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

Sep 12, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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Now THAT's zigging when others zag. Awesome.

Well, I don't know about that, but the wrestling decision was important and there are a lot of people yapping about football. There will be time for me to yap.

And good morning, all. Sorry I'm late; I was researching a chatter question and lost track of time. Let's get started!

After Robert looked rusty in the opener, so many people complained that he should played more in the preseason. On the opposite side, Sally argued that he should have not played at all and rested for a few more weeks. For the first time since Shanahan has come here, I sympathized with him because he must come to work every day knowing that no matter what he does, every single Monday morning QB will think that they know better.

I've heard every theory under the sun. I criticized Shanahan for letting Griffin make the decision about his health during the Seattle game. So I can't criticize him for holding him out of preseason games, even though Griffin wanted to play, for the same reason. It is a no-win situation because, of course, there is no way for us to find out what would have happened if a different road had been taken. This stuff keeps us all ... I want to say entertained, but I'm not sure that's the right word. (And these debates always remind me of that great sketch, "What if Eleanor Roosevelt had been a Piper Cub?")

Speaking of football nobody cares about: the only way my semi-beloved Huskies are ever going to be competitive is if head coach Paul Pasqualoni gets sent back into the retirement he so richly deserves. That crucial process could begin with a home loss to the Worst Uniformed Team (East Coast Division) in football this week. Is it OK to root for the Terps to begin tearing off the Band-Aid with a stout win over UConn? TBHitW

Hmmmm. That's a good question. What would make me root against my alma mater? I hate to say it, TBHitW, but I can't think of anything off the top of my head. You should root for a recruiting or sex scandal instead.

A quick google search comes up with reports of her flying in one once, but no comedy sketch with that title. Who did it?

It was part of a Saturday Night Live skit that posed ridiculous questions. I can't remember who did it specifically. It's bugging me that it doesn't come up on Google. Anyone else remember it?

He could be blue and walk on stilts.

G-Men fans, anyone like this idea? The stilts part could be  a little dangerous. Imagine Suh going for his knees on the sideline.

It was "What if Eleanor Roosevelt could fly?" (although I swear Piper Cub was involved). Also "What if Superman had landed in Nazi Germany?" and "What if Napolean had a B-52 bomber." The skit was a panel of learned historians debating ridiculous questions.

We stopped it by chanting E-A-L-G-E-S.

That'll teach 'em!

I know the answer, could I get you to predict a Tiger's sweep PLEASE! This is the first playoff race as an adult. (I was an adult in 2003, but I never believed that team could do it.) In 1989 I was a Jr in high school, I had other things on my mind. And that is it ... Everyone root for the Royals please. It's fun. Let's Go Royals! * *

Not a fair weather fan.

First, I think we'll all stipulate to the fact that you're not a fairweather fan since you've been posting on here as LGR for several years.

Now, for the rooting. I normally pick Tigers over Royals, but in this circumstance, with the Tigers seemingly in good shape, I will be rooting for the Royals. But if it will make you feel better: TIGERS WILL SWEEP! There. You're welcome.

Hi Tracee, Last week I asked you what you thought about Ovie going back to Russia in a few years and play in the KHL. After watching his presser this week, I firmly bekieve that he will go back, no matter how politically correct he tried to dodge the question. His heart will always be in Russia.

His answers were pretty telling: I'm under contract here, was basically what he said. That mirrors my impression of him -- it's not that he doesn't like it here, but he loves it there.

SNL, season 4, Episode 4. A recurring skit called "What if?", featuring a panel discussion debating a given question. Steve Martin, host, and Van Morrison, musical guest. Jane Curtain as Eleanor. (That episode also featured one of my favorite bits - "Theodoric of York - Medieval Judge"). Others in the "What if?" series were "What if Napolean had a B52" and "What if Superman were born in Germany". - space cadet

So I'm not crazy. Or, I'm crazy, but this isn't proof that can be used at my commitment hearing. Thanks, sc.

Hi Tracee, Will the Skins go 0-2 to start of the season? The Packers are coming of a tough loss to S.F.. and the game is in GB.

I think it will be a tough game for the Skins to win if they can't make some serious improvements over last week. And I think they can. The defense was gassed early thanks to the Eagles' offense and turnovers. I think it can do better. I think Griffin will have a better game. But Lambeau is a tough place to win.

Great to see the NATS put up a little run. Wouldn't it be something if they sneak into that last wild-card spot! It's possible!

Anything is possible. That's what makes September fun. Enjoy!

We don't want you to jinx them.

I said in July they weren't. So perhaps that means they'll sneak into the last playoff spot.

Good morning, Who knew that College football could be relevant in Illinois at least until Saturday. Is there anything that builds up a fan base like a football win? Even the b'ball schools would like their football programs to be more exciting. Last weekend was the last time I will ever have to root for Michigan since Notre Dame decided that playing Navy and Purdue were more important to them. No matter what happens to my team, seeing ND lose always makes the day a little brighter.

