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

Sep 05, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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If the people who claim Manziel was paid for signibg autographs lied, that's outrageous. If he got off because they were telling the truth but refused to testify to the NCAA, that's equally outrageous. His behavior since he won the Heisman has been consistently outrageous. Aaaarrrgh!

Hello, preacher! Meet the choir!

I do not believe "Outside the Lines" could get it so wrong. That is a highly respect, well done show. I also don't think the NCAA gave it a lot of due diligence, to put it mildly.

But I've covered all this, so I'll just welcome everyone to the chat. Let's get going!

Tracee - what did you think of Mike Wise's column on Chief Zee on Tuesday? I'm not a Mike Wise "hater", and I think that changing the Redskins' name is the right thing to do. But I thought the column was just plain mean. The piece would have been a lot more effective if he had stuck to just reporting, and letting the readers note the inconguities on their own. But as written, the column should have been on the op-ed page, if anywhere. (And I'm wondering what the editors were thinking letting this through as-is..) - space cadet

Well, Wise is supposed to express an opinion. I'm not sure why it should have been moved to the op ed page. Can you explain the distinction? Is it purely topic matter? (I'm asking, not trying to be sarcastic.)

No one disputes RG3's workout ethic, game execution, desire and everything else that goes along with his persona. There seems to be at least one area he is lacking. That being his ability to slide. With all that he does to be prepared you would think that this would be an area of concern for him and would address it on his own. Come to think about it didn't Jim Zorn bring in a slip 'n Slide to help one of the Redskins QB learn to slide better. Although RG3 might take it as a slap in the face.

As I recall, Jason Campbell was the worst slider I ever saw. Anyone else remember that? I think the coaches have talked about his sliding. I am surprised more football players can't slide; most guys play more than one sport until they reach that status where it would be dangerous. But maybe he was not a baseball guy. They could get someone in from the Nats to teach him. Any nominees?

I've been seeing a lot of criticism of these three guys recently, as well as criticism directed at "Johnny Football". While I think that Manziel is fair game for acting like a total jerk, I think media critics are piling on to Harper, Puig, and RGIII. When you look at their "sins" (I'm leaving aside Olberman's weird rant against Bryce about "I could care less" vs. "I couldn't care less") and boil these "sins" down to fundamentals, they all turn out to be variants of "I wanna play"/ "I wanna be good". Sometimes these sentiments are not expressed in the best ways - isn't that part of being "the kid"? And what hard core disdain for authority -- Puig going on record agreeing that he *should* have been pulled from the game. How awful! Section 405

I don't know. I also have seen positive things written about all three people, so I think "media critics" is too broad a brush. The media doesn't speak with one voice, as you know.

Manziel, now, I have piled on him not once but twice and hope to never mention him again. If you look at the ages of these guys, they are comparable, but Harper got through high school early, as I recall, and had one year of college, as I recall. Those are normally some maturing opportunities. Puig is from a different culture altogether. RGIII went to college, had a stable upbringing, but may have let all the attention go to his head. And I mean the attention of all of us, not just the media. No one in the media suggested people go out and buy him wedding gifts or chant his name at practice. That's the fans.

Plus the players have a chance to control their own stories now in ways they didn't have in the past. Sometimes that bites them in the rear. :) I think they are all kids, but Manziel's behavior went beyond that, way beyond, to me. Disrespect for the game.

The young Royals are fighting a (likely losing) battle for the playoffs, the Chiefs may not be awful (though we probably know better), Kansas State lost to some school no one has ever heard of and and the Scouts and Kings...oh, wait, it isn't 1975 after all. But watching NDSU complete its sweep of Div. I Kansas football (I know the score "6-3" has some meaning for you) did make my weekend. Are there any other FCS teams that can claim such a feat?

To beat an entire state? I don't have the time to research that, but I'm betting the answer is no. Having only two teams in Kansas helps.

Apparently he was metioned in a chat I missed a few weeks ago. I was his classmate at Blair and UMD but we knew each other only in passing. But this is a true story. Prior to the pregame shootaround at Duke one year, Dookies placed $1 bills around the court, including one at halfcourt. He made all the shots, pocketed the money, and left to a standing ovation. It's been 40 years and I still remenber it well. Certainly not the typical way Duke treats visitors!

Great story.

