Jan 04, 2011

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

Next one Washington DC . Expand the ice ring downtown and have local firms foot the bill. Lockheed, SAIC, and Northrop should be able to develop technology to provide a great ice even if the temps hit 60 degrees. Hockey with a view of the WH and Washington Monument.

It will come to D.C., and it will be held at Nats Park, would be my guess. Using defense contractors to build a better ice surface? Interesting...

And good morning, everyone. I've got columns on two section fronts today, and we can talk about those topics (Winter Classic and Edsall) or anything else, but we'll have to talk fast; I have to quit on time today.

Oh, and a programming note: Prisbell and Yanda will handle the chat on Friday while I'm having my endoscopy. I thought we weren't using anethesia but we are, so I won't be able to get to the office in time to do it. They are psyched to talk college football, basketball, whatever you want.

Let's get started!

Good morning, Tracee. During the holidays my husband & I saw How Do You Know. It wasn't bad--a good way to pass a couple of hours, and I like Reese Witherspoon & Paul Rudd very much. Owen Wilson was okay in his part. He played a Washington Nationals pitcher. My question is why didn't they get some of the real Nats for cameos in the movie. There was a dugout scene & a couple of party scenes. I'm sure Lannan, Clippard, JZimm, etc, could have used the money. And of course I'd have enjoyed seeing--wait for it!--Ryan Zimmerman!

I wanted to see if but then the reviews were so awful! Big fan of Paul Rudd (went to KU!). I know Storen went to the premiere. Why they didn't use Nats I don't know. I don't think they did any filming here at all, which may be why. And yes, I'm sure Zimm's performance would have been Oscar-worthy!

DId you see the Pearls Before Swine comic strip on Sunday? Classic...

Pretty appropriate. (If you follow the link, you'll have to use the pull-down menu to select Sunday, Jan. 2. Then it will pop right up at the top. And yes, it's perfect for Pittsburgh wife.)

I like the wimpy guys in the commercials, but can't figure out how giving the beer a twist improves the taste. Do you know?

No, and that always bugs me when I watch. Tell us WHY it's important that our beer comes out of a vortex. Posting this early because someone on this chat may know. This is, after all, the Official Beverage Chat of the Washington Post (OBCOTWP).

NBA should contract the Wizards and the NFL the Redskins. Last time the Wizards were a quality franchise was 1979 and the Skins have the worst and dumbest owner in all pro sports on this planet and things will never get any better with Danny Boy as owner.

Well, I think that's a little extreme. This is the nation's capital -- we ought to have professional sports teams in the major leagues. The Wizards have been a mess and still are this season but I'd give the new owner more than a few months' time to fix things. As for the Skins ... that's just crazy talk.

MLB is not pleased. I think Baseball needs a new beer - my suggestion is Corona Extra (not Light). Very drinkable on a summer afternoon. What's yours?

Corona is not a bad choice but isn't it bottled in Mexico? I'm guessing that baseball is going to want an American beer. I'm a one-beer woman: Guinness. Not really a summer beer but ...

Did you see John Elway prowling the sidelines at the Orange Bowl? Lookin' for Luck and a Harbaugh besides. Elway, tan, rested and ready can surely toss Tebow and put the Broncos at the head of the herd....... whoooo.....got away from me....

Easy, there, big fella. Elway did look good, and I'm not a fan, to put it mildly.

The latest story at ESPN is getting a lot of attention, but there has been a long history of misogyny at the network. What is going on at the top that this has persisted for 30 years?

I don't get this. This is a huge corporation and part of Disney, which is known for being a good employer. I just assumed all corporations have training programs for this stuff. We do. Every year we have to do this online program about sexual harassment, etc., and EVERYONE has to do it. Maybe ESPN is making the drones do it and not the stars? I would say the two organizations most in need of it right now are ESPN and the NY Jets.

