The Best in Orange County Sports and Athletics of 2013
In honor of the recent release of our 2013 Best Of issue, we've compiled a list of the greatest sports and athletic activities Orange County has to offer. The winners range from professional to amateur with awards for the Best Gym, Best Angels Player and even Best Place to Hit People With Balls and Inhale Foam. So without further ado...
Best Ducks Player: Viktor Fasth
Goaltender Viktor Fasth's inaugural season in the NHL may have been only half a season, but he seemed determined to make up for lost time. Seriously, he's not a goalie; he's a man-shaped wall in a goal net, racking up a 15-6-2 record after spending the lockout playing hockey in his native Sweden. Fans everywhere were stunned when Fasth wasn't invited to play in the post-season and left wondering whether the Ducks would have advanced had he been there.
Readers' Choice: Teemu Selanne
Best Place to Play Pool: Games Plus Billiards
Pool ought to be played in the kind of bars you see in the movies under low light, late at night and with a regular crowd. Games Plus Billiards gives you just that. It's essentially a laid-back dive bar, serving beer and wine for cash only, but with enough pool and game tables to fill up a Dave and Buster's. Plus, there's an outdoor smoking patio and an arcade! You won't have to wait to play, and rounds are cheap--especially when paired with $1 beers on Tuesdays. Grab a friend--or maybe a lot of them. There's definitely room for everyone. 518 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627. 949-642-8847.
Readers' Choice: Danny K's Billiard
MyVoiceNation user 13thFrame La Habra 300 Bowl
Best Bowling: La Habra 300 Bowl
There's something kind of awkward about an upscale bowling alley. No matter how many velvet couches where people can lounge while drinking a cocktail and listening to some kind of music that's supposed to get them laid there are, the place still smells like feet and you're still sharing shoes with strangers. That's what is so awesome about La Habra 300 Bowl. It isn't trying to hide anything. It's just a straight-up bowling alley. From the outside, it looks exactly like the alley from The Big Lebowski. The inside is no different from the one in the film: terrible lighting, worn-down lanes and plastic bucket seats. But the bar is half the reason to visit. The Bowl has been open for more than 50 years, and like the décor, the bartenders are sweet and unassuming. It's a total dive, with dark red carpets and low wooden tables with red-leather swivel chairs. And the smoking "room" is really a dark, glass box with ventilation--kind of. Linbrook may be open 24 hours, but you can't beat drinking and bowling in such a fantastic, rundown throwback. Did we mention the coffee shop adjacent to the bar serves Chinese food? 370 E. Whittier Blvd., La Habra, CA 90631. 714-526-2058.
Readers' Choice: Irvine Lanes
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518 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, CA
1947 S. Main St., Santa Ana, CA
2000 E. Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA
2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA
16782 Graham St., Huntington Beach, CA
4621 Santiago Canyon Rd, Silverado, CA
13011 Newport Ave., Tustin, CA
2970 Airway Ave., Costa Mesa, CA
16632 Hale Ave., Irvine, CA
Basilone Road & 5 Freeway, San Clemente, CA