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

Aug 29, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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After winning the Johnny Football case, it's clear that A&M belongs in the $EC after all. TBHitW

(Rim shot.)

I knew that one would hit the queue, I just wasn't sure it would be you, although you were certainly on my short list!

It's ridiculous, and I wrote a column about it today, but it's just another sign that the NCAA is just the worst. The worst, Jerry.

And hello and welcome, everyone, to the chat. Let's go!

I just received the following from my season ticket rep at the Nationals: "There will be no extended metro service for the Sunday night game. Typically, the last train leaves from the Navy Yard metro around 11:45pm.".

Just like with their rainout policy fiasco (which, to their credit, they corrected quickly), they're listening with a tin ear. According to news reports, when an online deal site picked up the tab for late playoff games, it required a deposit of $29,500 to extend the hours, and, with rebates from Metro, a one hour extension is cost free after 5,504 passengers pay fares.

To add some perspective to this, the Nats paid about $104,000 to David DeJesus for his four days service as a National.  That would pay the Metro deposit for three days with money left over.

I'm not giving credence to the canard that the Lerners are "cheap" - they've proved they'll spend money when they feel it will pay off. I *am* saying that, like a lot of very rich people, they are sometimes tone-deaf as to how some of their financial decisions sound to their customers.

Section 405

No argument here -- I was banging this drum last year. I still say it would be a PR coup for a player to step up and pay the tab. Not his responsiblity, but what good will he'd buy. Ah well.

Tracee; Call me either cynical or realistic here. I don't know if Manziel directly pocketed $7500 or low-five figures (I've guessed $20Gs) from the autograph signings. But I'd bet that Manziel's reps asked the NCAA people how much money they made in licensing "Johnny Football" t-shirts or how much of a take they got from Adidas selling Texas A&M jerseys with the "2" on them. Then they probably indicated that if Manziel got a lengthy suspension that they'd be joining Ed O'Bannon's suit... But the reality of this is that whichever network has that game--CBS if its Saturday afternoon, ESPN if its Saturday Night--also "gently nudged" the NCAA. I'd guess the going rate for an advertising minute for that game, while not being Super Bowl level, is still pretty, ratings with Manziel playing versus ratings with Manziel suspended...might be a little different. Clearly, Trace--there wasn't a chance in the world that Manziel was going to miss the Alabama game. Too much money to be lost all around. That's the bottom line.

All of that might be true, and I agree there was little chance they were going to diminish the A&M-Alabama game, but I don't think anyone saw him missing half the Rice game, either. It's the weirdest thing the NCAA has done in a long time -- and that's saying something.

O goddess of the Plains and Knower of ALL things Great and small: I have a suggestion for all of the female NFL fans --and some male fans-- who are now required to leave their hand bags at home in favor of the lovely and fashionable "see through, NFL issued plastic bags . Ladies, stay home. Watch the games on TV if you wish. Root and cheer as much as you like. You can drink much better, cheaper beer or other drinks in the comfort of your own home without fear of having some drunk puking on your shoes --or nifty plastic bag. No longer will you have to tolerate hearing multiple 'F Bombs' from the yahoos sitting behind you. Nor will you have to put up with being ogled by 40 year old teenagers as you head for , or more likely stand in line for, the rest rooms. Remind your boyfriend, pal, fiance, husband or whomever that he is perfectly free to attend the games in person without you, but that doing so will result in a "bye week" at home. Once the MALE fans start objecting to this policy and the owners see more empty seats and fewer $8 beers being sold, things might change. I can see Roger Goddell standing at the podium saying "Upon further review.......... " Tracee , you can lead the way !

I've already written about this ridiculous policy. I have heard very little from female fans in complaint, though, after the preseason games.

I know there aren't as many women as men at games, but the disparity isn't nearly what it used to be. When people are already staying home during games, I'm not sure why the league would give them one more reason to. But I don't see the league losing money any time soon.

Eagles vs. Dolphins?

No. (I have a 50-50 chance of being right, but you have a 100% chance of jinxing whichever of those teams you root for.)