Ms. H, my Huskers defense is even worse than I feared. We'll be losing/winning games with total scores in the hundreds. Mr. Bos's column on the Nats today was right on the mark (as usual). The last few games have been typical for this year - they lose two of three to the Mets (THE METS!!) and need a rally to win the one game. Then Stras gives up one run in 7 innings in a loss, while Gio gives up 5 runs in 5+ innings for a win, and the Nats get an insurance run when Harper strikes out on a wild pitch and gets to first. I can see it now, the Nats get to within one game of the wild card, then drop a 1-0 game with Stras throwing a no-hitter, with one unearned run. (I'm really a ray of sunshine, aren't I?) AHG

You aren't your usual self, certainly. Sorry about the Huskers' D -- I have no idea how my team will do but I'm positive it will be worse than yours. As for the Nats, I wrote them off in July. And I'm not looking back.

RG1&2 has said on more than one occasion recently still wants to be a starting QB in the NFL. I would think that the Redskins would be able to get more for him than they would for White. Both RGIII and Kirk Cousins now have a full year in Shanahan's system and appears both can handle it. Why not trade Grossman to one of the QB strapped teams this year and keep Pat White as your clipboard carrier? Then next year maybe trade White?

I wonder how many teams would want Grossman, who has sort of made the rounds already. I don't know. I wouldn't trade Cousins, certainly.

Since our son and some of our money went to Fargo when he was a GA in the SID office, I've followed Bison sports. Another win this weekend and that makes it ND 2, KU and KSU 0. One of the reasons to love college football! Oak Hill

I love precisely 50 percent of those outcomes! :) It's great to see FCS teams beating FBS teams, if only to trot out a few acronyms.

And I am sure neither are you but maybe you can give me and the rest of us a little more insight into Bruce Allen's comment about the cap penalty the Skins were hit with the past two years of $18M each is still going to affect the team for several more years down the road. They now have $18M (next year that is) they did not have the past two years. How is this going to hinder the Skins going forward. The biggest downside is well maybe they could have gotten a number of players that they don't have now and we could have had a better season the past two years but that is the thing with the NFL. There are more players down the road. Just plug in the next man up.

I tried to listen to that interview and literally couldn't get the volume above a whisper. I blame Tarik  El-Bashir. Anyway, I think it's because of reworking contracts. They had to cut some salaries and they will have to make that up or get rid of those guys. I don't think it's a dire, panic in the streets situation but I do think it tied their hands to a degree. (The only true capologist I know is Maske.)

... they owe games for next season.

Ba dum dum. But still sort of in the wild card hunt, if you want a positive spin.

Anybody with any intelligence knows that the NFL owners treat the players as a commodities and once their usefulness is spent they just kick them to the curb. True the players are getting paid an insanely amount of money today but if the commissioner were any kind of REAL commissioner, he would spearhead a program that would take care of his (yes his players) long after their playing days are over. Something like a health care plan for all players and depending on how many years you put in would be your level of contribution to the plan. The more years you play the more you need to contribute the less the NFL has to kick in. For the players who only get to play for like 1-3 years (especially because of injury) then the NFL would kick in more. Right now the only thing the NFL (owners) are concerned with is increasing their net worth.

Anyone want to argue that that is not true? (Crickets.)

The retirement program is better now than it used to be. And some guys shouldn't NEED  a retirement program. But guys who never made the big bucks and find themselves with staggering medical bills and still years away from Medicare -- bad situation. Very ridiculous considering the money the league makes.

Anyone left from the Vin Scully golden age? I can think of none who is alive. Kiner and Matthews are sort of a second tier of that age, I think. Miller is frankly too young but in that mold. You all are smart. Tell me who I am forgetting. (I've got Harwell, Buck, Kalas, Hodges.) I just feel like I'm missing a big name. My memory is crap.

Hi Tracee, I know that McPhee said that Ovie want to play in the NHL and play for the Cup. But, with Kovalchuk making the move to the KHL, would Ovie be tempted to do the same? I know he has a huge payout coming from the Caps, but in Russia they pay much less tax, thus collecting more money than they would here in the States. What do you say? Does he make the move within a few years?

It would not surprise me to see Ovie go back to Russia, not right this minute but maybe in a few years. It's clear that's where his heart is. And there's nothing wrong with loving where you're from. The Russian league pays well and he'd be a god there, all over the country.

