Jan 17, 2011

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

Oh great, now I have to listen to Rex talk all off season. Well, that's life. There's always next year. Yada, yada, yada....And maybe Brady will cut his hair now, although the look had grown on me. However, this coming week I'm available if Pittsburgh wife needs assistance in keeping her husband from watching the game (although I must say, she sounds very organized about it). Go Steelers! very sad Local Pats Fan

I feel responsible for this weekend's results, having picked the Falcons and Pats. Really, I need to stop making picks. I'm bad for America.

And good morning to you all, the happy AND the sad. It's a holiday so I expect the chat to be a little slow but if neither AHG nor RHG show up to give me hell about Saturday's KU-Nebraska game, I'll be shocked. That was too close for comfort. Let's get going!

Hax or Ask Amy had a question from someone whose office celebrated everyone's birthday but hers. That's when you know you have a problem.

Yeah, that would be very bad. I would not want to work in an office that celebrated everything. I really sympathized with Elaine in the "cake" episode.

Hi Tracee, After living in DC for years I moved far away a few months back. I'm starting to dork out thinking about spring training; this is immediately followed by a growing anxiety that I can't actually watch the Nats in person after living within walking distance of both stadiums. Everyone should live within walking distance at some point in their lives. No real question just a thought for the great cosmic void, which hopefully will also see fit to give us a little more pitching in the near future...

A little more pitching would be a good thing. I've never lived within walking distance, but I worked within walking distance in Detroit and loved it. Oh, I take that back, I lived within walking distance of RFK and walked to some Skins games, but alas, the Nats weren't there then. I might never have moved! At least you got to do it once in your life; it's not that easy to find that situation just anywhere.

Steelers know how to win; Ravens don't (though they are a lot closer than the Redskins). Even at Heinz Field, there's no excuse for being up 21-7 at halftime with the Steelers on the ropes and then, what, 28 yards in the second half? I know we should be grateful our team routinely makes the playoffs, but it's easy to view the glass ashalf empty rather than half full at this point.

The Ravens' second half was just inexplicable to me. The announcers were talking after the game about the Ravens' defense aging rapidly but I'm not sure I buy that as the explanation. What about you?

Did Wes Welker put his foot in his mouth with his press conference last week?

Yes, he really needs to toe the line.

great now Pitt will be in the super bowl again, i hate them. and no im not a ravens fan.

Well, you can cheer for the Jets to beat them, or for them to lose in the Super Bowl, right? Other than that, I'm afraid I can't help you.

I realize they probably don't know or care, but a lot of kids, including my teens, are getting fed up with all this folderol. My kids realize they are superstars and thus the rules don't apply (sobering for a parent to have to explain that's the way the world works), but this is getting so over the top even that explanation is starting to fail.

Yes, I don't know how I'd explain the current climate to a child. I'm not sure I understand it myself. But then, that's true of a lot of behavior in the world, not just the sports world. I don't envy parents in 2011, that's for sure. You just have to do the best you can. My dad drilled into me the "life isn't fair" argument all the time when I was a kid and I really, really resented it but it made me much more realistic than a lot of people I know, who still think somehow life is going to GET fair. It would be nice if it did, but I'm not holding my breath.

Like you, I have no team to root for in the playoffs; but unlike you, I won't for some time to come. (I'm a Browns fan.) As such, I thought it was interesting to see how emotions have played a part in the playoffs. Jets yes, Ravens no. I'm looking for a war between the Jets and the Steelers next weekend.

The Jets were fired up. I wonder if the Byrd speech had an impact or if that bunch is just always fired up. But it was an impressive performance.

I'll be in Chicago for the NFC title game, btw. Excited about that.

Seems like when the Patriots were in a no huddle, hurry up offense, the Jets had an "injury" timeout featuring one of their players who sat out one play and then came right back in the next play. I saw this at least twice yesterday. It slowed everything down and threw off any momentum the Pats were able to generate. Do you think these "injury timeouts" were legitimate or a ploy by Rex Ryan to upset the Pats rhythm?

It wouldn't surprise me if those were designed, but I can't say that for sure. Anyone else notice this? I admit to being distracted by a number of things yesterday.

"I've never accepted the stupidity of all the self-aggrandizing. Now you've price your group fifteen yards upon the kick." Here's a solution. Let Nantz do his "Hello Friends" intro for the Masters and other golf events, insert Verne and Raftery for the Final Four, and put Gus Johnson and someone else for the NFL Playoffs. Nantz almost reached Joe Buck level yesterday.

I'm  not entirely sure I understand the quote; was that something Nantz said and is a word wrong in there? But to your point, I am not a huge Nantz fan. He's started to think of himself as the voice of a generation, or whatever; the same thing happened to Costas. Just call the game.

Did the Pats just fall apart? Or did the Jets somehow get better? All I know is the odds were on New England, and they lost anyways. Do you think there were any key plays (besides that crazy intercepted pass in the 1st quarter) that made the Pats lose?

I think the Jets got a lot better over the season, and the Pats seemed a little discombobulated, which is weird given their experience. I wouldn't have said it a month ago, maybe, but I think the best team won.

