The Washington Post

Feb 08, 2011

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

Okay, wait just a dang minute. When we picked up our friend at MIA Sunday afternoon, her plane from London landed at 2:30--and A-Rod was on it, being fed popcorn by a sea hag! So he got from MIA to DFW, and through customs, and through traffic from DFW to The Big Facelift (an hour on a regular Tuesday for us mortals, so three hours yesterday), in time to be seen in a luxury box? That, my friends, is great hustle! The Best Husband in the World, the commenter formerly known as Florida Husky.

I have to admit, that was impressive.

And good morning, everyone. It's a bright day at my house because the Jayhawks beat Mizzou. Let's get going.

... against the Badgers on Saturday?

Possibly. I don't think Ohio State can run the table, not because they aren't very good but because it's so hard to do. But we'll see...

Hello, I'm Dr. Jager Meister. Please allow me to explain...

In Detroit in '84 it was probably Stroh's, but I get your point.

who put up the second post in your chat yesterday, saying that the Caps basically beat the WB-Scranton Farm team: I counted three players called up from WBS on the post's transaction list for the Pens. Granted, this is by only basis for doubting that claim, and I could be wrong, but the Pens came to DC having won 8 of 9 without their 2 top stars. This was not Pittsburgh in top shape, and it's possible the Caps won't see the Pens with Crosby again during the regular season, but this was not a soft team. The Caps were also playing their umpteenth game without their leading scorer (Semin), played without their best defenceman for two thirds of the game, and have a very extensive list of players on the IR. Not to mention, the Caps were playing with several Hershey players and were starting a rookie goaltender. And did he seriously bring up the Steckel/Crosby collsion and insinuate that it was dirty? For real? I'd like to refer him to the Cooke knee-ing on Ovechkin, and to the fact that Cooke declined to answer for his crimes. He claims that 'that effort will never get you a SC.' Really, because I thought shutting out top-ranked opponents on national TV, combined with not allowing more than 2 goals against in weeks, is a pretty good way to start. If the Pens laid a goose egg against a goaltender who allegedly 'isn't that good,' what does that say about their cup chances this year? The Capitals put up a solid, full-game effort and beat a good hockey team for the second straight game. It is certainly something to hang their helmets on as they look forward to a long stretch against many playoff contenders. This poster goes beyond mere sour grapes. It is blatantly petulant and lacking in sound basis.

You tell him! Or her!

So Hamady Ndiaye is returning from exile with the Dakota Wizards.  Who knew that Dakota even had a team? For your morning entertainment, match the NBL Development League place with its team. Places: Austin, Bakersfield, Dakota, Erie, Fort Wayne, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, New Mexico, Reno, Rio Grande Valley, Sioux Falls, Springfield, Texas, Tulsa, and Utah. Teams: 66ers, Armor, BayHawks, Bighorns, Energy, Flash, Jam, Legends, Mad Ants, Red Claws, Skyforce, Stampede, Thunderbirds, Toros, Vipers, and Wizards.

Anyone want to play? I tried for a minute and found I just didn't care.

Hey Tracee - no has this over me! After Church, I emptied and reloaded the dishwasher, did two loads of laundry, made a fresh pot of coffee for my wife ,(who was out at the gym with friends) so it was ready when she returned, washed her car once she got back, helped make super bowl food with her, went to church (again) with her, and cleaned up the house and kitchen after she went to bed. Retire the trophy!

Well, that's pretty impressive.

Hi, so when do you head down to Viera? Are there any stories that you want to cover? Any chance of shaving that awful beard off Stras? Find out what Boz is eating/drinking - because I want whatever he is having that gives him that optimistic outlook! Say hello to Panera for BSvl. Oh and tell Kilgore he better kiss up to you! He owes you!-Ashburn Fan

I am not going to Viera, it appears. Not a long enough window for me to sneak in. I was looking forward to eating at the Barry Svrluga table at Panera and scaring Kilgore, but alas, it's not to be.

Just three chats scheduled for today? What am I to be expected to do today, work?

