I know, you're thinking I must be confused, it's Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, that marks the start of grilling season, right? Allow me to make the case for Labor Day.

Labor Day marks the end of summer and that means one thing, football! There's nothing that goes better with football than grilling. Note that I'm talking about grilling, not barbecuing. Most times when we say we're having a "bar-b-q" before the game it's grilling we're referring to. Barbecuing is the art form of using slow, low heat, and smoke to flavor and tenderize meat to perfection, I'm talking strictly grilling.

That being said, like most men, I consider myself a bit of a grilling aficionado. Burgers, brats, steaks, or chicken, I can make it happen on the grill. Fall is the absolute best time to fire up the grill. The cooler weather makes the job less tasking  and it's perfect for those football Friday nights, Saturday college games, or Sunday's NFL.

Now to is the best time to buy a new grill! Every major retailer has them on clearance. Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and others are making room for fall and the holidays, and the outdoor stuff has got to go. I picked one for my new place and saved $20 bucks! Even the specialty retailers, like Brickyard BBQ Outfitters, have great deals right now.

Now that we've established that Labor Day is the real start of grilling season. Now's the time to buy! The question comes down to gas or propane? It really about convenience. If you grill 2 or 3 times a week, gas is the way to go. It's easy to fire it up, heats up fast, and no ashes to hassle with. If you're a weekend griller, charcoal is the way to go. It enhances the meat's flavor. Toss on a few hickory chips and you're in business. Besides, there's nothing like the waft of grill smoke to make for the perfect football party.

Finally, size matters. Don't buy too much grill. A super-sized grill may look cool, but unless you're cooking for large groups, it's overkill. Spend the extra cash on rubs, sauces, and utensils.

There you have it. My case for Labor Day as the new official start of grilling season. Not that it means all that much, but if it's an excuse to talk the girlfriend into a new grill, it's worth it. Happy Labor Day and happy grilling!