Tracee Hamilton discusses local and national sports -- and whatever else you want to talk about.

Feb 21, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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Although they still don't have you listed in the "Regulars" section. It's a start?

I have given up being considered a regular. We've mad noise about it and been roundly ignored and I just simply dont' care anymore. Why the page wasn't there I DON'T know, and I do care about that. I create the darn thing minutes after I finish the chat, just so I don't forget. Ah well. If these were our biggest problems. ...

And good morning, everyone! I got a warning yesterday that my chat wasn't posted, but got that fixed. I had a really great meal last night with readers who invited me out of the blue to come over for dinner! The Gibb family has a lot of KU and Kansas connections and we had a good visit. And you know I took off before the KU game because I am not fit company with whom to watch. So thanks, Gibb family!

Let's get going.

Well, ms h, my huskers didn't lose to iowa- since the game was postponed due to snow (must have been a lot of it). Your jayhawks must be doing something right- one basket in 2 overtimes, and they win. On to the ncaas! AHG

The midwest snow storm sounds pretty big. I haven't heard if they've named it. Probably  not, since it's in the midwest. They need the moisture so I'm sure they're hoping for about three feet. And I don't know how KU won that game but God love 'em.

How does the NCAA chairman keep his job with this scandal? And how does Ms. Shalala keep her job? The NCAA must have really really screwed up if they can somehow make "the U" look like the victim in anything. But Ms. Shalala needs to get off her high horse because most Hurricanes still take a pay cut when they enter the NFL. She can't blame this scandal on prior administrations because she has the President of Miami since 2001. The lack of institutional control applies equally to the NCAA and to the U.

Feinstein had it right this morning, and I've also written this in the past -- the NCAA as an institution needs to go. And why can't Miami football remain scandal free? Does scandal thrive in moist conditions? 

O goddess of the Plains and Knower of all things Great and small Nice column about Danica Patrick. Her NASCAR "career" best is when no one else is on the track--like qualifying . Since she now has a great team and crew and a Hendricks engine is she ready to step up. Do you think she has decided if she wants to be a pole sitter or a pole dancer ?

I think she's definitely focused on winning and she's got her best shot with the Hendricks team. She'll need friends on the track and some luck, but everyone needs both of those things in racing. I wish she'd eschew the godaddy stuff but she has every right to sell herself in any way possible and make her money while she can.

Nobody is this first round is outstanding (with the possible exception of the name Barkevious Mingo) so the Skins were smart to trade away their first round pick. Now if I were Snyder, I would continue to trade away the rest of my picks forever, build the Super Team, win the Super Bowl (a guy can dream), dissolve the team, get a new franchise called the Warriors, and start fresh with first round picks. What could possibly go wrong?

I love this plan! I'm excited to be a part of it!

I know it's not your normal beat but are you hearing about any potential Wizard moves? Could they stock up on draft picks (not that many have panned out recently)?

I know what Michael Lee tells me in the pages of the Washington Post. Other than very high picks, I'm not sure of the value of a lot of draft picks. But this could be a very active trade deadline so I wouldn't count them out.

Wrestling out? Beach volleyball in? But only if the contestants wear bikinis? That's absolutely ludicrous!

That may be the new Olympic motto before long. Forget "Citius Altius Fortius." "That's absolutely ludicrious!" works for me.

When will the journalist stop writing about the Redskins changing their name? Numerous columnists fail to recognize the history behind the Redskins name; brave warriors wearing Red paint before battle -- not relating to the color of their skin. The Mesa Arizona H.S. being 100% Native Americans has named their sports teams the Redskins . As well, at the local Mesa sports bar, the Native American don't cheer for the Arizona Cardinals, they root for the Washington Redskins. Let's not forget that this Political Correctness (PC) dates back from WWII Russia era when if you didn't follow the politics forced upon you, then you were shipped out to remote areas -- many instances where you were never heard from again.

Where to start? Please don't complain to me about all journalists, like I can flip a switch and turn it off. Especially since I have written nary a word about it. Columnists can write about what they want. Readers can read what they want. It actually seems like a pretty fair arrangement.

I do think there is a difference between a high school composed of Native Americans adopting the  nickname and a professional team composed of few or no Native Americans doing the same. And again, I don't think the fact that there are Native Americans in a sports bar cheering for the Redskins speaks for ALL Native Americans.

And I don't think we're in danger of shipping people who choose to be un-"politically correct" to  Siberia.

