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

Apr 11, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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This story about the Bullets' old championship trophy is just fascinating. I can understand if Ted may have misremembered some things but for the life of me, I can't figure out why he would construct such an elaborate retelling of an event that never ocurred. It doesn't seem right that you would have this detailed memory of sending the NBA championship trophy (!!) off to Tiffany's for repair. Especially when I remember walking by that trophy case during many Caps games; you would think that the owner of the arena would have been aware of this trophy case as well. I've never been a fan of "Uncle Ted" and this definitely doesn't help my impressions of him.

I'm surprised because Ted certainly roams the hallways of Verizon. But it's a really interesting story, and I know enough of Irene Pollin to know she WOULD set the record straight. She's a fierce protector of Abe's legacy, and good for her.

And good morning, everyone. Apologies if you tried last week to read a transcript and couldn't find it. That was my fault. Apparently I can't paste anything in to this software from Word. I had done that with my self-defense on the Big Ten non-issue and that caused everything below that to disappear for some people. Luckily we got it fixed quickly. Another lesson learned!

And so let's get going.

Someone wrote in about Elijah Johnson's cheap shot on Mitch McGary. I didn't see it in real time and the clip sent was about 3 seconds, so it didn't look like anything was happening. After the chat I tracked down a better clip and I see what the fuss was about. I would have yanked him from the game. There was no reason for it and Elijah doesn't have a rep as a dirty player. Baffling, stupid thing to do.

I still don't think it's a referendum on Bill Self as a person, however.


I was a very impartial viewer to a phenomenal game. The bursts of energy from the fans on nearly every possession contributed greatly to this. What was strange was how this energy seemed to emanate from some mystical, off-screen world, since the bulk of the most visible fans (in seating behind the benches) looked like they were attending a tax code seminar. There *has* to be a way to reconcile the way in which seating for major single-game championships (all sports) are made available. Thoughts?

Wouldn't that be nice. It seems to be the case in a lot of telecasts, that the fans who get the camera time are sitting there like lumps. Maybe having great seats is so old for these lucky folks that they just don't care, they just want to be there. (Unless you were looking at press row, in which case it would be something like a tax code seminar, in that we're not supposed to react to what's happening.)

Will KU ever play WSU in Wichita?

I don't know. The legislature might make them. Otherwise, probably not. I was in favor of it until Gregg Marshall starting shooting off his mouth. Now I'm not so sure. But truthfully, I wouldn't mind seeing it. Although there are years it would be a good RPI game for KU and years it would be the waste of a date on the calendar.

If Snyder is reading this, I will hold RGIII's clipboard for less than 30K!

I think Snyder is a regular reader, so I'll post this. Good luck!

(That's sarcasm, in case it's not clear.)

Here's my list. What do you think? Everybody agrees that Sammy Baugh was the greatest ever. 1. Christian Jurgensen III 2. Joe Theismann, #1 for performance, #2 for obnoxiousness. 3. RG III, will advance if he wins more. 4. Mark Rypien 5. Getting thin here, Doug Williams always struck me as a class act.

That seems like a good list. So I'm sure we'll get opposing viewpoints. I'm also not sure who this Christian Jurgensen is. Hmmmm.

Hi, Gang -- I won't be here today because I'll be listening to two sides of a family lie about each other in a civil trial. So I 'd just like to say Wooo Huskies! Briana Stewart > anybody anyone else is gonna have for the next three years! Geno = Pat, but only for one more year as he passes her title total next April. TBHitW

Consider your Wooo Huskies noted for the record.

I predict TBHitW will be elected foreman.

I was watching the game in a similar manner to you. It was in the background with a group of people present. At some point. one of us noticed that the game had stopped and everyone was standing around. The announcers mentioned a few times that someone had suffered a gruesome (or horrible or similar wording) injury. I inferred that there would be no replay. So far so good. Here's my frustration. We have words to describe what happened, specifically, Louisville's Kevin Ware suffered a compound fracture of his lower right leg. The announcers never said this. If these words are spoken, I don't need a replay because it paints a clear picture. Gruesome, horrible, etc. do not. I felt like I was being treated like a child, so much so that it made me want to watch the replay on YouTube after someone pulled it up on their phone.

You know, I agree with you and I should have mentioned that. If they had said, "We are not showing the injury because of its severity" then I would have understood. Instead, I stood there and watched what I could see of him. Oh, there, he moved his arms. So it's not his neck or spine, perhaps. He is talking! So it's not a head injury. And so on. I shouldn't have to be parsing clues like Miss Marple in my rocker. And you're right, by not describing it, they probably drove a lot more people online.

