Super Bowl party rules: Revisions and reminders

Chris Gill

Believe it or not, there is etiquette and/or ground rules to be followed at a Super Bowl party, whether you’re hosting or attending soirees ranging from quiet get-togethers to raging wallbangers that last well into the wee hours of Monday. Yes, even for those get-togethers when at least one person is passed out before kickoff or half of the attendees don’t remember the final score, or which team won, a level of proper decorum must be maintained.

Annually, I pen helpful hints for Super Bowl parties to help you avoid becoming a social pariah among those you call “friend.” Having exhausted many of those themes in the past, this year I offer a roundup – capsules, if you will – of the dos and don’ts for Sunday night, with a few amendments to keep up with the times.

• Never touch the remote control unless it’s your house – you don’t want to be the schmuck who switches to the DVD player or XBox during a crucial play.

• If you intend on staying late/sleeping over, bring more than a six pack of some microbrew and spend the rest of the night bumming beer off everyone. You may think you don’t come off as a mooch, but everyone knows you are and they will speak ill of you when you’re in another room.

• New couples, ease up on the P.D.A. As soon as you leave, you’re the topic of conversation among those of us in long-term relationships – and not in a “Oh, they’re such a cute couple” kind of way.

• Don’t go all Super Fan on everyone – i.e., “I remember when Ray Lewis played at Miami,” or “Vernon Davis was a stud at Maryland.” We know, we saw them play in college, too. Unless you have an interesting tidbit the general public is unaware of – i.e., “Joe Flacco overcame a crippling addiction to Smarties,” or “Patrick Willis likes to attend Furry conventions incognito,” keep it to yourself.

• IPad/smartphone users, don’t bury your face in a device and keep asking “What happened?” every 10 minutes. I’m sure not knowing what Patton Oswalt is Tweeting or what your friends in the same room are posting on Facebook causes severe anxiety, but seriously, it can wait for quarter breaks.

• Flip phone users, don’t pester iPad/smartphone users to see who is Tweeting or posting what.

• Don’t wear a football jersey from a team not in the Super Bowl and obsess how your team isn’t still playing.

• Keep a few coolers around the sitting areas for drinks. There are few things during the Super Bowl more annoying than the binge drinker who gets up every seven minutes for another can of Pabst (their ilk is slightly less aggravating than the guest who had a bladder transplant with a gerbil, necessitating 17 trips to the latrine before halftime).

• For parties with children in attendance, sorry, but trusting beer swillers to observe profanity restrictions is like leaving the dog home alone and trusting it won’t eat the bag of peanuts in the middle of the living room floor. They can’t help themselves.

• If there will be San Francisco and Baltimore fans at this shindig, keep them on opposite sides of the living room during the game. Just trust me on this one.

• After the game, do not let the fans of the winning team mingle with the losers until there’s been an acceptable cool-down period. For some, that’s a half hour. For others, it could be weeks.

• Any feats of strength to determine who gets the last slice of pizza must be conducted outdoors, regardless of weather conditions.

• Keep the pets amused with treats or toys. Your friend’s fiance doesn’t need the family dog crotch sniffing all night. Imagine trying to munch on a hot dog with the family cat choosing the back of your chair to clean itself. Any small critters – guinea pigs, ferrets, iguanas, etc. – need to stay in cages, regardless of your roaming policy.

• Ladies, or dudes – we don’t judge here – who would rather talk about what happened on the last episode of “Gossip Girl” than watch the game should not have prime seating. Such conversation is encouraged to take place in the back of the room.

• Have the local cab company phone numbers at the ready to get any undesirables out with a clean conscious.

Just sayin’: I now know more than I ever wanted to about the Harbaugh family. ... People who beg for followers/friends are the Internet’s beggars. ... Relax, NASCAR zealots, your time is coming. ... Aren’t we over being shocked by allegations of steroid or HGH use by now?

Chris Gill can be reached at, or follow him on Twitter at @TheLeaderGill.