• 52°

This ‘lil piggy made it possible

If you think like me, and odds are you probably don’t, you have to hold a strong admiration for the South’s loyalty to the pig.

I’m telling you there is no culture that has been better to this animal.

I begin this discussion with barbecue. Show of hands, who absolutely abhors the thought of getting your fingers and face greasy in a plate of fresh ribs? Bet there aren’t too many people with their hands up right now.

If you’re entertaining a group of more than 10 people and there isn’t some barbecue steaming on the grill, you probably lost a few friends.

Having said that, I can’t really eat barbecue as much as I would like. Hypertension and diabetes run in my family, so I’m shaving a few days off my life every time I ingest the stuff. I usually stay away from bologna, too, although I find it hard to resist a pork chop every once in a while.

It also amazes me how resourceful people are when finding things that are edible on this animal. Feet, ears, tongue, intestines, other parts I don’t really want to think about — I’m country, but not that country.

For anyone who says that any part of a pig is edible with a “good cleaning,” I say more power to you. Just warn me ahead of time if any of that stuff is on your menu.

But of all the things the pig clan has given the South, football is inarguably the greatest.

No one cares about, plays or promotes the game like we do. Thank you, Pig Nation for allowing your members to lay down their bladders for our enjoyment. Footballs, of course, are now made of leather or some other synthetic material, but that’s not the point.

It was the pig that initially made it possible for countless young men to get an education and earn a good living.

It is that type of dedication that great species are built on. It is the most beautiful of sacrifices.

It’s also going to get me committed because there has to be no other human being on earth willing to write a tribute to the pig.

But what can I say? No other animal can provide a good meal and a good game in the same sitting.

Wait a minute. Leather. Steak. Cows. That smell is either a grill firing up or an inter-species rivalry starting.