Apologies to my international readers, who (for reasons I don’t understand) are almost all in Australia. In the States, we have this game called “football,” but it’s not the football you’re thinking of. In American Football, male players try to run a strangely-shaped ball from one side of the field to the other, while all the players smash each other up. There’s also a lot of standing around.
Contemporary American Football won’t be around forever, as the forces of bubble-wrap parenting collide with new data on brain injuries. Perhaps the game will become more gentle (probably not), or shortened, or otherwise changed until all that’s left on Super Bowl Sunday are the commercials and the halftime show.
But you know what will never go away? SNACKS.
I’ve attended Super Bowl parties every year of my adult life, just for the snacks: piles of orange, crunchy, salty, gooey food; food I would never touch 364 days of the year. To me, Super Bowl Sunday is about celebrating the sodium, the grease, the sugar and spice of life. It is the Day of the Snack, washed down with ice-cold beer.
Last year, I decided to cut out the middleman and host a Superbowl party that wasn’t about football. To my surprise, our apartment was wall-to-wall with snack-loving friends eating processed cheese and chips every shade of orange the food scientists could dream of. Two kinds of pigs-in-a-blanket (both vegan and animal-based). And the dips! Six.. seven …EIGHT layers! Layers you never even heard of. And don’t even get me started on the flavors of the Doritos!*
The next morning, the apartment was covered in a thin layer of orange dust. I found sausages in the kids’ play kitchen, and smears of bright orange cheese product under the rug.
And we’re doing it all again this Sunday. But this year, I want to make it more interactive (and let’s be honest, I want to motivate everyone else to bring food).
We will reward superior snack-making efforts in three categories:
♥ Most Unhealthy Snack
♥ Orangest Snack
♥ Best Overall Snack
I don’t have anything of real value to give to the winners, so why not something symbolic? And what’s more worthless, but symbolic, than a trophy?
D.I.Y. TROPHIES FOR YOUR SUPERBOWL PARTY FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE SNACKS BUT DON’T CARE ABOUT FOOTBALL
– three old trophies (two small and one big)
– plastic fork and hollow plastic golf or ping-pong ball
– toy salt shaker, onion and pepper from your kids’ play kitchen**
– hot glue gun
– white & orange spray paint
– silver paint
– husband with access to label paper and printer
STEP ONE — CHOOSE AND PREPARE TROPHIES: If you’re in Chicago, head to the Unique Thrift Store on 35th and Archer. You’ll find the trophies in what I call the “lost memories” aisle, along with used photo albums, picture frames, and off-brand Precious Moments figurines. I chose one gigantic trophy for “Best Overall” and two smaller, but slightly different, trophies for “Orangest” and “Most Unhealthy.”
PRO-TIP: Before you leave the thrift store, don’t forget to make your Valentine’s Day plans!
Wash the trophies in hot, soapy water to eliminate grime and the tears of second-place losers. Next, clip off any symbols of actual sports, like this completely unnecessary baseball bat:
Collect any items you want to attach to the figurines, in this case a plastic fork (Best Overall), and a tiny fake salt shaker from my kids’ play kitchen (Most Unhealthy).
Borrow your friend’s hot glue gun, and adhere the toy salt shaker to the figurine in the “Most Unhealthy” trophy and the fork to the “Best Overall” trophy.
STEP TWO — PAINT: Now we’re going to paint the gold parts of our trophies white, because white makes anything seem more modern and sophisticated. Cover the base of the two smaller trophies in masking tape. For the bigger trophy, wrap a plastic bag around the base and the bottom half.
Spray with a high-gloss white paint. Two light, even coats should do it. Gorgeous, right? Jeff Koons would approve:
STEP THREE — FINISHING TOUCHES: When your white paint dries, paint both the plastic fork (Best Overall) and the top of the salt shaker (Most Unhealthy) with silver paint.
OPTIONAL: If you are feeling nervous that people aren’t going to get the symbolism, write “SALT” on the salt shaker with a black Sharpie.
While the silver paint dries, grab your “Orangest” trophy and tiny golf ball. First, spray the ball a delightfully toxic shade of orange.
When the ball is dry, poke a hole in the bottom and screw it on to the end of the figurine’s bat.
Next, spray some orange paint into the lid of a jelly jar, and use a cotton swab to smear orange around the figure’s mouth and hands, symbolizing a frenzied binge on orange-hued snacks.
For the “Best Overall” trophy, unscrew the “97” and “2nd Place” icons from the base (but hold on to them for future jewelry projects!). Grab your kids’ toy pepper and onion. Going through the existing hole in the base, push the sharp end of a wood screw through the bottom of your onion. Secure the head of the screw with a washer and screw until the onion is tightly attached to the base.
Repeat with a Pepper: If your trophies have engraving plates, tear those off. Type your new titles in a word processing document, and have your husband print them off on adhesive label-making paper at work. To be on the safe side, I printed mine in 9, 10, 11, 12, and 14-point font. If done correctly, your page of labels should look like a madmen’s eye chart.Affix a title to the appropriate trophy, and cover with packing tape if you are worried about staining (you should be).
** Don’t judge. I had to take the Play Golf Club set away cause the kids were using the golf clubs as weapons (of course). And I’m pretty sure we have another toy salt shaker under the couch, where I found the first one.