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The Super Bowl is the perfect excuse to throw the kind of no-fuss, no-muss party that’s just plain fun, which is why Michael J. Knapp and his wife Amber host one every year.
There’s no need for table settings or good china. You don’t need index cards with topic lists in case the conversation lags because all the entertainment’s provided. You can also skip slaving over the stove to create a culinary masterpiece. At a football-themed party, the gooier, messier, and cheesier the food, the better. It’s a chance to throw out the rulebook and build a seven-layer dip that defies imagination. And it’s your chance to can hang out with like-minded football fanatics who not only don’t care that you shout at your TV—they’ll shout out with you.
That said, Super Bowl parties are still parties, so they do require a little planning. Here are some tips on how to throw a party that will have everyone hoping for an invite every year.
Overestimate your guest count: In most cases, you can count on at least a 20 percent no-show for parties. But the Super Bowl is different: this is the kind of party where the guest list is fluid, and someone almost always shows up saying “Hey, you don’t mind that I brought a couple of friends, right?”
Have extra food and drinks on hand: Even taking extra guests into account, remember that the Super Bowl is at least a four-hour deal, with no set “sit down” meal time. You need to have enough for everyone to snack on for the duration. One option that works well, according to Michael J. Knapp, is to keep the chips and dip, pretzels and peanuts coming continuously, and then bring out a different specialty item like wings, sandwiches or tacos every hour or so, setting some aside for seconds.
Do as much as you can beforehand: Prep the veggies and cheese platters the day before, and precook everything possible the morning of the game. Make your primary goal having fun with your guests and seeing as much of the game as possible.
Decorate: You don’t have to go all Martha Stewart here. Even something as simple as napkins and plastic cutlery in team colors can make things more festive. If you’re feeling inspired, add a few novelties, such as a football-shaped ice cream cake, a football piñata or some foam fingers. Of course, if going over the top is your thing, break out the face paint and jerseys and go to town.
Plan out your space wisely: Clear out as much extraneous furniture as you can so that people have space to move around. Set up tables near the TV so people don’t have to leave the room to grab a quick bite. Also, keep a cooler stocked with beer and soda near the seating area so that it’s in easy reach of your guests.
Provide some fun: Offer your guests foam bricks to throw at the TV. Find out everyone’s predictions for the game, and take friendly bets or award a fun prize to the one who comes the closest.