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48 HOURS OF FOOTBALL: Regulars flock to Stadium Grill on NFL Sundays

Friday, October 28, 2011 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 8:26 a.m. CDT, Friday, October 28, 2011

Hour 44: 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23

An NFL Sunday provides Stadium Grill with a group of regulars.

Among them is Chad Mechaelsen, a 15-year Columbia resident and loyal follower of the Washington Redskins.

Mechaelsen, dressed in a John Riggins uniform and a University of Iowa hat, arrives about a half hour before the noon kickoff to see the Redskins play the Carolina Panthers. He's done that since the grill opened three years ago.  When he arrives he heads for a table near the bar where many regular patrons congregate.

“The atmosphere is great. The whole staff treats you very well," Mechaelsen says.

Mechaelsen is not alone. At around 12:30 pm, two friends join him, which they do regularly on Sundays. One, Josh Anderson, is a Denver Broncos fan clad in a Champ Bailey jersey. The other is Nick Vroman, a Jets fan wearing a black T-shirt.

Stadium Grill broadcasts the NFL Sunday Ticket package. Proprietor Ron Coleman often gets requests to place certain games on any of the 20 flat screen televisions.

As the Redskins’ game progresses, Mechaelsen pays close attention at times and speaks to his friends at others. Late in the second half, Mechaelsen and his friends begin a debate about whether Tim Tebow was a worthy draft pick for their online fantasy teams.

An older man with a white beard dressed in a Bob Uecker St. Louis Cardinals uniform sits at the bar for more than three and a half hours.

“He comes here all the time,” Coleman said. “He is a huge Rams and Cardinals fan, so he will probably be here all the way through until the World Series game is over.”

Not true. He leaves after the noon games end — but with a promise to return by the World Series' opening pitch at 7.

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