In 2011, the Super Bowl was the most watched TV program in U.S. history, with 106.5 million viewers, according to the Nielson Wire ratings. Last year’s Super Bowl game surpassed the long-time leading final episode of M*A*S*H (with 105.5 million viewers in 1983). The NFL championship game is more than primetime television – it is a national tradition. Super Bowl game day is also the second largest food consumption day in the U.S., after Thanksgiving! If you are hosting a game day watch party or attending one, the players are not the only ones being observed. Your manners will be watched too. Read these etiquette tips for game day success.
Greeting other guests. Whether you are a guest or a host, it is polite to greet others at the Super Bowl Party. If you have not met someone, ask to be introduced, or introduce yourself with “Good afternoon, my name is John Conner and I know Samantha through our work together on the chamber. How do you know her?” Your attendance at the same party is enough reason to greet another guest.
Television Screens. Consider more than one TV screen. Place a screen in the room with the buffet, the kitchen, or another room. One TV may be set up for serious game watchers, and another TV room may be reserved for socializers who wish to visit during the game. Both groups may be very interested in those million dollar Super Bowl commercials.
Super Bowl Party Contests. Consider party contests for those moments of down time. Examples include guess the half-time or final score, funniest or most expensive commercial, best fan spirit and yummiest appetizer. Have simple prizes on hand.
Serve favorite appetizers. If you are hosting, order or prepare favorite dishes and appetizers in advance. Be aware of guest allergies, and include vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free dishes with menu cards. Organize the buffet the previous night. Be sure to provide enough seating.
National Anthem. When the national anthem is played, stand and take off your hat if you are wearing one. It is not necessary to encourage your guests do so. However, it shows respect to our nation, even when the anthem is being played on TV.
Moderation. During the party, serve a variety of beverages, including juice, carbonated drinks, sodas, and water, in addition to alcoholic drinks. Sports fans understand that many arenas close down alcohol service before the final period of play. After the third quarter announce “last call” and close the bar. Begin serving dessert, coffee and tea. Have a plan in place for guests who may overindulge including designated drivers, a shuttle service, and room for unexpected overnight guests.
Super Bowl Decorations. Show your spirit for both teams. Use official NFL party plates or order specialty desserts! Party favors may include a bottle of water with both team colors tied as a ribbon around the neck of the bottle.
Neighbors. It is appropriate to let your neighbors know that you are hosting a party, and that guests may be parking on the street. It is gracious to invite your neighbors to your party ~ especially if you wish to build a good relationship. Another option is to stop by after the party to be sure all went smoothly, and to share party goodies and desserts.
Children? If children are invited, consider a children’s room. Prepare in advance, set up a safe place with toys, a nap area and play activities. Hire a trusted babysitter.
Super Bowl game day is a great time for family and friends to spend time together. Make it a memorable day to mind your manners and enjoy the game of the year!