It seems obscene to spend a Sunday afternoon in paradise at, of all things, a sports bar. But that’s what we did. To hell with the beach and the roar of the surf and the perfect weather. Some things, like football, you can’t leave behind in the arid lands of Arizona.
So, after a little recon, we discovered the 83 Degrees, a bar and grill in Carlsbad, California, where we are staying for a short time.
The 83, we were told by our very young waitress, actually received its name from 38 degrees, that being the optimal temperature for dispensing draft beer. So I read. Anyway, the owner wanted to name his bar “38” but discovered it was already taken by a bar in Los Angeles. His solution? Transpose the numbers. Voila, “83.”
The 83 is not a special place, I suppose. I’m no expert on sports bars. A Yelp reviewer called it “a very simple gastropub/sportsbar with a phenomenal beer selection.”
All I knew was the bar carried NFL games on a dozen or so TV sets scattered around the place, high and low, even a large one outside on the patio. Each set with an attached piece of paper identifying which game it would display. Near the back, we found our set, “Seahawks v. Cardinals.” The Cardinals being the NFL team in Phoenix.
Most of the tables were filled by 1 o’clock. We sat at a stool with high chairs and ordered. MJ, a ”roast-beet salad,” which was a lot better than it may sound, and I, a s”Pittsburgher” (a burger with cole slaw ala a New Yorker) served with what seemed an endless pile of fries. Neither of us ordered beer, but I did not see anyone eyeing us suspiciously.
There were only a few Cardinals fans and, to think of it, there weren’t that many rooting for the Seahawks either. The game of the day, it appeared, was the “local” team, the San Diego Chargers, taking on the St. Louis Rams. Most of the shouting came from that section.
The Cardinals lost, 19-3, but only Nebra felt the pain and she, not much. I rooted against the Cardinals as usual.
That said, I do feel guilty about this small diversion. Three hours in a crowded bar in such a beautiful area! But I rationalize the sports-bar scene as an interesting excursion into the para-normal world of the American sports fan.