Oh, no, surely not!

I feel exactly the same way, although for me the tipping point came after the end of the 2009 season when I decided not to renew my Redskins season tickets. I just got tired of being treated like a sucker at FedEx, as just a source of revenue. It was probably naive of me, but in some ways I was living vicariously through Dan Snyder because as a kid growing up as a Redskins fan, like he was, I dreamt of one day owning the team (and had to settle for the more realistic season tickets). The sad truth is Snyder doesn't see me as a kindred sports spirit, he sees me as a dollar sign.

Sally, as always, nailed it.

I have Packer fan friends who went to the game, are deleriously happy with the result, got a decent package deal with OK" seats, were not to put off by the weather -- and they are solid Middle American citizens who said the whole thing was entirely over he top. I assume people will bring this to Roger G's attention? I realize the focus is 99.9% on money, but at some point people have to say "enough" or it will become a joke. It already is to a lot of people whose teams are not in the game.

Until people quit buying tickets to stand outside this mess in the freezing cold and watch TV, not a thing will change. Why would it? They are minting money.

Wow, T-Ham...the only thing Sally left out today was "You damn kids get off my lawn, and quit blasting that Black Eyed Peanut stuff so loud!" She's not usually this curmudgeonly, is she? And of COURSE the SB was over the top -- isn't that part of what we love about it, our one day (besides New Years Eve) to have an excuse for all the excesses that we keep under wraps the other 363 days of the year?

I don't know if I agree that America keeps its excesses under wraps 363 days a year.

Best anthem singer, hands down, Jim Cornelison, Hawks (and sometimes Bears) singer. Nothing , no one anywhere matchs the anthem at the UC.

I've heard him twice; he's great.

I respect if people want to hear the Star-Spangled Banner performed in a "traditional" or a solemn manner, but it gets me worked up when people say they want to here it "as it was written", unless they really want to hear sung by Englishmen drunk on 18th century ale. The Star-Spangled Banner was originally written to a drinking song called "Anacreon in Heaven" and has had many variant interpretations even before Jose Feliciano. During the Civil War, it was played to a bouncy rhythm that sounded more like "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". Criticize renditions if you like, but stop saying you want to hear it "as it was written" unless you actually like drinking song to start ballgames.

I think it's perfectly clear how I want to hear it sung. But thanks for the history; I didn't know that.

I see it's being pretty widely panned, but I really enjoyed it. Technical difficulties aside, it was a fun spectacle. The lighted dancers on the field reminded me of a marching band! Just a fun 15-20 minutes. I can't think of anyone recently who was better.

I've heard from a few who did.

Each year the excesses of Super Bowl Sunday make me appreciate the relative stateliness of the World Series. Don't get me wrong, I love the Super Bowl, would try to go if the Skins ever make it again in my lifetime and I dragged myself to work late on Monday, but I think there's something to be said for the comparatively understated way MLB conducts its championship.

The Pro Bowl got a higher rating than the final game of the last year's World Series. And those are the numbers that count. I, too, love the Series, but they'd bring in pole dancers to get the Super Bowl's numbers.

Amy's former roommate here. Sorry for the late response. Yes, that was Amy. As far as I know she's doing fine, though she moved to California in the mid 90's to go to grad school, I think at USC but I'm not sure, and we've since lost touch. Can anyone take it from here? Her name is Amy Tomlinson but she may have married and be using her married name. I'm also happy to report that she found a more comfortable prosthesis so is now no longer one-legged. They've made amazing strides in these things over the past few decades.

Thanks for the follow-up! If anyone knows Amy, tell her to join us some morning.

I hate to break it to Roger Goodell, but if I'm from Green Bay and I spent big dollars on tickets on Stub Hub, a ton of dough on a last-minute hotel room and even more on a last-minute flight because I really wanted to see my beloved Packers play in the Super Bowl, I really don't give a ... gosh darn ... about being the NFL's guest at next year's event unless the Packers are in it.

