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May 3, 2012

11
A.M.

Tracee Hamilton Live: Caps' Game 3, Nats' big weekend, other local and national news and whatever else you want to talk about.

Total Responses: 63

About the hosts

About the host

Host: Tracee Hamilton

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.

First Things First Archive
Tracee Hamilton Column Archive

About the topic

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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Q.

Great Column, thanks!

I went to bed halfway through the first OT (ok, I'm going to play the pregnant card, as much as it pains me to admit I caved...). Your article helped me feel what the rest of the game was like - thank you!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Bless your heart, because that was my second column, and it was written in 45 minutes after I'd been awake for 19 hours. I thought it was just me who struggled with deadline hockey but Boz and I went to Post University this week (please don't ask) and he said he had a hard time writing hockey on deadline. I felt so much better. Of course, that's also the Boz Effect. He's like pixie dust.

Had lunch with Sheinin, Maes and arch-nemesis Kilgore yesterday at the Post Pub (no relation). Kilgore said all five of the Nats' consecutive losses were quality starts by their pitchers. That's not good. No point in assembling the best rotation in baseball and squandering their stuff.

What else? Hmmmm. I'll be chatting next week and then you'll have three weeks of guest hosts: Liz Clarke, Sheinin and Michael Lee. Then after surgery, Sally will fill in. So lots to look forward to in my absence, I think.

Okay, let's get going. I will have more typos than usual and at some point I may just go all e.e. cummings on you because I seem to be too tired to hold down the shift key, so please bear with me. If you hate the chat or me, that's cool, but could you just save it for next week? Because I won't be engaging today. Thanks. Let's go.

– May 03, 2012 11:00 AM
Q.

Nats batting practice

Going to the game Friday at 7 and I was wondering if you or one or your readers might know how early I would have to get there to see the Nats batting practice? I read about how impressed Johnson was with Harper's BP session and want to see for myself. Thanks.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I'd say around 4 p.m.  because that's when we're kicked out of the clubhouse but I'm not sure the gates open that early. But heaven knows this group will know the exact answer. I tend not to look at my watch for these things but for "when can I get in the clubhouse?" and "when will Davey talk?" So, 405? Anyone else?

– May 03, 2012 11:02 AM
Q.

Temperature of the fan

Morning, Trac! I hope you are recovering from last night's marathon. I turned in after the first overtime, satisfied that the Caps were playing well and convinced I couldn't wait up -- and how right I was, on both counts. In your column you seemed to suggest that the Caps' claims of equanimity might just be examples of whistling past the graveyard. But I'm not worried. This series, like the last one, is very close. In those situations the game turns on a lucky bounce of the puck, and I'm willing to take my chances. -- Rico
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Rico, I don't know if they were whistling. Laich is just always calm and upbeat. It wasn't a happy room but what would you expect? They were in exactly this situation against Boston so I certainly do not think this series is over.

– May 03, 2012 11:04 AM
Q.

Going to be at the "Take back our park" series this weekend...

I was just wondering if anyone knows how well it worked? I know we won't really be able to tell what fans bought the tickets (plenty of Phillies fans in DC, MD, and VA), but does the organisation have a feeling about how the sale went? I'd love for the Nats fans to be louder this time. Have you noticed how offended Philly seems to be about this promotion? I know at least some of it is of the picking on the kid brother variety; but a lot of people also seem to be really offended (I have family in the Philly area, so I've heard it from them... they're also already saying that the sale was a colossal failure).
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Not sure we can have any idea on Thursday. We'll see. I'm sure both sides will claim victory, as in most "contests" of this ilk.

– May 03, 2012 11:05 AM
Q.

Caps/ Mike Wise

Any chance we get a retraction of Mike Wise's poorly reported "eye in your butt" line? Seriously questionable journalism out of Mr Wise. Like, laughably bad.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, I happened to see this question earlier and had time to ask both Katie and Tarik about it. They had listened to the tape and that's exactly what he said. They wonder if Ovie was translating some sort of Russian saying to English and it got mangled in the switch (not through a translator, through Ovie) but the tape has been checked and the quote is accurate.

– May 03, 2012 11:08 AM
Q.

Danny Espinosa - utility man?

Tracee, If Espinosa is the answer, perhaps we need to rephrase the question. I see Lombardozzi taking over 2nd when Zim returns and Danny being the utility guy. Espinosa has proven over 2 years in the majors that he cannot handle breaking pitches, and has way too many holes in his swing. Agree?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, I agree he's struggling. But a lot of people were down on Desmond a year ago. Has Espinosa had enough time? Perhaps. Everyone develops at his own pace. The Nats, however, do have the luxury and the necessity now of not being as patient with players as they were, say, two years ago. So I might make that move if I thought the time in Syracuse might help Espinosa, yes.

