Q&A with Tracee Hamilton

Feb 09, 2012

Tracee Hamilton discusses the week in sports.

On my evening commute, I see a lot of Metro pickups in the Kiss and Ride lane, but not a lot of kissing. Aren't they breaking the law? Who do I report them to?

Okay, thanks for the laugh, which was much needed this morning. Especially concerning Metro, with whom I am engaged in a pitched battle that I will ultimately lose, costing millions of dollars and countless lives. You are right; there is never any kissing. At Vienna, there are also the occasional doofs driving in the wrong way, in the bus lanes. Always enjoy watching those, seeing them realize their error and how they hit the gas to try to get out before a bus comes through. It's the little things ...

And good morning, everyone. Let's get going!


Hey, Tracee - love your stuff. Fantastic game, eh? Setting aside the game itself, and without the sour grapes, what is the current state of sports journalism ethics regarding bad or suspect referreeing? The AP report on the game did not even mention the called fouls down the stretch or the referees' refusal to allow Thompson into the game during the final series (allowing 'Cuse to double-up Clark with impunity). I'm not saying that articles need to second-guess every questionable call, but a straight-forward, factual mention of the most crucial referee decisions would seem to be very material and appropriate. And, how about them Hoyas. What a fun team they are going to be to watch the next few years.

I watched more of this game than a certain other game, because when I didn't watch a certain other game, a certain team was able to build a big ol' lead. But I did not see the end. The AP gamers will tend to be running stories, written as the game goes, then the writer will run off, get some quotes and re-file. Because the AP story is used all over the country, it's going to try for the middle ground but the reporter is not supposed to ignore controversial calls. There are no ethical restrictions on reporters regarding referees, if that's what you're asking. Sometimes officials will be made available to the media (or one member of the media representing the entire pool) after a game if there is something egregious; depends on the sport and the cooperation of the league, the officials, etc.

The Hoyas have exceeded all expectations and they are going to be a very fun team to watch.

You've been around athletes for a long time. How does someone blow through 60 million in career earnings by age 40?

It seems so inexplicable to most of us, but it happens in a number of ways. Bad advisors can be one; not using advisors can be another. Substance abuse, a host of family and friends with their hands out ... lots of ways. What a shame.

Tracee: Great Super Bowl; food and wine excellent, wonderful game and the company was even better. Hope you enjoyed it as well. The sainted Boz has always maintained that teams should take any certain Hall of Fame athlete they can get - every time. He believes the impact is huge, both on the field and in the locker room. Do you agree? And, regardless, what of Ms. Jenkins' opinion today? Should the Skins go after Manning? I've come to think so. DM

One day I think yes; the next day I think no. I am on "no" at the moment. I'm not convinced about the risk involved, for the Redskins and for Manning. But of course before they'd sign him they'd have him examined by neutral doctors (not Manning's, not the Skins'). Right? I mean, that's a no-brainer, right?

Assuming Peyton Manning can be declared reasonably healthy, here's why it makes sense to get him: To get RGIII, it's going to take giving up a ton of picks, picks the Redskins need to continue to rebuild. If everyone is wrong about Griffin, it will probably set the rebuild back another 3-5 years. But if you swing and miss on Manning, who won't cost you any picks, you're not setting the rebuild back significantly as you can continue to build through the draft. And you don't have to risk the worst case scenario, which is trying, and not getting RGIII, and then heading into next season with Grossman/Beck as your QB duo, the thought of which has me reaching for my cyanide pills. If you get Manning, there's at least a chance he's healthy and you'll answer the quarterback question for another few years, without setting back your rebuilding effort. If you go for RGIII and get him, you're really risking another wasted half-decade if he's not as good as we think. And if you fail to even get RGIII, then next season will be terrible again, and you're still searching for a franchise quarterback. Still, I'm not in the "Get Peyton" camp like Sally Jenkins...I'm just saying its not as terrible an idea as some people make it sound like, and may actually be the least risky of the Redskins options. But I'd prefer the Redskins get RGIII (if, after scouting, they determine he's a good fit for the NFL). Ultimately, though, I think this debate is a bunch of sound and fury signifying squat...Peyton's not going to sign here. A healthy Manning might bump this team to the 10-win range, but would bump another team (say, the Jets) to the Super Bowl. But what else is there to debate about in the middle of February?

