The game is about to start!
When I was at the grocery store on Friday, the cashier mentioned that I must have the biggest tv in my group of friends. I commented that it was probably my willingness to buy the best beer. But I think what keeps everyone coming back is the food, the beer, and the games and prizes. And, yeah, the 48" HDTV doesn't hurt.
We upped the interest level this year by adding a third game/door prize to the mix. I overhead one of Kristin's friends comment that they "didn't know she married Van Wilder" which I thought was a pretty damn cool compliment for a host to receive. Anyway, here's what we do to keep things interesting if you're looking for ideas to spice up your Super Bowl Party.
1) Box Pool: We keep it simple and just do $1 boxes and despite the low entry fee, we still rarely fill the entire sheet. This year we only had $50 in the pool. Tara won $30 at the end of the third quarter, as the first two quarters came up empty and the money carried over. The house (me) won $20 after the fourth quarter came up empty. Anyway, you draw a 10x10 grid and have people pick squares and write their names in. Then, once the game begins and all squares have been sold, you randomly draw numbers 0-9 and run them down the left and top of the grid. Label the rows one team and the column the other and match up the last digit in the score for each team at the conclusion of each quarter. Whoever has the square that matches that score wins the money.
2) Trading Card Wagers: Everyone gets handed 7 football cards upon arrival and are encouraged to make wagers with one another throughout the game on anything they can think of. Some people bet on penalties and scoring, others bet on commercials, coin flips, or whether or not Prince will sing "When Doves Cry". At the end of the game, the person with the most cards wins the prize (provided by hosts). Dawn ended up winning the prize although Nate almost stole it had Archie Manning have shown up on the field to hug Peyton within two minutes of the game being over. This year's prize was a video-casino gaming system that hooks up to your tv. Yes, we got stuck with it as a Secret Santa gift in December.
3) MVP Drawing: New this year was the MVP Drawing game. Upon arrival, guests are each instructed to pick a name from a bowl of random Colts players or random Bears players. I made sure that both bowls had the same number of possible MVP candidates in it beforehand. Also, I made sure to keep the teams separate so Colts fans don't have to cheer for a Bears player or vice-versa. Anyway, I record the player each person draws and remove that name from the bowl. At the end of the game, the person who drew the eventual Super Bowl MVP wins the prize (provided by hosts). This year's MVP was Peyton Manning and the very first guest to arrive drew it from the bowl. He won a growler of Snoqualmie Brewery's Spring Fever ale, which is a terrific beer. A growler is a glass 1/2 gallon jug that can be refilled for about $7.
Kristin showing me we need more beer from the garage. Stat!
In addition to the games, we had tons of food and drink including plenty of Fat Tire, Labatt Blue, Weinhard's IPA, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Redhook Winterhook, and Moose Drool. For food we had the typical assortment of chips, dips, veggies, and snacks to start with then brought out an awesome macaroni salad (with jalapennos!), a giant thing of sweet & sour meatballs, a huge tray of a three-cheese spaghetti bake I like to make, and Kristin made an incredible fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad that disappeared faster than I could have ever guessed. And she made an enormous amount of it. Also, Kari and her sister Brianna made a couple trays of the most delicious spring rolls ever that were bulging with rice noodles, tofu, and all sorts of veggies. The homemade peanut sauce was like a candy topping.
Purple Rain, Purple Rain...
So yeah, it was a good time. And we had ballons, everybody likes balloons right? Well, that and the tequila and whiskey shots and the beer and the brownies and the awesome pork & cheese dip I made and the...
You get the idea.
My condolences to my readers who root for the Bears. We Seahawk fans know how you feel all too well.
You name it, we drank it. So long as it doesn't suck.
This is a Bud, Miller, and Coors-free zone.
Oh, and lest I forget, huge thanks to Kari and Brianna for sticking around to clean up afterwards! Kristin and I wouldn't have known where to begin, but you guys helped us bang it out in minutes! You're awesome!