a group of young adults watching football game

I have a confession to make: I don’t and will never understand the emotional roller-coaster that is religiously following sports. As a youngster, I never thought this was an issue, probably because I attended a performing arts high school in NYC. I mean, our idea of sport was running through the halls during the holidays singing carols… you get the picture.

Then I went to college, met my first boyfriend (ever) and experienced my first fanatic. A little background: you know all those Boston stereotypes? Put them all together. This is the guy I was dealing with. I know, probably not the best choice for me – ah, the joys of freshman year. Anyhow, this was culture shock. The Celtics were in the playoffs, so naturally, watching them play encompassed the majority of our relationship. I tried my hardest to get my head in the game (see what I did there?!) – but it never caught on.

Fast-forward a couple years, or my senior year. On a cloudy November, I was fortunate enough to attend a Giants game at MetLife Stadium. Enter my first tailgating experience. The food, drinks and overall spirit were overwhelming and I instantaneously became the most die-hard fan ever. This energy carried on throughout the entire game. Lot’s of yelling. I actually cared… until I left the stadium. Back to my non-caring self. That season the Super Bowl was between the Giants and Patriots. For me, college was in Upstate New York where 90% of students came from either the Tri-State area or Boston surroundings, so this was HUGE. I needed to find a way to get some of that live game energy back so I could care, even just a little. How? I threw the best viewing party ever.

Remember all of those at-home hosting party blog posts? Yep, this is another one.

Cut to today. As you probably know, both the NHL Stanley Cup Finals (hockey) and the NBA Finals (basketball) are in full swing (go Golden State!). Here are the last teams standing, just to make sure you know:

HOCKEY

  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Tampa Bay Lightning

BASKETBALL

  • Golden State Warriors
  • Cleveland Cavaliers

Now that you’re all caught up, let’s get to the good stuff: hosting. Regardless of the sport, these tips and tricks will make any of your guests as hyped as you need to pretend you care for a few hours.

  1. You I’m Pick a day to host and then get your TV ready – you want to make sure that the TV is on at the right time on the right channel. Here’s all the details:

HOCKEY

GAME 2

GAME 3 GAME 4 GAME 5 GAME 6 GAME 7

DATE

Saturday, June 6th

Monday, June 8th

Wednesday, June 10th

Saturday, June 13th

Monday, June 15th

Wednesday, June 17th

TIME

7:15 PM EST

8 PM EST

8 PM EST

8 PM EST

8 PM EST

8 PM EST

CHANNEL NBC NBCSN NBCSN NBC NBC

NBC

BASKETBALL

GAME 2

GAME 3 GAME 4 GAME 5 GAME 6 GAME 7

DATE

Sunday, June 7th Tuesday, June 9th Thursday, June 11th Sunday, June 14th Tuesday, June 16th Thursday, June 18th

TIME

8 PM EST 9 PM EST 9 PM EST TBA TBA TBA

CHANNEL

ABC ABC ABC ABC ABC

ABC

  1. Decorate – this is the aspect that gets everyone really over the edge in terms of the energy. These are some easy ideas:
  • Team posters: easy and free, print out a bunch of different team posters and stick em’ around the TV room. Sure to get the energy up. You can find a cool looking one for each team here:
  • Party favors: add to the energy with some fun trinkets. They’re pretty cheap, and you’ll at least start to feel the hype. The best part? They’re generic, so you can use again next year! Party City is all you need for both basketball and hockey.
  1. Theme some hors d’oeuvres – You’ll catch some more team spirit and impress your guests at the same time. What could be better? Crafty Martha Stewart compiled the best basketball options; as for hockey, the gurus at Chatelaine put together 10 snacks that make even the least sporty people salivate.

If you still need some inspiration, we created a special Pinterest board to get your head in the game. We’re clearly great at sports jokes.

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