A College Student’s Guide to Throwing a Super Bowl Party

In a school so unathletic that we don’t even have a football team, this how-to guide will help even the most sports-averse enjoy Super Bowl Sunday.

Throw the best Super Bowl party at one of the most unathletic school in the country. (Photo by Chris Klemens)

Before you read my recommendations, I must prepare you with some disclaimers. First and foremost, I am from Massachusetts. Yes, I root for Boston sports teams. Yes, I identify as a Patriots fan by default. No, I do not have a shrine to Tom Brady that I pray to each day, and this is due to my second crime against football fans: I do not actually like watching football. Frankly, I have an attention span akin to that dog from “Up”, and football is not enough to hold my focus for long — for these reasons I prefer hockey as my sport of choice. The only football game I watch all year is the Super Bowl — historically because the Patriots have always been in it — and I truthfully only watch it for the Super Bowl parties. Any excuse I can find to stuff my face with wings and nachos, even if it requires me to watch at least part of a football game. For these reasons, I may not know much about football, but I know what food will keep even the most sports-averse entertained at a Super Bowl party. 

The Decor

The good news is, both the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs have red in their logos, so there’s no need to spend extra money on decorations with competing color schemes. Amazon is probably the safest bet for affordable party supplies: this streamer tape is under $4 and comes in red, white and golden yellow, all the colors you’ll need for either team. If you want to be really extra, Amazon also sells these football-themed photobooth props so you can show all of Instagram how much you love sports. Not an Amazon fan? Village Party Store is right by campus, and even has a superbowl section for all your decor needs. 

The Food 

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

Every Super Bowl Sunday, I would look forward to the buffalo chicken dip that my best friend’s mom made, and I was finally able to procure her famous recipe. Luckily, it’s as easy to prepare as it is delicious, and the ideal dip to stress-eat during some tense plays.

2-3 boneless chicken breasts

Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

1 8 ounce package cream cheese

1 8 ounce package shredded cheddar

1 bottle Hidden Valley ranch dressing

½ to 1 cup of Dave’s Hot Sauce

2 quarts of water or chicken stock

1 package of tortilla chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit 
  2. Bring 2 quarts of water or chicken stock in a 4 quart pot to a boil
  3. Season boneless chicken breast with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
  4. When water comes to boil, place chicken in for 10-12 minutes
  5. Once cooked, remove chicken and let cool
  6. Once cool, shred chicken in large bowl using forks or a hand mixer
  7. Add remaining ingredients to bowl (reserving 2 ounces of cheddar) and mix together
  8. Grease baking pan with cooking spray
  9. Pour chicken mixture in and top with leftover cheddar cheese
  10. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly
  11. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Wings

Wings and football go together like peanut butter and jelly, bread and butter or, well, wings and football. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, Bon Appetit has 14 different wing varieties to make from scratch, like classic buffalo, savory Tandoori and Korean fried chicken wings spiced with gochujang, a fermented chili paste. If DIY-ing chicken wings in your tiny apartment kitchen sounds too labor-intensive, Boka has some of the crispiest, most well-seasoned Korean wings in the East Village, and Sticky’s Finger Joint is always a fan favorite if you prefer boneless (chicken fingers and boneless wings are the same thing, change my mind).   

Nachos

Even the laziest cooks can pull together a plate of nachos, but some recipes go above and beyond microwaving a paper plate of shredded cheese and tortilla chips. This upgraded loaded nachos recipe is a tasty crowd pleaser, and easy enough for most amateur chefs whip up. Customize the toppings however you like, and serve with plenty of fresh salsa, crema and guacamole. If cooking is out of the question, Taqueria Diana offers some killer carne asada nachos perfect for sharing amongst friends — even if they support your rival team.

The Drinks

Sure, you could get a 30-rack of Bud Light and call it a day. But if you want to go the extra mile (and you’re of age), these on-theme drink recipes are simple to make and will calm those game day jitters.

For the 49ers Fans: Cable Car

Inspired by the cable car tracks in San Francisco, this classic cocktail is perfect for winter with its cozy hints of spice. 

Makes one drink; multiply as needed. 

1 1/2 ounces Captain Morgan’s spiced rum

3/4 ounce orange curacao

1 ounce lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

Orange peel to garnish

  1. Combine all ingredients aside from orange peel in a shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake together, and strain into glass.
  3. Add orange peel for a garnish and enjoy!

For the Kansas City Chiefs fans: Kansas City Ice Water

Like an off-brand gin and tonic of sorts, this refreshing drink from Kansas City is also college-budget friendly.

Makes one drink; multiply as needed. 

1 ounce gin

1 ounce vodka

½ ounce lime juice

4 ounces lemon-lime soda (Kansas natives prefer 7Up)

  1. Fill glass with ice.
  2. Add gin, vodka and lime juice.
  3. Top with lemon-lime soda. That’s it. 

Email Lauren Gruber at [email protected]

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