CANCELLED TODAY (3/14) Tracee Hamilton discusses local and national sports -- and whatever else you want to talk about.

Mar 28, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

Follow @TraceeHamilton on Twitter

Congratulations -- Now you can conquer the rest of the hemisphere (except for those PITA Quebecois)!

Hola! Como esta usted?

And I'm out.

No, wait. Fajitas.

Now I'm out.

Oops. Cervezas!

Because even in Spanish, we are TOBCotWP, or however you'd say that in Spanish.

And now we're back in English again, or what passes for English as I pound away, much too fast. Let's get started!

Quickly, a shout-out to, I believe, TBHitW, who warned us last Thursday to watch out for Florida Gulf Coast University. I wish my bracket hadn't already been submitted. I know that I do not want any part of playing that team. And I guess you all know what I mean by "I". Like I'm playing them. Ha!

Hi Trac! Reading you and Feinstein on the Caps reminds me of the old joke about the rabbi who was called upon to settle the dispute between two feuding villagers. He hears out the first villager and says, "You are right." He hears out the second and says, "You are right." His wife, who has heard both, says, "How can you say they are both right? They can't both be right!" The rabbi shrugs and says, "You are also right." The Caps are playing better, AND they can't afford games like last night's loss. I'll stand by what I said last week. But now, we're only three days away from Opening Day! Rico

In case you're counting. :) Feels pretty good, doesn't it? I've got "Take On Me" downloaded on the iPod.

As for the Caps, John's not wrong -- they needed that win. Unless they've decided to become a road team.

Hey, when did NBA teams start wearing their dark jerseys at home? Is this some kind of trend, or are they just trying to confuse us? And "El Heat"? Really? That doesn't sound condescending at all. Of course, they might have had trouble finding a Spanish translator in Miami...

I guess the Heat aren't -- isn't? I hate this -- the only team to be wearing them; other teams in areas with large Latino populations are as well. I remember a kerfuffle in Arizona when the Suns wore theirs.

Not to sound like Dr. Andrews, but RG3 continues to impress. In his statement he was able to subtly call out his coach for being part of the injury problem, while at the same time deflecting criticism of him and his staff by saying they are aware of their responsibilities. Brilliant.

Boy, I agree. That statement was a work of art. If he wrote it himself, he's even smarter than I thought -- and I've always thought he was a bright kid. He has handled all of this like a seasoned pro. Whoever's advising him is brilliant.

If I'm a player in the NCAA tournament right now, how do I not become academically ineligible? I've probably missed 3-4 days of classes for my conference tournament, then 3 more days last week and 3 more days this week. Should we blame these guys for taking Basket Weaving 101? What should a coach say to a parent of a above average high school student who actually wanted to get a degree in something useful? We sometimes complain that some of these players don't care about academics. But how can they succeed if they actually want to do well in school?

Well, they are helped by spring break, which usually gets them off the hook for some schoolwork. They bring work on the road and they keep up. Some of the kids take easy classes; some are chem majors. They all seem to get through it. This is not idea, however; I agree with that. Which is why expansion of the tournament, to me, is a bad idea. (Although I would love another weekend, no doubt.)

As I do every year, I entered your bracket in the pool at the institution where I volunteer. Your bracket is currently in third place (behind two picks by someone who lives and breathes college basketball, not a baseball fan like me), and 3 of your Final Four are still standing. You've certainly beat my picks like a bass drum - and I had Harvard! Unfortunately for the current leader, she picked Illinois (she's just as loyal an alum as you) in one bracket, and Gonzaga in the other.

If your bracket does win, the $11 in the pool will be donated to the aforementioned institution. I love cheap pools - they let you woof and get woofed at by your friends at minimal cost.... Section 405

Since I am aware of that institution, I heartily commend you. Maybe you can donate it in memory of Jack Knight. That oughta confuse 'em. Seriously, I haven't looked at my bracket since I hit the button last Thursday. I'm having too much fun.

The Miami Heat should be happy that the streak is broken. Trying to play hard every single game is just a recipe for injuries that would have hurt them in the Finals. Being 11 1/2 games ahead of the #2 seed in the east means that James & Wade should be playing 30 minutes a night instead of 38 (Wade) and 40 (James). Ask Tom Brady if he would rather have the 16-0 regular season record in 2007 or winning the Super Bowl against the Giants. As Bill Murray in the movie Stripes said it best, "I'm pacing myself, Sergeant."

It's unheard of for an NBA team to play hard for 82 games anyway, so I agree. The streak was a fun thing but it wasn't nearly as important as a ring, or at least that's how I'd feel.

