KU played on Saturday night while we were in Phoenix (more stories about Phoenix here and here). We’re dedicated Jayhawks over here, so we looked for a place to watch. Maybe all alumni associations are good about this, but KU’s alumni association website has a whole page dedicated to watch sites throughout the US. Sean’s relied on the list during a trip to San Diego, and the list helped us in Phoenix. We headed to Bungalow Bar & Grill a few hours before the game to claim a prime viewing spot. We weren’t sure how crowded it would be.
When you walk into the bar, the left side is seating for dinner and the right side is the bar with room for standing. The whole dining side was reserved and what looked like a projector screen was pulled down. Although we assumed this was for the KU game, there wasn’t a KU fan in sight so we sat at the bar. As game time came closer the fans began to arrive, crowding into the dining section. They ranged from fresh out of college to life long KU fans. And it was clear that many of these folks had been here before and they knew one another. This was a regular thing for many of them! But not all.
The regulars were happy to have us out-of-towners join their viewing party. We sat next to the nicest couple from Kansas City. They were shocked that Sean was from the Missouri side of KC yet still a KU fan. I didn’t realize this was rare. Sean and the husband just went back and forth about great game moments and this player and that player and this experience and this play and yes! we’ve been to the viewing bar in San Diego too! I mean, these two were able to recall games and team specifics from more than 10 years ago! This is probably true of any sports fan, but I’ve never witness it before. Even when we were not talking about KU basketball, this couple was so friendly. So friendly. I wish I could be that friendly. Is that a learned skill or something you’re born with? Sean says he thinks it comes with age. We both agreed that it probably comes with geography, too. Friendliness stands out more when you’re not used to it.
I hope no one takes offense to this, but see that granny head right below the screen? There were at least three couples like this in attendance. It was so great!
We discovered there’s a watch bar in DC. We haven’t made any plans to go yet (we stayed in for last night’s game), but we had such a great time in Phoenix that we just might check it out.