Workers erect a tent outside of Raymond James Stadium ahead of Super Bowl 55 Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (Image via AP/Charlie Riedel)
Workers erect a tent outside of Raymond James Stadium ahead of Super Bowl 55 Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (Image via AP/Charlie Riedel)

COVID-19 doesn’t need to get in the way of you (safely) eating those wings and getting together with friends. Here’s C&P’s guide to a virtual get-together.

We all miss eating wings and yelling at the TV with our best buds, but 2021 isn’t the year for that. The Super Bowl isn’t worth contracting or spreading COVID-19. 

The nation’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci and NC’s own Gov. Roy Cooper both made it a point to caution Americans about large gatherings for the most-watched television event of the year—Super Bowl Sunday. 

On Today and Good Morning America, Fauci warned that Super Bowl parties are potential superspreader events. “You don’t want parties with people that you haven’t had much contact with. You just don’t know if they’re infected,” said Facui on Good Morning America. “So as difficult as that is, at least this time around, just lay low and cool it.”

READ MORE: 6 Things to Do While You Stay Home During the Pandemic

At Tuesday’s Coronavirus Task Force press conference, Cooper implored North Carolinians to keep their guard up this weekend. 

“The same thing that we’ve been saying all along, that it is not a good idea right now to gather, especially indoors with people that you do not live with,” said Cooper. “Not only is that important for this pandemic we’re in right now but also with these COVID-19 variants that we see. You can stay at home this year and watch the Super Bowl.”

But it’s not easy to break tradition, especially for the fiercest of football fans. A virtual party on Zoom or Skype is the safest way to enjoy the game with people that live outside of your household. Since COVID-19 and its variants are still a very real threat, here are three tips to hosting your very own socially distant virtual Super Bowl party. 

1. Stay in While Supporting Local Restaurants and Businesses 

Stay out of the bar or restaurant this year and order takeout for your household instead. In states with more alcohol restrictions, bars and restaurants have adjusted by letting you order alcohol to-go. Pick your favorite local watering hole and order your hot wings and beer for takeout or delivery. Here are some very North Carolina snack and drink options: 

  • Cheerwine. This cherry flavored cola created in Salisbury, NC in 1917 is uniquely southern and the perfect pairing for your BBQ, burgers, and buffalo wings.
  • Pimento cheese makes for a flavorful dip, topping, or stuffing. Check out these pimento cheese vendors from across the state or make your own!
  • It’s hard to imagine a Super Bowl party in NC without fried chicken, sweet tea, and biscuits. Bojangles on Super Bowl Sunday just makes too much sense. 
  • Get your beer fix at Wicked Weed Brewing with a Freak of Nature or Pernicious Indian pale ale. 
  • Carolina-Style Hot Dogs/Burgers: Grill up some burgers and Bright Leaf dogs and sprinkle some NC on it with mustard, chili, onions, and slaw.

2. Create and Play Your Own Games During the Big Game

Spice up your virtual party with a game like Super Bowl Bingo. Create a bingo card online for the big game and send it to your guest list before kickoff. The card can be filled with words and phrases you think the announcers will say during the game. The game will be on CBS and called by Jim Nantz and Tony Romo, so look into their background a bit and get creative. Here are a few suggestions: Gisele, Cheetah, “Here we go, Jim,” and GOAT.  You can also skip the bingo cards and take a drink every time the announcers say one of the phrases or make a guessing game out of which songs you think The Weeknd will perform at the halftime show. 

3. Decorate Your Party With a Virtual Background

There’s a few ways to virtually immerse yourself in the Super Bowl environment. Throw on your favorite team’s jersey, put on some eye black, and pretend you’re actually there with a virtual background of the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. You can put yourself on the field or even on the sidelines next to the Kansas City Chiefs or Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaches. If you really want to get creative, try out a photo of your favorite sports bar or one of these moments from past Super Bowls.