Q&A with Tracee Hamilton

Jan 26, 2012

Tracee Hamilton discusses the week in sports.

O goddess of the Plains and knower of all things great and small In Tuesday's column you included a quote from Tom Brady in which you substituted the word "stunk" for another word he actually used on TV to describe his performance against the Baltimore Hons. Granted the word was crude, but commonly heard. Was this WAPO style guide driven or your own Midwestern sensibilities and quest for civility at work ? Even if I hadn't heard his comment on TV, I and others probably could guess the word in question.

We are not supposed to use that word in the Post, which is a family newspaper, last I heard. Of course, the interweb has no such restrictions, so I did ask my editor. Sometimes, in a quote, such naughty words are allowed, such as if a presidential candidate were to say something particularly awful. But in this case, I was not allowed. Alas.

And welcome, all. We'll get going because we will quit right at noon since my dear old friend Richard Justice will be chatting about the 1991 Redskins. Everyone should just migrate right over there when you leave here.

Can you please tell us who decided it was a good idea for you to write about hockey? You consistently come up with horrible columns that show you know absolutely nothing about the sport we love so much. Please do us all a favor and leave the hockey talk to Tarik.


... have a Super Bowl ring?

Well, there is this guy named John Riggins that has one or two...

I'm sure there are others but you all know I don't memorize stuff like that.

... feel the need to wipe Tim Thomas off the bottom of my shoe. Disrespectful, classless Tea Bagger. How embarrassing for Americans that Canadians, Czechs, Slovaks and Finns treat our DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED LEADER with more respect than TT. Hope he gets booed at the All-Star Game.

This is the hard part of democracy. I would consider a visit to the White House as a visit to the White House, not necessarily a political statement, but he felt differently and as Americans, we have to respect that as his right.

Why, oh why did you call a Ravens/49ers Super Bowl last week before the conference championships? A few days prior to that, I got together with some friends to make playoff brackets, and we each plunked down $5 for our entries. I was so proud that I was the only one who went BAL/SF. But as soon as I saw your words, I knew I was doomed. Can you do me a favor and let me know who you're going to pick before I go investing in these things?? Kidding... sort of. Now I guess I have to root for the Giants, keeping it in the NFC East and all. Plus I wish Tom Brady would just spontaneously combust. Sigh.

I TOLD you what would happen. No one listens; everyone  keeps asking for predictions. I promise I won't predict a Super Bowl winner. How's that?

And let's face it, both games could have gone either way.

I was thinking about this a lot, in the wake of the death threats to Kyle Williams, some of which, I assume, came from gamblers, not the have some fun kind like you, but the serious kind. I do not understand gambling on sporting events. It's like gambling on farming. You have no control over the outcome. It seems like a crazy bad waste of money to me. (Again, I mean serious gambling. Office pools are fun!)

Tracee, I know Bos deserves a vacation, but no sports chat the day after the championship games? We really miss First Things First. Anyway, random thoughts. . . Congratulations to the Wizzes for raising their win total by 50%! I'm glad the Nats didn't get Fielder; he belongs in the AL where he can be a DH. Can't wait for baseball season. This year we need Morse & Clippard bobbleheads!

Well, someone probably should have scheduled a Boz replacement but didn't. I agree in theory about Fielder but he'd have been fun. Adam said he was going to try to get Clip & Save on here for a chat; I'll have to bug him about that.

Tracee, what's up with your boy TK? He won't participate in the Redskins retrospective in any way unless the Post pays him for his time AND someone from the Post personally calls him and apologizes for firing him? How much are you paid to be on his show? Oh, you do it just for fun? I love TK, really do, listen everyday, but sometimes his ego is comical. He should be happy anyone cares at all what he still has to say about the bandwagon.

TK is very angry about his departure from the Post and that will probably never change. I am not paid to be on his show because the station is owned by Dan Snyder and I can't accept money from the owner of a local sports team so I do it for Mr. Tony. And yes, there is some irony there.

Thanks for spotlighting an issue no one in DC will touch - the relative immaturity of overpaid, young athletes and the unwise support they get from the men that hire and pay them. Keep it up! Do you have same access to Caps players as the rest of media? Do you feel limited at all?

No, the Caps are an easy team to deal with. Listen, I like Ovie as a player, let me be clear. I just think the Caps would be better served by being tougher with him, and he should have let McPhee and Leonsis advocate for him with the league. That's their job. What if the league decides to clamp down harder on him after his next hit because of this all-star folderol? Not outside the realm of possibility.

