Live and let live in Lincoln

An English professor and a group of fellow travelers, Nebraska Watchdog.org, want the University of Nebraska to stop a tradition that started in the 1940s. That is, the release of balloons after the football team scores its first touchdown.

These folks say the practice amounts to “littering” and that it hurts the environment. Taking this concern seriously (for reasons that escape me), the University Athletic Department responded. “Research shows that latex balloons are safer because they are made from organic materials that begin to break down immediately and shatter into small pieces within about three hours of release, or after rising about five miles into the air,” said Chris Anderson, director of community relations for the athletic department. “Because we care about our environment, we will continue to use only latex biodegradable balloons, cotton strings and will closely monitor research in this area,” she said.

I am all about civic peace especially when it comes to the environment. Indeed, I often hum the original version of “We are the world.”

With that as my motivation, I have a proposal to bring the parties to a settlement:

If the very earnest anti-balloon crowd promises to stop riding their foreign-made bicycles through downtown Lincoln to get to campus causing all sorts of mayhem for people who actually work for a living, the University athletic department will put a Kermit the Frog Earth Day logo on every balloon.

What say you English Professor and Nebraska Watchdog.org, kerfuffle settled? Or is the prospect of regular people having fun by following a long and harmless tradition just more than you can stand?

RGK

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