That was my thought re the 2012 tickets. They showed a lot of those people standing outside and many seemed to be wearing team jerseys. They weren't there for the drunk-fest; they were there to see their teams!

Is 100,000 fans the max you can pack into a football stadium, or are there drawings on the architectural board for even larger stadiums? Even at 100,000 seats 1,250 ticket holders got turned away.

Well, Michigan goes 106,000, I believe. I'm sure there are bigger stadiums on the drawing board but at some point the seats become horrible. Clearly, though, for a Super Bowl, someone will pay for those. I just question whether they'd sell at any other time of year but that, which doesn't really make them cost effective unless your stadium becomes the permanent home of the Super Bowl. Even then, it's once a year.

Completely agreed with Sally's column today. Look I love football but the whole Super Bowl overkill and the new stadiums being paid for by taxpayers is just crazy. Let's face it paying for the facilities for multimillionaires to watch other multimillionaires play a game is crazy! The NFL and the players union really needs to sit back and take a look at this. A lot of people are hurting right now, and I think the NFL has gone to an extreme. Plus I haven't heard from anyone who wants 18 games. The players are getting hurt with what we have now, they can't take more. Finally, doesn't the NFL require a certain standard when it comes to owners? Can't they force Danny to sell. I have now become a Giants fan like my husband. What a classy organization they are! P.s. Change the name of the Redskins please!

You're asking for a lot, and I hate to say it, but you're doomed to disappointment. Until people stop buying the tickets, they'll continue to print them.

Can I talk about him again, or must I wait for spring training to actually start?

You can talk about him any time you want.

Don't think so, pal: I also made her breakfast before the Ikea trip, then did the dishes. After leaving the Super Bowl party early (unfortunately, we didn't miss the halftime show) because she had an early meeting, I gave her a foot massage (walking around Ikea in cute shoes made her feet hurt) and made her lunch for the next day AND her breakfast in the morning. Not to mention driving an hour each way to bring her materials that she had forgotten, making me have to rearrange my own meetings. Then she fell off her heels walking from her car to the spot where I was going to buy her a cup of coffee. As she fell, I caught her arm, but her iPhone hit the pavement and the glass broke. So what did I do? I took the ice pack out of my lunch box and put it on her leg, then switched the SIM cards and gave her my iPhone so that she would have a working phone the rest of the day. After concluding my business day, I made dinner and put it in the oven. While she rested with her leg up, I sat on the phone with AT&T to see what we could do about the phone situation--before doing the dishes. Did I mention also doing some laundry, including the folding? BHitW, but thanks for playing.

You guys are starting to scare me.

I for one thing a drinking song to start a ballgame is not entirely inappropriate. Especially if there are Phils fans in attendance.


Superbowl Sunday + 363 other days=364...God only knows what you're doing on the 365th day....

You missed the reference to New Year's Eve. The math was sound.

I know some people (not me) have a huge issue with fans using "us"/"we" when talking about their team and players, instead of "they". I don't see what the issue is. So here's my question for them: Can a Green Bay share holder use the term "us"/"we"? I would say yes, since they are an owner in the team.

I will admit to doing this when talking about KU, and probably only in that scenario. And I will not apologize for it. So I don't think you have to own a share to do it. How the sticklers feel I don't know.

Sally has, once again, elegantly put the current sports landscape into perspective. For the first time in a long time I didn't watch the Super Bowl this year. Not one second. And until I read Ms. Jenkins column this morning I wasn't even sure why. Now I know.

The shame of that is, it was a good football game. You missed a good, well-played, cleanly played football game, surrounded by a crap swamp.

I think Sally is right on today. But as long as people are dumb enough to keep on paying the crooks who run the NFL and other sports things aren't going to change. Why should the owners change when people are so willing to open their wallets and dump out all their cash. $200 to stand outside the stadium? Who are these morons? $900 to park your car is just robbery though since everyone who goes to the game will need to park. It's the same with everyone here moaning about how awful Snyder is, yet they keep buying the tickets, merchandise and overpriced concessions. The only way to send a message these people understand is to stop giving them your money.