– May 03, 2012 11:09 AM
Q.

RIP Junior Seau

What a tragic event. This guy was a class act.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

As you know, I'm a Chiefs fan, so my team played his twice a season. He was one of those guys who you respected, even though he was on the opposite team. I don't think Chiefs fans disliked him or thought he was dirty, but Chiefs fans couldn't stand John Elway. Not sure of the difference but just something about the way he played. His Hall of Fame induction will be a sad thing.

– May 03, 2012 11:11 AM
Q.

Holtby

Holtby played a phenominal game last night. Even though we lost this guy is the real deal Tracee,

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, yes. I don't think anyone ever said otherwise. In fact, I think everyone has written this, up to and including me.

– May 03, 2012 11:11 AM
Q.

Woodbridge

A friend of mine thinks that Junior missed not being in the locker room. Seems to me he was charismatic enough for a TV or coaching job - would you agree?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

How did your friend in Woodbridge make this diagnosis? I would have thought -- given the face he showed the public -- that yes, he would have been a natural. But I can't say this enough. You don't know these guys. We don't know these guys. We see what they want us to see. The media may see something different (not necessarily more, but different) but the athlete controls that. We should never, EVER kid ourselves that we know athletes based on seeing them kid around on the bench, give an interview on TV or in print. We sure should never decide what causes something like this from our armchairs. We need to let the professionals do their jobs and his family cope and see what comes out of all this.

– May 03, 2012 11:14 AM
Q.

morning skate

After last night's almost 6 period marathon, some of the Capitals are asking your permission to skip the optional morning skate. Since you know better how their bodies feel than they do, can they get your permission, just this one time?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I can't count the number of times I've suggested the Caps practice after a triple overtime game. Oh, yes, I can. Zero. Lighten up, Francis.

– May 03, 2012 11:17 AM
Q.

Nationals outfield

Did you see that Harper catch last night? Granted, it was partly due to his error -- he misjudged the trajectory of the ball -- but to make that catch shows that he has amazing athleticism but, more importantly, quick thinking and reflexes. I am so excited about the Nats' outfield. Where do we rank in the MLB? Top 5 I'd imagine when Ankiel is in center and Harper is in left. Also, what if we did our next meet up somewhere close to the stadium (Justins is all I can think of) so those of us fans can wander on over to the baseball park! Skins-Texans Girl (STG)

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Hey, STG, good to hear from you. No, I can assure you that I saw nothing of the Nats game. Left the house at 9:30 a.m. and returned home at 2 a.m. Another glamorous day in the life.

Karl Alzner is also excited about the Nats' defense. So there are two of you! Just kidding. It's great they have these mighty arms and you are right, defensively they are two thirds of a dream team out there. But they have got to start hitting (all of them, not just those two). It was heartening to see, during one of the overtimes, that the Nats did seem to start hitting last night. I'm still too wiped out to know more than that. Desmond, walk-off homer. That's what I know.

Next meet-up has been promised to the Virginia folk, since we've done Maryland and D.C. We need to pick a date and spot soon; I'll get to work on that. Limited time between surgery recovery and Olympics, when I'll be working every day -- hopefully with two hands, but who knows?

– May 03, 2012 11:20 AM
Q.

Hockey commentators

I wanted to scream last night, listening to the inane babblings of the announcers during the Caps game. They kept making comments about Ovi's state of mind, things he'd told the coach, etc. Do they really know any of that? It's so presumpuous! Why can't they just shut up and report on what they really know, not just the story they want to be true??
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

They do have people at practice, reporting, so perhaps they do know things. Or perhaps they are just gassing. I didn't hear it. Well, I heard part of it in the press room when the sound was up. I miss Joe B. and Locker. Watching Joe B. pace the press room like a caged beast last night was sad. He should be calling these games.

– May 03, 2012 11:21 AM
Q.

Quietest ride home ever

Tracee, Last night was a well played game and the puck just wasn't friendly to the Caps. The ride home was surreal . Ranger fans, normally ready to talk smack didn't say a word. Metro was eerily silent. The only thing everyone can pretty much agree on is waiting 20 minutes for an orange line train afterwards was awful and that we all hate metro with passion rivaling the Pens Flyers series.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, at least Metro stayed open late to accommodate the game. I wish I could have taken Metro, even with the wait. That's what books are for. The drive was not horrible last night but I have poor night vision and no depth perception. The construction on 66 is going to kill me. I thought about asking Laich to follow me home.

– May 03, 2012 11:23 AM
Q.

