Feb 10, 2011

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

Tracee--although I may be a jerk for the Green comment, you wouldn't believe how many 'yeah, I'm glad Crosby is out with a concussion' lines I've heard from Caps fans. That's pretty appalling so I don' t mind shifting the focus on Green. Btw, you're pretty awesome for not editing people's comments (no matter how inflammatory) and posting them for discussion. Your FTF always makes my morning start off right. Thanks.

It's wrong both ways. No one should ever revel in a player's injury. Just not good sportsmanship. Real fans want to beat the other team at full strength when possible. Thanks for writing back and sticking with us.

And good morning, everyone. Let's get started. Big win for the Hoyas last night. BIG.

Thank you for writing about the senseless injuries in th NHL! I love a good fight, and as you pointed out, they don't do that much damage. However the senseless head shots and blind side hits are not something the sport should tolerate. Haven't we seen enough of the football players injuries to know what lies ahead for these players (Jim McMahan-Bears). Or is it because the NHL is a niche sport and we forget about these players that we don't see the effects of these hits later in life? I wonder if the NHL would ever commission a study on the effects of concusions on their players. A sad state and one that I am afraid will continue until you see bodies on the ice. - Ashburn Fan

The NHL was out front on this issue early because of Eric Lindros, but it's time to once again get out front. That Cooke hit was terrible and the implication that he "asked for it" was disgusting.

George Steinbrenner sans championships. If he isn't already, then he is well on his way.

Good answer, good answer. (I sound like a contestant on the Family Feud!)

Tracee, maybe it's just me...but if James Dolan is talking directly to Stan Kroenke about Carmelo...and I'm a Knicks' fan...I'm likely thinking, "Oh, NNNNNOOOOO!!!!"...because Dolan's next move would be to likely bring in his "closer"--you know, the alleged basketball coach at Florida Internationa University. The potential of having Isiah involved in this...greatly improves the Lakers' chances of pulling this deal off if Kupchak/West can get Jim Buss to get past his Bynum love...

I will admit up front to some Isiah bias, because I knew him in Detroit. (Somewhere, I have a photo of us doing the electric slide at a wedding, and how sad is that?) But I will also admit that Isiah is a hot mess most of the time and I'd steer clear of him if I was Mr. Dolan. However, I'm not Mr. Dolan. And am I the only one who's sick of the Melo Drama?

Ms. H: In response to my weak attempt at humor a few days back, you said (while laughing) it "skeezed you out." Now, we grew up not that far apart geographically, albeit a loooong time apart in years. I can't ever remember hearing "skeezed" when in Lincoln (NE). Is that common around Lincoln (KS)? and is it along the lines of "grossed out?" AHG

Maybe I took the noun "skeezy," which we used at some point but I don't remember the time frame, and made it a verb. Maybe I was thinking "skeeved" but I do use the word "skeezed" sometimes. Maybe I made it up. Surely not.

Good Morning, Tracee 'Twas a nice Wiz win last night. no? During my lovely bike ride to work on the crunchy snow in the brisk morning air, I kept mulling over L'affaire Snyder. The guys a bazillionaire but seems to break the cardinal rule of business: treating people (customes, employees, business partners) with respect. And he seems to do it with astounding frequency. Maybe leo Durocher was right after all.

Great win for the Wiz. Is anyone else excited about Sunday's game against Cleveland? Is anyone else skeezed out by the sentence? I sure never thought I'd type it.

I certainly think that Dan Snyder proves that money can't buy happiness. He sure doesn't seem to be happy to be a billionaire owning the team of his dreams. You have to wonder about that. This can't have turned out the way he wanted it to. So why not fix it?

