Saturday, September 19, 2009

Watching Football (American) in Paris

Trying to follow American sports in general, and American football - both college and pro - is a bit tricky in Paris both because of the time difference and the fact that American football is just not that big in France (with interest in college football being understandably almost non-existent).

For the NFL, games start at 1p and 4ish EST and then you have the Sunday and Monday night games.

College games are all over the place time-wise but typically the major games at noon, 3:30p, 7:30p and then a really late west coast game.

With the 6 hour time difference, you can do the math. Day games become night games and night games become early morning games.

Florida State (my alma mater) played Miami on Labor Day at 8p EST, which meant I had to catch it at 2a. It was not on TV here so I discovered ESPN360 which broadcasts selected games on the internet for a fee (about $15 for a game, although they also have month and season passes).

Last weekend I caught the 4p Giants/Redskins game at a local bar which kept me up till almost 2a.

Here's the deal on American football in Paris bars as best as I can tell.

There are two NFL games broadcast on Sunday, a 1p (i.e., 7p) and 4p (i.e. 10p) game. They are pre-selected by the satellite company (Skysports?) it appears and you can pretty much count on one of them being the NY Giants against someone.

Last week the early game was Minnesota/Cleveland and the late game NYG/Washington.

College football is also shown but as you can imagine the pickings are slim. Sometimes the matchups on the schedule are comical in the mixup between college and pro teams.

The first week had the Cincinnati Bengals vs Rutgers. Now there's a game that Cincinnati might win! Of course, they meant to say the University of Cincinnati Bearcats.

This week they are showing the TennesseeTitans playing Florida State, when they mean the University of Tennessee vs Florida Gators. The confused the college and pro team in the first case and got the wrong college altogether in the second case.

There are two bars nearby for sports that I have been to: WOS Bar (International and all employees must speak English) and Highlander (Scottish Bar). I am going to check out The Moose, a Canadian bar near the Odeon today I think. I'll let you know.

WOS Bar's sports TV schedule can be found at Allomatch (although they are the ones that confuse the teams and get the times wrong) whereas Highlander has it posted on their site here.

WOS Bar is on Rue St Jacques one block south of the Pantheon in the Latin Quarter. Highlander is one block from the river south of Pont Neuf (which means New Bridge even though it is the oldest bridge -- go figure -- and connects Ile de la Cite to both banks).

This is a list of all the bars in Paris that use Allomatch to broadcast sporting events. (Tip: The last two digits of the Paris postal code refers to the arrondissement so 75005 means it is in the 5th, which is the Latin Quarter.) It claims there are 120 sports bars in just the 5th and 6th, which I have a hard time believing. Where are they?

Both bars are open till 5a on the weekend and I believe Highlander is open till 5a all nights which allows them to show both the Sunday and Monday night NFL games. I believe WOS Bar is working on getting a permit to do likewise.

45 comments:

  1. We do hope you enjoyed watching the games at W.O.S. Just finding your blog today, I wanted to let you know that the mixed up that happened with some college teams on allomatch was a mistake from their part that we tried to correct. We are now making sure that the site doesn't make any mistakes anymore. We are also now showing more NFL and College Games from the internet with the NFL game pass and if we still don't have the late night licence for sundays and mondays, we are the only bar in Paris that stays open till the end of the very last college game we show on Saturday night! Truth is, we are real Football fans! See you next time in Paris! Wos bar team

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  2. Belushis Gare du Nord has just launched NFL Sundays and would like to invite any NFL fans to join us. We have a brand new sports lounge, only a 1 minute walk away from the Gare du Nord station.

    Sunday the 8th of September marks the launch of our brand new sports lounge. We will be showing the games of the week live as selected by the telecast providers with the first match starting at 7pm. Matches will be shown with English commentary on our HD projector and other big screens. With our armchairs and sofas you’ll feel right at home and don’t forget our two brand new pool tables.

    Every Sunday we’ve got €10 pitchers, 2 for 1 on selected beers and €4 spirits. We’ve also got a great menu with a wide range of burgers, wings, bar snacks and our NFL specials.

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