ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?

I am not the biggest sports fan, but one thing I learned from many of my single sister friends is that being a fan of professionals and college sports can bring lots of excitement and fulfillment to the single girl’s life… from tailgating, to cheering from the stands, to tuning in from a local sports bar, to attending watch parties… there are plenty of opportunities to have fun AND meet men! (But don’t become a fan just to meet men. Do it for yourself. You’ll be happier with yourself in the long run. Trust me.) Since football season is underway, why not jump right into the good times by hosting your own watch party. Like with the game, there are some key rules to follow when it comes to throwing a great gridiron gathering. I recruited the help of some experts… New York Jets fan Andrea Price and Atlanta Falcons fans Pamela Reid and Holly Reid… to assist you in scoring big on game day.

1. Talk the Talk
You want to know the game. Don’t worry, even though the new NFL season already kicked off, you still have time. For the beginner… get your hands on Holly Robinson Peete’s book “Get Your Own Damn Beer, I Am Watching The Game”. As the wife of a former NFL player, Robinson Peete gives great basic football info in a way ladies can relate to. You’ll be ready to get in on the conversation in no time and really enjoy the game. (For more tips on how to get into the game, keep reading!)

2. Size Does Matter
The ladies say in this situation, screen size is important. In other words, don’t even think about hosting if you don’t have a large flat screen. Price insists your tv should be no smaller than 49”. If you want instant cred, set up a second or third tv in another room.

3. Get Your Tech On
Once you get the proper tv, you have to take game watching to the next level. First, make sure you have a strong internet connection. This way all of your serious NFL fans can log on to their tablets or smartphones and keep up with their fantasy football action. Second, if you plan to make this an ongoing thing, make sure to subscribe to the NFL network or get the NFL package on Direct TV. Both will allow you to simultaneously watch multiple games. If you want to get gangsta with it, get the Redzone network. Redzone bounces to multiple games at once in real time, once a team reaches the red zone (20-30 yards to the goal).

4. Hot Wings and Tofu
Remember that more and more people are eating healthy. So be sure to include healthy options on your buffet table of game day grub. Based on your guests list, a few ‘good for you’ items will do. Don’t get carried away. Also don’t get to fancy with the finger food. You want to make sure guests can eat whatever you serve from a plate that is sitting in their laps, while their cheering on their team. Also, make sure you are done in the kitchen BEFORE the game begins. It is important at football parties that the host watch the game with the guests. Two other important rules to follow… whether you order in or cook, make sure you are aware of ingredients, just in case anyone has allergies AND don’t run out of food!

5. Beverages
You’ve provided everything else, why not have your guests provide the booze? Depending on what you want to serve, make suggestions. But also encourage them to bring what they like to drink. (BONUS: Chances are you’ll have some stock left over for you to keep for your next soiree.) Make sure you are stocked with bar staples on hand, such as red and white wine, champagne (no sense in pretending), vodka, rum, gin, as well as plenty of juice, soda and other mixers. If you want to roll Trump-like, then go ahead and buy all of the booze. (Check our Live Happy at Home section on how to stock your home bar for entertaining!)

6. Guest List
You want a good, fun crowd, but make sure you have enough seats that are IN VIEW of the tv. You want to make sure everyone can watch the game comfortably. Make sure your serious football fans have the best seats. Be sure to invite a mixture of men and women (more men than women if you like). Whatever you do, make sure there are plenty of core football fans in the room. It’s not a football party unless you have some couch quarter backs shouting out their opinions.

7. Uniforms
This is important. Do not dress like you are going to the club or trying to catch a man (stomach out, too much make up, too tight or too short anything). There will be plenty of commercials during the game objectifying women, so no need to do it to yourself. Give your female guests the same advice. The dress code should be casual, comfy. You can do that and look cute. You do want to put on a little make up and have a nice hair do, because pictures will be posted!

8. How Long?
If you’re smart, you’ll choose a good team match up for your event. If that game is early, you could be in for a long day. Many football fans love to watch various games throughout the day. That means your party could go well into the night. Plan your schedule accordingly and have plenty of food and beverages on hand.

9. Music
There should be none… especially after the game begins. Not even during commercials. Before the game, your early guest will probably want to watch pre game coverage. Save your music for after the game!

Now you’re ready to get your game day fun on! Once you’ve thrown your first party, the next one will be a breeze! Here are more tips on how to get into the game if you’re new to football:

•Pick a team.
Suggestions: For college football, pick a school you attended or wish you could have attended, or a school in your hometown or home state. For a professional team, pick the team in your home town/state or where you currently live. You can also pick a team based on personalities. Yes, teams have personalities. If you appreciate attributes like a high scoring offense and a tough and gritty defense, or something as simple as a hot quarter back… then there is a team out there for you.

*Listen Up
A great way to learn about the game is watch and listen to the play by play announcer. Also, on Sunday mornings, tune in the pre-game tv coverage. There is plenty and it’s not only informative, but also fun to watch!

Join a Fantasy Football League
Fantasy football forces you to learn players and pay attention to stats. This will give you a vested interest in most of the games on any given week.

Find a Sponsor
That is, find a friend that is a hard core fan, but doesn’t mind answering basic questions. Watch games together as often as you can and ask away!

Now get in there and enjoy yourself!!