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

Jan 03, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

Follow @TraceeHamilton on Twitter

Welcome back and hope you had a great Christmas with the family. Trying to figure out who to root for or against on Monday. I have a long standing dislike for all things Notre Dame and its subway alumni but the attitude of the SEC faithful is becoming boring. Since a tie is not possible, any thoughts. It is a little easier to root for Bama after seeing LSU and Florida go down but can't imagine a game with two teams that are so disliked.

Hey, Rich! Hope you had nice holidays and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

I will be going with Notre Dame because my nephew's fiance graduated from there. That makes it easy for me. If it weren't for that, I'd be watching something On Demand Monday night.

It appears that Seattle does not have a true #1 receiver because their best receiver only has 50 catches. Shut down Lynch by putting 8 or nine in the box and or blitz them like they did the Cowboys & make Russell Wilson beat them.

Redskins take note.

I'm guessing 200 to 1.

Not quite; the oddsmakers have found longer shots.

My 7 year old son got me a Cowboys flag. What should I do?

Was he trying to prank you, or was he being an innocent seven-year-old. If he was messing with you, you can mess back. Wash the car with it or something. If he meant no harm, be kind.

... but not a Splenda Sugarfree Bowl?

I agree, especially since I can't eat sugar. What a fun Christmas! :)

Hi, Tracee. I hope you had a nice Christmas and New Year's. Mini-rant here: it's starting again. The NFL coaches and GM's fired this week all have losing records, often with several teams. Well, not Andy Reid, but he has baggage of another kind. And I guess not Lovie Smith, either. I need Wilbon to explain that one. But they just keep recycling the same ones over and over and over. All professional sports do this, but football, is the worst. Within hours after being fired, they are off around the country intervewing for other jobs. Why not give fresh blood a chance? I enjoy football for football, don't really have a favorite team, but get tired of seeing the same old losing faces on the sidelines year afer year after year.

Weirdly, this is the topic of the column I just filed. That would be my long answer. Short answer: agreed.

There is a growing buzz about Kyle being sought after as HC material on some other team and rightfully so. Few think that he would be offered and even fewer think he would accept. Let's say for argument's sake that he stays till the end of his contract again he is a prime candidate. The success of a coach a lot of times is dependent upon the players he is coaching. Just ask his dad. My question or point is why would he leave Washington. He has the perfect offensive backfield.

I would be very surprised if he left right now. Timing is key, and so is the perfect job. And I think he knows he can take this offense pretty far, if not this year, then next or the next. I don't think he'll retire here as offensive coordinator, but RGIII has made him look good, and he'd be a fool not to know it.

Tracee, thanks to you, Bos and the others who are chatting this week. I'm an oldster who goes back to when there were 4 Bowl games on New Year's Day and that was pretty much it. Now that every other team goes to a bowl and ranking clearly mean nothing (# 3 vs. # 21 last night?), it was still depressing to see teams ranked in the teens, 20's and even unranked (Purdue had a losing record!) playing on New Years. Another remnant of my long-ago youth that is gone, never to return. I tried to explain to my teenage grandsons that bowl games used to be a REALLY BIG DEAL but they just took it as another sign that Granddad is losing it.

I'm with you. I don't watch nearly as many bowl games as I used to. Just not that interesting. For the alums of the schools involved, of course they are great. For the general fan, most are duds. I WILL watch the Fiesta Bowl tonight; that SHOULD be a good game but if I say more I'll jinx someone.

I'm a huge huge fan of RGIII, so don't please don't crucify me with a "I want to party with you Cowboy" line. But if somehow the Redskins could go back and draft Russell Wilson in the third round and keep all those draft picks that they gave to the Rams, would they? Should they? Sometimes real genius is getting Tom Brady in the 6th round or Russell Wilson in the 3rd round. And to give a ton of credit to the Shanahans, this includes drafting Alfred Morris in the 6th. Sometimes that's the best reason for keeping your picks. Because you'll never know what gem you can find in the draft if you've traded all the picks away. Thanks for listening.

It's a fair question; I see no reason to light you up for it! My answer would be no, I'd still make the trade and get RGIII. He has something special, some intangible that I can't even put a name to, that makes everyone around him better, happier, smarter. I was just talking to Dave Sheinin, our Griffin biographer, and we agree that Morris would be a very good back for anyone, but Griffin made him great this season. The threat of Griffin made holes for Morris. Once he hit the hole, then it's all on him (all the yardage I mean). But it's a team effort. I don't know, I think Russell Wilson is where he belongs and RGIII is where he belongs and Andrew Luck is where he belongs. I think everyone should be happy.