So the NHL effectivelky bit the hand that feeds it by demonizing Ovechkin one too many times. I feel your column is imploring Ovechkin to wave his hand once again in front of those hyrocritical Bicuspids. What say you, thou Jayhawk of DC?

I think I smacked around the NHL and Ovie in equal measure. But I think Ovie would be better served to take the high road.

If stars continue to drop out of this game, however (Lidstrom and Selanne), is it worth even having it?

So I was starting to get excited about having Prince in the lineup but now that he has signed in Detroit, for 9 years!, I am okay with a healthy LaRoche at 1B. Now they need to sign Zim to a long term deal and maybe continue the search for a CF but in this case, I'm thinking the smart money is the money not spent on Prince.

I wouldn't have gone nine years without the DH as an option. Still would have liked to have had him here. But I understand Rizzo's thinking.

Tracee, Although I'm mildly disappointed the Nats didn't land Fielder, I'm also relieved. One, it removes a potential complication from what appears to be ongoing negotiations between Ryan Zimmerman and the club. Two, I'm glad to see Rizzo was willing to be, as he put it, a player, without getting crazy. Anything over 6 years made no sense for the Nats, and at the end of the day an AL club makes more sense for a slugger of Fielder's size and whose glove skills serve only to make his surname ironic. It also seems like this might be the year for me to take a road trip to Philly and check Citizens Bank off on my quest to hit all MLB parks. What do you think?

Hey, Bagram, I think you're right about your Fielder points AND yes, why not go to Philly? You'll be ready for a cheesesteak by then, too, I'm sure!

I was a fan of the New York Americans, who disbanded before you were born, and I LOVE your hockey columns! Keep up the good work!

Thanks. Not everyone is going to like everyone's column. The simple solution is not to read it. I feel like I've said that before. :)

He should have gone and done his best AZ gov imitation. Refused to shake presidents hand. And why does the WP allow the use of the term "Tea Bagger" when it refers to a sex act. Family newspaper etc.

Sorry, that's me reading and writing too fast. As you know, I don't have a producer.

Tom Brady with Justin Bieber?

Isn't it better since he cut his hair, though?

Tracee, you don't consistently come up with horrible columns about hockey. Some of them are quite good ; ). The more hockey talk the better , I say.

Thank  you. We've upped our hockey coverage tremendously, and having Tarik doing his "On Hockey" pieces is terrific -- Tarik is great. I was just talking with him about Ovie before the chat began. I agree that the more we can have on all our teams, the better.

Hi, Tracee. I'd sure like to send the bozo who took the cheap shot at your column on Ovechkin to the penalty box for a LONG timeout. Admittedly, I don't follow hockey (though I do root for the Caps), but I thought you did your usual fine job. Hope others who are hockey experts will chime in to that effect, as well.

Thanks. I don't pretend to have Tarik's knowledge but I appreciate the vote of confidence.

I realize he's quite successful and doesn't need specific approval for his schtick from anyone, but I totally agree that his ego is out of control and really not entertaining at all. I more and more frequently find myself just listening for a few minutes and then turning it off. It's too bad - he wasn't always like that.

I'm unable to listen much anymore because his time conflicts with my writing/travel time. And I can't be on often because of my work schedule. So I can't speak to that. I love Mr. Tony and always will because he was just so much fun to work with when I got here -- once he started speaking to me. But he feels the way he feels about the Post, and that makes it uncomfortable for me, because even when the Post makes me angry, it's my employer, has been for 18 years, and I do love it.

I heard an interview with Clippard & Storen after a game and they both said they prefer to be called Clip & Store, as Clip & Save was Clippard & Capps!

Sorry! I'll be in synch before spring training. It's like the Bull Durham line -- I'm dealing with a lot of ---- here. My dad just called, which was distracting. My friend just told me he's having a baby. I've got two friends who just told me they are divorcing. I've been up since 4. Please, be gentle. I'm doing my best.

Sports teams going to the White House to meet the President (any President) is a purely political act. Why should TT be a prop?

I really don't see it as political, but if he does, and he doesn't want to be a prop, then don't go. I'm fine with that. I don't think anyone thinks the Bruins are all voting for Obama because they posed for a photo with him. But then again, with the level of thought in this country, maybe they do.

O goddess....... The photo in today's Post of the court dedication to Gary williams shows a "Gary Williams signature ". Is this REALLY his signature ? I find it hard to believe a 64 year old guy would still sign his name as he did on his 6th grade penmanship test ?

Gary has never penned a note to me, but I assume that's a cleaned up version of his writing. Otherwise, why make it a signature?