That said, you are entitled to think all of these things and I'm entitled to post your post. So here it is.

Who was that early sodbuster in Kansas? He leaned at the gatepost and studied the horizon and figured what corn might do next year and tried to calculate why God ever made the grasshopper and why two days of hot winds smother the life out of a stand of wheat and why there was such a spread between what he got for grain and the price quoted in Chicago and New York. Drove up a newcomer in a covered wagon: "What kind of folks live around here?" "Well, stranger, what kind of folks was there in the country you come from?" "Well, they was mostly a lowdown, lying, thieving, gossiping, backbiting lot of people." "Well, I guess, stranger, that's about the kind of folks you'll find around here." And the dusty gray stranger had just about blended into the dusty gray cottonwoods in a clump on the horizon when another newcomer drove up: "What kind of folks live around here?" "Well, stranger, what kind of folks was there in the country you come from?" "Well, they was mostly a decent, hardworking, lawabiding, friendly lot of people." "Well, I guess, stranger, that's about the kind of folks you'll find around here." And the second wagon moved off and blended with the dusty gray cottonwoods on the horizon while the early sodbuster leaned at his gatepost and tried to figure why two days of hot winds smother the life out of a nice stand of wheat.

I know that guy!

Seriously, I know there should be breaks in this poem somewhere, but I don't have time to put them in and the computer eats them. So sorry about that. This is becoming The Official Poetry Chat of the Washington Post.

Is it safe to assume that Mark Emmert's time as head of the NCAA is drawing to a close?

One would assume, but I think that bar isn't set very high anymore.

I am all for Danica competing in the Daytona 500, BUT I am against the trend of the girlification of male sports. Some marketing dweeb decides they can make 40% more dollars by pandering to women, so they play up her romantic life and decorate the uniforms with pink. Yuck.

I don't understand where everyone gets the idea that the only way to get women to watch men's sports is to put women in them. (The pink thing is more a breast cancer awareness thing; female athletes and sports fans aren't to blame for that, the fundraisers have done an amazing job of worming their pinkness into professional sports.)

I, too, am sick of her love life. Like I said, it's only interesting when she wrecks her boyfriend on the track, or vice versa. Or someone puts her in the wall and her boyfriend jumps out to attack that driver. Or ... you get the idea. Then it gets fun. Who she dates ... meh.

Hi Tracee, I have seen a few stories saying Alexander Ovechkin is over the hill - any opinion on that?

I don't think anyone would argue he's lost a step, or whatever you want to call it in hockey. He's a little slower. Is he over the hill? No, he's got some hockey left in him. If he's willing to alter his game to adjust to his "aging" body, he can still be a valuable player. I don't think he can regain that Ovechkin magic of several seasons ago.

How much credence should we give to the ESPN report that Gio did not get any banned substances from the Florida guys under investigation? This matches what I believed in the first place, but as recent events have shown "we don't really know these guys". - Section 405

Since it's so rare to have someone ruled OUT of a drug investigation, I would be cautiously optimistic if I were a Nats fan. Gio is taking the right route -- let's not celebrate till MLB confirms it publicly.

I just got my tickets for Opening Day! That is all.

Good for you! Should be fun. And warmer than today.

This season, as my Huskies (that's right, they're MINE! ALL MINE!) play only for pride and (ahem) love of the University, I've realized that there might be an upside to realignment: I'm really sick of mid-February slugfests against the likes of Rutgers and Syracuse. If nothing else, at least we'll get to see some new opponents. TBHitW

That's certainly a good attitude. Change is good instead of change is bad. Refreshing.

I think that the NHL and NBC Sports have come up with a great gimmick with the Wednesday Night Rivalry. Last night's game between the Penguins and the Flyers (can you root for both teams to lose?) was very entertaining. Think they'll get the casual fans back?

I think they can, but I am guessing that won't happen until the playoffs, or the playoff races heat up, anyway. That's the casual, non-specific fan, of course.

And tomorrow's game is to be broadcast live (at noon) on MLB Network.'s the next best thing to being there. natsfan1a

I'm hoping my eyes are undilated by then so I'll be able to watch!

Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse. Is there a random hype name generator somewhere or what?

Well, someone -- I think the weather channel -- is giving them names now. So the last one that went north of us was called Nemo. In other words, they're naming them like hurricanes. Which does beat Snowmageddon, I guess, if you're a weather channel reporter.

She's not on the Hendricks team. She's on the Stewart-Haas team but they use Hendricks engines.

