London Olympics guide: How to root for Brits in Brooklyn

London Olympics guide: How to root for Brits in Brooklyn
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

We’re all very proud of Michael Phelps and the other Americans heroically competing in sports we don’t normally care about, but it wouldn’t be the Olympics without cheering guiltlessly for some other country’s team.

And this year, with the games back in London for an unprecedented third time, there’s no better bandwagon to jump on than Team Great Britain.

Thankfully, Brooklyn’s ties with England are deep — and largely based on drinking.

Expats and anglophiles alike will flock to bars across the borough to root for athletes they’ve never heard of in games they don’t understand, said Jennifer Colbert, co-owner of the Bay Ridge’s beloved English, and well, Welsh bar Longbow Pub & Pantry.

“Last Olympics, curling was the big thing,” said Colbert, who will let bar patrons choose which events to watch. “People were really into bobsledding, too — sometimes you can’t predict what will capture people’s imaginations.”

For the Brit pack, the biggest event of the year will likely be England’s all-encompassing passion: football.

“Soccer will be the most watched thing by English patrons,” said Vincent Evans, co-owner of Monro Pub in Park Slope, who expects bar-goers to be captivated by the Brits first appearance on the Olympic stage since 1972.

Cycling will come a close second at Monro Pub after English biker Bradley Wiggins became the first Brit to win the Tour de France last week — a sporting achievement that drew bicycle-loving blokes in the early hours of the day throughout the three-week race.

But don’t let all this British nationalism scare you — the Longbow, Monro Pub, as well as English pubs such as Williamsburg’s Gordon Bennett and Park Slope’s Black Horse Pub serve plenty of English suds that should keep fans of Team Great Britain and backers of Team USA in good spirits, no matter who medals.

Longbow Pub & Pantry (7316 Third Ave., between 73rd and 74th streets), Monro Pub (481 Fifth Ave., between 11th and 12th streets), Gordon Bennett (109 S. Sixth St., between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street), and Black Horse Pub (568 Fifth Ave., between 15th and 16th streets).

A Wale of a time: Bartender Claire Bankston stands outside the Longbow, waving owner Jennifer Colbert’s Welsh flag.
Photo Stefano Giovannini