I try and be a half glass full kind a guy so there may be a silver lining to this $36M penalty. After this thing is over next year it looks to me like the Redskins get a pseudo bonus if you will seeing how we will have an additional $18M+ that we didn't have last year and the rest of the league will just have the annual cost of doing business adjustment from the evil empire known as DirecTv. The downside is we are dealing with the Shanny-Danny who both contributed mightily to getting us into this position.

I admire your positive approach!

Georgetown went from my Elite 8 to my Deep 6.

I hear you. I usually pick the Hoyas to exit early; not sure what came over me this year -- Otto Fever, I guess.

Any word on how Antoine Winfield's visit with the Redskins went?`

Nope. Odd. No one seems to have any word on that. I'd check Redskins Insider later in the day. The Redskins never talk so the reporters are apparently chasing the player and/or agent. Stay tuned. (When I say no one, I mean none of the usual outlets has said anything other than that he was planning to visit Wednesday.)

I know the old joke about the NIT winner was that it was the 65th best team in the country (this was before play-in games). But watching some NCAA vs NIT games this year, it seems like the good NIT teams could make credible 12th to 7th seeds this year. Thoughts?

I don't think Maryland would have made the Sweet 16 this year, but then again, teams surprise you all the time. They certainly could have put up a better fight than some teams that made it. I will be eager to see if the Terps can win it. Know it's not what Turg wants but it's a start.

How did the Nationals entry not make the Finals! Where is the Post's NATITUDE? Also, what's supposed to happen to H-Rod? He reminds me of Armando Benitez of old Orioles. Great when he's on. Horrible when he's not! He's not on his game ALOT! Does he have options? Can he be sent down?

Well, Sports didn't do the judging, and of course we can't have Natitude because we must remain objective.

I don't know if H-Rod can be sent down without clearing waivers -- I don't have anyone handy to ask (the cat is asleep). But someone on here will know.

Sometimes the best part of a baseball trade are the names involved. The decimated Yankees needed some outfield help ASAP, so they traded for Vernon Wells with the Angels. The two (non) prospects they sent to California are ....

Exircado Cayones and Kramer Sneed

All I can say to that is "Holy Atahualpa Severino"!

Section 405

 

Cayones -- that's not the same as cohones, right? Still, those are great names. Time for a rewrite of Van Lingle Mungo.

Never mind the institution, you've got *me* confused. Google shows that "Jack Knight" is either a legal scholar at Duke School of Law, a songwriter, a character in a comic book of some kind, or a minor Hollywood actor.... Which one were you thinking of?

None of those. Google "pilot Jack Knight."

I will again be rooting for the Jayhawks to make the Final Four but after that depends on who is left. I mainly root against teams now as none of my favorites are left.

Thanks, Rich, I appreciate the help. I do a little "for" and a little "against." I'm pulling for Wichita State, of course. If it weren't for FCGU everyone would be talking about the Shockers.

But I picked G'town over FGCU too. Oh well. TBHitW

It's hard to listen to our guts when our heads are screaming "No way!" But again, with Georgetown, why oh why didn't I listen to both!

Would someone please explain part of this $36M penalty! I mean the part of where we are fined because we are dumping the money in an uncapped year and then, AND THEN giving that money to the rest of the league? It is not like it was taken from the other teams so why was it parceled out to the rest of the league? Okay 28 other teams. If that isn't collusion then... or it was Roger "Darth Vader" Baddell brown-nosing the owners!

Oh, no, there was no collusion. The Skins were naughty and cheated and must be punished. Listen, I have said all along it's horse**** but then I hear from a raft of people who tell me I'm nuts, that the Skins got what they deserved. I thought they followed the rules and made a bold decision. And why should the other teams benefit? No good reason I can think of. That part also makes no sense. Put the money in a fund for players who can't remember their own names or something.

(previous question went in too early). My question is what regimen of drugs is he taking. HGH? Platelet therapy? Some Balco leftovers someone sold out of a white van? You don't recover from a serious injury that quickly without some help from the docs.

Hard to say. I know Andrews has delved into some kind of blood therapy treatment. I think it is platelet therapy. I do not think Andrews will do anything to him that will make him pop a drug test -- he's too smart for that. So the Balco stuff is out. If it were any other athlete I'd say there was zero chance he was doing it alone, but this kid is a workout machine. And, more importantly, we don't know yet if it's working. I love how the teams hide behind "medical privacy" but Andrews is out their proclaiming Griffin can not only walk, but he can walk on water, and he'll do so in Week 1. So which is it, you can talk about 'em or you can't? Because if he were a hockey player, all we'd get was "lower body injury."