Sorry, my bad. Of course she's on the Stewart team. He's been a big cheerleader for her this week. (I don't mean that in a snide way.)

The Weather Channel (the only people won aare naming winter storms) are calling this one "Storm Q". Given that they had an earlier storm "Khan", I had hopes that there was a Star Trek theme going on here - but alas, it's named after "The Broadway Express subway line in New York City." - space cadet

Q? Could they not think of a Q name? Can I not think of a Q name? In fact, I cannot, off the top of my head. (This is sure to bring a wintery mix of suggestions to my inbox.)

John Thompson called--said he's never been more proud.


Tracee, It's been hard to catch up with the chats real-time though I still read all of the transcripts. There's a really fine article on on Drew Storen right now. I was lucky enough to be in his group for autographs at Nats Fest and was able to chat for a short moment. I told him I looked forward to seeing him lock down the 9th inning for us in a decade and that got a big laugh - he said he'd be surprised if he's even still pitching in 10 years. Any way, the standing O he got from fans when he came in during a Q&A session was awesome and he was so engaging throughout the day. I sure hope he's in a Nats jersey for the long haul - he really seems like the genuine article nice guy.

Hopefully you caught my nemesis Kilgore's article on Drew. He is one of a very small list of guys that, if I found out he was involved in something untoward, I would be shocked.

could you explain how Oscar Pistorius without his artificial legs shoots downward through a door four times at an angle? Seems illogical.

So much about the case that seems unexplainable, or wrongly explained. And now the cop investigating the case is being charged with murder himself. Yikes. I'm not making up my mind on anything based on these early court appearances. Witness statements contradict police statements. None of it makes sense.

Weingarten probably still has the whip hand.

Ah, of course, good. We have our hands full with beverages. Or our mouths, as it were.

Wrestling out but rhythmic gymnastics and that trampoline BS is in? Give me a break.

I am trying not to back wrestling at the expense of another sport -- but if I were to knock another sport, it might just be trampoline.

They're auditioning for a place in the $EC. And by the way, it's pretty dry in Tallahassee, Tuscaloosa, Columbus, University Park in LA, Auburn, University Park in PA......

So much for a humidity joke.

Nice quote, Dr. Venkman!

Like Annie Potts, I loved Dr. Venkman.

"I collect spores molds and fungus."

And the less enjoyable but more prophetic: "Print is dead."

Guilty or not guilty? Which ya got? So far the so called evidence seems to 99% point to guilty.

I don't know, I guess I don't like to declare people innocent or guilty until we have something in the way of evidence and reliable testimony. It doesn't look good.

I saw him in "Lincoln" this week. It's not a football movie, but you can argue that it's totally inside baseball.

Ha! Yes, true enough. I loved that movie, in part just trying to identify who the actors were under all the makeup or where I'd seen them before. James Spader had me going...

The same is true with "Ripper Street". Anyone watching that? They've had a regular and guest star from GoT; that may become a drinking game.

The Redskins have an objectionable name but on OK logo. The Indians have a neutral name and an appalling logo. Your Chiefs and my alma mater, the Fighting Illini, pass muster on both grounds, at least by my standards. But I'm not a Native American. I wouldn't want to see a team named the Blond Bimbos (because I'm blond) or the Fatsos (because I'm overweight). I think the people most affected should be allowed to make the call.

Agreed. You can be the most empathetic person in the world, but you don't really know what it's like to be in another person's skin.

Tracee, I must confess to a guilty pleasure--I watch Dance Moms (I also watch Bunheads and watched Breaking Pointe, which was about Ballet West in Salt Lake City, but I don't feel at all guilty about that!). The girls on the dance team do a lot of acrobatics in their routine, especially Brooke, who wants to work for Cirque de Soleil. As a ballet lover, I think the dancing on Dance Moms blurs the line between dance & gymnastics floor exercises. And I've often wondered if figure skating is a sport or an art form. Where exactly do you draw the line?

Well, that's a tough one. Figure skating definitely wants to be a sport and when I see how hard they work, how fit and muscular they are, and what they accomplish on a skate blade, I think it's a sport.  Because it has a competition component. I guess the Capades would be art and worlds would be a sport.

Dancers are extremely athletic -- the injuries they inflict and play through are incredible -- but I don't think they want to be a "sport," and they don't compete except in trumped up reality shows like "So You Think You Can Dance." It's a blurry line that depends almost entirely on who's drawing it -- like a lot of things in life.

Sure -- I did in the Notre Dame-Bama game.

