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Your Game Day Party Checklist

Hosting a shindig this Sunday? Score major Martha points by having these essentials on hand.

1. Sufficient seating

This may be one of the few parties you’ll host where the crowd doesn’t converge in the kitchen. If your TV room is short on seats, borrow folding chairs from neighbors or friends, or turn to the backyard for help—put that patio set to use by bringing it inside (if you're not lucky enough to live in a warm locale). You can also create stadium seating behind the couch by lining up bar-height chairs from the kitchen if you’ve got them.

2. Beer, and more beer

Football and beer go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like Bert and Ernie. Like chips and salsa. You get the point. To appease all palates, stock your coolers with three options: a big name light beer, a hefeweizen and an IPA from a local microbrewery.

3. Plenty of (simple) snacks

Our rule of thumb when it comes to prepping party food? Always make too much. No matter what you’re serving, it’s better to have leftovers than to leave your guests hungry. Stick to simple finger foods—wings, pizza, sliders, tacos, chips and dip—and avoid anything too fancy. This is not the time try to impress everyone with your molecular gastronomy skills.

4. Ice, ice, baby

The only thing worse than no beer is warm beer. Get enough ice to last all day, and have extra on hand to serve with nonalcoholic beverages. Pro tip: Place small buckets of ice on the counter for easy access.

5. Drinks that aren’t beer

This is a good time to buy one of those mondo packs of water bottles. They make it easy for guests to grab a drink, instead of having to ask you every time they need a glass of water. Offer other beverages, too, like soda and iced tea for the nondrinkers or kiddos in the group.

6. Bottle openers

Avoid the mid-party scramble to find that one bottle opener you have in the back of some drawer, somewhere. Instead, dig them out ahead of time. Make sure you have a wine key available, too, for anyone who brings a bottle.

7. Décor and more

Show your team spirit with banners and football-shaped balloons. And match your napkins and paper plates to your team’s colors.

8. Themed desserts

We’re not suggesting you learn how to create a giant bird with piped icing. Instead, serve up sweets inspired by Seattle and Boston, like espresso cupcakes and mini Boston cream pies.