Cue up the Bob Dylan song

Everybody join in now: "The times, they are a-chaaangin'..." (A little pitchy there, Hamilton) Seriously, who thought DC would produce sports buzz, not to mention winners? RGIII, Strasburg, Harper, Ovi, even John Wall. These guys couldn't buy big-time media coverage. Now RGIII, Strasburg and Harper are on their way to Favre/Peyton/Lebron media overkill status. Has ESPN hired a DC sports superstar reporter to follow these guys around yet?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I don't think so, but I wish they'd send Rachel. When Rachel arrives, you know you've hit the big time. Plus, I'd like to see Rachel.

– May 03, 2012 11:26 AM
Q.

Nats BP

Gates open 2 1/2 hrs. before the game, but w/ the expected weather, they might hit indoors. We'll miss you Tracee, hope all goes well.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Thank you, smartest chatters of all time. And true about the weather. We seem to have little thunderclouds over us every day this weekend. Or maybe that's just me.

– May 03, 2012 11:28 AM
Q.

Jr Seau

I was so saddened to hear of Jr Seau's death yesterday. Do you know if there are plans to look at his brain? That seems to me like it would be an important step to start understanding what happens to players post-career. And are there plans to step up support and screening for retired players? The NFL really needs to pay attention to this.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

This is too soon. I agree that when you hear that he was shot in the chest this is where your thoughts go, but it's too soon to decide that's what's going on here.

I wrote on this topic about a month ago, maybe. It's the long term effects of the less "highlight reel" hits that are worrisome. (I'm not saying that's what this is; I'm speaking in generalities; I was speaking in specific about the plethora of lawsuits already filed and Jim McMahon's interview on ESPN, which was sad.) I think it may be time for the league to look at this problem head-on, no pun intended. Get CAT scans from as many players as possible and join in the research instead of simply appearing as "defendant" in lawsuit after lawsuit. Lives might be able to be saved. Maybe not. I'm not a doctor. But the NFL can afford to hire doctors, is what I'm saying. And again, I'm not linking Seau to Duerson. Let's let the investigation play out.

– May 03, 2012 11:29 AM
Q.

Caps' game 3

How about changing the game of ice hockey by extending the width of the net? With both teams wisely playing a defensive strategy, and all those big defensemen clustered in front of the net, scoring a goal is harder than threading Ariadne's needle throught the labyrinth of Minos! It isn't fair to the players or to the fans to have an important game decided when the players of both teams are understandably exhausted after several hours of intense play. Making the net wider and the goalie's task a bit harder might make the greatness of goalies like Lundqvist (hate to admit he's great) even more apparent. And there wouldn't be so many bleary-eyed hockey fans reporting to work the next mornng.

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Last night, I'd have made it as wide as an end zone so we could get the game in some papers. This morning, no. It needs to be the size a goalie can cover doing the splits, roughly. I know not everyone loves defensive hockey, and that was a prime example last night. But I don't think it calls for a rule change. Others may disagree.

– May 03, 2012 11:30 AM
Q.

bad and good

I don't see the Caps winning this series. Sad to say. On a happier note, the O's beating the Yanks 5-0 in Yankee Stadium last night gave me some hope.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

All righty.

– May 03, 2012 11:31 AM
Q.

why 2 rookie quarterbacks?

When the house is burning down (many, many holes to fill on offense and defense), why would you draft two rookie quarterbacks? The Shanahans always do the opposite of conventional wisdom just to prove their genius status. So far those geniuses have done worse in their two years than Jim Zorn did.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Beats me. I thought it was strange. Let's hear the other side. It's in here somewhere.

– May 03, 2012 11:32 AM
Q.

From the Peanut Gallery

Yes there were bigger needs BUT finally Mike Shanahan acknowledges he was wrong about both Beck and Grossman. The reason he drafted Cousins was that he had to get rid of Grossman. He could no longer put up with the INTs the fumbles the missed opportunities. Whether it is the end of this season or before lets see if anyone else wants a turnover generator.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Here's the opposite argument, although I would say that I haven't seen Grossman (RGI) packing his bags just yet.

– May 03, 2012 11:34 AM
Q.

Job safety

We know that coal mining and construction work are dangerous jobs. Should we add playing pro football to that list? The lawsuit filed by nearly 1000 former players should give us pause, along with the high profile suicides (RIP Junior). What is the answer? Rule changes, better protective gear (can players be compelled to wear it?), certainly no more bounty programs. The NFL is such a financial behemoth that it will resist fundamental changes--but there will be a tipping point--won't there?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Yes, the players can be compelled to wear protective gear. The union is stronger than it used to be, but that is a battle the league would eventually win, even if it had to grandfather in the rule. The question is, can they come up with better protective gear. And of course, the reality is that there is no gear that will ever prevent all injuries. And any sport that involves what football involves is going to leave to head injuries. It's not the blow to the head; it's the brain bouncing within the skull. There isn't a device that can prevent that. So education is going to be important. It's not enough to tell a player "you could leave the game with concussion syndrome and bad knees." You need to say "you could leave the game and be unable to walk in 10 years, and be unable to feed yourself in 20. Or not." At least they've made an informed decision. People choose to do dangerous jobs every day but most know the dangers. If you're a coal miner, you know the mines can collapse. If you're a football player, you know you're going to have joint damage, etc. But I don't think anyone knew the extent of brain damage that could occur over a long career.

