Celebrating the Big Game in a Super 2021 Way

Celebrating the Big Game in a Super 2021 Way

The biggest televised sporting event in North America is upon us. Whether or not you enjoy football, it is very likely you will tune into the Big Game airing on Sunday, February 7, 2021 on CBS. With COVID-19 still looming over us and disrupting our “normal” activities, most of us will be watching from our own homes. Hello, even higher TV viewership ratings. 

I’m a football fan. On Saturdays, I’m a Tiger. On Sundays, I’m a Saint. I have played Fantasy Football and done quite well. I danced on the field during the pre-game ceremony for the “Big Game” when the Patriots and the Packers went head to head in the Big Easy back in 1997. I do not find alternate ways to celebrate or tolerate the sport. I love it! {I even named my son after my alma mater’s championship-winning quarterback. Don’t judge; it’s a solid name. As fate would have it, he doesn’t have an athletic bone in his body.}

It is easy to get enthusiastically involved when your team is in the game. Unfortunately for most of us, that will not be the case. Only two teams out of the 32-team league earn the honor, and this year, Kansas City and Tampa Bay will have their moment in the spotlight. Tampa Bay will have the home field advantage and is the first team to ever host the game on their home turf! Kansas City won the Big Game a year ago though, so as reigning champs, they are definitely expected to play well.

Houston is such a diverse city, so it is likely that every team has a fanbase here.  Plenty of locals will have a reason to celebrate even though the Texans didn’t make it to the Big Game. As for our family, I think we will cheer on KC. {I apologize to Tampa Bay, as I was actually born there; however, we recently took a pandemic road trip to Kansas City to see snow in the new year, and we loved everything about KC. It was the salve to the emotional and isolating rollercoaster that was 2020.} And yes, of course we made a pilgrimage to see Arrowhead Stadium. As one does…

Celebrating the Big Game in a Super 2021 Way

Learn the Lingo:: Football Cheat Sheet

Listen, I get it. Not everyone was immersed into football culture growing up. However, here are a few terms that are helpful to know.

Offense:: The team with the ball {that is trying to score}. Consists of a quarterback, running backs, wide receivers, a tight end, offensive linemen, and a center.

Defense:: The team trying to prevent the other team from scoring. Consists of defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs.

Special Teams:: Mostly kickers, punters {who also kick the ball}, people who hold the ball for them, and people who attempt to catch the kicked balls and run them down the field as close as possible to the end zone.

End Zone:: Where a team scores points. Each team has their own, and they switch end zones at the end of each quarter.

Quarter:: The game consists of four {15-minute} quarters.

Overtime:: If both teams have the same amount of points at the end of regulation, the game will go into overtime until a winner is declared.

Down:: Each team gets four downs to advance the ball per play. If they advance more than 10 yards on any given down, the downs restart. After four attempts without scoring or if the offense scores, the other team takes possession of the ball.

Touchdown:: When a team crosses the plane of the end zone with possession of the football. Worth 6 points. Touchdowns are typically scored by the offense, but they can be scored by the defense or special teams if they take possession of the ball and score during the same play.

Extra Point:: Exactly what it sounds like. Immediately after scoring a touchdown, the scoring team’s kicker attempts to get the ball through the goalposts for one additional point.

Two-Point Conversion:: Teams sometimes strategically try to score two additional points instead of one. In these cases, they attempt to score a mini touchdown. The success rate is less than 50 percent.

Field Goal:: The offense’s kicker attempts to kick the ball through the goalposts from a distance in order to score three points.

Safety:: Note:: These are extremely rare. They are the unicorns of football. When the offense commits a foul or an offensive player is tackled in their own end zone {not the one they should be scoring in . . . the one allllll the way on the other side of the field}, the defense is awarded two points.

Sack:: The defense tackles the quarterback before he has a chance to throw or hand off the football. Kind of a big deal.

Turnover:: When the offense loses the ball prematurely. This can be due to a fumble {they got a player to drop the ball while in possession of it} or an interception {the defensive players catch the ball instead of the offensive players}.

Flag:: The players do something they are not supposed to do, so the referees throw a yellow flag to symbolize this infraction. There is almost always a penalty. 

A Super Setup

Now that you are well-versed in the lingo, it is time to plan your decorations. One way to do it is to go to Party City or Amazon.com and order all of the pre-printed football themed party supplies. There are so many things to choose from. Obviously if your team is in the game, you will want to feature their colors {you can’t go wrong with red again this year . . . like this red foam finger} and maybe some NFL licensed merchandise to show where your loyalties lie. If not, it is always a safe bet to go with green table covers to represent the turf, brown football cups, these fun Gatorade sports bottles, and black and white striped goods to represent the referees. 

