Autumn has officially made its grand entrance and aside from the cooling temperatures, kids in school and the best apples of the year making an appearance, fall signals the beginning of one other vital occurrence: Football Season! The NCAA season is already in Week 2; and starting September 5, the NFL season is back—and that means a lot of games, a whole lot of cheering (and booing) and party after party after party. But not all football parties are created equal. It really depends on the host and the house—some people think turning on the flat screen and serving chips and dip constitutes a party. We, however, know better. Take a cue from California Home and transform your pad into football party paradise. By the time the Rose Bowl and Super Bowl come around, your party pad will be the most sought-after on the block.
Here are a few easy tips to get started:
1. Find the Best View
Sometimes, bigger really is better and if you’re planning on having a bunch of fans crowding around your flat screen, you need a fairly mammoth screen to catch every moment—and every play. While Plasma TVs were the favorite sport-viewing choice for years, LED and LCDs are quickly improving their motion and angle deficiencies. Check out recommendations online and make sure you have suitable space for such a large appliance. Or, if you’re short on space, this 28-inch football-inspired TV from HANNspree is a fun addition.
2. Bring Out the Comfy Seating
Having the ultimate football party pad means you need plenty of seating. You don’t necessarily need to run out and buy deluxe theater seating (although there are some amazing theater seating designs out there), but you will need to bust out the folding chairs, floor chairs and even some floor pillows for the stragglers who show up in the middle of first quarter.
3. Don’t Skimp on the Snacks
Your best bet for a successful party is to go all out with a buffet-style spread. Have some fun with the food and make sure there’s something for everyone (remember, vegan and vegetarian fare has caught on mainstream so have at least a couple of meatless dishes on hand). Some nifty menu ideas include Avocado Quesadillas, good old-fashioned Sliders (you could even buy a few boxes of frozen White Castles just for the fun factor), Hungarian Meatballs, fresh-cut veggies with dip and of course, spicy chicken wings (and for vegans: Gardein makes some delectable meatless wings). And for desert? Chocolate-dipped strawberries… in the shape of…what else? Bon Appetit, football fans!
4. Have a Great Beer Selection
Beer is the drink of choice at football parties so up the ante and give your party guests plenty of options. Since football (not to be confused with futbol!) is such an American-exclusive pastime, roll out an assortment of U.S.-craft beers like Sierra Nevada from Chico, CA; Bell’s Brewery from Kalamazoo, MI; Avery Brewing out of Boulder, CO or Rogues Ale from Portland, OR. And if you really want to step up your game, you can always brew your own right at home.
5. Add Some Football-Inspired Gear
No matter who your friends are rooting for (professional or college), there’s no need to hide your team devotion—it’s your house afterall! So whether your team is the 49ers, the Raiders or the Crimson Tide, show off your favorites with a framed autographed jersey, a little NFL art or a signed photo. You can also get in the spirit with clocks, serving platters, light switches or rugs (which are fairly easy to switch out post-game). It’s all in fun, so go crazy!
6. Set Up a Football-Free Zone
When halftime comes around, some of your guests will probably crave some fresh air and a time out. Set up your backyard as a chill area for those who need some pout time (if their team is losing) or those who just feel like a change of scenery. Make sure your outdoor patio is comfortably set up and have a fridge or cooler available stocked with bottled water and soda. Last but not least, consider setting up a small flat screen outside; you don’t want your outside-pals missing the start of the third quarter.
Is your house party-ready for the season? Let us know about your football party secrets in the comments section below!