Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Annual Rite of Spring -- Skinning the Pig

If you're in Indiana, that's not the smell of flowers, that's the scent of pigskin! Pork rinds and pork sandwiches, too. And if it's April, it must be the Black and Gold game at Purdue!! It's also time for my first beef lips, hooves, lungs and tongue sausage of the year -- hot dog to you. 
          Between Iowa, Notre Dame, Duke, Northwestern, Stanford, Ball State, Princeton, Georgetown, Boston College, DePaul, Loyola, Texas, Johns Hopkins, Pepperdine, San Diego State, NYU, Hamilton, Baylor, even the University of Chicago and Smith, I've got enough teams to root for, but no-o-o-o-o, my friends' son chose Purdue. 
          Yesterday GGB got to start in the annual Black and Gold game. And I got to see him play!! A lot! So much that the Indy paper posted sixteen pictures from the game and he's in four of them. 
          Here's two -- one going in for a TD. The other dragging a bunch of defenders for over ten yards, just like he did in high school.  
Between cousins, girlfriends, aunts, uncles, grandmas, and people like me, there were almost a dozen folks rooting for him in the stands. After the game, all the parents, families and hangers-on were invited to picnic with the players in a big tent. There must have been 400 people there. Most of them wearing XXL [more than a few were moms]. The coach gave a speech. Then he handed out some awards only football players could love, like the Hammer, which was a golden sledge hammer, big enough to leave a permanent mark, and the Pit Bull, which, fortunately, did not come with a dog. He talked about their incentive scrimmages -- the steak and beans game for instance. Winner gets steak. Los--oops we don't say the "L" word in West Lafayette. The non-winners get beans. 
          The food they served in the tent was worthy of any 300-pound lineman. The Purdue Family Fanatics parents' group shot video of the families as they came in. There were parent sign up sheets for newsletters and souvenirs. The biggest laugh at our table came when GGB's longtime girlfriend, who never misses a game, asked if he played offense or defense. 
          August two-a-days are just four short months away. 

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