I don't think they should spend the draft picks necessary to get RGIII, much as I'd like to have him here. I don't think Manning comes here. He will not be looking for a paycheck with his next signing -- well, not just a paycheck. He has a huge check sitting around from last year. He can sign in the best possible situation and I don't see this as the best possible situation. And I agree -- it's a good debate topic.

Given the lack of great teams this year, we might well have seen two Final Four teams on Saturday in Columbia. Did you notice that Steve Moore really handled Robinson? Robinson scored almost all of his points when Ratliffe was on him. One wonders how Robinson will deal with better big men in the NBA. And I guess Baylor's lack of interior toughness showed last night. Who knew 6-6 Kim English was tougher inside than any of Baylor's bigs? Ah, well. On to Lawrence in two weeks for the title.

I wasn't surprised about the loss in Columbia, but I sure was surprised by Withey's performance last night. And I'm not worried about T-Rob. Love that kid. We'll see what happens. Not looking forward to Manhattan on Monday night, that's for sure.

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced plans to give a Nyjer Morgan bobblehead to their fans on June 10; do you think a trip to Wisconsin for cheese and beer is also the way to start a collectible set and what's the record number of different team bobblehead dolls of a single player?

Sure; I also saw a clip of him recently playing hockey with someone -- was it the Wild? Think so. Same guy who got mad at me when I said the "h" word to him. He's a funny dude. I wonder what the bobblehead record is? Someone on this chat will know. Someone always knows.

Was I the only one that thought it was pathetic to devote so many resources at the Post (and on Sports radio shows) about the Redskins 20 years ago? That just seemed very lame to me. Was I the only one that felt this way?

I don't know (sports radio shows?). Did everyone else think it was too much? Seriously, I'm asking. It's a good question. Too much looking back?

I know Eli played well, but why all the focus on him and not the other 50+ guys on the team? I imagine if Eli would have been drafted by the Redskins he would have been killed by now with the quality of the Redskin's offensive line. And then everyone would have considered him a gigantic bust.

Focusing on the quarterback did not begin Sunday night in Indianapolis and will not end there. However, he also led six (I believe) fourth-quarter comebacks this season, so he might deserve a little of the credit. And I'm no huge Eli fan. Just sayin'.

Ms. H: Well, if Sally Jenkins says "go for him," that's it. I think a $29 million bonus, plus a salary of umpteen million with incentives should do it. One small problem - who the %$@&! is he going to throw to? Sorry about KU/MU - thought KU had it until they went cold. It could be worse - late in the first half last night NU had held Michigan to 22, and they were down 7. Maybe next year . . . AHG

Malcolm Kelly. He should be easy to hit. He's always on that damn stationary bike. Don't be sorry about the MU game; I knew they'd lose. I believe I even said they'd lose. I don't get worked up about these things. :)

Why would some one who seems to have as much intelligence and integrity as Peyton Manning ever come to this train wreck of a team? It's not like he needs money.

It seems unlikely to me as well, for a variety of reasons, including the one you cite.

Let me wish an early Happy 27th Birthday to Tyler Clippard on February 14 (no wonder we all love him!)

You really have it bad, don't you?

Tracee, I've heard many pros and cons about Peyton coming to Washington. "We've been down that road before" I've heard. What I have not heard anyone mention is that if Peyton comes to Washington that this time the Skins will not have to give up draft picks like we have for everyone else. In the NFL aren't draft picks more valuable than money?

That's definitely one for the "pro" column when you're drawing up your pros and cons. That's why I've written that they shouldn't go for RGIII, no matter how much I'd like them to -- too costly. That's why Matt Flynn's name was being bandied about quite often before Peyton moved to the fore -- so the Skins wouldn't have to give up precious picks they need for, oh, receivers and linemen, for a start.

