Family of Derek Carrier, a 49ers tight end, plan to attend Packers-49ers Wildcard Playoff Game
EDGERTON — From the pee-wee league in Edgerton to the NFL as a tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, Paula Carrier hasn't missed a single one of her son's football games. And she wasn't about to let a little cold ruin her perfect record.
“I'm just praying for the front to wait until we get on the bus to get home and then let the front come in,” Carrier said before breaking into a laugh. “We don't have any direct lines with Mother Nature, but that's what I'm going to do.”
Her son, Derek Carrier, made his National Football League debut Nov. 17 in New Orleans as a tight end for the 49ers. He is listed on the active roster for Sunday's Packers-49ers Wildcard Playoff Game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. He played football for Edgerton High School and Beloit College.
Paula Carrier and about 24 family members and friends, including Bill Pennekamp, Derek's father, plan on filling a bus early Sunday morning and cruising up to Lambeau. There, they will meet 10 people coming from all over Wisconsin to see Derek and his team take the field.
All 35 traditionally bleed green and gold, but this Sunday they will be decked out in red and gold to support Derek.
“They are die-hard Derek fans, I think that's the best way to put it,” Carrier said.
Pennekamp suspects that underneath those layers of clothing and maroon shirts and jerseys could be a little Packer pride.
“They will be a 49ers fan at least for the day, but if they shed a few (pieces of) clothing I think you might see a few Green Bay under-britches,” Pennekamp said.
To stay warm, Paula plans on bringing mittens and extra hand warmers, and will be wearing boots, two or three pairs of socks, nylons and leggings under jeans and snow pants, and a big warm coat.
“Lots of coveralls … lots of ice-fishing gear,” Pennekamp said.
Although it is not clear if Derek Carrier will be suited up for Sunday's game, his family and friends are excited to see him live his dream. Since he was four years old, he wanted to be a professional athlete, his parents said.
“When you see him run out onto the field with a professional team and fans erupt, it's goosebump-y, it's emotional,” Pennekamp said proudly as he wore his bright red 49ers T-shirt signed by his son.
Carrier smiled in agreement before cracking a joke.
“I'm a little concerned about crying, because if I do my eyes might freeze,” Carrier said.
The group of 35 doesn't know where they will be sitting until they pick up their tickets at will-call. The proud parents suspect the nosebleed section, but don't seem to mind because they will be standing, waving their 49ers flag, and watching their son be a part of the sport he always dreamed of playing.