Everyone is making plans for the most beloved Sunday in American culture. Don’t get caught up in the Peyton Manning versus Cam Newton sideshow. Worry about important stuff, like cheap food, cheap drinks and doing what David Wooderson from “Dazed and Confused” would do … just keep L-I-V-I-N.
If you’re like most of America, you don’t want to kill your monthly budget to have a good Super Bowl party. So scratch renting out venues. The materials can be readily available at your home for an easy party.
Potluck or Order Pizza
Ordering pizzas from a reasonably priced place could be the easiest way to go once you have a proper gauge on the amount of guests you’re going to have. Plus it’s easy to accommodate your guests’ different tastes by just ordering a variety of pizzas with different toppings.
However, if you don’t want the hassle of having to drive to pick up the pizzas on a busy Super Bowl evening filled with like-minded people, you should go with a potluck.
Send out an email or mass text asking them to bring their favorite Game-Day snacks. Make sure you have a general idea of what type they’re bringing so you don’t have 20 people all bringing some combination of chips and dip. Have some be responsible for appetizers, some for desserts, some for sodas and beer, etc.
As for food, you cannot go wrong with grilling burgers and hot dogs with an assortment of chips and dip and snacks. You’d be amazed at how valuable of an asset a big bowl of chili and Velveeta can be. Consider some Buffalo Chicken Nachos, Pigs in a Blanket and Meatball Sliders.
If you’re like my wife, you’ll want to stalk Pinterest. That site will give you no shortage of easy recipes.
When in doubt, just ask everyone to bring wings and beer. You can never have too many wings … or beer.
Set the mood for the evening’s festivities with simple decorations that you can get at your local dollar store or party store.
Themed napkins that are the same colors of the two teams playing would be a nice touch. You can go with black and light blue for the Carolina Panthers and orange for the Denver Broncos.
Pick up a pack of NFL mini-helmets at your local sporting goods store or department store. They’re cheap and you can decorate the entire living room and snack bar with them and you can always re-use them for next year’s Super Bowl party. Just make sure you set aside the Panthers and Broncos helmets to put beside each other or as a cake topper if you have a desert for your friends.
You can also use any old footballs you have as a centerpiece just to put your friends in the proper spirit as well.
Tell your guests to wear whatever football jerseys or shirts they may have. It doesn’t have to be Carolina or Denver but whatever their favorite teams are and you can make it look like there’s a Pro Bowl happening in your living room.
Want to keep things simple? Grab your kids’ football helmet and an old football and keep the pretzels and suds comin!
Something for the kids
If your party is going to have kids then you need to keep them from getting restless.
You can get paper and crayons and have little competitions to see who can draw the best Panthers or Broncos logos and helmets. The worst-case scenario is they make some terrible looking pictures and start playing tic-tac-toe.
Involve them with helping with a desert. You can make cupcakes and have the kids use green icing to represent the football fields and white icing for the hash marks. They will get a kick out of it feel like they’re helping — kids love that type of stuff.
Mini football helmets and other small goodies can likely be found at your local party store.
The game, the commercials, the halftime show and your company should be entertaining enough. Okay. Forget the halftime show. Chances are that will be awful — the point still stands.
Don’t be the guy on your phone the whole time. If you must be entertained with no lapses of temporary boredom, consider Super Bowl trivia in between quarters or long commercial breaks.
The prizes can be minimal or you can turn it into a drinking game. Either way, someone is going to appear like a guru or you’ll witness someone embarrass themselves into a drunken stupor.
A really cool and fun way to keep the game interesting even if it’s not close on the scoreboard is to have a competition.
You can have everyone write down the total amount of points scored in the game (and the winner of the game) before the game starts. Whoever is the closest to the score wins, and if you need a tiebreaker, make them predict the winner aside from their total points scored.
You can do this for something as small as $5 per person or just for bragging rights.
You could also do a raffle by having everyone chip in a few bucks for the chance to win a t-shirt or cap … possibly a jersey. Do the drawing towards the end of the 4th quarter to ensure everyone hangs around.
Joshua Caudill is a writer for CraveOnline Sports, a surfing enthusiast, an unhealthy sports fanatic, and an expert on all things Patrick Swayze. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshuaCaudill85 or “like”CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.