Thursday, January 24, 2013

Super Bowl party etiquette for hosts and guests

Super Bowl (3 February, 2013) ...
Super Bowl (3 February, 2013) ... (Photo credit: marsmet481)
For many of us, the 2012-2013 NFL season is a mere memory. The regular season games have come and gone, as have the conference playoffs. All that is left to enjoy is the Pro Bowl (this Sunday) Super Bowl (Feb 3rd). Year in and year out, the Super Bowl is one of the most watched events on television. With all of the hooplah surrounding the game, parties are inevitable. It is almost an obligation to host-or attend-at least one Super Bowl event on Super Sunday. Whether you are a fan of the game or not, there is a special kind of etiquette involved when attending an event. Here are some tips for hosting and attending a Super Bowl party.

  • Don't be a bitter fan. Just because your team didn't make it to the big game doesn't mean others at the party want to hear your griping. Yes, some of us already know that the Steelers have six titles and that the Cowboys dominated the 90's. Do we really need to hear it again?
  • Don't automatically assume that every man in attendance is knowledgeable of the game. On the flip side, don't assume every woman doesn't. Many women know just as much about the game as their male counterparts, if not more. And truth be told, some men truly do not care for football. Try to assess someone's knowledge level before engaging them too deeply in football speak.
  • Don't ever say "It's only a game". Some attending have a lot vested in the game.
  • Some hosts and guests may encourage friendly betting during the game. Don't place a bet if you don't plan on paying up.
  • As you make your way to the restroom or to the kitchen to refill your plate, navigate the room so you do not walk in front of the tv. This holds true even during the commercials and half time show. Just because you don't care what's on the screen doesn't mean others feel the same way.
  • If you are serving alcoholic beverages, especially beer, don't serve the cheap stuff. You are hosting a Super Bowl party, not a college kegger. When all else fails, serve Bud Light. It's hard to go wrong with a classic.
  • Serve appropriate food. Super Bowl Sunday is not the time for prime rib, creme brulee and mimosas.
  • Have two (or more) rooms open to guests-one for the die hard fans who want to watch the game and another for the more casual fan to socialize in. If guests will be bringing their children, you will want to offer an additional room for them to play in. Make sure you have made arrangements for proper supervision.
  • Be prepared for upset tummies and headaches. Parties are loud and hot, people get worked up, we all overeat from time to time. Keep a stash of pain relievers and antacids on hand just in case someone needs them.
  • Even if your host is serving a full spread, bring something to eat or drink to the party and share it. No hoarding your stash. Food should be simple to serve and easy to eat. Think chips and dip, chili, meatballs, finger sandwiches. If you bring drinks, bring plenty of ice. The food is most likely already filled to the brim with food. Before bringing hot food, made sure your host has a place to keep it warm.
  • It is a party, not a buffet or open bar. Consume food and drink in reasonable amounts. Do you really want to be the guest who throws up in the bushes or the belligerent drunk everyone avoids?
  • No double dipping! No one wants to eat the salsa after you have already taken a bite from your chip and dunked it back in for a refill. Not only is it rude, it is gross.
  • If there is only one tray of stuffed mushrooms and you love stuffed mushrooms, limit your consumption to one. It is rude to clear out an entire tray of food for your tasting pleasure. If you don't think you can stop at one, avoid the tray altogether.
  • No matter who wins, be gracious and thank your host.
  • Clean up after yourself. Don't leave your dirty plates and empty bottles laying around for your host to deal with. If you are a more casual fan, offer to help "sweep" the room periodically of trash during the game, but whatever you do, try to avoid walking in front of the television. You may get hit with a pizza roll or soda can.
  • If you really want to score bonus points with your host, bring along a supply of paper plates, plasticware, cups or napkins. If the paper products don't get used for this party, they certainly will for another.
  • If you drop a sauce covered meatball on your host's furniture or carpet, tell them immediately and offer to clean it up. Most likely, they have the necessary cleaning supplies on hand for accidents such as this. Trying to clean it with water and napkins may make the stain worse. And hiding such a mess is grounds for immediate party eviction.
  • If you bring your children, explain to them in advance exactly how you expect them to behave. If they don't adhere to your ground rules, leave immediately. No one wants to be subjected to your child's whining, pouting, bullying or temper tantrums.
  • Don't overstay your welcome. unless you are helping your host clean up after the game, there's no need to hang around after the end of the game. After running errands, cooking, cleaning, decorating and overseeing the party, your host most likely wants to relax and get ready for bed.
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