(Har har. OK, we promise never to write that again.) Anyway, Outa Bounds is also a terrific addition to the midtown sports-bar scene.
The space used to be Crabs on Broadway. Its new décor is very cool, with NFL and college pennants lining the walls and a big flat screen dominating the low-ceilinged bar area up front. Many smaller plasma screens are strategically placed for optimal viewing conditions (though we needed more TVs on the north side of the bar), and the back area contains a pool table and some dartboards. It's impeccably clean but lacks the sterility of, say, 810 Zone.
We headed over with Research Assistants Erik and Cece on a Sunday for the Chiefs-Chargers game and were surprised by how crowded it was. The crowd consisted primarily of guys, but we spotted groups of women and some straight people, too. Everyone was watching the game intently, and the place erupted in loud cheers whenever the Chiefs made a good play. We went up to the bar and got the Sunday special: $4.50 mini pitchers of Boulevard Wheat. (Bass is also available; larger pitchers are $8. Another bonus: The bar has daily drink specials.) The vibe we got was very communal; it reminded us of The Other Place in downtown OP (one of our favorite sports-watching venues), albeit with more man-to-man coverage and more conversations along the lines of "Those fucking bitches suck!" "Calm down, girlfriend!"
After getting our liquor, we stood around near the entrance, looking for someplace we could stand. Just then, a bald, beefy guy kindly offered to share his tall table, and we gratefully accepted. We squeezed around, and our new friend made introductions. Shon, 43, was watching the game with Petra, an older cross-dresser with long, beautifully curled blond hair who was wearing a red Chiefs jersey with the number 63 (Willie Lanier's number) and jeans. Around her neck was a gold rope chain with the Chiefs' arrowhead logo. She was very large and solid, too.
Our tablemates were great. Shon was full of energy, yelling at the TV for practically the entire game, but in a jovial, non-assholic way. During the commercial breaks, he joked around with us and our neighbors. Petra was equally into the game but wasn't as vocal, except for her analytical commentary about the plays. A self-described "sports maven" (she's into pro and college football, college basketball and pro baseball), Petra later told us that she and Shon knew each other from Missie B's. "I practically opened the place," she told us, tossing her hair.
During halftime, we wandered around and met "Scott," 34, a cheerful, outgoing guy who works in international business and is originally from Michigan. He was a good conversationalist, equally knowledgeable about politics and the lack of parity in baseball. Then the topic of guns came up, prompted by the fact that he lives downtown and heard the shots when a woman allegedly killed her Russian ex by the library.
We decided to lighten the mood. "So," we asked him, "would you rather do Jason Whitlock or Joe Posnanski?"
Sadly, he had no interest in being the meat in that sports-columnist sandwich. At first, he couldn't even place Posnanski. "I love him in that Supernatural show!" he said. We clarified that we were talking about the Star sports columnist, then got the Chiefs Extra section to show him both their pictures.
"Oh, he's ugly," he said of Posnanski. "But is he for a downtown baseball stadium?" We weren't sure. "Are you trying to create drama?" he asked accusingly. Well, of course. Always.
We next posed that question to Shon. He wholeheartedly went with JoPo. "Jason's an asshole," he said. "He does negative shit. He knows that gets ratings. He can kiss my ass. Joe, on the other hand, is kind of cute. Joe is critical, too, but Jason's always critical.
"If you want to give Jason my address, I'll kick his ass," he concluded. In that showdown, we're putting our money on Shon.
After the Chiefs' sad loss, most of the crowd stayed at the bar to continue drinking. That's when we met "Stacy," 35, a striking brunette who was sitting with her partner, Melinda, 36, and their friend Melissa, 36. We asked how they knew one another.
Stacy explained that she and Melinda met at Tootsie's in 1992 (when it used to be in this same location) and that she and Melissa know each other from Northwest Missouri State.
"We met here on the down-low, when I first came out after college," Melinda said. She's a cool marathon runner who was wearing a black baseball cap that read: "Women who behave rarely make history."
"And Melissa is the biggest fag hag you've ever seen," Stacy continued.
"I'm delightful. That's what all the gay men say," said Melissa, a pretty blonde. She went on to identify everyone's sexual orientation. "Stacy is pansexual right now. It's like a pandemic. She's all-inclusive: men, women ..."
"Not pets or children!" Stacy said. "Melissa dates the brothers. I've been known to date the brothers and women. And Melinda's straight-up gay."
Now, that's the kind of playing field we're talking about.