A Game Plan for a Superbowl Party A Game Plan for a Superbowl Party

Since most of us do not have tickets to the big game, throwing your own Superbowl party can be a lot of fun. Here are a few tips for scoring big with your friends and family by throwing the perfect party.

Decorate the house in your favorite team's colors. If one of the teams playing is "your" team, put on all your paraphernalia, including jersey, hats, and in some extreme instances, face paint or masks. Be sure to add something for both teams just in case someone comes who is rooting for the opposition. Cheap and easy decorations can be made from crepe paper, or a few strategically placed footballs, pom-poms, etc.

If you're going to have guests who are rooting for different teams, establish an imaginary line (or for fun, "draw" one with masking tape) down the center of the room. Decorate each side in one team's colors. Be sure to move any fragile or breakable items out of the room before the game starts. You don't want someone to leap up yelling "First Down!" and break your wife's favorite vase.

Providing food at your party is a Superbowl must. Be sure to pick up veggies, cheese, and cold cut plates and a six-foot long sub or two from a deli. Or you could be a true Do-It-Yourselfer and make your own Superbowl sandwiches. Buying cold cuts separately is an inexpensive way to serve a large number of people. Have all the fixings available such as mayo, mustard, onions, pickles, hot peppers, and lettuce to make some really great sandwiches. Have an ample supply of chips and dips, cheeseballs and crackers, salsa, etc. Go the extra mile and serve them on a football-shaped platter. Make sure to account for all the proper utensils including plates, napkins, cups, and a football snack bowl. If you want people to bring something, you could have half bring an appetizer and half bring a dessert. That way you will have a variety and not all sweets. Have all the food laid out on a table within sight of the TV. Don't make your guests choose between eating and watching the game.

Keeping safety in mind, you should plan a good defense for your food at your Superbowl party with tips from the USDA.

  1. Clean. Wash hands and surfaces often.
  2. Separate. Separate raw meat and poultry from cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination.
  3. Cook. When cooking, use a food thermometer to ensure raw meat and poultry are cooked to a safe internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria that may be present.
  4. Chill. Store leftovers in the cooler within two hours of taking food off of the grill. When the temperature is above 90° Fahrenheit, store food within one hour.

When people arrive, have them write their half time and end of game guess scores. Have everyone write down who they think will win and what the final score will be before the game starts. Have silly prizes, like a big football piñata, for the person who comes the closest.

Buy several six-packs of beer, or you may even want to get a keg for larger parties. Keep the beer in a cooler close by so you don't have to run to the fridge when it's third and inches. Most importantly, be sure to restock the cooler at halftime. It's always good to have soda available for people who don't drink or are designated drivers. Since it is cold you could offer some non alcoholic hot drinks like hot cider in the crock pot.

You may want to set up a kids' room in the back of the house that's stocked with treats, games, a TV, and DVDs. You can also set up a puzzle on a card table. This way if some people at your party do not want to watch the game, they will have some place to hang out. This is a good place for people to sit and have something to do while watching the game, if they are not totally into the game.

Since this is a drinking event, you may want to offer "free pick-up and delivery" so no one has to worry about drinking and driving. Arrange to pick everyone up before the game and drop everyone off after it's over.

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