My daughter went out with him a couple times but sadly nothing clicked. However, she says he's the nicest guy, bright, funny, thoughtful. I'm a Terps Alum but am hoping he transfers and goes on to glory on another turf. Does Edsall have any idea how badly he has poisoned the atmosphere around Terps football?

Can't imagine a scenario in which he stays. As for Edsall, does he had any idea what he's done? I have no idea, but football coach mentality seems to be that if they leave, they didn't want to be here, and so we don't want 'em here anyway.

What is your take on the Big Ten proposal that would move the National Championship out of one of the traditional bowls? Seems to me this is the first proposal that would lessen the impact of the home field advantage for the southern and western schools. Indianapolis just proved they could hold a Super Bowl so they would work along with any domed stadium. I always read about how well schools travel, it will be interesting to see how many people will travel north for an outdoor game.

Hey, Rich. First, stunning, given the Big Ten's relationship with the Rose Bowl. Second, I'd be stunned, given the BCS's relationship with the major bowls. However, I like the idea. Indianapolis is a natural; are there other sites that would work? And does this defeat the purpose of giving people a nice warm place to go in January?

Without Peyton, the Redskins have no buzz, and buzz is what puts fans in the seats. Do we really want to gab about Rex for another year?

No question, that goes onto Snyder's "pro" list.

I hardly know what to make of this - to lose the biggest game of year twice to the same opponent. A winning season down the drain.

Sorry to the Pats fans.

I have this vision of Dan Snyder being bound and gagged to prevent him from going after Peyton Manning, which I think would be a waste for the Redskins. Only problem is I can't figure out who would do it. Any thoughts?

No one at Redskins Park. The folks who might have done it are long gone.

I disagree with your colleague Sally Jenkins column that the Redskins should get Peyton Manning as a sure thing, because the question is for how long is he a sure thing? The Redskins have a horrible line, questions at receiver and on defense, and a 36 year old quarterback isn't going to change them. In fact, considering how much money he costs, he might hurt them as they can't go after players to fill some of their gaps. You can make it to the Super Bowl with a game manager type quarterback- even win it that way (Ask Trent Dilfer) if you have a solid line and good defense. Adding Peyton would be like adding McNabb- it doesn't take away from the fact that it's still a poor team.

This one can be debated all the live-long day!

I thought you'd give Giselle a break since, let's face it, she must have been hammered. I mean, even watered down stadium beer is going to get a supermodel sloppy drunk. What's she going to do, eat a meal before drinking? That ain't going to happen. OTOH, I'd have thought she'd curse the guy out in Portugese; not that'd have been much more interesting, I think!

I actually did give her a break for her stadium utterance. I did NOT give her a break for her ridiculous email. But your point about drinking on an empty stomach is well taken. :)

the front page of the sports section shows a huge picture and story about Georgetown men's basketball LOSING last night....and George Mason's 20th win is buried deep in the bowels of section D?

Two highly ranked teams playing perhaps their final game in the Carrier Dome, would be my guess. But kudos to Mason!

How did you celebrate the big KU victory over Baylor last night? That made me as happy as the Duke win over UNC.

Did not watch. Cannot watch. And cannot celebrate, because we have Oklahoma coming up, and we still have to play in Manhattan and Stillwater. Oy.

Would you trade Wall for Lin straight up? LIn certainly looks like a more accomplished player.

No, not today. But if the Wizards don't do something soon to help John Wall ... he's chosen for a "Rising Stars" team for all-star weekend? Does that strike anyone else as being a bit of a slap? I know he's young, but ...

O goddess of the Plains and Knower of all things great and small. Have you ever in all your years of watching Ol'Coach Roy seen that look on his face when the buzzer beater hit the twine ? He shouldn't have been surprised after losing the 3 point shot battle 42-3.

I can't answer that question objectively. :)

Skins plan 2012 - Pay Peyton. Trade up to get #2 pick and take Blackmon from OK St. What do you think?

Not crazy about getting Peyton, but completely against trading up to No. 2. If you're going to trade up to No. 2, get a quarterback. If you're not, get a receiver or trade down and get a receiver and a lineman. IMO.