Can I respectfully submit that comparing Tom Brady's hair to Justin Bieber's is simply a knee jerk reaction? Bieber=hair ergo Tom Brady's hair = Bieber. Bieber sports a ridiculous comb-over bang down his face. Brady's hair is long, parted in the middle, and he keeps tucking it back behind his ears--altogether more reminiscent of a seventies rock musician than a teen pop star. Which isn't to say it looks all that great, it's just NOT Bieberesque. Oh, and the best rx for a lonely kitty is...another kitty! (she says with one sad lonely kitty at home and two kittens soon to arrive to cheer us all up from our recent loss).

You've given this hair thing a lot of thought. And yes, where feasible, two kitties are better than one, and I also did the "two kittens to keep an older bereaved cat company" and it worked like a charm. Good luck with yours.

I've figured out what Snyder needs: a little rubber bracelet with the letters WWTLD on it. Whenever he's about to make a decision he can look at it and ask, "What would Ted Leonsis do?" He should make this bracelet his Executive Vice President for Public Relations.

I love this idea, especially making a bracelet his vice president.

Two weeks from tomorrow is the 24th anniversary of the release of the greatest hockey movie of all time, Slap Shot. How will you, the Post, and the Caps remember this cultural landmark? Will you get Caps coach Bruce Boudreau to reprise his appearance? Will the Caps wear Chiefs jersey for their game against the Rangers that night? Will the Caps players wrap their knuckles in aluminum foil?

I don't know, but happily I've now got two weeks to prepare. Thanks!

T-Ham, Thanks for chats. One of the highlights of my mornings! Great win for the Hoyas last night. 'Cuse fever up this way ... bragging rights JTIII and crew gave me (I'm a DC native) are priceless. I have to say this, though ... I'm a Caps fan, and after following them through Tarik's eyes for so long, I'm glad to see the latent upside to the Hoyas' win in the Carrier Dome -- juicy material for a top-top-shelf beat writer. Here's hoping for a deep run by Georgetown in the tourney. Tracee -- any chance we'll get more from T.E.B. after the dust settles from March Madness? Not fishing for the Caps-to-college, inside-the-newsroom story, just hoping for more great copy from a great professional ...

Tarik is planning on moving from hoops to pucks after the tournament, no question. It's up to the Caps to give him something to do.

The "Will Hurt" dentist story a few chats back reminded me of this... I was about 12 at the time (back in the 70s) so it went over my head but later I got it. I walked into the family kitchen and my parents were laughing. Apparently, my mother had just gotten off the phone. She had scheduled a doctor's appointment with her new gynecologist. The doctor's name was "Harry Beaver". Love your chats. I read them every chance I get.

No way. No. Way.

Good article today, Tracee. Perhaps the NHL needs to hold the coaching staff, the front office and the owners accountable for the actions of their players when they get fined and/or suspended for causing injury, for fighting and for intentionally going after opposing players with the intent to injure them. What ever penalties are meted out to the player, the head coach has it apply to him as well but it becomes doubled or tripled. The front office and ownership get fined for each infraction with fines increasing in size for each successive player suspension/fine handed down by the league.

I think they can stop at punishing the player, IF they punish him. A couple of games at a time is clearly not getting Cooke's attention so they need to up the ante.

If I'm Cooke's teammates, I'm telling him not to get himself suspended at a time when they are without so many other weapons. That's pretty selfish on his part. That's another way to discourage this type of stupidness.

...in your column is, unfortunately, no. Every once in a while NHL discipline gets it right, but not very often. Cooke shouldn't even have been in the game on Tuesday where he committed the offense that finally got him suspended. It's likely he didn't get more than a two-minute minor for kneeing Ovechkin on Sunday because no penalties were assessed against the Caps who went after him when he did it. Had he been given a modest one or two game suspension then, that's one less opportunity to end someone's career. Almost any player can screw up and have a bad hit on occasion; if they were penalized appropriately right away, they wouldn't develop Cooke's habits. Mostly, though, the attitude of, "he's a dirty player, but I'd love to have him on my team" has got to go.

Accidents can happen given the speed of the game and the fact that these guys are, essentially, armed, but you are right, in his case it's gone far beyond that. It's so clearly deliberate when you watch the film you almost can't believe you're seeing it.

