Jan 31, 2011

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

Well, I can't say I'm surprised - all signs pointed to a KU blow-out. I'm still 100% behind Frank, but this is one tough hole to climb out of. I hope YOU had a good weekend. - K-Stater

Well, K-Stater, I'm not going to rub it in. I was just happy to see Thomas R. have such a good game. My weekend was bronchitis-filled, which made giving a speech ... dicey. But I got through it and home again. Now I need to figure out why I'm getting bronchitis so often now.

(Special message to Kansans and travelers: Also on the docket for this trip was a  Brookville Hotel dinner, which I have to say, for the first time ever, was a little disappointing. Hope it was just an off night.)

And good morning to everyone! Let's get started!

Tracee, hello to you! A while back, I asked you if I should request a balloon from the receptionist upon emerging from a dental appointment (I'm 42). Wisely, you said "no" in a very direct manner, and asutely pointed out that, perhaps, I could schedule my OWN reward! Excellent idea. So here it is: my reward will be reluctantly returning to work, and, when there's a free moment, checking in to FTF, to see your reply! Thanks so much in advance! And for some reason, I think my denstist will look and act like "Uncle Leo," but I hope I'm off base here.

Virtue is its own reward, but FTF will work in a pinch.

What if your dentish is Tim Whatley? Check your buttons...

Thanks for Mark's article on Wednesday. All my questions about the upcoming lockout / draft / free agency were answered. That was one of the articles that was worth the price of the paper by itself, with the rest of the paper included for free. Thanks again.

Maske will be joining us this week -- date still TBA -- from the Super Bowl. Glad your questions (and mine) were answered. Maske's good at 'splaining stuff.

Ms. H: Well, not that they'll pass each other in the polls. NU might even get a couple of votes in this week's poll, although beating a 13th-ranked Texas A&M at Lincoln is hardly the equivalent of St John's upsetting Duke. I think this is bad news for the Terps for Wednesday, as the "dookies" don't lose consecutive games very often. AHG (Welcome back!)

Jokes aside, that was a good win for your boys, the kind that will count in the room at tournament time, so congrats, AHG!

T-Ham, to whomever said last week that that Ghost Adventures guy was often flirtatious with the ghost with whom he was interacting, was spot on! I tuned into the show, only to observe him suggestively say to the ghost of a supposed "lady of the evening," : "I'm here. If you want to make yourself known to me, I'm sure you'll know how to do that, heh heh." Not called for. I felt really oogie all over. He needs to stop. Jason Hawes is WAY more classy with the ghosts, don't you think?

Yeah, don't tease ghosts. Like you said, not classy.

Good morning Tracee, I have to be at work early today, so I am up and getting ready to head out, but I had a pro-bowl question for you. Instead of being this half-hearted game, why not have an AFC vs. NFC skills challenge? It would reduce the risk of injury, and could be fun to watch if done properly. What are your thoughts on this? Finally, I have a feeling today will be a good Monday because we are having a chocolate cake eating party at work today. I hope everyone's Monday goes well. Thanks.

I'd rather see a draft, like the NHL had. Let the players play a little Fantasy Football of their own. The NFL network could turn it into quite an extravaganza. Fun!

The NFL should just issue flags and have done with it. No tackling whatsoever!

Like the NHL -- no defense whatsoever. Maybe that's why baseball is the superior all-star game -- they do actually play all out. Easier for them, of course, in a non-contact sport.

FTF is such a treat! My daughter is pursuing a career in sports journalism after reading her autobiography. Now we can think of her sipping very cold gin after having a rough day. Do you know what kind of dog she has? And Sigourney Weaver should definitely play her in the movie.

Yes, that was a very good choice for Sally. I think her dog is a teacup ... something. I've forgotten. Very cute dog.

