Here are three places — among dozens in town — that hit those sweet spots, along with a list of five others (and their myriad branches) that cater to fans who can hold two thoughts simultaneously: ‘Feed me!’ and ‘Touchdown!’
TVs: Something like 15 normally huge TVs and one abnormally huge one. And apparently there's one in the men's room, an inch away from the urinal.
Food/drink: Cover 3 has happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. every day, including Saturdays and Sundays ($1 off draft beers, $2 off cocktails, $3 off appetizers). On Mondays and Tuesdays, happy hour lasts all night, starting at 4 p.m. In addition, there are $7 house margaritas, a weekend Bloody Mary bar and an extensive wine list ranging from $6 a glass to magnums in the $400 range.
We ordered pints of Firemans #4 and Blue Moon (each $4 during happy hour) and realized half an hour later that our almost-empty beers were still nearly freezing. Worried about our sanity, we asked the waiter, who explained the bar's iced 'Cobra' cooling system and pointed toward the 2-inch-thick layer of ice on the beer taps.
Food is likewise surprising. Cover 3's menu is obviously high end compared with most sports bars and designed to please both picky foodies (who might perhaps order the precariously balanced crab and shrimp tower, $14) and hungry guys who just want a quick bite (like of nachos, $10).
Atmosphere: Cover 3's crowd is polite, and their servers are helpful and friendly. There were more kids at Cover 3 than in most sports bars, but past the faint strains of Madonna and Whitney Houston (not your typical sports bar anthems) the whole place had a low, bustling buzz like what you'd hear in a hotel or airport. Essentially, Cover 3 is a great place to wait — either for your movie to start at the nearby Alamo Village, or for Gene Rogers to finish fashioning your glasses a few doors down, or for Tiger to sink (or not) that putt.
By Dina Guidubaldi SPECIAL TO THE AMERICAN-STATESMAN