Tracee, I'm glad you said this yesterday, because I have heard it a lot and would like the chance to respectfully disagree. Snyder fired Cerrato, which the fans obviously wanted to see happen, but the next step I think we were hoping for was for Snyder to find and hire a competent GM. But that isn't Snyder's style and instead he hired the biggest name coach he could and pretty much gave him complete control of the roster (even though he was fired from his previous job for personnel moves). A GM was hired (after the coach), but more to handle cap issues than provide a direction for the team. So is Shanahan/Allen an improvement over the Snyder/Cerrato team? YES! But is what Snyder has set up, with Shanahan as the coach and de-facto GM, the stable structure the fans were asking for? This fan says no. MT

Fair enough, MT. Always room for rebuttal.

Tracee, Welcome back and Happy New Year. Your absence made me realize what a FTF devotee I am. I also appreciated getting coached up on opera. But today I want to give a big shout out to my alma mater, Stanford, on a great win last night; Luck and Marecic were awesome! (For once I'm benefitting from all the Hokie coverage.) Lastly, what is your sense of the mood at Kettler now versus a month ago? The guys said all the right things during the losing streak, but how do they actually seem? Big SE Division game tonight -- Go CAPS!

Congrats to your alma mater! As for Kettler, by the time I got back from Kansas, they were in Pittsburgh. Couldn't go yesterday because I was at Maryland. So I haven't been out there yet. But I can tell you the mood in Pittsburgh after Saturday's game was joyous. It's been a long time since I've seen those guys smile like that.

Any chance the Skins pick up Luck in the draft he was rather impressive last night? BTW huge fan of the chats

Thanks much. Sure, there's a chance, but too soon to say. They will look for a QB but I don't think we'll have a sense of their top targets until perhaps after the combines.

Great summation of the series so far. I enjoyed the first 3 episodes more than I expected to. I still have no love for Cooke, Crosby and the Pens as a whole, but appreciated the insight into some of the more 'bit players' on both teams. My favorite parts were when Backstrom said he wouldn't dance on camera after the win, Talbot telling his teammate's infant girl to never date a hockey player and Fehr and his wife delivering presents and the mom telling him hockey is too violent, yet her kid has a WWE shirt on. (Go Zips! even if half the lineup is headed to the pros this winter)

Hey, Zips. Thanks much. I liked the scene with Fehr too. I have a great respect for his wife after hearing he had both shoulders operated on at the same time. That had to have been a rough summer for her! And it was nice they focused on him, and then he had the big goals Saturday night.

Tracee, Happy New Year, you were much missed! Not to serve up a loaded question but who are you liking for a Super Bowl match-up? :-) And do you think the foolish switch to putting the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl will last longer than this one time? Can't imagine a single Bowl-bound player will want the distraction of that, even if they have no intention of risking their well-being by playing. ~Pats Fan

Who can I jinx? Let's see ... I like the Pats and maybe the Falcons. The NFC is hard to predict, for some reason. As for the Pro Bowl, I think they may leave it wedged in there. We'll see. I find that game so irrelevent...

Tracee, When you listen to Kevin Anderson speak, does he sound like he has any intelligence to you??

Yes, I don't think his problem is smarts, but he comes off as a little naive, which should be refreshing in sports but somehow isn't. :) The cliches yesterday, and the attempts to make Edsall's resume sound better than it is ... ugh. I did feel sorry for Edsall, though. Can't have been fun.

Tracee Belated Happy New Year I missed yesterday's chat so permit me some observations on the Caps and the Wiz. I thought it was fascinating to see Bruce Boudreau talk after the game in Pittsburgh. He was glowing with pride, absolutely giddy. Like a little kid who just met his hero. Say what you want about him (I think he's a great coach), he LOVES hockey. I missed the Caps game because I took my daughter to the Wizards/Hornets game. Chris Paul made John Wall look like an amateur which only reinforces my feeling that they are a much better team when Heinrich is at the point. Now that I think about it a team with Heinrick, Young, Lewis, Howard, and Blatche and Wall, McGee, and Yi coming off the bench should be competitive. At least 500. As it stands they are not only lousy but, based on the Hornets game, downright boring. So I have to ask, are the Wiz deliberately not starting their best players for another shot at the PowerBall?

