Welcome to In a Better Place, in which we help you handsome up your home, office or apartment, one space at a time. This week: your game-viewing room.
If you want to tailgate, good luck with that. (Have you seen Buffalo fans in action?)
We prefer our sports viewing indoors, where the screens are large and multiple and the overall environment is very chill — much like the boozy beverage in our temperature-controlled mug.
But this isn’t some typical man-cave primer. This is a guide to the optimal at-home viewing experience, where the focus is on the game in front of you, the food and drink to your sides and the seat your butt is settled into for most of Saturday and Sunday (and occasional Mondays and Thursdays). Guests welcome, but not required.
Below, the 12 items for perfect weekend from now until January — or to watch the best football movie ever (RIP, Burt Reynolds).
Your Serving Dish: Shanik Cheese Board Set
A wooden cutting plate with three knives (hidden under a fold-out tray) and a trio of ceramic bowls. Put all snacks here, except ...
Your Guacamole Bowl: Ego Auxiliatus
Make your homemade guac in this volcanic beauty, which features a heavy pestle and textured grid surface to held you crush and grind (and like a cast iron, the molcajete will hold on to flavors over time).
Your Table: The Stadium Replica End Table
Yes, it’s still baseball season. Opt for an elegantly crafted statement piece that capably expresses your fandom and provides legitimate function thanks to a laminated top over an espresso wood frame (all backlit with LED illumination).
Your Couch: Tuscan Tufted Leather Sofa
Leather = sporty and masculine. Foam cushioning = comfy. Dark brown = fewer visible stains. Comfortably seats two, but better for one (see below). Currently $650 off with free shipping.
Your Guest Chair: Coleman Oversized Quad Chair
For your, uh, less cultured guests, you want something you can bring out and put away easily, but keeps everyone comfy (and keeps clean-up simple). These chairs, now on sale, feature four-can cooler pouches, side pockets and mesh cup holders.
Your Speaker System: Sonos
You can grab a worthwhile 50+ inch, 4K TV for about $400. That’s on you. But you’ll need to amp up the stadium sound on those slim screens — for that, try the compact (but sufficiently powerful) Sonos Beam soundbar. It’s Alexa-enabled and you can pair it with a couple of Sonos Ones to get a surround-sound, feels-like-you're-there (but thankfully not, and much more comfortable) experience.
Your Charger: Jackyled Charging Station
“Hey, can I plug in my ...” Yes, Tim. Ten outlets, four USB slots and a design that’ll keep charging cords for you and your power-hungry guests untangled. Bonus: Lightning proof!
Your Booze Holder: Yeti Customizable Ramblers
I speak from experience — 99% of my beverages (warm, cold, alcoholic or not) go into one of these stainless steel beauties, which keep drink temps constant ... while keeping out any drink “sweat.” Plus, you can customize these tumblers, mugs, lowballs and colsters with your favorite college team.
Your Artwork: Whiskey Is Barely Enough
A poster crafted with a whiskey image and a large-fonted Mark Twain quote on a printed dictionary page. Not explicitly sporty, but certainly man-cave adjacent.
Your Beer Storage: Whirlpool 2.7 Mini Refrigerator
You need a beer fridge that looks decent, is sufficiently spacious for larger bottles (and/or the occasional growler) ... and won't break the bank (like currently 43% off). IF you want to double the price, you can grab a larger unit or one with a glass door.
Your Coffee Table Book: Guts & Glory: The Golden Age of American Football
Sports shutterbug Neil Leifer captures the NFL’s most notable moments back when the sport seemed, well, uplifting (from 1958’s “The Greatest Game Ever Played” through 1978).
Your Headphones: Sennheiser RS 135
For those times when other people are rudely using the viewing room and you need a a quick, unobtrusive sports fix, hook up a pair of these wireless, over-ear headphones to your TV. Personal note: These have saved at least one InsideHook staffer's relationship.
Nota bene: If you buy through these links, InsideHook may earn a small share of the profits on some items