Football parties can be a whole lot of fun, but they also require a great deal of planning. Whether you host a large or small gathering, you’ll have to determine how much space will be necessary, and you’ll need to ensure that the drinks, food and television screen will be adequate enough to keep everyone satisfied. Below is a detailed breakdown of the crucial steps involved with football party planning.
Prepare a Space That’s Big Enough for Everyone
When throwing a game party, one of the most vital things to prepare is the space in which the game will be watched. Whether you hold it in your living room, family room, attic, basement or some special room designated for parties, the area needs to be more than spacious enough for everyone on your invite list.
Without the proper space, plenty of problems could ensue. For one, people could feel cramped and uncomfortable, especially if they wind up rubbing against one another while trying to squeeze into limited seating spaces. Overcrowding could also make the environment humid, stuffy and downright rank.
Furthermore, an overcrowded room can be very inconvenient for guests as they need to get up to walk around, make phone calls and relieve themselves. In the event of a fire in your house, evacuation could be a hectic and jumbled process if too many people are crammed into a tiny space.
To ensure that the party will have a spacious and comfortable setting, the furniture needs to be laid out appropriately in advance. Determine how many people you can fit into the allotted room with comfortable seating for all — Squeezing four people onto a sofa made for three does not fit into this scheme. If there’s any furniture that will obstruct anyone from walking into and out of the room, remove it. In smaller living rooms where more than five people will be present, it could be wise to forgo the coffee table and place linen over the sofas and carpets so that food and drinks don’t cause stains if dropped or spilled.
Have a Screen That Will Keep Your Guests Captivated
Anyone who gets out of the same four walls to watch a ballgame elsewhere does so to see it on something bigger than their own television screen. Whether a person goes to see it in the flesh at a stadium or watches it live at a sports bar, the whole point is to witness and be part of a larger than life experience. Therefore, when you have people over to your pad to watch a ballgame, it had better be on a great big screen that will hold your guests in awe.
After all, if they just wanted to see the action, they could all simply stay at home and watch it on their portable mini television or perhaps stream it on their PC, laptop or mobile device. The purpose of throwing a sports party is to keep your guests enthralled by the action in an overwhelming way that they just won’t get at home. In order to make that possible, you need to have a great big state-of-the-art television screen.
Ideally, this big-screen TV should be at least 40 inches. If you don’t already have one, see if any appliance rental outlet nearby your house has a big-screen available for rent. This is not a detail that you should skimp on — after all, could you imagine going to a movie theatre where films are only shown on small screens? More to the point, imagine sitting in the nosebleed section of a stadium where — instead of having plays from the field transmitted through a big, overhead projector — the best view that you could get would be through your iPad.
There really is no way around it: It takes a big screen to project the enormous, potentially history-making spectacle of a ball game. Besides, if you have lots of people in attendance, do you really think that they’d have much fun huddled before a small TV set, squinting just to make out all of the action on the screen?
Choose the Right Kind of Food and Drinks for the Occasion
One of the most important elements to have in abundance at any given sports party is food and drinks: arguably the main attractions at most sports bars around the world. A lot of this has to do with the restless energy that comes with any type of communal spectator event where the action keeps you at the edge of your seat. Put simply, excitement fuels the munchies. In a sense, it’s a lot like movie theatres and popcorn, only with plenty of time-outs and breaks where one can get up and do any number of things — like grab another beer, text a friend or go outside for a smoke — without the risk of missing out on any of the action.
As far as beverages are concerned, beer should always be the top priority. Perhaps a heavier beer should be offered for those who aren’t driving, with a lighter option for the designated drivers of the crowd. Non-alcoholic alternatives are also good to have around. One or two six packs of both cola and lemon-lime soda will generally be enough to keep people happy.
Figure on using two cans per head. Not everyone will go for the soda, but those that do might have three or four — anything left over can either be kept or given away at the end of the party. Since this is a party of a decidedly informal, testosterone-fueled nature, you probably don’t need to worry about healthier or fancier drinking options such as fruit juice, red wine or champagne.
When it comes to food for a large gathering, two options generally come to mind: hold a potluck or call in and order easy takeout food. Given that this is a sports party, a potluck is probably out of the question. Therefore, your best option is probably take out.
A common theme at football parties is to select a signature local dish in honor of a hometown team. Depending on the city and team in question, the food might be as follows:
- The New York Giants — buffalo wings
- The San Francisco 49ers — fish tacos
- The Michigan Wolverines — the Michigan pasty
- The Philadelphia Eagles — Philly cheese steak
- The Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens — vinegar French fries
As everyone knows, Chicago earned its place on the culinary map by making the best deep dish pizza found anywhere. For parties, the best way to serve a room full of hungry Chicago Bears fans is with a large takeout order from Giordano’s: makers of the best Chicago style pizza in the world.
Hand Out Prizes After Each Quarter
There’s one aspect of hosting a sports game that might seem a bit silly, and it involves handing out prizes. Yes, we’re still talking about a sports game here. Typically, in the course of a sporting event, spectators will play guessing games as to which team will score next, and perhaps which player will score the next point.