He's also the reason m family now attends minor league, rather than major league, games. But if Victor Martinez hadn't gone down, there's no way the Tigers' future 400 lb. DJH would received anyting like that money.

Of course not.  But I disagree with your assumption that Prince is going to end up at 400 pounds. This really bothers me and I've heard it on a lot of talk radio. This is a big man who was born big and has been big even when he was little. I just don't see the reasoning that leads him to 400 pounds.

Isn't firing Flip sorta like shooting the messenger? Shouldn't it be the GM that gets canned? And why don't they use their "get out of jail free card" that each team got as part of the lockout settlement to void the Blatche contract? Even in a sport I don't follow much, it's depressing when our city's team is *so* bad. Section 405

That's what the coach is there for, to be fired when they're out of ideas. I think Jason Reid was right, though -- Ernie is more responsible for this mess than Flip. I think he has until the end of the season to convince Ted he can fix it.

I'm really, really early, but I just read your column and want to get this in while it's fresh. Everyone in the media who is criticizing the decision not to go is completely missing some points. You can't suspend someone from pay from their job and then ask them to show up for free to glad handle the customers. The league blew this one by saying he could still attend. If that suspension was only for one game (Tuesday night), no question he goes. And if it's a team protest over Michalek not getting a suspension too, I'm all in favor. Also, if he goes now, all the attention is on him and not the 50 other players there. Then again, I can't wait to see how many articles get written over the weekend about him not being there. Ovi's not the only one who needs to grow up.

I don't think there will be articles written about his absence, although if players keep dropping out, there may be articles written about the number of players dropping out and what can the league do about that.

It will be interesting to see if this continues. I coached HS basketballl for many years, and, with few exceptions, it was always challenging to get players t o focus on the game when there was so much else going on in their lives. But these guys are professionals, making a ton of money to do something they presumably love. I hope Flip enjoys the money he'll be paid not to coach. The players should be ashamed.

I wouldn't read too much into this one because it was against Charlotte but if he can get and keep their attention, then good for him.

Tracee, you're totally wrong on Ovi going to the ASG. If he goes, he's nothing but a distraction. Nothing but questions on the suspension, nothing but "How can the NHL let a suspended guy be here." The NHL is the one that failed, they should've told him to stay home themselves, instead they forced Ovi to play the heel.

That's the other side of the argument, and point taken.

So I was glad to see Prince go to the AL and glad the Nats didn't pay that money or those years. How do you think Detroit is handling this suprising development.- Ashburn Fan

I was reading the Freep site this morning and already they're calling for Cabrera to lose weight so he can play third. But they are excited. Cecil really brought a lot of excitement to Detroit.

Tracee: Having a quiet Super Bowl - just two couples who vacation together and who don't want the brouhaha of a larger gathering (we just want to watch what promises to be a good game). Home-made lobster rolls for Pats fans and steamed Hebrew National franks with kraut for Giants fans. Drinks aren't thematic - too much work. Your plans? DM PS - Am ecstatic Prince signed with Detroit - anyone but our Nationals. Nice man, but contract would be too disruptive; pace Boz. DM

Nats fans may kill me, but if he wasn't coming here, I'm thrilled he's going to the Tigers because that's my team. Brings back a lot of memories. See Sunday's paper, please.

Super Bowl plans? We'll see. I'm guessing a baked potato unless we figure out what's wrong with my stomach by then. :) Can you have the stomach flu for a month?

I was never a Gary Williams fan, and think it's appalling to name a court for man who over however many seasons graduated fewer than 10% of his players. Apparently some wealthy alum gave them a ton of money to make this happen? I wasn't a juge Driesell fan either, but he's 100% right om this one. Maybe Brenda's friends should start holding bake sales to get her recognized as well?

Ha! Okay, that's funny. Brenda's success has been as good or better than Gary's, certainly. I was never a Gary fan and someday I'll tell that story -- it's silly and old but still.

And I should be deleriously happy, as we've almost certainly locked up the AL Central for the next few years. It's nice to have an owner with money, but "the gougiest of the gougers" (great term!) wins again. Last year people conceded the WS to Boston and Phila before the season even started; Boston didn't make the playoffs and Phila lost in the first round. Plus his Dad turned out to be such a jerk, but we won't hold that against Prince, who was his victim. Bottom line, I'm happy to have him, just a bit apprehensve.

Yes, when ESPN declared yesterday that the Tigers were going to win the World Series, I burst into tears. No, no, no. It's nice for Detroit, he'll sell tickets, he'll hit some dingers ... and if they do well, that's great. But the season is 162 friggin' games and you cannot, CANNOT, say who's going to win it in January. Argh!

