During the fall, Saturday mornings in our household mean dropping my husband off at the Attic in Madison Park at 8am, where he and a gaggle of rabid football fans from Northwestern drink beer with breakfast and watch that other team in purple do battle way off in the central time zone. Rooting for any college teams other than University of Washington and Washington State University can feel a little marginalizing this time of year. Here’s where alums of schools across the country gather on game day.


Arizona State University Olde 99

The sports bar that opened in the former Kangaroo and Kiwi space near Green Lake is in a committed relationship with Sun Devils fans, even augmenting its cable services so nobody will miss out on games shown only on the Pac-12 Network. Alums—a mix of twentysomethings and up—usually stick to microbrews, though sometimes a Corona or two can bring back fond memories of the desert climate. 7305 Aurora Ave N, Phinney Ridge, 206-687-7047; facebook.com/Olde99Pub


University of Arizona 95 Slide

Crowds can get insane at this sports bar on Capitol Hill, but several of its booths (each comes with its own TV) are set aside for Arizona fans on game days. A special Saturday game-day menu includes light, healthy fare like fried chicken and waffles and tater tots. Occasionally the bar ships up Eegees, a popular slushy fruit drink from Tucson that’s just begging for some vodka. PS: The bar takes reservations by email ([email protected]) for anyone seeking a table. 722 E Pike St, Capitol Hill, 206-328-7666; 95slide.com


University of Oregon (also University of California Berkeley) Spitfire

Ducks take over the entire back room, which features a giant projection screen and dedicated bar. By-the--pitcher beer specials fuel a rowdy crowd, as do eggs Benedict during morning games and plenty of burgers as the day wears on. Cal fans have their own section in the main area. 2219 Fourth Ave, Belltown, 206-441-7966; spitfireseattle.com



Oregon State University Jimmy’s on First

A lot of alums head back to Corvallis for games, but a small, dedicated, and growing game-watching population has taken root at the bar inside the Silver Cloud Hotel. Happy hour pricing is in effect when the Beavers play. It’s an Oregon school, after all, so most of the $5 draft beer orders are for Northwest microbrews. Touchdowns call for a round of touchdown shots—aka an ounce of Absolut Mandarin dropped into a glass of Red Bull. 1046 First Ave S, SoDo, 206-204-9700; jimmysonfirst.com


University of Southern California Paddy Coyne’s

A relatively mellow Trojan crowd can be found on game days (at least games that aren’t limited to the Pac-12 Network). While the Irish pub, a relative newcomer to Pier 70, doesn’t offer a football-specific menu, kickoff times occasionally coincide with the daily 3-to-6pm happy hour. And there is that great watery view. 2801 Alaskan Way, Belltown, 206-737-8891; paddycoynes.net


University of Texas Laredo’s

The Texas Exes have by far the best alumni group name, and a formidable presence at this Queen Anne Tex-Mex bar. It keeps Texas beer Shiner Bock on draft during Longhorn season, blasts the fight song (recorded by the Texas marching band) after every score, and puts on a barbecue for big games like the Red River Rivalry, against the University of Oklahoma. 555 Aloha St, Lower Queen Anne, 206-218-1040; laredosgrill.com



University of Iowa (also University of Notre Dame) Buckley’s Queen Anne

Several schools congregate here, but the banner-strewn sports bar is dominated by Hawkeyes (some alums have even been known to bring their own trombone and trumpet for impromptu fight song renditions). The bar pours $5 bloody Marys and mimosas and $3 drafts during games. A small but fervent group of Notre Dame alums also stakes its claim in the bar’s newer section, breaking out an Irish-painted cornhole set on the patio during halftime. 232 First Ave W, Lower Queen Anne, 206-691-0232; buckleysseattle.com 


The Ohio State University (also Michigan State University and Pennsylvania State University) Sport Restaurant and Bar

Fans from several Big 10 schools (plus Boise State) can be found downing flatbread and burgers and drinking their team colors. For Ohio fans, that might be red-and-white shots like the Buckeye Bomber (raspberry vodka, sour mix, and Cointreau with a float of grenadine) or red cocktails like a martini-style raspberry vodka drink with a Champagne float. 140 Fourth Ave N, Lower Queen Anne, 206-404-7767; -sportrestaurant.com


University of Michigan Buckley’s Belltown

Sorry, Huskies—every TV (and there are a lot of them) and virtually every seat is dedicated to a rowdy sea of maize and blue, scarfing breakfast burritos and partaking of $3 draft beer specials and $5 bloody Marys. Try the back room for an ever-so-slightly more chill atmosphere. 2331 Second Ave, Belltown, 206-588-8879; buckleysseattle.com


University of Florida St. Andrews

Rare is the Scottish pub that flies Florida banners alongside Guinness posters and will switch the TVs over from Premier League soccer for Saturday games. Parent-aged alums appreciate that the bar’s kid friendly…and just a few blocks from Green Lake for a postgame play session. The massive Scotch lineup can’t hurt either. 7406 Aurora Ave N, Greenlake, 206-523-1193; standrewsbarandgrill.com


University of Alabama (also University of Wisconsin, Purdue University) Belltown Pub

No surprise, this mega sports bar hosts several teams, including a large Crimson Tide contingent. Anywhere from 20 to 75 alums get their own section, fueling their game watching with breakfast, bloody Marys, mimosas, and—naturally—Alabama slammers. Kids are welcome, which can be handy for morning kickoffs. They coexist politely with red-clad Badger fans, even after a few rounds of Honey Badgers—a shot of honey-flavored German liqueur Barenjager. The Purdue fans order lots of boilermakers, obviously. 2322 First Ave, Belltown, 206-448-6210

Published: October 2013