Kissing the Frog
Maybe it’s because the current class of 21-and-ups are nice. Maybe it’s because I’m older and wiser. Maybe it’s because you catch more flies with beer than you do with vinegar. Whatever the reason, I don’t despise TCU kids anymore.
It’s true. So true, in fact, that I’ve begun paying attention to the football team (No. 8 in the country in the latest AP Top 25). A cynic will call this bandwagon jumping, but I’m an alumnus, so I suppose it’s my right. Anyway, nobody wants to be left out of a victory party, which is why I went to Fox & Hound Pub & Grille in Cityview on Saturday.
If this surprises you, I would like to thank you for being a faithful reader – I’ve made it clear in this column and in person that I don’t like sports bars. I also hate driving to Cityview. But I figured that the Fox & Hound out there (there’s also one downtown) was probably the best place to catch the Horned Frogs-BYU game and have a few beers before work, so I resolved to brave the endless traffic on Bryant Irvin by 820 and head to the noisy environs of your youngest friends’ favorite fake-English pub.
Of course, this being a Saturday evening and all, I had earlier been a little couch-locked, eating chips and listening to “Achilles Last Stand.” If you’re unfamiliar, that’s 10 minutes and 25 seconds of totally epic Zeppelin, which is why I listened to it twice. And since I was already on the couch, I gave the tune a third spin. If not for a sudden sandwich craving, I might have stayed there all night long. But I did need dinner, and that reminded me of my original intentions.
After a frustrating slog up Bryant Irvin — is there any other way to traverse that road? — I finally made it. The hostess informed me that the sound was on in the main room and turned off in the green room. As if on cue, the main room roared with a thundering cheer. I went to the green room, only to find that the sound was on and every seat occupied. Leaning against a Golden Tee, I felt like one of the people on the Titanic who had paid for Engine Class and sneaked up to the ballroom; or maybe like Indiana Jones when has to go back to Berlin to get the Grail diary in The Last Crusade. In any case, I learned that you apparently have to have a seat in order to get a beer at the Cityview Fox & Hound, because I was all but totally invisible to the cocktail waitresses.
I left before halftime.
Still wanting to watch the game, I headed to West Berry Street, figuring that the game would be on at The Aardvark, but then I remembered my days a decade ago as an unabashed hell-raiser (call them Steve Steward: The Lost Years) and ambled over to the University Pub. I don’t check in there often, but as I looked around, I noticed that apart from the purple bric-a-brac, the pub is a close cousin of lovable dives like the Oui Lounge, A Great Notion, and the Final Approach. And as at those places, I was able to grab a beer or five and watch the TV in peace. It was also nice to see bartender/owner — and former Best Of winner for best bartender — Dave Mitchell (yes, he does have a last name), who remembers the names and drinks of just about every TCU doofus who comes through his doors, which, lo, these many moons ago, included me. Hail, all hail, indeed. — Steve Steward
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