Tracee Hamilton discusses local and national sports -- and whatever else you want to talk about.

Nov 14, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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Two weeks ago, you were waiting for a birth. What's the story?

The baby was born just after midnight on Nov. 1, so no Halloween birthday. I got there the next day and the day after, we took her home -- on the subway. Two transfers. That was interesting. But she is a New Yorker already -- slept right through it. She's a peach, a very pretty baby. I got pretty attached and didn't want to leave her. Not my usual M.O. with babies.

Enough of that. Let's get going!

I counted at least 4 blatant penalties on the Vikings (two holding (the second in the Vikings end zone the next to last Redskin play), block in the back and unnecessary roughness) that were not called yet we were getting ticky-tack (helmet to helmet (never made contact)) holding that is hardly ever called just to name a couple. Yes I hear you about the other players still get the sacks, but I still do not see the other teams getting called for all of the phantom calls or when they are actually being done not calling them. And why would you try a fake punt and have the punter throw 10 yds or more when all you needed was 3-4 regardless of whether or not the play should have been called in the first place. I would think that it would have much bigger chance of success if you have a 4th & 1 and throw 2 or maybe three yards than have a non-quarterback try and throw 10-15 yards.

I am ashamed -- well, no, I'm not ashamed -- but I didn't see the game. This was during baby duty and that took up my time (and I didn't have charge of the remote; it was like being with my dad). And I should have set my DVR but I didn't think of it before I left town. So I can't agree or argue with you but if anyone else wants to...

The Post is broadcasting La'Shawn Hand's commitment decision live? They've taken so much good stuff out of the paper in recent years and this is what we wind up with? Very unhappy camper here.

I think it's a natural progression because of Dave Sheinin's series and the video features that went with it. That's the direction we're headed, with more video. I don't expect us to show every commitment decision live, but after spending however many months it's been with the kid, it seems natural.

HI, Tracee, welcome back. The Gibby nominations are out. In the player category we only got two--Jordan Zimmermann for starting pitcher and Tyler Clippard for setup man. Denard Span (defensive player) and Jayson Werth (hitter) were robbed. Bryce Harper got two for best moment (his two homers in first two at bats of the season) and best walkoff. Ryan Zimmerman was nominated for best hitting performance for his three home run game. Span did get a nomination for best defensive play. Ian Desmond got a nomination for best oddity for the game in which he shaved off his beard between innings. We can vote for them as many times as we want. I'm still bummed about Werth, however.

I can't imagine getting worked up over the GIBBY awards. Sorry.

ciao Tracee, have you followed the Sam Hurd drug case at all? He was sentenced yesterday. It is really a sad story, but one of the things I found interesting was his testimony that he used marijuana to control the pain from playing football. At one point he described the head-aches he would have after playing. He also said that on a regular basis he would smoke dope with 20 to 25 team members while with the Cowboys. So this wasn't just limited to his own use. It seems that with all of the focus now on CTE, the way the players deal with the day to day pain seems like it should be part of the discussion. Any thoughts? Thanks for the chats by the way; Thursdays are typically "poop" days for me at work, and the chat is a bright spot.

Marijuana is used to relieve pain, nausea and a variety of conditions. It wouldn't surprise me if it has medicinal properties that might help in cases of concussions or concussion-like symptoms. Of course, it can't be used that way in the NFL because of drug testing.

Thoughts on Dwayne Bowe's arrest in KC? I live in KC, and EVERYONE knows Riverside survives on its speed traps. How does drug testing work in the NFL? How often are players tested? Would he have been tested after this arrest? Is the fact that he IS playing Sunday mean he must have passed?

The part that worried me most was that he asked whether Sonic was open. That made it appear he was not, perhaps, in a completely straight frame of mind. If he was going 110 I would be a lot more worried. But he was speeding; everyone's been in a speed trap at one time or another and I don't feel sorry for him about that.

There is no question he'll be tested. I would be stunned if he wasn't tested Wednesday, when players resumed practice. If he WAS tested, and if he plays Sunday, that means he passed, yes. Right now we think he's playing Sunday but if word comes down he blew the test, then he's out.