During the last home stand, I saw an older couple (late 70's is my guess) wearing custom made Nats jerseys. The name on his was "TOGETHER", hers "SINCE"; his number was "19", hers "59". They were holding hands....

That's pretty cool.... of course, when they split up to the restroom people are going to be puzzled, but otherwise, pretty cool.

Really don't have a question but wanted to let you know that I had my fourth hole in one on Monday. The celebration always reminds me of playing golf with my Dad. I know he was smiling down at me. Hope all is well with you. Ready for college b'ball as football looks dismal.

Hey, congrats! I am trying to decide if I'll ever be able to play golf again or if it's time to get rid of the clubs. Between the hands and the shoulders, I don't see it happening. I was hoping someday when I was in KS to play with my dad but with his lower body and my upper body, I'm not sure either of us will make it. :)

I know this is old news, but I just finished reading The Lost Dogs by SI journalist Jim Gorant about the dogs who were rescued from the dog-fighting operation that was run by Michael Vick and his dubious companions. To say that the details were distressing doesn't even cover it, and I am not a huge dog fan. Even more disturbing is that Vick is now being acclaimed again for his skill as a quarterback despite his deficiencies as a human being who would participate in this sort of activity. I hope that he will never be allowed to own a dog again. Would love to hear your thoughts on this situation now that several years have passed.

I don't think he should be allowed to have a dog, but I do think he served his time. What he did was awful, but unlike a lot of athletes, he actually went to prison. Think about some of the things that happen in which guys never see the inside of the jail.

What if major news outlets simply decided that they were not going to refer to the Washington NFL franchise as the "Redskins?" It may be cumbersome and unnatural, but that would be OK. If the Post and ESPN and the NY Times and Sports Illustrated all did this, "Redskins" would start to fade from everyday parlance. Is this a viable strategy?

The Post's policy is that we will refer to all entities by their given names, so I don't think it's going to be a Post policy any time soon. Truthfully, I no longer think even the biggest media outlets have the kind of power necessary to change the way the public speaks. I think fans would still use "Redskins". Just my two cents.

On op-ed vs rest of the paper .... it's a fuzzy line, and hard to put into words (at least for me ... give me 4 hours, and I'll come up with something eloquent ;-) Try this. There's a difference between having an opinion on something, and having an agenda. The Wise piece, to me, was well past the "opinion" line and into agenda territory, and personal agendas gernerally end up on the op-ed page. But that wasn't really the point of my original question, which was "I thought the article was just plain mean - what did you think?" (I suspect that's not a question you can really answer ...) - space cadet

I try not to engage in criticism of what other columnists write because I expect the same from them in return. Believe me, we all get enough criticism without turning on each other. Mike DOES have strong feelings about "Redskins" -- he has refused to use it in his copy for years, I can't remember how many. So I guess you are right in that regard -- he does have an agenda of sorts.

Are you telling me that the Jets wouldn't give up a 4th or 5th rounder in next year's draft for Grossman? I think they'd take that deal in a heartbeat. Maybe they'll be more motivated after Sunday.

I forgot about the Jets! Good point.

Believe it or not, but i wasn't all that surprised - or upset - with the outcome. NDSU is genuinely a good team and K-State always starts out slow in game one. I don't like it, but that's how it works under Snyder. I don't even really care about college football until they start playing real games; I wish teams would schedule comparable teams for pre-conference, but I realize that's probably not going to happen. K-State's not going to be as good as last year, but they'll be fine. And part of me is genuinely happy for North Dakota State - schools like that don't get many opportunities to shine, so good for them for taking advantage. -K-Stater

NDSU is a very good team. I still thought the Cats could take them at home, but you are right; KSU does start slow. And I agree; I like to see the FCS schools kick up their heels and it has nothing to do with K-State getting kicked. Speaking of Dakotas, we have South on Saturday. No idea what to expect from my boys. :)

O goddess of the Plains and Knower of ALL things GREAT and small. I thought the NCAA rule violation wasn't just about being paid for signing autographs and memorabilia, but that it included signing things that you knew were going to be sold by someone else, even if the player didn't receive any payment . If that's the case , Johnny Jerk, is either guilty or intellectually ineligible to be enrolled in college. Enlighten us, dear goddess.

I don't think I can discuss the guy at this point. I like cocky but there's something about him that makes me, perhaps, very crazy.

