Any Irish pub can transform into a wall-to-wall televised fútbol extravaganza come World Cup time. Rare, however, is the East Bay watering hole that plays a game of footy on the telly between cups, sound on low, no big deal. Well, McNally’s does. The aged bar is small and of the well-worn variety, but the owners have managed to cram in four television sets. Yes, you can still find your A’s and Giants on two of them, but the others might be reserved for Man U and Millwall. As one patron recently put it, “Sean plays those soccer games because he’s Irish and because he loves all that shit.” Consider the Rugby World Cup games you missed last fall, which McNally’s customers were at first forced to endure, but then came to enjoy. (What a final!) Consider the premiere of Freddy Adu, the fourteen-year-old soccer wunderkind (not European, we know) who made his televised appearance not only to a worldwide audience earlier this spring, but also to a line of raised eyebrows inside McNally’s. Consider the FA Cup Final, which you could miss later this month but won’t, because now you know where to catch it.
Memorial Stadium, UC Berkeley