Attending football games and tailgate parties is a rite of the season. Many of us are miles away from the stadium–but we still can get into the spirit of the game. With our flat screen, high-definition TVs, we don’t have to miss out on the fun, food, and excitement. Just take a seat on the 50-yard line in front of the entertainment center in your family room. Go Team and have a great time with these winning plays:
1. Be the quarterback: Score big with your family and friends by making them part of the party team. If you’re inviting friends, invitations can be made to look like admission tickets. For make-ahead refreshments, involve the kids and their pals. While chopping and arranging munchies, play a CD of the team’s marching band to get everyone in the mood. Consider serving hot dogs or brats with all the trimmings–everybody can help themselves to the mustard, relish, and all the local favorite garnishes set out on the dining room server or living room table.
If you have a wet bar, it’s a great service area for drinks. Or use big metal tubs or plastic buckets filled with ice for your bottled and canned drinks. All teams have cups with logos–use these as well as napkins with logos or in appropriate colors. Refills from a rolling cart or served by good-natured fans work wonders for keeping everyone happy.
2. Seating: Some folks will head for the comfy leather living room furniture and chairs–premier seating. But kids and limber fans love the “cheap seats” on the floor. For little ones, score a couple of inexpensive team t- shirts, do a quick stitch of neck, sleeves, and bottom hems after stuffing with a fiber fill. They can be hugged during the excitement. And after the game is over, they might end up on beds as a reminder of a good time.
3. Half-time: When there’s a break in the game, it’s the opportune time to serve lunch or dinner. The dining room table, set up as a buffet, is all the more festive decorated with banners. String banners together (pinned on a ribbon) for a display of team loyalty. You don’t have to encircle the table–a small section will make a big impact. Or create a centerpiece with banners on sticks, balloons, steamers, confetti, and mums in your team’s colors. Paper plates will be a blessing–just like at the game.
Designate your cleanup squad ahead of time so it goes as smoothly as a touchdown play. You might have a quiz about team statistics or past performances to help you with the selection of cleanup players.
4. Win or lose: It’s the spirit of tailgating that makes football season so much fun. No matter what the score of the game, you score big if it’s been a good time spent with family and friends. It’s a memory to go into the record books and you didn’t have to leave home, get cold, or spend time in a traffic jam. Just another of the many perks of home.