They may also need to revisit artificial turf.

– May 03, 2012 11:35 AM
Q.

Junior Seau

I only hope that Seau's family will allow his brain to be submitted for testing, just as Dave Duerson requested in the note he left before killing himself. I know there may be other reasons for Seau's suicide other than traumatic brain injury, but it is important to determine if 20 years of pro football's violent collisions led to his violent and tragic end.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Fair point. Even if his suicide was not related to football, his family may agree to an autopsy because of the issue. We'll see. McMahon said in his interview that he had already asked his brain go to the same place as Duerson's. I am sure his family wants answers.

– May 03, 2012 11:37 AM
Q.

I thought my dad

was the only person on earth who said, "Lighten up, Francis." He will be pleased to hear of a peer.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

No, that's a favorite of mine. Tell your dad he's my kind of people, unless that would freak him out.

– May 03, 2012 11:39 AM
Q.

Ovie Quote

Could it be the rough equivalent of "head up your a**"?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Could be. Ovie's English is choppy, as you can tell from his quotes in the paper, and he speaks softly. However, three reporters I trust heard exactly the same thing. So I have to think he was trying to say one thing and it came out as something different in English. Can't fault him for that.

I sometimes get back to my computer and look at my notebook and think "What?" Last night I felt someting dripping on it and realized it was sweat from someone's equipment in their locker. So that page was unpleasant. (In a huge hurry, I use pen to paper and then only use the quotes I can actually read and understand. Limited but no time to transcribe tape.)

– May 03, 2012 11:40 AM
Q.

Is Holtby the Bryce Harper of Hockey?

Or is Harper the Holtby of baseball?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, Harper has had far more hype, but Holtby was here first. You can't make a celebrity nickname out of them, because they both start with H's. As does Hype. What was the question?

– May 03, 2012 11:41 AM
Q.

Creepy Statistic

Did you see that Junior Seau was the 8th member of the Chargers 1994 Super Bowl team to die before the age of 45? What an awful statistic. But people are making too big a deal of it. The really sad stat is the fact that the average NFL player doesn't live past 55.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Both stats are troubling. Yes, this was the talk of the press room before the game. Dreadful.

– May 03, 2012 11:44 AM
Q.

Surgery?

I am a fairly regular chatter, but I seem to have missed this one. Is it your shoulder again?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Other shoulder. I mean, I want them to MATCH, for heaven's sake. :) Rotator cuff in the left one. Hoping hard that it's just the cuff, arthroscopic, easier than the last one. Dad's coming to take care of me. Should be a hoot. Lots of golf, lots of westerns. And three meals a day. Dear God, how will I manage to find or eat three meals a day? I barely eat one as it is!

– May 03, 2012 11:45 AM
Q.

Nats BP

The Nats open the gate at 4:35 PM for 7:05 games. You can catch the tail end of Nats BP; the visitors start around 5. You can only watch from the outfield areas or the scoreboard walk - they only open the rest of the park at 5:30. A public service message by Section 405
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

There you go.

– May 03, 2012 11:45 AM
Q.

Bryce Harper

By the way, he's real . . . and he's spectacular.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Oh, thanks for the laugh. Good one. Still one of the great Seinfeld lines.

– May 03, 2012 11:46 AM
Q.

Nationals fan

Tracee, I can't wait until Bryce Harper adjusts to major league pitching. (hee hee hee) That is all.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I like your (hee hee hee). You have the right frame of mind for this chat. Life should have more (hee hee hee) in it.

– May 03, 2012 11:50 AM
Q.

Nationals

I heard a few people say that Harper may get sent back down once the Nats get a few guys back from injuries. Very early, but doesn't it look like he is here to stay? Should Ankiel try to go back to pitching if he wants a roster spot?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

My understanding is that once up, Harper would stay up. But you know, I did not ask Kilgore that question. We were too busy making fun of him because he got pulled out of a huge room full of people because he left his car at a parking garage and took the keys. (hee hee hee). Kilgore = good for laughs. This doesn't answer your question. I'm a little punchy.

– May 03, 2012 11:51 AM
Q.

