November 15, 2013 |

Get in the Game

By Jeremy White

hot chicken wings

Wing houses attract the sports fans. Do you?

I’ve been a sports buff since I was old enough to walk. When my beloved Kentucky Wildcats basketball team had a huge game against Michigan State earlier this week, I headed to Buffalo Wild Wings to catch the action with a few hundred other UK supporters. We were clad in blue, drenched in buffalo sauce and had a merry old time whooping and hollering for our Cats.

There were a total of six at my table. We ordered three appetizers, six orders of chicken wings and enough beer to wash it all down. Total tab was $126.79.

We would have been more than ecstatic to go for pizza instead of wings (buffalo chicken pizza, anyone?), but none of the independent pizzerias within 5 miles of my house provide the type of game-time atmosphere that can be found at BWW. The local indies near me are far too quiet to entertain a bunch of maniacal fanatics.

But here’s the thing: there were plenty of families with young children in BWW that night as well. In fact, my wife and I take our two boys there frequently. We never feel like we’re in a bar or that the noise level is too much or the frenzied football fans on Sunday, for instance, are too crazy.

It’s about striking a balance. Is it worth it to add several big-screen televisions and market your pizza parlor as a great destination to see the big game? Or would you rather sports freaks like me and my friends take a $120 check elsewhere? (We did tie up the table for three hours, after all.)