World Cup Excitement Overflows at Fox Pub

By Anna Yee

July 17, 2011 Updated Jul 18, 2011 at 9:03 AM CDT

"Soccer's our game here."

At Peoria's Fox Pub and Café, you can eat and lounge English-style, but there are hints of American pride, especially during the women's World Cup Championship.

(Do you feel strange rooting for the US?) "Not at all," said owner Mike Cheesman, "this is my home now, and I'm just as big a fan of the U.S. team as anybody."

Cheesman is originally from England. He's just like any other European "futbol" fanatic, but his pub brings together the best of both worlds.

"One of the things I think Europe envies America for is the way they can put on family-favorite sports," said Cheesman.

It's the atmosphere that brought Pekin native Nathan Leitner here.

"I like this place better than a sports bar, a stereotypical one with a bunch of giant screens and a bunch of people," said Leitner, "where you have to convince the waiter to change the channel to a soccer game."

Leitner used to play soccer. Now he's sharing his passion with his family and friends.

"I'm starting to recruit girlfriend, her parents, my mom's getting there," said Leitner.

This Dunlap mother has learned to love the game by watching her children play.

Now Beth Crider-Olcott and her husband can sit back and watch the big leagues together, without the pressure.

"For my daughters to have the opportunity to play sports and to see it like this is great," said Crider-Olcott.

And she says she admires these athletes in particular.

"They have role models like this that have worked hard and play hard and are out there fighting to win," continued Crider-Olcott. "Oh yeah, they're a great role model for my daughters."

Whether you enjoy watching the players or the game, the Fox is the place to be.