Virginia meet-up

Yay from one Virginia denizen! As for date, is your surgery scheduled yet? If so, what dates might work for you? As for location, close to Metro is a given, I think. Pentagon City or Crystal City would work for me, but for others...?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I think those Metro stops or Clarendon. Given the state of 66, Metro is imperative. To you who drive it every day, my kudos. Seriously. Surgery is the 8th. Dad leaves the 18th. I have a bunch of dr stuff the 19th. So between the 19th and Opening Ceremonies. Let's look at the Nats sked and maybe we can go someplay and watch a road game so as not to mess with the ticket holders among us. I will do this and you all do it too (avoiding 4th of July, natch) and let's come up with a date next chat so that this is set before I go to Kansas and then become medicated.

– May 03, 2012 11:52 AM
Q.

What's RGIII to think?

How come I haven't seen any comments from RGIII about picking Cousins? All DC is going crazy for RGIII, except Shanahan. If you're RGIII and you're told you're the man and you're going to be the QB, then they draft someone else, you're going to be confused. I don't think it's going to hurt his confidence, but there's no way he didn't at least think "what the hey?" We love you man, but we're going to hedge our bets? Why does Shanahan have to keep doing things that make me question his supposedly supreme competence - I'm tired of hearing how great he USED to be.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I don't think this will shake RGIII, in all seriousness. Again, I'm crawling inside his head, which I say we shouldn't do. But he seems like a guy who knows who he is and is comfortable with it. Let's see how the training camps and OTAs play out.

Good news. Sheinin is going to be on RGIII as he was on Bryce Harper. So by the time he chats with you, he should have some lowdown for you.

– May 03, 2012 11:53 AM
Q.

I'd like to see Rachel

Me, too. Frankly, I'd like to *read* Rachel more often. Also, you can call me superficial, but I don't think I'm the only person who preferred her voice the way it was before she went to announcing school in Connecticut.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

They ESPN-i-fy everyone, it's true. I remember her as a scrappy intern telling Mr. Tony to stay away from Agassi (during Legg Mason week), that SHE  was doing him, thank you very much. It was great. And of course, Mr. Tony loved it. George Solomon tried to get her to do her senior year of college at Strayer (across the street from the Post) instead of returning to Northwestern. He was kidding, sort of. Another intern from the Post made good. There were several at the game last night, in fact, that I edited along the way. And now I feel older than dirt. What was the question?

– May 03, 2012 11:55 AM
Q.

Widening the net

They've been playing 3 and 4 overtime Stanley Cup games for ... well, since there was a Stanley Cup. Saw two of them at the Cap Center in the '80's. So, this doesn't seem to be a problem in search of a solution. Just prop your eyelids open and quiver with anticipation.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Or hit "record" and go to bed. These things can't be helped. It was torture to write and rewrite but now that it's over, it was a very cool game to have covered.

– May 03, 2012 11:57 AM
Q.

Two QBs

You need two. If one gets hurt, or if one is a bust, you've got the other. And if they both seem pretty good, the backup becomes Matt Ryan or somebody and you can trade him. That's the argument. (Not saying I agree with it, necessarily, but that's the argument.) The real question is whether there was a tackle on the board who makes you say, I want THIS guy. Because, while backup QBs are plentiful, you have to think that backup tackles are, too.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

That was what I would have done. With their limited number of picks, find a backup QB elsewhere and use that somewhat decent pick on a lineman or some other need.

– May 03, 2012 12:01 PM
Q.

Ovie's "eye in your butt"

There is a homophone for the word "eye" -- "I." Put I in your butt and play for group has the same meaning as ,"There's no I in TEAM." I'm surprised that no Post reporter apparently picked the wrong word.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Both Katie and Tarik speculated that that's what he might have meant. But from the context, neither word makes a lot of sense. Point being, there was no way to find out the right answer. As I said, when I can't make out what someone said or meant, I don't use it. Mike thought he knew what Ovie meant. He's talked to him many times and thought he understood it. And for all I know he did. I can't get within seven feet of Ovie after a game so I'll never know. Maybe someday Mike will be able to ask him. Maybe the original poster emailed Mike about it instead of me, which would have been the smart move, because Mike is going to know more about what happened in a locker room in NY than I am.

– May 03, 2012 12:03 PM
Q.

Don't know if this is the other side, but ...

Well, the last time two QBs were drafted by the same team this close to each other was when the Skins took Shuler then Ferrotte. Shuler was a bust, and Ferrotte was not.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Shiver. I remember when they took Shuler. I remember that first news conference, and all I could think was, this guy cannot learn a playbook. I'm not sure how he found his way to the podium. I will never understand what they saw in him.

– May 03, 2012 12:04 PM
Q.

