Must See TV: The 3 Biggest Games of December

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Posted December 5, 2013 by Stephanie Rineman in Eat & Drink
TD Garden will host two of the three big games this month.

Still riding the high of the recent World Series? With football, basketball, and hockey well under way, this is a great time of year to be a sports fan in Boston. Here are the must-watch games of December and the best places to catch them downtown.

Bruins v. Penguins, 12/7, 7 p.m.

Why you should watch:

Whenever Sidney Crosby pays a visit to the North End, we Bruins fans are always a little louder than usual. Crosby has been regarded as “The Next One” ever since he entered the NHL in 2005, but his ascension to hockey greatness has been delayed in recent seasons due to setbacks caused by concussions and injuries. Now that he’s healthy, the Pittsburgh Penguins are again one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Both the Bruins and the Penguins currently sit atop their respective divisions. With home ice advantage extremely valuable in the playoffs, any regular season matchup against Sidney Crosby is must-watch TV. With the 2014 Sochi Olympics approaching, Crosby will go head-to-head against soon-to-be Team Canada roster mate Patrice Bergeron, making this match up against the physical Bruins that much more intriguing.

Where you should watch: JM Curley

This place is sure to be hopping on a Saturday night—get in early to beat the crowd, secure a seat, and begin to down whatever creative popcorn flavor (do you smell bacon?) the kitchen has concocted as you await the start of the game. JM Curley’s never ceases to delight with its juicy burgers and an impressive array of ice-cold drafts. No matter the score, it’s a win-win.

Celtics v. Clippers, 12/11, 7:30 p.m.

Why you should watch:

This game marks the return of former head coach Doc Rivers after he opted for Lob City as part of a trade with the Clippers last June. Instead of finishing the remaining three years of his contract with the Celtics, Doc became the first domino to fall in a tumultuous off-season that also saw one-time Celtic’s lifer Paul Pierce and All-Star Kevin Garnett land in Brooklyn. At the helm of the team since 2004, Rivers led the Celtics to six straight playoff appearances, including three trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, two trips to the NBA Finals, and last but not least, the 2008 Championship title, the franchise’s first since the Larry Bird era. Boston will be forever grateful for that 2008 triumph over the Lakers, but when Rivers steps back under the Garden lights on the 11th, he’ll be facing upwards of 18,000 of the C’s faithful followers, few of whom will have forgiven him for his decision. For new head coach, Brad Stevens, a victory over his predecessor will definitely help make his transition to the City of Champions a little easier.

Where you should watch: The Hub Pub

If you can’t be in the Garden to bring the noise, chances are The Hub Pub will provide a nice substitute. Join what promises to be a lively crowd, young and old alike, to relish in the unrivaled passion of a Boston fanbase scorned. Gather around a plate of nachos or share a pitcher with a neighbor, but whatever you do, make sure you bring your game face. Hell hath no fury…

Tom Brady

Tom Brady will face the Ravens on his way to that elusive fourth ring. Photo Credit: Keith Allison

Patriots v. Ravens, 12/22, 8:30 p.m.

Why you should watch:

The rivalry between the Pats and the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens may go back only a few years, but the hatred certainly runs deep. The two teams have met in three out of the last four postseasons, with the Ravens victorious in two of these bouts. The most recent meeting was just last January in the AFC Championship, where the Ravens physically dominated the Pats with a 28-13 victory, dashing Tom Brady’s hope for that increasingly elusive fourth ring. The Ravens may have lost Ray Lewis and Ed Reed since last season, but the Pats are also depleted with season-ending injuries to both Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo. Brady will have to stay composed against the vicious pass rush from Terrell Suggs, who has been one of the most outspoken Brady haters, for the Pats to even the score by dealing a blow to Raven playoff hopes during one of the most anticipated Sunday Night Football games of the season.

Where you should watch: Beantown Pub

Sidle up to the bar or claim a table in this cozy space complete with dark-paneled walls and flat-paneled TVs. Recreate that tailgate feel with pigs in a bucket (a bucket of mini hot dogs wrapped in puff pastry) and boneless buffalo wings (no guesswork needed here). Wash it down with Beantown Ale, brewed exclusively for the Pub by Sam Adams. As the Pub boasts, it is the only bar in town where you can drink a Sam Adams while overlooking his grave. It just doesn’t get any more patriotic than that.

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