If you’ve lived on both sides of the country, you’ll understand why I’m offering big game tips by time zone. While others are boycotting the NFL for political reasons this year, I’ve been boycotting it due to the fact that I’m asleep. Football sucks on the east coast, you guys. I miss getting up, going to the bar for Bloody Mary’s, and being home before two. I miss Monday Night Football. Is that still on? I wouldn’t know, it starts way too late. And, of course, I miss Super Bowl parties in the middle of the afternoon. But, they come with their own problems, so I have some solutions to those potential problems. I know there’s four time zones in the continental US (I can’t help you, Hawaii and Alaska), but I’ve split it into two for these big game tips by time zone. Here we go!
Big Game Tips by Time Zone
Eastern Time/Central Time
Your party ends at halftime whether you want it to or not. The kids have to get to bed, so no one’s watching the game at all, and you’re left watching Malcolm Butler get an interception in the end zone by yourself, trying to figure out if that really just happened. Eventually your next-door neighbor sees the replay and the three of you still awake get excited for a wild ending, but really, the moment has passed.
- Make a really fantastic dessert. Seriously amazing, and it has to smell really, really delicious. The catch? You don’t put it in the oven to bake until right before halftime so people either smell it and want to stay or feel guilty and want to stay. If you can keep them there through halftime, unless the game is a total blowout, they’ll probably stay until the end.
- Invite neighbors and kid-free folk. If they don’t have kids, their bedtimes are probably later even if they do have work on Monday. Neighbors are also likely to stay longer since there’s no driving. That saves them time and means they can drink.
- Have all your friends from far away come, with their kids, but suggest the kids have a pajama party. Then the kids are already in their jammies when they show up and that saves times for the parents when they go home. You can set up sleeping bags and pillows with a movie in a different room so they calm down after the halftime show and the ones who really need it fall asleep.
- Play a super fun game at halftime, or set up your own sports book that requires them to be present to win. Who wants to let a good bet go by the wayside?
- So, this is completely the opposite. Let’s say you actually want all the guests out of there by halftime (I’m not sure why you threw the party, but hey, who am I to judge). Start cleaning up at the end of the second quarter. Seriously, just put all the food away and hide the cooler. If you do that, people will get the hint, and even if they don’t, who wants to hang out at a party without food?
Mountain Time/Pacific Time
You invite everyone over at 3:00 P.M. Everyone has a great time, getting their drink on, enjoying the game and all the delicious food you prepared based on the cities of the team’s playing. The game comes down to the wire and you expect Tom Brady to come back, but instead Eli Manning beats him for the second time. It’s too exciting to handle because everyone hates the Patriots unless they’re from Boston. Now no one will leave – or couldn’t drive if they wanted to – and your house has turned into a rager.
- This should be your first step – set an end time when you invite people. Yes, it’s fine to say Super Bowl party from 3:00-7:30 or 4:00-9:00 or whatever time you’re dealing with. If you invite them in person, just send a text later with what to bring and the end time.
- That being said, sometimes people ignore that kind of thing, including other people you live with. In that case, you’ll have to try something else. Start with putting all the drinks away at the end of the third. This gives them a whole quarter to sober up. Don’t think they’ll take kindly to it? Either be really wise about the amount you buy or just sneak it away so they think they drank it. No one wants to leave in the fourth quarter for a beer run.
- Go ahead and start putting away the food too. You can do that as you go – anytime something finishes up, get rid of it. Then you can start your cleaning right when the game is over. People will get the hint.
- You know how the post game is always fun at first but gets boring once the confetti stops blowing? If you’re having a good time, you’ll want to change the channel to something awesome. If you want people to go home, you’ll want to either dive deep into some game analysis or check out something even more dull… C-Span? I don’t know. These big game tips by time zone do depend on your tastes a little.
- Again, the opposite – what if you want your guests to stay? It’s only seven-ish, after all, and maybe you want to avoid cleaning. This is pretty easy. Serve dinner. You had snacks out all day, so just make them less filling and order pizza delivery or something when it’s over. Then turn up the music and have yourselves a jolly time!
I hope you enjoyed these big game tips by time zone. I know I can’t be the only one who notices how different east coast and west coast parties are. Also, if the Patriots are playing this year, you should know by now, they have crazy endings. Don’t let those guests leave and miss an epic comeback or helmet catch.