Super Party Ideas For Football's Big Game
Conventional wisdom says that as soon as January 1st rolls around, the holiday season is over. But the year's most American celebration, and for many the most important, is just around the corner: The Big Game. Are you hosting a party this year and want to make it memorable? Be sure to bowl over your guests with these creative football party ideas. A little extra effort can turn a good party into a super party!
The Snack Bowl
Next to Thanksgiving, the Big Game Day is the biggest food day of the year. People may come for the game, but they stay for the snacks; and some people come only for the snacks! Football party food is best served in bowls-dips, chips, pretzels, deli salads, chili, anything in a slow cooker-so why not play with that?
Make a play for the big game theme and dress up your buffet table like a football field with green paper or artificial turf and white tape for the yard lines. Set up a literal "bowl" game by filling bowls with foods in team colors or specialties from their respective regions on opposing sides of the field.
- --If New Orleans is playing, try black bean dip and tortilla chips for black and gold, or make it regional with a piping hot bowl of jambalaya, great for a crowd.
- --If Green Bay goes the distance, one side of the table might feature bowls of guacamole and cheese dips for green and yellow. For a regional twist, keep out the cheese dip, but replace the guac with fried cheese curds or bacon-wrapped bratwurst bites.
- --But what if one of this year's contenders is a team like Indianapolis? It might be a challenge to work pork tenderloin sandwiches or blue food recipes into your menu. Instead, make foods of your choice and serve them in regular mixing bowls in the team's colors.
Savory rules the day, but don't forget to include a few desserts that are football-shaped, have gridiron designs, or are decorated for the teams.
The Punch Bowl
There are fun ways to keep the team theme going with drinks. It's always a good idea to have plenty of soft drinks for non-drinkers and lots of light beer. A nice touch is to serve a couple of craft beers from the teams' hometowns or grab a couple of big glass bowls and make a signature punch for each team, like the Cape Codder for New England or the Blue Lagoon, with floating lime slices, for Seattle.
Regardless of what you serve, one of the best game day party ideas is to pick up some plain beer koozies and markers. Guests can decorate their own personalized koozie. Not only is it fun, but it helps guests identify their drinks on a crowded table and cuts down on the number of half-empty abandoned cans you will find in your living room after the game.
The key to any great party is to get everybody involved. Chances are, some guests will be more interested in the game than others--there will be diehard football fanatics and others who are just in it for the commercials. Without distracting too much from the game, a good host needs to offer everyone more than just game-themed food to keep them busy for six or seven hours. Craft props to get everyone in the spirit of the game.
- --It's easy to construct pom-poms out of tissue paper and wooden sticks with just scissors, a stapler and glue, or better yet put the kids to work crafting them for guests.
- --Get a few yards of cloth and make yellow flags to throw on plays or put together a football trivia quiz, giving the hardcore fans the opportunity to show off their football knowledge.
- --For those who have no interest in engaging with the action on the field, try passing out index cards and have everyone rate each commercial and see which ones top the list by the end of the game.
What did we forget? Oh, right! As fun as that all sounds, don't forget how much sports fans enjoy betting. You don't even have to bet money. You can wager household chores, candies, wearing crazy clothes, a new pair of pants, walking the dog, and more. The game takes on added drama when people have something invested in it. You can bet on almost anything - from which team will win the coin toss to how many yards will be gained on a play. But the ultimate party game is the football pool. All you need is a 10 x 10 grid of boxes and a pen. Each person selects a few boxes, and numbers representing scores are randomly assigned to each box giving everyone - football fans and those just along for the ride - an equal chance of victory. It doesn't get more American than that!