Part of the fun of watching a game is anticipating what is likely to occur in the moments ahead. Spectators with a high percentage of accurate guesses prove themselves to be the kinds of people who really know the game, the team and its players. The process of handing out prizes for those that guess right creates more of an incentive to closely watch what’s going on with the game and to think hard about the likeliest outcome. Furthermore, it’s just fun to win prizes.
What should the prizes be? Any cheap little memento related to the teams in question. For instance, if the Bears are playing the Indiana Colts when you throw the big party, have a handful of hometown merchandise on hand to give out during the game — stickers, badges, key chains or pins — but also try to get some mementos of the other team to hand out as raspberries in case someone guesses wrong (or right, in case they bet against Chicago and end up proven correct). Prizes of this sort are easy to find at most party supply outlets and sporting goods stores, which usually carry cheap merchandise tied to local sports teams.
At the very least, have one prize to give out after each quarter to the first person who guesses an outcome correctly. If two people make the same correct guess simultaneously, they can break the tie over a game of Beer Pong. As silly as you might feel at first about handing out prizes at a football party, just think of what a good time all of your guests will have. After they tell all of their friends about the kind of party you host, your reputation as a local sports party impresario could grow exponentially.
Maintain a Positive Vibe Among Your Guests — Keep Things Sportsmanlike
At any given sports party, there’s a general consensus as to which team has all the support among the attendees. Therefore, it’s perfectly understandable that quite a few people will be rather loud and enthusiastic in their support for that team. When the party is in Chicago, there’s little doubt that most people will be cheering for the Bears. After all, why would anyone in the Windy City root for the Colts or the Vikings unless he or she either has a best friend or brother on the team, or has only moved to Illinois recently — for college or work — from Minnesota or Indiana? Surely those people, when in Chicago, could find their own little secret game party.
But regardless of which team most — if not all — of your guests support, you’ll want to make sure that the enthusiasm at your pad doesn’t spill over into unsportsmanlike behavior. For instance, it’s understandable to be somewhat miffed when the opposing team scores a point, especially when it could have been easily circumvented. Some people, however, can go overboard with their frustration, especially if they’re a little bit intoxicated. If a guest gets all hotheaded and starts cussing out the other team, it could lower the mood for everyone in attendance.
Things can get even worse when several tempers erupt at once, and the whole party gets drowned out by three or four guests who suddenly decide that they want to form a militia against the other team. After all, the rest of your guests will have simply come to enjoy the game, and most of them will be cool-headed enough to continue doing so despite whatever disappointments might occur in a given quarter. As the host of the party, you’ll need to ensure that everyone keeps their cool, no matter what happens on the playing field. If one or two of your guests go into a rage, kindly ask them aside and — with a laugh and a smile — remind them that it’s just a game, and that if they get too frustrated, it will only make the other team happy.
Hold a Fantasy Football Draft With the Best Deep Dish Pizza
If you’re planning a fantasy league draft party, your main priorities while arranging the event should be food, space and entertainment. Given how most leagues have a dozen members, you’ll need to take that number into consideration as you select the location for the meet-up. Would your house be large enough, or would a nearby restaurant be more suited to the occasion? Another thing to consider is Wi-Fi access, which most — if not all — of the people in attendance will need in order to look up players and stats while the draft is in progress.
One of the best times of year to hold a draft party is on any date when there’s an NFL preseason game taking place. No matter where you hold the game, it’s wise to have a draft party kit, which consists of a large board with color-coded labels for different players. Draft kits can be found at sports supply stores, or ordered online from various suppliers and even some sporting networks.
If you opt instead to make a board from scratch, arrange it in the form of a grid: Arrange team names by columns and arrange each round number by rows.
If you have Wi-Fi, a big television and enough space at your house to accommodate everyone, consider ordering three or four large Giordano’s pizzas. For example, you might settle on two pepperonis and one or two cheese pizzas with a side tray of catered vegetables — tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms — for anyone who wishes to add them to their slices. As one of the most famous Chicago restaurants, Giordano’s regularly keeps partygoers happy with the best deep dish pizza found anywhere in the nation.
Giordano’s: World Famous Chicago Style Pizza
When Giordano’s served its first slice of pizza in 1974, Richard J. Daley was the Mayor of Chicago, Abe Gibron was serving his third and last season as the Bears head coach, and Chicago (the band) were in the charts with “(I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long” and “Wishing You Were Here” from the double album VII. With millions of pizzas served since then, Giordano’s has been putting Chicago style deep-dish pizza on the map for more than four decades.
With multiple locations in Illinois, Florida, Indiana and Minnesota, Giordano’s is a hotspot for parties, where you can enjoy a great game with your friends while chewing on delicious pizza. If you’re throwing the party at home, simply ring up a nearby Giordano’s and we’ll deliver the pizzas right to your door. Giordano’s also offers catering and event-planning for fun, exciting and pizza-filled events of any kind.
If you live outside the Giordano’s market, you can still order our savory, stuffed pizzas from any location in the continental U.S., and we’ll have them shipped to you fresh and on the double. When planning your next football party, call up Giordano’s and make it an evening of delicious deep-dish pizza. Check out our online menu to learn more about our savory options.