Hey Tracee, I have to take issue with your colleague's article today regarding Peyton Manning. I'm a Packers fan but even I can see that this would be a huge mistake on the part of the Redskins and one which, incidentally, they're liable to make considering what they pulled with McNabb. But, generally, the idea is that when you are rebuilding a team which is, I'm hoping, what Shanahan is trying to do, you don't trade for an aging QB (who, granted, has had a great career) with potential health issues in the hope that he can transform your team overnight and take you to the playoffs. Even if Manning were to be totally rehabilitated and went back to being his old self (which is not guaranteed), what are you going to do about the rest of your offense and your receivers who are mediocre at best? Peyton is going to want to join a team which has the pieces in place (the offensive weapons) that will allow him to finish his career in a positive way and in his mind, maybe even take him to another Super Bowl. You just can't do that with the Skins right now and the Skins can't realistically expect to become that team just because Peyton Manning will be around and, plus, he won't even be around that long! Draft a young QB or trade for a younger one (i.e., Flynn) and take your chances with him. Even if he doesn't start out great, at least you've laid down the foundation and found the person that you can rebuild your team around. This Skins rebuilding is going to take a while and I don't think people realize that. They're not going to be a playoff contender next year but they might be able to get in the mix in the next 4-5 years if they have that young QB and some other pieces in place (offensively and defensively) that can get them there. Don't trade for Manning; it's just a lose-lose situation.

The other side of the argument (I think you meant "sign" Manning in the last sentence, not "trade for." They won't have to trade for him, assuming the Colts let him go. Which seems a foregone conclusion). I'm leaning more in your direction, frankly. But you can debate it till the cows come home.

Why do Georgetown fans blame the refs every time they lose? Perhaps if JTIII hadn't decided to dig into the Craig Esherick playbook on that final play ("Okay, here's what you do: Dribble around a bunch at the top of the key and hope for the best.") thinks would have turned out differently.

That's funny, especially the line about the Esherick playbook. (I can laugh because I don't have a rooting interest.)

My folks live in KC, and they still talk like 1985 was last year. Just sayin'.

If they are Royals fans, they have to. Nothing to cheer for lately, poor things.

I believe it was the SJ Sharks. He grew up in the area. I'd not make a special trip to attend a bobblehead game (unless you wanted to sightsee, add another notch to your baseball stadium belt). You're often able to pick one up on E-Bay later.

That's it, thanks!

I cannot believe McGee is taking all of this heat for running down the court to play defense while the Wizards, um, still had the ball. Dude simply knew they were going to miss and was getting back to prevent the fast break. I mean, seriously, did people expect the 'Zards to score there? I actually would recommend they keep one guy back at all times, like a soccer goalie.

I agree. He's ahead of his time, and he's ahead of the action. He's a trend-setter.

Are you enjoying this Tracee? I mean, really, REALLY enjoying this? Extended runs like this don't happen often. UCLA fans thought it would never end; Redskins fans in the 80's thought it would never end. It always ends, but for now KU is something else. This is a down year - a rebuilding year - a year with no returning starters - and they're in position for another crown. Even from the other side, I have to admit it's fun to watch. Please, PLEASE don't let Missouri win the conference this year. PLEASE! - K-Stater

I'll be enjoying it more after Monday night. Hate coming to Bramlage; always tough. I'm amazed they've done as well as they have because I wasn't kidding all those times I said this was a down year and they have no depth. Bill is doing a masterful job this season. I love that man. And we will do our best to prevent that thing you mentioned from happening, K-Stater.

Calling Mr. Tyson, Mr. Mike Tyson...

Oh, it's not a short list. Heck, even if you confine the list to boxers it's not a short list.

Good riddance to Tony Plush. But it was the Sharks that he suited up and practiced with. He's from the Bay Area.

Yup, thanks.

Because Georgetown fans and John Thompson III clearly don't understand them: A player wanting to enter the game during a timeout has to be at the scorer's table before the first horn sounds during a timeout. Hollis Thompson wasn't there in time. Even Musberger and Knight saw this, almost immediately. They spelled it out pretty clearly as it happened.

