Jan 19, 2011

Every morning, Post columnist Tracee Hamilton discusses the most amazing and outrageous news from the world of sports.

Does this mean your hair is no longer flaxen?

No, not me. My Jayhawk tattoo is small and tasteful, although it needs a touchup, color wise. I admire the hutzpah but couldn't pull it off.

And good morning, all! Let's get started...

At times last night Ovie looked possessed. Understanding it was only one game, can you share the advice and tips you suggested to Ovie which gave you the confidence to claim in yesterday's blog the end to the scoring drought.

It was a speech along the lines of "Win one for the Gipper" but much more heartfelt and tear-stained.

No, really, it was just time. Ovie should look possessed. He should BE possessed.

Tracee, I've searched the web trying to figure this one out. I hope you can help. Theodore Roosevelt High School in Washington has always named its sports teams the "Rough Riders," after the late President's cavalry brigade in the Spanish-American war. Pretty direct connection, no further explanation needed. Red Auerbach used to coach there before he went on to bigger and better things, and the school has a proud athletic legacy. So then where did they come up with the jersey that one of the Roosevelt hoopsters is wearing in the photo on the back page of today's sports section? It doesn't say "ROUGH RIDERS", and it doesn't say "RIDERS". It says "RYDERS". I'm truly puzzled. Where did this bizarre misspelling originate, who OK'd it, and what's its point? Maybe the school's basketball program has been defunded, and survives only by a special grant from Winona Ryder. Or something. Can anyone figure this one out for me?

I have no idea, but someone on this chat will know. Someone always does. If not, I'll ask the prep staff for an explanation and try to pass it on tomorrow. (None of the prep staff is in my basement at the moment.) Surely Ryder Trucks is not paying the freight (ahem) for the program?

I mentioned your name while I was with a group of figure skating enthusiasts and some of them thought I was referring to figure skater Scott Hamilton's wife. I have no idea how she spells her name -- probably not Tracee -- but this might get you access to figure skating events, if you are so inclined. I have the same name as a B-list Hollywood actress, which can be sort of fun, though, sadly, that's the only thing we have in common.

I wish I were Scott Hamilton's wife, because I heart him very much. Met him once in Albertville -- big thrill!

Tracee, unlike you, I love parades, all parades (exxcept those that block traffic when I'm try ing to get somewhere), so we have to agree to disagree on that one. However, even iif you hate parades, you owe it to yourself to see at least one Tournamentof Roses Parade before you die. Spend enough so you can get a really good view and you will be mesmerized by the sheer beauty of it all. Every year you think they can't outdo last year's and every year they do. Get them to send you to cover the Rose Bowl and give it a try.

I have heard that this is true and have no reason to doubt it. Maybe someday. I'm not against seeing parades from bleachers. That would be sweet.

Hey Tracee. The Toronto Globe and Mail reported that an anonymous source, believed to be Sid Crosby's agent, stated that Crosby will sit out the NHL all-star game in protest of the NHL not protecting their players heads. Namely, his head from the unintentional hit from Steckel in the Winter Classic, that the NHL ruled was completely legitimate. For one reason or another, Crosby saw no problem with his teammate and fellow whiner Matt Cooke nearly decapitating Marc Savard last year, or any other injury to anyone else, until he felt a penalty should have been called for Steckel's unintentional bump and was infuriated when there wasn't even a fine for touching him. Even if Crosby claims he is still injured and can not play in the game itslef, if he does not show up for the all-star weekend he will have clearly made his point. I am a Caps fan, so I clearly don't like the guy and am biased, I am also a younger guy, so I may have missed somone from a while ago, but has there ever been a bigger whiner in any professional sport than Sidney Crosby in you or any one else's experience?

Crosby is a great, great player. He's also a bit of a whiner, yes. Is he the biggest whiner in the history of sports? I'm not sure I'm ready to declare that without some thought. Anyone else want to weigh in? (I agree, I do think the hit from Steckel was unintentional.)

