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Clambake part of 30-year Super Bowl party tradition

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POSTED February 2, 2013 1:11 a.m.

There are Super Bowl parties.

Chicken wings and seven-layer dip and solo cups and friends – the perfect combination for a football-themed soiree.

And then there is the clambake that Mike and Teri Farrell have been perfecting for the last three decades.

Sure it has all of the fixings that you’d expect to find a normal Super Bowl Party – chicken wings and seven-layer dip and…you get the idea. But it also has history on its side – the history that comes with 30 years of perfecting and fine-tuning and turning what typically a day that people look forward to into one that they circle on their calendars months in advance.

That’s 30 years figuring out which friend makes the best guacamole dip. Its 30 years of watching one particular NFL dynasty rule the roost for nearly half that time, and seeing it rise from the ashes on the back of a wiry former NFL quarterback and Pac-12 coach. Its 30 years of football pools, flag football games and enough beer to keep Augustus Busch the IX smiling.

Come Sunday the Farrells will welcome 40 of their closest friends to their Manteca home to enjoy yet another San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl – the same team that they rabidly cheered on when they began this annual traditional back in January of 1982.

They’ve got the whole thing literally down to a science.

Three televisions – one positioned against a wall outside of the kitchen, one in the living room and one outside on the back porch – will help break-up the crush of people that will mix and mingle their way through the party.

Those who show up bring the food with them – anything that isn’t healthy to eat says Mike Farrell – while the couple puts together a respectable bar area and orders up a pair of kegs to handle the refreshments for the afternoon.

By the time the kickoff comes around the party is humming along like a well-oiled machine.

So does that mean you can’t have fun hosting a Super Bowl party your first time out?

Not at all. All it takes is the right mixture of solids and liquids and you’ve got yourself a party that people will be talking about around the water cooler come Monday morning.

Here are a few things that some party professionals say you need to take into consideration when converting your house from a normal domicile into the ultimate viewing venue. Pay attention:

• There’s no such thing as “unhealthy” food – Unless your brother-in-law is a cardiologist that has plans on measuring your triglycerides on Monday, live a little bit. Meat cooked a little bit bloodier than you usually eat it paired with a nice deep fried cheese is perfectly acceptable. Chips and dips and chicken wings and shrimp and crab legs and crackers and miniature tacos and meat tornados – okay, I made the last part up. But anything goes at a Super Bowl party. So throw your bib and grub down. Just don’t forget the Tums.

• Make sure you have plenty of bathrooms for your guests – This is easier if you live in one of those mansions that has more bathrooms that bedrooms, but you can’t throw a party where the two main ingredients in what is being consumed are alcohol and grease without providing a relief station. They say that sewer systems are maxed out at halftime of the Super Bowl, so just hope and pray that your city has the capacity it needs to prevent a disaster. Nothing will ruin a party faster than an overflowing toilet.

• Splurge for the 198-inch Super-Mega HD TV – Some people don’t understand the fascination with big televisions. They don’t get the “high definition” argument. Well, that’s because they’ve never watched a sporting event on a television that looks so incredibly real that your old high school football injuries start to ache all over again. But what a sweet, sweet pain it is.

• Have fun – If you’re lucky, this won’t be a problem. There always seems to be that one person that has to push things to the edge until your cousin that just got out of Marine Corps boot camp is showing him the hand-to-hand combat portion on your front lawn. Don’t be that guy that catches a punch to the nose from somebody’s Marine cousin simply because you couldn’t have fun like everybody else. Nobody likes that guy, and he never gets to come back. Trust me – it’s why I’m having the party at my house this year.

• Root for the 49ers – If you don’t, you have horrible taste in sports franchises. Just saying.

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