I've had people ask me at times if the players and coaches really CARE about winning and losing, or is it all about the money? If you watch "24/7", you'll see just how much they do care. And Boudreau is no exception.

Not surprising Paul schooled Wall. He should have. Wall's not at that level yet. Patience is going to be the key with him; he's only 19. It's going to be a long season for the Wiz. I do not think they are deliberately not starting their best players but I do think they will keep fooling with the lineup in an attempt to find combinations that work and also to see what everyone can do. They've got to make decisions about who stays and goes. So I would not expect much beyond boring basketball this season.

Ms. H: Mention was made yesterday of Kansas being in the Midwest. This is one of my pet peeves (not quite up there with drivers who go 55mph in the fast lane, but still a peeve). Kansas and Nebraska (of course) are not in the Midwest. Where? I guess "the plains" is as good a description as there is (it works for the Dakotas, too). The Midwest stops at the east bank of the Missouri River (until the Missouri turns east and goes through the state of Missouri). After all, why should residents of Nebraska and Kansas be affected by the great Noel Coward remark "One of those dreary Midwestern states that starts with a vowel." (I'll take NU over KU in b-ball at Lawrence if you give me 30 points). AHG

AHG: I use "midwest" to describe our area as well, because I'm not sure people even know where the Great Plains are. But I take your point...

Hi Tracee. Don't get me wrong, I'm not, in any way, thinking about anything lewd here. But I was asking myself who the "cuddliest" WAPO sports journalist might be (hell, SOMEONE has to), and I think I know: I'm sorry to say, in light of the comments made by B-Svrl and Kilgore, I can't nominate you (they respect, admire, and fear you, but likely would not ask you for a reasurring hug). Bos? no chance. Wise? He'd turn the hug into a column where he'd be all weepy about Ralph Friedgen. So who's the cuddliest? J-Reid hands down. Am I right?

Oh dear god. I love J-Reid but I wouldn't try to cuddle with him during the Skins season. Or the off-season, come to think of it. Although he could use the hugs. I think you're discounting Boz too quickly. Boz is a pure delight. No one on our staff, young or old, is more enthused about EVERYTHING than Boz.

An appropriately-relational and jaunty top of the morning to you, T-Ham! As a fan of ghosts, have you gotten into that "Celebrity Ghost Stories" show? If so, what do you think? And when might we see YOU on that show telling us of your cemetery adventures?

When I become a celebrity. :) I haven't watched more than a few minutes of it. But thanks for the use of "jaunty." I love that word.

BTW, I did absolutely no cemetery work this trip home except to photograph some stones. Very disappointing. :)

We can concentrate on the Capitals! Unless you count the Redskins offseason moves..........

We'll have a lot of Caps with a few interruptions for Redskins moves, would be my guess.

Actually, Tracee, they did a lot of filming here including at Nationals Park (although they filmed the dugout scene in the visitors' dugout because of the light!). There was an article in Washingtonian written by a local woman who was an extra. I saw a lot of places I recognized. And, as I said, it wasn't great but it wasn't as bad as the reviews said. I don't always trust the reviews anyway.

Really? I sure missed that. Well, that's good and will make me want to see it more, I guess. But it may have moved to my Netflix list.

The hypnotic waves of the bottle distract you from the fact that you spent top dollar to drink tasteless Milwaukee/St. Louis swill. Same reason why real beer that tastes like something comes in simple bottles. BTW: if you're looking to cut costs and find a pretty good winter beer, I've recently discovered Yuengling Black & Tan, which at $10/12-bottles is pretty close to a drinkable stout.

Ah, of course. Good point. And good tip. If the endoscopy goes well, I'll be drinking beer by Friday noon. :)

Hi everyone! For all you "Far Side" fans out there, who here remembers THIS one: "The Bluebird of Happiness long since absent from his life, Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression."? That's kinda how I feel after the Skins' season?

Ah, thanks for sending this again today. I love the Chicken of Depression.

1. When in doubt, take the anesthesia.

Except then they won't release you without a ride home. Very aggravating. I'm not good at asking for help.

To me it's like beer soup. So heavy.

