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A ROOM WITH A VIEW: Grand Forks man's basement is well-equipped to watch football

The biggest challenge for guests at Gary Pariseau's Super Bowl party won't be vying for a spot in front of the television. It will be figuring out which set they want to watch.Pariseau has five TVs in his 10-by-25 foot basement.

The biggest challenge for guests at Gary Pariseau's Super Bowl party won't be vying for a spot in front of the television. It will be figuring out which set they want to watch.Pariseau has five TVs in his 10-by-25 foot basement.

The Grand Forks man has two 27-inch televisions in entertain-ment systems in his wall, one 27-inch mounted on the wall in the front corner of his basement and two 19-inch sets mounted on the wall in the back corner.

"It's a small room with a lot of TVs in it," Pariseau says. Pariseau's basement entertainment room may not be fancy, but it is fun and functional -- and the project was affordable.

All five television sets are equipped with satellite systems and separate remotes, and the basement is wired for surround sound.Pariseau didn't have formal plans to turn his basement into a football viewingroom. "One thing just kind of led to another," he says.When he bought the house two years ago, Pariseau explains, there was no good place to put a television set so he asked a contractor friend if he could cut holes in the wall and build two cabinets.

Remodeling

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His friend did that and also suggested that Pariseau make the back of the basement, which was a utility area, part of the main room. The remodeling project increased the size of the room by more than a third.

A friend and a family member gave him two more televisions to mount on the wall in the corners of the new area. Meanwhile, Pariseau bought another television to put in the front of his basement kitty-corner from the televisions in the wall.

Two large recliners and a couch provide a place for several guests to watch the game. The six stools at the bar located in the middle of the room are the most popular spot for viewing, he says. But on Super Bowl Sunday guests probably won't be particular about where they sit.

"Last year there was standing room only," Pariseau says.

Pariseau, a diehard football fan, has hosted Super Bowl parties for the past nine years, but his hospitality isn't just limited to the big game. Each week during football season a dozen friends come to Pariseau's house to eat, visit and watch the game together.

"We have a great time down here," he says. "Some (guests) are diehard Vikings fans. They wear pants and their jerseys and their socks

"Décor"

There's evidence in the basement that Pariseau also is a Vikings fan. A "Vikings Blvd." sign hangs on the wall entering the basement, purple curtains cover the windows and a wooden cutout of a miniature Vikings player sits in a corner of the room.

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But Pariseau doesn't limit his guest list to Vikings fans. Each of the five televisions in the basement is tuned into a separate game during football season so there are four other games his friends can watch.

Pariseau expects to have from 20 to 25 people at his Super Bowl party. He plans to begin cooking the day before. The menu includes pizza and homemade tortilla roll-ups for appetizers and prime rib sandwiches for the main course.

Serving food on game day is a tradition not only on Super Bowl Sunday, but throughout the season.

"During football season everybody picks a week they're going to cook," Pariseau says.

Pariseau used some of the extra space he gained from remodeling for a microwave for warming munchies, a George Foreman grill for cooking burgers and storage space for the utensils he uses for his football day get-togethers.

Good times

The camaraderie he and his football buddies enjoy extends throughout the season, too.

"Everybody laughs and tells football stories." Come Monday morning, most of his televisions, like the Colts and Bears players will be taking a few months off.

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"This room is pretty much shut down," Pariseau says. He'll occasionally watch a movie and catch some NASCAR races on one television, but "the other TVs collect dust."

Until next season, that is.

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