I know that it has absolutely no chance of being implemented for a number of reasons but I feel that it would be a win-win-win situation for the NFL (management) players and most importanly the fans. As it has been brought up bya number of people there is no preseason in H/S or college so why have it in the pros. Do away with it but add two games to the regular season. Even though the regular season would be 18 games the total games played would be two less than currently being played. Now for the regular season. The first 3 weeks are only non-conference and the last 3 weeks would be only divisional games. This way all games count and with having only divisional games the last three weeks would have more impact at the tale end of the season. The NFL could do like the colleges do and have all non-conference games before getting into conference and divisional games. If more games are needed then expand the playoffs to the top 7 or 8 teams. Yes, there is the possibility of an 8-8 or even a 7-9 team but that has already happened. 2011 Denver 8-8 and 2010 Seattle 7-9. So expanding to 7-8 teams in the [playoffs really is no big deal. It keeps the interest in more teams for more fans.

I am in favor of dropping the preseason, but I don't think there ought to be 18 regular season games AND an expanded playoff, not without addressing the head injury question and expanding roster size.

I say no, it's too risky. With Cousins injured, they'd be down to two quarterbacks. Shanahan should tell a linebacker that he's welcome to test the free agency waters, and if Cousins comes back they'll drop White and re-sign the linebacker.

I agree with you. Until they are sure about Griffin's recovery, they ought to assume the best and prepare for the worst.

Sometime this year, I noticed that some fans over towards section 408 had started chanting "N-A-T-S Nats! Nats! Nats! Whooo!". Paying closer attention, I noticed this was only after the Nats scored a run, and the chant gets repeated for every run scored (eg, for a grand slam, the chant is repeated four times). The regulars in 405 have started joining in when we hear it. I'm surprised it hasn't spread through the whole park, like "Take On Me" acapella did last year, and I wonder why. It's clearly the idea of a bunch of folks who attend every game and sit close together up in the 'bleeds towards home plate, and they've been doing it regularly all season.

It srikes me as one of those organic things that everyone should pick up on, and not something aped from elsewhere, like the stupid idea of throwing back opponents' home runs that I can barely tolerate at Wrigley and despise when stupid "fans" ape it here, or the folks who yell "O" during the National Anthem - I can accept that in Baltimore, understand it when they come here to play, and find it both disrespectful and clueless in all other circumstances.

Section 405

I noticed this myself, but have no idea why it hasn't spread. You are our Nats Park expert and you are doing your part. Can't speak for anyone else.

I am long on the record about the "O" in the national anthem. Just hate it.

Hi Tracee, Great article this week about the state of college football. Any predictions for the Tech VS Alabama game this weekend? Also, will Weis and company win more than 3 games this season?

I don't like Tech's chances. Three wins? Perhaps. I don't think they'll win many more than that.

Tracee - loved your column last week about players and autographs. It's a shame the collectors and hustlers have ruined it for everyone. I remember when I was about 14 years old, we went to Steelers training camp and I got my hero Mike Webster's autograph and it was just one of my favorite possessions in the world. And on the converse side, I saw a little kid about 8 or 9 run up to a Steeler Hall of Famer and ask for an autograph, and he said kiss my a----, kid, I gotta get to breakfast. I have always hated him since then despite any Super Bowls he may have won for us.

The players don't realize what impact they can have, good and bad.

When the Blue Jays go to Baltimore, do the O's fan shout out the O in the Canadian National Anthem?

I somehow doubt it. But tell me if I'm wrong, chatters.

Good grief, I just realized -- today is my 20th anniversary at the Post! It's easy to remember because David Letterman made his CBS debut the same night; I remember watching it over at the old Vista hotel.

It's actually pretty obvious, once you come at it from the cynical mindset of an advertising guy: by sitting Manziel for the first half, they just made the ad time in the second half that much more valuable. He wasn't likely to play beyond the first Q3 series anyway, and now the game might be close in the second half. Close game = higher ratings = better ad revenue.

I am not nearly cynical enough.

