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Posted at 2:41 AM ET, 09/18/2008

Get Your Game On

By Fritz Hahn

Cheering on your alma mater with fellow students and alumni is far more exciting than watching from your couch. (Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post)

It seems like every other bar is football-crazy these days, boasting "We show every game" with the NFL Sunday Ticket satellite package and offering an overstuffed lineup of college football on Saturdays.

With so many options, we decided to cut to the chase and find out what a dozen of the area's top sports bars are doing on weekends, focusing on the number of screens (making it easier to see the action), the alumni groups and team fans who go there (building up the atmosphere for big games) and food and drink specials (duh). And if you want to see some Redskins cheerleaders or play some Madden with your friends once the game is over, we know where to do that, too.

Bailey's Pub & Grille (Crystal City)
Watch On: 28 televisions, most of which are 62-inch flatscreens.
Drink: A rotating selection of specials, including $16 Miller Lite buckets during college games and $16 Budweiser and Bud Light buckets during NFL games.
Home Of: Kansas, Kansas State and Tennessee alumni on Saturdays, and Giants, Eagles and Broncos fans on Sundays, along with Redskins supporters, of course.

Buffalo Billiards
Watch On: There are 35 TVs -- mostly flatscreens -- throughout this huge underground pool hall, as well as six 10-foot projection screens. Most have couches or stools nearby.
Snack On: It's all about wings: $5.50 for a plate of 10, $9 for 20, etc.
Drink: $3 Miller Lites during all games.
Home Of: Michigan.
Stick Around For: 19 top-of-the-line pool tables, nine shuffleboard tables and five dart lanes.

Champions
Watch On: The all-new upscale sports bar is loaded with flatscreen TVs, including two 100-inch high-def sets, a pair of 65-inch LCD HD screens, five 42-inchers and 20 37-inch televisions.
Drink: Aluminum 16-ounce Bud Light bottles are $4 during games, and, unusually for a sports bar, bottle service is offered on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, so you can shell out a minimum of $150 for prime couch seats and a view of the game.
Home Of: Mostly local colleges.
Stick Around For: DJs on Saturday nights.

Cleveland Park Bar and Grill
Watch On: 35 flatscreen TVs of varying sizes, including a couple on the rooftop deck.
Snack On: The wood-oven pizzas. But bring your credit card, because there are no specials on Saturday or Sunday.
Home Of: the University of Maryland, the Steelers and Patriots.
Stick Around For: A chance to relax on the rooftop deck, which will add heaters once the weather gets cold.

Crystal City Sports Pub
Watch On: The area's best sports bar is the place to watch college sports, with more than 100 TVs over three levels, including a 10-foot high-definition projection screen and two 8-foot projection screens on the third floor. (Wondering where your team's game will be shown? Look for the directory by the front door, or check crystalcitysportspub.net that morning.)
Snack On: No specials, though there's a pretty good brunch buffet with all the staples on Sunday if your team has the 1 p.m. kickoff.
Home Of: At least 20 "official" alumni groups, including USC, Georgia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Washington and Ithaca College.

Mister Days
Watch On: 73 TVs, all of which are high-definition after a renovation earlier this year. There are several projection screens larger than 100 inches.
Snack On: Rotating food specials, mostly entrees and less of the usual "wings and mozzarella sticks" kind of deals. Monday night is "Steak Night," so pair the big game with deals on sirloin ($10.95), New York strip ($13.95) and other cuts.
Drink: Buckets of Miller Lite and Rolling Rock are $8 during games, while Corona and Corona Light are $13. On Monday, Harpoon pints are $3.50 all night.
Home Of: Michigan.
Stick Around For: Redskins cheerleaders perform when the team is out of town.

Nellie's Sports Bar
Watch On: 10 large flatscreens on two levels, with plans to add five more soon. Tables are well spaced for viewing.
Snack On: $5 quesadillas all day Sunday and until 5 on Saturday, plus some of the best wings in town.
Drink: Until 5 on Saturday and all day Sunday, draft beers, mimosas, Bloody Marys and rail drinks are $3, and buckets of beer are $12. Buckets are also offered during Monday Night Football.
Home Of: Florida.

Penn Quarter Sports Tavern
Watch On: 10 large high-definition TVs. The owners recently removed the first floor's huge projection TV and replaced it with four 60-inch flatscreens.
Snack On: Rotating food specials, like half-price appetizers.
Drink: Rotating drink specials, which change often, might include $10 pitchers of imported beer, $13 margarita pitchers or a bartender's-choice cocktail.
Home Of: The Sports Tavern boasts that it has hosted more than 142 alumni groups, from Harvard hockey fans to the Air Force alumni's bowl-watching party. Among the groups you might find: Purdue, Wake Forest, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana State and Virginia Tech.