Way back when they were the butt of every late-night comedian, I said, in this very chat, that the '12-'13 Wizards reminded me of the Nats in 2010 - that they were a "good bad team". Was I not right? This is the last year they enter the lottery without buying a $2 Powerball ticket. Section 405

Yes, you did, and it looks as if you were right.

O goddess of the Plains and Knower of all things Great and small Perhaps the goddess , being the wonderful fan of basketball that she is, might use her considerable influence to forward an idea which could improve the game significantly ---- reduce the number of NBA teams thereby reducing the number of professional roster positions making it less likely for college players to go "one and done". Several beneifts accrue: First, if players spent more time in college , they might actually learn some basketball skills. Second, NBA fans would not have to pay good money to watch silly games like last night . If the Wizzies can't beat the Miami Luke Warm at home , they don't deserve a franchise. Same for the Charlotte Kittycats and 4 or 5 others.Third, NCAA tournament games might become watchable with players actually being able to shoot mid range jump shots, play hands free defense, drive the basket without travelling etc Finally, why did that guy named Anderson get to wear a helmet and a 1960's Haight Ashbury shirt under his jersey last night ?

I'm afraid the same kids would leave, but find themselves with no job AND no education, although it's an interesting thought. As for Anderson, I have no idea!

I get the This page is in language (x) issue, so I choose to set the page langue to Welsh, which changed nothing, and then clicked to translate from Welsh to English. What follows is your Bio: Hamilton Gracee Gracee Hamilton has Worked for the Post Since 1993, toiling in office obscurity mp an editor and before the Someone said, "Hey, you've got a lot of Opinions and song ysgrifennu a little. Why don't chi Become a columnist?" Challenge interests will range from Genealogy to Nordic combined to Kansas basketball. Os EVER There Were Once a Jayhawk addas hair off and ski jump, she'd Know Where he was buried. Challenges list of pet peeves lower considerably Longer, ond includes Missouri basketball and poor Metro etiquette. She Welcomes dissenting Opinions - in the aet Great Whites welcome open-water Swimmers

Every word is true. Especially ysgrifennu. So true.

... Anything can happen. All your pitchers look good (assuming they aren't hurt). But half the opposing batters didn't make the majors. All your batters are world beaters ... But again half the opposing pitchers either are in AA or spent the game working on fastballs and just got there work in. But we have played almost 10 games ... or 1/16 of the season. The equivalent of 1 NFL game. Now is time to wildly overreact. Harper is going to break the home run record by the end of July, Strasburg will have the pitching trophy named after him because Cy Young is SO overrated ... etc. But assuming your team had a good week, it is the best time of the year. At least until next week. Enjoy the ride. It's the best part, even better than winning the Championship. (Roy Williams said something like that ...) BTW Royals on pace to win 108 games.

Let's Go Royals.

The Royals are off to a great start! This may be the year ... they aren't pathetic. I'll be home to watch all the games very soon. And yes, it's a time for optimism. Harper is certainly something to get excited about. Strasburg had a little trouble in  Cinci; we'll see what happens Saturday. I'll be at that one.

I went to Tuesday's game and sat in my seats in 405. Last night, I watched from 137 (about 2 rows back and 10 seats away from the RF foul pole). Wow, what a difference! You definitely got a much better sense of the players' athleticism -- Jayson Werth runs *hard* out there -- but I had trouble following fly balls. I'm glad to have the change of pace, but Friday I'll be back up in 405 and happy about it.. Section 405

It's like the press box view; you get used to that and then sit in the stands and people stand up in front of you! Good heavens! In the press box, that never happens. Well, unless you sit on the second row and there is a moron on the first row.

When the Royals play the Nats in the Series, who will I root for? I guess I have a few months to figure this out ... -K-Stater

Hmmmm. Let the DH rule be your guide? Beats me. Wouldn't that be something.

How about you -- do you want to play Wichita State in Wichita? Just wondering.

