When the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots on Sunday, it will be a no holds barred game out on the field, but that doesn’t give us carte blanche to behave like banshees, especially when we’re a guest in someone else’s home. Whether you love the teams or hate the teams, participate in betting pools or just watch for pure enjoyment, there are some basic etiquette ground rules that must be laid down to ensure that the action stays on the grass and not on the carpet.  While you’re busily making your way through each of the 7 layers of your Mexican dip, try wrapping your mind around these 7 guidelines for decent behavior on one of America’s most favored and patriotic days of the year.

1. Keep it PG Friendly.  Sunday is typically family day so most often children will be in attendance at the Super Bowl party.  To keep the atmosphere friendly and comfortable for everyone, avoid dressing in skin tight attire and sky high heels like Nicki Minaj, reserve the foul language for the street when you’re walking to your car at the end of the game and monitor your alcohol intake so you don’t embarrass yourself and want to hang your head in shame the next day. Note: You may want to shimmy the kiddies out of the room during half-time.  The lineup of Madonna, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. and LMFAO is sure to turn up the heat and sex factor.  If this offends you, organize a separate more kid-friendly option in another room or set up a fun activity outside for the younger ones to experience.

2. Compliment the Chef.  Super Bowl Sunday is the second most popular eating day after Thanksgiving and food plays a major part in the enjoyment.  Hosts spend weeks preparing the special menu of finger foods typically based around the two playing teams hometown favorites. Take a sec to compliment the chef and whatever you do, remember not to double dip! For some amazing Super Bowl recipe ideas, check out http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes?weekday=Wed or http://www.foodnetwork.com/big-game/package/index.html.

3. Don’t Block the View. Super Bowl Sunday is one of the rare times that the television should be the center of focus.  Don’t be a ninny and walk right in front of the set blocking everyone’s view as you cross the room to make your way towards the hot wings table.  Wearing a cap with your favorite team’s logo emblazoned for all to see is perfectly fine, but large hats that block the view are totally unacceptable. A little reminder, blocking the view during the game is just as upsetting as during the all-important Super Bowl commercials. Millions are spent on these 90-second babies and they also deserve their just due.  For those interested in a little preview, click here http://screenrant.com/super-bowl-commercials-2012-aco-149203/

4. Stay on Topic. On Super Bowl Sunday, the main conversation should be on the game.  Know your facts beforehand so you are well-versed in the teams that are playing and the host city.  Learn the vernacular, know the difference between a touchdown and a field goal.  You want to be able to bond and converse with everyone.  This is not the time to mention a grave illness or ask for a job.  Superbowl Sunday is supposed to be fun.  Keep the tone light and breezy and pay attention to the ball.  Here’s a complete glossary to everything you could possibly want to know for game day http://football.about.com/od/football101/a/Football-Glossary.htm
5. Display Good Sportsmanship.  Wearing your team’s jerseys to show your support, painting your body to prove your enthusiasm and showing the love by cheering the players on is all perfectly fine.  What will not fly on Super Bowl Sunday is shouting expletives at the television screen when your team misses the ball or picking a fight with your neighbor because he did a victory dance in the room for a touchdown for your opposing team.  Remember you are not playing in the game, you are just a fan!  Don’t make it personal!

6. Don’t Bet the Farm.  There are more Super Bowl pools riding on this game then I care to imagine.  Bottom line with betting, know your limits!  If you’re an out-of-control gambler, designate a set amount for your bet before you leave the house so that you cannot be coerced into contributing more than you can afford.  There are plenty of pools to choose from and not all require a $500 ante.  You certainly don’t want to dip into your child’s college fund for a silly square on the football grid.  
7. You Gotta Give Thanks. Of course, it goes without mentioning to make sure you thank your Super Bowl party host when you arrive at the beginning of the game, as well as upon your departure.   It doesn’t hurt to show up with a small hostess gift to express your appreciation.  A handy kitchen gadget, a jar of gourmet BBQ sauce or a serving tray all make great gifts and they don’t have to be expensive.  If bringing a gift feels like too much, a thoughtful handwritten thank you note mailed the following day will convey the same sentiment.

Hope you enjoyed these tips.  Go Giants!!!