Rule No. 1 for a Host: Your television must be among the biggest in your social circle.
Whether your guests are diehard fans who'll watch every second of the game or they're more interested in taking in the commercials or the halftime show, they share one thing in common: They are going to be staring at your television for upwards of four hours. And if your 18-inch television reminds them that they have a bigger set in their kitchenette, they are going to be distracted and less likely to enjoy the festivities. Ergo, do not volunteer to host a Super Bowl party if the size of your television pales in comparison with someone else in your social circle.
Rule No. 2 for a Host: If you're a fan of one of the participating teams, be respectful of people who might be rooting against them.
Are you a Steelers fan? Are you going to start cursing and stomping if things don't go their way? If so, you probably should not invite any Green Bay fans to your party, as they have every right to celebrate when something good happens for their team. They even have the right to wear a cheesehead, as such accoutrements are all in good fun. If they show up in face paint, that's a judgment call on whether to admit them to the premises, because face paint is a little creepy at the stadium and way creepy in your living room.
Rule No. 3 for a Host: Don't drink too much.
You might think that having a party at your house gives you a free pass to indulge ("Hey, I'm not driving!"), but you're responsible for attending to the needs of others, and that can get tricky if you've had more Mountain Dews than all your guests combined. A hyperactive host is an ugly host, so pace yourself.
Rule No. 4 for a Host: Have a wide selection of food and drinks.
Moreover, make sure you have plenty of water, coffee and soda on hand. Guests won't all be drinking alcohol throughout the game, thanks largely to our nation's inexplicable failure to make the day after the Super Bowl a national holiday.
Rule No. 5 for a Host: Set up a kids' area.
Some hosts ask that guests leave their children at home for a Super Bowl party, but that's not always a reasonable request. So set aside an area (ideally equipped with a television, a DVD player and a stack of movies) for little ones to enjoy. Remove all breakable objects from the room.
Rule No. 7 for a Host: Let people gamble.
Yes, we recognize that gambling is illegal in most states. But that hasn't curbed the proliferation of NCAA tournament office pools, and it shouldn't keep you from wagering small amounts of money on the Super Bowl. Do you know how to create dollar boxes? It's simple and here's a detailed explanation. At base you need a piece of cardboard, a pen and enough people to pool together $100— less if you want the boxes to be sold for, say, 50 cents. If the game is boring or a blowout, a little side action keeps guests upbeat and involved. It can even be a consolation prize for that super fan whose team is losing. Be sure to report all winnings on your income tax return.