The Last Call

This isn’t strictly about “tailgating”, but it is kind of about a bunch of guys who hung around drinking, and smoking and having a good time before, after and during games, and about one guy in particular who was kind of the self proclaimed “ringmaster” of them all.

I’m sure that this is not “Breaking News” from this site. It’s already been all over the media. I’ve seen and heard reports from “The Today Show”, MSNBC, The New York Times, and even AOL News. Eddie Doyle, the bartender at Cheers, has been laid off after 35 years!

You remember “Cheers” the TV show, maybe not first hand, but I’m sure at least in re-runs. It was the sitcom about the Boston bar “where everybody knows your name”. It ran for 10 years on NBC and started, saved or jump-started the carriers of Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, George Wendt, Woody Harrelson, John Ratsenberger, Kelsey Grammer, Kristie Alley, and Shelly Long. Probably more than anything else it also gave bars a good name.

Well, and for most this isn’t news either, the TV show was based on an actual Boston bar, the “Bull and Finch Pub”, and that’s where Eddie Doyle has worked since 1974. It’s been said that Eddie was nothing like his TV counterpart, the womanizing bartender Sam Malone (Ted Danson), but the bar was a friendly place with a group of eccentric regulars. “It was a great mix of people,” Doyle said. “I could probably say goodnight to each one of them by name or face.”

The hard time economy finally hit the bar business, though, and Eddie and several others at the bar are now out of jobs. Eddie’s last day at the bar will be later this month.

The lesson I take away…the economy continues to push us towards tailgating. The economy may steal our favorite bars and restaurants, but they can never take away our favorite $10 coolers, foot long subs for under $5, or our cases of cheap-ass Bud and Bud Light. This one’s for you Eddie.