The Sports Widow's Super Bowl Party Tips

February 5, 2007 3:50 PM | 0 Comments

Just days before the Super Bowl and days before we were scheduled to pack up and move out of our temporary quarters to return to our newly remodeled home, my sports fan Bryan decided it would be fun to host a Super Bowl party. This put me into a panic. So many things to decide, most importantly the menu and my general attitude toward the event. Heightening the tension, I was invited to be a guest on the Women Aloud radio show, which is a syndicated program on Greenstone Media. I knew the hosts would want my tips as a card-carrying Sports Widow. So here's what I told them and here's what actually happened in my living room, too.
Chicago Fanatics

Tip #1 - Do your homework: Find out which teams are playing. I asked my charming, knowledgeable cubicle neighbors, Chris and Steve. Chris is a die-hard Steelers fan, as in Pittsburg. They mocked and maligned me for not knowing, but eventually furnished the answer: the Bears and the Colts (Incidentally, the latter team hasn't been in Baltimore since 1984. Their home is Indianapolis.)

Tip #2 - Just for kicks, decide where your allegiance stands. As a cheesehead from Wisconsin, my knee-jerk reaction is to resent Chicagoans. They've always had a superior attitude toward my working-class, Scandanavian town. Cinching it, I was born in West Lafayette, so I decided to root for the Colts.

Tip #3 - What are you going to serve? This is one way I can connect with sporting events, because I love to cook and I love to entertain. Again, I consulted the authorities - cubicle mates Chris and Steve. Chris said I HAVE to serve chili. I suggested serving it in hollowed out, football-shaped artisan bread loaves, but he guffawed. He said that's too Martha Stewart. The Super Bowl is a self-serve kind of day. He also recommended buying four different types of chips and introducing a new one each quarter. He cautioned me against making anything from scratch. He said all I have to do is follow the special food displays on the perimeter of my nearby Safeway to forage correctly. Steve said he always makes little sausages and was vehement that I get the little smokies versus the large, intimidating brats and knockwurst. He said this will make our male guests feel better about themselves. They both agreed nachos were a good idea. At our house, my fan Bryan made a 7-bean dip and crockpot ribs. I made chocolate and butterscotch chip cookies, and guest brought their own contributions. We had an impressive spread.
Super Bowl Ribs

Tip #4 - Are you going to serve macrobrews or microbrews? In Seattle, there is no choice. You have to serve microbrews. We briefly considered Colt, but that's a malt beer. AAACCCKKKK! For no particular reason, we landed on Redhook IPA.

Tip #5 - If you have kids around, appoint a VCR commander, whose task is to screen for inappropropriate TV content. In our case, Jamie was given this sober task. He had great reflexes and was a quick content study. Jamie deftly bounced between inappropriate commercials and The Puppy Bowl, which was about as innocuous as TV viewing can be. I particularly appreciated the novel camera angles they employed in The Puppy Bowl, especially the under-the-water-bowl shots. On the other side of the fence, I enjoyed the commercial where everyone was slapping each other - the new high 5 - and Prince's washer woman scarf. I did have to marvel at his ability to put on a good show at such an advanced age.

Tip #6 - Are you going to fake it, ask lots of dumb questions or be a voyeur? I mostly opted for the voyeuristic approach. After all, my roots are as an anthropologist, one who studies but doesn't judge another culture. At one point I did ask: What's a typical score? Craig replied 150, but even I knew that was low.

Planning a Super Bowl Party? Check out The Last Hurrah: the Ultimate Super Bowl Party Planner

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