The 2011 Blue-Wet Game...

My brother the diehard...

My brother the diehard...

I have very few personal traditions. The one I never miss is the annual Penn State Blue-White game. If I can walk, crawl or be air-lifted in I'm attending. In 2002, feeling like crap and just a few days before ending up in emergency surgery, there I was with my son James and nephew Tyler watching the game. We park a mile and a half from the stadium, and enjoy a day of football and walking through State College

A few years ago, my brother Bill and the boys joined me in the stands for a rain-shortened game. When they pulled the team early, we screamed "Wimps! Wimps!" from the sidelines. (Yes, we knew pulling the team was the right thing to do for safety's sake ...but we were there, soaked to the skin, and they were leaving. We just wanted to beat our chests a bit.)

This year, it was just Bill and I. The boys (young married men, now) couldn't make it. The weather was horrific. We were drenched to the bone. I learned that "water resistant" means "Yer gettin' wet, buddy."

Only 7000 of my closest friends were on hand...

Only 7000 of my closest friends were on hand...

We were way up in the stands where we could see the whole field. We stood the entire time. During one massive downpour, a stadium employees gave us an odd look when Bill said (in his best 'Carl Spackler' voice): "...I don't think the heavy stuff's gonna come down for quite a while."

Hey Buddy, zip down to Blockbuster before it goes belly-up and rent Caddyshack.

After the half yesterday, they pulled the team after a couple plays. We did the "Wimps! Wimps!" chorus again. "I've got no knees! I've got no ankles! I've got bursitis in my elbow! I'm old! I'm soaking wet! I'M STILL HERE!" I added to the friendly taunts.

Today, there's not one part of me that doesn't hurt. I couldn't put weight on my right foot for half an hour this morning because of the throbbing.

It's of no matter. The day was worth any pain I have this morning.

But I'll be there next year. And God willing for a bunch of years after that. And soon, I'll have my grandson perched on my old-man shoulders. Maybe he'll be in a poncho, and the rain will be a driving, nasty force that chases my Lions off the field. And maybe, from atop my shoulders, I'll hear a little boy yelling: "Pop-pop says you're wimps!" And he won't mean it, either.

More diehards...

More diehards...