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Roll, Tide

The biggest college football game in town is the Holiday Bowl, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary December 27.

But for college football fans, it’s hardly the only game in town. Sporty San Diegans, many of them transplants from other cities, remain loyal to their alma maters. And when their teams hit the gridiron, alumni head to their favorite watering holes to eat, drink and be manic. Here’s a guide to where the school colors are flying:

Alabama: Crimson Tide fans hang out at Big Jim’s Old South Bar-B-Q in Encinitas, where they get rowdy with fans of teams like Miami and Auburn, their arch-rivals.

Virginia Tech: Hokies stake their claim on Bub’s Dive Bar in Pacific Beach, thanks to owner-alumnus Barry Brown. Of the 700-plus Tech grads in the area, some 50 to 80 diehards usually show up for watch parties.

Ohio State: Moondoggies in Pacific Beach hosts local Buckeyes fans, said to number in excess of 1,000. Other team sightings at Moondoggies: Boston College and University of Colorado. The restaurant’s La Jolla location, meanwhile, plays host to the Georgia Bulldogs and the UCLA Bruins supporters.

USC: When the Trojans are away, their alumni play at Indigo Joe’s in Encinitas. Despite claims that 9,000 USC alums live in San Diego, the local alumni club only has 400 members. “I’m still looking for the other 8,600,” says Carl Sarrazolla, club president.

Penn State: When Joe Paterno’s boys hit the field, Nittany Lions fans hit Pacific Fish Company downtown. Of the 3,000 PSU alumni in San Diego, nearly 100 show up on game days to chant the familiar “We are ... Penn State!”

—Christina Orlovsky

The Insider
Celebrities � Politics � Media

Word on the street is that downtown San Diego may get a House of Blues nightclub after all. Dan Aykroyd, one of the on-again, off-again project’s backers, was spotted scoping out the proposed site in the old Woolworth Building on Fifth Avenue with buddy Bruce Willis. Both were dressed in leather jackets, white T-shirts and baseball caps. The 29,000-square-foot nightclub was supposed to open a year ago but was delayed when HOB Entertainment encountered problems in raising the $10 million needed for construction. Last January, HOB announced an agreement-in-principle with a local investor group, but there’s been little movement since.

Gaslamp Quarter eatery Fio’s is becoming more of a hangout for the rich and (fairly) famous. Recent guests include former teen heartthrob Scott Baio, of Happy Days and, more recently, Charles in Charge fame, and Dee Wallace Stone, best known for her role as the mother in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Fio’s also catered the party, at NBC’s downtown headquarters, celebrating the launch of the new NBC-TV game show Pyramid, with guest of honor Donny Osmond, the show’s host.

Nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Bill O’Reilly blasted San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Logan Jenkins for a column in which he praised attorney Steven Feldman’s vigorous defense of David Westerfield even though Feldman apparently knew his client was guilty of killing Danielle van Dam. The fiery talker O’Reilly, heard locally on KFMB-AM, questioned Jenkins’ IQ and announced his intention to file a complaint against Feldman with the San Diego Bar Association. Jenkins subsequently shot back in print: “Truly, I don’t resent O’Reilly for holding my Welsh name up to ridicule. He makes a handsome living beating subjects (as well as guests) to death. So what if his rhetorical style has the elegance of a Bumfights video?”

harry belafonteTed Leitner made national headlines with a recent interview he conducted with Harry Belafonte on his morning talk show on KFMB-AM. When the conversation shifted to politics, the 75-year-old calypso singer, in town for a concert, likened Secretary of State Colin Powell to a plantation slave who had sold out his principles “to come into the house of the master.” The interview was subsequently splashed across the pages of newspapers, courtesy of the Reuters news service. Leitner told Reuters he couldn’t believe how blunt Belafonte was. “People have become so politically correct,” he says. “For someone to come out, an African-American, to go after Colin Powell like that ... was so unusual in this day and age that it really stood out.”
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