Q&A with Tracee Hamilton

Jan 05, 2012

Tracee Hamilton discusses the week in sports.

Fix the stinkin' site already. Trying to catch up on Wednesday's chats tonight (Wednesday night, Pacific Time), I'm finding pages that aren't there - and same with some news links. Also, the chat details were coming up in Chinese. Put up a paywall already, if that's what it will take to hire the tech support to address these seemingly never-ending problems! Okay, end rant. Tracee, I suggested the next meetup for "Hamilton" but really, you need to have it in Portland. Come for the rain, stay for the wine and abundance of divey sports bars. ~Pats Fan

I saw your suggestion but the link didn't work and I can't find one that does! Now it's my turn to rant. Maybe by next week it'll be fixed. I have no idea what's going on with the site.

And good morning to all. Let's get started!

What is it? I saw that 17 All-Stars including Tyler Clippard will take part, but I have NO idea what it is. From what I gather, only one fan from each franchise will take part, but that's all I know.

I have no earthly idea, but I Googled it.

Is Michigan the most undeserving winner of a BCS bowl game in the history of the BCS? Virginia Tech was robbed on that horrible call reversing the touchdown in OT. Tech completely dominated Michigan the entire game and only lost because of several unlucky breaks. Michigan looks like the typical Big 10 (or is it BiG?) team playing outside their conference - always about 3 steps slower than their opponent. Please remind me again why the Big 10 had even one team in a BCS bowl, let alone two?

Well, I've already given my opinion -- neither team should have been in that game. At least it was a more exciting game than the Orange Bowl.

Is there a divide between the 1st string and the 2nd string on an NFL team? For example, if a 2nd stringer wanted to use some weight equipment in the offseason, and a 1st stringer was already there, would he have to defer, or is it more egalitarian?

It would depend on the first stringer. There are some who would boot a guy off but in the offseason things are more relaxed.

The Skins need a new weight room, I'll say that. Their facility is woefully behind. They've had to move equipment out in the hallways at Redskins Park.

I wasn't at all surprised by Va Tech, but seeing Clemson completely blown away like that was a major shock.

Pretty awful. Can't imagine anyone other than Mountaineer fans wanting to watch that second half.

Hey Tracee, In your opinion what do the Wizards need to do, to be competitive in the next two years? Get lucky in the lottery again, fire Flip, fire Ernie?

Getting lucky in the lottery would be a tremendous help. I have a feeling before the dust settles that  Flip will be gone and Ernie may be too. Hard to say. Still early days with Ted and his relationship with Ernie. He could develop a fondness for Ernie a la his relationship with George McPhee. They can't fix this mess in one season but they have to do something to get Wall some help and try to make him less miserable or just about the time they've built a team, he'll be ready to flee.

Did you see that Sally predicted that Randy Edsall will win fewer games next season than he did last season? I may have to start claiming that my extensive collection of turtles is due to my being slow and sluggish., rather than my being a UMD Terps fan.

If that happens, he will exactly follow the path of Turner Gill. I hope for Md. fans that that doesn't happen. But I wouldn't be surprised if it did. Gill landed at Liberty, I guess. You can just claim to be a turtle lover. Lots of people collect animal figurines (says the penguin lady).

Happy New Year, O' Goddess of the Plains. Over the holidays I noticed that if I served a platter of Italian cold cuts my favored teams won. If I served a Veggie platter, they lost. Should this dictate what I serve during Monday night's game, or should I just drink my way to victory since you can't spell L-U-S-H without LSU (props to the WSJ)? BTW, also discovered that Anchor Steam beer tastes great with both platters.

Do you have to work Tuesday? If so, serve the Italian platter. I'm still not able to discuss food for any length of time so I'll leave it at that. :)

are you related to George Hamilton?

Because I'm adopted, I've not delved too deeply into the Hamilton side yet, but I'm pretty sure my dad isn't. Someday I'll do his side. I've got some very cool artifacts of his great-great-grandfather, who was a surveyor for the railroad, I think. I should add that my dad doesn't give a rip, which is why I've never looked into it!

I was a bit confused by your column on bowl games from a couple of days ago. Were you upset with just the number of games on 1/2 or with the quality of the games? I am certainly in agreement that there were too many on 1/2 (and too many bowl games in general), but I was fairly happy with the quality of the games (at least those that I watched). I found the Rose and Fiesta bowls to be great, close games that kept me watching later than I should have on a work night.

