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Score a touchdown with your Super Bowl party

01/24/2007 - Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner. Perhaps this year you want to open up your home and host a party in honor of the big game.

The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched sports games each year. Football fans and non fans alike gather in homes across the country either to watch the action play out on the field or comment on the best commercials that are unveiled. Therefore, apart from tasty snacks and beverages, there isn't much needed to host a winning football gathering. But if you want to make it extra-special, consider these football-friendly ideas.

Upgrade your TV — If you've been thinking about updating your television to a newer, improved or larger model, now is the time. Very often stores discount products post-Christmas, and you may be able to get a deal right after the New Year starts. Other retailers offer discounts particularly for Super Bowl Sunday, so keep an eye out for advertised specials.

Create your own "stadium seating" — The object of setting up seating is to maximize the opportunity for unobstructed views of the game. While your living room or recreation room may not be equipped with tiered home-theater seating, you can mimic the effect. In the back "row," consider lifting the sofa up a couple of inches by placing sturdy pieces of wood or other materials under the feet. Folding chairs can form another row directly in front. Reserve shorter seating (i.e., low-profile beach or deck chairs, beanbag chairs, etc.) for the front. Set up pillows and other floor-based seating for younger fans.

Think about food options — Food should be portable and easy to enjoy while cheering along. This makes finger foods particularly attractive for these types of events. You can serve just about anything, just make it bite sized. For example, in lieu of regular-sized pizza and calzones, consider pizza bagels or English muffin pizzas paired with mini-calzones made with refrigerated biscuit dough (you can even make them in the shape of footballs if you're feeling very creative). Rather than messy hot wings and chicken legs, which leave bones to clean up, flavor breaded chicken tenders with hot sauce and other spicy seasonings. Serve the bulk of the food during a time when the action is on hiatus, such as halftime. For those who like to munch throughout the game, keep plenty of snack foods on hand. Bowls of pretzels, trail mix, peanuts and the like will keep everyone satisfied.

Set up a beverage station — Put drinks close to the action. Fill a cooler with plenty of ice and pack it with cans of soft drinks and beer, if desired. Or set up soda bottles on a table buffet-style with cups and ice nearby.

Have activities for non fans as well — Remember that some spouses or other guests, who may not be the biggest football fans, will be sharing Super Bowl Sunday with you. Games and trivia can be fun for all. For example, prior to the party, cut out the logo of well recognized brands and paste to index cards. Quiz guests on how many they can answer correctly and have gag gifts ready, such as foam footballs to take home. For a particularly fun gang, instruct guests to arrive wearing their best football-themed costume and then offer prizes for the best dressed (guaranteed laughs when the guys show up as cheerleaders). For an all-day event, schedule a fun game of touch football prior to the start of the televised game (weather permitting).

Be responsible — While drinking and watching the game often go hand-in-hand, make sure you are a responsible host or hostess and never let guests leave while under the influence. Limit alcohol consumption to the first half of the game. Afterward, serve desserts and coffee to keep guests around longer so you can monitor their sobriety.

Appalachian Regaional
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