The year's last, loveliest smile
The beginning of autumn brings about many beautiful colors -- including those of football jerseys.
Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 13:52
William Cullen Bryant must have been sitting outside on a bench with his feet delicately crunching gold and red fallen leaves when he shifted his weight and said with a sigh, "Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile."
Autumn is this correspondent's favorite of Mother Nature's four outfits. The reasons are so numerous that I could never pin it to just one or two. This is the beginning of a several-part celebration of blogs on this glorious season.
That "crisp fall air" that everyone with a tongue in their mouth speaks of is the perfect medium on which leaves should be carried as they fall through the air, from branch to ground. However, this die-hard SEC fan knows of another thing that flies quite well through that crisp air: a football. Yes, you can smell it in the tailgate burgers, hear it in the post-touchdown roar of the crowd and feel it in the thumping bass drum of the marching drum.
Fall is football season. What a great way to get people of all ages out of buildings and cars and into an outdoor event that is best enjoyed with your five senses. Now many, including myself, will argue that they can only catch their favorite teams on television. I certainly cannot afford gas to drive down to Baton Rouge, La., to see the LSU Tigers play every home game. However, we can conserve electricity by sharing our big-screen televisions with friends and fellow fans! What's a football game without someone to high-five when Peyton Manning connects with Pierre Garcon down the field in the end zone?
Tailgating is to football as coffee is to mornings. So, what's the best way to eco-tailgate? Use propane fuel for grilling. It is a fossil fuel, but it burns much cleaner than charcoal or wood fires, and also leaves behind less waste. However, if you simply can't bring yourself to part from the taste of a charcoal burger, try Greenlink's 100 percent chemical-free All-Natural Charcoal made from natural wood.
On the field, football teams are trying to cut down on waste from paper cups used to hold water at half time. Some teams, like the Ohio University Bobcats, are even cutting down on the use of plastic bottles, switching to several gallon tanks, called water drinkers, with small hoses attached with which players can squirt water into their mouths in a hygienic manner.
Regardless of which team's colors you bleed, we can all be on Mother Nature's team this autumn and pay her a little respect for the luscious colors and cool air that bring about the snap of the pigskin.
Photo credits: Audrey Rabalais