With this being Super Bowl Sunday, I know a lot of you sports fans will be looking for somewhere to watch the game today.
That's if you're not having a Super Bowl gala of your own or going to a friend's house.
Super Sunday is a chance to renew old acquaintances. And let's face it, real sports fans, the hard-core football fans, want to be around other fans when Lawrence Taylor looks across the line at Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and gives him that blood-thirsty glare.
So, let me give you a few places you might want to consider for enjoying the game. Now mind you, these are local bars where you can watch the game with mostly knowledgeable fans.
That's important because hard-core fans don't like sitting around with guys and gals who would rather talk about the steamed shrimp than a steamed Bruce Smith.
A few places to consider where you can get good sports talk with your feast are Dinkum's in Brooklyn Park (mixed crowd, young and old); Manny's Club 4100 in Brooklyn (more mature crowd); Henny Mack's in Glen Burnie (mostly younger crowd with a sampling of old guys who don't want to grow old); or the Wooden Nickel in Pasadena (older crowd, like 4100 Club).
By the way if you run into Brooklyn Park High grad Al Antonelli today at Dinkum's and he tells you "it's going to be the Bills by 42-17 over the Giants" just as he told me, remember that he had the Raiders last week.
This week everybody's been asking Antonelli where his black Raiders jacket is.
In support of Antonelli, Barb, the manager at Dinkum's, is going with the Bills, too. Barbara also liked the Raiders, and her boss, Charlie, the owner, likes the Bills, too. But Charlie can't do anything without asking his boss (wife) Bonnie.
Holly and Suzy, two other popular women who work at Dinkum's, didn't know the game was being played, but should by today.
The guy you might want to talk to is the Farmer, who always wears a cap and stands in the far corner at Dinkum's near Ritchie Highway. Everybody knows Farmer, but he doesn't say much, sort of keeps to himself, and I have a feeling that he knows somethingabout this game.
You may see any number of guys and girls from the old Cedar Room crowd. Dinkum's, of course, is the new name of the place, and many of theguys who belonged to the old Associates Club at the Cedar Room show up from time to time at their old stomping grounds.
At the 4100 Club in Brooklyn, Manny the Greek is a guy with an opinion, too. Mannyknows Johnny Unitas and Ordell Braase personally, and they still stop in his place frequently for lunch, so he might have an inside tip.
Manny always has a great Super Bowl party, there's a chance some famous celebrity might drop in, and how can you go wrong with Shelly,Judy, Patty and Dolores waiting on you?
However, beware of former WJZ-TV cameraman George Mills. You will know Mills by his big smelly cigar, and if he's puffing hard on it, get away because he's setting you up.
You will know it's ole George when he starts talking about how good that weekend sportscaster on WMAR-TV, Channel 2 is. That sportscaster is his son, Keith Mills.
The one thing to keep inmind if you decide to hit the 4100 Club is that you can expect to run into at least a few old Baltimore Colts fans who never have gotten over Tiger Bob Irsay and his team's exodus to Indianapolis.
Theseare Colts' loyalists, guys who still have their season-ticket stubs and Colts Corral membership cards. If you happen to sit near any of them, whatever you do, don't bring up Joe Willie Namath and that 1969 Super Bowl.
That, of course, was the one in which the beloved Baltimore Colts were 16 -point favorites, only to have Namath guarantee a Jets'victory. The Jets prevailed, 16-7, and that still hurts some of those guys who hang around in the 4100 Club.
And remember too, that Unitas was the greatest quarterback of all time and not Joe Montana, and don't even mention the Washington Redskins. These things areimportant so as not to rile the natives and start a barroom brawl.
You can mention the Redskins in Henny Mack's because that's where Ray Young often holds court. Young might even be wearing his Redskinsjacket today.
Now there's a guy in the know when it comes to who's going to win this game. Young will have a lot of inside information and a strong opinion.
In contrast, watch out for Greg Arnold, alias Nuke Laloosh of "Bull Durham" fame. Arnold is a professional double-talker who played a little football at Southern High in Baltimoreand pitched there and in the Baltimore Orioles' system.
You willnotice Arnold almost immediately because he will be the loudest person there, the guy going up to the women and saying, "I'm Bond, James Bond!" He also does a Clark Gable "Gone With the Wind" bit in which he addresses women as Scarlett.
With Tomi-Lynn as your mixologist at Henny's, the service will be superb.
You may see some of these same characters floating back and forth from the establishments I've mentioned to John Boring's Nickel on Route 648 in Pasadena.
Boring, who recently was named to the county zoning appeals board, always has great food and is a great host. You might even see such localstars as ex-Oriole Barry Shetrone, Johnny and Wilbur "V," Roy Owens,Ted Hastings, Johnny Canceran and Daryl Wagner.
Service will be provided by head chef Rose Boring (John's mom) and bartenders Tony, Rhonda and Donna. Tony, who is one of those body-builder types, is a former Chesapeake High football player and might even know a little about the game today.
If you're looking for a Super Bowl party for real football fans, try one of these four places, and you won't go wrong. Meanwhile, I'll just sit here by myself waiting for you to call me on the 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499.