Fan or casual spectator: There are no losers at a Super Bowl party

Alexandra Brell

One of the most anticipated sporting events of the year takes place on February 7. Either for the game or the commercials, most people are looking forward to the Super Bowl. It provides all the reason one needs to have a party. This can be a well thought out extravaganza, or it can be as simple as a potluck.

Since I know a little bit about the game and because I think Super Bowl Sunday should be a national holiday, I’m giving all hosts a jumpstart to their festivities.

There are three elements that are crucial to a successful Super Bowl party: food, feng shui and fun.

Organizing party food without a game plan is like trying to run the Colts’ offense without Peyton Manning; it is just not going to be effective. With a properly thought out menu and gathering all necessary accoutrements, every food item can be prepared by Saturday night.

This leaves Sunday morning open for sleeping in and a leisurely cup of coffee.

Depending on the guest list, determine if it is quantity or quality, and then act accordingly. The traditional, tailgating menu is easy- hot dogs and burgers – but it’s predictable.

Why not pick a theme:
South of the border – make your own burrito.
Mediterranean – keep it heart healthy.
Asian fare – won tons do resemble footballs, right?
Multiple munchies – there is something to be said for chips and dips. (I recommend pita with hummus.)

The night before is a great time to hang any desired decorations (everyone loves balloons). Make sure you have plenty of ice. And don’t forget, it’s the little things that count. Blue (Colts) and gold (Saints) paper plates and napkins are an inexpensive and nice touch that shouldn’t go unnoticed by most guests.

Feng shui refers to the energy placement and balance of a home or single room. It is also helpful for crowd control. Guests must be able to flow through the home and not interfere with those watching the game, nor should anyone or anything be blocking the buffet table.

I cannot stress enough that the placement of the television be just right! It should sit in a location where people can be comfortable as they watch. In addition, location should allow fans to excuse themselves if needed without causing a distraction.

It’s important to remember that some guests aren’t there for the game. The TV should allow for those, who are only there for the food, to be a non-distraction to the play on the screen.

Conversely, hardcore fans should not be given a reason to yell or harass the big eater who may accidentally find him or herself loitering in front of the screen. Safety of guests comes first when entertaining.

All party-goers can have fun, guaranteed. For those who are not into the game: watch anyway. Lack of knowledge about the rules doesn’t mean the action of the plays won’t be enjoyable. Intensity and excitement can be contagious.

While I cannot condone gambling, playing an interactive game is an interesting way to have fun and keep everyone involved.

Keep it simple and easy: Twenty small pieces of paper and a bowl or basket is all the equipment you need. Write down 20 questions, five questions per quarter. For example:

How many times will the announcer say “offense?”
How many yards will Joseph Addai or Reggie Bush rush for?
How many pass attempts for either team or both?
How many commercials will be shown this quarter?

Play as a group or have a one-on-one challenge. Each question can be worth a dollar (of Monopoly money, of course). The winner gets to keep their “money.” Maybe the loser has to clean up the kitchen. Make the rules up as you go.

I hope these ideas will be helpful for your gathering or provide a kickoff for your own ideas.

However, if you are adamantly opposed to watching the game, if the commercials hold no appeal or if you can find better food in your own refrigerator, I have five words for you: Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet. Everyone’s a winner!