Hi, Tracee! I posed this question to Boswell and he canceled his talk, clearly in an effort to avoid this provocative issue. Rumors have the Washington Nationals in the market for a free-agent starting pitcher and that their efforts are to grab another reclamation project (Matt Garza, Josh Johnson, Tim Hudson) in the hope of picking up a discounted winner. Having failed at this before ---yes I consider both Edwin Jackson and Dan Haren as failures for their cost --- why go to this well again? I like Bronson Arroyo, who probably has a couple more years of good pitching ahead of him, has proven himself to be healthy and steady, and would be available at no more and probably less than any of those other pitchers.

I agree with you. Rizzo likes those reclamation projects and I think Haren would have looked like a great choice if he wasn't injured but I'd like to see them aim higher.

At least that was one of the mantras of the Army when I was served for over 20 years. Shouldn't RG3 have been sitting/standing with Kyle Shanahan during the Vikings' final drive discussing what they were going to do when they got the ball instead of sitting by himself on the bench chewing on his mouth guard?

Surprising he wasn't considering they are always together, hunched over that iPad. No idea if he was avoiding Kyle, Kyle was avoiding him, or was otherwise engaged. But yes, that would have been the smart play.

If a rift develops (or widens) between the QB and the Shanahan family, this team is in trouble.

He was drug tested at the time of his arrest. Part of SOP.

Right. Not sure if the NFL would then follow up with its own test, request the sample, accept the police findings ... I don't know the procedure in those cases. But the NFL usually releases its suspensions and fines on Friday, so I'm not convinced Bowe's in the clear.

Hearing the UK coach say on television how pleased he was that his team was sobbing in the locker room following their loss to MSU made me want to cry. It's a game, right? It's the first game of the season! My kids are too young to have gravitated towards specific sports, but that level of intensity can't be healthy.

It's a game in early November. If we had lost to Duke I wouldn't have wanted our guys to sob in the locker room. Learn from it and move on. Games in November don't mean very much; rankings mean nothing.

Tracee, I disagree with J-Reid that his contract should be extended "for the sake of continuity." Continuity of what -- mediocrity? He certainly hasn't shown me anything to make me think he deserves an extension. Quite the contrary, RGIII, clock management, Kyle . . . . Washington seems to be where NFL coaches come to die, career-wise, or else never get started. My 26 year old son can't remember Gibbs I and he has so little interest in the Redskins these days he didn't even know they were playing last Thursday. I don't think he's the only one.

I wouldn't extend him because I think he'll try to find a way to propel Kyle into his job -- although maybe Kyle would be better than pops. I know they've had some problems to deal with but so does every team. To look as bad as they've looked after making the playoffs a year ago ... they seem to have no spark, no life.

Sally really really really really nailed it. Are these guys for real? I can't wait to read her book on Pat Summitt. You did a good job as well. It makes me glad I have 3 daughters, who I don't want dating football players!

When Sally comes for you, she comes hard! :) Her book about Pat is out, by the way: Sum It Up is the title.

Doesn't anyone play Game of the States any more? This is the annual TeacherTournment on Jeopardy, and on each of the first 3 episodes a teacher misidentified a State capitol. One thought Baltimore was the capital of MD, and one that Iowa City was the capital of Iowa. On Monday, to "This capital of Mississippi is named for a general who later became President," the teacher said "Sherman." Even if you don't know your State capitals, shouldn't you know your presidents? At least the guy isn't a history teacher, but that's really pathetic.

My sister and I laugh about our state map, which was our favorite childhood toy. That's how we learned the capitals. How anyone could think Mississippi would name its capital after a Union general is hilarious to me. I admit, in addition to my aversion to Alex Trebek, I skip teachers week and kids week. Not sure why, I just do. And now that I know this, I will be deleting those off the DVR when I get home. (I have quite a TV buildup after being gone a week.)

I know team sports are supposed to help develop interpersonal skills and friendships that serve you well over the course of a lifetime, but from what I can see of professional, college and even high school locker roos, I'm just as happy my family and I got/get our exercise through tennis, golf, swimming and biking. Not that these don't have their moments as well, but so far none of us has had a serious sports injury or a nervous breakdown, for which we are all grateful.

