The Super Bowl is one of the biggest television events of the year and brings together football fans and those who barely know what a touchdown is.
Those not into the sport usually tune into the game for the entertainment, commercials, or performances. The Super Bowl is the perfect excuse to have a party, eat food and watch TV.
Aaron Crenshaw, 27, throws a Super Bowl party every year with his family at their Springettsbury Township home, with approximately 20 attendees. The Crenshaws go all out for the big game, truly embracing the football spirit.
Guests of the Crenshaws feel as though they are actually at the game as they sit in the enclosed outdoor heated pavilion with eight couches and a movie theater-sized flat-screen television.
The tables are decorated to look like football fields and hold football-shaped bowls and trays holding chips, dips, popcorn, pretzels, wings, pizza, shrimp and hotdogs. Cooler placed at each of the eight couches are stocked with soda, water, beer and wine coolers.
There are colored balloons, streamers and other decorations corresponding to the rivaling teams. Foam footballs, whistles and flags are provided to each guest to use when there is a bad play or call.
Like a true football fan, Aaron is only interested in the game, not the hype that comes with it.
"My family's favorite part of the Super Bowl is the game itself. The commercials are usually for everyone to refuel with more food, take a bathroom break or trash talk," said Crenshaw.
The Crenshaw family adds a little competition to their extravaganza by creating a money pool that guests may contribute to; the person guessing the ending score, or coming closest to it, wins the money.
While the Crenshaws may be party pros, rookie Theresa Woodford, 34, of Springettsbury Township will try her hand at throwing her first Super Bowl party this year.
"We're only going to have a small group of eight people joining us this year," said Woodford. "We've got lots of junk food in the works, and I'm working on decorations."
Unlike Crenshaw's parties which represent both teams, Woodford's will decked out in purple.
"My family is full of Raven's fans, and that's all I've ever known. I couldn't root for anyone else," said Woodford, who was elated when she found out her team made it to the championship game.
The party will be the perfect time for Woodford to show off her Ravens-themed basement, which is full of plates, hats, shirts, shoes, signed jerseys and souvenirs. Ravens folding chairs will provide seating and team spirit for her guests.
Woodford will create a sports-bar vibe when she sets up a couple more television sets around her living room to give her guests the perfect view from their seats. To make the game seem real, she is creating tickets for each person that they must bring with them in order to join the party.
Woodford's party might be on a smaller scale, but she's looking forward to "watching the Ravens kick butt," she said.
Super Bowl parties aren't just for adults.
"He loves football. He's always talking about it and wears a jersey every day." said Drayton's mother, Krista Green.
Drayton's love for football began when he was younger and watched the games with his father, who has always been a Steelers fan.
Since then, his love for the sport has drastically increased. Drayton is not your typical football fan. Most fans pick one team to support and despise the rest, but Drayton likes them all.
"My favorite team is the Steelers and then the Patriots, but I just really love football in general," said Drayton.
The young football enthusiast owns a large variety of football apparel and collectibles.
"I have a Redskins football, helmets, magazines, trading cards and jerseys for a lot of teams, says the Red Lion resident.
His favorite football memorabilia are his McFarlanes, which are figures of the players in football poses, such as running or throwing a ball. These are displayed all around Drayton's bedroom, along with several posters, jerseys, cards and other football trinkets.
The Super Bowl is the aspiring football star's favorite part of the football season. Every year, his family goes to his grandmother's house to watch the game. It's a small family party, but they like to make it exciting by creating their own tournament. Whoever can guess the winner and score of the game will win $10.
Drayton and his family are very excited to watch the big game even though the Steelers won't be in it.
"It's always really exciting and I'm looking forward to this year," says Krista.
Super Bowl party tips
Have a variety of food. Try to switch it up from the usual pizza and chips. Homemade tailgate favorites will be a little more filling. If you have a slow cooker, root beer pulled pork or spicy beef chili fit the football mood, and add an extra-flavorful food option your friends will love.
Create a buffet. Rather than plopping everything on the coffee table for easy access, display the food and drinks on the kitchen or dining room table. Guests won't be reaching over one another for food, which means fewer spills and a faster serving time so no one misses any part of the big game.
Arrange seating in advance. Avoid the haphazard run for dining room seats seconds before the game begins by bringing your extra seats into the TV room before your guests arrive. You can arrange the chairs to ensure everyone will not only have a great view of the game, but will also have avenues of escape for bathroom breaks, drink refills or a second round of dinner.
Have plenty of decorations. Adorn the area with lots of football-themed party decorations, tailoring the decorations to the teams playing in the big game. Use both teams' colors, mascots, and even decorations that relate to the city in which the Super Bowl is being hosted.
Wear appropriate attire. The final aspect to planning the ultimate Super Bowl party is to make sure all your guests have fun regardless of who wins. A great way to get everyone pumped is to suggest that everyone wear the team colors or jersey of the team they want to win. This will create a competitive, but friendly, atmosphere for your party.
Sources: www.punchbowl.com, www.huffingtonpost.com