1) 'Skins beat the Cowboys because Romo couldn't handle the blitz; do we really expect D'Angelo to cover one-on-one with a decent QB in Wilson and great receivers ... AND not get a stupid penalty? 2) Offense worked because the run worked, and our receivers got open. Will they get open against the 'Hawks DBs? they are much better than the 'Boys'. 3) Remember that the 'Skins got a little lucky at the end of that Cowboys game, let them come back to tie it and then almost blew it but Romo again couldn't play big. Wilson is better. 4) Pete Carroll is a good coach ... he won't be fooled by the college spread. Am I wrong? Been a 'Skins fan since the Jurgy days and really would like to see the same feeling as the Allen and Gibbs I days return here!

No question the Seahawks are better than the Cowboys. (No question it was shocking that Hall didn't get into a single fight. And why won't Dez Bryant pull up his damn pants?) I think all your points are valid. But I also think that if you can't get excited about 10-6, an NFC East title and a home playoff game, after the almost steady stream of crap we've seen here in recent days, you are getting ahead of yourself. They were 3-6, for heaven's sake. Give them some props. I also think those "Skins of old" feelings ARE returning. If they aren't, then I will lose my 20-year affection for Skins fans, because trust me, I'd trade places in a heartbeat.

Welcome Back Tracee. Love your chat. Does Shanahan have a bonus in his contract if he reaches the playoffs? I know players get money but do coaches? Thanks!

I could not quickly find the answer to this, but if anyone knows, give us a shout!

Is there a dominant college basketball team out there? It seems that any of four or five teams could win the SEC (admittedly, not a basketball conference, but one that usually has a dominant team or two) and geez, while KU looks pretty good in the Big 1(0)2, K-State and some others aren't too far back. Indiana, the consensus preseason #1 has looked good--but beatable. It's possible the Hoosiers finish third or worse in the Big 1(2)0. Even UCLA, which lost at home to Cal-Dorkus earlier in the year, beat a solid Mizzou team in a very entertaining game last week. Are we looking at a mystery meat Final Four, or will the conference seasons produce some true top teams?

I think there are a few teams that will gel in time to be tournament-dominant, but at this point, I am not sure we can say which teams those are, although you name several. But no, no dominant team this year. Could be a really interesting bracket.

Why!? They already have two. The first was by The Platters' "The Great Pretenders" (1956) and then Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy" (1975). For the longest time I have been saying that the Cowboys' fight song has been "The Great Pretenders" but it's getting challenged by "Rhinestone Cowboys":

 We've been walkin' these streets so long

Singin' the same old song

We know every crack in these dirty sidewalks of Dallas

Where hustle's the name of the game

And nice guys get washed away like the snow and the rain

There's been a load of compromisin'

On the road to my horizon

But I'm gonna be where the lo-lights are shinin' on me

Like rhinestone cowboys

Riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo

Like rhinestone cowboys

Getting cards and letters from people we don't even know

And offers comin' over the phone

I don't really care what the Cowboys do, song-wise, but I'm not too impressed with Clarkson's. And really, I can say with an unbiased viewpoint that it's great to have an old traditional fight song, like the Skins, but I think it's almost impossible to create a fight song in 2012 for an NFL team.

O goddess of the Plains and knower of all things Great and small; Welcome back ! Now that Ray Lewis has announced that this is his last season will he be reporting to prison when the Ravens are eliminated from the playoffs ?

Now, now. The justice system has spoken.

I do not remember if you grew up with Santa's workshop as well as Major Astro. If so, this youtube video has been making the rounds among middle aged folk, who grew up in Central Kansas. Enjoy.

I did not grow up with this show, which leads me to believe KAKE was the station we couldn't get, although that may not be true. I just can't remember. Or maybe I was too young. Yes, that's it. I like the sound of that!

You know who I thought played a great game and hasn't had his moment in the sun? Deangelo Hall. Those blitzes only work if you've got somebody covering your back.

He got a lot of praise from the TV guys, actually, and I'll add my two cents -- he managed not to run his mouth and just play and he was tremendous. No penalties. Smart. Props to D. Hall.

Tracee, as a neutral observer (live here but loyal to another team), I am constantly dumbfounded by Redskins fans and the media. In November, the Shanahans were finished and Kyle was the biggest moron in Washington. Now suddenly they are the greatest minds in all of football, and this has been their plan all along and it has worked to perfection. Really? Isn't the truth somewhere in the middle? They are just smart enough to get out of the way and let RGIII do his thing.