Of course, there are good locker rooms and bad locker rooms and then there is whatever is going on in Miami. Thankfully I think that's the exception, not the rule, but still...

This past week was Military Appreciation Week (Hooah!). I have a suggestion for Kyle Shanahan. Go to OCS! No not Officer Candidate School but Offensive Coordinator School and learn how to run an effective offense. Better yet go take a job with another team and let your daddy run the offense.

OCS -- I like it.

I agree 100% with your Nov. 11 story on the "bullying" situation. This reminds me of the Duke Lacrosse Rape case 6 years ago. Everyone had those 3 kids locked up after the first day, then the evidence started to drip out. I think everyone should reserve Judgment until the investigation is complete.

I don't think anything we learn is going to exonerate Incognito but I think there is more to it than we know. And even if the "more" ends up being more crappy things Incognito did, I just don't like the rush to judgment about everything.

Along with about every serious Nats fan, I have no f^&%$# clue as to why we signed this bozo last winter. Can we trade him for bupkes and be done with the 9th inning drama?

Done! Oh, wait, I will need to run it by some people.

He certainly made last season more stressful for the folks in Section 405 and elsewhere.

listening to Dan Patrick the other day, he said he spoke to insiders who told him that this situation has more to do with Martin not being able to play well in the NFL, and not being able to take the outside pressure from fans and media, rather than bullying. Have you heard anything like this?

No, and I am inclined to laugh at the notion that it's somehow on the fans and the media. I'm trying to recall media attacks on Martin. This is the "blame the victim" approach that is mostly spouted by former players. I'm sure Dan Patrick would not want to foot the bill for co-workers to fly to Vegas; I'm not sure how that makes Martin weak, or is the fault of the fans or media. Martin has flaws, I'm quite sure, and we'll find out what those are at some point, but they are going to have to be heavy indeed to merit what was said and done to him.

O goddess of the Plains and Knower of All things Great and small What is the over/under on the total number of classes the new three members of the "Greatest Freshman Class EVER " will attend between now and April Anxiety the tournament formerly known as March Madness ?

Ooooh, I don't know. They'll attend them all this semester -- at least Wiggins will, if he wants to play. Next semester, well, it depends on how the rules are enforced. I don't any of them well enough to speculate. Some of KU's kids have come back to get their degrees. No idea if Wiggins has any interest in that. I know KU used to hire students to follow the kids to class; not sure if that is still in effect. Other times it was retirees, which is think would be a great job in retirement. But that second semester, when they know they're leaving school -- heck, I skipped a lot of classes. I am not going to point fingers. :)

I say this as a disgruntled Auburn Tigers fan. Since they were not ranked at the beginning of the year, they have almost no chance of getting into the championship game, even though there schedule is way harder than OSU or Baylor.... UGH! Thanks.

Yup, that preseason poll is crucial. In basketball it means nothing. And yes, it's unfair.

How is little Phog Leyland Hamilton, anyway? TBHitW

The baby? The cat? I'm confused. I had a cat named Phog but he has passed. They have a cat named Charles who doesn't care about the baby. The baby, Ayala, is great. They did not feel the need to name her something Jayhawk-y, like "Oread." That would be a cool name. Hmmmm.

Change the name, Keep the song, honor the town's biggest star! Become the Washington Ovechkin. Can't you just hear it? "Hail to Ovechkin!"

Um ... the name certainly fits the cadence of the song. I do think keeping the song in some form is important. Not sure this is the answer. :)

Is his job in jeopardy? If so, I could see Les Miles wanting to jump ship in LSU.

Depends who you ask and when you ask. I don't see anything happening to anyone before the end of the season (I just doomed someone to get fired) and I don't think we know yet. They could still end on a winning streak. I'd be surprised, but they could. So I think it's too early to tell. It would be interesting just to see who Snyder would go after -- and who would want the job.

...theoretically. Taco Bell, no doubt: Fourth Meal, in case you're up late "studying."

