The Washington Post

Feb 03, 2011

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

Will I be labeled an anti-Semite if I say Dan Snyder is a lousy NFL owner?

Careful, now!

And good morning, everyone. I'm more than a little bleary from a late night in College Park so go easy on me.

Before I forget, Mark Maske will join us tomorrow from Dallas, where I'm sure he's done nothing but lounge around the pool, working on his tan and waiting for Sunday's game.

Let's get started!

Who cares how far teams fall when they lose? The polls make no difference at all in the end...unlike college football.

Is there an echo in here?



I heart Gene Weingarten's open letter to Dan Snyder. So... should we expect a flurry of activity in the legal department at Redskins Park, or do they only go after the little guys?

We'll see.

I will grant Snyder that I think the drawing has some anti-Semitic tones and I do agree that the article is a bit of a hatchet job, but this was the wrong play on his part. Picking on Snyder by pundits has always been a low hanging fruit type of reporting, but now he is actually giving them some fodder. I am not screaming for him to sell the team, nor am I planning to disavow my fandom because neither idea is anywhere close to realistic. Where were all of his advisors that were supposed to tell him this was a bad idea?

This has always been my question: Where are the voices in his life that calm him down or prop him up or do the things we need people to do for us sometimes?

I'm still trying figure out what was libelous in the "Cranky fan's guide to Dan Snyder" article? Weingarten's open letter had me in stitches when i read it....

I'm still waiting to hear that as well.

Hi, Tracee! I just wanted to let you know that you are not the worst jinx/prognosticator in the land, not by a long shot. A respected ClevelandPlain Dealer sports columnist predicted the Cavs would win 46 games! He now says he didn't say how many years that would take, but I still think he has to get the crown. I have no idea who he's picking to win the Super Bowl.

Well, I feel much better, and I like this guy's (guy's?) answer!

The overt economic threats to the City Paper made by Dan Snyder (as described in the Post this morning) go way beyond the usual craziness for this guy - and that's saying a whole lot. It seems to me that anyone describing him or herself as a journalist who works for the Snyder-owned sports talk radio stations needs to take a stand here in solidarity with the City Paper. Do you agree? Think it will happen? -K-stater

It'll be really interesting to see what happens today on 980. I know what Steinberg will be doing all day -- monitoring the radio. Of course, he does that a lot of days.

Hi Tracee. Did you get a chance to read Gene Weingarten's take on the whole Snyder v. McKenna drama? H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!!! Great way to start my morning.


Hope you're family is safe and warm in Kansas, but after this week, can we put a permanent moratorium on Midwesterners telling us all in DC how much better y'all are at handling snow back home?

Well, no, because it's still true, in general. What wasn't fair was the Midwesterners making fun of our inability during last year's blizzards. It's during the light stuff, where we totally panic and shut down the town, where we are still laughable. I've started to embrace it as a D.C. thing and kind of enjoy it (but I don't have a kid in school, which makes it easier).

Hey, the Midwest SHOULD be better at it. They have better equipment, and tons more opportunities to use it. That said, when Chicago can't handle it, it's BAD. Chicago's pretty good at it.

Hi, Tracee, next time you have lunch with Dan Snyder, could you pass on this advice: "Drop the suit against City Paper. It makes you look like a petty bully. It's a classic lose-lose proposition."

ROTFL. You had me at "lunch with Dan Snyder."

Has the Post made any public or formal reply to Snyder's request for records of communication between Steinberg and McKenna?

I don't know. I don't think they've publicly said and I don't have any inside info on that. I'm sure the lawyers are handling it.

Or is this a very UNDER-hyped Super Bowl Game No one said anyhting stupid at media day. Both teams are tight lipped, defensive teams who for the most part keep quiet. About the only story I have really heard is Dallas is short 100,000 strippers for the week. (Does each fan really need their own stripper for a week ...) Other than that, nothing ... I live in Charlotte and there was more buzz on the weekly Panthers game than what is coming out of Dallas ... Let's Go Royals

It seems both teams are by and large made up of grownups and professionals. How boring! :)

The news of Charlie Sheen and his cocaine-crazy weekends, and his coming and going in and out of rehab as its seems to suit his moods seems so jarring after reading about ex-Royal Willie Aikens spending 14 YEARS (!) in a federal jail for selling cocaine. I know the situations aren't identical, and Sheen never got caught trying to sell the stuff, but, good lord, the disparity in consequences is sickening. I hope Aikens is successful as a minor league coach and makes the best of this second chance.

