In a couple of weeks—February 7, to be exact—the Carolina Panthers will take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.
Even if you don’t care about a bunch of people sporting around on TV, you probably care about the ads, because everyone will be talking about them the next day.
At the very least, you care about Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl (the live cam is already up, getting you ready for game day). Because, really, it’s puppies, and if you don’t like watching puppies cavort live on TV, your heart is made of stone.
Maybe you just like having parties, and the Super Bowl is as good an excuse to have one as any, amirite? Of course, you don’t want to have just any party, so I’ve scoured the Internet to arm you with the best gear, apps, and assorted recipes. (Though, honestly, just buy a mile-long hoagie, some artisanal beer, and all the chips in the store—no one will notice.)
Start with a bottle opener…
Of course, after about the fourth or fifth bottle of beer is opened, the opener will have slipped behind the one bowl of chips that no one likes and you won’t be able to find it. Why didn’t you just buy the beer with the twist-off caps? Oh, wait, you bought Clicker— not only a bottle opener, but also a universal remote control. Noboy will misplace the remote control, and you’ll always know where the opener is. You’re welcome.
…and enough hot dogs to supply an eating competition
Say you do want to make your own food instead of just making a Costco run. You’re crazy. But fine: Hot dogs for everyone! You can cook 60 hot dogs at a time in a slow cooker. Don’t forget the ketchup, mustard, relish, and sauerkraut. People are weird about what they put on their hot dogs and get surly if you don’t have it. Yes, some people put ketchup on their hot dogs. Don’t be so judgey.
Remember the football theme (always)
This next recipe is a bit more work than I would ordinarily suggest, but it is the kind of thing that will make people love you forever for. Instead of a football-shaped cheese dip, how about a football-shaped chocolate chip cookie dough dip? I’m thinking about making this, and the kitchen is almost like a foreign country to me.
On to the party accessories
Head over to ThinkGeek for all of your fun party tchotchkes. No matter your own level of geekdom, you can find appropriate ice cube trays. Doctor Who fans can pick up TARDIS and Dalek cubes. Star Wars aficionado? Try Han Solo in carbonite. And Firefly Browncoats will want the Serenity cubes. ThinkGeek has others, too. They also have the Death Star chip and dip bowls, or this set of planetary bowls, which are Neil deGrasse Tyson-friendly, since there’s no Pluto.
Dress the part
The good folks over at the National Football League know what’s what and have a full set of 8-bit football gear, so you can deck yourself out in Panthers and Broncos jerseys or shirts while still keeping your geek cred intact.
Let’s get digital
No party would be complete without some apps, so make sure you download the free Madden NFL Mobile app (App Store or Google Play), and you can play with your friends while you’re not watching the game. The official NFL app also is available on both the App Store and Google Play, and depending on your TV provider, you may be able to live stream the game through your device.
If you like to place some side wagers with your friends, the Football Squares Plus iOS app (App Store—sorry, no Google Play) is $2.99 and comes highly recommended as a way to have a little fun. To be honest, I’ve never done Squares before, but people who have say this is the app to use.
Love the ads? There’s an app for that (of course). It won’t have this year’s ads, but Super Ads has hundreds of commercials from 2006 to 2015. So when someone says, “What was that really offensive GoDaddy ad from three years ago?” you’ll be able to pull up that ad in no time flat.
Finally, the Super Bowl isn’t the Super Bowl if you aren’t tweeting about it, right? The most popular hashtags will be #SB50 and #SuperBowl. Use TweetChat or Twubs to keep track of the stream and so you don’t have to remember to add the hashtag each time.
You’re ready for the most epic Super Bowl party ever. Don’t forget to invite me.