No, I just thought it was a funny question to ask a cop who has stopped you, stoned or not. If I were lost, I might ask for directions, but I wouldn't ask about the hours of a fast food place. :)

Five-figure bonus checks don't grow on trees, you know.

Boom!

While I understand that the paper is moving more and more toward video on its web site to placate those of us with minuscule attention spans, why the commitment decision? Isn't there enough news (sports or otherwise) that are more appealing than this? It's not just the video of his announcement. It is the four or five articles leading up to his announcement stealing newspaper real estate from other stories. Instead of having kids and others read the paper to find out what is going on in the world, they will now know that some football player from the area is going to some football school for a few years and then will turn pro and make a zillion dollars, then have his career cut short by injury and then battle CTE. Is this the lowest common denominator for the readership?

The idea was to follow a local kid being highly recruited to get a glimpse of what that is like. I don't think that's the lowest common denominator. The fact the stories were written by Dave Sheinin also indicates it's not the lowest common denominator. If you didn't like the idea, sorry, but it was a couple of stories and lot of video, which steals space from nothing. I don't know, I don't agree with everything the paper does, but I don't get a "sky is falling" vibe from this. I'm sorry if you do.

How about the Giants (NY) looking so bad after winning the Super Bowl? Or the Giants (SF) looking so bad after winning the World Series? I didn't feel as bad about the Nats after watching how the SF Giants did. And my Steelers are doing just a little better than the Skins. The world has turned upside down!

Oh, sure, it happens all the time. I think it caught some people by surprise. (And if I hear one more time about "media expectations" -- some media members may have envisioned the Super Bowl, others may have envisioned 8-8, which now would be a good finish.)

Someone must be too young to remember the Fab Five. You can put a team of three players on the court.

I think you mean "you CAN'T" put a team of three players on the court? I was in Detroit during the Fab Five's time, and that was the greatest recuiting class at one school. This year, there are a lot of great freshmen spread all over. KU has more than Wiggins. Are they as good as the Fab Five? No.

Wow, things have changed. When I attended College, three unexcused absences meant an F for the course!

I'd still be on campus, having fun. Depended on the teacher, of course, and the class. I skipped so many classes in one course I had to take an incomplete. Not proud of it, but I did. That was a bad semester for me in a lot of ways. History of Journalism, now, if you skipped, the prof would come down to the newsroom afterward (that's where we'd be) and ream you out. I don't think I ever skipped that one. Plus I loved it.

Did you have a baby and now 2 weeks later you're back doing chats? Does the Post have no maternity leave? Or did someone else have this baby in question? And are you living in NYC now? I need closure on this.

You missed some chats, maybe. My nephew's wife had a baby. They live in NYC. I went to help with the baby for a week. (This little girl will be the closest thing I have to a grandchild and that's how she feels.) Then I came home and resumed my normal life, such as it is.

Maybe this is a better question for The Post's IT department (but when do they ever do live chats?) and since this is semi-sports related here goes: How come on "The Post's Sports: Columns and Blogs" page all of the blogs entries are currently updated EXCEPT for the Terrapins Insider blog? On the "Columns and Blogs" page, the most recent (and I'm using that term very, very loosely) blog posting on Terrapins Insider is: "Terps to hose open hoops practice" from October 9 Only after getting into the Terrapins Insider can you navigate between more recent articles. Seriously, has no one at WaPo noticed this? What's it like for WaPo, being a pretty big media source, not being able to update the "Sports and Blogs" page to have the most current blog postings for Terrapins Insider? Kinda sad, no?

As I understand it, those are supposed to update automatically every time a new post is, er, posted. So there's a glitch somewhere. I'll alert someone.

I'm a lifelong Redskins fan and a liberal. As such I'm generally a sensitive person and I'd normally be on the side of the argument against using a derogatory name for a group of people as a sports nickname. But let's not forget that fan is short for fanatic. I can't argue against the fact that it's an offensive name and I cringe at the "tradition" excuse as it is a Good Ol Boy's way of reckoning things. But when it comes right down to it, I don't care if the team name offends some people. This is made easy by the fact that I don't know any native Americans nor do I ever run into any or see any - ever. I know this is hardly the politically correct answer, but can't we just sometimes admit we don't care? Does this make me an awful person?

