While there’s nothing like hearing the roar of the crowd, the sound of the marching band, and the announcer’s booming voice over the loudspeaker, the big game can be just as exhilarating from the comfort of your couch with the company of family and friends. Remember why you bought that 50-inch flat screen with this guide to watching the game at home.
The average football game lasts about three hours -- don’t make your guests sit on plastic folding chairs. And while it may seem like you're being a good host, no one wants to sit in your formal, straight backed dining chair while you stretch out on the love seat. Here are a few more seating ideas.
Consider a sectional sofa for your TV-watching room. With different styles and pieces you can mix and match to create the perfect couch for your needs. This model with a chaise on one side allows three to four adults to relax very comfortably.
Several mismatched sofas are never a good idea in one room. Give your guests their choice of seating with a few different options. One large sofa, a love seat, and a few club chairs are ideal for accommodating several game-watching friends comfortably.
Couches and comfy chairs are the obvious answer for watching the big game. However, don’t discount other possibilities such as chaise longues like these, especially if your guest list is on the small side. Large floor pillows and tufted ottomans are other options.
Getting together for the game and hosting a dinner party are two VERY different things. Don’t make your guests search for the snacks -- they should be at arms length and plentiful. Here are a few ideas for entertaining your guests while cheering on your favorite team.
Don’t wait until the beginning of the game to get things ready. If it’s a big game that the whole town is watching and you’re planning on ordering pizza, be prepared to wait. When it’s 15 minutes until kickoff, the last thing you’re going to want to do is run out for chips and salsa. Plan your menu well in advance and do your shopping on Thursday or Friday so you’ll be all stocked up for the college and pro games over the weekend.
Plan the meal accordingly. Spaghetti and meatballs, clam chowder, and chicken parmesan are delicious dishes, but they require your full attention. Check out MyRecipe’s Complete Tailgating Guide for dozens of game-ready recipes, like these perfectly poppable pigs in a blanket.
Want to keep the summer grilling season going? Be the grill master of game day with our grilling guide.
Drinks are one thing that is very difficult to mess up. Don’t make any classic rookie mistakes by following these suggestions for the perfect beverage to cheer on your team.
If you’ve got friends who drink like fishes, stock up on their cold beverages of choice. Whether it’s Bud Light or Diet Coke, get enough to last throughout game day.
Use real glasses. What separates a frat house from your living room? Plastic red cups. Clean up might take a little longer, but stepping up your cups to actual glassware will remind your guests that they are in someone’s home, and not at a kegger. Try using these tall pilsner glasses made specifically for drinking beer.
Set of 4 Pilsner Glasses
Available at Macy's
Not everyone is a drinker, and not all drinkers like beer. However, you can still use this game staple and mix up a unique libation, such as this raspberry beer. The ladies will love its sweetness, and the guys will be pleased that they’re still drinking beer. And if you want to whip up a fun cocktail for non-alcoholic imbibers, try a refreshing melon agua fresca, using watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.
Planning the optimal home tailgating menu and setting up the bar are key items on game day. However, there will be no game to watch if there is no TV. Here are a few tips to insure your set is all set.
Obviously you don’t want your television set placed too high or too low, but also take care that it’s in the right spot even when at eye-level. If most of your seating is off to the side, angle the TV accordingly. Check to make sure there is no glare from windows and that the game can be seen easily from all seats. Remember, even if you have a 70-incher, no one will care if they can’t see the running back’s end zone dance.
There is an endless debate over which cable provider is less expensive, offers more channels and delivers a better picture. While these factors might not impact your day-to-day life, come game-day they can mean the difference between seeing the big win or hearing it about it on Monday. The bigger games are going to be on national TV (think Alabama vs. Florida), but when two lesser known teams (East Carolina vs. SMU) play each other, it’s going to be a more difficult to find that game. Check in advance to make sure the games you care to watch are carried by your provider.
Once the final whistle has been blown, you may not want your big screen to be the centerpiece of your living room. Here are a few ideas for blending your television with your room’s decor.
Even if you have all of your game day elements in place, don’t ruin the day with a shoddy guest list. Use these helpful tips to make sure that the crowd at your house is cheering the whole day.
There is nothing wrong with inviting fans of opposing teams, just make sure they can be civil, and keep their boozing to a minimum. There’s nothing worse than a drunken Michigan fan arguing with an even drunker Ohio State fan.
Or anyone else that you are trying to impress. When the big game is on, it can bring out the best or the worst in us. Depending on your relationship, you may not want your boss, mother-in-law, or pastor to see you angry after a tough loss.
Football Party Invitation
One of the best things about watching the game at home is that you don’t have to sit in a dirty stadium, with broken peanut shells on the ground or sticky beer spilled on your seat. You’ll have some cleaning up to do after the game is over, but a little sprucing up before kickoff can give you more time to enjoy the victory celebration.
If you are having a large group over, roll up expensive rugs that are in high traffic areas. You know it's the perfect rug to anchor your living room but unfortunately if the game is on, no one cares about your beautiful Oriental rug, or if they spill salsa on it.
The excitement of a game-changing touchdown has been known to cause a guest to spill a drink or turn over a plate. Cover your coffee or buffet table with a paper table cloth for easy-as-pie clean up. Here are 11 more easy house cleaning solutions.
With your seating set up, food and drinks ready, the TV in position, and your guests in place, here are just a few more ideas for getting ready for game day.
Another great reason to watch the game at home: you don’t have to be surrounded by sponsor logos and foam fingers. Dressing up your house on game day doesn’t have to be a logo-filled disaster. We prefer using your team’s colors in a more elegant way: think purple and gold throw pillows or a tiger-striped throw. Get inspired with these ideas decorating with team colors.
Mocha Tiger Rug
Available at Horchow
Don’t waste time searching your rec room closet for a deflated pig skin to play a little touch during halftime. Have a basket of footballs handy. This theme-related decorative accent will encourage folks to move around when the game’s on pause.
If your dog constantly barks, is afraid of humans, or eats off the table, keep him outside or in a crate. However, if your furry friend is social, then by all means, get him into the game! It’s fairly easy to find canine-sized athletic jerseys from your favorite team or simply tie on a bandana in your team colors.
Dallas Cowboys Dog Jersey (all teams available)
Available at Football Fanatics
Rarely is there a get together when music should be turned off. Watching the game is one of those rare moments. The color commentary from the announcers and your friends, plus commercials, provides enough of a soundtrack.