I love watching football games in person. I don’t think there’s anything quite like it, but it’s not always possible. There are road games not everyone can attend, or sometimes it’s just too cold outside for people to want to go to the stadium.
The next best thing you can do is watching from home, preferably with some friends and family surrounding you — something that many affectionately call homegating. How can you ensure that you have the best time possible, though? To find out, I’m going to list out some of the most important ingredients to consider when hosting a football party.
Step 1: The guest list
The first and, I would argue, most important thing to consider for your homegating is the guest list. It depends on what type of party you want to have. Do you want just a few friends over so you can all hear and focus on watching the game? Do you want a bunch of die-hards, so it’s loud, but everyone is still invested in watching the game? Do you want a more casual crowd, big or small, where the group is watching the game, but maybe not solely focused on the game?
Whatever you choose is fine; just be smart with the people you invite. If you’re having a party where everyone is super-focused on the game, you should probably stay away from casual fans who might want to have a bit more fun talking and pay less attention. If you’re having a casual party, you might not want to invite someone who is hardcore and wants to simply watch the game.
Having a good game plan will make for the best possible homegating experience.
Step 2: The environment
The second thing to consider is the environment that you’ll be watching in. Do you want comfortable couches for everyone, or will people be spread out and sitting wherever they can? Does there need to be a specific seating arrangement? Are you having it inside or outside? With the last few years, people have shifted a lot of parties like this outside, but, depending on the weather, that obviously might not be possible.
You also have to figure out how you’re watching the game. You’re going to need a TV big enough for everyone, or maybe you’re going to use a projector. Either way, you need to make sure that everyone is going to be able to see it.
Your environment should match the type of gathering you’re going to have, but, no matter what type of party you’re having, it should be a fun environment. What’s better than watching football with your family and friends?
Step 3: The food
The last thing to consider is the food you’re going to be serving at your gathering. The reason I’m putting it last is because there are so many different options. Some people will make it the main focus of their parties, and others will simply have it lying around for people to pick at while they watch the game.
However, if you want to do it right — at least in my humble opinion — you have to provide something yummy for the people. I love the idea of homemade food, because I think homemade is usually the best food. I also think asking people to bring things not only makes it easier, but also gives you a good chance of getting some really tasty dishes at your party that you didn’t have to make.
Of course, you can order take-out as well, and sometimes that can be almost just as good, but I always prefer the homemade food. Ordering food can also be tricky because there are people with allergies, but that is where having people bring things to the party can help too. At my parties, food is always a big part of the day, but it all depends on the crowd.
At the end of the day, I can tell you what I think you should do all I want, but you really can’t go wrong. Whether you’re watching with a huge group on a 100-inch projector, or huddled around a 30-inch TV with a few friends, there’s nothing quite like watching football with your friends and family.
The sport is the best in the world, but it’s the relationships that you make watching it that make it such a big part of our lives.