You need to read one of the later "Jack Reacher" books by Lee Child (IMO a good read), then discuss Sally's comparison of your wardrobe to Jack's. How much of the Wiz problem (4th quarter) is conditioning, and how much is teams tend to coast during the first part of a regular season game, then "take care of business" at the end?

I don't think she compared my wardrobe to his. She said I was like him. I'm not sure that's better or worse, but Sally's about as "into" wardrobes as I am, which is not much.

If those are my two choices, I'll take conditiong as the answer. Surely the Wizards aren't coasting at this point? You have to earn the right to coast. But there are teams a lot older and a lot wiser than the Wizards who seem to have gas in the tank in the fourth quarter. Witness the Celtics yesterday.

Hi, Tracee, and welcome back. So what's with all the upsets in the Big East? And Duke losing to St. John's BADLY? And Ohio State just barely beating Northwestern? Is it a sign of the Apocalypse? And were there no goalies in the NHL All-Star game? 11-10! Honestly!

There were good goalies, but it goes to show you what defensemen are on the ice for (in other games, not this one). Defensemen really don't do anything at the all-star game, hence the score. But fun! There are going to be upsets in the Big East all the way to the end, I think, because it's a tough, evenly matched league. Duke losing badly, I think, is a function of a less than stellar ACC this year. Sorry, Gary, but it's true. The Big East, Big Ten and maybe the Big 12 are superior, top to bottom, than the ACC this year. Duke will be fine, though.

It has alcohol in it, so it should last awhile, right? But the sprayer thingy is broken. Anyone know how to fix that? Sore throat in Alexandria who doesn't want to have to go out to the drugstore.

I can't believe the questions I get. Yes, it should last quite a while. Those sprayer, though, when they break, are pretty much shot. I'm afraid you're going to have to go to the store. But maybe someone else has a better idea. Any chance you have another spray bottle in the house? Can you gargle a little, maybe cut it with water first?

I'm coming to kidnap your husband on Saturday night and I will force him to watch the Super Bowl and all 20 hours of pre-game action. Don't worry, he will be returned safely once he causes Pittsburgh's loss!

PW, you've been warned!

I have no trouble with walk off hits of any kind, buat at last Saturday's SABR convention we were told about walk-off balks and even walk-off strikeouts. I think that's going too far.


Both the NFL Pro Bowl and the NHL All Star game! I think what really made the games exciting is that Honolulu is such a big fooball city and Raleigh such a big hockey town.

Good one!

St John's routed Duke. Hmmmmm. I think Gary Williams chose the wrong time to say the ACC should be doing a better job of publicizing its strengths.

Yeah, I'm not sure why the hysteria over people saying the ACC is down this year. It'll be back. These things come in cycles. The Big 12 is down a bit as well (and I don't mean this in a snotty way but a true way; part of it is because of K-State going off the rails).

It's also true that we worry way too much about the polls. K-State and MSU were both very highly ranked in the preseason. How has that turned out? It all sorts itself out so ACC fans need to be patient. Who knows, maybe its teams will dominate in the tournament? Stranger things have happened. I do think the Big East will do well in March because of the high level of competition.

Nice article by Michael Lee. He sounds like a nice kid, albeit a very rich one. We tend to forget that he just turned 20. With his money, he can afford a cleaning lady every day. However, my parents insisted we boys learn how to cook, clean and do laundry; and our sisters had to mow the lawn and wash the car. We weren't thrilled at the time, but now we're grateful. Of course none of us has anywhere close to the income needed to pay others to do all of this for us.

That's the smart way to raise kids, just in case they don't turn out to be first-round draft picks. I learned to shoot a gun, work power tools, clean, cook a little, but I wish someone had made me learn how to change the oil.

Who knew Jay Cutler was playing in the Pro Bowl?

Yes, wasn't that a moving performance?