By the time he retired, Baugh set 13 NFL records in three player positions: quarterback, punter, and defensive back. He is considered one of the all-time great football players.[1] He gave birth to the fanaticism of Redskins fans. As Michael Wilbon of The Washington Post says: "He brought not just victories but thrills and ignited Washington with a passion even the worst Redskins periods can barely diminish."[1] He was the first to play the position of quarterback as it is played today, the first to make of the forward pass an effective weapon rather than an "act of desperation".[1] He was the last surviving member of the inaugural class inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963, including Bronko Nagurski, Red Grange, Jim Thorpe, Curly Lambeau, Don Hutson, George Halas, Ernie Nevers, and Mel Hein. From the wiki

No one disputes that. The question said, "of the modern era." But I don't think anyone would argue Baugh isn't the greatest Redskins QB of all time.

Here comes a guy who was one of your biggest stars for years and was a great teammate to boot. He played for the team when it was awful, and in doing so gave you fans some really bright moments when there weren't many. He left because the team decided to move on. So he comes back for the first time in another uniform, steps into the batter's box, and hears -- practically nothing! As a Nationals fan who lives in St. Louis, I wish I could transplant those half-assed fans into Busch Stadium, where they would see what real baseball fans do to say thank you to a great guy like Adam Dunn.

I wondered if that was just the result of a small crowd, because I had much the same thought. Yes, he left as a free agent, but he really did want to stay here. And yes, you gotta love your "formers" unless they brought shame to the family.

One of my entries won the pool at The Institution Where I Volunteer. Unfortunately, it was the one I cribbed from President Obama, which means that the profits will be donated to the aforementioned establishment.

I find it interesting that having a bracket makes me really involved with the first weekend, but as my bracket gets pulverized, I'm less and less interested. Section 405

Congrats on that! I didn't even keep a copy of my bracket, not the newspaper one and not the one I filled out. Never signed on and looked. If I don't pay attention to it, it's more fun.

But to me, nothing tops those first two days. That's just a good time.

I wish baseball (162), basketball (82), hockey (82) would take something from the NFL and lessen the number of games in a season. Every single Redskin game is important. But how is anyone with a life supposed to care about a baseball game when each one played is essentially meaningless? Baseball games should not have to be played in ski masks in 38 degree weather at Wrigley. The reason the NHL season is more interesting this year is that there are only 48 games. Yes, I know this is a rant that has no chance of success, but if the NFL can make its finances work on 16 games a season, why can't the others make do on 50 games?

It'll never happen, but I'd like to see baseball scale back, especially as they add to the playoffs. I might even give more of a mid-season break than they have. The shortened seasons are always more intriguing, you are right. And shorter seasons, I think, are better for the players. They aren't worn out for the playoffs so they don't have to take nights off. The sad part is, of course, that because of money and TV contracts and player contracts and all sorts of things, it would never even be considered.

Braves-better balance, better bullpen, better power, better chemistry, fans who stay for the entire game...GoBraves!

Braves fans can brag about a lot of things, but as a team that can't sell out its playoff games, I think you should have stopped at "chemistry." No one disputes the Braves are talented. We'll let them play the games.

I've been offered a bet that UConn will repeat and I want to win.

TBHitW will have to answer that. He's the Geno fan. And sadly he is unavailable today.

My answer would be that Geno will never leave U-Conn -- not sure why he would. For what? Surely not the WNBA. The NBA? Is that what you had in mind with "pros"?

This is a quiet bunch today. Cherry blossoms? Masters? WORK? Very unusual for me to be able to keep up with you all. Hope there isn't a glitch out there somewhere.

Could there be a better rallying cry?

For some of us, it's all we have. :)

My rallying cry for KU football: "Let's win TWO games this season."

... got a nice welcome when the visitors' lineup was announced last night.

Ah, I didn't hear that, I just heard his first at-bat reax. Glad to know he got a warm welcome.

I think Billy Kilmer should be on that list, too. He and that Christian III fellow got along well and made for one of the great sports photos in the Post when one of them is replacing the other during a game because of injury and Billy (I think) looks down at Sonny's (I think) ankle which had been hurt.

Yup. That photo hung in my boss's office for years.

I'm for playing good teams all season. I can't stand the cupcakes that are played just for financial reasons. I understand it - and don't blame those who do it - but I'm no fan and refuse to watch. So - as long as Wichita State is good, I'm definitely in favor of playing them wherever. -K-State

That's the trouble, you have to schedule them in advance and some years they aren't good. And some years they are quite good. Their coaches tend to get plucked if they have any talent. I don't see Gregg Marshall being a lifer at WSU. Then they'll have a drop off and pick up again.

It would be nice for the kids from Wichita who go to KU and K-State to get to play at home, although maybe they wouldn't get a good reception. But I think they would.

