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Snap Shots: LOBINA no Rookie mistake, joins veteran Quakes fans at San Jose watering hole

With the Quakes away for over a month, LOBINA goes "at large" to explore viewing parties at bars around the Bay. Week 9: Rookie’s on Meridian in San Jose.

Quakes fans fill up most of the main room at Rookies in San Jose to cheer on the boys in blue as they scored two to tie RSL 1-1 on May 1, 2015.
Quakes fans fill up most of the main room at Rookies in San Jose to cheer on the boys in blue as they scored two to tie RSL 1-1 on May 1, 2015.

Wait, what happened to our Week 8 match coverage?

While most major media reported that San Jose’s game against Montreal had been postponed until September 16, due to Montreal’s appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League Final, the Quakes actually did host the Impact at Avaya Stadium.  Full match coverage can be found on Twitter at: #ImaginarySJvMON.

Quakes won.

For the Week 9 match at Real Salt Lake, the Reddit /r/SJEarthquakes group met again at San Francisco Athletic Club (see the previous Week 7 LOBINA account), some fans discussed meeting at McNally’s on College in Oakland (near Rockridge BART), Jack’s Bar hosts its usual horde of Ultras & über-fans, but, based on Twitter chatter, LOBINA trekked over to check out the crowd at Rookie’s Sports Lodge on Meridian in San Jose.

Rookie’s has a large common room, flanked by big booths on one side and a full bar along the other.  Many tall tables and stools stand in the center, with TVs of various sizes ring the room up by the ceiling.  ProTip: go Tall Table, as a crowded center creates "obstructed view" seating at the low booths.

Above-standard sports-bar servings (both kind of fried: battered and deep) and servers (more dangerous curves than a Garcia Perez free kick).  The happy hour fish tacos sport a lovely slice of avocado, and the nachos come piled high on a metal platter, enough to feed the entire center section.

ProTip: the Quakes scarf around your shoulders is a dangerously-convenient wiping surface for greasy fingers—so keep a napkin in hand or give the scarf a good soak when you get home.

Pre-game your heart, liver, and head with Happy Hour Fish Tacos, Lagunitas IPA, and Houston vs. Dallas MLS action.

I!  I Believe!  I Believe That!  I Believe That We! 

When LOBINA social media minion arrived at Rookie’s most TV’s were turned to hockey, A’s, or the coverage of the 2nd day of the NFL draft (or, "Print a list and get on with it!").  Jordan, the manager on duty, was happy to change some TVs to the Houston vs. Dallas match that preceded the Quakes game on Univision Deportes: "I’m glad someone came early and requested soccer, so it’ll be on and I can keep it on."

Manager Jordan, soccer fan himself who gets up for early weekend Premier League matches, said that usually staff from the Quakes staff come down to watch away games at Rookies, though they usually call ahead of time.  There is a back room with large TVs available for reservation—this night a large group came to watch the Giants game—and some of the Common Room TVs are connected to the Back Room and so must show the same program.

If Quakes fans organized a wee bit, we definitely could fill the Back Room—by the end of the Houston vs. Dallas match about 20 filled half the Common Room (see lead photo).

Wall-to-wall Quakes action.  Notice the "Emeghara" jersey—with the name-change to "Innocent" this jersey is now a collector’s item, as rare as his goals. (Too soon?)

Many couples showed up at Rookies, with partners of varying fan-intensity levels from longtime Season Ticket Holders, to "being dragged to" events, to enjoying the new stadium.  Veronica and Chris came with matching blue and black home jerseys.  While Veronica sat quietly watching the match with seismic intensity, Chris hardly sat down, preferring to sip his Yamazaki-12 while standing at the center table.  Bay Area soccer roots run deep: Veronica still excited she watched the USWNT beat Brasil 2-0 at Stanford during the 1999 World Cup.  Now Quakes Season Ticket Holders, both very much enjoy the new Avaya Stadium, and their Section 110 neighbors very much enjoy LOBINA: "All first half they’re in their seats, but all second half they’re down at the bar."

Rich watched rapt in his Quakes away jersey, though partner Abby sat quietly comfortable in her own clothes.  She grew up in San Jose a fan of 49ers football and Giants baseball, though brothers played soccer as kids.  He played on a travel team in Connecticut, moving out to San Jose five years ago.  Now they live near Japantown, attended all the matches at Buck Shaw, watched the new stadium get built from the ground up, and now love the great views at Avaya.

Rich: Only issue I have is the men’s bathroom line is too long.
Abby:  What?!?  The MEN’S line?

Everybody still not happy the only bathrooms are down on concourse level, and that there’s only 5 of them.  (And Rich hasn't read our investigative exposé on the cause of long men’s bathroom lines).

Julie and Dan are also Season Ticket Holders, in Section 112.  "Love being near the Ultras and other Supporters Sections—great energy!"  Dan’s been a Quakes fan for awhile, as evidenced by his QuakeFan website where he posts a panoply of Quakes fan portraits.  Julie has issue swith another couple: assistant refs Ian Anderson (on the sideline for RSLvsSJ) and his twin brother Frank.  "Not only do they never call the hard, reckless fouls, but they’re also D-Bags in real life."

DID YOU KNOW? There are two sets of twins who AR in MLS for PRO: in addition to the Andersons, Apolinar and Eduardo Mariscal also patrol the lines.  However, the winner of the AR Best Name Contest belongs without doubt to "Kermit Quisenberry."

With a lively crowd came lively chatter, starting before the match:

"Wondo at wing? WTF?!?"

"Wondo at mid hasn’t worked in the history of Wondo."

"YEEEAAAHHH!!!"  (2’ Beckerman Yellow Card).

"Wait, Wondo’s actually playing up."

"Listing Wondo as DM was a trick!"

"Like listing him on the roster as 1-Dough."

"New Team Goal: three consecutive passes in the attacking half!"

Of course the room erupts at Wondo’s goal, though many were mystified at the Jedi magic he used to stay onside: "This is not the offsides position you are looking for."

But iffy MLS reffing seems to be dominating the conversation more than usual:

And while the Quakes passing improved a few particles over the last match, there’s still plenty of room for improvement:

After a long run of matches in which fav centerback behemoth Bernárdez surprised everyone by not earning a single yellow card, he surprized everyone again by showing off his mad (own) goal scoring skillz.  However, the rest of the Quakes could take the time to improve their own touches:

Sad to be our own worst enemy, but a tie is a point, and a road point at that.  Two things most Quakes fans agreed on:

And, except for an occasional oops, Bingham has shown himself to be a quality ‘keeper:

But two goals are two goals, and a road point is a road point, which allows us the satisfaction of asking slumping RSL a simple question:

LOBINA will enjoy the upcoming Colorado game online (especially the #UnivisionDrinkingGame), but then will be ready to serve you at the first home match in a millenium under the lights at 7:30 on Saturday, May 16!  Go Quakes!