Did you see the Bruins/Canadiens "hockey" game last night? We started watching during that crazy 2nd period and the game provided more goals than the final 8-6 tally. Is this the kind of game the NHL REALLY wants? Are they just throwing up their hands and say "send in the goons?" I thought it was completely over the top (get off my lawn!) but I'm probably in the minority...

I did not, but I'm turning on SportsCenter now.

That's what WTOP called it this morning: Georgetown, Maryland, & the Wizards won (although if Maryland hadn't beaten Longwood, it would have been a sin and a crime!).

Sort of sad when this is our version of a Super Bowl parade, but we'll take it, right?

Tracee: Yesterday a poster from Annapolis applauded the election of Chris Hanburger to the HOF (as do I) while also saying that football in Chris's time was played "hard and tough, but fair." Frankly, I think he or she is looking at things through burgundy and gold colored glasses. Here's one story that might be instructive. For many years, the NFL champs played a charity exhibition game against a team of college All-Stars at Soldier Field in the summer,before training camp. In 1959 or 1960 (I forget which year exactly), the college guys played the Baltimore Colts. A running back came through the Colts line with the head up style so common in college ball back then. Bill Pellington, the Colts linebacker known as "The Iron Horse" promptly hit the kid in the throat with a forearm shiver, causing him to swallow his tongue and collapse in agony. Fortunately, the medical team extracted the kid's tongue before he suffocated. Needless to say, he didn't return to the game. Afterward, Pellington was asked why he would take such a shot in a meaningless exhibition game. His answer was, "If the &%$#@ kid wants to play in the pros, he better learn to run with his &%$#@ head down."

Of course, the glorious past is never all that glorious and the horrible present is never that horrible. Good point.

Since this seems to be the place that people air their daily grievances--here's mine. What's up with the Nats hosting their home opener on an afternoon when Congress is in session? I can walk to games from the Hill but not when we're voting on naming a post office in Visalia...At least there's a Caps home game that night.

I never considered the need for the Nats to schedule around Congress. Interesting.

That was one of two sports movies filmed in my home town of Johnstown, PA. My parents were extras in the stadium scenes (I lived here then). They said Paul Newman & Michael Ontkean were very nice. Points to anyone who can name the other sports movie filmed in Johnstown. I'll give you the answer at the end of the column.

Is it that Tom Cruise movie whose name escapes me? Oh, where's the Google button on this typewriter? All the Right Moves? Is that it?

Can we also get a little love for my Georgetown Hoyas this morning? They like to keep it close, but they keep winning.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I really didn't think they had a prayer after watching that horrible performance against West Va. Since then they've been terrific.

Hi T-Ham! I was asked to "copy the 2nd part of the link and paste it to the first." I've tried and tried, and, dammit, I can't do it. Is it just time to own the fact that I'm about 6 months shy of screaming at kids to get off my lawn, decrying the music of today's youth, calling bathing suits "swimming trunks," and longing for the electric typewriter?

You are perilously close. You know my theory that all of us hit a "technology wall" beyond which we will never pass. My dad's is the DVD. I got him to where he can use it and I'd really like to get him a DVR but I know my limits. I am not sure I've QUITE hit mine yet but I feel I'm perilously close to getting there. I think if I purchased a Wii, that would be my white whale.

I am sure beating Longwood helped their RPI number and will guarantee that they make it to the NIT! Time to kick gary to curb abd get a new coach or UMD wont make the Sweet 16 until 2030.

Ouch! They certainly could end up in the NIT. I can't imagine them ever getting rid of Gary, though, can you, really?