Hear hear on Willie Aikens. I hope he's cleaned up and rarin' to go. As for Sheen -- when I think of the popularity of that show (which  has become awful over the years) and the amount of money he makes ... well, if he was an NFL player he'd have been suspended, let's put it that way. No, Sheen isn't a dealer and I'm not recommending 14 years in prison. But to literally have no consequences, well, it's kind of sickening to watch.

I'm no lawyer, but I've got to think that a judge throws this thing out faster than bath water. Snyder's a public figure and should be freely subject to satire. City Paper is going to have to pay some legal fees, but I can't imagine it goes very far. Maybe some good lawyer offers a discount/pro bono because he hates Snyder? And I'm not buying the anti-semitic thing at all. The Simon Wiesenthal Center should be ashamed.

This was my theory yesterday, that it gets tossed quickly, but if my sports prognostications are shaky, imagine my legal ones.

So if the groundhog sees his shadow, we get 6 more weeks of winter. What happens if he doesn't see his shadow -- 42 more days of winter?

No, Dan Snyder doesn't sue City Paper.

And a whole lot of yadda yadda yadda. To the poster who complained that this chat wasn't all sports all the time - those of us who need our daily dose of T-Ham like it that way.

It can be any thing you want it to be, can't it!

This "rivalry" hasn't been working too well for the Terps lately. Should Maryland focus more on Virginia until they get back up to speed?

No, this is a problem. I cringed when I heard that one of the Jayhawks (I think it was Tyshawn Taylor) said there really is no rivalry with K-State because Kansas has won 42 of the past 44 games, something like that. But the kid's got a point. Maryland needs a rival who feels the same way about it as it feels about them, if you follow all that. Duke just has never quite seemed to be that team.

As the fan of a "mid-major" (put in quote because I hate the term and refuse to acknowledge that it is valid) team, it matters to me when I see that my team is getting votes or, if this should even happen, crack the Top 25. Although it is not my team, it matters to me where San Diego State is ranked because they are a "little guy" and I like seeing the little guys do well (well, except for George Mason).

Yes, for the mid-majors it matters, but we're talking about the Kansases, the Dukes, the Pitts. Does it matter if they are ranked 2, 6 or 10? Not really. In fact, I'm always happier lower. Lower is better.

So Tracee, I guess Gary Williams pre-game plea to behave vocally fell on deaf ears. Sad. Why do college kids think chanting the 'F' word is effective? It isn't and reveals how base and classless the students are that engage in such boorish behavior.

I get that they are kids and they think they're being shocking and clever and all of that, but it looks bad. They adore Gary, they cheer his every move, but they will not heed his wishes -- that's not showing Gary any respect.

Is why couldn't this kerfuffle happen after the Super Bowl, when we'll be starved for news? The Redskins are a gift that keep on giving!

Sadly, you are correct. I thought perhaps we'd have smooth sailing until the draft. Ha!

Tracee Out here in up county MoCo we get kind of an early edition of the Post , usually before 4:30 AM. The edition we get has HUGE color pictures on page 1 of the Sports section--and often on other pages as well. Is this because there aren't as mant advertisers ? Fewer writers and columnists ? Earlier deadlines? Enlighten us please, Oh Sports Goddess of the Plains

My dear, you get what is known as the REG (short for regional), unless they've changed the parlance since I left the editing gig. The deadline is very early and many times the lead story won't be in. Last night, with a 9 p.m. game, is a perfect example. So we go to press with a large photo and then Miss Liz quickly sends a running story at the buzzer and they pull a few plates and slap some new ones on and Bob's your uncle. It's the "making the sausage" side of newspaper production.

I love hockey anyway, but the goalie fight in the Pens/NY game was the highlight. How often does THAT happen?!

Haven't seen the clip yet but I'll be settling in the recliner for some napping, er, viewing in a little bit and I'll get caught up. Heard about it on the radio last night.

I have to say that it really is a stretch to call that illustration anti-Semitic. People have been putting facial hair and horns on pictures of people in juvenile and satiric ways since junior high immemorial. It's not calling him the devil because he's Jewish. It's calling him the devil because he does some really devilish things.

Seemed kind of "Mad Magazine"-y to me, at worst.

Ms.H: Yep, this Saturday, KU comes into Lincoln for the last Big 12 conference game between NU and KU (unless they meet in the Big 12 tournament - not likely). Since KU just blew out KSU, followed by KSU destroying NU last night, I have a small favor to ask. Please pick KU to beat NU. I mean I want "My Jayhawks will wipe the floor with those wimpy Huskers," or something of that ilk. We need all the help we can get, and the right prediction from you will really help. thanks AHG (P.S. is there anything more ridiculous and overblown than National Signing Day - unless it's Danny's lawsuit against the City Paper?)

