More than 40 million households had Super Bowl XXXVI piped into their living rooms in 2002, making it the most watched sporting event of the year. Most of those households were filled with party goers who over the last three decades have led the unorganized, slightly buzzed campaign to turn Super Bowl Sunday into a national holiday. Here are 10 commandments you must follow to ensure that you have a successful Super Bowl party.
I. Thou Shalt Know the Basics
As party host you are responsible for knowing the basics. Here they are: The game is on KTVX at 4 p.m. EST. The two teams playing are the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buckaneers. If guests come early you can always turn the television to any of the sports channels, because for the three days before the game all they will be doing is playing highlights from previous Super Bowls. The game is being played in Qualcom Stadium (formerly Jack Murphy Stadium) in San Diego.
II. Thou Shalt Not Make Thy Guests Squint
It's Super Sunday and you have 25 guests on the way. Your 13-inch TV might make an interesting tray table, but it will never handle the pressure of being the day's most important appliance. Let's face it, the walls of your place could be on fire, but as long as your TV is working, guests are going to stay. The bigger the screen the better. Also, don't forget to position your TV so that everyone who wants a seat can have one and still enjoy the game.
III. Thou Shalt Fill Thy Room with the Glorious Sounds of Football
If you haven't experienced football with stereo sound you don't know what you're missing. If you have a stereo in the houseÃ¯Â¿Â½anywhere in the houseÃ¯Â¿Â½move it next to the TV and connect the two. This could be the best looking couple you see all day. If you don't know how to get the TV sound running through the stereo, talk to one of those pasty-faced guys who hang out at Radio Shack, buy a book, or ask your guests when they RSVP. Once hooked up, you should position your speakers in such a way that every whistle, tackle and grunt fills up your viewing room.
IV. Thou Shalt Make the Game More Interesting
I suggest this purely as an activity of entertainment. Nobody needs to lose their paycheck over this stuff. But the game just offers so many opportunities to get the best of your friends and family. Who's going to win the coin toss? Who's going to score first? Which quarterback will throw the first interception? The loser has to shovel the winner's driveway for the rest of the winter.
V. Thou Shalt Call Thy Delivery Guy Early
You already know how painful it is to wait for delivered food on a Sunday during the regular season. Don't wait until kickoff to order your food, figuring that it will arrive in time for halftime. It won't. Maybe halftime of next year's Super Bowl, but not much earlier than that. Make arrangements either earlier in the day or, better yet, the day before. Order a wide variety of whatever food you choose and everyone should be happy.
VI. Thou Shalt Call Thy Neighbors
Granted, it's a Sunday night and most of us have to work in the morning, but these types of parties can get out of hand. To help stay away from trouble, call your neighbors and invite them. This way they can't call the police, and you can hit them up for supplies if you run out.
VII. Thou Shalt Share the Cooking Responsibility
Potluck. Potluck. Potluck. Sure it's a gamble, but that's part of the fun. It's important to give people an idea of what type of food you'd like them to bring. If you make the mistake of leaving it up to them, you're going to have 24 cases of beer and a pan of brownies. That's it. That might be OK for football fans with stomachs of steel, but it would be a let down for most of your guests.
VIII. Thou Shalt Make It Abundantly Clear: "There Will Be No Flipping"
Make sure you hide the remote control, because when the game action stops, the billion-dollar ad campaigns begin. You don't want to miss a second of any of it. There should be no argument strong enough to convince you that there is something else on. Keep the remote away from your loved ones who have the ugly habit of flipping channels.
IX. Thou Shalt Provide Heaping Bowls of Snacks
According to the Snack Food Association and The National Potato Promotion Board, 11.8 million pounds of potato chips were consumed during the 2000 Super Bowl. The bottom line: don't feel bad about grabbing another bag of chips at the grocery store. They won't survive the night.
X. Thou Shalt Not Allow "Double Dipping"
This can keep your first Super Bowl party from being your last. Watch the dips and dippers carefully. Put out only vegetables and chips with the biggest capacity for dipping. Cut everything smaller than usual and only buy small chips designed for dipping. If the dipper still has a lot of chip to dip after her/his first bite, you're asking for trouble. Let's keep this a happy occasion.