Hmmm, beer soup.

I do not know. But the commercial that bug me are the "drinkability" ones. Yes, beer should be drinkable.

Very good point. Those bug me too.

Tracee, A bit of a random grab-baggy type of question here, but with all of the NCAA football conference jumping this past season, why oh why, didn't your Big 12 scoop up both TCU and Boise State when they jumped ship on their conferences? It would have kept 12 teams in the conference to ensure a title game and would have given those schools their shot at the big time BCS AQ status that they obviously want and deserve. It also makes much much MUCH more geographic sense than having a school from just outside of Dalls playing in the Big East. Is the problem simply that this is too obvious and easy a solution?

It's a good question. Someone told me that TCU wouldn't work because there'd be too many Texas schools, but I'm past caring about that.

Yeah, well, you can sit people down for a seminar but you can't police their every move. Some people think stuff doesn't apply to them.

I guess that's true.

Too many broken hearts in Kansas City? Hey hey!

Exactly.

Bottled Black and Tan is a poor substitute for well-layered Guinness and Harp. Half of the pleasure is visual.

It is beautiful, isn't it?

I was on a test panel for the Miller Lite Vortex marketing. My comment was that it was a stupid gimmick that did nothing to make the swill taste any better. Apparently my feedback only emboldened them.

So you're to blame. You have my reverse powers!

Hi, Tracee! Would it be an enticement or a deterrant (sp?) if Shanny did one of those commercials for laser eye surgery? I suppose in his case, not only would the surgery improve his vision, but it would also give him x-ray vision, and the ability to heat up butter to a velvety consistency merely by looking at it, but the rest of us surely couldn't do this.

If he looked into the camera and told you to have surgery, you'd have surgery. Although he could just perform the surgery on you himself, by glaring at you.

Tracee: Welcome back - belatedly. We took Megabus to/from NYC for the Pinstripe Bowl last week to watch Syracuse beat K State. As an SU Alum, the spouse and son-in-law of three SU Alumni and the Dad of a current SU student, the call against K State was ridiculous. I do feel SU would have won anyway - the call only impacted a two-point try, after all - but it was unreal. The Bowl game experience, however, was awesome! And this at the coldest Bowl game of the year. WOW!! I'd never gone to one before, but won't miss SU's next one, regardless of where it is. We actually went to watch our daughter march with the band - the game was a nice extra. And what a game! Have you ever attended a Bowl, just as a fan?

Glad you had fun. I had some friends who bussed out from Kansas for the game. They were going to take in the ball drop in Times Square too. There would have been far more people there than in their hometown. I'm sure they loved it. I've never been to one as a fan. Should  have gone to the Orange Bowl three years ago but didn't. Regret that.

See Favre, Brett as a supreme example of this principle.

Absolutely.

What's up with only two chats today? Weingarten can't even do an update anymore? I love the chat feature, probably my favorite feature of this site or any other newspaper and the Post seems to be scaling way back. At least you're reliable!

That's me, old reliable! I can't speak for the Post's plans re chats but I was a little surprised by today's light schedule, too.

Have you ever seen a situation where the alums/fans behind one candidate and the AD hired someone else? Obviously there have been cases where a fan base is upset with a hire (Chizik a couple years back at Auburn for example), but to have such unanimity on who should be hired according to fans/alums seems very rare.

I've never been at a press conference where the employer had to sell an employee so much. Usually a new hire is a happy occasion, or at least not a tense one.

Texas wouldn't want it. And Texas is in charge, make no mistake about it.

So true.

Speaking of beer. Have you seen the documentary "Beer Wars". That answers a lot of questions about why we're hearing of vortex bottles, Romeo Crennel pitching Coors, and flavor protection.

I haven't. I'll have to google it!

The guy on the Miller Lite panel probably didn't help his cause by wearing a European man thong and/or sunglasses in a dimly lit bar.

Ha! Very good.

Pick a Ravens win this weekend!

Hoping I don't have to make playoffs picks. Really hoping that.

Okay, I've got to sign off now. There's always tomorrow!

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

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

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

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