Travel Back Thursday: Old Mile High Stadium

hokoglowko, Flickr

With tonight’s Ravens vs. Broncos season opener, it only seemed fitting to find a throwback photo of the Denver Broncos, years ago. This shot, taken roughly 17 years ago in 1996, shows the Broncos playing on their old “home turf” at Mile High Stadium. The stadium was demolished in 2002.

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Baltimore Ravens Vs. Denver Broncos — 48 Hours In Their Hometowns

Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos play their season opener tonight (8:30 p.m. ET, in case you weren’t sure). Fans will be flooding the stadium in Denver, and for those who can’t catch the next flight to Colorado, a local bar with the game on will do just fine, too.

Our friends at MapQuest Discover have found the must-visit bars, restaurants and venues should you find yourself in Baltimore or Denver this season.

Check out:

Where To Watch Football In New York: A Bar For (Almost) Every NFL Team

Jess Moss, AOL

If you’re visiting New York this fall (and you should, it’s the best time to go), and you like football, there’s an important thing to keep in mind. Jets and Giants fans may seem to run the show, but many — if not most — people in this city hail from somewhere else. And they’ve brought their football allegiances with them.

New York has a bar for almost every pro football team’s fans (and countless college teams as well, but that’s another can of worms). Some teams have a few bars to choose from. Others, like the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints, share one space (usually peacefully, though that 2009 NFC championship game sure made things exciting…). Most of these spots are a microcosm of the place they’re cheering for, dishing out potlucks, swag and a chance to meet other people from your hometown. At the very least, you’ll have someone else cheering for the same touchdowns and interceptions that you are.

So don’t cut your NYC trip short — stick around on Sunday and cheer for your team at one of these bars:

Team Bar
AFC North
Baltimore Ravens SideBar, Wharf Bar & Grill
Cincinnati Bengals Phebe’s Tavern & Grill
Cleveland Browns Manny’s on Second
Pittsburgh Steelers Reservoir Bar, Public House, Hibernia Bar, Irish Exit
AFC South
Houston
Texans
Idle Hands Bar
Indianapolis
Colts
Keats Bar
Jacksonville
Jaguars
Legends
Tennessee
Titans
SideBar
AFC East
Buffalo
Bills
McFadden’s, Kelly’s
Miami
Dolphins
Traffic Midtown East
New England
Patriots
Professor Thom’s
New York
Jets
You’re in New York. If you can’t find a bar playing the Jets you’re not looking hard enough.
AFC West
Denver
Broncos
Mustang Harry’s, Butterfield 8
Kansas City
Chiefs
Village Pourhouse
Oakland
Raiders
The Watering Hole
San Diego
Chargers
Deweys Flatiron
NFC North
Chicago
Bears
Overlook Bar, Triona’s, The Gael Pub
Detroit
Lions
Mercury Bar East
Green Bay
Packers
Kettle of Fish
Minnesota
Vikings
Bar None
NFC South
Atlanta
Falcons
The Watering Hole
Carolina
Panthers
Brother Jimmy’s Upper East Side (draws a small crowd)
New Orleans
Saints
Bar None
Tampa Bay
Buccaneers
Stillwater Bar & Grill
NFC East
Dallas
Cowboys
Stone Creek
New York
Giants
Again, close your eyes and point your finger and you’ll find a bar playing the Giants.
Philadelphia
Eagles
Shorty’s, Wogies, Merrion
Washington
Redskins
Redemption, The Australian
NFC West
Arizona
Cardinals
No dedicated bar
San Francisco
49ers
Finnerty’s
Seattle
Seahawks
Carlow East
St. Louis
Rams
Dewey’s Flatiron (There isn’t a huge following but this place draws occasional fans)

Did we miss one? Add your favorite football bars in the comments below.

MORE FOOTBALL: Check out how the NFL’s opening match-up teams stack up as travel destinations. Would you rather spend the weekend in Baltimore or Denver?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: This week Michigan hosts rival Notre Dame. If you’re going to the game, don’t miss these other must-dos in Ann Arbor.

Man Attempting To Dribble Soccer Ball To Brazil Killed In Accident

SoccerIt sounded like one of those crazy ideas that should have led to fun and adventure and ended in triumph. Instead it ended in tragedy.

Richard Swanson, pictured here, of Seattle, decided to raise money for charity by dribbling a soccer ball 10,000 miles to Brazil in time for the 2014 World Cup. Sadly, The Guardian reports that he only made it as far as Oregon. While walking down US Highway 101 near Lincoln City he was hit by a pickup truck on Tuesday and killed. The police have ruled it an accident and the driver has not been charged.

Swanson was only two weeks and about 260 miles into his trip. He had been posting updates about his journey on his Facebook page, including a photo of the last meal he ate, a hearty breakfast in Lincoln City just hours before being killed.

His project, called Breakaway Brazil, was meant to raise money for the One World Futbol Project, which distributes durable soccer balls to needy children in developing areas.

Rooting For Ethiopia In The Africa Cup Of Nations

Africa Cup of Nations, logoOne of the byproducts of travel is that you become more aware of events that don’t get much coverage back home. The sports pages here in Spain, for example, aren’t exactly full of stories about the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

This continent-wide football championship, starting today in South Africa, is sure to be watched by millions of Africans. I’m especially curious as to the public reaction in Ethiopia. I’ve traveled a lot in that fascinating East African nation and I know they’re crazy about football – European football.

You see Real Madrid and Manchester United jerseys everywhere, and every village has a beat up old Foosball table painted in the colors of popular European teams. Yet Ethiopians seem singularly blind to their own football teams. I spent hours trying to hunt down an Ethiopian National Team shirt for my son, only to be told that they aren’t made in children’s sizes.

The kids don’t want them.

Hopefully that’s all about to change. Ethiopia has qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations finals for the first time since 1982. They haven’t won since 1962. With that kind of record, you can understand why the fans have been less than enthusiastic. Their first game is against Zambia on January 21. Zambia has a FIFA ranking of 34; Ethiopia’s is 102. It’s going to be a tough match.

My son and I are going to be rooting for Ethiopia. We’ll be sitting at home here in Spain watching it on the computer, urging on the Ethiopian team as crowds in cafes and bars across Ethiopia will be going crazy. It’s going to be a nice way to reconnect with my favorite country to travel in.

Hey, if a guy from Addis Ababa can be an Arsenal fan without ever having been to England, I can be an Ethiopia fan, right?

[Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons]