Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Throw a Perfect Geeky Super Bowl Party

There are some traditions in this world that should never be thwarted.  The perfect Super Bowl party and the debauchery that accompany it is one of those traditions.  I have hosted many a Super Bowl party and there are some simple things that can make your Super Bowl party run smoothly for your guests.  Not only will it run smoothly, we will throw in ways to make it perfectly geeky as well.

Know your Audience:  The decisions you make will be based on who is coming to your party.  If you are having just the guys over, the choices of time, foods, drinks, etc. will all change as opposed to having a mix of men, women, football fanatics, and those who can care less about the game. 

Plan the Perfect Time:  Pregame can start as early as 9 or 10 a.m. on the sports networks.  Usually ESPN will start around 10 with some pregame coverage that will go to noon.  Then, NFL Network will have coverage from noon until network TV brings the "official" pregame - usually around 3.   If you are having hardcore football fans over, there is nothing wrong with having it earlier than 3 as long as you are prepared to have more food and drinks available (especially drinks).  As a general rule of thumb, when the network TV pregame starts, that is always a good time.  People are generally late (on purpose) so that will give plenty of time for them to make their grand entrance without missing the game.

The TV is the Key:  High-def is pretty much standard at this point and people expect it.  If you are going to be having your own Super Bowl party, you will need to make sure that you have a high-def TV ready to roll come game time - preferably large enough for everyone to see (a 27" TV probably won't cut it if you are having more than two or three people over).

Rearrange Furniture so everyone can see:  This is always a pain but it is a necessary evil if you are having more than four or five people over for your party.  Move stuff around to create enough room so everyone will be able to see the nice high-def TV we just talked about.

Multiple TVs are always good:  I usually put out a small 19" TV and put it on the opposite side of the room (a simple splitter will do if you don't have multiple cable outlets).  This can be used to watch other specials, etc. that go on at halftime.  Also, when the network TV's pregame is on your big high-def TV, you can always have the small TV (with volume down and closed captioning on) watching the sports channels pregame for anyone hardcore who may be interested in a bit more in-depth pregame that a sports channel will give over the "dumbed down" network pregame.

Make Room on the DVR:  I always recommend DVR-ing the game.  You probably won't need it but, you never know when another Janet Jackson costume malfunction may happen and you need to be ready.

Surround Sound:  Even though a good portion of the time the halftime entertainment and pregame performers are average at best, it is important to make them sound as good as possible.  As mentioned before, high-def is pretty standard these days and so is a surround system.  And, the Super Bowl only happens once a year, don't be afraid to crank it up a little louder than normal (as long as you don't live near easily aggravated neighbors or sleeping children).

Pregame Gaming:  You would be surprised at the amount of people who would gladly play some pregame Madden or Tecmo Bowl to get them in the mood for the game.  That little 19" TV would be a perfect place to have a NES hooked up and ready to roll for any old time gamers that may want to play the upcoming Super Bowl teams from 1987 (if they existed back then).  If your party is as geeky as mine, a Tecmo Bowl tournament wouldn't be out of the question.

Drinks/Food:  Again, this is going to be based on audience.  If you are having mainly men, beer is pretty standard and some spirits but if you have a nice mix of men and women, you want to supply the whole lot - wine, beer, vodka, rum, shots of choice (Jagerbombs are always a favorite), and mixers.  As for food, I always say, "keep it as simple as possible."  When the game is going on, you do not want to deal with the tremendous pain in the ass that is cooking and dealing with getting food prepared.  Maybe make some of your favorite appetizers for pregame and order pizza for halftime.  It's simple and it will cost about the same amount as making something to feed everyone.  Just remember to order early because pizza joints get hammered with orders on Super Bowl Sunday.

Have a Laptop with Internet Access Available:  I know this is hard to believe but, in this day and age, some people still don't have access to the Internet via their smart phones.  I have found that whenever I have people hanging out, someone will take advantage of a computer with Internet access whether it be to check up on some pregame action to checking up on their Facebook.  It's just a nice touch for your guests.

Everyone wants to get paid:  Having a pool is a great way to get everyone involved with the game, even for those who can care less about football.  I have found squares to be the easiest and most fun way for everyone to stay involved with the game.  Setting it up is really easy and even the person who only watches the Super Bowl so they know what time the Puppy Bowl halftime show is, will stay tuned to the game.  (Don't know how to set up or play squares -

Plan for After the Game:  A lot of people take the day after the Super Bowl off because they know it is a party night.  Find out who may be doing this and decide if you would like to do the same.  Go out for a bit (by taking a cab) to change up your night. 

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