I'm not sure it's something the legislature should be involved in, but it's the Kansas legislature ... and I'm not going there.

Okay, then here's another one: What do you think of the seeming disconnect between Davey, who implies that he'd rather stay on as manager, and the team, which is saying he wants out after 2013?

I think it will all depend on how the team does this year. I do not think the Nats are trying to shove Davey out the door.

I have a plea for the computer geeks - please come up with a condensed fantasy baseball. My office does fantasy football and March bracket Madness, but fantasy baseball is too overwhelming for them.

Okay, there's your plea. I haven't played it since the old days, on paper, so I can't speak to your issue.

College basketball is over. The Nats' season just began. The Wizards are looking stinky again. So let's talk about the Caps! I wanted to tell Boz this as well but I knew it wouldn't make a difference. What are your thoughts on Ovechkin's recent scoring explosion?

My thoughts can best be expressed by this column.

Despite my wife's protests, I'll be at Nats Park tonight through Sunday. I've already made it out three times and there really is an electric atmosphere at the park so far this year. It's a far cry from games at RFK, that's for sure. Hopefully I'll be able to see Dan Haren get on track tonight. One thing I wanted to mention that I haven't seen here (though I might have missed it) --  the Nats are playing "Take on Me" during the seventh inning stretch! Thanks, Mikey!

Yes, we discussed that last week. I was a proponent of that and although I'm sure that had nothing to do with it, I was happy to hear it just the same. It's DC's now.

I think the Nats should offer a free download of the submarine horn as a ring tone. We could start a trend.

Hmmmm, interesting idea. Nats, are you listening?

Ah, Braves fans. Our park. Please go away.

That's it, defend your turf. Respectfully.

Hi Trac! Sorry to be late. Stupid work conflicts. But I don't have that much to say. The Caps appear to be in good shape for a run to the playoffs and a first-round elimination, but we'll talk about that next week. I don't care for golf or NBA and can't get worked up about the NFL draft. You can't talk about, say, how much the Nats need a veteran swingman or better late-inning defense until May; the only appropriate baseball comments in April are "Isn't it awesome to have baseball back?" So I guess I could do the TOBCOTWP thing and ask, What's the best beverage to consume during a ball game? The correct answer is: anything. Rico

I wondered where you were going with that. But you're right, there are no big crises right now. Nothing wrong with that.

This isn't a "one and done" situation. There's a long-established tradition here: The esteemed returning batter steps into the box as his name is announced. The applause swells as the crowd gets to its feet. The batter backs out of the box and tips his cap to the crowd, after which the dance is done and the applause dies down as he steps back into the box. Washington fans just don't know this, apparently. If I were you, Tracie, I'd write a column and inform them.

I keep hearing from people upset at various etiquette mistakes made at Nats Park. I do not want to be the Miss Manners of the Diamond, however.

Section 308 cheered for Dunn last night.

There you go.

I was at last night's game, and cheered for Adam during player introductions and when he stepped in to the batter's box. There wasn't much reaction, although I'm wondering how many people there remember the big guy and how much we were sorry he wasn't re-signed (although it was the right decision, obviously). The crowd was a little light but otherwise spirited, though.

And some more...

The Caps should always finish first in the SE division- look at the competition. What will they have to change to be competitive next year playing real teams?

I think they've got to upgrade at some positions. If prospects aren't coming, they've got to be active in the offseason, stir things up a bit.

The Giants Benny Friedman deserved a spot. He was robbed!

Wow, we went to a place I wasn't expecting. Okay.

actually i used to live in atlanta and a ton of my friends seemed to be there. most of them NEVER go to anything sports related, many of them were fans of one of the teams and just thought it was going to be fun. So it's interesting that you think that most of those people were just given those tickets. that really didn't seem to be the case (okay, all anecdotal here!). It did look like fun, though...

Not sure I'm following. Who was given tickets? Huh?

I'm with you. He ain't going anywhere. I think he had ample opportunity to go to the WNBA when it looked like it might be a hot thing. Now that it seems pretty humdrum, there's no reason for him to go off and be on the hot seat in a league that nobody cares about, when he can stay at UConn, be a campus god, and enjoy a few years as The Undisputed Best Head Coach In Women's Basketball now that Pat Summitt has stepped down. Or, put another way: a lot more people see him on the UConn bench than would see him coaching the LA Sparks.

Yup. He also makes more money.