Tracee, would you please pass the following request to your esteemed colleague, the dean of baseball writers, Mr. Thomas Boswell: Boz, would you please stop feeding our hopes that the Nats will make the postseason? Would you please let us enjoy each game on its own merits? If the Nats continue their current pace AND sweep the last home series against the Braves in mid September, then maybe it will be time to think about the postseason possibilities.

You could always tell Boz yourself in HIS chat! That would be quicker; I seldom see Boz.

The NCAA has shown again that it is all about the Benjamins. Way back when, college football programs provided student athletes the opportunity to receive an education at a reduced cost (or free). Now, football programs are nothing more than the minor league for the NFL. The lawn cutting services and UPS trucks are full of student athletes that were set back by injuries and who failed to complete their degree. With so much money involved in these programs, have they simply given up at the education portion of the deal? How does this get fixed?

The NCAA has ceded control of college football to the BCS, or whatever that thing is going to be called after next year. The media does the real investigating -- look how many of the violations began with media reports -- and the NCAA comes in and tries to follow that roadmap. (I don't mean that as braggy, just as reality. I am not the one doing it.) I am more unimpressed with it every passing year.

Well, there's your problem right there. Runs?

(Rim shot!)

You guys are on fire today!

They can score runs, of course, but it seems it's feast or famine with these guys.

Under current tax law you can rent your home out for up to 15 days tax free! I believe the slang term is "The Masters Exemption".

Yes, you can. I am not sure I could do it. I'm so particular. But I also doubt I'll be around in 2024. Around here, I mean. I am hoping to around SOMEWHERE.

T-Bone, what's your go-to for grub in Vienna? The Vienna Inn? Tequila Cafe? I'm partial to the new Kabob Tavern, they make some awesome hummus. So what are your thoughts about the BYU- VIRGINIA CAVALIERS matchup this Sat? Do the Cavs get it done at home?

I like the Wahoos' chances better than the Hokies'. Any my favorite place is Tequila Grande, because I am pretty much a piece of furniture there at this point. I've heard good things about the new Kabob place, which replaced the wonderful Nizam's. I loathe hummus, so that's not a draw for me, and I love kabobs, but if you can't eat rice with them, they lose something in the translation.

Did you see this?

For those of us not afflicted with East Coast Bias, the college football season kicks off tonite not with the Carolina Border War (tm pending), but with Utah State @ Utah, the date of which was once declared BY THE STATE LEGISLATURE as National Tequila Day. TBHitW

That is pretty awesome, especially in a state with a teetolar reputation. (That spelling looks wrong but seems to be right.)

But which is more ridiculous, the NCAA's half-game suspension or its pretense that college football is NOT big business, in which it's only the players who aren't the beneficiaries of corporate benefits (including salaries)?

Oh, the whole system is ridiculous. The half-game is not the most ridiculous thing about the NCAA; it's one of its most ridiculous punishments. Or rather, it's A&M's punishment and the NCAA just nodded and smiled. Which is somehow even worse.

Speaking of cynical, the Nats are considering having Strasburg make his next start on Sunday instead of Monday, since he only threw a few pitches last night. Of course that also puts him on ESPN instead of Ohlendorf or Roark.

Far cry from last year, isn't it? Starts get moved because of rain, but they've made such a point of keeping him on a schedule. However, he probably wants to go as much as they want him on Sunday night baseball. Not to mention how much TV wants him...

I watched last night's game from Section 231 (change of pace, Red Carpet Rewards ticket). I didn't hear the chant from there after our first run, but the rains came almost instantly after that. I didn't hear it when Zim scored on Harper's double (I did do it standalone, but with maybe three folks in the section after the rainout, it ignited nothing) . On the Werth dinger, it was drowned out by the air horn and "Bustin' Loose". Only on Desmond's game winning single in the 7th did I hear it faintly eminating from "out there". If I didn't already know what it was, it wouldn't have connected.