That is partially true, but they were also smart enough to devise an offense that benefits him and thus makes them look less moronic. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement. The main knock against the Shanahans was the "square peg in a round hole" argument. They finally found their peg and are using that peg correctly. It's clear from the body language between them that RGIII and Kyle S. are on the same page. When is the last time you saw that kind of relationship between a  Skins QB and an offensive coordinator?

What do you think are the biggest differences between this team and the playoff teams of 1999, 2005, and 2007? A true star QB, better overall coaching, youth, and a stable front office would be my answers.

The true star QB and youth in general would be my first two choices from your list. Coaching has also gotten better. Somehow Haslett is a genius again. Amazing.

I'm a little sick of the columns anointing the Shanahans as Vince Lombardi reborn. If they don't have a tremendous amount of luck this season, the Skins don't make the playoffs. The good fortune includes

* Almost no OL injuries

* Alfred Morris.

* All the other RBs getting injured so Aflred Morris moved to the head of the line

* The Giants imploded

* Kai Forbath

I don't remember mentioning Lombardi. Mike S. still doesn't know how to handle interviews. They aren't perfect. They are a lot better than they were. Remember, they do get credit for Alfred Morris and Kai Forbath as well. The Giants imploding, that was a gift.

What was your sports story of the year for last year? Was it the Jerry Sandusky tragedy? Was it Lance Armstrong finally being caught cheating? How about the New Orleans Saints bounty-gate, or the horrible replacement refs? Best accomplishment to me was Miguel Cabrera winning the triple crown (close second: Teddy winning last race of year). What about you?

Oh, Teddy is No. 1. :) I'm not sure I could pick a story of the year, although you mentioned two: Sandusky and Armstrong.

Nats and Skins win their respective divisions in 2012, not too shabby. If only we had the Caps to root for, could've been an epic year in DC sports. Let's hope things only improve in 2013.


No question, just excited to have a Tracey chat followed immediately by a Monica Hesse chat! Ok, one question--Vegas line for Sunday's game is Seahawks by 3. Probably about right but you have to take RG3 and the points, no?

No way I'm answering this. Too much like making a prediction!

After serious consideration I fell that I have come up with the perfect sports year for DC. Expand the NFL to 20 games, move the start back until around the 1st of October, plan so that the Superbowl would be played on the Sunday prior to opening day of the MLB season. Then put the NHL and the NBA on permanent lockout. What do you think of my plan??

Well, I am afraid that we might grow tired of the NFL if it ran that long. It's just about right at the moment. And I would miss the NBA and NHL. I DO miss the NHL.

I don't think one good year with an exceptional talent like RGIII should override the disasters of the past two. Choosing Grossman and Beck over McNabb and Campbell? "Staking my reputation" on Beck's ability to be an NFL QB?

True. The McNabb decision was disastrous, as was their inexplicable love for Beck.

Looks like Drew Pearson's prediction/advice came back to bite the Cowboys in the butt. Way to go Drew... Thanks for the help!

My no-prediction policy looks pretty smart, eh?

Didn't Mike Shanahan lust over him at one time? I seem to recall that when Sanchez was drafted.

He said some good things about him in December 2011, and that may be what you're remembering.

Hi Tracee, I don't know what makes me happier. Is it the Redskins winning the NFC East, the Redskins sweeping the Cowboys, or the Redskins keeping the Cowboys out of the playoffs? It's an embarrassment of riches. But I still have one worry regarding the Cowboys. There's talk that maybe the Cowboys should hire an offensive coordinator for Jason Garrett. Please don't let it be Norv Turner. Norv did a great job as OC for the Cowboys in the early nineties (two Super Bowl wins). And in his Hall of Fame acceptance speech Troy Aikman lavished Norv with so much praise that I thought it was Norv who was getting enshrined. If Norv does a great job with Tony Romo then Redskin Nation is in big trouble. Romo has great raw talent. He really threaded the needle on that touchdown pass to Kevin Ogletree that cut the lead to 21-16 Sunday night. I shudder to think of what Norv might get out of him. We all know that Norv Turner is an outstanding OC/QB coach. And since Norv left Dallas under pleasant circumstances there's nothing blocking his return. Norv returning to Big D as their offensive coordinator would be the sum of all football fears for me.

