- DJ Gallo, ESPN.com
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These last few days before the Super Bowl are extremely important for the players on both teams as they put the finishing touches on their game preparation. But it’s also important for us, the fans. We must also get prepared for our Super Bowl parties. Whether you’re hosting, attending or crashing, this handy A-to-Z Super Bowl Party Guide will help you get ready.
Ads – When watching most football games, commercial breaks are the time to get some food or use the bathroom. But for the Super Bowl, commercial breaks are -- for many people -- the only thing worth watching. These are the “I just watch for the ads” people. If you hear anyone say that, immediately ask them to join your fantasy football league for next season, because they know nothing about football. Remember: Winning your 2013 league championship begins Sunday night at your Super Bowl party.
Boss -- If co-workers are invited to your Super Bowl party, it’s a required courtesy to invite the boss, too. If the boss actually attends, you will know that he or she was not invited to a Super Bowl party thrown by those above him in the company. Therefore, he is not very highly thought of. He is weak. This is good information to have. You can now start trying to undermine him and gun for his job. If you haven’t already.
Cheese dip -- An integral part of any Super Bowl party. It doesn’t matter what else you serve -- chips, crackers, random twigs, broken crayons, used cigarettes -- if dipped into a good cheese dip, they will taste delicious.
Dessert -- No need to overthink or spend time baking a cake. Most people are looking to eat fried, salty and cheesy stuff at a Super Bowl party. To please those with a sweet tooth, all you need to do is make a two-minute trip into any supermarket and they’ll have a “Big Game” table display -- look for the football-shaped balloons! -- featuring cupcakes in team colors encased in plastic. Yes, the ones with the suspicious purple and red icing. Mmmmmm. Delicious chemicals.
ELITE -- If you hear anyone at your party use this term in a nonsarcastic, nonironic or nonmocking way, immediately throw him out of the house and lock the door. No excuses. No explanation.
Fried -- Have a food item you’re not sure how to prepare? Fry it. When in doubt, always fry it. At a party like this where no one is looking to eat healthy, you will never hear these words: “This was good, but do you know what would have made it taste better? If it had not been fried.”
Game -- Or “Big Game.” Better not risk putting up a Facebook invite to your “Super Bowl party.” It’s not worth having jackbooted NFL copyright lawyers come crashing through your windows in the middle of your party for advertising an event using the term “Super Bowl.” You think Roger Goodell won’t fine you? Just give him the chance.
Halftime -- Just like ads, the halftime show is more important than the game for many Super Bowl (or Big Game) party attendees. And, really, it’s important for everyone. This year you’ll definitely want to have the game on a DVR-connected TV because ... well, this isn't some old geezer act. It's Beyonce. Remember back in 2004 when Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction occurred? Most people didn’t have DVRs. We had to crack open our flip phones and call around to see if anyone else saw what we thought we saw. Not anymore. Now someone at your party will likely demand a frame-by-frame replay of Beyonce’s performance just to make sure he didn’t miss anything. “What’s that? Is that something?” “No, that’s a button, creep.”
Immigration -- Someone at your party will bring up politics. At a Super Bowl party. He should be immediately ejected along with the ELITE person.
Juice boxes -- Soda and beer aren’t enough. You also need to have some juice boxes on hand because you know someone is going to bring a kid to the party, even if kids aren’t invited. It happens every time.
Kids -- Seriously, who brought the kids? Even if it’s a party in which kids are invited, bringing a child to a Super Bowl party is irresponsible parenting. Unless you think good parents expose their children to drunk people screaming curses at a television on which two teams they don’t even care about are playing.
Late arrivals -- A Super Bowl party is not like a regular party, where the host has to give you a warm welcome no matter when you show up. If you arrive any time after the start of the national anthem, all bets are off. Just hope the front door is cracked open and there’s still a seat somewhere with at least a partial view of the television.
Man upstairs -- No, not God. He’s busy helping Ray Lewis win, of course! This man upstairs is the guy who asks to go upstairs to watch the game on a little 13-inch TV in the spare bedroom because he can’t stand the distraction of everyone else at the party. He’s very nervous. And sweating. Yes, he put way too much money on the game, and he’s starting to panic.
Niners and Ravens fans -- You people should not attend a Super Bowl party this year with anyone outside of your own fan base. You want to watch the game and not have people talking over the action and standing in front of the TV. Plus, all of us non-Niners and Ravens fans hate you and are jealous of you and are rooting against you. You don’t want to be in that atmosphere or worry about someone poisoning your bean dip.
Oher, Michael -- Stuck standing by someone at the party you have nothing in common with and who knows nothing about football? Mention Michael Oher. “You know, the guy that the Sandra Bullock movie was about?” OK, Awkward Conversation Merit Badge achieved! Congratulations! “Well, it was nice talking to you. I’m going to go get another beer.”
Personal day -- For some reason, the day after the Super Bowl is still not a national holiday. I guess this country hasn’t yet reached the point where we consider sleeping off a hangover to be the equal of our nation’s independence or Martin Luther King Jr. Oh well. Taking a personal day is still an option.
Questions -- All annoying questions can be answered with a quick announcement early in the party. “Thanks for coming, everyone! Food is over here. Drinks are in the fridge. Bathroom is over there. Any other questions, I’m sure you can figure it out. Make yourself at home.”
Restroom -- If you have two bathrooms in your place, try to make it clear that the one closest to the TV and primary party area is for No. 1 and the other bathroom is for … you know. Even the greatest party can be ruined when it is enveloped by a disgusting bowel fog.
Squares -- You’re going to lose. Do it anyway.
Television -- If you throw a Super Bowl party and have anything smaller than a 42-inch HD screen, it’s a felony. I’m not positive it is, but it definitely feels like it should be. There is nothing wrong with having a TV with a screen smaller than 42 inches, you just shouldn’t be throwing Super Bowl parties. There’s little worse in sports fandom than showing up to watch a game, only to find out you’ll be watching a game on something with a screen size similar to your phone’s.
Underdog -- If you don’t have a rooting interest in the game, you root for the underdog. Wait. Ray Lewis’ team is the underdog this year? OK, never mind. Just watch for the commercials.
Vegetables -- Have some. Carrots, for example. They’re healthy. And they go down easy when coated in ranch dressing.
Whaaa? -- OK, seriously? Who is leaving the half-drunk cans of beer all over the place? I paid good money for this case of Natty Light. Cheap beer doesn’t grow on trees. Possibly.
X's and O's -- As annoying as the party people who knock everyone down to see every TV commercial, the intense X's and O's guy is just as bad. He spends the game breaking down every play. “See, what they should have done there is … .” Quiet, fella. There are no NFL GMs at the party looking to fill head coaching jobs. Although a similar scenario is probably how the Jets ended up with Rex Ryan.
YOLO -- You only live once. You should totally try that olive tapenade someone brought. Oh! No. Gross. Disgusting. Note to self: Stop trying different things in life.
Zzzzzzz -- Whew! What a night. You can clean up tomorrow.