Number more than quality. There are too many in general. There are teams playing who don't deserve to be in bowl games. Not on Monday, of course, but in some of these other "games." This system is so very broke. I was trying to say that I feel obligated somehow to watch this stuff when it's on offer and then I feel like a dope for feeling obligated. That may just be my own little problem.

I suggest Tracee invite us to the press box at a Nats game. I'll buy the first round!

You'll have trouble in the press box. I don't recall there being beer available there!

Hi, Tracee! So, if an Ovechkin scores a goal, but no one is watching (per your column), does the red light still go on? PS: Per your suggestion, I emailed my complaints from last week about the Caps radio call to Ted Leonsis his ownself. Since then, crickets.

That's why there's a horn, so you know to turn around and watch the replay? :) Well, sorry you haven't heard from TL. Kind of surprised.

During Tracy McGrady's first year with the Raptors, Kevin Merida wrote a series of in- depth articles about his adjustment to the NBA and t Canada. As I recall, he had a strong support system and the Raptors went out of their way to be helpful. This in contrast to what I recall as the Wizards' experience with Kwame Brown. Sure Wall has a ton of money, but he's still a 19 year old with, apparently, not a lot of self-esteem. Maybe they will surprise me, but I don't expect very much of the Wiz this season. I hope they or someone gives him the support he needs to deal with this situation.

I think Wall does have a decent support system, actually, and I've found him to be pretty self-assured. I hope Roger Mason Jr. will be a good influence; I think Kirk Hinrich was. Kwame, it's true, was sort of left on his own and he really was a naive kid. You certainly are wise not to expect much of the Wiz this season.

So, do you think the Sandusky crimes are going to continue to be covered with the same kind of intensity this year? It's been quiet and I'm hoping that this story hasn't receded in importance. This kind of thing only sees the light of day if people continue to investigate and write about it.

I think it'll ratchet up with the next court appearance, which I think is later this month. I don't think it'll fade away, no. I really don't.

"only lost because of several unlucky breaks" is the definition of whining. The team that deserves to win is the team that scores more points. Nothing more, nothing less.

Well, I was trying to be nice. But yes, that's not the best way of putting it.

I've watched a lot of sports and my expert analysis on the Wizards is this: They suck. They completely suck.

You've hit the nail on the head! I commend your insight! And your pithy delivery!

Hi, Tracee! Soooo, how many unwatchable bowl games does it take before the brain trust decides to take a look at the selection methods that resulted in this mess? Ugh.

Good question. I still think Friday's will be good. I'll probably be completely wrong. Although I will quickly and modestly point out that I was right about the Giants. I'm so seldom right that I must take my opportunities.

This Wizards team just became the first Bullets/Wizards team in history that went 0-6. Any other records they can strive for?

Oh, I'm sure there are dozens. I don't have time to look and chat, but that's a good -- if depressing -- idea.

Good win for KU last night and a squeaker for Illinois. It seems like Illinois fans not only want to win but now grade the way Illinois wins. This allows fans(maybe) the ability to complain both about wins and losses. Are the KU fans like that and is this common around the country? Hope you are feeling better. I did not watch any of the Illini game last night. Too afraid of jinxes.

I didn't watch the KU game because it wasn't on here. So that saved me from a nervous breakdown when K-State crawled back into it. I don't criticize any win, especially this year. I'll be happy with every one of them. I sure like T-Rob, D.C.'s own.

Ms. H: Congrats on the solid win over KSU. NU looks absolutely horrible in b-ball this year, and watching the football team "under execute" (to put it mildly) against USC wasn't any fun. Remember the old John McKay line when he was trying to coach Tampa Bay up to mere mediocrity, and, after one especially horrible loss, when asked about TB's execution, he replied "I'm in favor of it." Happy New Year. AHG

AHG: One of the great sports lines of all time. Happy NY to you, too.

Mike Wise had a great column after one of his disastrous starts, pointing out the human element in his trials and tribulations as he walked towards his car with his wife and three young sons. But really, he feels his best football days are ahead of him? Somehow that's the saddest thing of all..

I gently mocked his optimism and got taken to the woodshed for it. :) It seems ... misplaced. I think self-confidence is a wonderful thing but so is a reality check every now and then. He's a third-string QB, at best. Nothing wrong with that. I'm not a third-string QB, you're not a third-string QB.