Nice story by Kilgore on Strasburg trying to quit the smokeless tobacco! Good for Stras! I watch so many guys growing up that got addicted to that stuff and even now 20 years later still can't kick the habit! Glad to see Stras try to get it out of his life before any damage is done. BTW, make sure Kilgore buys you a really nice dinner when you are in Viera. He owes you! - Ashburn Fan

Yes, good for him. I dated a guy who chewed but only when he played baseball. However, he also played college ball so it was a lot of years chewing. Mouth cancer is nothing to play around with. Plus ... gross. 

I will confess to chewing, once, just to see what it was like. Needless to say, not for me.

But doesn't something like home field advantage rest on the game in baseball?

Yes, but the games were more competition than, say, the pro bowl long before that rule went into effect.

I think his MVP performance bodes well for the Redskins. I'm not sure why. . .but it was a good thing that I feel foretells of good things to come! Hail to the Redskins!

An optimistic Redskins fan. We should be keeping you on ice until next fall -- you are becoming extinct.

I feel Stephen's pain. I too used to dip and it's an incredibly hard thing to quit. It took me years and hundreds of attempts. I think it was the dual influence of having children and getting my first professional job that finally put me in the right frame of mind. I wish him the best!

It's hard but so smart to quit when you're younger. As hard as it is, it gets harder the older you get, I think.

didn't jay wright get the memo from mike wise? everyone has figured out JTIII. this should have been cake for those cats! But seriously, big win for the Hoyas. I think it is important to point out that JTIII does not run a gimmick. It is a very good system that, when executed properly, is very hard to play against.

The difference in that offense when Austin Freeman is "on" is big, too.

Tracee, Salinan here and love the chats. Why go to the Brookville Hotel since it's not in Brookville anymore -- the chicken was always meh. Oh, and a sports question... ummm... name the four #1 seeds.

Oh, I used to love the chicken. And we were there last March and it was fine. This just wasnn't. Too bad. Jim's in Salina is better. Is there a hidden chicken place in Salina that I should know about? I'll be back in May.

The four No. 1's? Oh, boy. Today, I'd go Ohio State, Pitt, Kansas and ... I couldn't name the fourth. Too many variables to come. Duke and San Diego State aren't out of it, for me, but I'd sure consider two Big East teams. The problem is, which ones?

How about some love for our Terps? Two consecutive ROAD wins. I think MD lead the entire second half. Go Terps.

Okay, here's your love.

I think the Wizards need to call in the psychologist that Robert Redford walked out on in The Natural. "Losing is like a disease. . . ."

Which is worse -- the Cavs' streak or the Wizards'? I say the Cavs. At least the Wizards win a game or two every week. Just not on the road.

Ray Fosse is on line 1 for you. Yes, we're old.

Ha, I knew someone would say that! Well, of course there are those exceptions. It's not SUPPOSED to be a contact sport. :)

No, I'm sure the poster meant that the OTHER team coasts until the fourth quarter, and then takes cares of business at the end. In other words, just because the Wizards can keep up for 3 quarters doesn't really signify anything good.

Ah, okay, that makes sense. Sorry, I'm heavily medicated and not in the good way.

As we gear up for the Super Bowl, I propose that we turn the page on the contemporaneous final-second-first-note event that is "Celebration." It's not that I don't get it - I really do. There needs to be some well-known anthem blaring as the game ends. What gets me is the rather obvious, tired, and self-reinforcing choice of "Celebration." Predictably, I do not have a solid candidate for a replacement, but would offer that the original or adopted "theme" song of the winning team and fan base for starters. Thoughts?

I'm bad at contemporary music but someone on this chat will come up with something -- you people always do. And yes, this song is tired. Especially to those of us who used to actually dance to it at an actual disco (shudder). The list since has been pretty gray; the BEP better not mess it up or we're going back to "Up with People."

The problem is the NFL, specifically that the NFL seems to be in love with dated music and acts. They tried to be hip with JT and Janet and look how that turned out.

Just put a little on the back of your tongue, and don't plan to taste anything for a couple days. That's also an opportune time to take some Theraflu with Jack, if appropriate for your condition.

