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Passing the Torch

January 27, 2009

I loved going out to Claddagh last Saturday for the National Team game. I have been to just about every soccer viewing establishment in town and Claddagh is fast becoming my favorite. They have aggressively attracted soccer fans by becoming an official bar of U.S. Soccer (having Frankie there on Saturday was a crowning touch). I also understand they will be the official away game headquarters for the Columbus Crew. From early morning Saturday fixtures, to Friday afternoon Bundesliga games, and U.S. National Team events they have built an atmosphere that is centered around soccer.

I did not realize that Saturday would also mark the passing of the torch of Downtown soccer viewing from Tommy Keegan’s to Claddagh. I remember seeing Schelotto’s first game in a Crew uniform, A.C. Milan’s triumph over Liverpool in the Champions League Final, and Turkey giving Germany all it could handle in the Euro 2008 Semifinal at Tommy Keegan’s. Unfortunately, Keegan’s could not compete against the bigger restaurant/bars in Columbus. As the soccer viewing market in Columbus grew, Keegan’s got left out. I will miss it, but I still feel lucky that I have places like Ruby Tuesday’s, Fado, and Claddagh to catch a game with fans like me.

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