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10 Ways to have an unforgettable Super Bowl

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Posted: Friday, January 30, 2009 10:00 pm

1. PLAY COMMERCIAL BINGO

This isn't your grandma's bingo. Instead of having someone yell letter and number combos - like C-4, B-2 or R-18 over a muffled sound system, Super Bowl Commercial Bingo is played by marking off items seen or heard during commercial breaks.

Here's a breakdown of how create game cards and play the game:

On a computer or by hand, make a game board with five boxes across and five boxes going down. In the 25 boxes, write things you might see during a commercial break: an overflowing beer glass; Jessica Simpson; a talking animal; a truck commercial; a person falling over; Britney Spears; "FREE," you might hear, "side effects may include…" or "like a rock." Create a few versions, and make sure the boxes are in different locations so not everyone wins at once. Make copies of the game cards so you can play over and over again.

As you watch commercials, check the items off as you see or hear them. The first person who crosses out an entire row (up, down, left, right, diagonally) shouts "Bingo!" and wins. You can give out fun or funky prizes to the winner or let them have the best seat in the house. To see a sample game board or to read more details, visit http://www.tacosntonic.com/links/SuperBowlCommercialBingo.php">http://www.tacosntonic.com/links/SuperBowlCommercialBingo.php.


Puppy Bowl V will air on Animal Planet at noon on the same day as the Super Bowl. (Courtesy photo)

2. TURN ON THE OTHER SUPER BOWL: PUPPY BOWL V

Who says watching puppies run around a football field for hours isn't entertainment? The doggy defense, canine competition and fido first downs shown on Animal Planet the same day of the Super Bowl reels in millions of viewers every year.

This year's Puppy Bowl features an entirely new cast of all-star, all-adoptable rambunctious pups.

The puppies run around, wrestling for the pigskin - or chew toy - and napping on the sidelines of the Animal Planet Stadium. During the game, which starts at Noon, commentators will give a rundown of puppy plays. One of the show favorites is the bowl cam, which shows shots upwards through the clear bottom of a water bowl.

This year's game will start off with "Pepper the Parrot" singing his version of the "National Anthem." And, a Kitty Half-time Show will be presented during half-time.

Visit Animal Planet (animal.discovery.com/tv/puppy-bowl/puppy-bowl.html) to see the Ref Cam, to vote for your favorite puppy or to view the starting line up.

3. HAVE A COURSE FOR EVERY QUARTER

After the big-screen and beer, most would agree food is one of the most important parts of the big game. Men can devour plates of pizza and wings without being nagged, and women can dip cauliflower and carrots into thick and creamy ranch without feeling guilty over the extra calories.

So, as long as everyone agrees Super Bowl is a free-to-eat day, why not go all out and offer a course every quarter? You already have one quarter covered with the Chili Bowl. For the second and third and fourth course, think brunch (since the game starts at noon), something less greasy and then a dessert.

4. PLAY BEER PONG

You may have mastered the art of beer pong in college, but let's see if you've still got game.

Beer pong, or beirut, can be played numerous ways, but usually includes hitting ping pong balls into cups of beer. The Center of the Beer Pong Universe, http://www.bpong.com">http://www.bpong.com, says switching up the rules makes it more interesting. To start a game, you need a ping pong table or any large table, two ping pong balls, as many cups as you need for your formation (usually a 12-cup triangle) and lots of beer.

Once your selected rules have been chosen, you simply throw until the other team has no cups left. One turn consists of each team member shooting. If you knock a cup off the table when shooting, the cup counts as a made shot.

Source: http://www.officialbeerpongtable.com">http://www.officialbeerpongtable.com

5. PLAY FOOTBALL ON THE FRONT LAWN

If your team is being hit hard, get out some aggression with a mini football game on the front lawn. Get the guys off the couch and invite the women and children watching Puppy Bowl V in the other room.


(Courtesy photo)

6. CHILI BOWL

Now is the time for your buddy to put his money where his mouth is. No, not with a Super Bowl pool (that's next), but with a Chili cook-off. We all have friends who rave about their chili made with beans bought from a magic farmer or some other secret and strange ingredient. This is a chance to let the judges - your guests - to decide whose chili is worthy of the title.

Set up a long table and have everyone plug in their crock pots of homemade chili. You can select a panel of judges or have everyone write their No. 1 pick on a piece of paper and stuff it into a results box. Make the Chili Bowl an annual event and give the winner a prize to keep - along with a golden spoon he or she will have to defend the following year.

7. JUMP IN THE POOL

The game pool, that is (though there will undoubtedly be people doing drunken dives into swimming pools on Super Bowl Sunday). One way to set up a Super Bowl pool is to draw a 10-by-10 grid on a large piece of paper, with numbers zero through nine across the top and along the side. Write Arizona Cardinals on top and Pittsburgh Steelers on the left side, or vice versa. Sell each square for a 100-unit payoff. Players can buy more than one square. As you watch the game, match the last digits of each team's final score with the grid. For example, a score of Arizona 13, Pittsburgh 26, would mean finding the square where 3 on the vertical scale meets 6 on the horizontal - and that's your winner. How much you decide to charge and when you want to do payouts (each quarter, half-time, the end) is up to you. http://www.ehow.com offers guides to creating a Super Bowl pool.

8. PROPOSITION BETS

You may already have pools going with your co-workers, cousins and workout buddies, but make it even more interesting by putting money on proposition bets as you watch the game. For example, "I bet $5 that Kurt Warner will throw the first touchdown pass." Or "I say the Steelers will be the team to score first." Be creative, thinking about times a first touchdown will be scored or who will be injured.

9. EAT WITH YOUR HANDS

If you don't think you can handle four courses, plates of hearty finger foods are always guaranteed to get wiped dry. You can never go wrong with the all-time favorites: Chicken wings, veggies and dip, chips and salsa (also, bean dip, seven-layer dip and guacamole), spinach dip and chunks of sourdough bread and cheese and salami.

To wow guests or if you want to take something extra fun to a party, make something tasty and fun that you can still eat with your hands. Mini burgers are a great choice (buy small buns and grill up some thick patties and top with two types of cheese and barbecue sauce), as is fried chicken (made the way your momma made it) and mini tacos with lots of hot sauce.

10. PLAN AFTER-GAME ACTIVITIES

There's always that awkward moment at the end of a game when hosts and guests don't know whether to clean up and go home or stick around for who-knows-what. With the festivities over around 5 or 6 p.m., it might feel too early to go home, but late enough that everyone will want to chill out. Before the show, get movie inputs for a possible movie session or check TV listing for specials that are often aired after the Super Bowl. For a fun and decadent end of the day, lay out bananas, ice cream, chopped nuts, whipped cream, cherries, sprinkles and chocolate syrup for a banana split bar.

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