Super Bowl parties are the first chance post-holidays for Americans to come together, forget their resolutions and pound cold ones into oblivion while two teams who probably live nowhere near them play for a championship their hometown team will probably never win. Or at least that’s what it seems like.
In fact, there are only four teams that have never appeared in a Super Bowl. Coincidentally, I cheer for one of them, the Houston Texans. And as the son of a long-suffering, championship-deprived fan of the former Houston Oilers, I’ve long been a Super Bowl agnostic. After all, how can I fully believe in the magic of something if I’ve never seen it? But that doesn’t mean I don’t like to party. I can appreciate cold beer, party games, far-fetched bets, exotic dips and self-important commercials.
Here are a few fun ways to host a spectacular Super Bowl XLIX party, whether or not you care who wins.
Super Bowl Party Games
The 2014 Super Bowl was the worst ever for bettors, so you should probably save some money and play at-home games instead. Here is my version of a Super Bowl Bingo card. Warning: You probably won’t win, but if you do, you will have just witnessed the strangest Super Bowl ever played. To make your own bingo cards, you can print out a blank template here or go to ThriftyJinxy and download the 16 free Super Bowl bingo cards there.
Super Bowl Party Betting Games
Friendly wagers on mundane things during the Super Bowl can make the event more exciting for casual fans. Las Vegas knows the gulf between casual fan and degenerate gambler is not as wide as it would seem, and that’s why they publish prop bets every year. Wagering on these events will help even the most unenthused viewer find reason to be glued to the screen.Photo via Wikimedia CommonsIdina Menzel
• The number of minutes Idina Menzel sings the national anthem: over/under 1:56
• Bonus bet: Your children recognize her as Frozen’s Elsa and demand you play the song for them.
• Number of touchdowns Tom Brady throws: over/under 2
• Number of Bud Light “Up For Whatever” ads shown: over/under 7.5
• Number of tweets the Seahawks delete during the game: over/under 2
• Number of touchdowns Marshawn Lynch scores: over/under 1
• Number of times the word “deflated” is said: over/under 6
• Number of tears Russell Wilson sheds: over/under 4
• Number of “wardrobe malfunctions” during the half-time show: over/under 0.5
• Bill Belichick wears a sweatshirt, hoodie or windbreaker.
• Super Bowl MVP? (Odds available online.)
Almost anything in the Super Bowl can be turned into a prop bet. (Note: A half point is meant to prevent ties. If you take the “over” on the Bud Light bet, you’re betting that there will be at least eight “Up for Whatever” ads shown during the game. If you bet the “under,” you’re betting there will be no more than seven airings.) Experiment with your own scenarios! And remember, betting—even small amounts among friends—is illegal in many states. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put up other things as a wager: Loser has to sing the national anthem, wear the other team’s hat, give up the good seat or go on a beer run! You get the idea.
Super Bowl Appetizers, Snacks and Party Food
There shouldn’t be any entrées at your party. The last thing you want to do is commit to one dish and miss out on the delicious full spread. Appetizers and snacks that celebrate the competing teams’ home cities will get you into the spirit of things.Smoked Salmon Dip
• New England Clam Chowder: Lose the pan-roasted breadcrumbs. You’re on the clock here, and nobody has time for that. If you need some crunch, crush potato chips and sprinkle them on top.
• Seattle Smoked Salmon Dip: This dip will go great with any bread or crackers you serve, and the smoky flavor won’t be found in any seven-layer dip.
• Dessert options include a Boston cream pie and coffee from Starbucks.
Super Bowl Beer
Even though most of the commercials you see during the game will be for Budweiser, Miller or Coors, treat yourself and your guests to some craft beers that represent the best Seattle and New England have to offer.Harpoon BreweryHarpoon’s IPA Adventure
• Boston: Harpoon’s IPA Adventure box will let you sample an array of Boston’s premier craft brewery’s signature style.
• Seattle: Pike Street XXXXX Stout is one of the region’s top-rated beers. The brewery is operated a few blocks away from Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market and the Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field.
Super Bowl Prediction
Both Seattle (+2) and New England (-2) are powerhouses with plenty at stake: Seattle is trying to repeat as champions, and New England is trying to win Tom Brady his fourth Super Bowl. In the end, I think the Seahawks’ defense stifles the Patriots’ offense and that Seattle wins 31–24.
Who do you think will win? Share your bingo cards with us, and let the Real Deal know what you plan to do for your Super Bowl XLIX party! Also, don’t forget to flaunt your fandom via Super Bowl clothes!