How To Throw A Super Bowl Party In Any Amount Of Time

The Super Bowl is here, and everyone is rejoicing because it means they can watch ads, puppies, grown men playing a sport that will eventually kill them and Katy Perry. If you’re going to a Super Bowl party, awesome. It’s nice to have friends, right? If you’re not, fuck the haters, and throw your own. “But, I don’t like football! I hate sports. I don’t get the rules,” you say. Whatever, fool. Do you like yelling and eating chicken wings? Yes, you do, because it’s fun. And even if you think that the NFL’s domestic violence policy is an absolute nightmare (it is) and that football players are overpaid and dumb (yes and no, it’s complicated), it doesn’t matter. The Super Bowl is a great excuse to throw a party.

If You Have A Full Day To Plan…

Congratulations. You’ve thought this through. if you have a full day to prep for your Super Bowl party, this means you sent out an email like, at least a week ago, with strict instructions on what to bring. But I bet you haven’t gone grocery shopping yet, because, honestly, this is the Super Bowl, not a wedding you’re catering or an Oscars party or something. Put on some shoes and get to the grocery store. This is what you’re going to buy:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken tenders, since I’m pretty sure they’ll be sold out of wings.
  • Two bags of chips, one tortilla and one potato.
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
  • A thing of salsa and a thing of delicious, pre-made queso. Tostitos brand, preferably.
  • Ranch or bleu cheese dressing
  • A case of beer of your choosing.
  • One bunch of green onions
  • A giant bottle of hot sauce (Cholula or Tapatio, preferred)
  • Angry snack. Buyers choice.

You now have everything you need for a very basic Super Bowl party. Everyone you’ve invited knows what they need to bring, because you’re prepared and probably make lists for everything in your life, so all you need to do is provide them with a little something extra. You’re going to make chicken fingers. Follow this recipe. Shhh, shh. It’s easy. All you need to do is beat some eggs, dip the chicken in the eggs, dip them in the breadcrumbs and then bake them. You will have chicken fingers like it’s TGI Friday’s at your house. Throw some hot sauce into the ranch dressing, and you have the taste of Buffalo wings AND the taste of ranch dressing, in one.

Before your friends come over, heat up the queso, put some green onions in it, and put the chips in a mixing bowl. Put this cornucopia of at-home bar food on your coffee table. Give them paper towels — no one needs plates, but if you happen to have paper plates from the last time you brought cake to a bar, then you’re a step ahead of the game. This prep will take you, like, two hours tops. Use the rest of your day to do stuff. Drop off your laundry! Pick up your laundry! Try on all the pants you have sitting in a pile on your floor that you keep meaning to give away! Time, sweet, precious time, is all yours.

If You Have Four Hours…

You can still do this. If I woke up four hours before kickoff on Super Bow Sunday and decided that I wanted to have a Super Bowl party, my guess is that I’m probably very hungover or still drunk, just a little bit, from the night before. This is either the best or the worst idea. It doesn’t matter, though, because soon you will be sitting down on the couch, eating fried things and sipping a beer. This is the reason football is great. Fried things. Beer. Yelling at the TV. From the list above, get only the stuff for the chicken, and add a breakfast sandwich and an iced coffee. You’re going to make the chicken, only, but first you’re going to take a shower.

If You Have One Hour…

This idea was probably hatched at brunch. That means you are probably drunk. This, my friends, is the best way to do this. Push away from the table, throw your bag over your shoulder, and traipse to the bodega to buy some chips, some salsa, a giant bottle of seltzer, some beer and some Chips Ahoy. Pray that your roommates aren’t home watching “Downton Abbey” on the couch. Bust up in your house like you’re raiding it for drugs and get ready to watch some football.

If You Have 10 Minutes…

Girl. Are you late for someone else’s Super Bowl party? Or, did your sister text you and be like, “I’m downstairs, can you let me in, I really have to pee,” and you know that you’re going to watch the game? Might as well ask her to grab a six-pack and stay awhile. Raid the fridge for anything that looks edible, throw it on some clean plates and call it a spread.