Hi, Tracee, and Happy New Year! Remember the Charlie Brown quote from the Christmas special - "Everything I touch gets ruined." I used to think that it only applied to Danny Snyder and his DanSkins.....but the Wiz as an organization seem to be in the process of doing to John Wall what Charlie Brown thought he did to the little Christmas tree. I foolishly thought that the Wiz were making progress when they drafted Wall...but now they seem to be destroying him by the death of a thousand cuts. He appears to have figured out that he's surrounded by knuckleheads, and is probably counting the days until he can go free agent and escape this house of horrors. We now have two once-beloved franchises that have fallen into complete disrepair. I don't hold out much hope for the DanSkins, but in Ted I Trust, for now. What can he do to fix this, and end the torment of John Wall? I know Wall's game has shortcomings, but he's really just a junior point guard (is that correct?) after all. Too bad this team doesn't have a veteran guard to mentor him, and show him the ropes, when to go like blazes to the hoop, and when to slow up. Liked your Caps column this morning, by the way.

That's why I thought Hinrich was such a good pickup by them. Of course, he was miserable here too, but he was good for Wall. I do think this will be fixed but it will be an ugly process. I still have zero faith in Blatche but that may just be me (seventh season, for heaven's sake!).

WV coach attributes their blowout win to playing well "on all 3 sides of the ball." I assume the 3d side is special teams, but have you ever heard this expression before? It seems a bit strahge to me.

I've heard it occasionally and agree it sounds kind of silly.

Did this ever happen to you when you were Ms. Jayhawk? Obie looks to be a bit more padded!

Willy Wildcat swung me around by my arm once, not realizing that the fiberglass didn't allow my arm to move that way. It was agony and I was screaming inside the suit. Big Jay had to stop him. You would not believe the bruising. Maybe that was the start of my shoulder problems. But I was never tackled, thank god, because I wouldn't have been able to get up.

I just read an excellent column by David Steele at Sporting News. He argues that Peyton should just hang it up now, because a 28 million dollar bonus is not worth the risk to his spine. I agree. When they do these spinal surgeries, they are trying to make it stable for normal people. I don't think "getting tackled by three 300 lb. lineman" is in the warranty. Peyton needs to think of his next 50 years, not the next couple of seasons. Any comment? Thanks.

David is the brother of our excellent editor Alexa and the former Baltimore Sun columnist. I agree with him. Too risky.

A big round of applause to Mike Tomlin for putting a player's health ahead of the game. You have to love the mindset "I wouldn't let my son play so neither are you."

Another move with which I agree. You play harder for a boss who has your best interests at heart. Good for Tomlin. In the end, it's a game.

I can't imagine that anyone other than LSU or 'Bama fans care anything about Monday's game, except perhaps for Okla State fans who are hoping their team can sneak in to #1. So many of the games were overe by halftime. Bring on Spring Training!

Yes, I've got a little bowl fatigue myself, though I hope it's a good game.

The best free agent on the market now can be signed for the veteran minimum salary. How about Gilbert? He hasn't taken a dump in anyone's shoe in a long time, nor has he brought a gun to work. A model NBA ballplayer.

That's a great idea! No wait, I left out the "not".

Tracee, Happy New Year BTW. Ever since they arrived, I've held the belief that the Nationals, if they really worked at it and got some help from the Redskins, could actually become the #1 franchise in this market. They didn't work at it and yet, in their eighth season, they still have a great chance to do that. The Skins are just as inept and repellent as ever, the Wizards are actually worse and the Capitals play hockey (sorry, hockey fans). Now the Nats actually have a promising and very compelling team. Do you think they're ready, in terms of marketing, media relations, fan relations, to make that move?

This would be the perfect year to do it. Will they? They certainly have built their fan base the past few seasons, and Strasburg has helped. You see more Nats stuff than ever. And I think this town is hungry for something to cheer for. The timing is right. I think they need to work on fan relations -- I still hear too many complaints on that score. We'll see what happens.

Just had to say that since that is the only thing that is keeping alive through this winter!!! - Ashburn Fan

The ONLY thing? Ashburn Fan, I'm worried about you.

At the risk of sounding like a crotchety old man (what a minute, I'm in my 50's, I think I AM a crotchety old man!), this high-scoring football's getting out of hand. Someone made a comment on a web site that I totally agree with: it's football for people with ADD. 35-40 points is fine, 50-70 (70!) is nuts. It starts to take away from the prestige given to people like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees when second-string QB's come in and do the same thing. However, I assume, since the TV ratings are great, nothing's going to change and I should just go back to getting people off my lawn, right?

