This weekend, it’s back to the ‘Burgh for another wedding. The wedding is at 4:30 on Sunday afternoon and the Powers That Be have kindly arranged a Penguins home game for us to attend on Saturday night. In case you may think that 4:30 is an odd time for a Sunday wedding, consider that the Steelers game is at 1:00. See, it’s not just me… My family takes great pains to avoid the all-important conflict with the game.
Which reminds me of a story… (I know, what else is new?)
My grandmother had been ill for some time, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, before finally succumbing to a stroke a couple years ago, around New Year’s. This was my dad’s mom, who made the most magnificent feasts, knitted her grandchildren comforters and size-12 black and gold slippers, and just shined love down on all she knew. I think all of Coraopolis turned out for her funeral.
We all cut our holidays short and traveled to Pittsburgh for the viewings and the funeral. The family viewing was on Friday night and that’s were we said our goodbyes. But there was also a public viewing on Saturday afternoon that we were expected to attend, which happened to conflict with a Steelers/Bills game. That it was the last game of the year and the Steelers had nothing to play for did not alter the fact that I still wanted to follow the game. This was January of 2005… the end of Ben Roethlisberger’s rookie year. The Steelers had been on quite a run and I didn’t want to miss any of it.
I hatched a plan that I thought would work… I was going to use the radio feature of my MP-3 player to catch the radio call of the game. I’d keep the player in my pocket, and run one earphone up my back and into my ear from behind, like the Secret Service do. Then I’d just stand in the back of the room and look somber. I wasn’t really trying to be covert, but I didn’t want to be obvious. I just hoped my dad would understand.
So there I was, one ear on the room, one ear in the game. Everything was working like a charm… Then my dad hustled up to me, looking exasperated.
“Oh, geez, he’s pissed at me,” I thought.
Then Dad said, “Well… I can’t find a TV anywhere around here… we’re going to miss the rest of the game.”
Phew! Number One Son to the rescue! I showed Dad how I was wired up and he heartily approved. So I spent the rest of the afternoon sidling up to various uncles, cousins, siblings and one dad, saying things like, “Willie just ran for 25,” or “TD pass to Hines”. I was a one-man version of a sports ticker crawl.
Now don’t you go all tut tut on me… We paid our respects the night before. And given my grandma’s health in her last year, she was in a better place now. It wasn’t a sad thing. Life soldiered on and the playoffs were looming.
Now, we move onto the mojo. I have a bit of a problem here… I don’t know from where I’m going to be watching the game. That means I can’t design the most effective mojo apparel and photograph it right now. What I’m going to have to do is take a variety of things and make the decision on the fly. I might see the game from my aunt’s house, or from our hotel room, or from the hotel bar. Each would dictate a different outfitting. What I’ll do is post it after the fact, once I return from the trip.
In the meantime, let’s talk about the Pens game mojo. The team is wearing their powder blue throwback jerseys on Saturday, which leaves me inclined to match it up. I have 2 powder blues… a Sidney Crosby replica and a Pensblog.com jersey. Given that I wore the blue Sid jersey to a game last year against the Canucks and we lost, but more importantly, my brother is wearing his blue Sid jersey, I have to go with the Pensblog jersey. If at all possible, you want to avoid wearing the exact same jersey as someone else in your party, or else you look like a couple of Twinkies.
So, here’s the Pens game rundown: blue Pensblog jersey, blue old-school distressed log Pens Tee and blue Pens slouch cap.
You can see on the back that I have my moniker there… so if you see a BLUZDUDE walking around the Mellon this weekend, do say hi.