February 1, 2018

harper's guide to your best super bowl

Blogger's Note: Whether you're a football enthusiast or a fair-weather spectator, the Super Bowl can be a time for gathering with friends and family to scream at a TV screen. Though intended to be a day of fun, it can be beneficial to go into it with a plan to make the most of this holiday. With Super Bowl LII on the horizon, who better than the Queen of the League herself, Harper Duquaine to guide us? Please enjoy her tips and suggestions for living your best Super Bowl.

A Guide to Hosting Your Best Super Bowl

By Harper Duquaine

It's funny how something like the Super Bowl can sneak up on you. When you consider that I work, live, and (ahem) sleep with men who are obsessed with football, it seems like I should have been more on the ball about this Sunday.

(Okay, quick note. I need to point out that I'm only sleeping with ONE man. Not a group of men. This might have been unclear just now. I live with my brothers. I work with half a dozen grown children masquerading as men. And I'm romantically involved with one really good guy. None of this has anything to do with planning a Super Bowl party, but I just have to make that point clear before we continue. Got it?)

As the token woman in a fantasy football league (and one who's earned a reputation for getting shit done) it usually (more like always) falls on me to plan our weekly football watch parties. So it comes as no surprise that I've been drafted to put together a Super Bowl party for twenty people.

No problem. I could do this in my sleep. But in case you're at all worried about the upcoming Super Bowl (and, okay, I am kind of freaking out a little, and obsessing like this helps me calm down), here are my tips and best practices to help you plan your best Super Bowl party. 

#1 Decorations

You can use as many mason jars or crystal chargers to try to shabby-chic your Super Bowl watch party. But let's face it, at the end of the day, it's easier to just embrace the reality of the situation. Balloons, plastic table covers, paper plates, napkins, and cups in the team colors and so on are going to be your friend in the end. While these aren't great for the environment (Sorry, Mother Earth. Seriously.) at the end of the evening, it's so much easier to do clean-up if you aren't doing dishes.

I tend to hit-up the party stores a few days before the big game and grab utensils in the opposing team's colors. I also have some reusable plastic trays and plates for serving, which frankly matches everything better than my fancy stuff.

Try creating a photo booth with streamers and balloons as a background and props like footballs, trophies, and pom-poms. Word to the wise: Use an inflatable football. One of my friends had a few too many drinks and broke a picture frame when we used a real football last year. Yikes.

#2 Menu

Did you know the Super Bowl is one of a handful of days when calories don't count? It's true. I'm pretty sure I read or heard it somewhere (and now you're reading it here). So on this most blessed of days, channel your inner Texan and go big.

Of course there are tried and true staples, such as pizza and nachos. I suggest making at home, using frozen, or ordering carryout hours in advance to make sure you have it all on hand before kick-off. While delivery pizza is both amazing and everything, this is one of the busiest days of the year, and it might take a while for your food to come through. You also can't go wrong with opening up a bag of chips or having a meat and cheese platter so people can build their own sandwiches.

If you're like me, though, this isn't going to be enough. You're going to feel like you have something to prove. Don't worry. I have a whole list of tried-and-true dishes ready. You'll note most of these are vegetarian friendly, because I'm a pescetarian, but you can easily adjust for carnivores.

Here's the list:

These have all gone over well with my crew, and hey--you can't really do better than a Philly when you have the Eagles playing. I suppose if you wanted to represent New England, you could make some clam chowder or offer up Sam Adams beer. Which brings up the next point . . . 

For beverages, we go for a BYOB approach, but I always have plenty of bottles of water and freshly brewed ice tea for the non-drinkers. (Or the drinkers who maybe need to slow it down a little.) Consider having a few ice chests set around your living area for your guests to use. This is convenient for them and it frees up fridge space.

#3 Wardrobe

We've already established that we're going to overdo it in the food department. That's why it's absolutely imperative you wear comfy clothes with a loose waist. I'm talking leggings, sweatpants, heck, even a tutu (try this tutorial), but please, for yourself, avoid wearing skinny jeans. Or, if you're someone who feels like you have to live in khakis (I'm looking at you, Brook) make sure your top is long enough that it will cover your stomach when you inevitably undo your top button to make room for more nachos.

