Tracking Lionesses in Denver

Some of you already know what I mean. I never want to see an actual lioness in Denver or anywhere there’s not a fence or a vehicle between her and me. The lionesses I’m referring to are the women who represented England in the recently-ended FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Although this past weekend’s final two games were on Fox TV over the air, many of the early games were on Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2, neither of which were available at our Colorado lodgings. So we explored several options to watch the games. By the far the best places to watch were friends’ houses–so a big shout out to those who hosted and fed us!

We started with this blog from the Denver Post and our knowledge of soccer and sports pubs, and went from there. 
In generally chronological order of our visits, here are my impressions.

Old Chicago (Union location): Did not have Fox Sports 2! Did not have tables available in the dining room at 5 pm on a weeknight (apparently due to two large group reservations, but really?) Good happy hour specials on food. Great beer selection with decent happy hour prices. TVs were of good quality, but you can really only see the one nearest to you.

Buffalo Wild Wings (Belmar location): Lots of TVs! Many games to watch, simultaneously if you choose. Tasty wings! Big and not particularly cheap drinks and limited happy hour specials. Not open until 11 am, which is sometimes too late for early round games. 

British Bulldog: Awesome service. Delicious Strongbow (though potentially the sweet American version). Yummy Pakistani food. Could view a couple TVs and the tables in the main bar area are all high chair style. Parking can be an issue, but on weekends you can park a couple blocks away for $1-2 with no time limit (meters are 2 hours, so not really long enough for a game).

GB Fish and Chips (Edgewater location): Friendly service. Fish and chips–need I say more? Good happy hour drink specials. TVs above the bar (high seating, but with purse/coat hooks on bar). Only Magner’s cider 😢, since they have opted out of the American Strongbow formulation. Best feature: neighborhood pub camaraderie.

Three Lions: Good beer (and Strongbow) and friendly staff. Many large TVs and comfortable booths. Tasty curry. Note that big game days have an abbreviated menu. We were there for an England quarterfinal game and they first said they’d be showing it upstairs, as they hadn’t had much demand for non-U.S. women’s games. Fortunately, four or five tables were there for the England game and no one showed up to watch the Rapids, so we got to stay downstairs! Parking can be a hassle here too, be prepared to hunt and walk. This, like British Bulldog, is a football pub, so they open early on match days.

Highland Tap and Burger: A surprisingly pleasant viewing experience. They put the England semi-final match (we will speak no more of this) on a TV right by our table. Yummy burgers and good happy hour specials, especially the $5 variations on a Moscow mule. 

We watched the third place game at home during a break from packing for our next adventure, and got to share the celebration of the final with family and friends in Boulder. 

On the tournament as a whole: The U.S. Women peaked at the right time. Germany and France seemed like the strongest teams early on, but the U.S. turned a corner going into the quarterfinals that made all the difference. England were also fun to watch and improved as the tournament progressed. Too bad we didn’t get to see these two teams play one another! 

And finally, thank you to the visionaries who created Title IX and made U.S. Women’s soccer a leader for women in sport around the world.

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