Everyone knows Albert is going to be napping for another team in 2011. Why is Bruce Allen bothering to say we might keep him? No one will give us a high draft pick, as they know he will be gone. Or is there a secret plan where he balloons to 600 pounds and opposing players trip over him as he takes a siesta?

I don't know; I didn't understand that quote but I guess Allen has to say that to at least SEEM like the team would have some kind of asking price for him, although I still think they'd trade him for a sack of balls if they could. I don't think Allen and Shanahan set out to lie, but they just don't SAY anything. They are masters of the non-answer.

When he is in his 60's or 70's what type of owner do you expect him to be? Will he be more like Art Rooney Sr. (more of a sound approach) or Al Davis (my way or the highway, and usually questionable approach)?

I think he'll be closer to Rooney than Davis, but maybe not all Rooney. They don't make a lot of owners like Rooney. I do think he's matured as an owner. Now, if the Allen-Shanahan duo fails there is always a small chance he goes completely Al Davis and takes over the whole shebang, but that would surprise me.

I know they just ended a three game losing streak, but what is up with the Caps? They were my only hope for a DC championship of any kind in the next five years.

Well, the theory is, they changed their "system" to a more defensive one in order to help them in the playoffs. So the optimists think they should be struggling now but should do better in the playoffs. The pessimists think they should be winning a little more either way. I'm in neither camp but wonder about the lack of scoring from Ovechkin in particular but also Backstrom.

But let's face it, they won the President's Trophy last season and didn't make it out of the first round. So if they are not winning the regular season battle -- who cares? As long as they make the playoffs ... They were a 1 seed last spring and lost to an 8 so the seedings aren't that important. Just make the playoffs.

Ms. Hamilton, what are your thoughts on the wholesale slaughter of our winged friends this weekend, especially following the massacre of Eagles last weekend? First Ravens, then Falcons, and finally Seahawks. We can only thank goodness the poor Cardinals escaped unscathed! And I understand some wife from Pittsburgh is actually gloating over the rout of those poor birds immortalized by Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. The horror, the horror!

Well, perhaps it's the same mysterious illness that felled all those birds in Arkansas? It's a tough time to be a bird these days. Or perhaps " 'Tis the wind, I muttered. Only this and nothing more."

There's probably enough space available in the buildings around Nationals Park for all of us fans to live there.

Yup, there is room for some sweet loft-style apartments over there, but I don't see that happening right away (economic reasons). I am not sure I'd want to live right next to the ballpark, but maybe...

Saw you on TV Friday -- red (maroon?) sweater, sitting near Ben Goessling when he asked his first question. You asked about ADD later, but they didn't get you on camera then. LaRoche seems like a decent guy. Did you pick up any other insights after the TV coverage stopped?

Happy not to be on camera! I wanted to write about this guy and still may; I think he's a  pretty interesting character. I went up to meet him afterward and dropped the Kansas connection and he lit up. (He lives in Fort Scott in the offseason and has a 2,000 acre ranch.) I met his wife later on as well and had a really nice talk with her. They are very down-to-earth people, from my brief interractions. I didn't get a one-on-one with him; I would love to go to his ranch sometime and do a story. I have to be the only one of the baseball writers present who's ever hunted, for instance, so we should get a long all right.

I veered into writing about the pitching staff because that's where Rizzo went and Geno was also there; we didn't need two LaRoche pieces. It's pretty amazing, looking at that list and all the injuries. His response to the question about Stephen was pretty interesting too.

ONLY 9 RESPONSES! No link on the home page, still have the weekend lineup. Had to come in the back way, through the archives.

Argh. Well, they knew I was chatting. Sports page has the link up. Glad you found us anyway; it'll be a quicky because I need to get to Verizon Center.

Maybe they are going to go all Rocky II in the playoffs. Remember in Rocky II when they trained Rocky to fight right handed, then switched to southpaw to knock out Creed in the end? Maybe that's what the Caps are doing. Changing up the system, then in the 3rd period of a game 7 in the playoffs Bruce will shout "Now!!" and the Caps will score 3 goals in 90 seconds! What a coach!!

You might have seen one too many movies. :)

What in the world was Seattle thinking when they kicked a field goal down 28 points with a quarter and 2 minutes left to play?

I thought they'd go for it, given Pete Carroll's style and the fact that they really didn't have anything to lose. At least the purists can stop howling about the Seahawks now.

I guess I see what you're talking about but I frankly don't mind when he's doing baseball because he's seen so much firsthand and is about as knowledgeable about the game as anyone not named Boswell, IMO.

He's great on baseball, I agree.

Even if the Jets' timeouts were because of fake injuries, so what? It's gamesmanship, and it seems to me if you're trying to disrupt the other team's rhythm then it's good tactics. And I'm saying this as someone who wanted to see the Jets get their comeuppance after all the trash talk last week (though I didn't mind seeing the Pats lose, either - I really don't care for either team).

True, not illegal. And very in character for the Jets.

What makes it so difficult to win on the road during the NBA season? It seems the Wizards talent is above being 0-20 on the road. I'm wondering what the difference is (for them, in particular) to being on the road where they lose to literally everyone, to being at home where they are competitive against decent teams.

I don't know, I'm heading over there now so I'll ask, I guess! Better than guessing. :)

Thanks, everyone, for find the chat and joining me. Let's talk 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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