Yes, and I think you weren't alone, as I recall from our posters at the time.

Davey suggests "Quietus"

I like that.

I love how people write in and say "Don't tell me how to feel" - while at the same time, they are telling you how to feel.

Yes, there is a lot of that. I'm not sure they are even aware of it.

The storm names after Nemo are Orko, Plato, Q (current one), Rocky, Saturn, Tracee, ...

Oh, if only ... I would love a headline to tape on my computer that says "Tracee Ravages East Coast."

But down here we're gonna have Winter Storm B-B-Q this weekend. 85 and sunny is a good day to light the grill and pop a cold one.

Those are good. I like Quincy and it would appeal to that section of TWC audience who remember that show with the guy named Quincy.

From 1-7 in January to 4-4 in February. That's progress. Now if they can just keep improving...

Yup. I hope so for the sake of the hard core fans who went too long without their games.

For the folks out there complaining about the PC train: get over yourself. It's not about you. It's not about the team's "proud history" - the nickname and society have reached a point where offensive terms like "Redskin" have no place. So, what if they change the name of the team? There'll still be a team here and you can still root for them and wear your old gear.

The other side of the argument. I am hearing opinions on this from far more people than Post columnists. :)

Ok, now you got my ire up. Women just want to show they can compete. They aren't out to lower the standards of "Mens Sports", just meet or exceed them! Personally, I think it's insulting to concentrate on the Social life of Women or Men! I don't care who Danica or Mike Green is dating. I saw a onesie in Walmart once that said "I Pretend to like sports when I'm with Daddy" Really? Really?! In this day and age, this kind of thought is out there for sale!? BTW, I HATE THE EMPHASIS ON PINK! Please makers of clothing for women. Most women are not a size 10. So quit making your "Extra Large" size = to a guy's medium. Rant Over.

Okay, I think maybe you read more into the post and my reply that was there, but you needed a rant and I'm happy to oblige. And yes, that onesie slogan is annoying. And I won't even go into women's clothing sizes. We'd be here all day.

Michael Phelps is at the O's batting practice as #18. I hear he's doing swimmingly well. :)

Ba dum dum.

Quentin, Quinn, Quincy... actually, they run out pretty fast. (Qing? Quetzalcoatl?) But I can't look at the subject line without thinking of Rosie Perez in "White Men Can't Jump."

Lord, yes, that was a good one. I think Jeopardy ought to throw that into a round along with a White Men CAN Jump category or something similar, as a little homage. I am increasingly unhappy with the Jeopardy categories, which is separate from my loathing for AT.

Argo or Lincoln? Who ya got? I think Naomi Watts may pull off the upset in Best Actress.

My sister has seen 'em all -- I haven't see The Impossible yet -- and agrees with you re Watts. I think Argo is going to win because voters are angry Jennifer Garner's husband didn't get nominated for director. (I love JG and so that's how I think of BA.) I have to admit, though, that Zero Dark Thirty was a tremendous movie. I'm not sure I have a dog in this hunt this year -- all deserving candidates. I'd sure like to see "Amour" before Sunday but don't think that's going to happen.

Let the athletes wrestle for it. Winner gets to be in.

Okay, I may steal that when next I write about this.

Of course I once coached a group of 8th grade boys (typical games score in the 30-40s) to an 15-14 win in the title game of their CYO league. Defense and Rebounding wins Championships. (And a deep bench when you foul out your starting 5.) Let's Go Royals!

I don't mind a strong defense, but I also am partial to scoring. Yessirree  Bob, a little scoring would go a long way with me.

Might just as well have flushed all that World Cup 2010 money down the drain for all the good it did rehabilitating South Africa's image as a crime-riddled dump. The Pistorius case wiped that good will away. Even the homicide detective is himself charged with SEVEN attempted murders? And he's not even on leave?!?

Sounds like he shot into a bus. I'm getting this is one ear as I'm writing and answering posts.

Q was the name of a bad guy in Star Trek. It was also the name of everyone in his race, although the members of the race new one Q from another.

Ah, I didn't know what. Q is also a James bond character, I think. Boy, the things I've forgotten...

There are ballet competitions on the world arena. Washington's own Amanda McKerrow competed in at least one of the international competitions. I believe it's individual, but it could also include pairs in a pas de deux competition. McKerrow won a gold medal (first American to do so) in the international ballet competition in Moscow in 1981 (my God, that's 32 years ago!).