NFL and brain injuries

When are we going to realize that this is not a safe sport? Of course there are injuries in other sports, but the evidence that it's difficult to escape this game without an injured brain is too strong. I'd never let my kids play.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

You are right. As I said, there is no way to make this a completely safe sport. There is no way to make hockey a completely safe sport. Basketball is safe, unless you're playing against a guy named World Peace. The world isn't a safe place, let's face it. But in the case of football, there are things you can do. You can not let your kids play. Lots of parents say this and some follow through, and that's their call. You can improve the equipment and the rules and the punishments for breaking those rules. You can improve the medical care and testing of players, making a certain number of scans required before players get back on the field, and have those scans performed and financed by an independent lab, not the NFL. You can tell the players the risks they face clearly and COMPLETELY. And then... that may be it. As long as that brain of ours sloshes around in our skull, we're going to get head injuries. I could slip in the shower and get a head injury that gives me the same symptoms that McMahon is having. Hard to protect actual organs.

– May 03, 2012 12:06 PM
Q.

STG again

Rex is actually Rex Daniel Grossman III, making him the first RGIII to play for the 'Skins. That's why I'm calling Griffin "RGIII, part deux." Because just like Hot Shots, everyone knows the sequel is much better than the first. -STG
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Why must you spoil this for me?

– May 03, 2012 12:10 PM
Q.

Rotator Cuff injury

You only have your self to blame Tracy. What have I told you about trying to throw from deep center to home plate without a cutoff man? And with your left arm too? Showboating is dangerous my friend. Just ask Amare Stoudemire.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, first I hit Kilgore in the head with my elbow. Then I tried to outthrow Ankiel and Harper. Then I tried to get an extra-base hit for the Nats. THEN I went for the fire extinguisher. I was smart enough to cover my hand with a towel, though. But no worries, I'm out of the professional athlete business. Too hard!

– May 03, 2012 12:11 PM
Q.

Nicknames for Harper?

Do we have a nickname for Harper? And please, no one suggest "the Kid" unless you plan to preserve him in formaldehyde. I like "Hoss" Harper because that is the definition of hoss. But at the moment, I keep wanting to call him rat head.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

When he hit that outfield wall in L.A., I thought of the character from The Natural who ran through the fence making a catch -- and died. Bump? Can't think of his last name. But that's too esoteric. (Great book, by the way. Can't hype it enough.)

I'm no good at nicknames. But I'm sure this group is. We're so close to the end this morning. Maybe we should watch him another week and try to come up with some next week.

– May 03, 2012 12:12 PM
Q.

Football and brain injuries

But the real problem here is the kids. Sure, you can tell an NFL player about all the risks and let them make an informed decision. Just like coal miners know the risks. But they don't let kids in coal mines, and we shouldn't let kids play football. That's where this sport falls apart. I think football is facing an existential problem.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I think they do let kids in coal mines. Aren't 22 year olds eligible to work in coal mines? Surely they are. They are fighting overseas and those "kids" seem to know the risks. The NFL isn't taking in 17-year-olds. Sure, they're young and they think they're indestructible and you are absolutely right, that is part of the problem. But I can guarantee you that a guy like Jim McMahon could get their attention. Or a guy (pick a guy) who can't walk anymore. Just so they KNOW. I am not sure it would change their minds. But it would eliminate what we're hearing now: "I had no idea this could happen." Because the coal mining kids can't say that. Everyone knows the risks there. I'm not suggesting it's going to make their go into accounting instead; I just think the league owes it to them to fully inform them. FULLY inform them. That's all. I would want to be fully informed if I had been a pressman at the Post for 20 years and found out the ink causes cancer and the company knew it but no one told me. That would make me angry. (That is a hypothetical, by the way. The ink is made from the tears of bunnies.)

– May 03, 2012 12:14 PM
Q.

What's with the vitriol against reporters?

I often see in chats or on the comments to articles people being harsh to some of the Post reporters. I.e., the person who wanted a retraction from Wise about a supposed misquote? Even if it was a misquote, that's not when you do a retraction. The poster tried to make is sound as if Wise should lose his job or doesn't have any business at the Post. It seems rather demented to bash a sports reporter.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I get emails asking to have something explained, or criticizing me (or even praising me) and I try to answer them. I like the reader interaction. But there is a lot of vitriol against the media, too, and I blame that on people who do what I just did and lump everything into "the media." So we're all one person and we all have an agenda, etc. It's tiresome but it's becoming more prevalent. Again, there is a lot of anger in the world and the internet has become a super cool way of venting that. Which is why I interact with readers through this chat and through my email and at bars, when possible. Guinness, please! Oops, it's barely noon.

