You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Well, I have to say, I was already pulling out the black and gold tablescaping for another “Saints Superbowl Party” when…well, let’s not re-live the moment we knew when that all changed!  I’m over it.  Time to get pumped for the Giants and Patriots right?!  Superbowl XLVI (that’s 46th for the roman numeral challenged) takes place in Indianapolis this year at 6:30pm EST at at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Since most of us won’t be tailgating there, here are a few tips to help make Superbowl, any year, fabulous, fun and full of friendly fans!

You’re The Host:

  • Tell your neighbors.  Especially if you think there will be a major parking issue.  It’s always nice to include them in the invite if you’re on friendly terms.  This definitely seals the parking issue up.

  • Get in the game. Whether you’re serving appetizers, pizza and wings, or blessed to have your affair catered, set the spirit!  Use the team colors (a no-brainer this year) for centerpieces and cocktail napkins.  Create a fun centerpiece with small footballs, turf grass and mini-penants from the party/dollar stores.  Print up a Superbowl Pool Grid on card stock with the team colors and place along side an envelope for collections and a  “team cup” that holds pencils for filling in the squares.  The amount should be agreed upon by everyone but keep in mind, this is a “spirit-raiser”, not the Sports Book in Vegas. 


  • Greet your guests and make introductions.  Don’t leave your guests waiting at the door while you’re busy with the bbq.  Greet them promptly with smiles and warmth as you bring them into join you and others.  Introduce or “refresh an introduction” to all the guests and let the small talk begin.  “Mary, you may recall meeting John at our Superbowl party last year.  John Jones, this is Mary Smith.  Mary works with me at XYZ.

  • Take their coat.  Not literally of course.  You can’t keep it!!  Even if it is that fabulous Alexander McQueen leopard print you want!  Be sure to assist your guest in taking their coat and letting them know where you are storing it so they can access it if needed.  If they don’t need their coat until departure, the host should retrieve the coat for their guest. 

  • Get the ball rolling.  Offer beverages soon after introductions and point your guests towards the food station.  Generally, football parties are best suited for buffet/kitchen island style dining or a barbeque outside, weather permitting.  Keep plenty of food, napkins, cocktail plates, toothpicks for h’ordoeurves, and cold beverages on hand throughout the game.

  • Have enough seating.  It’s true that not everyone will sit at the same time…but for Superbowl, expect a few guys to “own that seat for the duration”.  With the increasing excitement of seeing the newest “who will be the winner” commercials, seats may be at a premium.  Bring in the card table chairs, dining room chairs, and if it’s a super casual event, have some throw pillows and comfy throws available for those that are happy to lean at the feet of their spouse or date.

  • Kids coming?  Let’s face it…the kids are NOT going to sit for three or four hours watching the game.  They’ll just interrupt those that do.  Have a snack table and beverages in a small ice chest that can be in “their own space” (a child’s room, the converted for game day garage, etc.) and have age appropriate games, toys, coloring, etc. for them to enjoy together.  Oh…here’s a thought.  Give them a football to throw – outside, weather permitting.  I know, they’ll probably just play Madden on their hand-held, but it’s worth a try.

  • The party’s over.  Thank your guests for taking the time to spend the day with you.  Thank them if they drove a great distance to be with you.  Thank them for anything they may have contributed, i.e., food, gifts, help, etc.  Have your “co-host” (usually a spouse/date or designated friend) get the coats while you are graciously escorting to the door.

You’re The Guest:
  • Be a great guest.  If you’re the guest at this fabulous party, you have a few party etiquette rules too.


  • RSVP as soon as possible.  Waiting until the last minute implies you are waiting for a better offer.  

  • Bring a hostess gift.  Wine (to be offered for a future event), gourmet candy, fresh flowers or a homemade treat are all a welcomed gift. 


  • Arrive on time, unless you’ve advised ahead with any challenges in doing so.


  • Offer to help the hostess.  Even little things like carrying re-loaded trays of treats to the football fanatics that haven’t moved an inch since the game started, is a big help


  • Remember “bathroom etiquette“.  No splashing and leaving water drops everywhere.  No using the plush monogrammed guest towel (a smart hostess will have a basket or bowl of individual small guest towels and a receptacle in which to place used ones or very nice disposable napkins.  He/she will also have air freshener discreetly tucked away).  Basically, leave the loo as fresh and clean as you found it.

  • Don’t over-indulge.  Food or beverage.

  • Get a clue.  Don’t overstay your welcome.  While most party invitations will have a start/end time, some will end with natural timing, like the end of the game in this scenario.  Watch for clues from your host.  They may enjoy having you stay a little while afterwards to enjoy some conversational time that perhaps was thwarted during the event; however, if you see him/her washing dishes, turning off the TV and booting up their iPad (okay, a proper host would never do these things), then get a clue.  It’s time to go.

Have a wonderful Superbowl and I leave you with a simple little toast to share with your guests:


“Here’s to the bird that flew the coop,

Without losing a single feather;

And may this time next year, 

We all be together.”

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