I guess the earlier poster doens't much pay attention to the standings at the end of a baseball season. Every game is important - one game won or lost is almost always the difference between going to the playoffs or going home. I love the long grind of the season.

I think the season could go to, say, 154, without losing all the drama. One win or loss would still be important. Cold weather baseball isn't great for anyone. But it's not going to happen, so no use worrying about it.

Tracee - there was an article the other day about Nats Park naming rights. Any chance the Lerners will say, "Hey, we're already billionaires. How about we keep it Nationals Park, like Camden Yards and Yankee Stadium?"?

It would be awesome. We'll see. Yankee Stadium can get away with it. For all others ... there are few buildings that simply can't change their names, no matter what the financial inducement. Fenway and Wrigley come to mind.

Let's not forget that the three teams the Braves have played are the Phillies, Cubs, and (the cream-of-the-crop of awful teams) Marlins. Braves are obviously talented but they've had a bit of a cake walk when it comes to opening series for this year. The Nats started with the Marlins, but the Reds and White Sox are no slouches at all. Man, are the Marlins bad. Just.. WOW.

Did you see the photo in today's paper of the crowd there? Yikes.

I am not a big sports fan, I sorta kinda follow a little bit (used to be a big baseball fan til the strike many moons ago). I started to read this chat and a few of your columns after the big paterno story (I went to penn state). And I'm still here, because you are awesome. Even though, well, i don't always care about the sports...

Thanks! Very kind of you...

There are lots of good ideas for short-attention-span types. You could do monthly contests. Or monthly redraft leagues, where everyone has a chance to pick a new team each month, and you can issue six monthly prizes and one grand prize. Or you could have smaller rosters or focus on smaller teams so that people don't have to identify the Giants' backup 2B or the Blue Jays' emergency catcher. ESPN appears to be getting a lot of people to play ten-team mixed league, which deals with very few people. It's fantasy: you can shape the competition however you want.

There you go.

I was listening on the radio and thought it sounded like a decent amount of applause for Adam Dunn. But on opening day, I was a little sad that Jon Rausch and Austi Kerns didn't get much more than a golf clap...on the other hand, and with no disrespect to the bandwagoners (well, maybe a little disrespect), I imagine quite a few fans didn't start following the Nats til last summer. I must say, in general I see more cheering for former players in baseball than I do in other sports (Caps fans have that terrible "whoop") and it's one of the things I love about the sport.

It's possible that it was just the audio on the TV; it's not always a good guage.

It is: 1. Staubach 2. Aikman 3. Danny White 4. Dandy Don 5. Romo

Okay, but I don't recall anyone claiming otherwise.

Tracee, first you were canceled, then you weren't but the home page said you were, then I was busy, then I was out of town, so this is my first chance to say that the last episode of Ripper Street put me to sleep. (Or it may have been the red wine.) Monday night I was at Old Trafford with 75,472 other people sitting in wind-chill temperatures in the teens and chanting for 90 minutes of the Manchester Derby. Love Becks to bits, but no, he has not changed America's view of soccer.

I can't remember the last episode. Oh, yes, right. Not the best, certainly. I do like it. "Top of the Lake" is awfully good; very different but good. And of course, "GoT," which I am in love with. Also, "The Americans."

Now, back to sports...

Why isn't Uncle Ted just a liar? He just made up his Tiffany story to make himself look good and to trash the Polins. That's disgusting.

I think the facts have been presented and you can draw your own conclusions.

About 10 million brackets were entered. If they charged their advertisers a penny a bracket, that's $100,000 in prize money they could hand out.


Aside from having fewer games to attend, I think it would instantly make a whole bunch of records unbreakable. I'd really worry about the record books. You can add games (154 to 162), but taking them away is different.

Another reason it won't happen. Asterisks next to asterisks.

One of the absolute joys of baseball is the very fact that it's a long season. That you play every day. That a 6-game losing streak doesn't doom your season, nor a 10-game winning streak guarantee final success. The shape, color and taste of each season reveals itself slowly to those who are watching. Nothing like the last day of the 2011 season, or the 1967 season, or the 1908 season, could ever happen in a compressed-season sport. I could *possibly* get behind a cutback to a 154 game season instead of 162 to keep the postseason out of November, but that's it..... Section 405

That's as far as I'd go, 405, but I don't think either of us have to worry about it.

Thanks, all, for joining me. Please come back next week! And I'll hope the transcript isn't screwed up this time. I've tried not to touch any of the wrong buttons.

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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