Football season is here, and that means camping out in front of the TV all weekend long, drinking beer, eating pizza and watching game after game in your underwear.
If you start feeling like an alcoholic recluse, maybe it’s time to invite a few friends over for a football party.
There are several elements every great party must have, so here’s how to handle each of them for the most winning results.
I can’t guarantee that you team will win the game but if you follow these tips you are sure to have the winning party of the weekend.
Obviously, you invite your best buddies, the ones who love football as much as you do. Also consider inviting pals who are most likely to bring beer. Lots of it. Avoid cheapskates who’ll drink all your beer but refuse to kick in for a delivery from the liquor store. Also think twice before inviting overly enthusiastic fans of a certain team who will go ballistic if their fave team is losing. You want a party, not a brawl.
Should your football party be all guys or co-ed? Hey, if you have gal pals who love football, invite them. Besides, they may actually bring edible food, unlike some of your bros who can’t even be counted on to pick up chips and dip from the 7/11 on the way over.
While your space may look fine to you, there are things to consider before inviting a crowd over—like how many seats do you have, and can you see the TV screen from all of them? You may need to do a little redecorating to accommodate the whole crew, like hauling in a few extra chairs from the kitchen. Of course, you could just let anyone who shows up late sit on the floor, but you want to look like a good host, don’t you?
You should do at least a little cleaning, like vacuuming the rug and scrubbing the sinks and toilet. If the thought of housework makes you break out in hives, hire a maid to clean the day before. Have her go through the fridge and dump anything inedible so you’ll have lots of space for the beer.
So what if you can’t cook and there’s nothing in your fridge except bottled water and some mystery leftover that a hazmat crew couldn’t identify? The best grub for watching sports is an assortment of snacks that can be grabbed and scarfed down during the commercials. Lay in a supply of chips, salsa and dips, plus a big bowl of nuts to start with.
At halftime (or earlier if the crowd gets ravenous), order a few pizzas. Take up a collection so you don’t get stuck with the whole bill. Use the best pizza joint in your neighborhood, not that chain place where the divorced dads take their kids. If the good pizza place also has hot wings, get some of those, too.
If you’re lucky enough to have friends who can actually cook without setting the kitchen on fire, hit them up for more upscale fare like that cool multi-layer Mexican dip and deluxe nachos, or a big pot of homemade chili. Just keep it simple.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of organizing the party and planning some food it’s time to pull it all together so you have the best party on the block. Keep reading for some good advice on how to keep you guests feeling good and also keep your place clean.
The most important part of a good football party, other than a working TV set, is your selection of libations. Sure, you can tell your guests to bring their own, but as a host, you’re expected to have cold brewskis when they arrive. Lots of cold brewskis. To avoid blowing your whole paycheck on beer, check the prices at the local alcohol emporiums like BevMo and Smart & Final. The chain drugstores are also a good bet for the lowest prices on cases of beer.
Pick up several cases of acceptable but not necessarily premium beer. Any Bud is fine. PBR, only for a hipster crowd. Meister Brau or Milwaukee’s Best marks you as a cheapskate, and one with lousy taste. If you can get your gang to pitch in ahead of time for a keg, great.
If you’re worried about buying too much beer, ask yourself—how can you have too much beer? It’s not like you have to throw out the remaining cans when the party’s over. If your guests actually surprise you by bringing more beer than you need, hide the excess in the closet or under the bed and drink it yourself later. Or save it for the next party!
Look around for what receptacle in your home is most suitable for chilling a lot of beer. Stash as much in the fridge as it will hold, but it won’t be as cold as if it had been iced down. A cooler is ideal, so if you have one, fill it up. A washtub is great, too. If you don’t, lay in at least a couple of bags of ice and use the bathtub. You aren’t going to be taking a bath until the game is over, are you?
If your friends are into the hard stuff, tell them to BYOB plus mixers and be ready with a supply of Solo cups and ice. Of course, if their team really sucks this year, you’ll probably find them passed out behind the couch after sucking down a fifth straight out of the bottle during the third quarter.
Although your friends may act like cavemen at times, you don’t want them wiping their pizza-stained fingers on your rug. Lay in a supply of paper plates, cups, plastic forks and lots of napkins. Have a few strategically placed trash bags so your guests don’t dump their garbage on the floor.
The betting pool
Nothing livens up a football party like a little friendly betting, but don’t let things get out of hand. Limit bets to a small amount and keep it friendly—and honest.
If you’ve been getting by with a little rinky-dink TV from the last decade, why not splurge on a big-ass set for this party? If you’re not ready to actually buy one, then rent a big screen HDTV with all the bells and whistles. Hey, this is a party!
For extra fun during playoff season, rent more than one TV so you and your guests can watch multiple games.
They can’t complain to the cops if they’re part of the party, so invite them over. That 80-year-old lady who walks with a cane probably won’t show up, but the fact that you invited her may make her feel too guilty to call the police if one of your friends runs out onto the patio in his underwear and barfs over the railing.
Sooner or later, you have to turn out the lights, the party’s over, as Dandy Don used to say towards the end of each Monday Night Football game. When you manage to push the last guest out the door, it’s time to start cleaning up your crib.
Well, at least part of it. Actually dragging the trash out to the dumpster can wait until tomorrow or when you sober up, whichever comes first. As soon as the coast is clear, pick up all cups containing any sort of liquid and dump them in the sink. Pick up any still-edible pieces of pizza and stash them in the fridge for tomorrow’s breakfast. Toss anything you don’t want to keep into those bags you left out for trash tossing. You did remember to put out the bags, didn’t you?
If your guests have totally trashed your place, call that maid and have her come back tomorrow. After all, you’ll need to get the place ready for next week’s game!
||Written on 8/14/2013 by Linda Cauthen.
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