That's the problem in a nutshell.

Good morning Ms. Hamilton, I was greatly pleased to see Chris Hanburger elected to the Football HOF. He is very deserving. I watched him play when I was a youth here in the DC area and the guy was a very smart and fearless linebacker - a consummate professional. And he wasn't all that big, by today's standards. Watching him and Pat Fischer tackle guys - very hard - was impressive. He seems like a very humble man, too, from the article in the Post on Saturday. Nice to see some positive, feel-good news, happen to a Redskin.

Yes, belated congrats to Hanburger!

Who wins this upcoming matchup in the battle of the movable object vs. the resistable force? Something's gotta give.

This, like the Super Bowl, is a game I refuse to predict. There's too much at stake for me to jinx it for EITHER team.

are you more of a "tiger mom," if you will, making them play the violin piece until 4am, threatening to burn their scratching post, or are you more of a "softie," attending to their self-esteem needs?

Ha! I am a softie. My cats will never score high in math or achieve great things. Although Phog is reclining on my desk, staring at the screen as I type and trying to correct my spelling.

I love that phrase. I am (not Wil I. Am) going to use that today whenever possible. Thank you!

Go for it.

Technical difficulties aside, I can't remember a recent halftime show that had that much energy! Everyone in our family (ages 15-49) loved it!

I am baffled but respect your decision. I'd have loved to watch with my dad. He wouldn't have understood a single thing they said or did.

Why should they? The NFL and the teams that make it up are businesses. Businesses expand if they can and it makes financial sense for them to do so. They don't hold back because people are hurting. Do other businesses, especially in the field of entertainment (and sports is entertainment) build smaller buildings because it sends the wrong message? It's up to government officials, and voters, to call a halt if see too much public money spent on the teams. Unfortunately, many customers of these businesses think they owe more loyalty to a pro sports team than to other businesses.

Very true.

Maybe instead of BHITW it should be WWITW? C'mon, guys, none of these women is capable of doing anything for themselves? ; )

I don't know, I think it's nice to be cared for every now and then. I have often wanted to rent a husband when I have to climb on the roof or do other things I really, really don't want to do. I'm capable of doing pretty much everything for myself, but it's nice to be waited on every now and then. Doesn't make me a wimp. Makes me human.

I think it's nice to note that the president and CEO of the Green Bay Packers is Mark Murphy, who won his own Super Bowl ring as a safety with...the Washington Redskins. Saw him on TV last night holding the Lombardi trophy aloft and boy, did he look happy. I am sure Dan Snyder even now is plotting to lure him to the Redskins, but I think Murphy is too smart for that.

Yes, I'm thinking Murphy is better off where he is.

Boy, does Sally Jenkins ever write just a simple column about, say, an actual sporting event? She always seems to take on 'world hunger' type sports issues. This time she goes after the decadence that is the Super Bowl. Hate to tell her but the Super Bowl has been full of largess and decadence for a long time now. Right or wrong, it is what the Super Bowl is and has been. And it isn't going to change because she writes a column bemoaning $10 beers and charging folks big bucks to sit outside the stadium to watch on the big screen. At least she is no longer writing about and defending her buddy Lance Armstrong.

So because it's been going on forever she shouldn't write about it? Come on, now, that's a little extreme.

Simple solution, and we have the technology: after 90 seconds, shut the mike off. It almost worked at halftime, but we could hear Fergie after a minute. BHitW

This is not a bad idea.

Hey, the mayor played basketball! (see my post is about sports) Great article today, growing up in Ohio reminds me that the Great Lakes (I hate midwest for Ohio) is hurting and makes me want to move back pump some money into the economy. Hey, I have a job! I make a good salary! They'll let me keep it if I move, right? Telework is all the rage ya know.

Let me know if that works!

Big wins for Kansas & Pitt last night, Tracee! Poor Cleveland Cavaliers, however. That's a record NO ONE wants!

Hey, PW, watched some of your game last night. I still think Pitt looks mighty dangerous.