While you and I and others of a certain age understand the difference between columnists and reporters, this isn't obvious to everyone. (Personally, I blame ESPN, for their "columnists" who express no opinion, but loudly. Then again, I blame ESPN for everything in sports, both good and bad.) So I think "space cadet" might be under the impression that Wise is a reporter.

There are certainly people who don't "get it" but I think space cadet understood the distinction. His agenda argument is a legitimate one. On the other hand, I wrote two negative columns about Manziel in a week; do I have an agenda? Not really, but like I said, I'll avoid that topic like grim death unless forced to write about him again by circumstances because one doesn't want to seem obsessed. At least this one doesn't.

On the same topic, and it's an interesting point, I think part of the confusion is that columnists sometimes write pieces that have no opinion in them. I was guilty of that in the beginning of my time as a columnist, I think. I can barely remember now. But columnists sometimes write features. So I can see how some readers get confused. In the paper, it's obvious, but online, not as obvious. Again, though, I have a feeling space cadet gets it.

Don't forget...the NFL commissioner works for the owners. He does not work for the players!

Very true. No one works for the players except perhaps the weakest union in sports.

I'll take the opposite side here. The NFL and NFLPA engage in collective bargaining. It's the NFLPA's job to protect its members by bargaining for better health coverage, retirement plans, safety rules, etc. A lot of blame has to go to the NFLPA for asking for max dollars in the short run with little care for the long-term health of its members. Look at the HGH testing as another example: Excessive use of HGH can have dangerous side effects (no one really knows what they are, due to a lack of data, but they don't seem good). But the NFLPA has stonewalled HGH testing for years. (Just so you don't think I'm completely off my rocker I think Goodell is a horrible person who is presiding over the decline of professional football).

I don't think you're a horrible person and your point about the NFLPA is very correct. I do think the NFL could be better people, for lack of a better way of saying it. I realize that's not a good way. There ought to be some collective guilt about these guys and their array of problems.

Why do you think Ovi's heart is in Russia? Because he goes home for the summer? Backstrom goes to Sweden every summer too. Ovi was on the first plane back when the lockout was over and the only time he ever contemplated not being in the NHL was when they were talking about radically changing the way escrow money works.

I just think Ovie loves his home country. It's hardly a knock on him. I do not think, for instance, that Ovie will retire to Florida. I think he'll go back to Russia. I will not retire to Florida. I will go back to Kansas. Doesn't mean I don't like it here.

I've heard that the NFL dreams of pushing the schedule forward so the Super Bowl lands on President's Day weekend, to get the advantage of a Monday holiday. A buddy of mine suggested that they move the schedule *back*, to get the Super Bowl on MLK weekend. They could start the regular season in August and shorten the preseason. Would the No Fun League go for that, or are they locked into a September start or afraid of an MLK connection?

Nope, they want President's Day weekend. And they'll get it. What do they want that they DON'T get?

Tracee, I know Mike Wise's opinion on the name Redskins is well documented, but his article on Chief Zee was unnecessarily mean spirited. It was nothing short of a hit piece on Williams, going out of its way to make him look bad. He doesn't like the name. I get it, but frankly I thought he went over the line.

Fair enough. As I said, I try not to "go there" but you all are free to express your opinions.

Thanks for the tips about KC. I got to see two really great games (for Nats fans), some good BBQ, and some cool stuff, too. The Negro Leagues Museum was really well done and I especially appreciate the advice about the Steamship Arabia. We had a limited amount of time and opted for that over the WW I museum because it seemed unique and it paid off. As a history buff it was wonderful and I can't recommend it too highly. Thanks!

Oh, glad you liked it! It is completely unique, so far as I know.

The big one you forgot is Harry Caray. Also, Dizzy Dean and Phil Rizzuto for fans of stream of unconsciousness...

Of course, Harry Caray. Thanks.

I'll give you Ned Martin who did the Red Sox games on TV and radio from 1961 - 1992. Jim Woods, who paired with Martin in the seventies, also should be on the list. Of course, there's Curt Gowdy, with whom Ned Martin started out. Ray Scott did baseball, too.

I'm not sure those guys are nationally known like Scully, are they? Anyone else want to weigh in? I'm looking for the very big names.

You must not have gotten the e-mail.