The Pour House
Watch On:25 TVs over three levels, including a "wall of TVs" near the main bar, and one large projection screen.
Drink: $10 pitchers of Bud Light and Miller Lite. During Michigan and Florida games, there are $5 Jack Daniels and Jim Beam drinks. Pittsburgh Steeler fans get $3 Rolling Rocks and $2.50 drafts.
Home Of: Florida, Michigan and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rhino Bar
Watch On: Three 110-inch projection screens, 10 42-inch LCD flatscreens and 15 37-inch flatscreens, 10 42-inch LCD flatscreens.
Snack On: 25-cent wings during all games.
Drink: $8 pitchers of Miller Lite during all games, and a $15 make-your-own Bloody Mary bar on Sundays.
Home Of: The official Penn State, Ohio State and Syracuse alumni groups, Notre Dame, Florida and Kentucky fans, and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Stick Around For: DJs on Saturday nights.

The Sideline
Watch On: Three dozen flatscreen TVs behind the bar and on the walls, plus a huge 84-square-foot scoreboard-style plasma screen that's showing the biggest game of the day. (Hint: It's usually the Redskins, since the owner is former Pro Bowl lineback Lavar Arrington.)
Snack On: A special "Game Day Menu" of mini-burgers, wings, cheese fries and hot dogs for $10 each. (Note that there's a $10 minimum per person, per hour, after you've been at your table for 90 minutes. Folks at the bar don't have to worry.)
Drink: $3 domestic drafts, $4 import drafts and $2 "Game Day Shots," plus $2 off all rail drinks.
Home Of: Redskins and Giants fans.
Stick Around For: Madden at private Xbox tables, which cost $30 per hour.

Velocity Five
Watch On: 50 flatscreen TVs. If you can, try to grab one of the eight couches in the main room. They face their own TVs, and come with their own remote control, so if you don't like the game you're watching, just change the channel without having to ask an employee to do it for you.
Snack On: Half-price burgers on Monday nights and a good selection of hot wings all weekend long.
Drink: Happy hour during games includes $3.75 drafts, $3.95 fuzzy navels, screwdrivers and margaritas, $15 Miller Lite buckets and $18 Peroni and Miller chill buckets.
Home Of: groups of Ohio State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Virginia and N.C. State alumni on Saturdays, and Steelers, Colts, Panthers, Cowboys, Patriots, Ravens and (of course) Skins fans for NFL games.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | September 18, 2008; 2:41 AM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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Comments

This is a terrible list! What about places like Rumors, Madhatter, Porters, Old Dominion, Sign of the Whale, Bar Louie....C'mon guys you could have done better!

Posted by: skinsfan | September 18, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

You should also include Kilroy's in the Port Royal Shopping Center, Springfield, Va. Not only do the have in excess of 20 screens to watch almost every College/NFL game. They have a very large deck with a giant screen as well. Food good, beer cold and hot wait staff.

Posted by: jeff duffy | September 18, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

And don't forget Summers out in Courthouse, home to the University of Oregon every Saturday.

Posted by: Ducks Fan | September 18, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

And what about the Union Pub for Chicago Bears fans?!?!

Posted by: Leigh | September 18, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Ashburn's Original Steakhouse has 10-12 huge projector screens where almost every game is shown. We had 18 Seahawks fans there each week so far. Other popular teams are the usual, Steelers, Skins, Eagles, Giants / Jets, and Pats.

Posted by: Ashburn's Original Steakhouse | September 18, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

And what about the Union Pub for Chicago Bears fans?!?!

Posted by: Leigh | September 18, 2008 5:24 PM

This was more of a college list, but I think Nebraska alums go to Union Pub too.

Posted by: Kev | September 19, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

BlackFinn Bethesda is the newest official spot for Penn State games in Maryland. They've got great food and really good drink specials during game days:

$3 Miller Lite Drafts
$6 Miller Lite Pitchers
$18 Miller Lite Towers

Plus, the entire downstairs viewing area is reserved for Penn Staters and tastefully decorated in Blue and White!

Posted by: Heather | September 22, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Black Finn is also the official spot for the Miami Hurricanes! Great place to watch the games.

Posted by: The U | September 22, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Porter's should definitely be on this list! There is a huge contingent of KU (that's Kansas not Kentucky for the slow ones out there) fans! They have added a ton of TV's and extra seating upstairs since this time last year too.

Posted by: Rock Chalk | September 23, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know a good place to watch VT in Bethesda or DC?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

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