You see this piece from the Journal? My favorite quote is: "...except for the offensive linemen, it can be tough to pick the athletes on their lists out of a crowd." Guess those 7-foot tall black guys blend right in around Lawrence...

You'd be surprised. The only 7-footer is white, and Lawrence is not all-white, nor is Kansas, for that matter. I love this article, though. My dad would be great at this.

Hi Tracee: Sunday, before the big game, I had the opportunity to attend a Lady Terps basketball game with my daughter (Montgomery County student day at the game) . Just wanted to share how great an experience it was. The Lady Terps are doing fantastic this year and played an awesome, exciting game againt NC State. The crowd, while small, was really into the game. The best part? There was none of the cursing and inappropriate behavior you find at the men's games. For all the parents out there...check this out. Good, clean fun. Great atmosphere, great team effort. Really nice to see.

Women's basketball has improved so much since the sorry days when I played, and you're right, the atmosphere is great. My folks have season tickets for the KU women's team. They don't get a lot of chances to go but they love it when they are able to get down there. Good recommendation.

What standards are NHL refs supposed to meet? I thought Friday's Canucks/Blackhawks game would work to create some hockey buddies - it's usually an intense, fast game, and for the shallower watchers (they're freaked by Ovie-head commercials, so no Caps game) the Blackhawks have sufficient eye candy. Huge mistake! A good goal was waved off; an off-side goal was kept (we saw it was off-side watching "live" on a 20-inch screen); phantom penalties were called; the "cute guy" was tripped and sent crashing headfirst into the boards without a penalty being called, etc. They applauded when the Blackhawks' goalie applied his stick to a player's groin to get him to move, saying it was about time that team fought back. Now, though, "there's no point" watching more because hockey refs are "horrible" and "worse than World Cup refs." The group included sports fans who love competition (they've gone to the Olympics, Super Bowl, and Tour de France multiple times), but skip sports that rely extensively on judges' competency, which they say hockey obviously does. How do I convince them that is not the case when I saw those awful refs, too?

It was one game. That's your pitch.

TV's MLB Network is in the middle of ranking the top ten players "right now" at each position and last night the topic of discussion was third base. Third at third was Alex Rodriguez, second "by the slightest of margins" was Ryan Zimmerman of the Nats and the barely-better top third baseman at the start of the 2011 season was Evan Longoria of the Rays. My question; with the personnel changes in St. Pete and on S. Capitol Street, what's the chance that when they produce a similar show in 2012 MLB Network will flip-flop their number one and number two choices?

I think there's a chance Zimm finally gets the recognition he deserves this season. Let's call it 60-40.

It's actually the other football -- what Yanks call "soccer" but there's a stadium in Brazil which can hold 200,000+ fans.

Not for all the tea in China would I go to a stadium in Brazil that seats 200,000.

Sorry if this is late -- my personal tipping point came at the start of the game, when Fox compared the Superbowl to Iwo Jima, September 11th and the civil rights movement. Ugh.

YES! I was screaming at the TV.

Your parents have season tickets, but rarely go? Huh?

It's a drive of more than 2 hours, one way, in the Kansas winter. So it needs to be decent weather, with nothing else planned (my mom volunteers a lot) and they prefer not to spend the money to spend the night (they're retired and not getting any younger). They bought the tickets to be supportive of the school and they use them when they can. Why is this so surprising?

I am not a purist on such things, and think many of the spectators, and viewers at home, don't know the words by heart, but I also don't think the people they hire should feel they need to "stylize" that song as though they are on "American Idol." I actually think "America the Beautiful" would be a better national anthem, but this idea has been floated-- and show down (by bombs bursting in air?)-- before.

I noticed Sunday at the Caps game that they run the words across the arena boards during the anthem. I don't understand how anyone can NOT know the words to the national anthem. But maybe that's because I've been attending sporting events all my life. Didn't we sing it in school? Maybe not. But people memorize the words to all kinds of stupid songs. Everyone has room in their brain for this one. I know CA has performed it many times without flubbing it but that's no excuse.