I think 70 points in one of the allegedly most prestigious bowl games in the country is ridiculous. But it's appealing to the video game generation, perhaps? I don't know, since I am a crochety old woman. I'm not against a potent offense but I was surprised to see that in the Orange  Bowl. But as long as they aren't going it on my lawn, I guess it's okay.

Hi, Tracee: What do you think of the rumors of Prince Fielder signing with the Nats? I say no! P.S. I love the chat! Thanks, Gwen from Landover

I kind of like the idea but I have a soft spot for the Fielder family from my Detroit days (which means it won't happen).

Does it bother anyone that during this terrible season Shanahan was devoting precious time looking at COLLEGE quarterback tape to get ready for the 2012 draft? Does he know that the draft is on April 26? It seems like his time would be better served trying to actually win games in 2011 than getting a 5 month head start on draft picks. This is why you never let a coach also be the GM.

I admit I thought that was a little odd, although at least it shows, I hope, that he realizes he doesn't have a starting quarterback currently on the roster. Right? Right?

Game? What game? I didn't see any game. I don't know what you're talking about. Now excuse me, I need to prepare my Cotton Bowl buffet. - K-Stater

I didn't say a word. I like your chances at Bramlage, and I wish you luck Friday night, my purple friend.

With all this talk about Fielder, who is running the Nats Boras or Rizzo? Scares me silly that we have all these Boras clients who will be the ruin of the Nats long term.

Here's another vote against Fielder.

Do they have any hope of reaching Mr. Tony's standard prediction of 7-20?

Where are they going to come up with the seven wins, is my question.

White Collar starts up again January 17! But I have another gorgeous guy I'm watching as well--Grimm's David Giunoli. He's a dreamboat!

Not bad. I kind of like that show. I'm sorry Homeland is over. I'm excited Downton Abbey is back Sunday.

I've seen video vignettes featured on TWIB (This Week in Baseball). It's kinda lame, imho. Of course, if they wanted to set up a female baseball fan for the year, say one who, I don't know, lived in Virginia and really loved the Nats, I might have a very different point of view on the whole matter. :-)

Well, we'll put that out there and see what happens.

Notice that the TV coverage rarely shows the stands. Either they aren't paying for the blimp, or there's no one there. The one thing you can say is that 30+ teams get to send their fans off with a season-ending win (and the b10 gets to take another goose egg).

And the schools get money, and the conferences get money, and fans get trips to (sometimes) exotic locales, where they spend ... money. There's a theme here if I could just put my finger on it...

I suggest a Virginia location (both because I live there and because it's not yet been done), preferably near a Metro station (because other chatters don't live there). I'm such a considerate chatter. :-) In other news, I popped into Global Food in Woodbridge and noticed that they are purveyors of Cheer Wine (if I'm spelling that right). I believe that said beverage, which I once tasted at a P-Nats game, was discussed in a previous chat. I thought it was okay, kinda reminded me of Dr. Pepper.

The next meetup will be in Virginia. I was thinking Clarendon because of the Irish bar there (Four Corners?) but that's not firm. But I promised Bagram an event he could attend so we'll wait. But yes, Virginia, and yes, near a Metro, because I don't drive that much. And never after having a pint. I wasn't a Cheerwine fan but others might be...

The Military Bowl was a great game but alas, no one was in the stands.

Exactly the problem.

I miss all the major bowls being on New Year's Day. Then you could leave the TV on and plunk down or putter around the house. To all you Cavaliers: War Eagle!

I assume that when Jan. 1 is not on Sunday, next year, some of the bowls will move back to Jan. 1. I hate the fact that they've moved the national championship game so far into January that you almost forget it, especially because the NFL playoffs have begun.

In his Monday chat, held last Tuesday, Boz posited a few fairly reasonable assumptions about the 2012 Nats (Zim stays healthy, Wirth returns to career form, etc.), cranked numbers and came up with 93 wins, which he promptly said would never make print under his name (but putting it out on the net makes it indelible...). Can you find out what he was smoking, and can you get me some? Section 405

Well, I know Boz often turns to 5-hour energy drink. I think I'd blame that, 405. 93, huh. Wow. Maybe I'll go with 92 and then I can say, "At least I didn't go nuts like Boz!"

