Here in the South football is BIG. Most of my entertaining will be done around watching “the game” for the next 3 months. I won’t lie, I actually love it myself.
There is more to think about when hosting a home viewing party than you might think. You might have die hard fans or non fans or both to watch the games.
In honor of our first kick-off tomorrow here are some tips from my experiences with these different types of guests.
Die Hard Fans
Try to keep these fans right where they want to be-in front of the tv. Provide coolers or plastic tubs in the viewing room to prevent walking back and forth to get another beer and Heaven forbid, blocking the TV.
I always put away my breakables in this area. Sounds crazy but definitely worth it with these fans.
Try to keep food mess to a minimum by providing bowls of dry foods-chips, popcorn, etc. in large bowls for passing. If it falls, no biggie. Individual sized items are great for these guests too.
Here is an excellent recipe for Buffalo Chicken Dip that tastes just like hot wings without the mess.
2 10 oz. cans of chunk chicken drained
2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese softened
1 small bottle of Ranch dressing
1/2 to 3/4 cup of pepper sauce such as Frank's Red Hot
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Mix chicken, cream cheese, Ranch dressing, about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and hot sauce together. Spread in a 8 X 8 casserole dish. Top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees, for 15-20 minutes. Serve with Fritos and celery sticks.
The fall in Alabama has mild temps that make it perfect for outdoor entertaining. This is where I entertain non fans. My girlfriends and I go back and forth from the deck to the game viewing room.
An outdoor area or sun room is a good setting for non fans. Set out new magazines to read and discuss, or play a card game.
The kitchen/dining area is also a great place for non fans. Get these guests involved in preparing or setting up the food and drinks. Do a recipe swap or plan the next party.
It is important though, that the talking of non fans does not interfere with the die hard fans. That would not be pretty.
Football themed décor is a must. You can keep it neutral but still festive. Shakers and footballs are a few ideas. It is fun to serve your food in football dishes like the one below. It makes everyone more excited and is a great conversation starter.
For the non fan area you can decorate more for the season instead of the sport. Fall blooming flowers like mums and pansies add interest and color. Autumn tablecloths and throw pillows round out the look.
Food and Drink
There are so many options for food at football parties. In the cooler months I like to make a big pot of chili or soup. It feeds a large crowd and doesn’t leave a big mess to clean up. Set out toppings and crackers for your guests to choose from.
Buffet style serving works great too. You could do a sandwich station or hot dog station.
Don’t forget to have plenty of beer and cold drinks. I always buy more than I think we’ll need so we don’t run out.
For the non fans who might not like beer, you could serve a pitcher of sangria or margaritas. YUM.
Don’t forget the kiddos. Here is a cute recipe from Jello for football jigglers.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 2 hours 10 minutes (including refrigerating)
Servings: 10, 1 JIGGLER each
2 cups boiling water (Do not add cold water.)
3 packages (4-serving size each) JELL-O Brand Gelatin, any flavor
1. STIR boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 3 minutes until completely dissolved. Pour into lightly sprayed football molds.
2. REFRIGERATE at least 2 hours or until firm. Gently remove jigglers by inverting mold. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.
Do you have any tips for entertaining different crowds during football season?
I hope my tips will help you when planning your next football party. Enjoy tomorrow, and finally-WAR EAGLE!