I don't understand all this whining about how "over the top" the super bowl was. It's the freakin superbowl, people. It's SUPPOSED to be over the top. I'm all for fighter jets, botched anthems, expensive commercials and Janet Jackson's boob. USA USA!

You're a great American! (I do like the fighter jets.)

Back a few years ago my firm had a luxury box at Fedex . Skins we not doing too well that year so I had a sign made saying new owner wanted and hung it outside the box. Snyder sent his goons to telling me to remove it. My lawyer met them at the door and said per the contract for the box I didnt have to. His goons tried to enter the box but were not allowed. PG cops were called and they were arrested. Snyder tried to prevent us from using the box etc. I am just a little higher up the Forbes 100 then Danny Boy and my lawyers are better. Countered and won. We have long term lease on box and either have under privileged kids or wounded vets use it.

Good for you. Nice story.

Who posted from Monday and it's not sour grapes. I was putting in perspective to remind Caps fans not to get too smug before they think the win was amazing. The Steckel hit caused the Crosby concussion but who said it was intentional. It was unnecessary. Look--Sunday's game was great for Pens fans--Wallace beat up Steckel, Green's face is prettier with that puck hit, and Ovi was on his knees. Btw, this jerk is a female. You Caps fans are really sensitive but I guess not having a SC or probably ever getting one makes a person whiny. Thanks and have a great day.

No one said the win was amazing. The fact that you're celebrating Green getting a puck in the face makes you a jerk, and I don't care what gender you are, sister. That's sad.

Christian Kane (now on Leverage, previously on Angel, and in a number of movies) sang the National Anthem before a Cubs game, but first he sang God Bless America. He did it with respect and sang very well (he's also a country rock singer). I think the fans may have been a little unhappy about two songs, but CK's fans loved it.

Huge CK fan.

I had the best seat in my house, didn't have to wait in line for the bathroom and was guaranteed to like the available concessions at a reasonable price. I watched in my basement media room. As more people discover that the at home experience is infinitely better than the stadium experience, the owners will have to get a clue.

This is what I think, too, and yet the thing sells out every year.

Back in 72 my dad took me and three friends to a Skins game. I was 13yo at the time. Cost him maybe $75 total since tickets were face value. Four tickets today about $350 hot dogs sodas etc and lets not forget parking about $600. NFL is losing their fan base because cant afford to take their kids to the game.

Or they're afraid to take their kids to the games.

I think there's a guy in Lew Perkins's office who can help them get rid of any unusable tickets...

Not any more.

Wikipedia (and who doubts them?) says this about Maracana stadium in Rio, which is what I think the earlier poster was referring to: " Although the paid attendance at the final game of the 1950 FIFA World Cup was 199,854, the stadium currently seats 82,238 spectators." When I worked in Rio in the 90s, I saw a Madonna concert and a Rolling Stones concert there, but with far fewer than 200,000 people. It does not have actual seating for that many, for sure.

An even better reason you wouldn't catch me in that stadium, if they cram all those extra bodies in.

If you won't be there yourself, can you suggest which post-game tiki bar to visit so those of us who are going down can eavesdrop on what Boz thinks and scare the you-know-what out of Kilgore by telling him "call your mother -- and Tracee"? (Yes, I have spring training season tickets -- probably a sickness, I know.)

I can't because I've never been. I'll try to get some info from Svrluga.

Oh, mine's very capable...but I enjoy doing these things for her. That's what sets me, as well as Mr. Second Place, apart from other, lesser husbands.

I think it's nice, said the woman who's got to go to the car wash today.

And with that, we should stop. Good Lord, we went long today. Thanks, everyone, and we'll talk tomorrow.

Yeah, nice story, but I'm not too sure that I buy it. The writing was very lacking in skill, and it's the Forbes 400, not 100. And adding the bit about reserving the box for kids and military seemes a bit self-serving, too. Finally, if this were all true, I think we would have heard of it by now. Call me Mr. Cynical.

Okay, maybe Mr. Luxury Box can contact me off the chat and tell me more...

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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