Being a Nebraska grad, I am (understandably) more interested in football than basketball. Many columnists decry the fact that it is difficult for college football teams that aren't ranked highly in the preseason to ascend toward the top of the polls - this year being an exception, as both Auburn and Oregon were both lower ranked in preseason polls. Basketball polls seem to be more insidious, however, allowing teams like Kansas State this year and North Carolina last year to stick around in the polls despite their losing many games. I don't know if my Cornhuskers should be ranked (they are 14-4 overall and 2-2 in Big 12 play), but they do have the same or fewer losses as teams that are currently ranked. Come selection time, are polls given the same weight as RPI and other more objective measures? If Nebraska has a winning or better record in conference play, could they expect an invite to the tournament?

Because the field is so huge (68 and counting!) the polls are given some weight by the committee, of course, but I think they look more at records and "quality wins" than at the polls. If Nebraska has a winning record in Big 12 play and more than 20 wins, that helps a lot. But the Huskers also need to knock off someone big. They almost did that on Saturday.

Of course I mean the Panic Button that would be pressed at what seems like the inevitable Caps' post season flameout. When your stars are having sub-par years (for them), I guess you get a mediocre season. Is it time to press, or continue to hover, in thy opinion?

I wouldn't press until it looked like they wouldn't make the postseason. Let's face it, we've seen what happens when they enter the postseason as the best team in hockey, and it wasn't pretty. Maybe it's time to see what they're like when they enter the postseason as the sixth-best team in the Eastern Conference.

Hi there, T-Ham. What would you rather witness (if you will): Kansas, in thrilling fashion, winning the NCAA Tourney on a last second spectacular shot, or LeBron's Heat failing in the playoffs in spectacular fashion? Something to consider: there's no wrong answer here!

Oh, the first one, no doubt. If I were a lifelong Cavs fan, I might have to think it through.

Hi Tracee: I'm starting to worry a bit about my Caps. They have all of the pieces and parts to really make a run at the Cup, but they just can't seem to get it all together. What do you think it is? Coaching? Leadership within the team? Injuries? I just don't get what's happening.

See above re panic. Worry is fine, panic is premature. You don't get what's happening, and neither do they, and that's the problem. Injuries aren't helping, that's for sure, but everyone has injuries. Detroit was without all its stars the other night and I watched them beat Vancouver in a shootout. Leadership within the team? Maybe. If you watched the HBO special, there is a certain spark that, sorry to say, the Pens have and the Caps don't. It really came through in that series, I thought.

I'm a couple of weeks late here, but after watching all those 24-7 episodes, I've harbored a secret desire to be Canadian-- at least for a little while. Haven't YOU?

I spent three weeks in Vancouver last year, and no, I don't. Lovely people, but no. I do like to sing their anthem, though.

if you were to stroll into your quarters at WAPO only to find B-Svrl, Cheeseman, Bos, J-Reid, Wise, et al, dancing furiously to something like Donna Summers?

If I were to find them in the office, much less at the same time, THAT would be a sign of the apocalypse. Dancing optional.

While it is nice that the Caps are at least getting a point out of many of their losses, why do I foresee them being the first (?) team to be knocked out of the playoffs on four straight overtime losses?

Because you're a Caps fan and you've been conditioned to expect that. It's not your fault.

I see that G-town managed to squeak past Seton Hall, whom Pitt beat by 21 points. What's with the Hoyas? And at least the Caps got a point last night.

I thought when Freeman came out of his slump the Hoyas would do better. Well, he had 28 and they still won by only five. But then, that's life on the road on the Big East. They should be happy with the two Jersey wins because they really needed them.

God is not a Caps fan. There is no other explanation.

I know you're joking, but of course God has nothing to do with sporting events and it drives me bonkers when players insinuate that somehow he does.

Hockey - Sidney Crosby; Football - Peyton Manning (hence, the epic "Manning Face" video, a youtube must-see); Baseball - A-Rod (maybe I'm biased); Tennis - Justine Henin/Serena Williams; Golf - Tiger; Basketball - Pau Gasol. Just my few cents ;) ~ Pats Fan

All good examples, I think. Gasol has "Gasol face" -- he deserves a video of his own.

Assuming you stay in DC for the rest of your career, will you stay in DC or put on your ruby slippers, click your heels and return to Kansas?

Oh, gosh, too many factors to consider. Health of my parents for one thing. Cost of living for another. I hope it's too soon for me to decide. I will say I hope I never have to live anywhere else BUT D.C. or KS again. I do like it here a lot.

But he has a wife? Really? Really? Huh. How about that?

Yup, and I know what you're thinking, but he's not.

Wouldn't it be nice if someone just once blamed God for losing a game? Or for clearly favoring the opponent?

Someone did. It didn't go over well.

Okay everyone. Not all men who are effeminiate are gay, and not all men who are big and macho are straight.

Not that there's anything wrong with it, should have been the rest of my answer. Dropped the ball there.

My wife and I replayed the contact between Steckel and Crosby several times in slo-mo and afterwards, my wife declared, "Yeah, there should have been a call. Crosby for interferance. He swung right into Steckel's skating lane." That Globe and Mail report has been disavowed by the way.

I think the no-call was right, and I think Crosby will show up for all-star weekend, even if he doesn't play.

Remember, everyone, that Crosby is still just a kid. He's only 23. You can't expect him to have the maturity of a Bret Favre, a Ben Roethlisberger, or a LeBron James!

Very good point. Maybe someday ...

Last night on 980 the Sports Reporters were talking about a home field advantage study that looked at something like 24,000 games in all different sports. The results of the study indicate that the only reason home field advantage exists is because of the referees. They favor the home team. Have you heard anything about this study?

Nope, but that's interesting. I did a quick Google and this seems to be the one to which they were referring. I'll have to read it when I'm not chatting.

Tracee, I don't know if you have nieces or nephew who would watch this show, but for parents out there-- why does Dora insist on screaming? Have you noticed that she doesn't talk to the children-- she screams! It's burned a permanent hole in my brain. Plus, my 3-year old even said she's "too loud. " Has anyone else noticed this??

I am proud to say I've never seen a minute of Dora the Explorer but she seems to be hated by adults in a way that, oh heck, that purple dinosaur from yesteryear -- Barney? -- was hated. I wonder what we listened to as kids that drove my parents nuts. Surely not Major Astro?

Would you say they are over or under 50-50? Everyone assumes that he will win several, but I'm not so sure. If you look at his entire career, he's not really a winner. Consider other greats like Michael, Larry and Magic - they've won it all at multiple levels. LeBron never even won a title in high school. He won the Olympics, but that was hardly his team. I think he has yet to prove that he's a clutch player.

That he NEVER wins a title? I'd say under 50. (That should guarantee the guy never wins anything ever again!)

We watched them wipe the ice with everyone all season long last year, and then they bombed out in the first round of the playoffs. That took all the fun out of the regular season this year - even if they won every regular season game we can't enjoy anything until the playoffs. So why are people whining about them not winning as much? Are they going to miss the playoffs? No. So wake me up when it's playoff time.

Conditioning. Everyone is used to that great regular-season run and now it's gone. The security blanket is in the wash. If this new method of moseying into the playoffs works, fans will eventually get used to the new way of life.

But I'll bet Brian Boitano cooks better. I love his show on the Food Network!

Brian Boitano is one of the most fun athletes I've ever hung with for any period of time. He's a stitch.

How can you say God has nothing to do with sports outcomes? I can't think of anything else to explain the '69 Mets, unless it is an unsavory deal with the devil.

Despite the '69 Mets and all other evidence to the contrary, I choose to believe God has better things to do. And if he doesn't, then, shame on him.

With God or with the fans?

God was unavailable for comment, but sources with knowledge of the Deity said he was not best pleased. Fans weren't real happy either. He did it on Twitter, which someone makes it worse. Funny, but worse.

In Pittsburgh!

Thanks. I think I'd fit in well in the Steel City.

Are the Caps trying to fit a square peg in a round hole by attempting to be more defensive minded? I understand that they think in order to win in the playoffs they have to focus more on the defensive end, but the way they're playing now seems to be at the detriment of their best players (Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin). Isn't there a happy medium between a plodding defensive team and constantly attacking team?

You mean, are they being all Redskin-y? I'm not sure it's square peg/round hole, but if you're going to sacrifice a goal a game, then my math tells me you're going to have to hold your opponents to a goal a game less than the previous year. Or it's not going to work.

By the time the playoffs come around this system should be second nature to them, or so I'm told. We'll see.

Yes, three players who exemplify maturity.

Yes, the poster was employing sarcasm.

Someone who once blamed God for his failures, WHILE whining about it: Sergio Garcia after blowing the 2007 British Open.

And that's why he's my least favorite golfer. Thanks for reminding me.

True. But I'd wager that most of them are - particularly the ones who are professional figure skaters. However, I'd also wager that most big macho men are NOT straight either. Not that there's anything wrong with it. Nor is there anything wrong with guessing who's straight and who's gay. For some of us, it's just a fun game.

Some skaters are. Some aren't. A lot of people assume they all are, but that's just not the case.

So He is about to start throwing a baseball again. I've just got a very bad feeling about this that he's never going to get back to where he was. Maybe he'll be an adequate starter but maybe he'll just not get it back to the point where he's even MLB quality anymore?

These days no one's career ends with Tommy John surgery. They may get better; they may lose a little. But it's seldom a career ender. Shoulder surgery, now that's a different story. But he'll be able to pitch. How well is something we won't know for a LONG time.

My surgery would be a career ender. Thank God I don't have to bring the heat too often.

smells like Chinatown (the one in Manhattan).

As cats get older, their breath gets worse. Sometimes it means they need a teeth cleaning. If it gets really bad, and the cat is losing weight, see a vet.

Thanks. I didn't realize the study was older. I turned on the radio in the middle of their discussion and I thought they were talking about something that just came out.

Still interesting. I don't remember hearing much about it at the time.

This game is already lame. Can you imagine it after an 18 game season?

I've never had any interest in this game and I can't imagine I ever will.

No, he just ate a can of seafood feast so that's why. He's healthy.

Ah, okay. Good to know.

Here's a quote from him from that amazingly unbiased show, Redskins Nation. So note to all other NFC teams, lose to the Skins next year and you've got a pretty good chance of making the NFC Championship game. Right? "As soon as Green Bay and Chicago won their games, I got to thinking, you know, the Redskins beat both of these teams. And I'm gonna ask a couple of the guys who are gonna come on the show today -- Doc Walker and Larry Weisman -- does beating the two teams that are in the championship game, is that a sign of progress for the Washington Redskins? "Having won just six games, two more than last year, and a much ballyhooed season for the Redskins going into 2010, the 6-10 record obviously not satisfactory. But the fact that they defeated the two teams that are in the NFC championship game, is that a sign of progress? I'm on the side that's gonna say yes, but obviously not enough progress. But to be able to beat teams that are good enough to make it to the championship game means the Redskins did some good things this year."

Wow. Well, I think it's an interesting fact, and sort of funny, but I don't think it speaks too highly of the Redskins, or too badly of the Packers and Bears.

Did you ever google the Bed of Procrustes?

Just did. Sounds like a really depressing book. Unless that's the wrong Bed of Procrustes. It sounds like something over which you'd put beef medallions in red wine sauce.

she sings a song about cleaning up that has gotten my daughter to clean up her toys. Clean up, clean up, everybody do their share...

Then Dora has done her duty. Good girl!

Hel-looo, Kilgore (in best approximation of Seinfeldian voice)

The exception that proves the rule. Kilgore! (in best approximation of Jerry's other pronunciation of "Newman!")

The huge, nasty football player grabbed openly gay Kurt and kissed him on Glee last night!

Yes, that storyline has been sad and disturbing but the kid who plays Kurt sure did deserve the Globe. He's tremendous.

After watching an exhaustive amount of tape (16 hours/episodes) and upon further it is as resounding success. The masses love the remake of Hawaii Five-0. Yes there are the purests that the new series is overly laden with action scenes, violence and the like. Where the original series was able to capture its viewers with catch phrases like "book 'em Danno" and others the shows of today seem to need what is now being shown like more exciting car chases, weapons volleys, and dare I say "cleavage." As much as I liked the original, I too like the newer version. I doubt if the "magic" of the original could be recaptured. I have to say that I do like both. Its nostalgic for me.

I may admit I'm wrong about this, but I'll have to see it in reruns. My sister likes it and we usually but not always have the same taste in television. So I'll give it another chance, this summer.

No, it means THOSE teams did some good things this year. I.e. they got better as the season progressed, not worse. I'd love to see any good sign for the Skins, but this one is simply forced.

Both of those teams certainly did get better. I was at the Bears game in October and it was dreadful.  That was perhaps the worst game I ever attended. To think they are in the title game -- well, good for them. Hoping for a much better contest Sunday.

Cats! (to get you to take this question) I know the Ravens' second half on Sat. was one of the most miserable playoff performances of all time, but even so the press and public are going absolutely bonkers up there. Sure, there will probably be some changes, but they seem to have a pretty solid core. And the hatred directed at Joe Flacco seems pretty misguided. I imagine there are a fair number of teajms who would be very happy if he were somehow to be added to their roster.

Yes, I can think of several teams who would be interested.

I think you got the wrong one. He was a son of Poseidon who put guests in an iron bed and either stretched them or cut them to fit.

Ah, so a real fun guy at a sleepover then.

Best line ever was from the Daily Show after Jamie Sale and David Pelletier won the Olympic gold. Jon Stewart said "No he's not and yes they are."

I missed that one, as I was working 18 hours a day, but that's pretty funny.

No, but we'll keep thinking that as long as they keep pretending they're all straight. So few athletes come out of the closet that of course we have these stereotypes.

Very true. I read a great novel with this as its premise some years ago. Wish I could remember the name of it. The guy who came out was an infielder with the Tigers.

You are a native Kansan. No one else on this chat got the Major Astro reference. Did you know: 1) He was also Santa on Santa's workshop and 2) He died just recently?

Nooooooo! I'm so sorry to hear he died. He came to Lincoln once and I got to meet him and got his autograph. So exciting! Can't believe my mom didn't tell me he'd passed. She's good at keeping up with the obits. Irish, you know. So if you remember Major Astro, you remember the singing family. Childress family?

May be the baseball novel you're thinking of.

Yes, thanks! Seriously, I'm not sure what I'd do without this chat. Wealth of information!

Yes there are probably some big, macho pro-athletes who are gay. But I would imagine they are VERY few in number. The percentage of gay athletes is surely far below the national average which is what 10-15%? So I would suspect that less than 1% of male pro-athletes are gay.

I don't know. Less than the national average, I can see. I think it might be a little higher than 1% though. That's a big gap. But perhaps you're right, and it's not anything we can find an answer to. At least not in 2011.

Nichelle nichols, Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek, resigned from the show, but was convinced to go back by a man who claimed to be a huge Trekkie. That man was Martin Luther King Jr. No kidding.

I had not heard that story.

Based on what information. Why "surely." This is entirely based on this person's assumptions.

As I said, nothing we are going to find out today. The rest is speculation.

Just saw someone wrote in about the Crosby column. Are people aware that the author of this piece has retracted the article? He now claims it was an opinion piece and that he has no quotes from anyone saying Crosby won't play in the NHL All-Star Game as some kind of protest. Just want to clear the record and get rid of the misinformation.

I think someone already did, but just in case ...

Saw them at the Kansas State Fair and thought I was in the presence of royalty.

We listened every day during the noon hour over the summer. They were great and that's when I started to really like gospel music. Never heard those songs at St. Patrick's!

I agree; God certainly has better things to do than tip the scales in sporting events. I just wish He would start dealing with North Korea, or maybe put a lid on natural disasters rather than putting Seattle into the playoffs.

Exactly my point. Kickers need to quit distracting him with field goal attempts so he can deal with some bigger issues.

Okay, I've run long and I've got to go. Let's talk tomorrow, when perhaps we'll be able to discuss the Wizards' first ... never mind. Jinx!

In This Chat
Tracee Hamilton
Tracee Hamilton has worked at the Post since 1993, toiling in office obscurity as an editor before someone said, "Hey, you've got a lot of opinions and can write a little. Why don't you become a columnist?"

Her interests range from genealogy to Nordic combined to Kansas basketball. If ever there was a Jayhawk who once flew off a ski jump, she'd know where he was buried.

Her list of pet peeves is considerably longer, but includes Missouri basketball and poor subway etiquette. She welcomes dissenting opinions -- in the way Great Whites welcome open-water swimmers.

First Things First Archive
Tracee Hamilton Column Archive
Recent Chats
  • Next: