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Iowa bar gives away over 100 free beers after football promo backfires

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Jeremy Gordon, a longtime fan of the University of Iowa’s football team, found himself doing something unusual Saturday as his Hawkeyes took the field in the Big Ten championship: hoping the team wouldn’t score.

Gordon was among fellow Hawkeye fans looking to take advantage of a promotion at X-Golf Cedar Rapids, an indoor golf facility and sports bar. Customers golfing on X-Golf’s simulators could order an endless supply of free beers during Iowa football games, until the team scored its first points.

It was enough to make even a die-hard college football fan root for a slow start, Gordon said.

“I kind of wanted us to not score any points in the first few drives,” Gordon told The Washington Post. “Get a couple of beers in, at least.”

Gordon got his wish. Iowa, against a heavily favored Michigan team, struggled from the outset. But it didn’t get better. The Hawkeyes lost 26-0, delivering their fans at X-Golf a devastating defeat — and over 100 free beers.

“It’s something I won’t forget,” Gordon said.

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X-Golf’s promotion has run throughout the season during Iowa games, assistant manager Chad DeMaria said. It ran smoothly and was well-received. For some Hawkeye fans, there was a gallows humor to staking free drinks on Iowa’s ability to score points. This season, Iowa’s football team has had a notoriously low-scoring team and ditched its offensive coordinator. DeMaria, an Iowa fan himself, knew the bar’s promotion was tempting fate.

“Our defense and special teams score as often as our offense, probably,” DeMaria said. “So it’s a risky venture.”

Still, Iowa hadn’t laid a goose egg until Saturday. Caleb Hawkins, another Hawkeye fan who was watching, said the mood slowly changed at the bar as the game went on and Iowa continued to struggle.

“Eventually, we all kind of got, you know, a little restless and wanted the Hawkeyes to put some points on the board,” Hawkins said. “But that never ended up happening.”

DeMaria said the bar ended up serving more than 100 beers during the beatdown, a giveaway that cost the business about $500, according to KCRG. X-Golf’s predicament ended up attracting wider attention when a social media post advertising the promotion went viral and the bar received a shoutout on ESPN. Delighted Michigan fans found the bar’s phone number, and the gloating commenced.

“We had a bunch of hecklers from Michigan calling the bar, like, asking them how that free beer’s going,” Gordon laughed.

DeMaria said the bar will change its promotion when Iowa plays its bowl game in January to end its season.

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As for whether they’ll repeat the deal next year? That might come down to how the Hawkeyes perform on the field.

“If we had a better offense, we would probably run the deal continuously,” DeMaria said.

Source: Washington Post

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