As I said, I didn't see the end of the game, but thanks for your explanation, I guess.

Isn't he the FA quarterback that the Skins should be considering? Less proven than HOFer Peyton but he also would be cheaper and hasn't had 3 neck surgeries in the past two years.

He was the flavor of the month in December, it seemed. And may be the flavor of the month again when Manning goes elsewhere.

As a Mizzou alum (please be gentle), it has always pained me that I've never seen a team pass the ball as well as Roy Williams' KU teams (his Heels aren't close). This year's MU team is almost there, but not quite. Nonetheless, there does seem to be some evidence that teamwork can make up for any number of shortcomings. Can't wait for the rematch in Lawrence. I'd guess the refs won't give Moore the flop in Allen.

Hey, Mizzou alum. There is no question that Williams' emphasis on passing while at KU was something to behold. He was a terrific coach. He also coached kids that stayed in school four years, with the exception of Paul Pierce. Those days are gone everywhere, even at Carolina. I think that kind of teamwork and rhythm takes time and I think that's why you don't see it with the Heels; I don't think he's changed his philosophy. That's my theory, concocted in about 20 seconds, anyway. Rematch in Allen will be tough; you have an excellent team this year, as I've told anyone who'll listen. Seriously. The people in my office are stunned.

The Shanahans: Peyton, here's our playbook. Peyton: Thanks, that'll make a great doorstop. Now, here's MY playbook. Enjoy...

That's pretty funny.

So my kid wanted to watch her first football game - perhaps to taunt the 2nd grade boys about the Giants. I hadn't seen a game since 1/86, Giants vs .Redskins, lots of cocoa., NFC chanpionships. (in person) Was shocked how many rules I remembered when explaining the game. "OK, that's the line of scrimmage .." So the question: Did Tom Brady choke as much as he seemed to? with the Giants safety and all? I don't watch the guy/team at all, but the "Pats" effort seemed jumbled at best. I don't care, just want an objective opinion.

The safety wasn't a choke, but he might have been surprised it was called, although it was the right call. He did not come into the Super Bowl on the roll that Manning did and that was what I thought made the difference in the game. And it certainly wasn't all on Brady. The Giants were better in a lot of spots.

Hi, Tracee. I'm from New Mexico, so I doubt our parents know each other, but my name is Nancee and my sisters are Connee and Judee. Other than difficulties with spelling, we all like our names just fine, and I ssume you and your sister do as well. Connee sometimes adopts the more conventional spelling, but not when she's around the family! Marguerite Kelly in a recent chat referred to a baby girl named "Algonqua," which is enough to make anyone appreciate a traditional name, regardless of the spelling.

Rockin' the double ee's! Love it! I kicked at this for years -- and once my boss got a nasty letter about me, which included the accusation that I had changed my name to this spelling and how immature that was. Good grief, people, get a life! Algonqua. Hmmmm. Trying to figure out how kids are going to shorten that. Gonk?

What's your take on Gisele's comments following the Super Bowl? Shouldn't a good sports wife be seen but not heard? I've never heard of any other losing QB's wives doing this (although arguably none of them are as famous as Gisele).

Naw, I think they're allowed to talk just like everyone else. My opinion is in the paper and online this morning.

Seems like a nice guy, especially having to live in the shadow of Big Brother and Dad. Didn't have a baby with one supermodel while dating another. Married his sweetheart from college. Lives in a building in Hoboken where he walks around town without an entourage. Helped out post Katrina in New Orleans.

I don't care one way or the other about any of the Mannings. But I have noticed that there is something about this guy that people either love or hate. I have no idea why. I doubt it keeps him up at night.

That game is basically going to be the same as the annual Rookie-Sophomore game, only instead Shaq and Charles Barkley are going to draft and coach the teams. Since it's John Wall's second season, I don't see how it's a slap in the face for him to be included.

Yeah, okay, "slap in the face" is too strong. I just worry that Wall's going to be a rising star until he's a falling star, with nothing in between. But you're right, poor choice of words.

Don't forget he had a minor league hockey career. 35 penalty minutes in 10 games for the Regina Pats and the Prince George Spruce Kings back in 199-2000.

