Are you revving up for the biggest day of the year for NFL fans? Then you are like the millions of other people on this planet, some of whom are actually excited to watch a great game of American football. For the rest of the viewers, however, football’s ultimate championship game is just an excuse – an excuse to throw a fantastic party. If you’re hosting a party this February 2nd, then you’d better make sure you invest the time to prepare the best party possible. Here are five ideas that you absolutely must keep in mind if you want to keep your guests happy and coming back for next year’s party (if you’re that brave!):
1. Let No Fan Be Hungry – Here is a general truth about human nature: if a person’s hunger is satisfied, he tends to be satisfied overall. The last thing you want is for someone to pick up the last soda bottle only to realize it’s empty. And the fourth quarter hasn’t even started yet. Buy more food than you think you’ll need, and then buy some more. This rule is especially true for drinks. Don’t skimp on beverages.
2. Mix it Up – Some people like chips and salsa. Some people like wings. Some people like veggie dips. Some people (this author among them) like all of the above. Keep your menu diversified, so that every viewer has something to munch on. Also, spread out the choices strategically. One bowl of chips just won’t cut it for a group of fifteen people. Grant equal access to the gal sitting on the couch and to the guy who is standing next to the fireplace. It’s also best party-throwing practice to set up some talking zones that are not in the room with the television. Lay out some food and drink in the kitchen. That way, people always have the option to go hang out away from the crowd.
3. Beware of Intense Fan – Every party’s got at least one of them: the fan who is probably more anxious about the game than happy to be spending his evening with friends. Respect this fan, but also feel a little bit bad for him. But whatever you do, do NOT antagonize this fan. He’s been closely following his team all season. The moment the kicker is kicking a potentially game-tying field goal is the WRONG time to playfully block his vision of the screen. This is how you turn a fun party into a party featuring a very angry person screaming at you. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you.)
4. The Early Bird Gets the Worm/People-Who-Can-Come-to-Your-Party – However you plan on spreading the word, be it email, social media, or just a plain old phone call, do it early. Don’t wait until the night before the game to start reaching out to people. Most of your friends will already have plans by then. You need to reach out to them at least a few days in advance, preferably a week. If not, then all that food you bought because you listened to idea #1, will actually go to waste. In fact, go call some people right now!
5. Respect the Commercial Viewers– To the great consternation of the genuine football fans at your party, some people will inevitably show up to your house just because they enjoy the commercials. These people can be easily identified by their tendency to talk through much of the game and then to demand quiet from everyone during the commercials. Don’t get ruffled by this viewer. The truth is even the football fans enjoy the commercials. The point for you, the host or hostess, is that commercials are NOT the right time for making public service announcements, such as: “Someone left their headlights on!” or “Does anyone know how to make guacamole?” or even “Does anyone know why Intense Fan is hunched on the floor, crying in the back of the room?” Any such announcements must be strategically timed for dead time during the game itself, for example when a reporter on the sidelines is speaking. Then, the floor is yours.
Now, go enjoy yourself. Have fun! Live life to the fullest – with family and friends by your side. And don’t forget – there is actually a game being played on that screen. (Go Seahawks!)
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