Super Bowl parties for Super Bowl rookies: a how-to guide

Everything you need to know about throwing a party for Super Bowl 58

By Natalie Gordon | February 9, 2024 9:00am

Super Bowl 58 is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. PST on Sunday, Feb. 11, in Las Vegas, NV.

Media Credit: Natalie Gordon / The Beacon

Whether you are the world’s biggest San Francisco 49ers fan or a newly minted Kansas City Chiefs fan, you probably know that Super Bowl 58 is coming up swiftly. If you don’t already have plans to attend a party, here are some tips and tricks to throw one of your own. 

First things first — how do you watch the Super Bowl? Paramount+ will be streaming the CBS broadcast and a special kids stream will be produced by Nickelodeon. Kickoff is scheduled to be at 3:30 p.m. PST on Sunday, Feb. 11, and the general run time of a Super Bowl is around four hours.

A Super Bowl party is not only meant to cater exclusively to the football diehards among us. For those friends who only watch the advertisements, here is a quick explanation of the basic rules of football.

The bones of football are built off of the four downs system. When a team has the ball, their offense gets four attempts to move the ball ten yards. If the offense does not obtain ten yards in those four attempts, the ball is then given to the other team’s offense. This is why “first downs” are important, because it signals that the offense has obtained at least ten yards and the down numbers reset. This gives the offense four more attempts to move the ball another ten yards. 

Scoring in football is a bit complicated. Six points are given for a touchdown, typically followed by a “point after touchdown” by kicking the ball through the yellow goal posts, or the slightly riskier option of a two-point conversion by executing one more play to get in the end zone. There is also the option to kick a field goal, worth three points, instead of going for a touchdown. 

A “turnover” is any time the defense takes possession of the football away from the offense —  for example, an interception or a fumble recovery. 

A few of the big names you may hear during this game include Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes, 49ers’ quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Christian McCaffrey, Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce, and Head Coaches Kyle Shannahan (SF) and Andy Reid (KC).

But football is not the only thing people will come to your party for. Usher was announced as the Super Bowl Halftime show in September of last year. With songs such as “U Got it Bad” and “Think of You,” you may include him in your pregame playlist for those guests coming purely for his performance. 

As any good watch party goes, food is bound to be a big part of the planning. Feeding guests at a Super Bowl party typically includes pizza, wings and soda. These are classic options for a reason, but if you have guests that require more careful consideration when it comes to menu items, you may want to prepare some vegan options. Budget-friendly platters such as veggie plates or chips and dip are excellent for sharing during the fast-paced game and are convenient for parties hosted in dorms, as they require little to no preparation. 

While the party itself is planned for watching the big game, you may want to further entertain your guests with football-adjacent fun. Football-based drinking games are all over the internet to peruse (using soda if your guests are under 21 is just as fun). Consider thinking up some rules such as drinking every time there is a turnover, when the other team scores or when the stream shows a celebrity (maybe even a certain tortured poet…). 

Last but not least, football-themed decor is in almost every grocery store at the moment. Plates, cups and tablecloths can amplify the football vibes at your party. You may consider streamers in your favorite team’s colors, although this year, both teams happen to employ a similar use of the color red. 

The Super Bowl is one of America’s most-watched sporting events and parties are a great way for people to get together, watch a good game and have fun with friends. As someone who’s been attending Super Bowl parties since 2014 when the Seahawks won, I hope these tried and true tips will help you throw a party of your own and solidify you as your friends’ resident Super Bowl expert.

Natalie Gordon is a photographer for The Beacon. She can be reached at