There are many people that celebrate the Super Bowl like it is a holiday. In fact, for many football fans, winter only means one thing: The Big Game!
However, did you know that recent Nielsen studies show that 51% of people who watch the Super Bowl do it only for the commercials? The game actually came second, and the half-time show was a distant third! That means if you’re hosting a Super Bowl party and only focus on the game, you may not be catering to everyone who attends.
So, whether you’re a die-hard sports fan or just eager to rate the expensive ads, no Super Bowl Sunday would be complete without friends, family, and fabulous food. A Super Bowl party is all about being casual, so there’s no reason to over think the big day. However, there is no reason for this to become a bunch of folks slouching around the den — it can be a fun reason to really throw a party. I love to get the kids involved; why not make some crafts with your kids that will make the event even better. You can put these decorations around your house prior to the game to get everyone in the spirit. And should you not have any kids, no worries a Super Bowl party brings out the child in all of us.
No matter what you do to decorate or prepare nothing will top a big screen TV to watch the game, add high definition and now you’re ready to invite your guests — although you may not even need to send an invite once the word is out. Remember, many men will always ask the question “how big is the TV” before they accept/confirm your invitation. Sorry ladies, this has nothing to do with your cooking or your fun activities, a great TV is a price of entry to hosting.
Now that you know you can host a party well, you need to consider some how-tos to best embrace the event. I have some MARvelous ideas for you that are fun and will make an everlasting experience.
- Discover Astro Turf Carpet as an inexpensive grass carpet that protects spills and food stains. Perfect as a carpet overlay to even cover your carpet. This will suit any decor and make all who enter comfortable and impressed by your cleverness. Easy to clean and maintain as it can be rolled-up and stored. For a few dollars a square foot, one can create an indoor field right in your own home. Have an AstroTurf runner in your home under the buffet area, at the front door, or under a coffee table for the “Big Game” look. Your guests will love the feeling of being outdoors watching the game.
- Go to a fabric store for a green tablecloth, or select ones in team colors to make a color runner for your buffet table. Weigh the ends by attaching small decorative footballs with safety pins.
- Make it a costume party! Encourage everyone to wear their team jerseys. For fun, why not add cheerleader into the mix? Sports reporters and announcers? Sports agents? Have fun with it.
- Make the buffet resemble a tailgate party — think oversized baskets for the food, galvanized buckets and coolers to keep drinks chilled, and even a camping grill (not operational, of course) can be used to display assembled hot dogs, hamburgers, etc.
- Use plaid blankets or remnant fabric to protect furniture while creating a festive look.
- A simple arrangement can bring the outdoors inside — just don’t overwhelm with flowers for this occasion. Grab your garden clippers and let’s head outdoors. Winter is the perfect time to bring in some good-sized dramatic flowering branches from the garden. I love to trim a huge armful of forsythia that fills the largest vase I have. I place the vase in my front bay window for all to enjoy inside or out. Forced branches make great simple arrangements with lots of drama.
- Buy a fresh football and have every guest sign it as if they were a professional player commemorating the game. Use this a centerpiece and at the end of the night, the best-behaved guest takes it home. Or, if you tend to host year after year, keep them yourself and use as decorations each year. A great way to remember the party and celebration.
- Streamers are back and growing in popularity! Create a colorful door curtain by hanging streamers from the top of a doorway to a few inches from the floor; attach to the top of the door frame with clear tape. Space them so people can see through to the other side. Tape a streamer to one side of a room and begin to twirl them loosely and then attach them to another side of the room. Do several in your team’s colors to get a wonderful calliope effect — and a fond reminder of party decorations from our youth.
- Face painting can be for everyone — and can keep youngsters entertained. Fans everywhere paint their faces on game day so invite your guests to do the same.
- Mirror mirror on the wall can become your billboard for all. By using a washable marker you can write “Go Team” or other party messages such as your Tailgate Menu, house rules or where to find the beer. A bar of soap can also work in leu of a marker.
- Replicate the snack bar: create a candy/chocolate station. Use different glass vessels in various heights to achieve a colorful and interesting look. This also works to help you spread the crowd out: place it to draw guests to an area of your home that otherwise would be missed.
- Be casual — handmade decorations are fun, but please use your local party store as a great resource for football balloons, pre-made decorations, etc. Visit your local dollar store for game day decorations and party supplies. They are fabulous for decorating bargains, as long as you’re willing to exercise a little creativity!
- Pick up a spool of ribbon in your team’s colors and use it to tie napkins together with the silverware inside so that guests can easily grab their utensils. Place napkins and plates in an oval galvanized washtub for a sporty casual look.
- A door to score: tie a brightly colored bow onto your doorknocker, or just about anything you can think of in team colors for a dose of team spirit at the door.
- Offer a wine tasting area for those people who’d rather experience something different than the traditional cold beer.
- Discover football shaped light up ice cubes for your drinks — they exist! Just do a quick search on-line. Available in a variety of colors, these are a festive idea and will “Wow!” your guests.
- Make a paper chain for around the room. Cut strips of the team’s colors out of paper. Staple the strips into circles one on the other. Alternate the colors in a pattern for the best impact. Again, a great project for kids: start them off when the game starts, then “half time” becomes their chance to decorate with what they’ve created.
- Must haves: Nerf mini footballs and several football whistles for all the “coaches” that attend.
- Half-time Trivia: If your guests are not all sports junkies (and based on the Nielsen survey it’s likely they are not), have a fun trivia contest during half-time featuring questions anyone might get right. Simply read the questions and the person with the closest guess wins a small prize (or maybe an extra beer!). Below are some fun ones to get you started (and which might astonish your guests):
Total Game Time 60 Minutes
Total Commercial Time 30 Minutes
Guacamole Consumed on Super Bowl Sunday 8 Million Pounds
Chips Consumed on Super Bowl Sunday 14,500 Tons
Super Bowl Sunday’s Heavy Food Consumption Rank 2 (after Thanksgiving and before Christmas)
Increase in Antacid Sales Monday After Super Bowl 20 Percent
Average Number of People at a Super Bowl Party 17
People Who Watch Super Bowl Alone 5 Percent
People Who Call in Sick Monday After Super Bowl 6 Percent
Super Bowls in Top 10 Most-Watched TV Programs 9th
Believe it or not, I love to throw a football party, and a football, too — literally. Surprised? So was I when I decided to coordinate a football game for adults. It took me a while to learn the rules and the plays but throwing the ball and making a pass was easy. And we all had a blast.
Watching a football game — any game for that matter — should always be about sharing your time with those closest to you. No matter if you watch the game, watch your friends drink too much, or watch the kids, enjoy the process and keep it casual. And should by chance your team win the big game — well that’s just the extra credit.
And there you have it.