The truth is, the reader believes Wise deliberately misquoted Ovi or didn't do it deliberately but still should be called on the carpet for it. With no evidence. Like a tape of the interview. That's what I don't get. If he or she had emailed Wise, he might have gotten a funny and interesting response about it. Instead, it's overreaction time. No one I know is ever trying to misquote anyone. And until you've been in that locker room and understand how hard it is to get those quotes in the first place, judge not. It is tempting to go all Metta World Peace sometimes, just to get near enough to a guy to hear them. Because if I'm not up front, I'm toast. I can't see over anyone. Jill Sorensen and I should always be right up front because everyone can see and shoot over us. We're front row material.

– May 03, 2012 12:15 PM
Q.

If Rex Grossman Is RGI

Does that mean that Tyler Moore will be Tyler II?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Hmmm. Well, that's another conundrum. Because Moore sounds too much like Morse. I suppose that problem will be solved with Morse's return but right now it is confusing at times.

– May 03, 2012 12:16 PM
Q.

Last weeks Yoder reference

I am native of Hutchinson, of which Yoder is a suburb. I thought you would be tickled to know that we made frequent reference to "Yoder Dame: Home of the fighting Amish." (A switch from my usual questions about all things Packers, Brewers, Wisconsin)
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

That's awesome. I love that. Maybe it's time for a return to Yoder; haven't been in a few years. The Carriage House ... oh my. Seriously, folks, if you're ever driving through Kansas to get somewhere else, which is what most people do, Yoder is worth a stop.

Can you believe harvest is going to start about three weeks early this year? I'm stoked! Wheat probin' time!

– May 03, 2012 12:17 PM
Q.

It is possible ...

And I'm hoping that the Skins are planning to spend money to get some good proven O linemen in free agency. This may be why they felt they could waste a pick on Cousins. At least I hope so. My guess is he may trade some more picks for Tebow.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, the problem is, what money? Not sure what's left of the salary cap now. I had Maske sitting next to me yesterday but he got called out of the room, too, not because he's a dope like Kilgore but because of the Saints news. And don't they need wide receivers too? I'm too tired to figure this out. GMBA (not as catchy as GMGM) is on his own.

– May 03, 2012 12:17 PM
Q.

The Natural

Bump Bailey, I believe.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Thankee. This group is like my own person Google button.

– May 03, 2012 12:18 PM
Q.

nicknames

are organic, imo. It will come with time. Better not to force it.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

True, but if there's nothing else to talk about, it'll kill time. Of course, there will be something else to talk about. There always is.

– May 03, 2012 12:19 PM
Q.

Scary thought - Section 405

"all I could think was, this guy cannot learn a playbook. I'm not sure how he found his way to the podium. I will never understand what they saw in him." - and after he failed in the NFL, he went to Congress!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I know! And he may be a fine congressman. But although I am often wrong in my predictions -- and who would know better than this group? -- I predicted he would be a bust from Day 1. That one I got right.

– May 03, 2012 12:20 PM
Q.

meet-up date possibilities

in case we like the watching Nats road trip idea (which I do), here are their road dates (omitting late start times): May 21-30, June 8-13, June 25-July 1, July 13-15 (after all-star break), July 22-25 (then Milwaukee but late games and getting close to Olympics dates). I can't do the second set of dates (June 8-13) but could do others, fwiw.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Okay, here are the clusters of road games. I'm giving you homework. Bagram, if you are out there reading this transcript, please weigh in since we definitely want you there. Everyone come next week with a preference and we'll get that date set. Then I won't be worrying about it during vacation. I can focus on harvest!

– May 03, 2012 12:25 PM
Q.

You certainly are front row material

...
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I am not sure how to respond to that. I meant we are short but I shudder to think what you might mean so I'll take it as a compliment and move along!

– May 03, 2012 12:25 PM
Q.

I'm sure learning Roberts Rules of Order

is a lot easier than a Redskins playbook.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Fewer pages. But more Pages. Get it? (hee hee hee)

Man, I have GOT to get a nap.

– May 03, 2012 12:27 PM
Q.

how to sign up for the meetups?

Do you really take this chat to a meetup? That sounds great. How many people show up and how do we sign up?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

You just show up. We do it post-work, so a kind of happy hour thing. We have a beer and meet and talk. It's nice to put faces to handles. That sounds dirty but it's not.

– May 03, 2012 12:28 PM
Q.

Post-game Metro

"Metro stayed open late to accommodate the game" Yeah, and they're already looking for someone to pay for the extra service. Really?? I hope the Caps compensate Metro with a barrage of "Rockin' the Red" T-shirts.

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Thanks for that; I hadn't seen that. Lovely. How Metro isn't raking in money is beyond me. BEYOND ME. Just from the parking alone! And we're facing another fare hike! And this is for another chat so I'll shut up now. But yes, this is an outrage. Caps fans give Metro a LOT of business. Grrrr. Argh.

– May 03, 2012 12:31 PM
Q.