You know about it because it originated right next to the press box. I know about it because I'm only a couple of sections away. The folks sitting in the 300s and 400s need to pick it up strong before the rest of the park can even hear it... Section 405

The day I heard it was also a "camp day" so I couldn't tell if it was just a thing the campers were doing or if it was actual adult fans.

As Section 405 describes it, that "organic" chant sounds awfully derivative of a signature cheer for the New York football Jets. Maybe people aren't picking it up because it's just as stupid as the "O" in the national anthem. I mean, it was one thing when the FSU tomahawk chant followed Deion Sanders to the Braves. But let's not borrow someone else's cheer, OK?

Let's also remember that we are not all aware of all the chants done in all stadiums. I don't know the Jets chant to which you refer, but I certainly take your word for it.

Nats fans should actively discourage any Braves fans from performing that racist, execrable tomahawk chop. Options include booing or chanting "Not in our house!"

Lot of folks don't like the chop.

Not to worry. Davey says his guys can't score.

You can hear them on the radio broadcast. Charlie and Dave talk about it occasionally, mainly when the Nats have a big inning. Of course, that hasn't happened much this year.

I've heard the M-E-T-S Mets Mets Mets! chant but not the "whoo" portion. But maybe it's been added. And I assume the Jets chant referred to above is the Mets chant, changed to Jets?

Really? My mother told me that back in the 1930s-40s, her university's student rooting section would mock football players from the University of Southern California by singing, to the opening of their fight sing, "Time out for old SC / The halfback wants his salareee"!

Well, not every player who played college football was being paid. Some of them certainly were. But it's crazy to think they ALL were.

I think you got "Teetotlar" by analogy from "Templar", the crusading order of knights from the middle ages. "The "Teetotal" movement was a shortened form of "Temprance - Total", ence a proponent would be a "Teetotaler".

Yup, then I meant teetolar.

Notorious Washington.

I know! Every time I told someone I was staying at the Vista, the inevitable reply would be "B**** set me up!"

I believe it's folks in the 300 section, given comments on the Nats Insider blog (am I allowed to mention that here?). Maybe they need to get Terrence on board. (Oh no I didn't.) 1a

You are allowed. :)

Dang. Thanks for the heads up, as I didn't get the memo. My husband and I usually do weekend day games and had tix for this one before the ESPN pickup. Had already been figuring on (gasp) leaving early if necessary, which I* never* do. Le sigh.

There is almost no way that game ends in time to catch a train, with the Sunday night start. That might have been something the Nats thought of.

Wasn't this story in Ball Four? Only it was "Take a hike, kid." if memory serves. :-) 1a

Oh, I've heard that story in all variations, and the truth is, not just one player has said it.

One, an Oriole said to a Post reporter: Get out of my face, you punk-*** b****. That one got repeated a lot in our office for a long time, until everyone who remembered it had left.

I think, unfortunately, you hit the nail right on the head with the NCAA following media reporting in their selective enforcement. You need look no further than Penn State, wherein the NCAA tossed aside their own charter and rode popular opinion in enforcing the sanctions.

TMZ is another example. Yahoo, Outside the Lines ... just off the top of my head.

I assumed it was a take off from C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS CAPS! Which is also similar to the Jets cheer.

Yeah, I think pretty much every team with a four-letter name has co-opted that one. It bothers some people but not others.

I believe that one's china or platinum. Should we write to your boss about it?

Well, the Post used to give 20-year pins to employees who had been here -- wait for it -- 20 years. I wonder if that still happens. I'll put a pin in it -- oh, stop! -- and let you know.

Last time you questioned my like for Katy Perry ("Katy Perry? Really?) that I mentioned as an aside in my comments about Ryan Mattheus. I might point out that infectious summer pop hits are one of the things in life that make it worth living, and when you find out they're based on a famous Jack Kerouac quote they are to be treasured.... Section 405

I just wouldn't have pegged you for a Katy Perry guy, but 405, you know it hasn't changed my opinion of you.

Is anyone at all shocked that the O's have gone from a ridiculous 29-9 in one-run games last year to an almost-worst in MLB 14-24 this year? The baseball gods have spoken.

29-9 is ridiculous, you are right.

