The Game Day Bar Guide: 5 Simple Rules


If you have ever needed some rules to guide you through game day, Bama Hammer has you covered with The Game Day Bar Guide.

Students and people who don’t oversleep the morning of ticket confirmation (okay it happened like one time) have it pretty easy. When there is a home game, they will be there. For others, it’s a bit more difficult. You can watch the game alone at home. You’re able to shout anything at the TV screen without judgement and actually believe that the coaching staff can hear you. The second option is hosting or attending a house party. These are pretty fun, but there are always two guarantees.

There will always be the one angry fan who may actually pop a blood vessel because Alabama ran “Spider 2 Y Banana” instead of “Unicorn 2 Xbox Count Chocula”. The other guarantee is you always run out of salsa before finishing the bag of chips. This actually infuriates me so the last option is going to the bar. If you’re winging it alone or you have a group of friends, I’m going to give you a few simple rules to make your experience better. For help, I sat down with Brad Roberson, the manager of that small little bar in Tuscaloosa called The Houndstooth. You may have heard of it. Houndstooth has a capacity of 800 people and 31 TVs (not including the bathrooms), the ideal game bar, and the best guy to talk to.

1. An Alabama game is a marathon, not a sprint.

I know I know I know, you have the alarm set to C-Murder so you can wake up in time to complain about Joey Galloway and Danny Kanell on ESPN. You roll with Natural Light as your shower beer because it’s basically water as well. You buy a couple half gallon Yellowhammers. This is all before noon. Yet that night, you’ll probably be too dead to actually celebrate the victory. I actually fell victim to this during the Wisconsin game, yes I know it was in Dallas, but I was still parading around campus acting like it was a home game. There’s no shame in actually pacing yourself so you can remember the game, take it from me, I had to rewatch Alabama-Wisconsin twice.

2. Gameplan wisely

Okay now to the good stuff. So a lot of people actually go out to watch football and this is shocking I know but if you have a large group and the game comes on in 15 minutes, then it’s probably preferable to not walk into the smallest bar or a bar with a limited amount of TVs right before kick off. Don’t hassle trying to find the bar with the best drink specials either but just find a place with a good view of a TV and order efficiently. If you’re ordering mixed drinks or really anything that may take a while to make, prepare to wait a bit if (when) the bar is crowded. Bottled beer is the easiest way to go for both you and the bartender. Get in line, get out and you’re back to enjoying the game.

Dec 6, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide fans celebrate a touchdown against Missouri in the second quarter of the 2014 SEC Championship at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

“The earlier you get here the better. The crowd grows and there is always a slight decrease an hour before kick off because people are heading to the game. If you’re going to be here for a long time and want quicker service then I would recommend bottled beer. You can start a tab and after a while it’s easier for the bartenders to remember what you’re drinking. Asking what’s good is pretty vague, at least have an idea of what you want before you come in. At least have it narrowed down to help both you and me.” -Brad Roberson

3. Don’t be an idiot

Everyone is at the bar for a fun time. Don’t come up to me bragging about how much you’ve had to drink and acting like I should be impressed. You’ve had fireball shots? Awesome, so has everyone else, listen to more Florida-Georgia Line at halftime. Be nice to the opposing fans. If I can deal with FSU fans screaming at me during the Ole Miss game last year, then you can deal with someone wearing a shirt that’s not crimson. If you start heckling, you’re going to get the wrong kind of attention from the staff. If you’re becoming more noticeable after a few more drinks, prepare to be cut off. Don’t get angry, drink your water and get some food. If you’re still cut off then cry in the bathroom for a while like a normal person.

“A lot of people get angry when they’re cut off but if you just sit down for a while and have a water then we’ll continue to serve you later on. If you get too angry or upset then we’ll ask you to leave. If we see your friend buy you a drink after being cut off, you’ll be kicked out.” -Brad

4. Payment style

I always prefer cash because it helps me keep up with how much I’m spending and drinking but on game days it’s much easier to open up a tab. Even if you want to pay cash you still can, just inform the bartender to not run the card and say you’re paying cash instead at the end of the night. If I have to wait a while for a drink, the last thing I want to do is go diving into my pockets or my wallet to dig out the right total. It’s a bit more time consuming and it’s just more of the game you could potentially miss. Also, waving your hand or your cash in front of a bartender’s face is generally not a great strategy. Most places have a system in place and it’s also annoying. Wave all you want but you’re going to be waiting the same amount of time. Maybe pretend that you’re choking?

5. Game days are like bingo nights

You never know what to expect. Excitement, sadness, jumping and shouting, and irrational hate towards someone is always a given every Saturday and during bingo nights. No one smashes bottles or flips tables over bingo (I think) so don’t do it over a football game. Yes, I like to gump pretty hard too but if you don’t gump responsibly then you could end up poisoning a tree, or worse, getting kicked out of the bar. Send all your drunk complaints to social media like a reasonable adult and don’t become “that guy”. The only thing worse than “that guy” is if a bar didn’t have Yuengling.

Hope this helps anyone who can’t be in Bryant-Denny Stadium this season. These are simple rules but effective. If you see me out and I’m breaking a rule then I will pretend not to know you and continue complaining about the Road House remake.