It’s tough being an Eagles fan this season, particularly deep in San Francisco 49ers territory. But at least one West Coast sports bar has provided refuge for displaced devotees.
It’s a welcoming place. You can talk to a stranger from Philadelphia or from Washington or wherever, and you are instant friends because you have that one East Coast connection. It’s great, » said loyal customer Kim Karabatsos, a Redskins fan from the Washington suburb of McLean, Va.
Jerseys serves not only South Jersey favorites such as South Philly meatball sandwiches and thin crust pizza. wholesale nfl jerseys It also offers spicy salsa laced California cheesesteak and barbecue drenched Texas hoagies menu items hardly found in the Philadelphia area.
Jerseys’ appeal is not only from the Rolling Rock draft beer and authentic $5 hoagies. In 1996, the Philadelphia Eagles named the tavern an honorary West Coast headquarters.
Restaurant owner Karl Miller, a Woodbury native hence the name Jerseys said a satellite link brings every Eagles game to his 42 inch TV screen and draws his customers. Even though they’re losing, we still get them in, » Miller said in an interview. The Eagles, who beat the Redskins last Sunday, have a 1 5 record. They will face the San Diego Chargers this afternoon.
We’re excited that there are so many Eagles fans outside of the area, » said Kim Babiak, the director of advertising promotions for the Eagles.
Many restaurants around the country are designated honorary headquarters because there are so many Philadelphia fans throughout the nation, Eagles officials said.
Miller decided to open the tavern when he relocated to San Jose for a job in 1978. He could no longer watch his beloved Eagles, or even listen to the games on the radio. So the next year, he opened a place of his own where he could show and watch every televised Eagles game, regardless of what the networks decided to broadcast.
Miller said he has customers who drive for more than an hour from places such as Monterey and Santa Cruz to get to Jerseys on game days.
Most other sports bars in the San Francisco Bay area feature 49ers and Oakland Raiders games. And unless the Eagles play a West Coast team or appear on Monday Night Football, local television stations won’t show the game.
Karabatsos, the Redskins fan, who has had a running bet with Miller every year since the tavern opened, said that Miller would let him watch a Skins game on one of the bar’s smaller television sets, but only if I’m nice to him. »
Last weekend, they watched the Eagles and the Redskins with about 50 other fans.
We are not casual football watchers, » Karabatsos said. We really get into it, just like the fans back East. » But he said he felt more comfortable being a Redskins fan at Jerseys than if he were in a sports bar in Philly.
I can walk around and sing Hail to the Redskins’ and not worry about getting beaten up, » he said. Forty niners fans are passive and docile. »
From an oversized green Eagles helmet on a banner hanging outside the tavern’s entrance, to the Eagles memorabilia adorning the inside walls, Miller wears his enthusiasm openly.