The culmination of the American football season is on the horizon. Millions of people will tune in to watch two teams battle for the title of champion. While the teams may be busy prepping their last-minute offensive and defensive strategies, sports fans across the country are doing their own strategizing by planning the perfect game-day party.
The first AFL-NFL World Championship Game in professional American football, later known as Super Bowl I, was played on January 15, 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. Since that day, ardent fans and novices alike have been celebrating football by hosting their own viewing parties at home. These parties present yet another way for friends to get together.
As the opening kickoff draws closer, here are some keys to Super Bowl party success.
* Know your playing field. Your home is only so big, and that means you will have to limit the number of people you can invite. Crowding too many people into the house can be uncomfortable and dangerous, never mind trying to talk and hear above the cacophony of too many people. Take inventory of how many you can seat comfortably. You may need to move out larger furniture and move in folding chairs if you plan to accommodate more guests. If you live in a warmer climate, you may be able to hook up the television outside and host an outdoor event in the yard. This will enable even more people to attend.
* Size up your competition. Super Bowl Sunday is a once-a-year event. There will be thousands of like-minded individuals planning their own parties and utilizing the same services in your local area. Those who need to rent tables and chairs and rely on a caterer (or the services of the nearest pizza joint) should plan early. If you would like to have a football gathering, start laying the groundwork a few months in advance. This way you can leave deposits for any vendors and be secure in knowing you will have what you need come gameday.
*Establish your play book. Will this be a chips-and-dips type of party or will you be offering more substantial fare? Is it adults-only or are guests able to bring their kids along? Make a list of questions that need to be answered and set up the party parameters. This way you will know what to stock up on in advance. Consider allocating a separate room in the house for kids’ play or for adults who are there for the social aspect of the party and will not necessarily be glued to the television.
* Check your equipment. What is the Super Bowl without a means to watch the game? Retailers often offer the best deals on new televisions this time of year because they know sports fans want to upgrade their televisions for the big game. If yours is a TV that has seen better days or doesn’t offer the high-definition picture guests have come to expect, this may be the time to cash in holiday gift cards for a new flat-screen. If buying new isn’t a possibility at this time, there are centers that will rent electronics.
* Watch the clock. Hardcore fans will not want to miss any of the action. Therefore, refreshments and other components of the party will have to coordinate to the timing of the game. Do the bulk of food preparation before kickoff and allow guests to mingle and fuel up before the game starts. Save finger foods and other snacks that are easily accessible for when the game starts. Guests can take a break at halftime and grab food and beverages that are set up buffet-style in another room. Hosts and hostesses also may want to consider serving as food “butlers” and constantly come out with new finger foods on trays and go around the room to ensure everyone doesn’t miss a moment of the game.
* Don’t run interference. There’s not much entertainment that needs to be scheduled on game day apart from the game itself. Ensure that the television is situated so nobody’s view is obstructed and that people moving in and out of the room need not cross in front of the TV to get food or use the restroom. While it may be customary to decorate your home with a few decorations, ensure any decorations do not obstruct views of the game. To make things comfortable for the largest number of people, consider having two TVs tuned into the game running in separate rooms. This way, guests can mingle and not be tied to one area.