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Ask Erin: On proper behavior at Super Bowl parties | Kitsap Week

Have a question? Ask Erin. - Richard Walker
Have a question? Ask Erin.
— image credit: Richard Walker

Dear Erin,

Every year we host a neighborhood Super Bowl party at our home. It's an annual event that we all enjoy. That is until two years ago when a new neighbor moved in.

"Phil" is a football fanatic. He's attended our past two parties and has made the other guests uncomfortable. Phil curses at the refs, yells at the television and glares at guests who are talking too


Under other circumstances, Phil is a great and friendly neighbor. We are particularly concerned this year about Phil's behavior because he is a crazed Green Bay fan.

Any advice on how to handle this tricky situation?

Punting in Poulsbo

Dear Punting,

I've been around many "Phils" in my day and I understand how they can suck the fun from a party.

This year you may be in luck. Since he is such a die-hard Green Bay fan, you should call him and say something like: "Phil, you must be so excited about the game on Sunday. However, I want you to know that many people attending our Super Bowl party are casual football fans. They may be prone to talking during important plays, or walking in front of the television screen. And that's OK. They are coming for socializing and football. But, I know how important this game is to you and you may want to watch it with other like-minded fans. You won't hurt our feelings if you skip the party this year."

Hopefully, Phil will get the subtle hint to control his behavior. And who knows? Maybe Phil will appreciate the easy-out you gave him and will now feel free to hang out with a Pack of Packers who bleed green and yellow like he does.

NOTE TO ALL PARTY ATTENDEES: Before attending a Super Bowl Party, ask yourself "How important is this game to me?"

If your answer is: "I need to see each and every moment of the game." You may want to stop by the party for a brief social call, but spend the rest of the time in a quieter setting. After all, they are parties. There is bound to be loud laughter and spilled drinks.

If your answer is: "Football? I'm going for the food and commercials." Then you can have fun at the party, but be respectful of those more serious fans in attendance. Don't take the best seat. Understand that emotions run high during big games. If you wish to chat the whole time, go hang out in another area and leave the prime viewing for more dedicated fans.

Dear Erin,

I can’t seem to go to the grocery store without being asked to donate for this or that charity. I appreciate the charities and all the great work they do, but I’m tapped out with my donations. How can I respectfully decline?

Nickeled to Death in North Kitsap

Dear Nickeled,

The concept of "Would you like to round up your total by 47 cents to donate to fill-in-the-blank charity?" is good in theory. In practice, it gets tiring to constantly be asked.

The best way to handle the situation is with a polite "No, thank you." End of story. You don't need to go into details about how you donate monthly to the United Way. Or how you donate your time at the humane society. The important thing is that you give what you can when you can.

Be sure to include a warm smile when saying "No, thank you."

— Ask Erin is a feature of Kitsap Week. Have a question? Write Ask Erin, Kitsap Week, P.O. Box 278, Poulsbo, WA. 98370. Or email

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