Ha! Theraflu with Jack sounds good. Wish I had the flu! :)

I never watch the Pro Bowl - did Cutler REALLY play yesterday? This just makes it all that much worse. How did his peers react that he showed up to the Pro Bowl? What a miraculous recovery...

No, someone was being funny.

Well, that beats my Monday. We seem to be having a "dump the work on someone else" and "get scowled at by the boss" party today in my office. But then that describes every day here, I guess.

Sorry to hear that! It's Carnival in here by comparison.

My son's CYO league 6th grade basketball team is undefeated so far this season. Why isn't this the lead story every Monday morning? Please talk to the WaPo sports editors and have them address this glaring gap in crucial coverage!

Dear God, we've missed the story of the year! We'll get right on it.

Look, the ACC has gotten as much exposure as they have earned. And, yes, it is very little...


Please feed him well when you have him. And could you get him to Mass?

PW really is my hero.

It was on but I wasn't really watching it. I really can't put my finger on why I care so little about it since I LOVE the baseball All Star Game. It's not as if I'm not glued to the boob tube on Sundays watching the NFL, either -- I'm all about football. I'm happy for the players and a free trip to Hawaii seems like a great deal (less so for multimillionaires, of course) but I Just. Don't. Care. Any thoughts on why?

I feel the same and always have. I was hoping YOU could tell ME why!

Can you also do an expose on Max Mercer's fall from grace following the Knights triumphant win for the pennant?

I think he's now drawing charactures at a bus station somewhere.

...and Bruce Pearl's at your door with a satchel...


I had a dentist while I was growing up who's last name was Hurt. His first name was Ken. Go on, say it out loud... Dr. Ken Hurt.. At least his first name wasn't Will. My parents enjoyed teasing us about how much pain we would be in, but he was actually a very gentle dentist - perhaps traumatized by the weight of his name.

Boy, it took a lot of guts to hang a shingle out with that name on it. Good for him!

We had a barber in our hometown named Hair. I always liked that.

Tracee I don't know about you, but I could only watch about one period/quarter of the two all star games yesterday. It may have been better television if the NHL players had played football and the NFL guys put on skates and played hockey. Or if each group played half a game of both sports against each other. Yet another reason to not have TWO weeks between the NFL conference championship games and the Super Bowl--oops , can we use the term "Super Bowl " without getting into trouble with the NFL--licensening and all that ?

Both of those are great ideas and would be a lot more fun to watch. I watched a little of the NHL game, flipping to the Celtics-Lakers, but there were tempting treats on the DVR. And then I hit the wall. So I saw none of the Pro Bowl. And I'm okay with that.

What did I miss? I mean, other than a real football game. I left the room and came back in during the fourth quarter and a player was rolling around LAUGHING on the field while security escorted a handcuffed man away. I was bummed-- looks like I missed the most interesting thing about the game!

Me, too! Apparently fans ran on the field. I just watched a piece of video and IT was boring.

Of course, it would be best if they never started.


Mainly because there are people alive who can remember when the Cavs were pretty good. The Wiz have never been good. There was this team called the Bullets that had a little success back when dinosaurs roamed the paint...

Another good point.

I'm late on this one, but I too think the Pro Bowl would be tremendously more interesting if they went for a "Battle of the Network Stars"-type format. Just watch the teams do goofy competitions with no threat of actual injury. They could even have celebrity team captains to harken back to the actual BotNS days, like Robert Conrad and Tom Selleck! Who wouldn't tune in to see Vince Wilfork kayaking or Peyton Manning running the tire race? I know I would be watching! Happy Monday to you... ~Pats Fan

PF, I like this idea a lot.

So that's why everyone in my office swears by Theraflu.

I know I'm a convert now...

And it's time to sign off. Thanks for joining me, everyone, and for making Sally feel so welcome on Friday. 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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