You know it’s football season when on Sundays your News Feed is filled with a wide range of emotional comments about your friends’ favorite teams. As someone who doesn’t even know how to throw a football – much less play the game (and I know I’m not alone) – I often feel left out of the conversation. But just because I have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to touchdowns and T-formations (seriously, I had to look up the definition of the latter), that doesn’t mean I can’t partake in the festivities. While I may not be a star on the field, I’m a whiz in the kitchen and an excellent host. So you can join in the weekend fun, too, here are my tips for throwing the ultimate football party – without a whole lot of work.
1. Invest in a serious TV. Just as (if not more) important as anything else at your football party is the television on which the game is played. If you don’t have a sizeable screen, what’s the point? Nobody wants to squint to see the sweeps – or those tight ends. If you don’t already have a flat-screen of at least 42 inches – and you want to host football parties – make it a point to save up for one. You’ll make your guests happy in the short term and yourself happier in the long term.
2. Don’t fuss over the food. If it were any other kind of party, I would prepare homemade dishes to surprise and satisfy my guests. Luckily I don’t have to do that on game day. Football parties aren’t known for their exotic foods, but rather comforting versions of classics that soothe the soul when the weather takes a turn for the worst. Chicken wings, chips and dips, meatballs, chili and nachos are acceptable fare to feed your fans. All of these items are fairly easy to make, too, with just a few ingredients required for each. The best part about these calorie-rich snacks is that they’re filling, so even a modest amount will go a long way – though you should probably prepare for two-a-days at the gym for the rest of the week.
3. Beer and wine but not liquor. I limit the amount of alcohol consumption taking place throughout the four quarters by eliminating liquor all together. Nobody needs to drink Jack for hours on end on a Sunday afternoon – even if they think they might. A couple bottles of red and white wine and a case or two of a domestic light beer and a more adult lager will do the trick, along with nonalcoholic soft drinks as well. Just be sure to tell your guests what’s on the bev menu ahead of time so they can bring their own if they’re not down with what you’re serving.
4. Less decorating means more down time. Trust me when I tell you that the kind of people coming to your football fete couldn’t care less whether you’ve decorated or not. OK – the queens might, but your gay “bros” won’t notice either way. Thus, if the majority of the football fans won’t appreciate the effort you put into turning the living room into a lookalike locker room, why bother? Instead, take a load off and enjoy the game (or at least the commercials) with everyone else.
5. Offer other games while they’re watching the big one. Not all of your guests will be as interested in what’s happening on the TV as others; some of them will be forced to attend your party – because that’s the way gay love goes. For those guests, set up a nearby area where they can play cards or board games while keeping one eye on the tube if they want. If kids are attending, these occupiers are a must – even better if you have a separate room with a video game setup.
6. Enter the end zone with dessert. Time to wrap up the party? Nothing says game over like bringing out dessert and coffee to give your guests the hint that it’s time to hit the road. For an extra special touch, serve up easy-to-make football-shaped cookies (you might even find prepackaged bake-and-serve versions at your local supermarket) with freshly brewed java or artisan hot chocolate.