February 02, 2007

"It's all about excess," says "football aficionado"

Our own media hound and football fan graced the pages of the local rag today.

Here's the full article:

Score big with a SUPER BOWL PARTY
Sunday’s Super Bowl, and this month’s Oscars and Grammys are perfect opportunities to throw a theme party

Everyone likes a good party and, over the course of the next month, there is no shortage of reasons to throw a bash.

In fact, you can start this Sunday.

If you're a sports nut or live with sports enthusiasts, you are probably well aware that Super Bowl XLI will be broadcast Sunday night. (If you're a real fanatic, go to www.superbowl.com and count down the minutes to kickoff, scheduled for 7 p.m.) For the novice, the Super Bowl is one of the most-watched television programs of the year, featuring the champions of the American Football Conference (Indianapolis Colts) versus the winners of the National Football Conference (Chicago Bears).

Football aficionado Rich Gould shows his enthusiasm for the sport as he stocks up with party snacks at the Record Street Co-op in preparation for his Super Bowl party

Not a huge fan? The show can still be pretty entertaining, from the pre-game and halftime ceremonies, which often include popular singers and musicians, to the highly creative commercials that air during the event (if you're watching on satellite or certain digital channels.) Super Bowl parties have become an annual tradition in many households. Gatherings are often strictly male- dominated affairs that revolve around a simple combination of vast amounts of food, beer and a big screen TV.

"It's all about excess," says football aficionado Rich Gould of Moncton. "The only traditions for me at these parties are, A, if all goes well, you don't feel like eating much the next day and, B, saying "I'll never eat that much again," then doing it all over the next year, clearly forgetting the pain of years past." Rich, who is planning a party for Sunday's game, says Super Bowl Sunday is the one time of year people can gorge on too much pizza, wings, nachos, chips, burgers and beer, all at the same time. Festivities usually begin in the afternoon and get into full swing about an hour before the game, he says.

While he does not specify that his parties are "no girls allowed" events (which is probably a good thing since he's married), he says they inevitably turn out that way.

"In the end, being around burping, disgusting guys with nothing but a football game on the TV dictates the type of audience," he says.

As for pre-party decorating, Rich says he doesn't do much in that department "unless you call the litter of chip bags, pizza boxes and spilled salsa on the carpet decorating. Face painting is optional, though." But not all theme party hosts share Rich's casual decorating approach.

Brenda MacAulay, manager of Lloyd's of Moncton, a local store that sells and rents party supplies, says an increasing number of people are going all out on decorations for Super Bowl and other parties.

"People are definitely more into themes now and just go bigger and bigger," Brenda says. "I don't know why it's happening really. Maybe they have so much stress in their lives that these parties create a fun way to relax in an entirely different atmosphere." In preparation for tomorrow's game, Lloyd's has stocked a variety of football-related supplies, from football cut-outs and pennants to "Go Team Go!" signs and even fake palms, which might be used to help party-goers feel like they're in Miami, where this year's Super Bowl is being staged.

In addition to Super Bowl parties, this is a busy time of year for the sale of decorations for other theme parties, like those happening around Valentine's Day and even St. Patrick's Day, Brenda says.

Then there's the 49th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 11, scheduled to air at 9 p.m. another great theme party opportunity. Not long after the Grammy's, it's time for Mardi Gras, an event often associated with New Orleans but now celebrated around the world on the day before the start of the Christian season of Lent.

This year, Mardi Gras takes place Feb. 20.

"Mardi Gras has become really big," Brenda says.

"People have dinner parties, and we've also done halls in this theme. Metallics are important for these gatherings, beads, masks and costumes." Without a doubt, the Oscars is one of the most popular occasions for theme parties.

This year's Oscars, otherwise known as the Academy Awards, will be handed out Feb. 25, with the broadcast scheduled for 9 p.m.

The Oscars are a great night to share your love of film with other movie buffs, or, if you're not a huge flick fan, provide a good opportunity to check out the latest in fashion.

Brenda says Oscar theme parties don't just happen in February but have been adapted for use year-round, now turning up at many proms and conventions.

"Our suppliers have really expanded on this theme over the last few years," Brenda says. "There is a huge range of decorations, from metallic curtains and Oscar piƱatas, to camera cut-outs, Hollywood street signs, film rolls, banners, cascading centrepieces. Anything glitzy works well." In addition to event- related theme parties, many people are also having parties based on a specific type of music or more general concept.

"We do Mexican fiestas, Westerns and Hawaiian themes," Brenda says. "Rock and roll is also big. For those, people like lots of lighting, disco balls, strobe lights. They don't seem to mind spending a lot of money, that's for sure. " And if you think elaborate party planning is re-served just for adults these days, think again.
“Believe it or not, a lot of people come in to do big theme parties for their kids,” she says. “They’re not just simple birthday parties anymore. “

© 2007 Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Note from Rich:
This was done as a favour for the writer who is a good friend of ours (you owe me big Cathy!), and NO, I didn't happen to be strolling through the Co-op with a cart full of junk when a photographer happened to walk by.

At the same time... 2 pics in the paper, an appearance on CTV news and my face on the big screen at the Grey Cup... all in the last few months. The brand of Rich Gould continues to gain momentum! -- GO BEARS!!!