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Etiquette Tips for Superbowl Sunday

Filed under Etiquette

Many of you are probably planning on watching the Superbowl this Sunday, either at home or at a Superbowl party. The idea of Superbowl etiquette may seem absurd, and I agree that a Superbowl party is much different than a formal event. However, I encourage everyone to always be on his or her best behavior at social functions. While it may be funny to be remembered as the Guy-Who-Mooned-the-Television, is that really how you want to be known, in any circle?

Here are a few tips I have for party-goers this weekend:

1. Bring a snack and a beverage to share: For parties that focus on “snacking,” I encourage you to bring something simple to share. You can bring a bag of chips, some dip, a vegetable tray, or even an appetizer to share with others. While your host is probably planning on supplying snacks and beer, it is polite to contribute. Bring a six-pack of beer or a bottle of wine. However, if you know your host will be providing Coors Light or a similarly inexpensive beer, I’d suggest not upstaging them with a fancy micro-brew. Stick with something cheap and simple, so that what you bring contributes to the overall feel of the party, rather than standing out from it. Likewise, if your host is known to provide expensive alcohol, bring something that will complement it.

2. Eat from your own plate: Rather than dipping your chips directly into the dip container, spoon out an appropriate amount of dip onto your own plate. Likewise, do not reach into the chip bag or bowl with your hands. Pour the chips out of the bag onto your plate. If the host has placed the chips into a bowl and has not provided a serving utensil, make sure to wash your hands well before getting the chips from the bowl. You may also use a paper napkin to place chips onto your plate. A good host will ensure that you are not placed in this awkward situation, but if you are, don’t make a big deal out of it.

3. Drink, but not to excess: Drinking alcohol on Superbowl Sunday is customary, but, unfortunately, so is extreme drunkenness. It is fine to have a few beers, but make sure to pace yourself. It is important that you maintain control of your behavior so that you continue to treat your host, his or her home, and your fellow party-goers with respect (not to even mention the dangers of driving drunk).

4. Let your host control the remote: Some people enjoy watching the half-time show. Others prefer to check out the “Puppy Bowl.” While Superbowl commercials are entertaining, some people may prefer to flip through the channels. As a guest at someone else’s house, this is really up to the host. While he or she may ask for a consensus, do not dominate the remote control.

5. Dress for the occasion: I suggest neither over or under dressing for the Superbowl. It is fine to wear your preferred team’s shirt and a pair of jeans, just make sure your clothes are clean. And no matter how excited you get, please do not rip off your shirt when your team scores a touchdown. Cheering is great; exposing yourself to your friends is not!

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