Whether you’re a statistic-spewing diehard or just hoping to see some cool commercials, this Sunday is going to be huge. And we don’t just mean when Brady’s Patriots meet Russell Wilson and the Seahawks…as much as we’re looking forward to it.
We don’t even mean when Katy Perry takes the stage. Though we’ll be paying close attention to that.
Super Bowl Sunday is the most notorious 7th day of the year. There’ll be no shortage of parties to choose from—and bars gouging you with insane cover charges. But you can do better. You can throw the best party in town without breaking a sweat—or bleeding your bank account dry. Heck, you don’t even need to try that hard.
Here are 5 shortcuts for throwing an unbeatable Super Bowl party:
1. Avoid Cooking: Whether you’re a BBQ guru or don’t know how to fire up a grill, do yourself a favor… Skip the chef act. Why? Because being a good host isn’t about doing the most. It’s about being the maestro of the party experience for your guests. You think Bobby Flay wants to be stuck in the kitchen garnishing fajitas during kickoff?
Try going for the platter approach instead… Put out a nice spread of cold cuts and cheese. A few different breads. Plenty of condiments. Go old school. Don’t skimp on quality. The idea here is to let people construct their own sandwich masterpiece without you having to wait on them…or get stuck plating in the kitchen.
It’s also a good way to keep people moving and mingling… And maybe have someone bring you a drink.
2. Start a Little Early: Your party doesn’t have to start at 9am with the Super Bowl coverage. But starting a little early works two ways. The first is that it keeps everybody from arriving after kickoff. There’s always the fashionably late—or can’t-get-it-together—crowd. Why get stuck with door duty during the opening drive?
The other benefit to starting early—other than giving time for the BYOBers’ brews to chill—is giving some extra time for people to break the ice. Depending on the guest list and size of your shindig, there’s bound to people you’re meeting for the first time. Girlfriends, boyfriends, neighbors, fantasy leaguers, annoying siblings, younger cousins, weird uncles. Whatever.
Make the effort to greet these people. Give them the time of day. It’ll help you achieve legendary host status. But it works to your benefit too… More time for guests to meet and greet means less conversations needing to be awkwardly started—or stopped dead—later into the night.
3. Set Your DVR: This won’t work for every party… But if you’re throwing a Super Bowl celebration for a smaller group of hardcore fans, it’s an epic power move. Let technology work to your advantage. Record the game.
The goal is simple: Let an hour—or two, if you’re feeling strong—pass from when coverage begins. Fire up a stogie with the boys if that’s your thing. Or maybe check out some of the Puppy Bowl pre-show. Whichever.
As soon as you’re ready, go right ahead and skip right ahead to kickoff. Don’t care about the commercials? Boom. Pass right by them. If you do it right, it should take you right passed the half time show. But if you master it, you’ll be live for the 4th quarter’s 2-minute warning. Just remember to put your phone in airplane mode to avoid spoilers.
4. Embrace BYOB: You might not think it’s the classiest move… But regardless of if your invite is a Facebook blast or a fancy piece of stationary, you’ll want to be upfront with your guests. It doesn’t make you look like a cheapskate. And besides… It’s better to seemlike a cheapskate than to be one by not having enough booze for thirsty guests.
Another perk—aside from saving you some money—is avoiding guesswork. Beer drinkers are a picky and superstitious lot. I’m speaking from experience here. Instead of settling for a bottom-of-the-line swill beer that pleases all—or none—of your guests, compel them to bring their own.
Most beer drinkers will be happy to show off their favorite brew to a room full of new friends. Even if it costs them a few bucks in the process.
5. Do Your Homework: It might seem like a no-brainer… But it’s a step a lot of guys skip. Get an idea of your guest list before you do the majority of your party shopping. Know you have a coworker with a bean dip obsession showing up? Load up in advance. Have an in-law with a diet soda addiction? Pick some up with enough time to get cold, lest you never hear the end of why she should’ve married Tyler.
This isn’t just about being a good host. It’s about being a responsible host. You want to serve food that people enjoy… But you also want to make sure nobody gets sick. Knowing about food allergies or intolerances ahead of time won’t just make you look like a hero… It’ll help keep any complaints and negative vibes to a minimum.
If nothing else, it’s a great strategy for giving yourself time to set up—even enjoy—the party without scrambling for last-minute goodies or essentials.
There are thousands of ways to throw a good party. But following these shortcuts will let you enjoy the festivities as much as your guests. Without missing any of the action.
Have a surefire shortcut for a better Super Bowl Party? Share it with your fellow gentlemen below!