"A typical Sunday when the Eagles were playing there were 100 to 200 people here," said Ron Meidlinger, of Dan's Sports Pub, on Bridge Street in Phoenixville. Patronage has dropped significantly since the Eagles lost in the playoffs, according to Meidlinger.

Both Dan's Sports Pub and La Taverna, The Italian Tavern employees and regular patrons noted a smaller crowd than in past years and earlier in this year's season.

"It [the crowd] would be huge if Eagles were playing," said Matthew Crocker, of Mont Clare, who was enjoying the game at Dan's with friends. "You've got to be a real football fan otherwise it's just spectacle." Crocker, along with friends Joan Jenkins and Kharen Zeunett, stated that they were Eagles fans.

"The game is pretty boring," said Jenkins, of Mont Clare. "Commercials are better." Commercials, which are notoriously expensive, during the yearly game, draw crowds alone. Favorite advertisements can be voted on at www.superbowl-ads.com.

"It's a social event," said Zeunert, who said that she was more interested in spending time with friends than the game.

Brandon Mohr, restaurant manager at LaTaverna, The Italian Tavern on Nutt Road of Schuylkill Township also saw a smaller crowd than in past years.

"Overall, from comments in the crowd, people are frustrated that this is the third time the Eagles made it to the playoffs and lost," said Mohr.

However, the restaurant had a record number of take out orders beginning around noon, according to Mohr.

" It's almost like another holiday," said Mohr, who found in talking to patrons that many people are staying home and having parties with friends and family.

"In my opinion people are staying home because its safer," said Meidlinger. Stiffer DUI laws that were passed by Governor Rendell in October took effect Feb. 1, 2004. The law increases punishments on the basis of the driver's blood-alcohol level and carries more severe penalties for repeat offenders, doubling fines in some cases and imposing longer jail terms.

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