Well, Norv will land a job somewhere as an offensive coordinator or head coach. I'm not sure I see him as the huge threat you do but you may be right. I know Romo can be better than what we saw last weekend, but he can't be in a good headspace right now. I've never seen a guy yell so much at his receivers.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TRACEE! I read on Bleacher Report that we got a pitcher from the independent leagues. He's supposedly a starter. Where exactly does he fit in? Any Status on us getting Howell? Any news on the NHL front yet? Enquiring minds want to know! Thanks, CALSGR8

Geez, let me catch my breath! I haven't seen my nemesis Kilgore, but the pitcher signing sounds like a guy who would at least start in the minors. I don't think he's a guy who's going to crack the rotation right now. Howell? Nothing new that I know of. The hot stove is usually turned to simmer over the holidays. And no news on the NHL front that I've heard. Bad feeling about the NHL (which means the season will start tomorrow).

I thought after Notre Dame played in a bowl some years back following a losing record that a rule was made that no team with a losing record could play in a bowl game.

I think it has to do with conferences who have contracts with bowls, vs. bowls who can pick their own teams, and then the number of teams with winning or .500 records. There are so many bowls it's hard NOT to have teams with losing records at this point.

Imagine there's no hockey

It's easy if you try

No ice below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for Opening Day

Imagine theress no offsides

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to ice the puck for

And no crosschecking too

Imagine all the enforcers

Living life in peace.

You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday Ted'll fix this

And the Caps will be the one


Well done. Sorry I had to cut this off but for those of you who copy and paste from Word, all the punctuation comes as a garble, and there are no line breaks, so fixing these emails takes time. And there have been more than a few today. Sorry.

Bryce and RGIII?

Well, we'll see. RGIII isn't there yet. But that would be something. Has it been done before? There's only so much I can do during the chat.

I hate all things Irish with the heat of a thousand suns, but at least they run a clean program and graduate their players. Stanford is another great example. I can't even choke out a Go Irish though.

I don't have the hate, nor the love. I may be the only person in the country with no strong feelings about ND. Hmmmm.

VT pulled off a miserable win in their bowl game to ensure another winning season. Will this be the year that Beamer finally makes changes on the offensive coaching side? What do you see happening on this perennial issue of a poor offense?

I don't know, but even Beamer's not going to be able to get by forever on performances like last seasons, and that win was fortunate. That was one game I saw at least part of (the ending). I like Beamer a lot but if he doesn't change, it's going to hurt him.

When my job took me to Texas years ago, I bought my then-10-year-old son a Cowboys t-shirt. When I gave it to him, he instantly smiled and said, "Thanks, Dad! It'll make a great bonfire starter!" Raised the boy right, I think.

There you go. Nice job! We got my brother-in-law a lot of K-State paraphernalia for Christmas and it was physically revolting to see that much purple in the basement, but he was happy, and it was Christmas. Plus he also roots for KU so that cures a lot of ills.

Steinberg's been hinting at it, but I've yet to see the Post delve into the mystery of the FedEx turf. Was slop prescribed by RG's orthopedist? Is Morris a mudder? Did Snyder trim the groundskeepers when the NFL fined the team? Are the Skins seeking a new sponsor for their mulch provider? Will it be messy on Sunday?

I'm glad someone brought this up because I've wondered about it too. It looks awful. I know in the scheme of things the look isn't important, but it also looks like there isn't much footing out there. I don't get it. Paging George Toma!

Bears fans here -- just to answer that one question, we missed the playoffs 5 out of the last 6 seasons. Started 7-3 last year and 7-1 this year and collapsed both times. Offense never ranked in the top half in 6 years. Went to the Superbowl near the start of Lovie's tenure and have regressed ever since. He's a good head coach with a winning lifetime record but it was time to make a change.

There you go. Okay, good arguments.

You are correct that the justice system has spoken, but lots of people will always associate him with murder, just as Ben Roethlisberger will always be associated with sexual assault by lots of people (and he was never charged).

Yes, of course. I'm not questioning your right to feel that way, but he's not going to prison based on the prevailing opinion. That's all I'm saying.

We should have a fight song for the Nationals and the Capitals as well. If (God forbid) Morse is traded, there goes Take on Me. I wouldn't recognize Ready or Not if the whole team sang it. I don't know any of the others' walk on music. Notice I'm not asking for a Wizards' song. . .

I think you can have a team song; I don't think it can be an original fight song anymore. Now it has to be a song that is adopted by fans (like "Country Boy" in Baltimore, "Sweet Caroline" in Boston). That is the great thing about Morse; he gave the Nats a tune. Maybe the team will keep it even if he leaves.

Smith had a 10-6record with the Bears this season, which most team managements would consider successful. Yet just because the Bears had the misfortune to be in a situation where in their conference it wasn't enough to get them into the playoffs -- although most years it would have -- Smith is scapegoated and fired. Doesn't seem really fair, especially when teams with worse records have been known to make the playoffs.