AHG, I'm worried about this game, so your boys are going to have to win it on your own. They gave us fits at Allen. Now, why K-State suddenly got it together I do NOT know.

He just happened to go public this week? Seems more likely that he wanted to grab a little attention during a slow media week (since no matter what ESPN thinks, most of us don't care until Sunday night). FH

FH, wouldn't it be nice for Skins fans if the owner of the team was figuring out how to get the team back into the news during Super Bowl week for something other than a lawsuit?

Yesterday's chatters were right: Snyder wants to bankrupt the City Paper. He must realize he's already the most hated person in Washington, and just not care. I read the CP article, and none of it was new. And the cover did indeed look like a little kid with crayons ahd a go at his picture. My Dad quit following the Yankees when he got sick of George Steinbrenner, and Steinbrenner's teams mostly won. The same has happened to me with Snyder. Too bad it hasn't happened to a lot more fans, since as long as they keep plunking down the cash to see this train wreck of a franchise, things are never going to change.

Yes, it's pretty clear from that letter that that is what he intends to do.

How long do you think the process will take? Do you think the rebuild formula will mirror the Caps, i.e. build through the draft, a youth movement with a few veterans to show the young players the ropes? I've read Ted's blog and it sounds like it will be a long and painful process.

Three seasons, counting this one, minimum. Maybe four, if they make some bad decisions that have to be fixed.

1. Dan Snyder's Jewish? 2. As Synder appears to find childish scribbles similar to anti-Semitic, European medieval and Renaissance artwork offensive and also reason to sue, does this mean that the Redskins will finally have a new name, mascot, etc - ones that are not currently offensive to a large portion of this country's original residents and ones that cannot conceivably be anything but a reference to a racial slur?

1. Yes. 2. Doubtful. But an interesting point a lot of you are making.

Wow. This whole Snyder thing really is idiotic. Talk about thin-skinned. Thanks to Gene for his piece with the link to the original article so we could all read it for ourselves. Surely this thing now receives a million times more attention than it did when originally published during a holiday week in the CP. And thanks to CP for linking to the letters from Snyder's lawyers and the response from their own attorneys. I hope they win the case plus costs for this frivolous suit.

Yes, I heard a lot of people say yesterday, "I never even saw the article the first time." Now, thanks to Snyder, it'll be read by millions.

Was Dallas able to get enough strippers in to satisfy their shortage??!!?? if not, maybe a well placed call to charlie sheen would help?

Ha! Sheen could break into his private stash, charter a plane to Dallas and save the day. Or they could drop parachute strippers into the most destitute areas of Dallas.

well maybe if Congress didn't jerk around DC with funding, or let DC tax its only tax base in order to raise revenue, DC would have sufficient equipment and crews to handle even small amounts of snow.

I'm not blaming DC. Some municipalities don't spend as much on snow removal because it's worth the risk -- some years they get no snow. Charlotte or Raleigh fell into that category, I think, and then they got a foot earlier this year. DC can't afford, nor should it spend money on, a fleet the size of Chicago's. It just means that when we do have problems, like last winter or last week, it's not going to get handled with the aplomb seen in some other areas.

Come on, sir; a week after the Super Bowl baseball's spring training camps open. There's also the NHL, NBA, NCAA basketball and spring sports. There is life and sports other than football. Of course, I'm writing as someone who doesn't care about or pay attention to what is called football in the U.S. (Now, Premiere League, that is a totally different story!)

I let that one go. It usually feels a bit quiet the week after the Super Bowl but truthfully, I don't think it will be as bad next week because this week hasn't seem so hype-filled to me. But you're right; there's plenty still on tap.


There is a legit basis for the antisemitism complaint. The Jew-as-devil is a very old stereotype and it is historically hurtful, even though the association is largely gone and most of us don't make that leap. Of course, The Danny still looks ridiculous.

Yes, there is a basis for that, although it's strange that that cover was out three months before a single person mentioned that. I knew the history but will admit seeing the illustration it never crossed my mind.

But have a stripper shortage!!! bad planning. I volunteer for a paid position with the NFL to investigate future SB venues to make sure this doesnt happen again.

Get that resume in now!

So tell us, Tracee, who would be the most likely player to be involved in an early-morning shooting in a nearby bar, post-Super Bowl.


Okay, thanks for a lively morning! I didn't get to a fraction of all the posts; sorry about that. Let's try again tomorrow with that rabble-rouser from the Super Bowl!

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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