This year’s Superbowl — LVI, if you’re counting — is just over a week away, taking place on Sunday, February 13th. It’s the first to be held in the Los Angeles area since 1993 when OJ Simpson handled the coin toss before the Dallas Cowboys trounced the Buffalo Bills in the Rose Bowl.
For many, next week’s game will feel like a homecoming since the very first Super Bowl was in Los Angeles 55 years ago. Super Bowl LVI will be played in a new stadium in Inglewood, California. Similarly, you might be watching the game from a new home, too, if you’ve purchased it in the last few years.
House parties are back
Watching the Super Bowl with friends and family all together is nearly as exciting as the holidays we just wrapped up a month ago. And this year’s event is shaping up to be a great one, especially since the last Super Bowl took place before many of us felt comfortable being in crowds during the pandemic.
According to the National Retail Federation, enthusiasm for last year’s Super Bowl — Kansas City v. Tampa Bay — saw a 19.2% decline from the $17.2 billion consumers spent on the Super Bowl in 2020, pre-pandemic. We’re talking Super Bowl-related items such as food, drinks, decorations and apparel. We’re expecting that the rate of vaccinations and a desire to get back to Super Bowl house parties will reverse that trend in a big way.
Face it, Super Bowl parties are a tradition, and whether you are a football fan or not, there’s a good chance you’ll either be hosting one or invited to one. Here are ten tips to help you get through the day without calling interference or getting a two-minute warning.
5 tips for being a super Super Bowl host
Outside of the nacho plate, most of your guests will have all eyes on the TV. So make sure it’s functioning and a decent size for the room you’ll all be in. That doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a bigger screen, but if you moved into your new home with the TV from your last place and have been considering something more substantial, now would be a great time to do it. If you have TVs in other rooms — office, guest bedroom, basement — make sure to have them all tuned to the game, with plenty of seating to go around. If that’s an issue, rent folding chairs for a cheap, temporary solution.
Carve out some TV-free spaces
Not everyone will be glued to the game. Some guests will be there to catch up with friends and family (and get out of the house). Creating TV-free areas lets guests enjoy your new home without disrupting die-hard football fans.
Super Bowl parties go hand in hand with chowing down, but there’s no reason to cook a big meal. Go for foods that don’t require a lot of utensils, like nachos, chicken wings, hot dogs and a veggie or cheese plate. Or two. Or three. A real fan won’t want to miss a second of gametime, so if they can’t watch the broadcast from the kitchen, set up a self-serve bar and buffet area near the main TV. And make sure to offer a variety of non-alcoholic beverages along with beer, booze and wine.
What about the children?
Will any of your guests have kids in tow? You might want to set up a spare guest room or office as a space for kids to hang together. Even better if it’s equipped with a gaming console for older kids or the Disney Channel if they’re younger.
Have a football/housewarming mash-up
If you recently moved in or haven’t felt entirely comfortable enough to host a housewarming party yet, consider Super Bowl Sunday your opportunity to smash the two events together. If you don’t go overboard with football-themed decor, your guests will still be able to get a good feel for the new home and why you fell in love with it.
5 tips for being a great Super Bowl guest
Dress the part
Wear a team jersey, t-shirt or a winter beanie in the team’s colors if you’re in colder climates. Go all out and get a pennant, cheerleader pom-poms or a beer koozie of the team you’re rooting for! Your host will love it!
Be generous but moderate
Never arrive at a Super Bowl party empty-handed. Call the host beforehand and see if you can bring prepared foods like a salad or lasagna. Or offer to pick up some beverages! On that note, go easy on the alcohol. It’s easy to over-indulge when you and your friends are cheering (or not) for the winning team! Be respectful if the host has invited family, work associates and neighbors you might not be close to. Besides, someone has to be the post-game designated driver, so why not you?
Don’t take control
During the excitement of the game, it’s super easy to forget you’re in someone else’s home and fall back into habits from your own place. On that note, don’t grab for the remote, change the channel or adjust the volume. The TV and the TV remote belong to your host, so get permission before trying to steer the ship.
Watch the potty-mouth
Lots of people watch football games in a pub or sports bar. Foul language may be acceptable there, especially if there’s a bad play or a bad call. But when you’re in someone else’s home for Super Bowl Sunday — particularly if kids are present — take it down a few notches. This isn’t church, but it’s also not your own home, so play it cool and be polite, even if things get a little noisy and energetic.
And watch the ads
Whether you’re a self-proclaimed football fanatic or you can’t tell a touchdown from a field goal, chances are that you’ll still get a kick from the ads. They make us laugh, cheer and sometimes get a little emotional. So be respectful when the game cuts to a commercial, and don’t take it as an opportunity to lower the volume down or talk over the TV. Ads during Super Bowl Sunday are a major reason why some people watch the game, and talking during them is just wrong!
One last thing: Be a good sport
Our last tip is to have a good time. If you’re a first-time homeowner, hosting Super Bowl Sunday can be stressful, but it can also be the launching pad of a fun annual tradition in your new home. If you’re a guest, being on your best behavior will ensure you’re invited to more parties in the future! And you can ensure future invites by staying after the game to help the host clean up the mess you all made! Have fun!