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Burgers, wings and big screens: 6 Austin sports bars to celebrate the coming football frenzy

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interior of Black Sheep Lodge with dartboard
Black Sheep Lodge boasts a great environment for watching sports or hanging with friends. Also — possibly Austin's best burgers. Photo courtesy of Black Sheep Lodge/Facebook
plate of chicken wings at Plucker's Wing Bar
Take a nostalgia trip and watch some football at the original Plucker's on West Campus. Photo courtesy of Plucker's Wing Bar/Facebook
interior of Cover 3 sports bar with giant tvs
Cover 3 offers giant TVs for your game viewing pleasure along with a fine-dining atmosphere. Photo courtesy of Cover 3/Facebook
interior of Black Sheep Lodge with dartboard
plate of chicken wings at Plucker's Wing Bar
interior of Cover 3 sports bar with giant tvs

Editor's note: Since this article first appeared, Eater kindly brought to our attention that Cuatro's closed their doors on December 13. We regret the error.

The next few days will be a fountain of football bliss. On the collegiate level, you have two more high-profile matchups in the Cotton and Orange Bowls before the season closes with the final BCS National Championship on Monday night. Saturday also marks the beginning of NFL playoff season, featuring some promising gridiron clashes, most notably between two former Westlake quarterbacks, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles.

That’s a whole mess of football to keep track of, and who wants to watch it all on a puny screen at home while eating a DiGiorno pizza? If you want to watch the game in style with your fellow fans, head out to some of our favorite sports bars with big screens and good eats.

Black Sheep Lodge

How can an awesome burger joint with a great selection of beers get any better? Twenty big screen high definition TVs should do the trick. With screens positioned all around the interior, it's hard to find a bad seat in the house. Best part is the staff has televisions tuned into practically every game that's on at one time. So order up a basket of fried pickles and jalapenos to share and watch to your heart's content.

Cover 3

Cover 3 dismisses the stereotype that a place with gigantic HD TVs on the walls can only serve greasy burgers and soggy fries. Instead, Cover 3 offers finer dining options to go along with whatever big game is turned on. You can chow down on Mongolian pork lettuce wraps, a Pacific ahi tuna burger, or even a filet mignon accompanied with a wine from their impressive selection. The delicious food and drink should pair well with watching Jamaal Charles decimate the Indianapolis Colts’ defense.

Third Base

The amount of screens in Third Base may seem overwhelming at first, but this sports bar is welcoming and friendly. (And don’t we all want hang out where everybody knows our name?) So grab a group of buddies, scout out a spot and park yourselves in front of the TV of your choice. Chat up your neighbors and invite them to join in a friendly debate about the BCS and the NCAA’s new playoff system next year.

The Tavern

The Tavern is a sports bar that is proud of its history, its extensive beer collection — and the 50 TVs that are tuned in to just about every sporting event being broadcast. Sweet potato fries, huge burgers, and their famous "Amazing White Wings" are the perfect fuel to keep you going while watching the big game, such as Arkansas State versus Ball State in the GoDaddy Bowl.

Plucker’s Wing Bar – The Original

For many UT students, Plucker's is the place to go if you forgot to buy tickets to the UT game. It quickly becomes a party, and Plucker's is the place that proves the age-old formula of hot wings plus big screens equals a great game day atmosphere. Head out this weekend and you're sure to find yourself discussing Mack’s possible successor. Also, take heed and remember that you probably won’t handle the “Fire in the Hole” sauce the same way you did when you were 20.

Bar 96

Bar 96 takes a cozy, upscale approach to the sports bar theme. It is obviously a popular approach, though, if you consider the crowd they get on game days. Even at maximum capacity, this Rainey Street establishment is a welcoming and comfortable respite to other downtown options. With a Bomb Tacos trailer in the back and awesome drink specials offered here on weekends, this should be perfect place to take in some pigskin.

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