If the NFL misses regular season games, who gets blamed? (Since its Sports Writers who will shape the preceptions of the public a very relavent question to you.) DUKE - UNC Best college game I have seen in a while. Two teams played well and not really sure the better team won. If only they would play again in a couple of weeks ... oh wait ... YEA!!!! 2012 Royals Report to Spring Training in just 12 months ... the long walk in the wilderness is almost over. Let's Go Royals

I think the blame depends a bit on what happens in negotiations, and that will be shaped by which side leaks what information to the media. Both sides will try to make it seem like the other is to blame. The most successful spinner will win. I do think the public tends to blame the league over the players in these situations but we'll see.

After reading yesterday's transcript, there were a few references to bathing in fresh, hot coconut milk, and how, in doing so, one's "attractiveness quotient", if you will, would be enhanced. If you had an interest in a gentleman caller, and he said he'd be late for your dinner date because of a long soak in a tub that was filled with coconut milk, would this make him more alluring, or would you find yourself a bit skeeved out?

Skeeved out, plus I hate coconut so that's a deal-breaker.

Tracee, for Orange fans, last night's game was a disappointment, but a foreseeable disappointment. The team is starting to fade, has lost focus, and I'm not sure what else. But G'town was ranked higher and even though they were playing in NY, I don't think they were genuine underdogs. What makes the Hoyas' win so big for them?

That's a tough place to win, even when Syracuse is down, as you know. First win for the Hoyas there in nine years. Seventh straight Big East win. Those are big milestones.

Sometimes he looks like he's ready to become a decent-to-good NBA center-- not a great scorer, but one who can bring lots to the table. Does he have "flame out" written all over him, or can he become like, I don't know, like a Tyson Chandler kind of cat?

I can't decide, either. He'll do something great and you'll think, "Why isn't he doing that all the time?" He has flashes, and they don't need flashes, they need a Duraflame log. I don't think being in the dunk contest does him any favors, either.

The greatest sporting-event anthem I've ever heard was at the 1993 All-Star game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards--not at all far from Fort McHenry. The Oriole Park flagpole flies the fifteen star/fifteen stripe flag that was in use during the War of 1812. The words of the anthem were spoken majestically by James Earl Jones.

Oh, I remember that. That was sweet!

I can wait to see which streak gets broken on Sunday (presuming that Cleveland doesn't have any more games between now and then). Really, something has to give with these two teams. I feel bad for Antwan Jamieson. He went from a bad team to a pretty good team, which is now an awful team. Bet he never thought he'd wish to be back with the Wizards.

Yes, poor Antawn.

Was it that time in the Nebraska bathroom? Was it at B-Svrl, S-Ya, or A-Kil? What set you off? And were as mad as Wilbon was at that British chap who trash-talked the WAPO style writer?

I went a little ballistic when I returned my rental car in KC last weekend. How can they give you a brand new car with no electrics? I'm not too lazy to roll down the window, but I had to pay tolls, and that makes it no fun at all. And no cruise control. Anyone who has ever driven I-70 knows that you need cruise control. Around here, I never use it. Out there, it's a must. What am I paying for a Gold Club membership for, I'd like to know! So I'll be looking for a new rental company. Hertz told me they rent these stripped down cars "all the time," but I've never gotten one that bad in 27 years of renting cars, so I don't believe them. Even the guy who checks your records when you leave the lot said to me, "You shouldn't be driving such a crappy car, you're Gold Club." So I went a little country. And I got my tab discounted.

Yes. Isn't it interesting that both of these movies were about people wanting to get out of Johnstown? My husband (my high school sweetheart) and I felt exactly the same way! And we did!

Do you miss it now? I spent my young life plotting to get out of Kansas and my old life plotting to get back. :)

I agree with this column. Sometimes there is a gray line between what is hard hit and what is dirty. seems to me that fighting has gone down in hockey over past 30 years (since Broad Street Bullies) but are there more dirty hits or are we just seeing them beause of video? With video it should be easy for NHL to show what is dirty and eliminate it. Last year Ovie was criticized but this year he isn't criticized for playing out of control but for not scoring.

