Rule No. 2 for a Guest: Call ahead and ask if you can bring something.
Some hosts will politely decline your offer to bring fruitcake or absinthe. That's their right. But most hosts are wise enough to mention that, yes, a bottle of wine would be very much appreciated. No matter what, you should not show up empty-handed. And no, your cheesehead does not count, unless of course it's edible.
Rule No. 3 for a Guest: Wear clean socks.
It's the middle of winter and snow is covering most of the lower 48 states. There's a good chance you're going to be hoofing it through the white stuff on the way to your Super Bowl party. If your destination is a bar, that's not a problem, since most establishments won't ask you to take off your shoes to avoid tracking dirt and water. But will the host of a house party? You never know, so it's best to be safe and wear clean socks devoid of holes. After all, you don't want to feel self-conscious about substandard socks, especially if you're already wearing face paint.
Rule No. 4 for a Guest: Do not ask people to explain football to you during the game.
My wife, bless her heart, enjoys many sports, but football is not one of them. She's never taken an interest in the game and does not understand it. Suffice to say she's not going to pick the Super Bowl to ask me to explain the finer points of the West Coast offense—and neither should you. Would you ask someone to explain the Electoral College to you on Election Night? Oh you would, huh? Well that's just dirty pool.
Rule No. 5 for a Guest: If possible, leave your kids at home with a babysitter.
If your child is mature enough to sit still, watch the game, and abstain from peppering adults with questions about the rules for pass interference, then by all means bring him along. If not, arrange for a babysitter.
Rule No. 6 for a Guest: Remember you weren't hired to be a commentator for the big game.
One of the chief pleasures of watching a sporting event is bantering with others about the action on the field. But at a Super Bowl party, the number of people contributing their two cents can be overwhelming. As much as possible, keep your perceived insights and commentary to a minimum, because no one wants to listen to a know-it-all. As Howard Cosell once noted (or perhaps it was Epictetus), "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."
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.