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January 29, 2014

Plan a super start for Super Bowl Sunday

By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer

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Plan a super start for Super Bowl Sunday
A variety of Super Bowl-themed products are available at Party Adventure in St. Clair Shores. Cups and napkins make reference to the fact that a February football game in New Jersey might not have the best weather.

Food? Check.

Plates and napkins? Check.

TV? Check.

What does it take to throw a great Super Bowl party? The list is remarkably small. And with the Seattle Seahawks taking on the Denver Broncos in East Rutherford, N.J., for Super Bowl XLVIII Feb. 2, local retailers say it’s easy to get ready for as big — or as small — of a party as you want.

While the game and commercials are arguably the stars of the show, the supporting cast is the food, and so it’s important to stock up on plenty of plates and napkins.

“Lots of napkins because, eventually, something’s going to spill,” said Matt Albaugh, a balloon artist at Party On in Farmington Hills.

Along with football-themed paper products, the store also stocks novelty items like the “bad-call brick.”

“It’s like a red brick that’s made out of foam, so if the ref makes a bad call, you can chuck it at the TV,” Albaugh said. “Your expensive flat screen is safe.”

Mike Iwasko, manager at Party Adventure in St. Clair Shores, said hosts can easily find plates, napkins and cups with the Super Bowl logo on them, as well as centerpieces, penalty flags and team balloons.

“A lot of people do the balloons, and they pick up the plates and napkins … (in) the team colors,” he said. “A lot of people will get one of each. Nobody will pick a certain team; a lot of people will go a little bit each way, be neutral.”

He said that as it gets closer to game day, supplies will go fast.

But at Steve’s Deli in Bloomfield Hills, Joanee Hurwitz said waiting till the last minute to place an order is not a problem.

Having a Super Bowl party catered is very popular, said Hurwitz, the deli’s owner. Steve’s Deli has been in business 20 years.

“It’s very big because people really just want to enjoy their company and have us take care of everything for them,” she said.

For Super Bowl Sunday, she said, meat and sandwich trays are usually the most popular, but they also offer sesame chicken strips, barbecued and apricot-glazed chicken wings, turkey meatballs, pastas, chili, and more.

“You can go as big as you want,” she said. “That way, the hostess can just watch the game.”

Albaugh said Party On would have balloons for each of the participating teams so hosts can show their support. Parties don’t have to cost a bundle, he stressed: a pack of plates, a pack of cups, some chips and bean dip, and you’re set.

“If you make it a potluck type of event and invite people to bring their own dishes, you don’t have to worry about food as much,” he added.

When it comes to watching the game, “generally speaking, everyone watches what they have,” said Ken Paulson, of Paulson’s Audio & Video in Farmington Hills. He noted that when the Super Bowl is on, you generally want to be able to see it on the biggest TV your room and budget will allow.

“Today, most customers will be watching 1080 (high-definition) resolution,” he said. “That’s as high as we’ve had until just recently.”

But now with 4K or UHD (ultra-high definition) TVs available, viewers can feel like they’re on the field. Another way to go is with a front-projection system that projects an image from overhead onto a screen hanging on the wall.

“We have screens that can hide away, that can drop down,” Paulson said. “We have projectors that drop out of the ceiling … depending on the room.”

Sound systems are also important because, with TV frames becoming slimmer, speakers on the actual TV are getting smaller.

“The Super Bowl game is done in five tracks of sound,” he said, with announcer voices coming in from the front and center, and crowd noise from the rear speakers in a good surround-sound system.

With a sound bar or surround-sound system, Paulson said, “you can adjust all of those. If you’re sitting too close … there’s even devices (that) will automatically adjust your room.”

He said it’s not uncommon for shoppers to come in looking for new TVs this time of year. With models changing from 2013 to 2014, “there’s a lot of values on the ’13 models,” he said. “Sometimes, the pickings are a little slim because some of the models are gone, but there’s still plenty of inventory around.”

And between the Super Bowl, the upcoming Olympics and myriad award shows on TV, “There’s a lot of good viewing,” he said.

“After the holidays, this time of year is really good right through March.”

Extra points
• Paulson’s Audio & Video, 37670 W. 12 Mile Road in Farmington Hills, (248) 553-4100
• Party Adventure, 23400 Greater Mack Ave. in St. Clair Shores, (586) 776-9750
• Steve’s Deli, 6646 Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Hills, (248) 932-0800 or stevesdeli.com
• Party On, 37694 W. 12 Mile Road in Farmington Hills, (248) 848-9300

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Kristyne E. Demske at kdemske@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1041.