January 26, 2014 in Features

Super Bowl game-day guests arrive in all colors

Story By Paul Turner The Spokesman-Review

Ask any coach.

You can’t just show up on game day and expect to be at your best.

No, to perform at the highest level, you need to prepare.

But there’s still time. You have a week to study the scouting report. And you might as well start now.

Here are the 48 people you are apt to encounter at Inland Northwest Super Bowl parties next Sunday.


The Shy Person: Not everyone thrives in social settings with strangers. You can help by being friendly.


The Freelance Offensive Coordinator: He knows what plays should be called. You can tell him he’s wasted as an HVAC specialist.


The Remote Control Czar: If this person wants to pause and go back a lot, a protest might be in order. You can say, “I have a hunch they will show a replay.”


The Human Vacuum: This guy can scarf down snacks for six hours. Don’t stand between him and the hors d’oeuvres spread.


Feral Children: They might try to bite you. Don’t let them. You do not know where their mouths have been.


The Guy Who Realizes It’s a Party: He’s smiling and reaching out to shake hands. Take a moment to congratulate the Spokane area for having an abundance of these fine fellows.


The Ancient Broncos Fan: He wants to talk about Floyd Little and Marlin Briscoe. You can counter with references to Randy Gradishar and Haven Moses.


The Medicine Cabinet Examiner: You wouldn’t do that, of course. But others might.


The Couch Squirrels: Perhaps because they do not wish to admit that they didn’t like a certain offering, some people bury rum balls and what have you behind cushions. Pointing this out if you see it will only lead to unpleasantness.


The Chef: Spends a lot of time talking about spices, blanching and carmelizing. Nod, say “Uh, huh” and fill your plate with things you recognize as food.


The Segregationist: He believes Jackie Robinson was the beginning of the end in pro sports. Be ready to remind him that it is 2014.


Miss Trite: She thinks “I’m mostly interested in the commercials” is an original observation. Just say “There you go.”


The Guy Who Wants to Talk About Work: If it’s a short, amusing anecdote, OK. Otherwise, you might have to stage an intervention.


The Hottest Woman in the Room: She knows it. You know it. Remain calm and carry on.


The Introducer: This person knows everyone at the gathering and gets strangers together. He or she often turns out to be the MVP of the party.


The Person Who Cheerfully Admits She Doesn’t Care About Football: You might want to hang out with her for awhile. After all, what’s left to be said about the game before kickoff?


The Networker: He or she wants to find out if you are worth knowing. Might be a good time to spot someone across the room you suddenly need to go see.


The Sommelier: Wine talk isn’t always pretentious. But you might want to watch the 2004 movie “Sideways” to brush up on your vocabulary and attitudes about about merlot.


The Gambler: Someone has to organize the 16 different betting pools and squares games. Thank this person and put a dollar down on a first quarter field goal immediately following a Ford commercial.


The Performance Artist: Asks if anyone would mind if she changed the channel. All you can do is laugh and say, “Yes, let’s watch the Puppy Bowl. By all means.”


The Super Bowl Trivia Expert: Did you know the first Super Bowl (before it was actually called that) was not a sellout? Clap him on the back and send him on a last-minute emergency beer run. “Go long.”


The Provocateur: Some people at Super Bowl parties love to make outrageous statements. Nothing says you have to be a member of the studio audience.


The Ancient Seahawks Fan: She wants to talk about Steve Largent and Jim Zorn. You can counter with references to Curt Warner and Cortez Kennedy.


The Pizza Snob: No pizza ever compares to what she had back in … You can say, “Oh, really? Well, we brought this and I think it’s pretty tasty.”


The True Believer: Thinks the NFL’s primary mission is to have players visit sick kids in hospitals and appear in upbeat community service messages. Go ahead and recycle Frasier Crane’s classic line, “What color is the sky in your world?”


The Guy Who Is Angry About Politics 24/7: Will seize any opportunity to go off on a rant. Gently break it to him that he is a crushing bore people hate.


The Loud Talker: Reviews the big-budget TV commercials in real time. You’ll want to join those watching on a TV in another room.


The Tweeter: Spends six hours engrossed in his tablet computer. Requires no action on your part.


The Guy With Allergies to Pets: Sadly, he might have to leave. Locking Bad Kitty in another room probably won’t help.


The Disdainer: Goes around saying the Super Bowl is an Orwellian distraction from society’s real concerns. Agree and suggest he have a beer.


The Squealer: Reacts to everything with a high number of decibels. There are worse things.


The Guy Who Has Been to a Seahawks Game and Believes that Makes Him an Expert: Sigh.


The Analyst: Wants to impress you with his sophisticated knowledge of football. Feel free to say, “Speaking of blitz package” and run a crossing route to the bathroom.


The Best-Looking Man at the Party: He knows it. You know it. Carry on and remain calm.


The Guy Who Narrates His Feeding: “This insouciance of this clam dip is impressive in an understated way.” Feel free to change the subject to the good old days when the Hawks trained in Cheney.


The Morale Officer: Wanders from cluster to cluster, wanting to make sure everyone is having a good time. Look this individual in the eyes and telepathically communicate this message: “You are a good person.”


The Guy Who Didn’t Take His Shoes Off Like Everyone Else at the Party: It could be that he has holes in his socks. No need to shun the person.


The Drunk: This is no joke. Someone will have to make sure he or she isn’t driving home – even if doing so strains a friendship.


The Teenager Who Is Bored: It happens. Chances are, the kid will live.


Mr. Glory Days: The guy who waits until a tension-filled moment in the game to regale everyone with an account of a play he allegedly made back in high school. Clasping a hand over the ear nearest him sometimes helps.


The Cheerleader Ogler: Granted, “What is the point of cheerleaders in pro football?” is a fair question. But you might just want to say, “Oh, I’m sure she would be really interested in meeting a 60-year-old guy with a paunch, Bob. Ahahahahahahaha!”


The Couple Having a Fight: They are not present at every Super Bowl party. With luck, they won’t be at yours.


The Elderly Person Who is Sort of Out of It: Connecting with such an individual isn’t always easy. But making a good-natured effort has to earn you karma points.


The Easily Offended: You know, the person who reacts to a commercial or halftime act by saying “Why, I never …” Feel free to inquire how this delicate soul manages to still be surprised that much of popular culture is vulgar and crass.


The Referee: This guy lives to jump up and down and shout that the zebras blew a call. The thing is, sometimes he’s right.


The Chili Cookoff Winner: People enjoy victory. But you can make it even better for them by demanding to know about the secret ingredients.


The Beer Snob: Disdains anything that doesn’t taste like ipecac or brake fluid. Just say, “And yet, judging by the 61 commercials we’ve already seen, it would appear a few people still buy mass-market beer.”


The Perfect Partygoer: This individual listens, laughs, smiles and quietly notes that you have spinach dip stuck in your teeth. If there are enough of these folks at the Super Bowl party you host or attend, it will be a winning afternoon regardless of the final score.

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