Celebrating the Big Game in a Super 2021 WayFun Football Food

The food is always the best part. Because the game is the real draw here, it is up to you how involved you want to be in cooking and prep. Finger foods and grazing boards are always surefire hits at my house. Bonus points if you can make it look like a football or football stadium. I purchased these cool serving platters to use for a recent playoff game. If the food can be cut into a football shape or adorned with a decorative toothpick as well, even better. These football-themed cookie cutters can be used to create decorative cookies, fruit, and sandwiches. Football themed cupcakes are easy to make with a little piping bag finesse or a fun topper.

If cooking is not your thing:: outsource. Support your local pizza place or order to-go food from any local restaurant. If you’re cheering on Kansas City, barbecue would be fitting. Seafood would be an ideal meal to represent Tampa Bay. Many restaurants will likely have special deals for Big Game party pack meals that will feed a crowd or just your family. Top tip:: Plan ahead and pick up your order, as the delivery drivers will likely be swamped.

Contact your local bakery to see if they are making any football themed sweet treats. Stop by H-E-B and pickup some pre-made goodies like themed cupcakes, a cheeseball {or three}, some crackers, chips, jalapeño poppers, and anything else that takes the stress out of the prep. The goal is to enjoy the day, not to make it “perfect.”

Dress the Part

Pick one of the teams, and wear their colors, dress up like their mascots, or don official merchandise for the game. If you really want to go all in, get colored wigs, glasses, and other accessories. It is fun if the family is divided, so there is a bit of friendly rivalry throughout the day. Alternately, wear your own team’s colors or jersey. For added effect, order these eye blackout stickers and pretend you are in the game!

Fun & Games

The best way to keep children interested and involved is by playing games or having some sort of craft or contest during the game. If the weather is nice before the game begins, set up a little tailgate party in your yard or driveway. Put on some tunes and play fun games like cornhole or toss around a football. 

Coloring and activity sheets are easy enough to print off. Set up an art station for your kids to choose if they will pull for the Chiefs or Buccaneers in the Big Game. 

Another fun and easy thing to do is to set up a tray of LEGOs for the kids to create while watching the game. Tailor the colors to coordinate with the Big Game, making sure to have plenty of large green pieces for turf. Colors to consider for this year’s game: green, white, golden yellow, gold, black, red, and brown.

If a little family betting is on the table, take the traditional work favorite, “Football Squares” and get your family members to all put their names on a square before the game starts. Bet with quarters or something of nominal value. At the end of each quarter, make a big deal of announcing who won by “predicting” the score correctly.

Halftime Show

Oh, the halftime show usually brings the drama in SPADES. People will be divided over the performance, no doubt. This year, The Weeknd is the halftime headliner. It is typical to have additional guest performers as well. One positive this year is that the conversation afterward will not be focused on women and what is considered appropriate {or inappropriate} by the masses. 

Commercials

We’re all typically annoyed by commercials, but during this one football game, everyone is suddenly very into them. Companies pay millions of dollars for a few seconds of advertising time because there are so many people glued to their television screens watching this game. This year, a 30-second spot will cost advertisers a cool $5.5 million. Due to Covid-19, some major brands have decided not to advertise this year.

If you are not an advertising or marketing professional but still want to enjoy this bit of the game, I suggest playing advertising bingo or having each family member rate the commercials as they air on television. Before each commercial break, you could also shout out what type of commercial will be the first to air {i.e, beer, food, automotive, webhosting, etc}. 


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Christy grew up in Cajun Country. After graduating from LSU, she worked as an editor for a Louisiana chef. After Hurricane Katrina devastated her home state, she assisted in the recovery efforts, which ultimately moved her to Houston. Christy and Ryan were married in St. Lucia in 2006. Five years later, after welcoming their first child, Lilla {March 2011}, she became a high school English and Photojournalism teacher. After Flynn {March 2013} joined their family, Christy became a stay-at-home mom. Soon after, the family jumped at the chance to move to Perth, Western Australia. After almost four years, they relocated to Santiago, Chile. Both places {and their wines} hold a special place in her heart. Christy enjoys cheering on her beloved LSU Tigers and New Orleans Saints, texting friends in complete sentences, taking heaps of photos, planning vacations, advocating for our planet, and cooking delicious meals in her kitchen.

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