Super Bowl XLV – Get the party started

Wendy Sloan

Whether you’re tuning in as a die-hard football fan or you just enjoy watching the commercials, the big event of this weekend is the Super Bowl. Besides being America’s most watched sporting event, everyone’s ready for a little excitement and time with their friends in the dead of winter. Even though the big game is only two days away, it’s not too late to throw your very own Super Bowl Bash.

Keep it simple

The Super Bowl is a spectacle itself, so there’s no need to go overboard if you’re planning a party. The amount of effort you want to put in your party is completely up to you. You can ask your guests to help with a potluck and/or BYOB party. But if you want to take on more of the responsibility yourself, you can do that too. Really, there are five main things you need to think about.

1. Decorations

Let’s be honest — everyone is going to be fixated on the TV. Decorations really aren’t needed, but there is nothing wrong with adding a few small things if you feel inclined. Use the teams’ colors and break your space down by sides. Have black and gold on one side and green and yellow on the other. If you favor one team, just use its colors. This might start some friendly competition among your guests. Ask them to come dressed to support their team. If somebody shows up in a Bears’ uniform, that’s OK too.

As for decorations in your party area, all you need are some colorful streamers or NFL banners for the living room and then festival party plates or napkins for the kitchen or dining area.

2. Food

With all the focus on the TV and the game, easy to eat finger foods are the best things to have for your party. You want portable and simple.

The easiest party foods are chips and salsa and pizza. Everyone seems to like them and you can even order the pizza straight to your home. Plus you’re going to want to watch the game, not spend all your time in the kitchen preparing food. But remember if you’re ordering food, plan ahead. Pizza places are bound to be extra busy on Super Bowl Sunday, and you don’t want to deal with hungry guests.

If you do want to make something, choose foods you can prepare ahead of time. Think about foods that will slow cook or bake without needing your attention, such as chili, meatballs or little smokies. Set up the food buffet style. This way guests can help themselves as they please and the game can be the focus.

If you have the time, bake a pan of brownies or pick up a dessert from the store. Guests will enjoy something sweet to finish their meal.

3. Drinks

Beer seems to be the drink of choice for football games, especially on Super Bowl Sunday. There are sure to be some clever beer or alcohol commercials on during the big game, and your guests are probably going to want to have a cold one in their hand. But don’t forget to have a non-alcoholic option too. Soda or punch is always a good alternative. If you don’t know what your guest want to drink, you can always make your party BYOB.

Whatever you drink of choice may be, make sure you have plenty on hand. With all the cheering and shouting that is bound to happen on Sunday, your friends are likely to drink quite a few beverages. Chances are none of your friends are going to volunteer to make a drink run to the store in the middle of the game. Stock up!

4. Supplies and Clean up

When the game’s over and the guests are gone, you are not going to want to wash dishes or spend a lot of time cleaning up. The easiest option is to buy disposable plates, cups, silverware, etc. With messier food and a party atmosphere, purchase plenty of napkins. Keep trash cans in sight so people can throw items away as they finish. The less you have to pick up, the better. Even though it’s not the greenest choice, if you opt for plastic or disposable items all you have to worry about is taking out the trash at the end of the night.

5. TV

These days, if you’re throwing a Super Bowl bash, you probably should have a big screen. You might even have surround sound. If you don’t have a big screen TV, you should consider renting or borrowing one. You wouldn’t want to start the party off the wrong way when your friends arrive and realize they’re watching the game on your parents old 22 inch. Plenty of places have television rentals, but they might be rented out by this time.

Also, if there are hard core football fans in your circle of friends, consider having a no talking rule for the main viewing area. This can keep people from arguing if someone tries talking during a big play.

It’s not too late to still have a fun and successful Super Bowl fiesta. Call up some friends and get planning.

Take your party out

If you don’t feel up to putting together a party, organize your friends and go somewhere to watch the big game. Then you don’t have to worry about anything but transportation. There are plenty of places to go and see the big game.