5 Fun Party Ideas for Watching Football All New Year’s Day

| December 10, 2012

watching new year's footballBring on the chips, soda and beer, and make sure the remote has fresh batteries: New Year’s Day is a dream come true for the college football fanatic and even those who only watch during bowl season. Even if your team isn’t taking to the field, a few simple New Year’s party ideas can help you kick off 2013 in style. After a quick trip to the grocery store and a local party supply vendor—easily found at DexKnows—you’ll be ready for some football.

Party idea No. 1: Trade the tree for touchdown decor

Face it: If you haven’t already taken down your holiday decor by New Year’s Day, you’ll be tired of it by then anyway. Swap it out for some fan gear. This is easy if your team is playing; a few balloons and streamers in your team colors and you’re good to go. If you prefer to be team-neutral, pick up items such as a football-shaped chip bowl or a plastic tablecloth with a football field design. Your local party store should already have Super Bowl party goods available.

Party idea No. 2: Pick a team, any team

Football is one time when it’s OK and even preferable to choose sides. If you aren’t already partial to any of the day’s competitors, pick one for a silly reason and start cheering! Love the color purple? Cheer for the Northwestern Wildcats, who are playing Mississippi State in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl. Love a surprise BCS appearance? Gear up for the Discover Orange Bowl, where perennial powerhouse Florida State will take on Northern Illinois (colors: red and black). (See who’s playing at ESPN.com.)

Party idea No. 3: Make use of a (buffet) spread offense

You don’t want your menu to be a game-time decision, nor do you want to spend all day in the kitchen. Traditional tailgate foods are the ideal choice for your New Year’s Day party (and that diet can wait one more day, anyway). This is the time to make friends with your slow cooker. KraftRecipes offers some crowd-pleasing options for football parties. How about BBQ steakhouse chili with make-ahead Oreo football cookie balls? And be sure not to forget the five-layer Mexican dip for halftime.

Party idea No. 4: Don’t let the parade pass you by

Even if you’re not a football fan, you might enjoy a Rose Bowl tradition: the Rose Parade, now in its 124th year from Pasadena, Calif. Broadcast on ABC, the Hallmark Channel, HGTV, KTLA, NBC, RFD-TV and Univision, the early-morning parade features marching bands from across the United States, equestrian units and fantastic floats made of flowers and seeds. The 2013 Rose Parade is sponsored by Honda and is themed “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

Party idea No. 5: Engage in some friendly competition

All of your guests—whether they’re armchair quarterbacks or not—can join in the fun when you plan a few simple football-themed games. Kids and adults alike will enjoy football bingo. Make a custom bingo board with such squares as cheerleader, mascot, referee, potato chip commercial, etc.

Here are some other game ideas:

  • Plan ahead, and create an ESPN College Bowl Mania group for your guests. (This game will begin before New Year’s Day and end with the BCS National Championship game Jan. 7.) Bowl Mania is similar to an NCAA basketball tournament bracket. You have to guess which team will win each game. The player with the most correct guesses wins.
  • Stump your friends and family with college football trivia during commercial breaks.
  • Adapt the traditional idea of a Super Bowl squares pool to the college bowl game scene.

Shop for appropriately sports-themed prizes—team apparel, miniature footballs, etc.—at local sporting goods stores. You can find good sources for prizes at DexKnows.

With a little bit of planning ahead for your New Year’s party, you’ll score lots of extra points with your guests!

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Category: New Year's

About the Author ()

Kate Johanns is an Austin, Texas-based writer and editor. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.