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The Great American Sports Bar: Tactics and Tips

Lore has it that the first modern American sports bar was called Legends, in Long Beach, California. While there had always been pubs in England frequented by soccer fans looking for a pint during the match, and cafes throughout Europe showing the local game, the U.S. began tapping into that in the late-’70s. In 1979 Legends opened, and four years later the first Hooters launched in Florida. The ’80s saw the boom of the American sports bar, a place where fans could watch any game they wanted with some beer and wings as cable TV exploded giving unlimited viewing options.

Before pandemic struck, the sports bar was a place for friends to meet, business meetings to take place, and relationships begin. The current climate is a strange and difficult one, where masks and concerns over the virus have rendered many sports bars ghost towns.

In a simpler time, the bar was where matchmaking hit its peak. Around the jukebox, the dance floor, or at the stools. Let’s spin back to that time. We’ll introduce you to Mr. P, aka Joshua Pellicer. As a relationship coach he had many methods to help people attract one another. Pour yourself a whiskey on the rocks, throw on a fedora, and think of yourself in Mad Men’s era. Here’s what Mr. P would tell you.

“Okay, friend. You’re looking for love in a sports bar huh? Well, have you ever heard of the Bar Walk? This is a little routine that, once integrated, will multiply your success while attending a bar. If you too spend a lot of your evenings staring at games on your phone, this is the technique that you should know.  

This tactic is popular for meetings in real life because it requires a certain amount of self-confidence. You listening, sport? You quickly become the center of attention. If you’re not so good just waltzing up to someone and chewing the fat, using any online girl dating platform is also a good idea. But my method described is the only way to become a dominant competitor in the game of dating. This technique is applied in the evening with friends, parties with colleagues, and especially in bars, on which we will focus.

It’s all mental, chief. You hear me? You have to put an idea in your head. Be bold. Singles who go to bars only to meet people, do not meet people. Think of it as an investment. People desperate for a return on that investment will become dependent on the result and will look needy. Pass me another bourbon.

Preparation for going out

Three rules that must be followed to prepare yourself properly:

Take a shower (don’t smell), listen to music (but don’t sing), call a friend to accompany you (don’t be creepy), be rested (don’t fall asleep). Laugh before going out and adopt the right “energy level” for the place you are going to, to warm up your “social muscle.”

Smell good (shower, light cologne)

Dress well. Personal style, and suitable for the place you are going to. No matter how much you love Barney Stinson, wearing a suit in a Guinness pub will make you stand out like a sore thumb. And stop wearing those “lucky boxers” you’ve had since college.

Entering the bar: boost your state of mind

Mr P. says before entering the bar it’s time to laugh. Not like Heath Ledger or Joaquin Phoenix “Joker” style. But stay outside for a moment, and imagine something that always makes you laugh. The reason behind this exercise is to give you a very positive body language. A fake smile is noticed right away. It’s like Kirk Cousins after a loss.

If you force your smile, you activate the only part of the micro-expressive muscles of your face. It’s easier to control what makes you happy than your face. Use this to your advantage. You’re a smiling cyborg, baby.

The Bar Walk

In the first twenty minutes of the Bar Walk, you have to maintain a dominant and decisive body language. Stand straight, be open, smile. Back and low shoulders, head pulled up to keep the spine straight, chin parallel to the ground, look up, and take long, confident steps. You don’t want to meander. Don’t slouch. You want to look like LeBron coming into the arena before the NBA Finals. It can be hard on the muscular capacity of some, but it is essential. If you can stay that way all evening, do it.

But what is the Bar Walk then?

Most guys walk into a sports bar without smiling. This is bad. Almost austere in their expression, they go to the counter, line up for a drink, scan the room. This is very bad. They drink until they have enough beer courage to approach, try their luck, and get rejected. Listen to Mr. P.

What else? Get the name of the bartender. Big ally.

Find where is the toilet to avoid awkward questions.

Find an exciting cocktail to order on the menu. Stammering through the order is uncool.

Get something to drink, even water. Empty Handed Guy looks lost.

Tipping the bartender is big. They are the person who has the most critical social power of all the bar, and it will make you appear more generous to your company.

Remember to be respectful. This is not about hunting prey, it’s about building a conversation and enjoying the company.

And remember, Mr. P. notes: If eye contact is maintained for three seconds, you MUST talk to the person. Otherwise, you look like a weird guy. And isn’t that what we’re all looking to avoid?

Sports bars are for games, but without sports, it’s for socializing especially. Listen to Mr. P. and you’ll thank us later!”

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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