January 31, 2011 [LINK / comment]

Pro Bowl returns to Aloha Stadium

Aloha Stadium Welcome back to Hawaii, National Football League! In the Hawaiian language, Aloha means either "hello" or "goodbye," so the same word would be used to mark either the departure of the NFL's Pro Bowl after 2009, or its return this year. So, after watching last night's embarrassing blowout (the NFC amassed a 42-0 lead before the AFC crawled back, ending with a 55-41 final score), I got motivated to update the Aloha Stadium diagrams. As usual, the profile is much more accurate than before, and details such as the circular exit ramps and lights are now included.

On the topic of football, Bill Hinds, one of the cartoonists who does the Tank McNamara comic strip, is running a Facebook poll to find out who is the biggest Sports Jerk of the Year 2010. I nominated Redskins linebacker Albert Haynesworth.

Chewing tobacco: FOUL!

As in "disgusting," that is. There was an article in today's Washington Post about Stephen Strasburg's attempt to quit using smokeless tobacco. Having grown up in San Diego, Strasburg was personally affected by the recent news that Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago, and smokeless tobacco is believed to be the cause. Gwynn is deeply admired by baseball fans all across the country, and I join those who wish him a speedy return to full health.

Odds and ends

While researching on baseball-fever.com recently, I came across a link to a New York Times article about the Polo Grounds. Ballpark expert Phil Lowry (author of Green Cathedrals) was interviewed, and there are loads of juicy details I didn't know about.

I also learned that the Marlins' future ballpark is now about 65% complete. The structural work on the third of three sections of the movable roof is almost done, and they are going to start installing seats in the grandstand next month. See the full set of construction updates at MLB.com.

Finally, Gary Gillette brought to my attention some inaccurate information about two Negro League teams from Detroit: the Stars and the Wolves. It turns out that (except for one game in 1957) they did not play in Tiger Stadium, as is indicated on that page. My information came from the previous (1992) edition of Green Cathedrals; I will update that page and other pages with the corrected information from the 2006 edition in the near future.

I have many other e-mail inquiries to get to, and appreciate your patience in the mean time.