The year was 1998. The Dallas Cowboys failed to make the playoffs (1997 season) for the first time in seven years. It would turn out to be Barry Switzer’s last year coaching the team and signify the true end of the Cowboys ‘90s dynasty. It was a disappointing season and I found it hard to muster up any excitement for the Super Bowl that year, which featured a battle between the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos. In order to generate a rooting interest for the year’s biggest game, I put together a little football challenge sheet for me and my friends. It started out as a bingo card and featured some ridiculous questions, including predicting the winner of MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch which was shown during halftime of the Super Bowl. It featured claymation matchups like Marilyn Manson vs. Charlie Manson, Kathie Lee Gifford vs. Howard Stern, and the Spice Girls vs. those “Mmmbop” Hanson kids. It was actually pretty fun to cheer on silly things that many of us would otherwise not really care much about.
Over the years, my game sheet has evolved but for two decades this fun little challenge has completely blown up our Super Bowl party. Our wives love it, the casual football fan can get into it, and the questions are set up to have a little bit of everything to hold your interest throughout the entire game. Right from the get-go, half of the entire crowd at our party will erupt in excitement when the National Anthem goes over the set time (yes, we time it with our phones). And things like this will continue throughout the game as each question is answered. Curious which song Justin Timberlake will sing first? We got it. You have an idea which player will have the longest play from scrimmage? We got that too. You can even try to pick which celebrity commercial will be shown last.
Points are given out based on difficulty of the question. Random things like how long Pink will take to sing the National Anthem are just pure luck and only awarded one point. Figuring out who will win MVP, that’s an important one so it’s worth 10 points.
There are 17 questions total with a final score tie-breaker for good measure. This is a great game for an office pool (I’ve had over 100 participants one year) or just to spice up the game with a group of friends. For my party, we all put in $5 and award three places (1st=50%, 2nd=30%, 3rd=20% of the prize pool), but people can set it up however they want. It’s been used as a fundraiser for my daughters high school basketball team and even made it in a story from my the local paper. I’ve sent this challenge sheet to people all across the country and get requests from people every year. Once you’ve used it for your Super Bowl party, it will be a “must have” for every year thereafter. I’ve even sent it out for Shanola Hampton’s (actress on Showtime’s original series Shameless) Super Bowl party as her husband, Shango, is a big Cowboys fan.
If you are planning on hosting or attending a Super Bowl party, then print this sheet out and get ready to super-charge your football watching experience. Here is this year’s version of the Super Bowl Challenge:
If you need a more print-friendly copy, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.