No one forgot it. That would be why I brought it up to him. Also tried to get him interested in skating with the Caps, but no dice.

Saw the reference to baseball and no Bos, so I thought I'd ask. If you were going to go watch a couple of days down there, what would you focus on watching for?

I'd spend my time following Kilgore around, making sure he was behaving himself.

Why is it that football players sway side to side during the singing of the National Anthem? None of them stand still. What's up with that?

I noticed that, too. I think they are amped up and wanting to get started. Or maybe they are just dying to get to the club and practice their dance moves!

Why would Peyton Manning want to come to the Redskins? He's Peyton Manning, not Brett Favre, I'm pretty sure he will have suitors lined up that are much more appealing than the situation here in Redskin-land. Just off the top of my head, I think Peyton would rather go to Miami, NJ Jets, Arizona, Seattle, 49ers, Broncos, Vikings, Bills, Cowboys, Chiefs, etc., etc. before considering the Redskins.

The list is long.

"The Patriots were the favored team, the home team -- because the National League won the All-Star Game" Thanks for the smile.

You're welcome.

The Pro Bowl is the lamest of all-star games by far. "We're either going to have to improve the quality of what we're doing in the Pro Bowl or consider other changes or even considering eliminating the game if that's the kind of quality game we're going to provide," Goodell said.

Preaching to the choir.

He's a proven leader, and even if he can't save the Redskins single-handed he could teach younger QBs a lot of what he knows. Without disparaging RGIII in any way, there's always the risk that drafting him could be as disappointing as Heisman Winner Gary Beban was.

True, re RGIII. I'm just wondering what younger QBs Peyton would be teaching? Rex and Beck? That would be interesting. I wish him luck with that. 

I can highly recommend "The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth" by Leigh Montville, which I finished reading last week (so it's back at the Rockville library for you to borrow). I missed this one when it came out in 2006, but it's a winner. He explicitly is trying to convey the Babe Ruth story to the generation that watches "Sports Center", and he succeeds. I've read the Creamer bio from 1974 (also recommended), and this one adds a lot.

If you love baseball, you'll love this book.

A book report by Section 405, Aged 56.

I loved the Creamer book, but I'll check this one out. Thanks, 405!

I've been surprised to read experts rate it fairly high. I sure wouldn't want my kids playihg for him! But then, I let them wear baseball caps in the house as well.

Call child services! There's recruiting, and there's coaching. Some guys can do both. Some can't. We shall see. Maybe he'll surprise everyone this fall.

He announced his retirement from the Ravens and, when asked in a radio interview if his career was over he ended by saying, "Who the hell knows?"

There are certain athletes whose retirements should be taken with a grain of salt. Williams is one of those.

Springsteen just announced his touring band. One of the two new saxophone players: Jake Clemons (nephew of the Big Man). Just thought you should know.

I would yell this out to Liz Clarke, but she's deep in conversation with an editor. Liz is the biggest Bruce fan I know.

"I don't know (sports radio shows?). Did everyone else think it was too much? Seriously, I'm asking. It's a good question. Too much looking back?" Absoutely. The whole spread wreaked of desparation. There were tons of other events going on that week. A story or 2 probably would have been fine, but to essentially devote the entire section's coverage to something that happened 20 years ago (ancient history in the NFL) was just overkill.

Interesting, thanks.

I know what you mean. When I heard that I thought, "So, when's he actually going to be a "star"?

I just thought he'd be a star by now, I guess, which was perhaps unfair. But he's the closest thing we've got to one on that team -- by far.

Well, I drop my rider off in Rockville, and I require a kiss.... So, maybe you're not frequenting the right metro stop!

That's it -- Rockville -- not Virginia -- is for Lovers!

Those of you long-timers on this chat won't believe it, but ... I've got a torn rotator cuff in my LEFT shoulder. So surgery to come, probably in June. Hopefully this time it's just the cuff and not the entire shoulder. I'll be sending an email to Gisele soon, asking her and her sweet friends to pray for me. 

Okay, I've run over and I'm going to sign off now. Let's talk next week!

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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