No, of all the firings, to me that one was inexplicable. He will get another job, which is good.

Every good team is "lucky," the bad ones are "unlucky." That comment was just silly. How many times the last few years did we point out the 1 or 2 plays in each game that could have been the difference in winning instead of losing? Now that is turned around. Moving up to take RGIII took guts and was not luck. Draft Morris was not luck, there is a proven track record of this coach finding RBs late. And Morris was moved up all on his own I believe.

Luck plays a part in everything, but luck didn't not put the Skins into the playoffs. (Although Luck did put the Colts into the playoffs. Hmmm.)

I remember waking up New Year's Day and spending a lot of the day watching bowl games that mattered. Woke up the day after New Year's Day this year and had forgotten there WERE bowl games. Sad.

I spent New Year's Day watching "Game of Thrones" on demand. Weird. Watching a show, I mean,  instead of bowl games. "Game of Thrones" is great!

I remember the reading of the Sunday comics on-air and episodes of Davey and Goliath. And then NFL in the afternoon. Come to think of it, it could be that the only day we watched TV was Sunday. But I remember KAKE, for sure.

We were 40 miles away, though, so I'm not sure Salina was a big help for us. But like I said, I can't remember which station we got by call letters. I was just a tyke.

Starts Sunday--very little time to savor a Skins victory but DA starting at 9pm will round out a hopefully great weekend. Are you a fan of the show? I think it has been discussed here, no?

Love love love it. Got my sister hooked on "Homeland"; my nephew got me hooked on "Game of Thrones." There is some seriously good TV right now.

If the Redskins last another 100 years, will they ever have a player as good as Ray Lewis?

A hundred years? Yes, I think they could. That's a long darn time. That's not to say Ray Lewis isn't a great player.

Is Tim Tebow finished in the NFL?

I thought I heard the Jags might be interested in him? Maybe not. Maybe it depends on their coaching situation. Or maybe he's through. If so, it will be one the strangest careers in NFL history. I can't figure it out. I'm not sure I'd want the final say on my career to be the Jets.

On a technicality Milwaukee did last year, since the Packers still have a split season ticket for Milwaukee ticket holders, even though the team plays all of its home games in Green Bay now. (Plus the population of Milwaukee and Green Bay combined would fit neatly inside the cities of most other teams.)

That would have to have an asterisk, but okay.

Tracee, I think you're wrong about modern fight songs - Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow" is a tremendous new anthem for the Pittsburgh Steelers (and really all of the Pittsburgh sports teams).

Why I am not surprised to get a Pittsburgh response? :) It is pretty cooll when all your teams share the colors; that would help a new song. I don't know; I like the traditional, hokey-sounding fight songs and people don't write like that any more. A marching band can't play a modern song, at least not well. (I remember playing "Smoke on the Water" in high school -- shudder.) As long as the Skins have a band, they should stick with their song. 

"It appears that Seattle does not have a true #1 receiver because their best receiver only has 50 catches." Neither do the Redskins for what it's worth, even though everyone on the Skins side will point to Garcon . And season catches don't matter if somebody on either side steps up and has a big game...

True. Garcon might have been the guy if he'd been health -- but he might not have. And after Garcon, the talent level drops. But the Skins have found a way to integrate a pretty average bunch of guys into the offense. Anyone remember Aldrick Robinson?

Come on people. WaPo isn't covering the lockout. Go to,,, or the Puck Daddy blog on Yahoo!. Big meetings this week. Deadline to get a deal done (and training camps started) is Jan 11. If not, no season.

I took the question to mean any news today, not any news at all. I said I had a bad feeling. Jan. 11 isn't far away.

You realize, if the Redskins played Beck more games last year the price for RGIII would have been lower or just the draft pick itself.Just saying.

That doesn't make Beck a better quarterback. That makes Beck a way to throw the season. And surely you're not suggesting that! :)

Do you see Tony Romo coming back with the Cowboys next year? Before that, though, will his receiving corps beat the crap out of him for being such a jerk?

After Sunday's game I didn't see him coming back. There was a look on Jerry Jones' face that said to me "Everbody ... OUT!" But it depends on where Jones determines where the blame lies. He may not feel it is Romo's fault. Romo certainly indicated with his little fits that he didn't think it was his fault.

Well, we're out of time and I've lost the feeling in my hands, so time to quit! Have a good weekend, everyone; plenty to talk about next week!

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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