My friends and relatives with ties to WVU (lots of folks) found the game to be extremely exciting. It's all in the perspective.

Well, sure. As I said, Mountaineer fans would enjoy it. I don't blame you a bit.

I am a Hokie Fan...I will not debate whether we deserved the Sugar (we did not). The thing about the Sugar Bowl is Tech could not get it done. They could not get it into the endzone. And, I was shocked by some of Beamer's calls: 4th and inches at mid-field is not the time for a fake punt. As for the close call, I thought replay got it right. It was close, many call are close...But the ball was moving when it hit the ground.

This is what surprised me, some of Beamer's decisions. You are a fair and sensible fan; good for you.

Actually, it kind of felt like the old days, flipping back and forth among multiple games, with the Rose and Fiesta being the main events. And if the BCS final is like the last meeting (15 points, 200 teeth), but Bama wins, there's absolutely no excuse for OK State not being the AP champion. TBHiTW

Well, we'll see; that would be quite a surprise. If only the Cowboys hadn't lost to Iowa State.

So Shanny has a worse record than Jim Zorn. Is there any reason to feel any less despair today than two years ago about this team?

Ah, the maroon and black. I miss Zorn because something interesting was always happening. Unfortunately it was happening TO him. Is there any reason to feel less despair? Sadly, it depends on what they do at QB and in the draft. So it's too soon to tell.

Tracee, do the WP suits talk about one of their main competitors charging? I've read the NYT for 50 years - they just lost me.

Talking about charging for the paper online has been going on for YEARS. The Post has been firm in not wanting to do it. Will that last? I couldn't say; that's so far above my pay grade, as they say. I'd be very surprised if it did happen because you lose readers. But at some point newspapers have to find a way to monetize the online product; you can't just produce it for nothing, it costs money. It's a tough decision.

is the Nats winning 93 about as likely as the Wiz winning 7?

Ooooo, that's a good question. I think the Wiz can win 7 more easily, but I'm not saying that with a ton of confidence.

Hello Tracee. Hope the New Year will treat you -- and your teams -- well. Your basketball team should have a relaxing time at OU over the weekend. But looking ahead (with some trepidation, I admit) to the college football season next year, will it be possible for us to see a Bigish 12 game or two in Morgantown next year? I've lost track of the state of play in the conference realignment, but in what state(s) will the Mountaineers be playing in 2012? OUMom

Good question, OUMom. I'll have to look into that. I really look forward to my poor group of lads playing a team that just rang up 70 points. :) I'm not sure I'll make that trip. I'm so down on the football program. I'm planning to visit campus and see if I can get the old Baby Jay feeling back but it may be hard.

Speaking of, have you been following AMC's "Hell on Wheels"? I am frankly disappointed. I KNEW going in that it wasn't going to be "Deadwood", but it's so wobbly that I just couldn't stick with it.

My DVR is full of it but I have only watched one. I, too, feel it's trying too hard to be Deadwood. Nothing can be Deadwood. Nothing!

the Big 10 is B1G. Or B1G+ (Notre Dame) if you ask some people.

I like the Notorious B1G myself.

Not to defend the Nats marketing and outreach, because I agree it sucks, but do any of the DC teams have a decent outreach facility? Perhaps the Caps but they have Kettler has a huge advantage. And I will give the Nats major credit for silently putting out hot chocolate etc when there was the vigil for Ramos outside the stadium.

They do have the caravan but I hear complaints about that. Not sure what this year's plans are. The hot chocolate was a nice touch, agreed. The Caps have Kettler, which is a huge advantage, and the Skins have training camp, which again is a helpful to them.

But did you see the Michigan State - Georgia game? That was loads of fun.

Yes, that was a good one!

The Steelers are heavy favorites against the Broncos. I'd be much more impressed if the opponent was the Patriots or Ravens.

True, they probably don't need him, but I don't think it's fair to assume Tomlin wouldn't have reached the same decision no matter the opponent.

Say, where's Pittsburgh Wife? I get worried if my regulars aren't here.

Okay, time to go. I didn't come close to emptying the basket today and for that, as usual, I apologize. Let's talk next week, as usual. Anyone you want to have on as a guest? Fire me an email. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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.

First Things First Archive
Tracee Hamilton Column Archive
Recent Chats
  • Next: