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Chicago Sports Bars To Root For The Other Team

February 23, 2012 6:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

By Dan Morgridge

Chicago is all but the perfect city for sports rivals. We’ve had teams in every sport for eons. We’re surrounded by Big Ten schools, as well as fellow sports-nut neighbors Milwaukee and Detroit. Even the city itself is split in civil war over baseball. So when the time comes when you need to root for out-of-towners, where exactly do you go to wave your terrible towel or don a cheesehead? We’ve picked out some choice spots for those who want to root for the wrong team, whether they’re out-of-towners (or just fans who make terrible choices).

sports bars 3 thinkstock Chicago Sports Bars To Root For The Other Team

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Tin Lizzie

2483 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 549-1132
Hours: Mon to Fri 5pm-2am; Sat 11am-3am; Sun 11am-2am
Website & Reviews

Detroit might have fallen on hard times in the last decade, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to talk as much trash as ever about their sports teams. Showing Pistons, Lions, and Red Wings games, Tin Lizzie also moonlights with Michigan State sports. Their 14 flat-screens make catching any of the games a breeze, and the bar-tastic bar food (Grinders, pizza, and wings only) makes it a great place to catch a game. Just watch out when the “Who’s tougher: Stafford vs. Cutler” fight breaks out.

Casey Moran’s

3660 N Clark St
Chicago IL 60613
(773) 755-4444
Hours: Thurs to Fri 5pm-2am; Sat 5pm-3am; Sundays for Cubs games
Website & Reviews

The Buckeyes. If you were a Fightin’ Illini fan (or any other Big Ten school), the name probably makes you clinch your fists in anger. Then again, there are plenty of people in Chicago who will raise their fists triumphantly at the mention of Ohio State. Their de facto home in Chicago is Casey Moran’s, just up the street from Wrigley. Their rooftop beer garden is nothing to sneeze at, and Thursdays will get you domestic bottles for a dollar. And if that drink tastes better when surrounded by fans in scarlet and grey, then belt out a Buckeye Battle Cry – Moran’s is for you.

Gaslight Bar and Grille

2426 N. Racine
Chicago IL, 60614
(773) 929-7759
Hours: Mon to Fri 5pm-2am; Sat 11am-3am; Sun 11am-2am
Website & Reviews

If there’s one city that Chicagoans aren’t going to extend their Midwestern hospitality to, it’s likely New York City. We can get sensitive to that whole “Second City” title, and the fact that they keep stealing our best comedians/rappers. But worst of all, their sports teams tend to one-up us too. The Giants are only likeable when they’re ruining perfect Patriots seasons, and the Yankees bloated payroll speaks for itself. If you’re a native New Yorker and wonder why you aren’t seeing a lot of Jeter jerseys around, find some support at Gaslight. East Coasters in general can also take solace in the menu, which includes both P.E.I. Mussels and lobster corndogs.

mad river bar and grille Chicago Sports Bars To Root For The Other Team

Photo Credit: Mad River Bar and Grille

Mad River Bar and Grille

2909 N. Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 935-7500
Hours: Mon 4pm-2am; Tues to Fri 11am-2am; Sat 11am-3am; Sun 11am-2am
Website & Reviews

Mad River is basically a hotbed of treachery. Anyone expecting the orange and blue for Bears/Ilinni games might be shocked to find the long, roomy bar (and two side rooms) are likely stocked with fans of the away team. Supporting the Philadelphia Eagles and Flyers, the crowds went wild for last year’s Stanley Cup run. And when they’re not dressed in green for the Eagles this winter, they’ll be dressed in green for Michigan State instead (even their twitter logo is a Spartans helmet). They could easily win the title for the most concentrated home of out-of-state rivals, but there’s definitely one team that trumps anything Philly or Michigan can come up with…

Will’s Northwood Inn

3030 N. Racine Ave.
Chicago IL, 60657
(773) 528-4400
Hours: Sun to Fri 11am-2am; Sat 11am-3am
Website & Reviews

You’re hard-pressed to find a sports rivalry with more history than the Bears vs. Packers. Having been playing each other since 1921 (and players from each team being the first even ejections in the NFL), it’s safe to say there aren’t many Green Bay bars in Chicago for good reason. That doesn’t stop the Wisconsonites who own Will’s from making it a haven for both Packers fans as well as Wisconsin Badgers. Cheese curds, sausages, a huge beer garden and more make the place an attractive destination – just keep that goofy cheesehead tucked into your coat until you get inside.

Dan Morgridge is a writer from Chicago’s Ukranian Village. He only patronizes bars that know all the lyrics to “Bear Down, Chicago Bears.”
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