Here's what I suggest for a night of stylish comfort to mark the occasion:

  • Oversized football jersey (Any team will do. I'll be wearing a Packers jersey, because I'll never wear an Eagles jersey again, and I'm not cheering for the Pats. #sorrynotsorry) 
  • Leggings. Paired with the long jersey, you'll be super comfy. If you choose correctly, you can be stylish too. While it isn't totally important (but it certainly doesn't hurt) this look really seems to work for my gentleman friend.
  • Thermal socks. It's February. Even if your toes are painted cute for the occasion, it's going to get cold. Plus, let's be serious, who has time for a proper pedicure when there's so much else to do before your guests arrive?

This is one part of the evening you don't have to worry about. Choose comfort, my friends.

#4 Activities 

Okay, we're all going to step into the trust circle here. And you all absolutely have to promise not to tell my friends what I'm about to admit to you. Ready? Okay, here it goes. Sometimes, I find the Super Bowl boring. I know, I know! But, seriously, some years I don't care who wins or loses and the commercials are kind of lame.

Fortunately, my friend Amelia and I have come up with a few little games to pass the time.
  1. Place bets on which party guest will spill his beer first.
  2. Create a drinking game where you take a drink every time: a) there's a first down b) a Budweiser commercial airs c) a washed-up celebrity makes a cameo d) an announcer says "controls the line of scrimmage," "take care of the football," "deep penetration," or "ball carrier" (it's also okay to laugh like a thirteen-year-old when you hear these) e) your fellow party attendees let out a shout of disappointment. Finish your drink when the x or there's an obvious malfunction during the half-time performance. 
  3. Play "who would you rather" or F***, Marry, Kill with the starting line-up. (We're not particularly proud of this, but desperate times, you know.) 

#5 Conflict Resolution

It happens. Sometimes fans get a little too passionate. Maybe someone has a few too many. Perhaps your significant other says you make a better door than a window while you're trying to pick up trash, and you spend the fourth quarter passive aggressively making faces behind his back. Whatever the situation, sometimes we have to take five and get to the bottom of the issue. As quickly as possible so you don't miss any big plays or commercials.

I suggest waiting until a play is being reviewed and the commentators are yapping on about how so-and-so is a real fighter or yadda-yadda chokes under pressure to quickly resolve any issues at your party. To do this, you need to follow these five easy steps:

  1. As calmly as possible, make sure the conflicting guests mutually recognize there's a problem.
  2. Make sure both individuals agree to fix the problems.
  3. Have each person try to understand the other person's perspective.
  4. Establish what behaviors or attitudes each needs to change to prevent future altercations.
  5. Quickly hold a thumb-wrestling match, and declare one person the winner, because it looks like we're about to go to a commercial break.

Yeah, unfortunately, I don't have a ton to offer here. I just say, get through the party as best as you can, knowing it's perfectly okay for you to take as many bags of trash to the dumpster as you need to give yourself a break from the insanity. And, if you play your cards right, you must might be able to get that jerk-face significant other to put away all the leftovers and do the dishes, because he feels bad for hurting your feelings.

Hope these tips help you with your Super Bowl Party Plans. If you're hosting, be sure to share you pictures on my creator's Facebook and Twitter pages. Enjoy the game and, oh what the heck. I don't care that they're not playing. GO PACK GO!

About the Queen of the League Trilogy
When Harper Duquaine’s no-nonsense approach to work unintentionally ruffles the wrong feathers at her new job, she joins her co-workers’ fantasy football league to prove she can hang with the guys. Only problem: she doesn’t know a sleeper from a keeper (or any of the other lingo thrown her way). Follow her journey and mis-adventures through three seasons as she proves she's worthy of the championship trophy and true love.

***Let's take this relationship to the next level. Follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for day-to-day shenanigans. Subscribe to my newsletter for monthly updates and new release/sales notices AND score a free copy of one of my books as my thanks to you. You can also find me on Amazon and BookBub.***

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