As many know, football holds a very special place in my heart. In the late 80s I had the opportunity to be an offensive guard for the Minnesota Vikings and was also a pioneer in the new start-up Arena Football league, Chicago Bruisers team. More recently, members of the community may know me as “Coach” for their kids playing on the Hinsdale Falcons. (Read more about “The Lessons I Learned From Football” on my post back in August 2018.)
Super Bowl Sunday is a magical day when seemingly everyone becomes a football fanatic. We gather, we eat, we drink, and we watch as talented athletes reach for their dream of winning a Super Bowl.
It got me thinking…what are some ways we can celebrate and enjoy this special Sunday in the comfort of our own home, surrounded by friends and family?
Like any great gathering, the planning is arguably the most important part. A well-planned party doesn’t have to be stressful. If you’re like me, you want something casual and fun—especially on a day like Super Bowl Sunday.
Not a planner? Here’s a simple checklist that may help…
- Decorations – let the team colors inspire your banners, streamers, or balloons.
- Coolers or small tubs for drinks-in-ice – if you have the space in your home, place multiple small containers strategically throughout the gathering space to make refills convenient for guests, wherever they are.
- Ice – always get more than you think you’ll need!
- Beer & Beverages – Offer a good assortment of bottled beer to keep everyone happy, but don’t forget about the non-drinkers, too.
- Bottle openers – like the strategically-placed coolers, it’s a good idea to have several of these laying around for guests so their focus from the game is never distracted for too long.
- Food – we’ll tackle this in more detail in the next section…pun intended.
- Plates, bowls, cutlery, napkins, serving trays – Do yourself a favor and go disposable! You’ll be thankful you did when it’s time for clean-up.
- Seating – take inventory of what you have available at home and fill the gaps when needed. (More seating and TV room set-up tips at the end of this article!)
Experimenting with new foods and clever recipes is a great way to impress guests. But, when it comes to hosting a low-stress, fun, football-themed gathering in the home, the McCurry family tends to opt for the classics. Pizza (Pro-tip: Brama La Pizza delivers!), wings, nachos, mini sliders, chips and a variety of dips…these are the food traditions of Super Bowl Sunday. Why re-invent the wheel?
Food and entertaining experts acknowledge Super Bowl Sunday as the second-biggest “food day” in the country. First place is, you guessed it, Thanksgiving. It’s safe to assume your guests will expect food – and probably even more of it than what they’d usually consume. Catering professionals tend to recommend at least 12 pieces of food per guest for a Super Bowl party…nearly two times as much as any other type of party! So, just like ice for drinks, it’s best to get more than you think you’ll need.
Let’s not forget the most important part of any Super Bowl party…the game. Make sure you have the game playing in the main gathering area…and any other area in which you may have a screen available! Even if it requires a bit of temporary rearranging in your home, the TV is the star of this gathering.
Give your TV a centralized location with plenty of seating—open floor space up front for the nimblest bodies, then an area of generous amounts of seating directly behind for those who need a place to park themselves, and finally “standing room only” behind the seating area. There’s a strategic reason stadiums are set up similarly! Unobstructed views are key. Another tip: have the sound turned up and subtitles on. This way those who are interested in the commentary will be able to indulge, even if the room and guests get noisy.