Hour 44: 12:20 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23
The few families with small children, who braved NFL fans at Buffalo Wild Wings on a Sunday, line the wall to the left. Center stage has been commandeered by grown men who cry louder than the children eating their kid’s meals silently in the booths.
In the middle of the dining room, no one jersey seems to be in the majority. Cross over into the bar, and suddenly Bears jerseys are as common as green bean casserole at a church potluck. Sitting at the end of the bar like the tossed green salad someone always brings, but no one really wants, sits three loyal Broncos fans.
The room goes quiet, or as quiet as a bar can get during an NFL Sunday. Referees are reviewing a play from the Bears versus Buccaneers game while three commentators talk like they’re supposed to when time needs to be filled.
The Bears fans watch eagerly, all eyes on the largest of six screens displaying the game. Even if you’re not paying attention to this game, you can feel tension rising in the bar. The Broncos fans cheer for their team, unaware that they have just broken taboo. They’re proud they got some attention for the lone TV.
Tim Tebow is starting in his first Broncos game, a fact that his fans are more than willing to pass on to the rest of the bar. Two of his fans, Karen and Tim Chandler, went to the University of Florida, the same school Tebow graduated from. Sage Buckner is from Colorado. Now, he and Karen Chandler attend veterinary school at MU. They generally don’t come out to watch the games, but today was the exception.
It’s about 1:30 p.m., and halftime commercials will soon be airing. New rounds of beer and wings are delivered throughout the bar. Chandler says that this is a slow time for them.
“Around 3 p.m., the Missouri fans will take over,” he says. The Chiefs and Rams don’t play until then. There won’t be a free seat in the place, he says.
At 2:20 p.m., three women and a man stand waiting for a table in their Chiefs jerseys. It’s almost turnover time.