Go Tigers, Go Gamecocks, Go Dogs…It’s Football Season! Whether you’re a pro fan (Go Panthers!) or a college die-hard (choose wisely), everyone can agree, football is king during the fall here in South Carolina. The camaraderie, food and atmosphere during football games always make lasting memories for family and friends. For the weekends you’re not able to set up the ultimate tailgating experience at the game, gathering around the flat screen in your home is a great way to gear up for the game and cheer your favorites on to victory. If you’ve invited   friends over for a Saturday of football and fun, you’ll need to make the most out of your family room, screened porch, backyard…really anywhere and everywhere you can fit your friends! Here are my tips on how to maximize your entertaining space for football season.


Take advantage of your oversized backyard for large parties and take the game-watching outside! Consider renting an inflatable TV screen with surround sound from Silly Bob’s Inflatables to watch the game, or a projector from Professional Party Rentals to project the game on a sheet in the backyard or on a blank wall. This is a great option for early in the season when the evenings are the perfect temperature to enjoy the outdoors. Concerned about seating? Blankets on the lawn and BYOC (bring your own chair) are always great options to get many folks together outside without spending a fortune. A great resource for college sports team branded blankets, chairs, tents, apparel and more is The University Shoppe on E. North Street.


You can’t have a football game viewing party without one very important factor – food! A potluck is a great way to keep costs down if you’ve invited a large number of friends and family. Take inventory of what sort of serving and dining surfaces you have at your disposal and don’t be afraid to rearrange some furniture to optimize your space. If you’re like me and prefer someone else to handle the cooking, a great local resource is Blake Lewis of Concierge on Call (just call early as he is very popular!). If you’ve got carpeting that you want to keep stain-free, consider keeping messier snacks in the kitchen or outside. Investing in a solid carpet cleaner is a good idea to undo damage from food and drink spillage and foot traffic, or call Steamatic of Greater Greenville for a detailed after-party clean up.


Rep your team (or teams)! Even if it’s just small additions to your fall décor, add in a few pieces to show off your team spirit. Flags, serving pieces and flatware are classic staples to show off your school pride. Kick it up a notch with something unique, like a custom corn hole set or framed team jerseys. Are you living in a house divided? There’s nothing better than a good, old-fashioned football rivalry! Even if your teams’ colors clash, the features will add an element of fun to the party. The Vault in downtown Greenville has a great selection of collegiate apparel as well as local high school gear and pro teams. Or, if you’re a Clemson Tiger fan like me, visit Mr. Knickerbocker at The Shops at Greenridge for all things orange!


No matter what team you root for, I hope you have a wonderful football season! To help make your next tailgate party a winner, I’m giving away a $100 gift certificate to your choice of a local resource mentioned in this article. To be eligible to win, you must like my Facebook page and sign up to receive the weekly Upstate Clutch eNewsletter at http://upstateclutch.com/.