Tennessean Todd Helton Triumphant

October 16, 2007

Growing up in East Tennessee in the 1950s and ’60s, I never felt much of a lure from professional baseball. The Braves weren’t in Atlanta yet, and Cincinnati seemed like a long way off. My friends pulled for the New York Yankees, so I did, too, but with no real enthusiasm. When I moved to the Boston area, I gave my heart to the Red Sox, whose Fenway Park seemed to exemplify real baseball, not these pleasure palace ballparks with all the box seats.

We moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1992, and the very next spring entered a lottery and won tickets the the very first Colorado Rockies home game. It was held in Mile High Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos, and 80,000 people were on hand–a record setting number of people to see a major league game. The very first Rockies batter to bat at home hit a home run. It was a wonderful day.


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Smoky but no smoking: UT bans butts in Neyland Stadium

July 24, 2007

The University of Tennessee announced this morning that smoking is now banned in Neyland Stadium, the football Holy of Holies on the Knoxville campus. No word yet on whether the Vol mascot, Smoky, will have to change his name. Entire departments of anthropologists could have careers interpreting the policies surrounding this sacred space over the years, so let’s have a little exegesis of the news release dropping this smoke bomb on the Vol faithful. First is a sentence from the release, then an explanation of what it really means.

“In compliance with a new state law passed this year that prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places, smoking will no longer be allowed inside the gates of the stadium.”

All right, y’all, let’s get this out in the open up front. We didn’t make this policy–those nitwits in Nashville did–so don’t blame us.


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Flying High for 30 Years

October 16, 2006

Today’s Chattanooga newspaper (subscription required at link below) announces the 30th anniversary of Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding. While actually in Georgia, this is close enough to Tennessee for inclusion on this website.

The school, if one can call it that, claims to be the largest such enterprise in the country, producing five times more pilots than any other school. (The word “dropout,” in this context, takes on new meaning.)

The 30th Anniversary Celebration takes place October 26-28. Want to give this sport a try? During the Celebration, introductory flight packages for two cost $199–a 50 percent discount.



Chattanooga Times Free Press

Baseball Change-ups

September 29, 2006

West Tennesseans have enjoyed AA league baseball at Jackson’s Pringles Park, named for the potato chip factory nearby.  The West Tenn Diamond Jaxx will have new uniforms beginning in 2007 as the Seattle Mariners begin a two-year affiliation with the Jackson park.

The Chicago Cubs’s AA team, who played at Pringles Park for nine years, are moving across the state, where they will play as the Tennessee Smokies, replacing the Arizona Diamondbacks AA team.

Confused?  To see who’s going to be on first, wait til Opening Day of 2007.

Jackson Sun – www.jacksonsun.com – Jackson, TN