I am not the sort of person to go gaga over a professional sports team, even my former hometown Milwaukee favorites. The last time I really got hooked on Brewers baseball was in 1982. I still guiltily remember listening to one of the post-season games on my cousin Peter’s little pocket transistor radio with earphones– at my grandmother’s wake. Mea culpa. And they lost.
Well, something happened this summer. As the Brewers started winning ball games, lots of games, I discovered and quickly succumbed to a cheap and easy way to listen to all their games on my computer and get to hear Bob Ueker doing the play-by-play on WTMJ, my (hometown) radio station. What a deal. $19.95 charged to plastic and I was online and spending–or wasting– many hours listening– and watching– the little moving graphics of the batters on the Mlb.com website, while sitting on the couch driving Louise slowly bonkers…no earphones this time around. One of the big rival teams– THE rival team in this division is the St. Louis Cardinals. Great team. Great rivalry. Great games. Each team won some of the season series.
Both teams went to post-season. They are currently facing off for the National League pennant.
So what does my online addiction have to do with sustainability? Well, about two weeks ago at dusk as I was cooking dinner in the kitchen a familiar and pleasing sound caught my ear through the open back screen door. I put down my garlic-chopping knife and spotted a bright red cardinal taking a little drink at the bird bath. I love their pleasant “chip-chip-chip” call. A few minutes later the grey female showed up: “chip-chip-chip.” I love cardinals. With global climate change we are seeing a lot more of them in central Iowa than we used to, as their normal range extends farther north.
A few days later, at the same time, just before dark, as I stood chopping garlic and kale at the kitchen counter, the cardinals were back at the feeder: “chip-chip-chip” and suddenly it hit me. I love cardinals enough that I should wait to tune-in the ballgame (Brewers-Cardinals) so that I don’t miss the show going on outside at the edge of the birdbath. Chip-chip-chip. Much more calming, beautiful, and sustainable.
Could someone tell me how many sports teams are named after animals? Dolphins, Tigers, Lions, Diamondbacks (I don’t like the team or the snake), Cubs, Badgers, Bucks…what if a team were the Polar Bears? In 10 years there will be no more polar bears. There will probably be brewers. Chip-chip-chip.
What about those cardinals?