Interesting. I'm assuming, though, that the pinnacle of one's career isn't that but rather landing a spot in one of the world's great companies? Honestly, what I know about ballet is not much. Not my cup of tea.

If I were in the Garden of Eden, I could resist eating an apple. But if Eve handed me a beer ...

Cinnamon roll for me, if I could still eat sugar. Sadly, these days she'd get me with the apple.

Grateful? (Sorry, that was too easy.) Seriously, they'd be in the lottery. Would they take a swingman like Ben McLemore if available, or do they need a big man like Noel or Zeller, or do they need a scoring forward like Bennett or Muhammad? And can you predict how many more years it will be until a junior or senior is a lottery pick?

If they had a top pick, and Ben McLemore was available, they'd be nuts not to take him -- he's projected a top 5 at least; I saw a list the other day that had him at No. 1.  Which will be a huge disappointment to the NBA when he returns to school. (I have a rich fantasy life.) You ask what they need and the answer is "yes." They need everything. Take the best available on the board. And we may never see a junior or senior as a lottery pick again. Wouldn't that be something?

That earlier post about the name of the Washington football team was simply amazing. Let me concentrate on just one part. By his/her logic, deciding that a sports team should not have a nickname that is flat out INSULTING to a large group of people is equivalent to sending people to labor camps because you are a totalitarian regime. Wow. I wish this person could actually live through that kind of treatment so they would not equate it to their hissy fit over a stupid team nickname. That is just disgusting to me.

Welcome to my inbox.

Hi, Trac! When I taught a class on sport history a few years ago, my students discussed what made a sport. They decided that a sport had to involve athleticism and skill, but also had to have clear and objective standards for competition and scoring. That excluded figure skating, dance, cheerleading, diving -- basically anything where your score is determined by a judge. No one denied that participants were skilled and athletic, but if reasonable people can't clearly agree on what constitutes a 5.6 vs. a 5.8, then it's not really a sport. Rico

Yes, a lot of people go by that standard. And by that standard, figure skating and diving don't make the cut. But neither will EVER be on the Olympic chopping block, so does being in the Olympics make them a sport? I kind of think it does. The Olympics is sort of a free pass into sportsdom.

Can I propose that we ban all straw men arguments from the discussion about the Washington football team's name? As soon as anyone uses the meaningless phrase "politically correct" I begin to devalue their argument. Explain how calling a team that name is not demeaning to many humans and I will discuss it with you. The problem is they can't make that argument. It's a corollary to Godwin's Law (the first person to mention Hitler in an argument automatically loses the argument). -Handle Pending

Yes, politically correct has become a way to describe people grappling with issues of kindness, sensitivity to the feelings of other, coming to terms with mistakes made in the history of our country, etc. Those seem like correct actions, but slap a "politically correct" sticker on them and they become silly. Perhaps we can call it the HP PC Corollary (although that sounds like a new computer).

Love it. Love Matthew Macfadyen (second best Darcy ever). But even though I travel to London 4 - 6 times a year I have to use the captioning to follow. Or, I could just turn down the sound and look at Matthew Macfadyen. Either way works for me.

Oh, thank God it's not just me. This past episode was particularly hard to follow because the "villain" was so damned literate I couldn't follow his speeches. Oh, when Drake released those little birds ... sweet. Great show.

Q had a baby in one of the late episodes of Star Trek Voyager with his wife Q. The baby's name was q!

I wonder if you all are making this stuff up but fear you are not.

fwiw, I'm female and blond, but would have no problem with that.

That's sort of the point of the earlier discussion. You will always find people who are offended by things and people who aren't, even among the group in question (in our original discussion, Native Americans). So who decides, the people who are offended or the people who aren't? And the battle rages on.

How are the kitties?

Well ... it's been a bad week. I haven't talked about this but my dear Forrest C. "Phog" Allen was diagnosed with lymphoma in January. We tried chemo but we couldn't stop it and I said goodbye to him on Monday. Anyone who's ever done it knows how dreadful it is, but also a final act of great love.

Tough on people because I'm still suddenly bursting into tears. I really miss that boy -- he was the most even tempered cat I ever had. My other cat is the one who has been very sick for a long time, and still is, and if you'd told me I'd lose Phog first I'd never have believed it, so it was a shock.

Sorry, enough. If I cry too much my eyes dry out and I can't see.

I hate to end on that note but time's up anyway.  Thanks for asking and enduring my caterwauling. Everything will be hugs and puppies next week. (Not literally, of course.)

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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