I am a Kansas native but married into an impassioned Ohio State family. I picked an all B1G final four, but would secretly like to see KU and WSU keep going. Mostly I just love to watch kids play their hearts out in College basketball, so I guess I can't lose. My question is, how is it that you refuse to pick teams in any other situation for fear of jinxing them, but have no problem picking KU to win the tournament every year?

I know, I know. This is why I was more than prepared to make a different pick this year. I had planned for a very nifty bracket setup and everything. But here is my problem -- I can't write down another team's name ahead of Kansas'. I try, believe me I try. I just can't. I know I'm not a jinx, however, because I picked them in 2008. I just wasn't doing it in the Post bracket -- that was in our own pool, where I was anonymous and my quirks and superstitions had not yet been made known.

You gotta keep those Kansas fires burning. TOSU doesn't need your help! Plenty of those folks around...

It looks like Rodriguez will go on the DL (he's out of options) and JC Romero will come up north with the team. That gives Davey another lefty in the bullpen.

There we go.

Still downcast over the last two minutes of the ISU-OSU game on Sunday. O, woe, when even Charles Barkley is noting a problem, it's so disheartening.

I was rooting for your boys. I'm not sure Barkley distinguished himself that day, however, and I'm normally a big fan. I was told by a friend who attended the Big 12 tournament that the ISU fans were horrible to the KU fans, however, which really surprised me. I guess maybe some residual anger about the game in Ames? Anyway, I was surprised and hope that doesn't continue.

Why did MLB schedule Miami to open at Washington this early in the season? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Miami is more apt to be warmer on April 1 than DC will be. We play *in* Miami for three games starting April 15th. Why didn't they flip these series? Besides the climate issue, if we opened the week after against the White Sox, there'd have been a good chance the president would come to throw out the first pitch..... Section 405

Yes, but the President would wear a White Sox cap and peple would go nuts. Or maybe the White House would gin up a White Sox/Nats cap for him. I guess that could work.

Anyway, I don't know. I think they try to alternate whether teams open at home or on the road. Normally, it's cool here at this time of year but this year is ridiculous. Or I'm getting old. Because I feel like I'm always cold these days.

How worried should I be that SI, ESPN the Mag, AOL, Yahoo, Pravda (I made the last one up) are picking your Washington Nationals to win the, dare I say it, World Series? This old Senators fan can't get his head around this sort of predicted success. But, they do look darn good on paper. And there is that blank pennant on top of the scoreboard to go along with the other three....

I think the pressures were going to be there no matter who picked what. I'm actually writing about this for Saturday. The danger they face is the weight of high expectations after last year and trying too hard to meet those. Last year, while people expected a good season, I think it's safe to say that the team and its season both surpassed what anyone dreamed of. But it's so much easier coming out of nowhere. That's why FGCU is having such fun. What have they got to lose?

Haven't teams been doing this for awhile? I'm more likely to remember Michael Jordan in a red uniform than a white one. Surely some of those games were in Chicago.

The white/dark home uniforms is something I admit I have never noticed, although like you there are some Jordan memories imprinted in my mind.

H.Rod is out of options which is why Davey is trying his darndest to get him work and see if he's OK. The next question is, could they hide him on the Disabled List for a little bit?

Thank you. Couldn't imagine he had options left but glad you cleared that up. Yes, they can always hide someone on the DL. It's a time-honored tradition.

Regarding H-Rod, your nemesis Adam Kilgore just tweeted out: @AdamKilgoreWP Davey says J.C. Romero will start the season in Syracuse barring an injury. He indicated Rodriguez will be on the 25-man roster. So I think that is the plan for now.

(In a Jerry Seinfeld voice:) Kilgore!

 

I hope the NCAA fixes the mistake they made this year by putting Kansas in a sub regional 40 miles from their campus. That is just not right. I think next year they will let them play at Allen Fieldhouse to fix it! :-) In all seriousness, how do you feel about the chances of the Jayhawks after the first weekend? That game against UNC (sigh) kind of showed both sides of the coin didn't it?

I'd feel bad about that if Michigan and Michigan State weren't playing in The Palace, etc. etc. In other words, I don't feel bad at all. :) Yes, that game encapsulated KU ball this year. Wildly inconsistent. If Ben McLemore would just get over whatever funk he's in they'd be okay. I am encouraged that they played as well as they did in the second half with Ben not on his game. That bodes well. But this is a team that lost to TCU and Kansas fans never forget that. Even the nutty ones.