So... did you see that press conference for our newest Nat... Got to like that kid...

Saw part of it. Seems like a very nice young man. They get younger all the time. How does that happen?

So, I bet you're pretty gleeful now that Paterno's dead, huh? It's people like you in the media that hastened his death. I bet you had yourself a feast just to celebrate another one biting the dust, Tracee. Just go away.

You are disgusting. Paterno's own son said that a "broken heart" had nothing to do with his father's death. But what does he know? It's so much easier to shoot off a ridiculous post like this one. It's my chat. YOU go away.

Hi Tracee, I have been a reader of your work for a long time and a regular on your chat. I must say that your piece on Ovie was not just wrong, but way off. Calling him a " petulant child" is absurd. Listen, if your EMPLOYER aka Washington Post suspended you WITHOUT PAY for 3 days but then says, Tracee we want for you to show up at a event to promote and raise money for our Organization. Your telling me you would go? If you do, well in my opinion there is something wrong with you. Your argument that the fans paid to watch him play in the all start game and now he is not playing? Well, how about us CAPS fans paid to see him play vs Boston and he did not play! I don't buy your argument and do not agree wih you. I will say this, Ovie is upset with Shanahan's decision. But do you know what lead to Shanahan's decision? Pure dislike for a skilled Russian hockey player and NOT the hit. The "Hit" is just being used to justify Shanahans decision to suspend Ovie. Shanahan is a CANADIAN and i'm not sure if you know this or not but Russians and Canadians do not get along. I wish the league would evaluate his performance ASAP and give him a pink slip! The guy DOES NOT deserve nor has any brains to be in the position he is in. Sorry, Tracee but you got this one completely wrong.

Well, in the scenario described, I would in fact go. Why? Because I don't make millions and there are not media jobs falling off trees like apples. (Ah, the good old days.) And because I have great respect for the Post, and suspended or not, they would still be paying my salary. You can believe it or not, call me a fool, that's fine.

I know the Canadian vs. Russian argument well. There has to be a way to quantify it to see if it's true. I'm not saying it's not but just saying it doesn't make it so.

Now that the Wizards have proved that the problems lied with Flip Saunders and not with the players, can you see them making one of the top four seeds in the playoffs?


"Petulant child" really Tracee? You should use your words more carefully. The guy is ALWAYS available to the media and is a class act. Yes, he is a competitor and plays hard. But, that WAS NOT a dirty hit. Say what you will. I DO NOT agree with you.

That's fine.

So many articles saying that the Colts don't want Peyton back. What will happen to him? And now that little brother is going to the Super Bowl again, everything must be pretty hard on him. I guess there's still the Oreo Double Stuff licking team. . .

I saw Herm Edwards and Lindsey Czarniak this morning on ESPN and Herm was declaring Peyton a good fit for the Skins. Lindsey wondered who he would throw the ball to. She was laughing. I don't know but his quotes about Indy and how strange it seems there didn't indicate a level of happiness. Maybe Rob Lowe will give us a clue.

Wait, Kornheiser was fired from the WaPo?

In his mind, he was. He was on contract, and it was not renewed, as I recall.

No question. Just a comment. I haven't been on board for a couple of months but the posts seem more venomous, and, overall, less witty, than in the pasts. Hope the civil discourse resumes sometime in the near future

The Ovie issue is divisive, which is fine as long as it stays civil. The Paterno thing -- I tried to think, honestly, if there has ever been anyone in my life that I've ever wished dead. I haven't come up with a name yet. I can be mean and I can hold a grudge but my God. I wrote sympathetically of him when he had cancer and said he should be left alone. And I did.

first I was older than the players. Then the coaches.

Yes, I'm old enough to be their mothers, but grandmother territory is approaching.

Nice rhetoric there, Tracee. That'll learn 'em.

Well, it won't, but seriously.

I've been getting messages on my home answering machine EVERY DAY for three weeks, telling me "This message is for (not Tracee) Hamilton. If you are not (not Tracee) Hamilton, do not listen to this message. You could be in serious trouble for listening to this message." etc. etc. I mean, they go on and on. On MY HOME PHONE. I just think that's nuts. So I finally listened long enough to get the number (it was a debt collector), called and told them to cut it the heck out. And that's what coming on my chat and telling me to go away reminds me of. You can't call my home and tell me not to listen. That's crazy on the face of it.

Okay, I need to quit so you all can go join Richie. Give him my best and join me next week, when I'm sure everyone will be mad about something else. I hope you all have a lovely weekend, though.

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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