Watch parties and homegating are special traditions in my household. Getting the family and friends together on a Sunday to watch nonstop football all day has been my favorite time to spend a weekend and help bring my loved ones and community closer together.
There is a lot that goes into making a watch party special as you have to plan so many different aspects to help ensure that everyone is going to have an enjoyable experience throughout the day. That’s why today I’ve decided to share some of my experiences and tips on what can be great calls to make a watch party an extraordinary experience.
Themes and setup
Being from Florida, most of the time we are watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins on game day (Sorry Jacksonville Jaguars). Because of this, having a pool-themed watch party can go a very long way in ensuring everyone is having a comfortable time watching the game, while also staying cool in the Florida heat.
For setting up the party, the first thing I always ensure is having enough TVs. Making sure you are able to have enough coverage for all the games around the league helps ensure that you are not constantly changing the channel and that everybody can enjoy whatever game they want to watch. Music is another great call to make when setting up a watch party. Don’t lean too far into one musical genre or another but make sure that the selection is light and enjoyable for a watch party atmosphere so that everyone can enjoy and listen along.
Do. Not. Sleep. On food and beverage options for your watch party. This can be the best call that you can make to help ensure everyone will enjoy themselves at your watch party, so making sure you select the right food and drinks is something that requires a good amount of planning.
For food options, you can never go wrong with wings. Most grocery stores have pretty good deals on pre-made wings, but you can also grill or fry your own to add another element to your party. Personally, my parties include chicken parmesan wings, which are always a hit, so make sure you get enough wings for a big group of people. If you do plan on grilling you can’t go wrong with burgers, hot dogs, corn, and other main items you can think of to help ensure there is enough food to go around at your party.
For sides, it’s always a great call to have chips and dip. Make sure you have a good variety of both as people have many different preferences. I always go with three standard dips: Buffalo chicken dip, jalapeño popper dip, and Mexican street corn dip, which I consider the “golden trio” for a tasty side to go with the main food I’m providing.
For drinks, an assortment of sodas, water, and adult beverages is the standard for any party. If you have a cooler, fill that bad boy with a ton of ice and toss all your drinks in for cold drinks throughout the party, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and you can never go wrong with this classic strategy.
Traditions and Strategies
Traditions are commonplace in the world of sports, and everybody has some. Some people wear specific jerseys or clothes during the game, leave the room before a big play is about to happen, and many more traditions that people use to help ensure their team wins.
There are also traditions for parties as well; people play specific music during certain points of the game, have certain foods and beverages, or maybe even have certain games that they play during the party while football is going on.
A few traditions that I always have at my parties are as follows:
- If my team is losing, I always go and get my “lucky hoodie” in the hope that my team will come back and win.
- We always play a cornhole tournament throughout the day to see who is the champion for the day (yes we even have a small trophy), and ...
- After the game, if our team wins, we celebrate by playing ‘We are the Champions’ as we revel in our favorite team's victory. Traditions are really one of the best things that make a party special, people want to come back for more, and it’s something that you can recreate at any time.
We’ve gone through a lot of my tips for the best calls you can make to help ensure your next watch party is an enjoyable experience. However, the best part about parties is that you can experiment. Try out new things every time, and see which things stick and what doesn’t to help ensure you grow as a party host and that people continue to enjoy new experiences every time you host on football Sunday.
As I said at the top of the article, watch parties are a great way for families and communities to grow closer together, and with another football season right around the corner, we get to experience it all again very soon!