There are three types of guests you can expect at your Super Bowl party: the superfans who scream themselves hoarse with every touchdown; the casual watchers who pay more attention to the commercials; and the non-sports types who are just there for the hot wings. For the latter two groups, the game can become tedious after a while, so you'd be wise to plan some Super Bowl party games to keep the action going all evening long.
If you're a parent, you've probably come to think of games as something for kids only. Time to change all that. Some of the liveliest grown-up get-togethers I've been to (or hosted) have involved one or more games of some sort: a traditional board game; a Cards Against Humanity-type match-up; a "Minute to Win It" challenge; you name it. When you and your guests allow yourselves relax and get into the spirit of the competition, it won't be long before everyone is laughing and cheering as much for the party games as for the newest Doritos ad or the halftime show.
These are a few suggestions for games to get you going. Some are quick enough to finish between football time-outs; others are meant to continue right up to the final whistle. Prep two or three (or more) before your guests arrive, and you'll be assured of a night that'll be a winner, no matter which football team walks away with the trophy.
The classic fill-in-the-card game isn't just for church social halls. Print out these football-themed bingo card templates (courtesy of SheKnows), or create your own based on the ads, with spaces like "Budweiser Clydesdale wagon," "Surprise celeb cameo" and "American flag." Whenever an ad with one of your spaces appears on the screen, mark it off your card. First one to fill in their whole card wins.
2Paper Field Goal
Remember making those triangular paper footballs in school and flicking them between your friends' finger "goalposts"? Relive those days by challenging your pals to a kickoff; you can decide how many successful goals constitute a win.
3Hot Potato Football
Gather everyone in a circle and have them pass around a foam football while you play and pause music on your Bluetooth or computer. When the music stops, the person holding the ball is out.
4Match The Mascots
Print up a column of NFL teams and a second column of their mascots by name. Can your guests figure out which mascot goes with which team? Sir Saint (New Orleans Saints) and Freddie Falcon (Atlanta Falcons) may be easy to guess, but Chomps, Blitz, and Who Dey are tougher. You could even make the challenge tougher by throwing in one or more of the four teams that don't have mascots (Packers, Redskins, Giants, and Jets).
Save some of your large Dixie cups or water bottles and use them to arrange a pyramid for your guests to demolish with a mini-football. Give them two or three tries to get all of them down.
Got a cornhole lawn set? Bring it indoors and let your friends try their hands at hitting the target. You can personalize your boards with NFL decals like these from Custom Corn Toss ($15 each) to keep the Super Bowl theme going.
7Football Word Scramble
Offering a mix of brain games and skill games will ensure fun for everyone. In the "brain" category, make up a list of scrambled football-related words (KELCAT, WTCODONUH, FELHTAIM) and see who can figure out the most answers in three minutes.
As suggested by The Spruce, you can modify the familiar miming game to include only Super Bowl-related words or phrases (tackle, cheerleader, referee, Patriots). Divide into teams and see who can guess the acted-out words most quickly.
Put your sketching skills to work in a few rounds of the fun drawing game, where one team member has to draw a representation of a word or phrase as the others try to guess it in less than a minute. "Touchdown" might not be so hard to draw, but how about "offsides" or "Steelers"?
10Football Telephone Pictionary
This hilarious game takes Pictionary to the next level. Give everyone some slips of paper corresponding to the number of players (8 players, 8 slips). Each player writes a football-related word or phrase on the top slip, then passes their entire pile of slips to the player to their right. Players read the slip, then put that slip on the bottom of the pile and try to draw the phrase on the next blank slip. The piles are passed again; players look at the drawings and then use the next blank paper to write what they think the sketches represent. It goes on like this (sketch-phrase-sketch-phrase) until each player receives their original stack of paper. Then everyone takes turns showing their piles of drawings and phrases. Have extra water handy to revive friends who fall apart laughing.
Make some pom-poms out of shredded newspaper, put on some music, and invite players to improvise their best cheerleading moves. Everyone ranks the players on a scale of 1-3; after everyone has had a turn, the votes are calculated, and the winner is declared Head Cheerleader.
12Pin The Football On The Goal Post
Why should the kids have all the fun of a blindfold game? Use masking tape or decorative tape to create an oversized goal post on a wall or door. Cut out "footballs" from brown construction paper and put double-sided tape on the back of each one. Blindfold each player in turn, and see who can place their football closest to the center of the goal.
Invite your friends to bring in a Super Bowl-themed dessert of any kind (a football-shaped Rice Krispie Treat; a cake iced in team colors). Assign each one a number, and have the guests vote for their favorite before the sweets are served.
14Don't Say It
This "taboo" game (courtesy of King5 News and others) asks you to select a word, such as "football" or "commercial," and penalize any guest who says it during the course of the evening. Maybe they have to hold a plank for a full minute, or clear the dishes after dinner.