Has she kept Pittsburgh Husband in the basement away from watching any Bucs games? If so, please keep him there and release him in November. Thanks.

Something's working, that's for sure!

Hi Trac! Happy anniversary! My late father vastly preferred college football to the NFL -- mostly, I think, because he liked the variety, the possibility that you would see some plays that were peculiar in design (by the weird coaches) or execution (by inexperienced players), and the myth of the scholar-athlete. But that's all gone. And so am I, at least from the NCAA, because I find it utterly unwatchable. Am I just a grump? Rico

No, you're not a grump. I can still watch the games. The pregame, the halftime, the endless jibber-jabber, no. But I can still watch a well-played college football game. Maybe it's because I saw so few when I was in college. Bah-dum-dum. That's not true, really; KU wasn't bad during my years there. Just the annual pummelings by Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Not too often, and not for years to come, I'll bet. Here's what y'all need to do: everybody on the 1B side yells "D!" and everybody on the 3b side yells "C!" That will be unique, almost as unique as the delightful mid-90's sight of unrepentant lefty Jane Fonda doing the Tomahawk Chop because her marital paycheck depended on it.

Another suggestion.

DC has a diverse and highly educated population, and this is the best we can do?Come on Washington, let's come up with something original for us, not borrowed chants and traditions from our East coast teams. Jeez.

Well, no one else has "Take Me On" during the seventh inning stretch. There's that. (Chiefs fans stole the tomahawk chop. I have seen other schools wave the wheat. I don't like it either.)

You mean like Ravens-Giants (2001) or Eagles-Pats (2005)?

I think the poster was asking when we would see Eagles vs. Dolphins in the Super Bowl, but maybe not.

Was that the year Brady Anderson went from like 15 HR to 50 HR without, ahem, any performance enhancers? 'Cause that sounds roid-y.

It wasn't him. Another hint: There was an incident surrounding Halloween. (That just gives it away.)

Every month Sunset magazine has recipes featuring marionberries from Washington (state). It's been a long time, and I still can't avoid the mental connection.

That is funny.

Have you taken one of those DC Scandal tours? The parking garage where the Deep Throat meeting took place is slated for demo. Take the tour before all the old haunts are gone.

Oh, bummer. I should go get a piece of the rubble and have Woodward sign it.

Does this happen often?

Not often, no. That was an amazing number of f-bombs.

Might this have been the same Oriole who, as a Cleveland Indian, was involved in a corked bat caper in Comiskey Park?

That's the guy, and you got it before my easy hint.

Q. GOVERNMENT Gene, What does it seem that to be in a governmental position of power you must first loose you common sense and integrity? – August 27, 2013 12:12 PM Permalink A. GENE WEINGARTEN : First, you lose the ability to construct sentences and use correct words. The integrity goes after that.

Okay, that is priceless. I might add that I do clean up some of the posts on here to protect the innocent. Gene has a wicket sense of humor.

Really? But it's so good! Next, you'll say you don't like falafel.

Not really. I don'tknow, I just hate hummus. It's just one of those things. Probably texture.

Bill Monbouquette became my favorite Red Sox player simply because of the way he treated me when, at age 7, my father took me to a meet and greet for season ticket holders. Hated to see him go to the Tigers the next year. Yaz was a great player.

It makes a huge difference, especially to a little kid. I left out two good stories in that piece; I may have to revisit it again to write about the time the Chiefs came to my hometown, and the time a KU player put me on his shoulders and walked me around the locker room so I could get all the players' autographs. (To be clear, I was a child.)

I guess are right about the bid for the Olympics, reading this spot no one has brought today's column up. Too bad, I would haved loved to see the DMV work together,or not.

It's just a colossal waste of time and money. It's just not going to happen. It's just not.

Did you imagine that you'd be spending your 20th anniversary chatting with random sports obsessives over a computer link?

I think it's safe to say "no," but if I had known what was coming, it might have made the 20 years easier! :)

Thanks, everyone, for joining me, and on my special day! Have a nice holiday weekend, everyone.

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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