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Saturday, December 20, 2014

That Time Wizards Fans Chanted MVP In A Bar


Washington Wizards fans, who are regularly begging bars just to change the TV channel to the game, shouted this chant and it echoed through the Hard Times Cafe. Thirty plus fanatics getting excited about their favorite NBA basketball team and letting everyone in the bar and around the DMV know it (Photos).

It was quite a scene. The Wizards dominating almost the entire selection of televisions with the voice of Steve Buckhantz blaring out of the restaurant's PA system in every room of the bar. Wizards jerseys, sweatshirts, shirseys, winter hats, santa caps, and t-shirts all over the bar. John Wall MVP signs, player cutouts, and "Let's Go Wizards!" chants galore. You don't see a scene like that often, not even in Washington DC a block away from Verizon Center on the night of a huge game.

This is Wiz Happy Hour.

The game tip-off was at 7:30pm but Wizards fans packed the bar early to take advantage of the free happy hour buffet provided by Hard Times Cafe on Friday evenings. The back section of the bar was reserved for the group but by the time the referee tossed the ball in the air the red and blue shirts had spread like an ameba engulfing half of the main section of the bar.  Drinks were flowing, chili was steaming, and the Wizards were rolling (well, sort of).

Hard Times management offered Wizards fans an extended 2-extra-hour happy hour that provided $2.50 beers all the way until 9pm. The cheap beer along with the insane selection of $4 vodka bombs and the amazing chili dishes kept everyone warm on this winter night. That and the Wizards fever that was spreading throughout the bar.

The fans were really excited about the game, watching the televisions like they would be killed if they looked away. People made signs at the bar and took advantage of the fun of the cardboard cutouts of John Wall. There was a lot of armchair coaching, player performance reviews, and NBA basketball debates. Watching a game gets 100x better when you watch with other fans who know basketball and have insightful opinions.

One of the things everyone was excited about were the prizes that we were giving out throughout the night. Starting at tip-off and running at the end of each quarter we gave away 5 different autographed prizes to fans. Prizes included an autographed Kevin Seraphin basketball card, autographed floorboards from Andre Miller, Otto Porter, Garrett Temple, and the grand prize, and NBA floor piece autographed by the Polish Machine himself, Marcin Gortat.

As the game was winding down, and the Wizards came back to tie the game on a John Wall layup, the bar erupted in cheers followed by the MVP chant mentioned at the front of this story. The looks from the random people who were cozied up at the bar were hilarious, but nobody cared. The Wizards are legit, and Wizards fans are even more legit. And now these random people know this.

When we scheduled this event we never guessed we would get the turnout we did or experience the support from all over the DMV that occured. From twitter retweets and mentions by Dave Johnson, Glenn Consor, JP from the Junkies to the 20 second shoutout on 106.7 the Fan's Chad Dukes vs the World, fans were excited to come together and support their often ignored basketball team.

After the success of this event we are getting excited about the future possibilities. We already hold a 1 hour happy hour before every single Wizards home game at Chinatown bars (Join us), and now we are going to plan a lot more away game watch parties as well. We also have an exciting "Barsketball Crawl" where we are going to have a lot of fun (initial details).

We are just a fan run group that is excited about our favorite team. You can read more about what we are trying to do here. Make sure you are part of the official Meetup group so you get all the details early about all future events and follow us everywhere you can online to help support Wiz Happy Hour and the Wizards!

A photo posted by Wiz Fan Happy Hour (@wizhappyhour) on

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