Rides home

If you have trouble with night driving, why not consider a car service? It should be deductible business expense, I'd think.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

If I can get my dr to sign off on it, I may have to. I have a blind spot, too (in my eye, I mean). There was a point last night where I didn't know if I was in a lane and I couldn't honestly tell you if whatever I was driving in was going to continue to go off an embankment. Luckily, there was no traffic so I was endangering no one else but that's not how I want to go.

– May 03, 2012 12:33 PM
Q.

Ovi's Minutes

So can we stop criticizing the minutes Ovi get now? He had over 20 minutes in regulation in a game where Hunter could match lines with the last change. I think it's obvious that while Hunter is not directly saying it, he's not only matching lines, but tayloring icetime to specific situations, which is what the great coaches do come playoff time. I think there's more of a story with Stu Bickle sitting on the end of the bench from the 2 intermission on, even when Girardi was in the dressing room getting stitches and the Rangers rolling with just 4 defensemen. I also think there's more a story with Shultz, who looks like he skating in quicksand half the time with a fresh and rested Erskin being a health scratch for this entire series so far. There are far more interesting stories in this series than the number of minutes played by an offensive-minded player in a defensive-minded series.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

That was my first column: Enough with this minutes baloney. Except it was longer than that.

– May 03, 2012 12:36 PM
Q.

Excruciating!!!

If the Caps are going to lose in the 3rd overtime, I think I'd rather just have a 5 to 1 blowout in regulation - it's much easier on the nerves. To go to a totally different subject, what is KU going to do about "I'm a Jayhawk"? The lyrics were just changed to reflect my Huskers and CU leaving the Big 12, and now, more defections (including that not-to-be-named school to the east) and additions. My suggestion - just go back to the original lyrics and keep shucking the Huskers and the rest of the Missouri Valley Conference. AHG
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

AHG, I will never sing the new lyrics. Never! I will continue to "husk some corn and listen to those Cornhuskers wail." Even if it doesn't actually happen. 

– May 03, 2012 12:38 PM
Q.

I'm Sure the Post is good to you

When I worked at a magazine we got free dinner (up to a certain amount) and a free car service home if we ended up working past 8. If you were working till 2 am, I'm sure the Post would pay for a car service home at the very least. No?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

No.

– May 03, 2012 12:38 PM
Q.

You can be like the Helen Thomas of Sports reporters

Wasn't she always in the front row - before Bush probably booted her to the back?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

She was, for years and years. I almost ran over her once driving home from work, too. I really shouldn't be driving, should I. Hmmmm.

– May 03, 2012 12:40 PM
Q.

Metro

You might want to talk to the transportation reporters if you don't understand why Metro isn't raking in money.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, if some of their employees would stop stealing it would help. I don't know; I look at the parking lots at our station, the tremendous amount of spaces that are packed every day, at $4.50 a pop. That's not counting the reserved spaces, which cost a boatload more. That's a lot of dough right there. Everything is automated, although some guy does sit in the booth for part of the day. We got switched to a new automated system to pay for our fares at work and it's stolen $270 from me, and counting. I am sure there are very good reasons but in a town of smart people and think tanks where are the answers? Expanding a system that's losing money? Why in the world are we off on this tangent? Look at the time! I'll shut up about it because I'm sure you're right and I'm being too hard on Metro.

– May 03, 2012 12:46 PM
Q.

I'm really pissed

that they make you drive home at 2 am. And not because you're a woman. I'd be pissed if I heard they did that to Bos too.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

That is very kind, but we are expected to drive ourselves everywhere. Our college and high school reporters driving all over everywhere. I don't know anyone who's ever used a car service who didn't pay for it themselves. I should have taken Metro in yesterday, taken Metro to the game, then cabbed it home. I would have to pay but at least I wouldn't be a nervous wreck. At least the road work had moved past my exit and I could get off at Nutley but I didn't know that until I was right at Nutley. What a mess. Too many lights, like road work lights, and all I see is a blur.

– May 03, 2012 12:51 PM
Q.

Nicknames

Bryce Harper: "Hats off"--refers to an old Led Zeppelin song "Hats Off to Roy Harper" Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: "Ted" Jay Beagle: "Snoopy" Joel Ward: "Montgomery" Tyler Moore: "Mary"
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, I like Montgomery Ward because of John Montgomery Ward. The rest are over my head. Which isn't hard to do, because I'm front row material.

Goodness, look at the time. My cat, who is ailing, has been down to tap on my arm. This is the universal signal for "I need something to eat now, please" only that's not how he'd put it. I'd better go dig out the many things on Doc's menu and see what would please his highness. He gets what he wants right now and he's playing it for all it's worth.

So, think about those dates and whatever else you want to think about, and let's talk next week! Thanks for joining me, as always.

– May 03, 2012 12:51 PM
Q.

 

A.
Host: