Hosting The State of Origin at Home
How to Keep Your Guests Happy
The month of June is arguably the most important months of the year. There are just so many things to look forward to! Winter slowly starts to ascend at full capacity. The weather is chilly enough for us to finally whip out our warm, furry jackets and jumpers. It is also the last month of the financial year and you know what that means… time to get cracking on updating all your accounts, books and filling out your tax returns. But what most Aussies look forward to in the month of June is the highly anticipated and loved State of Origin games. Yes. It is the time of the year where you can find fans walking on the street wearing their favourite State of Origin team shirt.
Another year, another opportunity for Queensland to prove that they are indeed the far better state. Not to sound biased, we are going by the statistics of course, Queensland has won 21 times and NSW only 14. So… seems clear who the real winners are. Anyways, before we get into a QLD vs NSW battle, let’s dive into the real important stuff – hosting your very own State of Origin live-viewing of the game at home! For years people have gone to their local bars where fans follow the long time tradition of sitting in a bar with a mug of beer, wearing their team shirt and watching the game on the screen attached to the pole intently. It’s definitely a hard tradition to beat, but we propose beating it by hosting one at home! Nothing really compares to being surrounded by your close friends, getting beers from an eski and watching the game of the year in the comfort of your own home.
State of Origin is a celebration, it’s the Superbowl of Australia, it’s a time where fans come together to support their team. If you have ever braved the conditions of a bar on State of Origin night I’m sure you would have realised that it is terrible, unless you’re a few schooners in. The pub is usually packed, loud, cold, and the line-up for the toilets is so long that you start eye-ing off pot plants in the near vicinity. So if you’re going to have a celebration of the games why not do it at home?
Here’s what we propose: host the best State of Origin ever, in your home. Bring your mates along, and make it a little party (or a big party). To help get you sorted, we’ve got some suggestions to help you make your event shine like the winning trophy.
Read on for our hot tips.
After food (obviously), getting the audio-visual aspect of your night right is the most important. I mean is a game really a game if you don’t get to listen to the commentators go nuts trying to keep up. In order to keep your audio and visuals ready to go, make sure you have a fully functioning TV and a good speaker system. If you have a large living area and are getting eight friends over, having a good speaker system will definitely pay off.
Not sure if your TV is the best for watching sports? Here are some of the best TV’s designed for watching sport by The Good Guys. Don’t worry though, you don’t need a huge TV with complicated sound systems to have a good time watching the game. All you need is regular cable TV. Sound and visuals can always be amplified using assistive technology such as speakers or monitors. If you wanted to watch the game on a big screen with your friends surrounded by optimum sound level, apart from possessing a regular TV, there are some devices that you need that are affordable and long-lasting. A speaker system will give you the feeling of being right in the stadium, but may be slightly outside the average person’s price range. Another option that is still effective (and doesn’t empty out your wallet) is the bluetooth boom speakers. These range from $100 – $200. They come with a warranty, produce high quality sounds and have a range of sound settings, it may not give you the stadium feel but it will definitely be loud and clear enough for a game night party with friends!
If you are concerned about accommodating your guests with a large screen but have a small TV, we have an easy fix for you. To amp up your visuals, all you need is a nice big white wall and a projector. A white wall is probably something most people have, unless your walls are another colour. If your walls are a light colour such as cream or beige, then you may not have to worry as it could work just as well. However, if the colour of your walls is in a medium to dark colour range then you will have to either put up a white cloth, whiteboard or anything other material to that effect, to block out the colour. Have a look at Amazon for some of the best quality projectors starting from just $100.
Best thing about investing in these devices? You can whip it out to enjoy a theatre-like screen all the time. It’s definitely appealing to homebodies that love their couch and movie time.
Food and Drinks
Now, we are not here to give you recipes for your game night. Food recipe sites are probably better for that. However, we will say this. One of the most important things to keep in mind when hosting a long game such as State of Origin is to have sweet and savoury snacks. Best to cover all your bases so no one is left disappointed. Oh, and a cob loaf! This suggestion may be coming from bias as it is a personal favourite but preparing cob loaf is really not debatable. Everybody loves bread and cheese. Ahem.. except for vegans and those allergic to gluten but if you know you have friends coming over that are allergic to gluten or can only have vegan cheese, well then make a vegan cheese gluten-free cob loaf (You know, if your friend is special enough for the hassle). And if you’re not making cob loaf because you’re friends don’t like cheese, then you may need to think about your getting new cheese-loving friends!
Aside from that, make sure you’ve got enough space in your fridge for all the ingredients as well as having enough space for any possible left-overs and drinks left from the night. Consider getting an esky and ice if you think it might turn into a big one. Remember to have water available for your guests, heaps of it, you don’t want them throwing up on your couch. Afterall, you don’t want anyone making a mess of your house while they are knocked out.
Here is an article consisting 54 different recipes that will have you covered for State of Origin. And if cooking is not something you’re too skilled at, bags of chips, dips and a cheese platter is all you really need to keep your guests happy along with deserts such as chocolates and easy bake desserts like apple pies.
Comfort and Ambience
The month of June. One of the reasons you probably chose to host the game is because you don’t really want to sit on a stool in a cold bar. And for fans, getting distracted during the State of Origin games is one of their biggest pet peeves ever. You need to invest all your time and energy cheering for the pride of our state. Simply put, the biggest benefit of watching the game from home is comfort. Everyone loves sitting in a warm room with a cold beer, watching the game while the cold Brisbane wind gushes outside. Therefore, it’s important to consider the temperature you’ll need to adjust in your home to keep everyone happy. Here are some things you can do to ensure warmth indoors.
Keep your curtains closed
You may have realised, curtains are generally made of heavy cloth material. It is great for keeping the cold air out and the warm air in. They act as a form of insulation, preventing cold air from the outside penetrating through the gaps in windows. And it may not be too long before you start sweating out all the cold from all the cheering and need to pull the curtains open again. It’s an easy way to moderate the temperature indoors.
Warm clothes is an obvious. But it’s safe to say that when guests come over to someone’s place they expect some level of warmth compared to outside. No one really wants to stay restricted within their layers of jumpers when cheering and kicking back with a beer. So if your house is too cold and you are struggling to keep the cold out, rug up your house. Grab some blankets out and place them on the couch for people to use. Perhaps start the night out with some hot chocolate? That’ll surely get the internal temperature of your guests up and they’ll be feeling warmer in no time.
I know it’s super warm and comfy to sit your sofa right next to the space heater, but this can actually make the rest of the room more unbearable to move around in. Placing the heater in a restricted area will definitely keep your body warm, but as soon as you get up to grab snacks or go to the toilet, you’ll be freezing. The material on the couches, sofas and even curtains can absorb up a decent amount of heat, so make sure to place your heater in an open space. This allows your overall room to heat up instead of just yourself.
Invest in a split-system
Many people are still under the misconception that the function of an air-conditioner is to release cold air to keep up cool during the hot summer months. However, the name air-conditioner is given to devices that condition and moderate the surrounding air temperatures. They can be used during the winter months too. Nowadays, most air-conditioners sold are split-system. These are gaining a lot of popularity as it is multifunctional. Split-systems can be used all year round. During summer, it can act as a cooler and during the winter, as a heater. If you already have one but you’re unsure of its operations and functions, have a read at this article to help you understand your air-conditioner. If you don’t currently possess one, you should consider buying one. Not just for the games for it will prove beneficial in the long run. It will help you save on costs related to buying a cooler and heater as you’d have both in one. Running the air conditioner at an optimum temperature cuts down electricity costs as well. People generally equate air-conditioners with expensive straight away. This may have been true some years back, but air-conditioners are now becoming a necessity and therefore have become more affordable. Plus, there are many ways to cut down the costs of using an air-conditioner. All you need to do is be smart and efficient about it. Here is another article by us on all the ways you can cut down your electricity costs from air conditioners. At Air-Rite we have a range of split-system air conditioners from a range of different brands. We also have a range of specials to increase your affordability of buying a top brand air-conditioner such as Fujitsu.
Here are some other effective ways of warming your house this winter.
Dealing with mess
The worst part of hosting pretty much anything is the mess that follows the next morning. You’re at the point where you are absolutely wrecked from the night of fun and games, your friends have had a great time celebrating with you and it’s now time to say goodbye. Even after a good rest from a big night, the thought of having to clean up all the mess from the night could be repulsive. Perhaps even repulsive enough to deter you from ever wanting to host again, especially if you are a stickler for cleanliness.
But not to worry! Here are a few easy ways to ensure you have to do minimal cleaning the next day and the job seems effortless (well, you will have to put in some effort, but you get the point).
- Get your house in order before your guests arrive. You can’t really complain about a messy place resulting from a party if you started off with a messy place.
- Use disposable dinnerware. Get paper plates and cups so you don’t have to worry about washing dishes and cutlery after. But, don’t forget to recycle the disposables instead of dumping them in the trash!
- Avoid dark drinks and sticky mixers. This way, even if you do have a couple spills your furniture will be free from stains and can be cleaned easily.
- Avoid having liquid snacks like ice cream or soups and buy finger food cutlery so people don’t make a mess of snack plates and platters and drop it around the house.
- Place bins in a visible place. If you are one of those that places their bins under the sink, it is time to get it out. If you are having over eight people, try having two bins if possible so there is plenty of space for people to dispose of trash.
Once you have all that sorted, it’s time for you to enjoy the game with your guests. Once you have prepared everything, there is no reason to stress as a host anymore. You have done everything you can and now it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy the game.