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Greensboro’s ten best places to watch the playoffs

by Amy Kingsley

Home team bleachers

Miami, Baltimore, San Diego, Chicago, New Orleans, etc.

Every so often we here at YES! Weekly like to get a little sporty, and we find that, more often than not, the impulse to do just that comes during the NFL playoffs. Maybe it’s the sport’s dramatic reversals, occasional trickery or frequent bursts of violence – we don’t know. What we do know is that we think American Football is pretty neat. We won’t be able to make it down to Miami for the Super Bowl, but those with the resources to score tickets to the remaining playoff matchups certainly should.

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Greensboro, NC

So the Panthers didn’t make it to the playoffs and you don’t feel like celebrating. Drown your sorrows by nursing a 12-pack while watching the remaining teams duke it out on your own not-so-widescreen television. The major upside to watching the games in the comfort of your own home (besides lounging in pajamas) is that it renders driving after drinking more or less unnecessary.

JP Looney’s

3021 Spring Garden Road

336.852.1331

Greensboro’s flagship sports bar features interior décor done up in granite and turf green. Several televisions mounted high in the corners offer visual access to sporting events from almost every seat in the house. In addition, the bar will be serving 80 oz. beers, flavored Smirnoff bombs and imported beers at special prices. Baskets of 50 wings dipped in as many as 10 different flavors will also be available for $25.

Green Burro

106 W. McGee St.

336.275-9111

Not many bars or restaurants in town offer the variety of Tex-Mex favorites that can be had at the Green Burro, a relatively nondescript sports bar off Elm Street. Patrons access the Burro by entering a door at street level then walking up two flights of narrow stairs. On Saturday kamikazes and shooters are on special, and on Sunday pitchers of beer can be had on the cheap.

Fat Dogs

2503 Spring Garden St.

336.856.1364

This stand-alone bar and grill not far from UNCG has a classic sports bar set-up. The owners positioned one giant TV at the end of the rectangular dining room in the manner of a shrine. Thus diners engaged in devouring their hotdogs, hamburgers and other munchies will be able to fully enjoy the communal nature of sports spectating alongside the solo beer drinkers at the bar.

Smokey Bones

3302 High Point Road

336.315.8715

This barbecue joint will likely be broadcasting the playoffs alongside whatever other collegiate and professional sports are happening at the same time. At least a few of their televisions will be tuned to the NFL games, and all their tables have sound boxes so patrons can tune in the contests they’d like to watch.

BG McGee’s

4701 High Point Road

336.299.0042

BG McGee’s is a members-only joint near the intersection of High Point and Groometown roads. The outside doors are locked and only accessible via key, so we’re not entirely sure what’s going on in here. They often advertise football-related specials and we imagine they will be showing the games in the next few weeks.

Ham’s Restaurant

Locations around town

You know the deal at Ham’s: fried cheesecake, bacon cheddar burgers and waffle fries topped with every incarnation of saturated fat. They also show football games and serve beers, which are necessary accompaniments for such greasy fare. Occasionally management tries to mix up the entertainment by bringing in karaoke or live music, which does not go over well with the sports-obsessed crowd.

Neighborhood bar

Corners, alleys and side streets

There’s something to be said for skipping the sports bar scene altogether. Instead, wander down to the nearest bar and see if you can’t convince the bartender to switch the channel on their single, tiny television to the football games. Chances are there will be a lot more variety to the types of entertainment you might find at, say, a College Hill or Fisher’s Grill than at a sports bar.

Striano’s Tavern

Undisclosed location

Clarey’s brother-in-law infamously built a bar in the garage of his Greensboro home and for four years now it has been the locus of NFL playoff action. With four TVs (including a couple hi-defs), a trivia machine and a modestly kickass sound system, the joint is primed for it. Alas, seats are by invitation only and you not only have to bring your own beer, it’s considered polite to bring a few extras for the house publican.

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