Celebrate the Big Game

The new year is a couple of weeks in, and we find ourselves faced with some of the same challenges we experienced a year ago, thanks to variants of the COVID-19 virus. Unfortunately for football fans, the chances of going back to huge in-person postseason rituals are in jeopardy with the Omicron wave. For many, the idea of crowded sports bars or watch parties isn’t favorable. 

With the Super Bowl approaching (February 13—a week later this year), there are concerns of not being able to watch the game with fellow fans. But there are still ways to ensure that you experience some of the magic of Super Bowl Sunday.

Many venues have adjusted seating and table spaces to allow for space between groups. For many this works. But for those concerned about the number of people allowed inside or those who don’t want to wear a mask during much of the game, you have options.

Host your own

Weather permitting, hosting an outdoor watch party is one way of getting around this obstacle. According to the CDC, the transmission of the COVID-19 virus is less prevalent in outdoor settings. If you have the option, center your event around an outdoor grill and projector on your driveway or patio. Since winter conditions are a factor, make a fire to congregate around while watching and set up food in the garage or a tent. 

If circumstances do not allow for any form of group events, host a virtual Super Bowl watch party. There are several platforms you can choose to implement, some of which include Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Facetime (iOS platform only). In order to spice up being apart from friends and family, screenshare a live stream of the event in the virtual room. 

Games on the side

Set up an Evite or similar, with a link to the event and the party criteria spelled out:

  • Coordinate food with friends—make variations of the same thing, then trash talk whose is better.
  • Rate the commercials, with a group summary at the end.
  • Drinking games: Take a drink if there is a 20+ yard pass, a pick-6, a player cries, a coach screams at a ref…. You get the picture. Establish the rules ahead of time.
  • Set up a group wager on the game. Another option: The host can set up Football Squares ahead of time and people digitally place their bets via apps like Venmo, Paypal or Zelle. It doesn’t have to be high stakes. At the end of the game, winner gets the pot—digitally transferred.

The essence of enjoying Super Bowl Sunday is to have fun with friends and family while watching the sport you love (particularly if your team is playing—you get extra bragging rights). But at least you can attempt to recreate the magic given the circumstances.

So fire up the grill, stock up on food, and buy plenty of beverages! Playoff football is the most entertaining time of the season and can maintain its appeal even with the trying times.

~Alex Marjanovich