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1. A space that’s not too large but not too small. If the space is too small it’ll be claustrophobic and people won’t enjoy — never mind being able to see — the game. If too large, the room will have the feel of one of those 75-percent empty stadiums, where the silence can be deadly.
2. Soundproofing. The sound will get turned up and there will be clapping, cries of anguish, cheers and more. So if the space isn’t in a bunker you’ll probably want to have lots of sound-absorbent materials such as fabric, carpet and curtains in your space. Of course, this all probably is at odds with having a room that’s easy to clean. (See point number 8.)
3. A great television or two. Something thin, flat and mounted to the wall. It should definitely be (ultra) high definition and with a terrific sound system. You’ll want to see every blade of grass and hear every tackle.
Don’t mount the television too high as we don’t want a pain in our necks from watching. And don’t make it too small. A good, though not-cast-in-stone rule is to use half the maximum viewing distance as the screen size (diagonally). So if the viewing distance is, say, 8’, a screen size of 48” would work. (Of course, being a guy I tend to err on the larger size, so I’d go with a 56” set.)
4. Comfortable seating. Not the designer “oh-my-this-chintz-fabric-is-to-die-for” kind of seating, but the kind that’s durable, easily cleaned of spilt beer and nachos. Something that you won’t freak out if it gets damaged when a guest re-enacts that devastating, game-altering fumble. Materials like canvas that can be cleaned or leather that can be wiped down. And that old standby from the '70s, naugahyde (made from real naugas of course).
5. A place for all that food. Let’s face it, what’s a football game without tons of food to nosh on? And it has to be finger food: pizza, wings, nachos and so on. No knives and forks to get in the way of cheering, fist bumps and high fives. The ideal place for all that food is a countertop or large table within sight and sound of the game.
6. Beer here! Yes, there will be some partaking of libations. So having plenty of ice cold beer and sodas close by is a must. An under-the-counter beverage center will do if there isn’t room for a full-size refrigerator.
7. Halftime break. Okay, everybody has been eating, drinking and watching the game for awhile. It’s time for a bathroom break, so a powder room nearby will come in handy. And maybe everyone will want to go outside, get some fresh air and throw the pigskin around, so easy access to the outdoors will keep the rest of the house from turning into a game-day mess.
8. It ain’t over until the fat lady sings (or at least everyone pitches in to clean up). Now it’s time for the dreaded post game cleanup. A sink and dishwasher nearby will come in handy. And though the ideal space would be easily hosed down, that’s probably impractical for most of us.
Easily washed down, mopped surfaces will do the trick. Vinyl tile, linoleum and even hardwood are better options than carpet. One of my favorite flooring materials is cork as it’s easy to keep clean and the tiles are easily replaced if damaged. Another option, if the space is in the basement, is stained concrete.