Jersey bar bans NFL, sees big payoff for veterans (and business)
FARMINGDALE — A ban on NFL games at a Monmouth County bar could become permanent following the success of Sunday's event.
Woody's Roadside Tavern in Farmingdale shut off its 20 screens on Sunday, to honor veterans with a concert and a fundraiser to benefit the Green Beret Foundation. Co-owner Rob Johnson said that despite concerns over the effect on business in the middle of football season, he and partners Jennifer Knapp and Chris Maltes decided it was the right thing to do.
Their decision paid off with one of Woody's busiest days ever.
"We are actually considering not showing football games going forward," Johnson told New Jersey 101.5 in a text.
"The day was overwhelmingly positive, with incredible patriotism and love for our country and veterans. There was no negative talk about the NFL, only the love and respect our veterans deserve," Johnson said.
Customer Pete Eckel said it was a humbling experience shaking hands with veterans at Woody's.
"There was no hate toward the NFL, nor players, 'cause we all want to enjoy the games, but the overwhelming sentiment was hurt and disappointment that (the veterans) gave of themselves, and their brothers want to disgrace our flag and binding traditions," Eckel said.
Members of the New Jersey-based country band After The Reign, John Stevens and Willie Kelly, performed. Woody's also donated 20 percent of its food sales on Sunday to Special Forces Association Chapter 19.
Eckel said a second band, Those 2 Guys, also played for several hours without a break.
Johnson said that he saw "the love that this country has for its armed forces, men and women, is overwhelming."
NFL players seemed to put their protests on hold during Veterans Day weekend with most players standing, according to Fox News, which reported that Eric Reid and Marquise Goodwin of the 49ers and the Giants' Olivier Vernon took a knee before their game in San Francisco, the only players league-wide who did so.
Members of the military were part of pregame activities at many games on Sunday. Many players took pictures with soldiers who ran onto the field at the start of the game.
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