To some, there’s nothing more important than the game itself. It stands alone in the pantheon of sports importance, a crowning achievement borne from months of blood, sweat and tears. One participant will be crowned victorious, their name forever etched upon the hallowed high cliffs of greatness; the other will be a footnote, their epic campaign all but forgotten, trampled under the sweaty sole of failure.
Will it be Tom Brady and his New England Patriots?
The new dark-lord of the modern football era.
The Yankees in shoulder pads.
Led into battle by two distinct forces: one, a handsome, unparalleled story of triumph, the other, a dour, stone-faced super-genius cloaked in both mystery AND a loose fitting hooded sweatshirt.
Or perhaps it will be Brother Eli, eager to crawl from beneath the giant shadow of his more esteemed sibling. Eager to prove, perhaps, that his legacy should be built around more than a miraculous helmet-catch.
Or maybe, none of this matters. It’s just a fucking football game. What REALLY matters is what kind of party you throw. That’s right: you can make or break the Super Bowl by what kind of shindig you manage to perpetuate. I know, I know… that’s a ton of pressure. But look, Sunny Jim—if you follow my advice, you’ll be fine. So let’s begin.
First, it doesn’t get much more important than the guest list. A guest list says a lot about you as the host, and what you think about those around you. Does anyone REALLY want to be responsible for bringing the guy with the Hep C to the gangbang? Is that how you feel about the rest of your friends? That you’re cool with subjecting them to dickrot? That’s why it’s important to screen all potential attendees. Not for sexually transmitted maladies, necessarily, but for general suitability. There are a few simple rules to remember when it comes to building your list.
DO invite celebrities, no matter how trivial their significance. Does your sister-in-law’s hairdresser know former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro? E-VITE. Does your daughter attend salsa-dancing classes with Channel 9’s Kris Ketz? TEXT HIM. Look, we live in a culture of celebrity where, no matter the relevance, fame (and infamy) trumps all. People NEED to hang out with those who they perceive to be more important than they are, whether it’s an actuality or not. We’re psychologically fragile creatures sucking from the teet of Entertainment Weekly and TMZ, and goddamnit, if you can get the drummer from Hootie and the Blowfish to hang out and have a few drinks while watching the game, YOU FUCKING DO IT. Your party will be an instant hit.
Do NOT invite your wife’s coworkers. Look, the ladies themselves may be fine; they’re more apt to drink wine coolers and chuckle at the tired commercials than they are to kill your good time, but their HUSBANDS, on the other hand, their HUSBANDS are sure to fuck the fun right out of the proceedings. See, your wife’s colleagues’ husbands all work boring jobs (claims adjuster, crossing guard, pharmacist, etc.), and they want to tell you ALLLLL about it. They want to regale you with tales of misfiled paperwork, the horror story about that time they forgot to go in because they thought it was Saturday (OMG!!!! LOLZ), and how this one time—oh man, this is great, I hope you’re sitting down for it—Abe Parnuss in receiving forgot to stamp the transaction summary before sending it to corporate for approval! Holy monkey-penis, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!?!
Oh, and when they’re not telling you about their mind-blowingly awful jobs, they’ll be pretending like they know about football. They don’t. Your cocker spaniel knows more than they do. “Gracious!” they’ll exclaim. “I really thought Jenkins was going to receive that pass for a touchdown score! It’s a crying shame that the fella’ marked ‘Anderson’ was able to put his own hand on the football first!”
DO invite friends, but don’t invite the friends who are liable to get wasted on energy-drink beer, blackout and piss on your furniture. Your wife will never forgive you.
Do NOT invite people from church. Just in case YOU get wasted on energy-drink beer, blackout and piss on your furniture. That just looks bad, and will probably cost you an extra 10 Hail Mary’s or lashes, or whatever it is that your God dishes out as punishment.
DO invite: the mailman, that guy who works where you buy your beer, the 1993 Boston Bruins, Hearne Christopher Jr., Tom Waits, that guy who works at the OTHER place you buy your beer, a bunch of people on Facebook (by accident), and a bunch of strippers.
Do NOT invite: your parents, your grandparents, any of your grandparents’ friends, Harley, Horatio Sanz, homeless people (or anyone else, for that matter, who may defecate in your laundry hamper out of pure spite) or any of your neighbors. Unless they’re cool. And then? It’s up to you.
It’s THAT SIMPLE, folks. So now you’ve built this action-packed guest list for the party of the millennium, and all you have to do is keep everyone full of food, boozed-up and overwhelmingly entertained. The last part should be handled by the Pats and the Giants—unless shit gets stupid early, and the Patriots put up 40 in the 1st quarter—but the libations, my friend, are entirely up to you. If you screw it up, you fail. No pressure.
DO have the following: chicken wings (and none of that boneless, parmesan-garlic crap—we’re talking REAL buffalo chicken wings), chili, chili accoutrements (crackers, cheese, sour cream, green onions, chicken wings), pizza, chips and dips (both of assorted varieties), peanuts (just kidding—only old people like nuts as a snack food), a build-your-own Banh Mi station, tiny meatballs, ‘lil smokies in BBQ sauce, brownies, a cake decorated with tiny goal-posts, and finally, beef wellington.
Take this list as a declaration of REQUIRED items. This list can be added to, but it’s not necessary. This list is perfect in every way, like the Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” or a Number Two nacho from Claycomo’s jewel of Mexican-like food, El Sombrero.
What’s that, you say? Nothing for vegetarians? Too bad. If you’re friends with vegetarians, you probably don’t like football to begin with and you’re surely not throwing a kick-ass football party. Screw tofu, and screw these other things that have no business being served at your bash:
Do NOT have the following: Pasta (too sloppy), loose-meat sandwiches (see: pasta), yogurt, veggie tray (nobody ACTUALLY likes the veggie tray with ashen carrots and warm, wilted celery; they eat it because it’s there), horse-meat, goat-meat, goblin or ghost meat (sorry—I was momentarily raped by the spirit of Dr. Seuss), omelet station, Chinese food (too many choices leads to confusion), fish-sticks (not really food) and McNuggets (actually food, but you’re not allowed in the McDonald’s anymore– drive-thru OR lobby– you crazy bastard, you).
Finally, you’re left with only the drinks. And really, this is way easy: do not pass go, do not collect any bottles of Riesling or martini-making-materials… just buy beer. From the saltiest grandfather to the most heroically pimpled teen, we’re all crazy about alcohol.
For years, my wife thought she didn’t like beer. She’d turn her nose up at it, throw her head back and prissily tiptoe toward whatever taste-bud-assaulting lemon flavored fizz she could get. Eventually, she learned. Oh yes, under my wise tutelage (and with the knowledge that it’s much less acceptable to guzzle Smirnoff Ice when you’re no longer a sorority girl), she learned to drink beer. And though it’s not her favorite—when we go out, she’s still partial to a Cape Cod—she CAN drink it, when necessary. Point being, no excuses.
Only buy beer. Everyone will enjoy it, even Carlton Banks.
So there you have it. A quick, painless guide to throwing the rip-roaringest Super Bowl bash ever.
(Oh, and you may want to invest in some handcuffs, industrial strength trash bags, several rolls of duct tape, and a whole mess of that shit they use to clean up vomit in schools and at amusement parks. You’ll thank me later!)
The Super Bowl airs on NBC, Sunday, beginning at 5:29 CT (?).