Tracee, Although I still haven't given up hope for the postseason, itss pretty clear the hill is a steep climb. I still go to the park because, well, first off I'm a fan. There are still days I walk around the ballpark -- and I go to more than 75% of the home games -- and am amazed it even exists and that we have a team to play in it. At this point I'm enjoying seeing major league baseball and look forward to cooler weather at the park. As most baseball towns are used to saying by this point in the season, there's always next year.

I can give up in July because I'm NOT a fan. You can still enjoy the experience because you are. That's what makes the world go 'round.

"Chelsea" Manning?

That's a person; I'm talking about team names. I'm also telling you what I was told when I inquired. Don't shoot the messenger, which will be my epitaph.

I remember working at a different newspaper when Hillary Clinton decided she wanted to be called Hillary Rodham Clinton, and what an argument ensued over that. I think people should be called what they want to be called (although changing your name to a symbol may be beyond the pale). I should have been allowed to be Nancy in first grade, dammit!

Michael Vick is only sorry because he got caught thanks to his fellow dog murderers who ratted him out. And thanks to the the feds who persisted in prosecuting him when local law enforcement was willing to give him a pass because he's a NFL quarterback. But I have no respect for the Humane Society of the US which was a partner in his "rehabilitation." Anything for publicity, I guess. THE LOST DOGS is a tough read especially at the beginning but it's worth enduring to see how many of the dogs Vick and his buds didn't kill were rehabilitated and found loving homes. At least one is a certified therapy dog. Vick is dead to me, always will be.

And that's fine. I'm not a fan of his. I don't care how it came about, though, he DID go to Leavenworth, and that's not a nice place to be. Ironically, it has a wonderful program for training dogs. I have a friend who got a companion dog from the prison.

Sorry, did I miss anything? TBHitW

I shouldn't say this, but no.

O goddess re Johnny jerk and the reaction he evokes in others--- That's why he will be the perfect Number one draft choice of ............... the Dallas Cowboys

Ha! I sort of see him in New York -- for a few years. That would knock the stuffing out of him, if anything did.

Don't forget Muhammad Ali. That was the kind of issue that divided families... and also led to hilarious scenes in movies. ("His mama call him Clay, I'm gonna call him Clay!")

Good example; I just wasn't in news meetings back then.

Hello Tracee -- this isn't really a question either, just a comment that having diminished expectations may be the answer to maintaining sports sanity. I am disappointed at the Nats lack of Natitude this year, which I view as thinking you can accomplish something and then going out and doing so (via a combination of hard work and the luck of the Baseball Gods). However, I am looking forward to the OU football season more this year than in the recent past -- they are not highly ranked, nor likely to be, they are breaking in a new QB and a very different offense, they have a retooled defense, and I have no expectations -- so I'm looking forward to enjoying gamedays (including this Sat. in Norman vs. WVU) and not worrying about the "big picture." Cheers (and by that I mean Boomer Sooner!) OUMom

No expectations is wonderful. I'm quite an expert on that! Nice to hear from you again!

Hi Trac! I don't know whether there was supposed to be a question attached to the "Vin Scully Golden Age" comment but this is right up my alley so I'll take it anyway. The first question, of course, is which of the last 64 years do you count as Vin's "golden age." But on your larger point, it's not just your memory. There are very few play-by-play men today who have both the quality and staying power of the previous generation. Part of what makes a broadcaster great is that he stays in place for many years. (A Yankee-loving colleague of mine resisted any of my suggestions that the Yankees' John Sterling was perhaps not on the same level as, say, Red Barber or even Frank Musser. "Sterling is the Yankees, end of story," he said.) Too many people keep moving on, or splitting time between sports. Gary Thorne is good but he's only been in Baltimore for six years. I think Chip Caray has a shot if he stays in Atlanta, and Charley Steiner could reach that point if he stays in LA. But I kind of think that everyone who could have won the Frick Award already has. (Bob Murphy maybe?) Shruggingly yours, Rico

Thanks, Rico. No, the question was mine. I'm writing about Scully for Sunday and was shamelessly using the chat group for my own ends.

Now that I've gotten what I want out of you, I'm out the door. That's how *I* roll!

Some sport starts this weekend; I can't think what it is. Oh, right, KU football. And the NFL. I'm guessing one of those things will appeal to a lot of you. Later!


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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