Every year, my brother hosts a football party for “The Big Game”. To make the party more interesting, he likes to hold competitions. Every guest is encouraged to bring an entry and try to win. It’s a lot of fun… not only to find a great recipe to show off, but also to get to eat a variety of other “best recipes”.
It also turns the party into a pot luck and makes it affordable for everyone. But I’m not sure that’s entirely the point.
Now, I don’t like to brag (I love it!), but you are looking at the winner of 2013’s Appetizer competition right here.
I won this here trophy (which is proudly displayed in my kitchen, so that when someone complains about the food I made I can point at it and tell them that their opinion is obviously faulty).
My creation of lining a mini muffin tin with bacon and filling it with a chicken, hot sauce, and cream cheese confection was unbeatable that year.
But enough about my amazing cooking abilities. (For now.)
Let’s move on to some party competition ideas, thoughts about prizes, and more.
Here are some exciting competitions to make your football party fun.
Wings. Let’s start with an obvious choice. Wings, beer, and football go together like boys, dirt, and sticks. (I’m sticking with what I know.) There are so many ways people can go with their wings that you are sure to get a variety. Hot wings, barbecued wings, teriyaki wings, garlic, honey, etc.
The downside to this option is that you might get tired of only having chicken wings.
Chili. Similar to the wings option, you could have a chili competition. Again, tons of variety is available in making chili, and everyone seems to have a favorite way to eat it.
On the other hand, eating all of that chili might be heavy on the tummy after a while.
Appetizers. This category is wide open. If you want to narrow it down, you could choose to have a sweet vs. savory competition. You might want to make a rule that an item can only be a certain size to qualify.
Dips. Participants must bring a dip of some type and an item to put into the dip. Chips and salsa. Crackers and cheese ball. Fruit and yogurt. Store bought or homemade?
Alcohol. Obviously if you feel strongly against alcohol, you would skip this one. But this competition could be based on creating a new drink or making a type of food with alcohol in it (beer bread or bourbon balls, for example).
Sandwiches. Guests could create finger sandwiches or make one giant sub to cut up.
Desserts. If you have a serious sweet tooth, have each person bring their favorite dessert to try. Just be sure you schedule your dental appointment for the next day.
Chips. If you aren’t sure that guests will like the idea of having a time consuming competition, make it simple. Have each person bring the most exotic bag of chips they can find. There are so many different flavors out there these days that you are sure to find some new and interesting tasting snacks. You’ll still have the fun of the contest without the extra work.
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Don’t forget that you’ll need someone to judge the contest! You could appoint someone who is known for not being biased and isn’t participating themselves.
Or you could have everyone at the party cast a vote (no voting for yourself allowed!) to see who wins.
Your prize could be grand or humble. Here are some fun ideas:
A bottle of a favorite drink. You decide what type of drink.
A football. Obviously.
A homemade trophy. This could be a trophy the winner keeps. Or you could have it brought back to the competition each year and the new winner takes it home. (This option only works if you have a consistent crowd of people year after year.)
Bragging rights. If you are anti clutter, bragging rights are great. The winner could sit in a special chair for the remainder of the game and everyone else could bring him or her food and beverages.
If you’d like help finding some great recipes, pop over to my Pinterest board to see tons of great ideas.
Have you ever entered a food competition? What fun things do you do at football parties (aside from watching the game, that is!)?