Adventures Of A Premier League Fan Near Harvard University

Phoenix Landing LFC Boston Banner

The missus and I were in Boston this past Saturday afternoon with some time to kill, so I thought we’d try and find a place to catch the West Ham v Liverpool match. Our journey began in Cambridge, around Harvard Square. Perhaps it’s because the kids at that  institution are too busy planning winter break ski vacations in Austria or copying MySpace to make millions or splitting the atom or whatnot, but there aren’t too many bars in the yard.

We passed by one spot showing the game on mute on a tiny TV in the corner. Not good enough in this day and age. Perhaps foolishly optimistic, we carried on. And on. At one point we came across what was ultimately a mirage, a stretch of sparsely-filled bars, all showing college football.

Marching down Mass. Ave. we began to lose hope as the golden dome of MIT loomed ever closer until we came across what appeared to be a shuttered pub in Central Square. My spider-senses told me that the spot was footie-friendly. But my better half, Coachette, was unconvinced, what with the shades drawn on a sunny day and the lack of the requisite surly bouncer outside asking for five forms of ID and birth certificate for out-of-staters. I tentatively tried the door, revealing a pub packed tighter than a hipster’s jeans. Turns out we were in the Phoenix Landing, home of the Liverpool Supporters Club of Boston. Worming our way through the madding crowds with finesse like a vintage Robbie Fowler tearing through the box, we arrived at the bar. The smell of sizzling bacon teased like the unfulfilled promise of a Dean Ashton. Soon we were guzzling warm pints with our elbows tucked into our chests and our eyes glued to the riveting action.

Phoenix Landing Crowd Scene LPool v WHam

As the match drew near conclusion a tense silence hung over the crowd for West Ham looked resolute enough to earn the home draw. Then, pandemonium; pot-bellies bursting from too-tight replicas, sweaty awkward high-five-into-fist-bump exchanges, a few resigned groans, and the epic struggle to hold onto a pint as El Nino headed home Ryan Babel’s celestial cross.

The final whistle brought that familiar stumble into blinding daylight and there we were, three-thousand miles from home but home all the same. For as amazing as it is that us footie-fanatics can curl up on our couches and peep the games on our flat-screens via Espn2 and Fox Soccer Channel, it just doesn’t compare to the pub matchday experience and the comfort of strangers in a strange town. So full props and pounds to the Phoenix Landing and every other bar across this increasingly soccer-mad land doing its part to support us supporters.

17 thoughts on “Adventures Of A Premier League Fan Near Harvard University”

  1. Hmm seems like there are quite a few Liverpool fans in there.

    Football can’t be doing that bad in the States or at least in University campuses.

    1. That is one bar in a town with 20.000-30,000 students and countless professors/janitors/groundskeepers/etc, and there is ONE bar showing football….

  2. You seem to have been lucky. I was in Sunday to try and watch the Manchester derby…failed badly. I mean I found a bar, full of Man U fans, and since I was wearing a blue shirt I said better stay away.

  3. Yeah…. uh… this is an anomaly. In the Midwest, I’d have to drive 3 or 4 hours to find a bar that will even show Premier League footie, let alone a “soccer” bar. I have lived in the US and been madly in love with football for years, yet I’ve never been to a single “soccer” bar, though I have talked my local bar owner into showing WPS/MLS games when they are on (as long as there aren’t any “real” sports on, according to him).

    1. I live near Chicago, so it would only take me about two hours to get to a “footie” bar. How ridiculous is that? You’d think in an area this densely populated, an EPL fan could do a little better than that!

  4. Man I miss going to the Phoenix for matches. The supporters club started a few years ago, with two guys and this is what happened. There are at least two other bars in the Boston area that show Premier League football, the Banshee and the Lir.

    Here in Seattle, the George & Dragon is the place to be, but Fado is a nice backup.

    The only places you’re going to have football pubs in the US is usually liberal cities in liberal states with lots of expats. IN my experience, at least.

  5. don’t forget the green briar,irish village and porterbelly’s all show soccer.and there are as many arsenal fans at the phoenix as liverpool,sometimes more.

  6. are there any Liverpool bars in the DFW area??? Watching it in my dorm room, alone, just doesn’t cut it!! I do get the chance to high five the 3 or 4 other supporters I see around campus, but thats about it.

  7. If you’re ever in Charleston SC check out the Madra Rua in North Charleston. Great little Irish pub shows the matches and has decent crowds for the Liverpool, Man U matches. Shows footie all the time and will show the American sports only if footie is not on. But you have to ask.

  8. Denver has 3 that I know of — The British Bulldog and Fado downtown, and a fish-and-chips shop on South Broadway. Not sure if the last is open early for games on weekends, but the BB and Fado most definitely are open and pulling pints by 7 am.

  9. “The smell of sizzling bacon teased like the unfulfilled promise of a Dean Ashton.”

    Stoke were offering £4m for him this summer, £2m up front + extras based on appearances etc, with the caveat that if he broke down West Ham paid them back what they’d paid for him because they couldn’t get insurance for him. West Ham said no, and are still paying Him circa £50,000 per week.

  10. Great article. Glad you had a good time at our bar. The Phoenix Landing is the official meeting place and sponsor of LFC Boston, the official LFC supporters club here in the Boston area.
    PS, Nice pic of our banner and logo too!!

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