Originally written on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/14/14

When you think of Joe Paterno you probably visualize three things right off the bat.

His Coke-bottle glasses.

His rolled up khakis.

His black sneakers.

The black sneakers were such a part of Paterno that even his statue outside Beaver Stadium bears a Nike branding on the heel (pictured).

Nearly three months after his death, Joe Paterno will receive at least one more tribute from those who followed him. Fans attending this weekend's spring Blue White Game at Beaver Stadium are planning to wear black shoes to the game, a subtle tribute to the man known for his rolled up khaki pants, thick glasses and black sneakers every Saturday for the past four decades.

As I wrote this morning on Examiner.com, A small group on Facebook is organizing to attempt to have fans pay tribute to the former Penn State coach, asking fans attending the Blue White Game to wear black shoes. More specifically, the group is encouraging fans to wear the shoe Paterno was most known to wear on game day, a Nike men's air court leader low basketball shoe. As of this posting the small group had just a little over 100 followers, although their idea may not be all that unique.

A number of Penn State players dressed as their former head coach would have for Paterno's memorial services in January, rolling up their pant legs and wearing black shoes. This look was also adopted by many fans, students and alumni in the days following Paterno's end with a bout of lung cancer. Penn State's men's basketball coach, Pat Chambers, also got in on the dress code tribute, when he adopted Paterno's patented look for one game, which he also used to promote Coaches vs. Cancer.

"It was a tribute to Coach Paterno, and what he's done and what he's meant to this university," Chambers said after Penn State's January 31 loss to Wisconsin.

“It’s also for Coaches vs. Cancer awareness," Chambers said. "I wanted to bring that to the forefront and make sure people know that I’m on board. We’re going to work extremely hard with Coaches vs. Cancer and do what we can to beat cancer.”

We are a few days away from finding out just how far-reaching this Facebook initiative will go. Penn State's spring game is free of admission, as it has always been, and if the weather holds up Beaver Stadium can see as many as 80,000 fans show up on a good day. How many of those fans who attend the Blue White Game will be wearing black sneakers?

Here's another question to ponder. Will new head coach Bill O'Brien wear black shoes on Saturday? Hmmm...


Kevin McGuire is the host of the No 2-Minute Warning podcast and managing editor of Nittany Lion's Den. Follow Kevin on TwitterFacebook and Google+.


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