I do think it makes a difference that we can go to YouTube and dial up this stuff and see if over and over. And so can the league office. The fighting doesn't bother me nearly as much. The fights are mostly awful. Watching D.J. King trying to teach fighting at Caps practice was a highlight this year.

Thanks for your article, Tracee. As a former college player and hockey fan, I really hate the violence in hockey. If people want to see that, go watch UFC or whatever. Hockey is such a great sport, and while it is physical, it doesn't need to be violent.

Agreed. Some people really crave violence, and the MMA genre is right there for the taking. Go for it. The speed at which these guys are traveling just make cheap shots that much more dangerous.

My armchair psychoanalysis is that Dan is a marketer at heart. Think about charging for parking at practice games, or enforcing grandma's ticket contract. It's profit maximizing, but turns fans off. The Squire never would have done it. Dan loves the Redskins, but she is a fickle mistress. Plus, a Redskin fan never wants to beat the other team at full strength! We want their backup quarterback to come in at the second quarter so we have a chance!

But if the Redskins were the best team in the NFL, you might feel differently. Right now, though, yes, second string would be right. And you are right, he is a marketer. The Squire was ... the Squire. We'll never see an owner like him again.

Like every true Hoya, I am over the moon about any win over Syracuse. But yes, I too am stoked for Sunday's showdown with the Cavs, and think ABC would be smart to make it the national game. My only concern is that the Cavs might beat the Clippers on Friday, because that would totally fit the Clippers' karmic identity. BTW, you are not the first person to transform "skeezy" into a verb. I've heard it used transitively and intransitively, and in past, present, and future tenses. -- Rico

I can always count on you, Rico! Thanks. And yes, I wish it was a national game. Tony and Mike were pooh-poohing it last night but I think people would watch.

I actually watched part of the KU-Missouri game and noticed the Kansas students doing group choreography moves? Kind of fun, but very close to a new millennium version of Up With People. is this a tradition and is Kevin Bacon somehow the inspiration? Thanks. I'll hang up and listen.

It was a flash mob thing. I watched it on YouTube and couldn't understand it but apparently it was done to the Fight Song.

I'll never understand why people want to throw him under the bus. He runs a clean program w/o McDonald's all stars, and , oh BTW, won a National Championship.

He is beloved on campus, that's for sure.

HARRY C BEAVER MD | July 19, 2010 6:34 PM I am he! Most of that recorded here is true and accurate (few details in some stories are not accurate) and I can vouch for all of them. My daughters comments are accurate and those of my patients. I trained in OB/GYN at LETTERMAN GEN HOSP in San Francisco and those stories reflect facts as I was then a Major U S Army Med Corps. The largest part of my career was spent at FAIRFAX Hosp in Northern Virginia where I retired from clinical practice in 1999. I spent the next five years in administrative medicine as part of the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Medicine. Since 2005 I have been a local Medical Examiner covering Prince Willliam, Loudoun, Faquier and Fairfax counties. Some have labeled me as "Dr WOMB to TOMB" but I prefer my other title as "Dr ALPHA & OMEG" because I can say that "I used to sign 'em IN (babies) and now I sign 'em OUT (corpses). My name does appear on the birth certificates of just over 6000 babies and in now appears on nearly 1000 death certificates. I have even been noted by several of my, now grown up, babies to have signed their parents death certificates.

How about that! Thanks, Dr. Beaver!

I'm a sucker for the version done by Bruce Hornsby and Branford Marsalis. They did it at an NBA All-Star Game in '91-92 and then at the Cal Ripken 2131 game. Mellow, solemn and very touching.

I remember that one, too. Very nice.

But it WAS "Bieberesque" while he was growing it out.

There was a point in time when you could put his photo next to Bieber's and see the resemblance but it's true it's not there any more.

I wondered who would replace Beagle at last night's Hockey n Heels event at Kettler after Beagle who was announced to be there was sent down to Hershey. It was Matty P! He shot foam pucks while Varly tried to teach me how to catch one in a glove. I couldn't even close the glove. Great event. I had a blast.

