HARKER HEIGHTS — Harker Heights may be thousands of miles from Soldier Field in Chicago, but on a chilly Monday night there was no better place for Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears fans to come in and enjoy the game than Red’s Corner Grill.
“I’ve just always been a Cowboys fan,” Paul Britton said. “It’s a passion. You grow up rooting for a team and that’s your team thick and thin. It’s been a little thin for us lately.”
On a cold night, a handful of fans came into the establishment to cheer on every touchdown by “America’s Team” or celebrate every aggressive tackle by the “Monsters of the Midway” as the game was playing on all nine TVs in the restaurant.
Charlie Miller, 35, had no qualms about sporting a blue Bears hat with an orange bill to go along with his blue Bears jacket.
Miller’s parents are from Illinois and he wasn’t shy about being a Bears fan in the middle of the Lone Star State this week.
“When you know that you’re going to end up victorious in the end and everyone around you is a naysayer, it feels good,” Miller said.
Miller said he stops in regularly at Red’s since the restaurant shows Bears games regularly.
But a Monday night game wouldn’t be the same without a friendly wager among opposing fans.
“When the Bears win, this gentleman right over here is going to have to have a professional armpit waxing, he’s going to have to have his fingernail
painted with Chicago Bears C’s and he’s going to have to wear a Chicago Bears jersey,” Miller said.
But what if the Cowboys win?
“We haven’t talked about that, we don’t have to worry about it,” Miller added.
Britton, 45, said he comes to Red’s when the Cowboys have a Sunday or Monday night game and it beats sitting at home. “Usually when I come to watch them play on Sunday or Monday night they win, and that’s a good thing,” Britton said.
Britton wasn’t shy about showing off his Cowboys fandom, sporting a gray Cowboy hoodie to go along with his blue Texas Stadium 50th anniversary commemorative hat. He even had a photo of linebacker Sean Lee as the wallpaper on his cell phone.
He did remove the hoodie right before kickoff only to reveal a white Jason Witten jersey that took its place.
Kyle Safady, 30, of Killeen said he’s been a Cowboys fan since he was three months into his mother’s womb. He was confident that the Cowboys would take the game despite the fact that Dallas doesn’t play well historically in cold weather and the game time temperature was 8 degrees with a wind chill below zero.
For Safady, the atmosphere, staff and friends keep him coming back to Red’s, and soon after the game kicked off, Safady had a Tony Romo throwback jersey on.
“Red’s is a great place,” Safady said. “Great bar, the owners are cool and friendly. I love this place.”
Safady and Britton celebrated a 10-yard touchdown pass from Romo to Witten in the second quarter, but the jubilation was short-lived as the Bears scored 10 points in the final 1:38 of the first half to take a 24-14 halftime lead.
Red’s manager Brandone “Boh” Hairston said he knows football season and Monday night games are big for the business.
“When it comes to football, it’s big. And we make it as big as possible, to be honest,” Hairston said.
Red’s is also where you can find the Brown Backers Worldwide Official Club, a fan club for the Cleveland Browns.
Hairston said that in a town with a large military population that has people from all over the country, it is important to show games from all over the country and cater to fans from different NFL teams.
But he admits that the Cowboys are still a big draw because they are both famous and infamous among football fans.
“The thing about the Cowboys is people love to hate them, too,” Hairston said.
“Half the people in here aren’t Cowboys fans, but they come in here to watch them lose.”