Quick & dirty tips for hosting a football party

Clubhouse at Eleven in Austin, TX
Clubhouse at Eleven in Austin, TX

With football season ramping up, the get togethers and kickbacks are in full swing. Whether you’re hosting a party at your apartment or making the most out of your community center, let’s kick off the season right. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when volunteering yourself to host a game-day gathering.

Prepare ahead of time

If the game starts at 3:00PM, don’t be at the grocery store at 2:50PM or worse, calling guests to bring something because you forgot to buy it. Make a list of food and drinks you want early in the week. Shop the day before as most grocery stores will have low prices on usual game day snacks.

Clean up your place

No one likes to walk into a messy, unkempt house. Not to say that your home should look like a museum, but it should be clean and inviting. Put away anything you’d be worried about spilling on. If there’s a chance your Crate and Barrel throw pillows will get ruined by Dorito fingers, put them in your room. This way you avoid the awkward “Sorry, I can pay for that.” conversation. Or avoid the mess altogether and take the party into the clubhouse. From there, you can arrange your own game of pool football and use the grilling areas, too.

Feeding football lovers

You might love lobster and lasagna, but maybe not on gameday. When people gather around the TV to watch their alma mater bring a rival team to their knees, there will be expectations for snacks. This includes the typical spread like chips and dip, hot wings and ranch, and brownies and cookies. But, don’t be afraid to mix in some health foods.

Drinks for everyone

Buy enough beer, cider, hard lemonade, you name it to go around. And don’t forget about your friends that don’t drink. It can be hard to ask for water or soda when the host has only provided alcoholic drinks. A good host means anticipating your guest’s needs. Have a selection ready and remember, variety is never a bad thing.

Make this easy on yourself

Even though you’re having everyone over, you should enjoy the party too. An easy way to clean up after a gathering is to avoid washing dishes. People are going to be getting up to serve themselves several times and before you know it, one person’s used five plates for carrots and celery. Make it easy on yourself by using disposable plates and utensils.

Remember to restock

Keep the food and drinks restocked. This ensures that there is enough food to go around and no one feels bad about eating the last deviled egg. Leave out plenty of cups, napkins, and plates, unless, of course, you want guests to use your grandmother’s antique china for that 7-layer bean dip.

No sore losers

We all have that one friend that takes sports way too seriously. And while we can all appreciate some friendly competition, we have to remember that it’s just a game. You don’t want your cousin getting in a fight with your coworker over one bad call. The guest list should be well thought out so that everyone you invite can be civil even if their team is losing.

Those are our tips, now we want to hear from you! Share your favorite memory from a hosted football party in the comments.