If you are a hardcore football fan, Super Bowl Sunday creates a dilemma: do you watch the game per your usual routine (either alone or with a small group of knowledgeable football fans) or do you join the hoi polloi for a Super Bowl Party?
If your team is playing in the Super Bowl, you must maintain your usual routine. There’s no excuse for breaking it now. If your team loses, it’s most likely your fault. This is not the time to be messing around with parties and not wearing your lucky underwear. The Lombardi is at stake.
For the rest of you, if you make the decision to host or attend a Super Bowl party, here are the rules you must adhere to. If you’re attending a party, print out this column for the host and other guests and let me be the jerk in your stead.
Your place needs to be conducive to throwing a party. That means if you don’t have a big screen HDTV (it’s 2010), you shouldn’t be the one throwing the party. If your space isn’t big enough for the number of people you’re inviting, you shouldn’t be the one throwing a party. And if you can’t have a lot of people making a lot of noise for 4-6 hours, then you shouldn’t be the one throwing the party. It also helps tremendously if you have multiple rooms for those who aren’t actually there for football. (But more on that later.)
Plentiful (and timely) Food and Booze. A good host always has plenty of food for the Super Bowl. A great host knows that most of the food goes cold by halftime and plans accordingly. It’s such a simple concept and yet I can guarantee half the parties next weekend will be reduced to cold congealed greasy nachos and wings by the time the Who amble off the stage. Not the cooking type? Then just make sure your ribs, nachos, wings, etc (brought by your guests of course) are ready at kickoff. Then order some pizzas. They’ll arrive just in time for the second half.
Your job as a host is also to make sure anyone who isn’t driving always has a cold beer in his hand. The quality of the beer is at the discretion of the host. The duty of the attendees is to make sure they bring enough beer so that the host never runs out. Use the double-up rule. If you plan on drinking 3 beers, bring at least a six pack. If you plan on drinking 6 beers, bring 12. If you plan on drinking 12 beers, AA meets once a week. The double-up rule ensures that the host’s stash isn’t too depleted by deadbeats who don’t bring alcohol or food. No host in the history of party-throwing has ever complained about having too much leftover beer in the house.
Keep the kids away from the TV. At some point in our lives, kids started popping up at every social event. If you know that there will be kids attending the party, make sure they are not allowed near the TV. Gate ’em up, wall ’em off, duct tape them to the wall. Doesn’t matter. No matter how cute you think your kid is in his Tony Romo jersey, his endless blathering is not appreciated by anyone but you. So put the kids in another room, beg, borrow, or steal six hours worth of Disney Pixar movies and tell them never to come out of that room or a cute puppy/bunny/kitten/whatever will be shot in the head. Borrow animal if you have to for effect. (Any kid old enough to like football and watch it intently is exempt from this rule. )
Keep the knitting circle away from the TV. Almost as annoying as screaming kids is what I call the knitting circle: men and women who are only there because they get to leave the house for once. While the Super Bowl party is for socializing, it’s primarily for football. So here are your rules:
- understand that you are in the knitting circle and act accordingly.
- do not take up prime seating.
- do not ask stupid questions about football during plays.
- do not root for/against a team unless you have a particular reason. Don’t be the guy/girl who wants to “stir it up”. If someone at the party is actually a fan of one of the teams, your “playful banter” or “playin” might get you a kick in the head.
- do not pretend to know more about football than you actually do. (This rule applies especially to men.) We can appreciate that not everyone knows football or even likes it, but don’t be a huge phony.
- do not discuss non-football related topics in the main TV room — go do that in the kitchen. Your one exception is during commercials. Feel free to comment as much as you want. First, nobody cares. Second, hardcore fans have made this concession and realize that the commercials are a part of the Super Bowl.
People who should not attend the party at all
- “The Hater” : Let’s say you are a fan of the Falcons. Do not go to a Saints party just to root against them. Yes, your loyalties are understandable. But don’t be that dick who is there just to root against everyone else. I speak from experience. Someone invited a Dallas Cowboys fan to an Eagles Super Bowl Party. He spent the whole night rooting against the Eagles. Not for the Patriots, just against the Eagles. There’s nothing wrong with rooting for your team, but if your team isn’t in the Super Bowl, don’t be a dick.
- “The Ironic Football Fan”: These are the guys/gals who are too cool and intellectual to watch football. Who think it’s absurd that professional athletes get paid more than teachers for playing a game. Who think that in order to love football, you must be some sort of neanderthal. Yes, we get it, you are intellectually superior. So why are you at this party cheering ironically during the game? Do everyone a favor and go home.
- “The Sleeve Tugger”: The significant other who isn’t interested in the game at all and will spend the entire game trying to get the person who is actually enjoying the game to leave.
- “Over-The-Top Super Fan”: If you know you’re too hardcore to go to a party and watch the game like a civilized person, just stay home. Nobody needs the temper-tantrum guy to ruin a fun time. You know the game is more important than talking to people. Stay home, watch the game, break your own stuff.
You don’t have to go home but you have to get the hell out of here. This is the most important rule of all. Once the clock hits 0:00 and the confetti starts raining down, you have 10 minutes to leave. Unless the host has specifically asked you to stay for whatever shenanigans, you need to say your goodbyes, pick up your crap and get the hell out.
That’s it folks. Some simple rules for making sure that the focus for the Super Bowl party is on the Super Bowl.