Well, that depends on how you see yourself. You admit it's offensive and you don't care if it offends people. In some people's eyes yes, that makes you awful, because how can you not care if someone is offended? In other people's eyes, no, it does not, you are entitled to feel how you feel. I'm not here to tell you how to feel about yourself.

The pre-ranking of collegiate teams massively skews the entire season's ranking. Those ranked at the start the season have a huge advantage. And in basketball, with so many one and dones, there is too much turnover to assume that teams will repeat the previous year's success. So why can't they wait until the season is well underway before they start ranking? That way it will be more of a meritocracy rather than the hegemony it is now.

They can and should wait, especially in football. In hoops, it really doesn't matter when the tournament goes far beyond the top 25. In football, it's crucial. I would wait until maybe the third week of the season begins -- can't start with the conference skeds because some teams play those earlier and then mix in the non-conference ones.

Snyder'll go for the biggest name out there --- prolly one of the big guys now TVing.

Always. Whether they will want to work for him is an entirely different matter.

That's my nomination. Only problem is that it's used by Montclair State now, but I assume they'd be happy. It is a shortened name for the Red-tailed Hawk. It fits into the song, the right-wingers would be happy because it's also the name of a revolver.

It's as good as any!

Apparently he was investigated for sexual assault 11 months ago. Not sure if you have a Heisman vote or not, but if you do/did, would that effect your vote?

The Post does not vote on these awards so I have never had to make one of these decisions. The award's guideline mentions "integrity" so yes, I would take it into account.

I agree with you, Tracee. There are a couple of other factors, too: one is that the announcement video caps off the stories in a way that wasn't possible not that long ago--so there's a journalistic benefit. Also, video attracts search engines, so there's a business benefit. This is actually a smart demonstration of the evolution of news. TBHitW

And it's a demonstration of things to come. It will attract some people and turnoff others. Much like newspapers have been doing since the invention of ... news? paper? the printing press, that's it!

That's what we really want to know.......

That is on my list for the weekend -- make a pot roast. Very excited. I will report next week. I am trying to do a little every day to get the house ready. One tree is up but not decorated. My hands are bad so I have to pace myself.

So you're a great aunt now? How do you like the sound of that?

Love it. I was always a great aunt -- as Dustin would tell you; that's probably the thing I've done best in life -- but now I'm also a Great Aunt.

Prof said all you had to do was show up for mid term and final and test where taken from the book. Thats what I did. As a freshman I pulled half of GMU's men's bball team through Biology for non majors in both the Fall and the Spiring. Team sat around my friend and I for the mid term and the final. Some 60yo lady tried complaining to prof but he blew her off.

I followed the rules. If the prof was tough, I was there. If the prof was lax, I was lax. Or if the subject was something I wasn't good with. Football players got ME through Honors Math.

I'd at least have more respect for Dan Synder if he just said "Look, this is a billion dollar brand I own and I don't want to diminish its value nor incur the huge cost involved in changing its name. If that means offending people, so be it. Welcome to a free market economy."

Honesty is always refreshing, even if you don't agree.

Hi Trac! Since we are TOBCOTWP, I am wondering whether next week wouldn't be a good time to make Thanksgiving food and drink recommendations. The best NFL game should actually be the opener, Packers v. Lions -- and how long has it been since anyone said THAT -- although I am hoping to indulge in what the Germans call Kuhjungeschadenfreude -- i.e. taking joy in any harm suffered by the Cowboys. Rico

Good idea. Anybody who has beverage recommendations to go with turkey (or in lieu of turkey) should let us know.

I am also looking for meals we can all eat at my house. My dad would take us out for every meal -- he's good about that -- but I'd like them to be able to afford to get home after Christmas. :) I have a list so we should be okay. I'm no cook, as you can tell. And I can't eat any of the things I used to make. I miss tuna casserole!

Enough! Time to go. Thanks for joining me; come back next week!

 

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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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