I saw a little of a Cactus League game a few days ago. The Dodgers were playing another team (I forget which one) and both teams were in dark blue shirts with white down the sides. They did have names on the front, but they looked so much alike that only the fact that one team wore white pants and the other gray pants differentiated them. I'm thinking it was maybe Seattle because, if I remember correctly, I was looking for Morse. Anyway, how is that allowed?

That's odd. It's always possible that the trainers packed the wrong jerseys for one team. Or that it's spring training and no one cares that much? I don't know. But that would have been a strange sight.

Hi Tracee, The comment "I mainly root against teams" made me think that is why Duke exists.

Oh, THAT'S why. :)

I really liked that piece, submitted 1 of my own. Your entry made me think of my Dad, who served as scorekeeper and did the stats. I learned how to to do basic BAs in my head from watching him.

Glad you submitted. For those of you who haven't seen it, the baseball memories thing is an online package of famous and not famous people and their favorite baseball memory. It's fun to read. I did one about learning to keep score and you can see my first scorecard, which I think is a hoot.

My boss, his brother, and his now wife went to Indiana, and two of his daughters go there now, so I guess that's my team since Pitt (hubby's school) & Georgetown (2 daughters & 1 SIL) are out. But I've liked Duke since Danny Ferry too. Another SIL went to Fordham, which will probably never make the tournament!

If you're out of favorites, go with the boss's team. How can you lose? Sadly, my boss went to Michigan, so I won't be rooting for his team. :)

Hope all is well with you and the rest of the chatters. Have to add history to the Chat description. Just googled "pilot Jack Knight" and learned something new. Thanks!

My half-great-uncle. Quite a guy, although a sad story. I never knew him, of course.

It would be ECOdBdWP (El charla oficial de bebidas del Washington Post). Salud!

Awesome! Can we get an upside-down question mark in there?

And slainte right back at ya!

I still think RGIII was left in the playoff game against the Seahawks, because the Redskins would have won the game if Kirk Cousins had replaced him at the end of the first quarter. How would it have looked if the Redskins had gone to the Superbowl with Cousins and RGIII on the sidelines injured? The Redskins gave up 3 firsts and a second round pick for Robert. He has to be the starter, team be damned.

I'm not that big of a conspiracy theorist.

But just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't all out to get you.

All these predictions make me think of the Capitals and their grand expectations. Look how that turned out. Yikes!

One difference: The Capitals' curse was self-inflicted. The Nats are being picked by entities outside their control. It's not like they are showing videos feature the World Series trophy. (Although we don't know what's coming Monday, do we?)

That might be because so many of MJ's memorable moments were in road games, like at Cleveland or when he clearly pushed off Bryon Russell to win in Salt Lake City.

You gotta let that one go. Long time ago.

Or not.

Surprised that Boucher was canned? He had a team full of injuries, and inconsistent goal tending. I'm surprised Yzerman didn't wait until the end of the season.

Well, no, I wasn't surprised. That's hockey. That's all sports, really, but hockey is very quick in the trigger-pulling department.

Plus whatever Yzerman does is the right thing.

So now that the Pens snatched Iginla right out from under the Bruins, who else is available that the B's might go after to keep up in the arms race? I can't wait to see what happens in the playoffs; Pittsburgh is loaded for bear.

I'm sorry, I can't help you with this one. Anyone want to chime in? I agree re Pittsburgh. The playoffs will be interesting; the teams will be fresher than they usually are, given the shorter season. Will that make a difference in any way, or not at all? Beats me; just interested to see.

A guy in a discussion a couple of weeks ago bet his friend $500 (and wanted to bet him $1,000) that no Big-10 team would advance past the 2nd round, he lost big. You agreed with him that the Big-10 was over-rated and that they were not the strongest conference in the country. They have 4 of the 16 Sweet 16 spots and are 10-3 in the tournament. Do you still think they are over-rated?

I don't remember saying they weren't the strongest conference because I can't remember ever thinking they weren't. There wasn't a stronger conference this year. If I wrote that, I must have been high or typing too fast. The Big East, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, Mountain West ... none were as strong top to bottom as the B1G.

I think overrated and overhyped get confused (and I mean possibly by me). I think the B1G was overhyped but am I surprised that four teams are in the Sweet 16? No.

I'm certainly not a B1G hater. Well, I hate the conference name, but I lived in B1G country for 10 years and have a healthy respect for most of those programs. In fact, in basketball, probably all of those programs. I don't "hate" any conference. What a waste of time that would be.

...and Notre Dame, and Southern Cal, and Ohio State, and Alabama, and .....

Everyone's got one. Or two. I certainly do. :) And no, it's not K-State. I was really disappointed in the Wildcats' tournament performance. (K-Stater, are you out there? What the what?) Then Bruce Weber is interviewed afterward and refers to his team as the Big 12 champions. That's the end of any detente with that guy. Gimme a break.

But really, I try to take the high road. :)

In our hotel room in the Azores this past weekend the TV had ESPN-America, which was carrying the men's NCAA Tournament basketball games -- but for some reason we were only getting the video feed, not the audio. Guess what? We didn't miss the announcers at all! Now that we're home we're tempted to watch with the Mute button on, which could be more enjoyable.

There are some good ones and some bad ones. But you can certainly live without them at all.

His father, perhaps? Sounds like the public statement of someone who's used to dealing with authority and responsibility, once everyone has had good dressing down in private.

Perhaps. I'll have to ask Sheinin if I ever see him again. He's at Verizon this weekend as part of the coverage from there. His RGIII book is due to be finished very soon.

When I was in college (back in the Jurassic), professors cut the b-ball players some slack during tournament time--delayed due dates, etc. Most college courses really aren't that dependent on class attendance. And my "first memory of Georgetown" is that once they made the big time, they refused to play GW any more.

If attendance were an issue, I'd still be at KU, the oldest sports writer on the Kansan staff. I was a bad girl a lot of the time. Depended on the class.

Maybe Jagr.

Hmmmm.

Is that they are going to realign (again). Surely that means the end of the stupid Legends and Leaders division names. Maybe they will chuck the B1G designation also and come up with a real name that reflects reality. (From the conflicted Kansas native with the all B1G final 4)

That would be smart, getting rid of Legends and Leaders. That one was dead in the water. People who attended B1G schools hate it.

I applaud you for your forebearance when confronted by posters like "Big 10 Hater." I don't know how you keep from going off on them. You once said something I disagreed with so now I'm going to distort it and throw it back in your face. Ha!! Unfortunately that style seems to fit a lot of sports fans these days. I notice that apps like Sports Yapper etc. all promise to allow you to talk smack to other fans. Oh goody, more incivility. I think I can take over the Sports Curmudgeon from Frank Deford when he decides to retire.

Yes, when you're actually MARKETING internet incivility, you've reached an all-time low. I simply don't get it. I tried to go back and find the chat to see what I said but of course like a lot of things on our website, I can't find them all in one convenient place and we're over time. Maybe I said, although I truly never thought that. In fact, I think I wrote a column that included praise of the B1G. But whatever.

That was nothing compared to a few emails from the past week. It will interest you to know that no one can comment on the Redskins' decision re RGIII who isn't a former NFL player. So all of us better shut up, right now!

Do the Post techies know that the times are still on standard time and are an hour behind?

I don't know; when I see your question it indicates it was posted at 12:09 p.m. EDT. So where is the mistake showing up, so I can tell someone? Cause I am not seeing it where I am.

(I should tell you that once I've answered a post, I can no longer see it unless I go to a different screen, call up the chat, etc. That's why last week when I made the bonehead mistake on Nevada I couldn't figure out what the followup posts were about. It would be better if someone had emailed to say, "Dummy, Nevada is wrong" rather than all the subtle digs. Took me awhile to figure out what I had done.)

 

Team I ALWAYS root against? Why, Stanford, of course!

Everyone's got one. That could be an entire chat topic. Mine ... well, I think everyone knows what mine is.

For me, I watch the tournament to see the losses and the disappointment in the "student athletes". K-State losing made me smile from ear to ear. Seeing Gonzaga lost reminded me of that punk with the mustache bawling at half-court. The list goes on and on

So we've got the glass half full guy, and then we've got you, reveling in the misery of young adults. Whatever floats your boat, man.

Is Kansas really all black & white as in the above & the original Wizard of Oz?

Yes.

Seriously, L. Frank Baum has a lot to answer for.

Also note that Iowa has made the NIT Final Four. That's five teams rolling deep into postseason.

Yup, can't forget the Hawkeyes.

Because that's Tyler Clippard's team. Don't ask me why. As far as I know, he's only been in Ohio to play the Reds!

It's amazing that all roads lead to Tyler Clippard. Not sure how you do that. :)

But a perfect place to stop for today. Let's talk next week and hope for warmer weather and good baseball in the meantime.

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 were 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 Metro etiquette. She welcomes dissenting opinions -- in the way Great Whites welcome open-water swimmers.

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