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Border Showdown

Mercifully, this has been my quietest weekend on call, ever. Since taking the oncall phone on Thursday, I have received exactly two actionable pages. One at 3pm on Friday, and another(for the same issue) at 7am on Saturday. This happy fortune has allowed me to go out on both Friday and Saturday nights.

On Friday I met up with Geoff at 6pm to go to Paci's in North Kansas City, to watch the Kansas State vs Central Florida basketball game on TV. Despite earlier assurances to Geoff from the bar's staff, we rolled up and found the place closed and the lights out. So we headed back downtown, and Geoff made phone calls along the whole trip, trying to find bars that carry the ESPN U sports channel, which was carrying the game. He tried the Peanut Downtown first, and we told, "we only have satellite, bro."

Earlier in the day, I was given a call by Josh, in town for the holiday weekend with Callie. He told me that we should meet up at McCoy's in Westport, so I suggested this to Geoff. He called, and was told reassuringly that yes, they do have ESPN U in their channel lineup. We walked in and did a lap looking for Josh, and didn't find him. We bellied up, ordered a couple of beers, and started looking at the menus before Geoff asked the bartender to switch the TV over to the sought channel. Nothing doing. Geoff said that he was told on the phone that they had it, and the male bartender said, "who did you talk to? Was it a woman?" Geoff nodded. "Well there you go."

Impressed with the enlightened staff at McCoy's, we started seeking alternatives, now that the game was already fifteen minutes old. I suggested the Flea Market down the street. Geoff called, and got an affirmative from them. I asked Geoff if the person on the other end of the phone was a man, and he confidently nodded. With new resolve, we hurried over to the Flea Market, grabbed the only two available seats in the place: next to each other at the bar, right in front of the TV. We smiled, and did a mental high-five. We sat down, ordered some beers, and politely asked the bar steward to switch the television over to ESPN U. "We don't have it," she said.

Then it occurred to me that I had watched the Kansas State vs Missouri game a week earlier on ESPN U at the Peanut Downtown. We hastened back there, and grabbed two seats at the bar. We asked them to put the game on, and they said, predictably, that they didn't have the channel. I assured them that they did, and after they switched through hundreds of channels, probably about a hundred of which were ESPN-something, the flickering of channel-changing came to a halt with KSU trailing by ten points or so. Wide-eyed, the bartender informed me that my first beer was on the house.

Geoff and I watched the game and enjoyed the spectacular food the Peanut boasts, until the game was over and we were joined by Erp, Amber, and eventually Joel. All the while, I was getting texts from Chris and Nick about coming to join them at Fric and Frac in midtown. So I did, and said good-night to everyone at the Peanut. I arrived at Fric and Frac in time to hear last call, and to commission Anna to knit me a scarf in exchange for a six-pack of homebrew. From there we went to the Stables, back downtown, where Shelley(sp?) the bartender took good care of us. Colin and his friend Wyatt joined us there.

The bar closed at 1:30am, and the group was raring to head over to the Red Front for an until-3am drink, but I wasn't feeling it. I went home and slept in broken fragments between the screeching calls of the oncall phone. I stirred around noon and spent the day programming, playing video games, and eating the last of my refrigerated food. I picked up Nick at his place at 5:30pm, and we headed down, as planned, to El Patron on Southwest Blvd to watch 4th-ranked Missouri play(and defeat) 2nd-ranked Kansas. We ate, but unfortunately, the only TV set they had was tiny, and could only be seen from one small section of the bar, so as another two of our group arrived, we requested that they scout out Jesse's, two doors down.

The hotly-contested game was being played at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, and due to its nature had formed what was probably the biggest non-bowl media blitz for college football in the United States in probably ten or fifteen years, and we were in the middle of it. It was very agreeable, and it was very difficult not to get excited for one of the two sides. As I've been annoyed with the insufferable nature of Kansas fans for the almost-seven years that I've lived here, it seemed logical for me to support Missouri. I live in Missouri, my family originally comes from Missouri, and Missouri has a lot more to do within than Kansas.

For example, the Missouri pep rally was held on Friday at 7pm at the Kansas City Live! block in the middle of the brand new Power and Light District, in downtown Kansas City, against a backdrop of skyscrapers and starlight. Kansas held their pep rally at the same time, but because there really just aren't any interesting places on the Kansas side of the state line, it was held in a strip mall parking lot in Prairie Village. The contrast was surreal, and the contest could hardly have been set up with more electricity and anticipation.

So there we were at Jesse's on the Boulevard. It was perfect. The tables were arrayed stadium-style, with all the chairs facing the ten-foot projection screen at the east end of the room. We took the rear two sets of tables, and settled in for a great game. The patrons, with very few outspoken exceptions, were all bedecked in Missouri outerwear. We were quite noticeably the only gringos there, but we were welcomed as family. There was a free buffet in the back, and the beer was cheap. The game was brilliant. It came down to the last play, but Missouri dashed any hopes for Kansas with a last-second safety. The bar erupted into cheers and high-fives, and everyone's phones lit up with text messages of joy.

We settled our tabs and headed over to Grinders for a nightcap. It turned out that it wasn't enough of a nightcap, so we headed over to the Quaff for another one before calling it a night. I finished off my night with a Texano Burrito at Pancho's, and slept satisfied.

1:35 PM, Nov 25, 2007

10 comments

dick offered:

"there really just aren't any interesting places on the Kansas side of the state line"

hmm, village west, perhaps, moron? it will always destroy the power and light district in terms of visitors and revenue, snob.

9:00 AM, Nov 26, 2007

bahua took the time to say:

No, I was thinking of Village West too. There might be a lot of shopping, but that's really all. It's a parking lot that until five years ago was a cornfield. No, it's not interesting, except if you're doing a study on offensive suburban development.

9:13 AM, Nov 26, 2007

dick chimed in with:

offensive? you've been out a number of times. and primarily shopping? again, the times you went out there were for entertainment. you jackson county punks need to stop lieing to yourselves; missouri sucks!

9:49 AM, Nov 26, 2007

village west wants you to know:

i REALLY suck.

11:24 AM, Nov 26, 2007

chris was sure you'd want to know:

village west is a great place to go if you like driving 15 miles into the middle of nowhere to have a few beers with obese hoosiers after buying a sofa and a set of camo coveralls.

11:26 AM, Nov 26, 2007

bahua responded:

Just because I've been there doesn't make it exciting. I'm at work now, for example.

Just because I sometimes go there for drinks doesn't make it an exciting place. It just happens to be the location of the Yard House and Pin-Up Bowl. When I go, I'm not that amped for it.

But be that as it may, the KU pep rally wasn't held there.

12:12 PM, Nov 26, 2007

Macht und Licht thinks:

...and soon you can just walk down the street for your Flying Saucer (in lieu of Yard House) and Lucky Strike (in lieu of Pin-Up Bowl)

12:58 PM, Nov 26, 2007

Brad thinks:

Hey Dick, in case you haven't noticed, the Power and Light district doesn't have a Cabella's or a Nebraska Furniture Mart so of course Village West has more revenue. What a dumb argument.

11:18 AM, Nov 29, 2007

dick wants you to know:

wow, brad, you really put me in my place. nice come back, three days later.

11:39 AM, Nov 29, 2007

Brad said:

u r dumb.

12:12 AM, Nov 30, 2007

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