You’ve trained all season for this. You’ve brought everything you have, game after game, Sunday after Sunday – sometimes on a weekday with shortened rest, even.
And now it all comes down to the big game. The game everyone wants to host. The be-all and end-all.
This party isn’t for just anyone to host. You’re going to have a lot of jumpy sports fans – and commercial watchers – that need to get in there and cheer and/or critique. There are also going to be kids that recognize parents aren’t paying close attention – mischief will be afoot. And there are going to be a few unexpected wild cards, someone you did not prepare for and you’ll need to be nimble enough to adjust and party forward.
People will be hungry, maybe grumpy, maybe even convinced his or her recently adopted team is getting homered by the refs at a clearly neutral location. There will be lips that need to be wetted, party goers that will ask the most basic football questions, it will be an intense watching experience.
But, with all challenges comes the opportunity for greatness. So, gird your loins, focus, and let’s walk through your pre-game checklist:
The grub: This is the biggest item on your list. You have to have the right mix here. Play to your strengths – whether it’s chili, grilled burgers, or braised pheasant knuckles. And keep the dieters in mind. The last thing you need is a carb-starved fan without a cheese or protein around to satiate a hangry flare up. Also, don’t fall into the trap of substituting a veggie and fruit tray for another cheese bomb or tray of brownies – you NEED that veg and fruit, so stick to the fundamentals.
Check out our game day grub, if you need a little guidance.
The drinks: Don’t be the person that only has tap water by the third quarter. Buy plenty of fluids. You can store any extra in the garage, or just drink them in the coming weeks. And have extra fridge space for attendees with specific drink needs, which they will bring themselves.
Sports fan friends: Big games are no fun alone, so make sure you have true fans to cheer with you. And, of course, you need the one token guy cheering for the other team.* Make sure they’re a good sport – either way.
*Note – If it really is your actual home team in the Big Game, omit token guy rule entirely – for everyone’s safety.
Commercial friends: You will also need the commercial fans. Sure, they’ve watched football, but they’re really just there to see if anyone can match last year’s ads. They add nice levity, and their critiques and comparative analyses provide a light distraction in between downs.
The seating arrangements: Have plenty of comfy seating. Lawn chairs might seem festive, but about two hours in they move from festive to fatal-to-all-fun. Instead, have plenty of comfy seating. Also, be willing to have special seating for the super fan that needs a little extra space for hand waving, jumping out of his or her seat, and occasionally throwing his or her hat on the imagined turf on the floor.
The flatware: Listen, save the good stuff for the rest of the week. Use disposable cups, flatware, and plates – everyone understands. People with kids will just appreciate they don’t have to apologize as much when their kid spills an entire cup of soda on the living room rug, which they are absolutely going to.
The curse room/deck: Depending on whether you have little ears with you while watching, and the degree of true fandom during the game, you might need a soundproofed room or outside deck for the inevitable terrible call, unexpected turnover, or wide-open receiver not thrown to.
Prep strong, steak lovers!