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  • Heather McDorman

9 Tips to Tackle Your Super Bowl Party

Super Bowl party

I'm so psyched for this year’s Super Bowl for a few reasons.

First and foremost, I love football. I thank my dad and my brothers for that. And the Pittsburgh Steelers share some credit as well. I lived in Pittsburgh for a few years in the ‘70s just when I was learning about football AND the Steelers were winning Super Bowls. Weekends were spent cheering on the Steel Curtain, Terry Bradshaw, and Franco Harris.

The second reason is that after the (painful) departure of the St. Louis Rams in 2016, I have shifted my loyalty to the Kansas City Chiefs. Needless to say, I’m pumped that KC has made it back to the Super Bowl this Sunday in Arizona. (Truth moment – I am a little nervous about the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense.)

Super Bowl LVII graphic

Finally, I’m always pumped about hosting a Super Bowl party! The game, the food, the commercials, the friends – I love it all. For several years, my husband Bob and I have hosted a small (but mighty) gathering of friends to watch, eat, and enjoy. There’s lots of ways to host a successful Super Bowl party, but here are my nine tips for scoring the proverbial party touchdown.

Super Bowl party food and drink

  • TIP 1: Honey, we need a new TV (said every guy in America). It’s a commonly held belief that TV sales are at their peak right before the Super Bowl. Scope out the prices at Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy, and you may find yourself quite a deal on an 80” 4D Smart TV just in time for the big game.

  • TIP 2: Keeping the food fun. But honestly, when has football food not been fun? A popular way to plan your menu is focusing on famous foods from each team’s town. This year we are here for Philadelphia’s finest – Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, hoagies, and Tastykakes. KC is, of course, known for its barbecue (especially burnt ends) and the KC Strip, but also cheesy corn and apparently chicken spiedini (go figure)! If those foods don’t work for you and your guests, think bars – taco bars, chili bars, nacho bars – you get the idea. For your culinary DIY-ers – get creative and Google “snack stadiums” and “football-shaped desserts” to add some visual zing to your menu.

Red and green custom cocktails
  • TIP 3: Would you like a cocktail? While soda and beer may be your beverage mainstays, consider crafting your own designer cocktail (or mocktail). Whether the theme is carried out via team colors or just a punny name, your guests will appreciate the effort!

  • TIP 4: Beverage preparedness is important. Keeping your soda, beer, or favorite seltzer cold is a must, so clean out your camp coolers, load them with ice, and anchor them close to the action. Also, keep the end of the game in mind and set your coffee pot timer to brew 30-40 minutes before the projected end of the game for those who may need a strong cup of caffeine before they head home.

Red and green coolers filled with ice

  • TIP 5: You could use a little color. A little color and decorating for the game can go a long way to setting the mood. An easy start? Buy your paper products (cups, plates, napkins) in team colors. Want to go a bit bigger? Buy some color-appropriate streamers, make some DIY flag-banners, or design a few big head cutouts (on a stick) of your favorite players.

  • TIP 6: “Wears” your jersey?! Nothing says you’re ready to root for your guys more than wearing their team jersey. Don’t have one or your team didn’t make it to final showdown? At least you can sport the colors of your pick to win.

  • TIP 7: I’m just here to be social. Then let’s help them be social and create a custom your-Super-Bowl-party hashtag for spreading the fun on your favorite social channels. If you want to add the official hashtag for this Sunday’s game, it’s #SBLVII.

Back patio at night

  • TIP 8: Weather permitting … If snow or rain are not in the forecast, do your guests a favor and clean off your front porch or back patio. At some point, they may need some fresh air, and a nice spot just outside the door may be a welcome respite from the hubbub.

  • TIP 9: Did someone say Bingo? Games may bring a little more interest to the night – especially if your team is not playing. You’ve heard of the Super Bowl Prop Sheets that put everything on the line from the length of the National Anthem to the winner of the coin toss. Just keep your wagers reasonable, okay? If you prefer to “gamble” on the commercials, here’s a DIY Super Bowl commercial bingo card that may be fun for everyone.

What tips do you have for a fun Super Bowl party? Favorite foods or recipes? Please share! Here, I’ll start. Each year, my friend Dan has just one request for the menu and that’s a simple, fun, sweet and salty treat. Here’s the recipe:

Frosty Delight

Frosty Delight

  1. Mix together in a large bowl: • 4 cups Chex cereal (I use Corn Chex.) • 4 cups Ritz Bits Peanut Butter cracker sandwiches • 2 cups broken pretzel sticks • 2 cups roasted peanuts • 2 cups M&Ms

  2. Melt 1 package of almond bark (slowly in the microwave).

  3. Pour melted almond bark over the dry mix and toss to coat thoroughly.

  4. Pour tossed mix onto wax paper or parchment paper to dry.

  5. Cool completely, break into bite-size pieces, and serve!

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