Ross Harris and Aaron Johnson sat at a table designed to hold eight people at the Ale House Pub & Eatery near Fircrest.
A mistake? Think more like strategic placement: Less than 15 feet away sat one of the restaurant’s large-screen plasma television.
"Can’t complain about high-def," Harris said.
The two Fircrest men ate lunch, watched the TV (at that moment, UNLV and Kent State were on the tube) and bantered in the early afternoon.
Harris gave Johnson some good-natured ribbing for being from Bellingham and enjoying hockey. ("He’s almost a Canadian," Harris said.) Johnson, a firefighter, admitted that the college hoops season does at times interfere with hockey, but all is forgiven during the tournament.
Harris, who owns a plumbing company, admits he’s more of an NFL guy. But, he said, it’s tough not to get excited come tournament time.
"March Madness is way, way more exciting than the NBA," he said. "During the season, yeah, it’s cool. But now? Almost nothing compares to it."
About a dozen people sat in the bar shortly after 1 p.m. Most appeared to be watching basketball.
In the room closest to the entrance, one man was drinking a beer and putting money into a Golden Tee machine so he and his friend could play a round of virtual golf during commercial breaks.
Both men trying to keep a low profile.
"I’m supposed to be at work right now," one of them said. "My boss would kill me if he knew I was here right now."