Where to watch your favorite NFL team this Sunday

NC State’s Bradley Chubb is drafted by the Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos took NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb with the No. 5 overall in the NFL draft. The consensus first team All-American is the Wolfpack all time leader in sacks in and tackles for a loss.
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The Denver Broncos took NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb with the No. 5 overall in the NFL draft. The consensus first team All-American is the Wolfpack all time leader in sacks in and tackles for a loss.

The NFL regular season kicked off Thursday night in Philadelphia. That means it’s time for football fans to make an annual fiscal decision: pay for a season-long television pass or NFL stream, or find a reliable place to watch their favorite team on Sundays.

Here are a few spots NFL fans can count on to catch the game, alongside folks of the same loyalties:

In Raleigh

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Brothers

3111 Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27604

Opens at 11 a.m. on Sundays

The Capital Boulevard location of local pizza and wing chain Buffalo Brothers — whose owners hail from Buffalo — hosts the Raleigh-Durham chapter of the Buffalo Bills Backers.

Bills faithful typically arrive around 9 a.m. and tailgate in the restaurant’s parking lot, playing cornhole and grilling hot dogs until the doors open at 11 a.m.

The games often bring the restaurant to its full capacity, said the location’s general manager, Jackie Townsend.

“My whole restaurant is filled with nothing but Bills fans,” Townsend said. “Opening day, there’s usually about 200-300 fans here. It’s an experience.”

Cleveland Browns

Backyard Bistro

1235 Hurricane Alley Way, Raleigh, NC 27607

Opens at noon on Sundays

Though they’ve only seen their team win one game in the past two seasons, Cleveland Browns fans will continue to come together at Backyard Bistro restaurant near PNC Arena this year.

In years past, the restaurant primarily showed Browns games. However, this year, bar manager Jamie Cornwell said Patriots and Giants fan clubs will share the space.

“We’re catering to everyone this season,” Cornwell said.

New England Patriots

The Brickhouse Sports Bar and Grille

3801 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

Opens at 11 a.m. on Sundays

On the way to Super Bowl LI in Houston, the New England Patriots team bus made a pit stop in Raleigh to visit The Brickhouse Sports Bar and Grille.

It wasn’t the first time a Patriots player made an appearance at the bar. Former Patriots safety Antwan Harris, a Raleigh native, has been known to frequent the Brickhouse, said assistant general manager Chaz Gerhardt.

Gerhardt said the personal ties, along with the Patriots winning ways, pack the establishment most game days with about 300 people.

“It’s the closest you can get to being at the game without actually being at the game,” Gerhardt said.

New Orleans Saints

Sharky’s Place

5800 Duraleigh Road, Raleigh, NC 27612

Opens at 10 a.m. on Sundays

Sharky’s Place, located in Northwest Raleigh, is owned by New Orleans natives so, it’s no wonder the local New Orleans Saints fan club convenes at the bar on Sundays.

Nonetheless, bartender Arthur Goudey said it’s a good-natured environment no matter what team another customer is supporting.

“You can go in, regardless of your team or another’s fandom, and it’s just good natured ribbing and fun,” Goudey said. “No trash talking.”

New York Jets

Desy’s Bar and Grill

1025 Chapel Hill Road #200, Morrisville, NC 27560

Opens at noon on Sundays

The Central Carolina New York Jets Fan Club meets at Desy’s Bar and Grill every Sunday in Morrisville.

The bar’s owner, Desi Nik, admires the fans’ support for their team, especially throughout a recent spell of difficult seasons. The Jets have not made the playoffs since 2010.

“Jets fans have a lot of fun,” Nik said. “They might be the worst team in the league, but the fans are very supportive.”

Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers

Woody’s At City Market

205 Wolfe St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Opens at 11 a.m. on Sundays

Fans of the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles packed Woody’s At City Market throughout the team’s playoff run earlier this year.

There’s no official fan club that frequents the watering hole, but bar manager Jessica Rusnak said she can usually count on a solid contingent of Eagles fans on game day.

Rusnak is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, as is the bar’s owner and several other members of the staff. For this reason, the Steelers games tend to be on as well.

Despite her allegiances, Rusnak enjoyed working during games last season.

“It was a good time,” Rusnak said. “A lot of back and forth between the customers, but it’s all very inclusive.”

Sammy’s Tap and Grill, located on 2235 Avent Ferry Road, also shows Steelers games, as it’s the official host to the Steel Triangle Fan Club.

For fans of teams that weren’t listed, the following Raleigh sports bars all have the NFL television package: Tobacco Road Sports Cafe, Carolina Ale House, Rudino’s Sports Corner, Real McCoy’s, Fox & Hound, Sharky’s Rudino’s Rooftop, Kickback Jack’s, Cloud’s Brewing, Champion’s Bars, RallyPoint, Leesville Tap Room, TLC Sports Bar, MyWay Tavern, Crabtree Ale House and Desy’s Grill and Bar.

Specific games are available for viewing at these restaurants upon request.

In Durham

Buffalo Bills

Bralie’s Sports Bar

1725 Carpenter Fletcher Road, Durham, NC 27713

Opens at 11 a.m. on Sundays

Since 2010, Bralie’s Sports Bar has been the official joint for the Bills Backers Club of Durham.

“We just have a lot of folks from upstate New York who were members here when we were still a private club, and it’s just kind of grown on,” said Audrey Davis, a bartender.

Bills fans have a reputation for rowdy tailgates — new viral internet videos emerge every season of the team’s supporters breaking foldable tables. However, the fans who frequent Bralie’s are very civil, Davis said.

“There’s no rowdiness except for jumping and flailing,” Davis said.

Oakland Raiders

Rookie’s Sports Bars - RTP

4911 Central Park Dr, Durham, NC 27703

Opens at 11 a.m. on Sundays

Rookie’s Sports Bars, just off exit 281 of I-40, sees football fans of multiple teams every Sunday.

The most prominent group, though, roots for the Oakland Raiders.

“The bar gets packed, but we have one side that’s dedicated just for the Raiders,” shift manager Alysa Harman said. “It’s the buffet side where the pizzas are located.”

Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots

Town Hall Burger and Beer

7830 NC-751 #120, Durham, NC 27713

Opens at 11 a.m. on Sundays

Adalius Thomas, who won a championship with the Ravens in 2000 and also played for the Patriots, has opened two locations of Town Hall Burger and Beer alongside his business partner, David Sadeghi.

Sadeghi said that the Durham location tends to screen games of Thomas’s former teams.

“It’s a fun, laid-back place to watch games,” Sadeghi said. “You can see all games, but you’ll definitely see the Patriots and you’re definitely going to see the Ravens.”

For fans of teams that weren’t listed, the following Durham sports bars all have the NFL television package: Devine’s Restaurant and Sports Bar, Bralie’s Sports Bar, Tobacco Road Sports Cafe, Rookie’s Sports Bars - RTP, Carolina Ale House, Mattie B’s Public House, Skewers, Town Hall Burger and Beer, Buffalo Wild Wings and Clouds Brewing.

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