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He’s definitely his father’s son

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POSTED February 3, 2009 4:57 a.m.
He is very much my father’s son.
I’m talking about my brother, Pete. On Sunday, we met at the home of his buddy for an annual Super Bowl bash.
Each year, Pete drives into Stockton from San Jose for a day of playing cards, wagering on the game, and enjoying the company of his close circle of friends. As you can probably guess, they were engaged in plenty of smack talking followed by the sounds of roaring laughter while playing cards.  
 He’s quite the opposite around our immediate family. Pete’s usually quiet and reserved around our other siblings, causing me to joke about this stark contrast with my brother-in-law, Steve, who also caught a glimpse into Pete’s other world.
My brother shares the same mannerisms of our late father. He passed away when we were still children. At the time, I was 10 while Pete was 5. He has very little, if any, memory of our dad.
I was old enough to remember our father, and I can still remember him taking my brother, who was a toddler, to the super market.
These days, Pete is a husband and dad with a 3-year-old daughter, Sienna. I’m sure he often takes her along on his grocery shopping trips.
I can also remember our dad taking my sisters and me to his social club on a weekend afternoon. There, he would play cards while we were left with the other kids in the backyard. When we bugged him for snacks or refreshments, he would simply hand us an ante or two from his winnings on the card table. By then, we were aware that this chip was every bit as good as cash.
Now watching my brother laugh it up with his buddies at these recent Super Bowl gatherings was reminiscent of those days of watching my father doing likewise.
Meanwhile, one of my brother’s close friends, Jaime, is part of Steelers Nation. In fact, Jaime and his family wore their Pittsburgh colors while waving and twirling Terrible Towels during the big game against the Arizona Cardinals.
As a family, they shared a range of emotions, from the celebratory high-fives to near sobbing. Jaime and his wife, Debbie, embraced on James Harrison’s record 100-yard interception return for a touchdown to close out the first half.
Yet his worst fears were realized in the fourth quarter when Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner hooked up with his All-Pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald on two sparkling plays – a 1-yard score between a couple of defenders and a 64-yard catch and run touchdown – not to mention the Cardinals defense coming up with a two-point safety.
With his beloved Steelers behind 23-20 with less than two minutes remaining, Jaime, sporting a Hines Ward replica jersey, could no longer sit still, moving from his seat while standing in the back to be by his lonesome. “I knew this would happen...I knew this would happen,” he uttered several times.
My brother tried to console him.
 “Don’t worry,” Pete said. “The Steelers still have a chance.”
Suddenly, Steelers’ receiver Santonio Holmes hauled in a pass from his quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, advancing the ball to inside the Arizona 10. Jaime suddenly saw hope with his team in field goal range to play for at least a tie.
And with 35 seconds left, Holmes made a game-winning 6-yard touchdown grab from a Roethlisberger pass, staying inches inbound by tip-toeing inside the end zone.
The family hugged and shared tears of joy as Pittsburgh went ahead 27-23. They didn’t celebrate until the game ended with Warner coughing up the ball.
As we left the Super Bowl party shortly, I could still hear my brother and his friends celebrating in the aftermath of the great finish. It didn’t matter that most of the guys were Raider fans. They were there to support the one Steelers fan.
During his time, I’m willing to bet my father was always there for his friends. All I have to do is look at my brother’s mannerisms.

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