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Image: Chris Danger

The 51st Super Bowl is less than a year away, and our Twitter fingers are already itching to report on the random celebrities that will parachute into town. We’re going to go ahead and call it now: Nick Lachey will have breakfast at Tacos A Go Go, Joe Namath will hit Kenneally’s, and NeNe Leakes will go shoe shopping at Neiman’s. Who will have made such fabulousness possible? Sallie Sargent, the cheerful, relentlessly can-do president and CEO of the Super Bowl Host Committee, who’s already raised millions in her quest to make Houston look like a million bucks come next February. Matching—maybe even surpassing—her in fierceness is the Houston Zoo’s latest resident, a Malayan tiger named Berani and Newstonian from Tacoma, Washington. Both Sargent and Berani should be at home at our April party, whose roster is stacked with characters we wouldn’t want to mess with: Robert Irvine, the muscly, temperamental Food Network Star appearing this month at the Galveston Food and Wine Festival; Jasmine Sulaiman, the tireless Houston-area doctor who was recently named the 2016 Country Doctor of the Year; Martha Montalvo, new HPD interim police chief, the second woman and first Latino of either sex to fill the role; Carolyn Johnson, the local actress channeling her tough-as-nails side to play Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow at Stages; and D’Aundre Holmes-Wilfork (son of Houston Texan/Houstonia cover model Vince Wilfork), who recently announced he’s going to play football for UH next year. Finally, the seat of honor goes to UH earth and atmospherics professor Jonathan Snow, the president of the school’s Faculty Senate, who recently spoke out against campus carry, which will hamper learning, he says, given that professors were recently advised to “be careful discussing sensitive topics.” Teaching has always been an act of bravery, but these days that’s true, times a thousand.

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