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Compiled by Sherri Richards, Published January 22 2003

Focus on the fun, not food, once guests arrive

Once the food is covered, go for a two-point conversion with these simple steps.

- First, know the basics. It's Super Bowl XXXVII -- that's 37. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing the Oakland Raiders in Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Pre-game show starts at 1 p.m., the game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m., and a half-hour post-game show will follow. The Dixie Chicks, Celine Dion and Shania Twain will perform. The whole works will be aired on ABC, which is getting approximately $2.2 million for each 30-second commercial spot.

- Decorate the house in team colors and pennants, and use coordinating paper plates, cups, utensils and napkins. Place footballs and pompoms around the table. Encourage your guests to wear jerseys and hats, whether they are for a professional or college team.

- Hook up your television to stereo. Consider creating two viewing spaces -- one for serious football fans and one for chattier guests.

- For television viewing, keep paper towels, napkins and rug cleaner handy in the living room to clean up the inevitable spills.

- Have your guests declare their team loyalties right away, and reward the winning sides. Whoever's team wins the coin toss gets to hit the buffet first. Whoever's team is losing after the first quarter has to bring drinks to the winning fans.

- Start a pool. Have guests place $1 bets, guessing which team will win and what the game's total score will be. The guest with the closest score on the winning side wins the pot.

- If it's a real blowout, place small bets on anything related to the game. What beer commercial will be next? Who will flop during the half-time show? Which guest will swear at the television first?

- Give away gifts. Draw names for prizes, such as tickets to upcoming athletic events, team apparel and sports almanacs.

- Tape the game, so controversial calls can be reviewed and good commercials re-watched.