among others. I've also heard Dolphins and Bears fans have been known to congregate there. 509 E. Ben White, 443-8799.

Weirdos is a Chargers bar. 12408 MoPac N., 291-6703.

Hit me up at gameplans@austinchronicle with additional info.

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