Meet the Super Bowl party’s cast of characters

One nice thing about Super Bowl parties is they don’t require you to bring your A game.

If you don’t really feel like mingling, there’s a perfectly acceptable backup plan. You can plop yourself down and watch TV. That’s where the game is, after all.

Of course, if you do decide to partake of the conviviality, it helps to have a scouting report. You know, to scope out the day’s lineup.

So here, in recognition of the 51st edition of the big game, are the LI people you might encounter at a Spokane Super Bowl party.

I. The woman saying that what Super Bowl parties need is more dancing.

II. The guy who spent the entire first half locked in the bathroom.

III. The sincerely smiling stranger who is so friendly and welcoming that you feel yourself relax the moment you shake hands.

IV. The young grandmother in a form-fitting Falcons jersey.

V. The bearded beer snob.

VI. The guy who went to high school with Mark Rypien.

VII. The intense woman who wants you to hear her opinion about GU basketball.

VIII. The wise elder who recalls watching the very first Super Bowl (before the game was even called that) on two different networks.

IX. Your ex’s best friend.

X. The bearded pizza snob.

XI. The affable guy who chuckles and says “I’m just here to disdain the values of our consumer society.”

XII. The guy who cheerfully introduces you to other partygoers but gets your name wrong.

XIII. The person who gushes “I’ve been wanting to meet you.”

XIV. Your chief rival in the unofficial “Who brought the best snacks?” competition.

XV. The woman who talks to your children.

XVI. The guy who finds out what you do for a living and then asks insightful questions.

XVII. The old guy who gets annoyed that people are not paying adequate attention to the game.

XVIII. The person who thinks winter weather in Spokane is some sort of plot.

XIX. The person who never stops complaining about Spokane, except when saying everywhere else is worse.

XX. The guy who inexplicably assumes you agree with his politics.

XXI. The woman who has managed to turn her dietary restrictions into performance art.

XXII. The teenage boy who is eating so much it’s almost impossible to not be astonished.

XXIII. The person who apparently did not see that classic “Seinfeld” episode dealing with dipping etiquette.

XXIV. The person sitting near the hors d’oeuvres who won’t stop telling stories about foodborne illnesses.

XXV. The guy who desperately wants everyone to think he knows a lot about football.

XXVI. The last person in America to say “I mostly like to watch the commercials” and actually believe that’s an original observation.

XXVII. The guy in charge of the extraordinarily complicated betting pool.

XXVIII. The harrumphing woman who has been staring at Twitter on her phone for three hours.

XXIX. The talkative guy intent on putting Super Bowl Sunday in an understandable cultural context for you.

XXX. The guy who has been to Houston on business and now considers himself an expert on humidity.

XXXI. The woman who didn’t realize until halftime that the Seahawks are not in this year’s game.

XXXII. The guy who apparently believes he invented rooting against the Patriots.

XXXIII. The trivia master who can name all the franchises in the original American Football League.

XXXIV. The wild-eyed woman who is eager to tell you just what’s wrong with Spokane’s news media.

XXXV. The jovial woman with a golden glob of dip on her chin.

XXXVI. The tense couple* who had a fight in the car on the way to the party.

XXXVII. The guy who recommends a TV show you will subsequently check out and enjoy.

XXXVIII. The good-hearted host doing his/her best to make sure everyone is having a good time.

XXXIX. The muttering in-law conducting the house tours.

XL. The guy who is looking forward to screaming at the officials.

XLI. Someone who swears she knew you in high school (even though you grew up in another state).

XLII. The person who hadn’t realized Clydesdales are that big.

XLIII. The person with the showstopping laugh.

XLIV. The guy who sees that you are unsure about where to sit and says, “C’mon over here, there’s room.”

XLV. The host’s cocky 11-year-old son, who is about to be thrashed at pingpong.

XLVI. The guy who is embarrassed about his socks. (He hadn’t realized guests would be asked to remove their shoes once inside the door.)

XLVII. The serenely confident best-looking person in the room.

XLVIII. Someone with whom you make knowing eye contact when another guest offers an insane opinion.

XLIX. The partygoer who mostly interacts with the host’s pets.

L. The designated driver.

LI. The guest who insists on staying to help clean up.

*Yes, we know, this makes 52. We’ll take the 5-yard penalty.