I've heard these are very fun events and the players enjoy them. Glad you had a good time.

A previous poster's comment pulled out of my subconscious that I, in fact, had a dream about the National Anthem last night. It was sung very quickly and "patriotically." You have now invaded my slumber through these chats!

At least you weren't dreaming about Kansas, or cats.

Did you happen to catch Andrew Ference's interview immediately after the game where Danielle Paille hit Raymond Sawada from behind? I though Ference was totally stand up and said that those are the type of hits the league is trying to eliminate. Teammate or not, it was a bad hit. He didn't throw Paille under the bus, he just spoke the truth. I think that if more teammates do this, either in the locker room or out, it will help reduce these types of dangerous plays.

Agreed. Didn't see the interview, but good for him.

Tracee -- I'm a late 60's male who is into intermittent fitness routines. Actually the Wii is very easy to get up to speed on. (On which to get up to speed? Sounds clunky.) Then the Wii Fit Plus provides easy to moderate workout routines and keeps track of your progress. And it's all done in a light-handed tone and you can do it in a very small space. Wife and I now compete for Wii time.

I'm just worried about setting it up. Maybe someone could loan me a 12-year-old boy for an hour?

Wall seems like he's a good kid-- young, but solid. Nick Young is growing up-- a bit. Blatch, sometimes he seems to need a hug, other times you want to shake him vigorously. What's your take?

They are so, so young. Gilbert said this, and he's right, that many of them have very little experience playing basketball at a high level. (Insert joke here about the Wizards not being basketball at a high level.) I don't think they are all knuckleheads for good; they are just vastly inexperienced. Blatche, I'm not sure about. This should have been the year he really took charge but that has palpably not happened.

Sports are just games and players/referees are people. The moment you start cheering injuries or wishing another player ill is the moment you've gone too far.

Completely agree. When it stops being fun, stop.

slap shot not released 24 years ago, maybe 34 is correct

You are right; 34 years.

Okay - not to bash you, but why were you upset when you returned. Didn't you notice before you drove off the lot? They could have fixed it prior to you leaving. On return you are just busting the chops of some poor lowly worker bee? Driving in Kansas without cruse control and your looking for a tornado to drive into ... Let's Go Royals

I didn't have time to go through the hassle of going back into the rental place. Have you seen that place, by the way? What a waste of money. Anyway, I had a lunch date in Lawrence. The whole point of paying Gold Club membership is that I DON'T have to deal with the people at the rental desk. If I have to deal with them, then they should refund me my damn money. Seriously, don't cross me on this. I'm in the right.

Dan Helie said that George Mason may be the best college team in the area right now. How come no love for my Patriots on FTF?

No one ever writes in about the Patriots. But we can do Patriot love. No problem.

Tracee, I really feel bad for the guy. First, he was systematically humiliated by Dan and Vinny over the course of several weeks, and dumped in a most vile fashion. And then, he catches on in Ballmer, and helps Joe "I'm not entirely sure if I have an identifyable personality, though it's clear I'm a reasonably nice guy" Flacco (cumbersome nickname), only to be canned. What's the real poop on why he was let go as QB coach?

The theory seems to be that the offensive coordinator couldn't be fired and they needed a scapegoat, so hello Zorn.

Don't miss it at all, Tracee. We love it here.


What did you all think of that? I thought it was great, but I could listen to her sing the phone book.

When was this? Was this pre-Super Bowl? Because I missed it.

The strike goes to August and the fans blame the owners because some of the owners will get greedy and let staff go. Who likes to read about the beer man who can't make his rent?

Ugh. No one.

Too true - with your chats and the fact that a former colleague is from Kansas (and as much as he talked about Kansas (and Kansas Day)), I'm surprised I haven't set up my own little Kansas land in my subconscious...

As long as it's not in black and white and I'm not riding a broom, go for it.

Oh, my, look at the time! Gotta stop. Thanks for joining me and 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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