Feb. 2 2011 10:36 AM

When sports bars reject customers for wearing the wrong jersey

I received an e-mail recently from my friend Andrew, the bar manager of the Viejas DreamCatcher, who told me about a little incident at Cabo Cantina in Pacific Beach. He said he wasn’t allowed inside because he was wearing an Oakland Raiders jersey. He said the doorman told him it was the house rule.

“Have Charger fans become the bratty kid at the playground that says, ‘If you don’t play my way I’m taking my ball and leaving’?” Andrew asked in his e-mail. “Or am I just a salty Raider fan that should stay home during the playoffs?”

Well, Andrew, asking if a Raiders fan is “salty” is like asking if minnows are skittish. So, yeah, you probably should stay home during the Super Bowl (and the rest of 2011, too), but that’s hardly the point. The real question is, “What’s up with Cabo Lame-tina?” Do they fear and / or loathe Raiders fans that much?

Sure, I’ve run into my fair share of Raiders turds. I once watched in horror as one of them chewed off the ear of a Chargers fan and spit it at my feet. But I’ve seen just as many, if not more, New York Jets jerkoffs, not to mention Minnesota Vikings vermin, Broncos bastards and Patriots pricks, and Lord knows you can’t projectile vomit in a bar anymore without splattering the legs of at least a couple Cowboys cocksuckers.

The point is, there are some in every bunch. You can’t assume that a guy who’s wearing silver and black is going to be a problem customer any more than you can assume a dude wearing powder blue with yellow lightning bolts will have a predilection for playing with Barbie dolls.

Whatever. Cabo has the right to refuse service, and I respect that; but, seriously, Cabo Cantina, when did you become such an elitist pussy? Is this a place to watch football or is it the Oxford Club of Distinguished Gentlemen? Because I don’t see no chamber trio in the corner. What I see are lots of televisions showing football games. Football! Where rivalry is not only welcome—it’s the effin point!

I despise this whole Wrong-Team-Allegiance- Bar-Entry-Refusal thing. I’ve encountered it myself. I can think of three instances when I witnessed someone being denied entry based on Wrong-Team Allegiance. The first time was when I was hanging with a group of Redskins fans.

Now, as a devotee of the New York Giants, I used to hate the Washington Redskins— until Lawrence Taylor snapped Joe Theismann’s femur on national television and it was the end of the Redskins as we knew them. These days, what I feel is more like pity. They’ve been so bad for so long that the Indian on their logo has a single tear streaming down his face like Iron Eyes Cody on the old anti-litter PSA.

It’s so sad. That’s why I let some of them hang around me—to bring joy into their otherwise miserable lives. And on one particular Sunday about three years ago, shortly after Washington upset New England in a regularseason game, I went bar hopping with a small group of Redskins-Fan Friends (RFFs). When we arrived at the front door of a now-defunct Boston sports bar, my RFFs were denied entry because of the color of their Skins.

I couldn’t believe what the doorman was saying. I figured he must be a disgruntled rogue and that no bar owner in his right mind would turn away business for such an infantile reason. So I asked for the manager, and as sure as Plaxico Burress has all his guns on safety, he supported the doorman’s ruling.

“Wow,” I declared to the manager. “Are you guys so butt-hurt about that devastating, embarrassing, morale-crushing, vagina-smarting loss to the lowly Redskins that you’re actually going to turn away our business?”

He didn’t respond, just glared. I peeked inside the bar to see all the pitiful New England fans moaning and wailing and hugging each other in grief, as if they just found out Ted Williams’ head had been cryogenically stored with a Yankee cap on it—for eternity!

I had my answer.

Now, I know a lot of people will say, “Well, maybe Lame-o Cantina has this ‘No Raiders’ colors’ policy in place to protect the Raiders fans from bitter Chargers fans.” But I don’t buy it. For one thing, you ever fight a Chargers fan? It’s like fighting a bowl of yogurt. Second, the Chargers weren’t even playing that day. It was the second round of the playoffs, during the Steelers-Ravens game, so the Chargers and their fans were probably at home, having afternoon tea with Barbie and friends.

Either way—whether it’s the Cabo management being jerks or their Chargers-loving customers, or if it really is in the Raiders fans’ DNA to spit body parts on the floor like a cannibal’s belligerent baby being spoon fed in a highchair, I have to ask: What the hell is wrong with you people!? You do realize it’s a game, right? There’s no need to demonize your rivals. Even the guys who play on your beloved teams have friends on rival teams. If your devotion to a team is more serious than the guys who are actually on said team, well, it might be time to consider pursuing something—I don’t know, something more, something fulfilling, something like a life, perhaps? As in, get one.

Fat chance, though. I know some of you are going to write letters of outrage, or stop me on the street, or accost me on my barstool about how angry you were when I insulted your beloved Redskins, Chargers, Cowboys, Vikings—whichever—for the sake of satire, missing the point of satire, as you missed the point of football: It’s all about the fun. If you don’t get that, you’re doing it wrong. CB

Write to ed@sdcitybeat.com and editor@ sdcitybeat.com. Visit edwindecker.com to apologize to Eli Manning for saying mean things about him that he didn’t deserve.