Yeah, I know our 1-0 start has me loving football right now. Undefeated, baby! :)

Tracee - Long time print subscriber and a Nats fan. How can the Post have 19 teams with the little x's denoting a late game in the print addition? The Nats game ended around 10:00 pm. That's not a late game. The print edition also had Kilgore's two day old article on Werth and not his latest article on Zim that was available last night on the web site. It also had Steinberg's article on Nats wives playing the Wounded Warriors that was online two or three days ago. We are in September - there are wild card and pennant races in the mix. I know the NFL team in DC is playing again but other things are happening as well. If the Post wants people to subscribe to the print edition they have to do better than that. You, of course, are magnificent and brave to allow yourself to be a conduit for criticism of the Post. It's appreciated.

Power failure at the Springfield plant. What you got -- and what I got -- was the Regional edition (you'll see a little designation in the top right corner of the Sports section flag). That edition is NEVER supposed to be the home delivery edition; it's the one that gets put on trucks to the hinterlands. So it was a fluke, not a sign of things to come. The Nats gamer and box score from last night will be run in all editions of Friday's paper. Glad you asked so I could find out the info and throw it out there.

Of big money sports has drifted (oozed?) onto the college football field. OSU looking pretty tawdry in the SI series and the Alabama revelations had Saban throwing a hissy fit. What will the NCAA do--or will they put their fingers in their ears and chant tv contract dollar totals until it all goes away?

The NCAA will keep doing what it does -- struggle to catch up to investigations done by media outlets (we touched on this last week). I don't think the NCAA has nearly enough investigators so they just chase their tails, or rather the tales reported by others. And no, I don't see an end in sight to the ruination of college football. OSU is a perfect example. OSU used to have a nice little middle of the road program. Then they got a LOT of money and became a power. The problem is, in this day and age, I don't think you can become a college football power without cheating. (I'm talking about breaking into the inner circle of the Michigans, Floridas, Notre Dames, etc. I'm not saying they're all cheating; they already have the program and the platform built. I'm saying to take a program like, say, mine and get it to the Top 25 would, I think, require illegal actions. I don't think there is another way of doing it. I'd like to believe there is, but I don't. Makes me sad.

As talented and poised as he seems, does anyone besides me have concerns that too much weight is being put on this young man's shoulders too soon ? The drama surrounding this guy is just brutal and mostly unnecessary. I know he invites it but that doesn't mean team leadership can't do more to minimize it.

It really has spiraled out of control. And truthfully, he has let it. The team can try to limit his exposure but people on my end of the business will just p*** and moan about a lack of access. Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts, etc. etc. If he can settle into a comfort zone and learn to tune a lot of things out, he'll be okay. There's nothing to be done about the expectations.

I watched the Pats Bills game and the Bills dominated the 2nd half, deserved to win. With all the Pats injuries is this the year they miss the playoffs?

I'd be pretty surprised, even with the injuries. That's a team that finds a way. But it's so early to be talking playoffs. ("Playoffs! Don't talk about -- playoffs!" I think that was an SNL skit called "What if Eleanor Roosevelt coached the Colts?")

Has anyone else noticed how different the wild card races are in each league? If the Nats were in the AL, they'd be right in the thick of it -- Tampa Bay, the current second AL wild card has a 79-65 record, while the Nats are 75-69 (records before Wednesday's games). The NL, particularly the NL Central is head and shoulders ahead of the AL. Of course that'll probably mean that some fluke AL second wild card (can you say KC Royals?) will win the Series... Section 405

Don't tease me and LGR, 405!

Tracee, I'm still thinking about those two balks of Strasburg's and their possible cost to us (could have lost us the game). I'm wondering if the umpire has any leeway at all. It's obvious that both of them were inadvertent. Couldn't he have issued a warning to Stras after the first one instead of calling it and giving the Marlins a free run? The second one, then, would have earned the penalty, but, it seems to me, it would have been more fair. It's like the difference between murder and manslaughter--intent. I think if we had lost the game it would have been a real shame to be caused by basically a thoughtless mistake.

I think if the rule is there you gotta call it. Is the balk rule still necessary, though? I've gotten suggestions saying eliminating it would be one step toward speeding up the game. What do you all think?

At minimum, they are winning what they should be winning. And they are scoring runs, and playing good defense. Is this an anomoly? I know realistically, it is to little to late, but it is fun to watch. Next year could be fun, if they get started right.

Remember, they have done this all seasons -- streaks of hot hitting, good pitching, followed by ... not so much. That is what has been their undoing, I think.

Sigh. Well, at least basketball season starts in a couple months.

There you go! I have that embroidered on a pillow somewhere.

Your question got locked up when I somehow booted myself out of the software, but the answer is, just don't gloat. They can't help the owner or the nickname. Take the high road.

I just saw the news that Jeter's out for the rest of the season. Mariano Rivera's retiring, and that's good for his legacy, as he's approaching done. The Yanks are still contending, but it seems to me that they're the car going the extra 10 miles when the fuel gauge points to "E". Do you see a few years of rebuilding ahead for them, similar to what the Phillies are in now?

I think so, although with their money, they might be able to cut down on the rebuilding time a bit. I don't expect them to have the droughts of, say, the Royals. :)

True bit of history: Amelia Earhardt took Eleanor Roosevelt up in a small plane. There is a kids' picture book about it.

That's kind of cool.

Reminds me of the great Monty Python scene from the Holy Grail, "I'm not dead yet!" They may be close, but they are fun to watch right now. Too bad this didn't happen at the beginning of the season.


Have to say, living in the Midwest I was surprised last year how much more pub RGIII got than Luck. AL's numbers were just as good with a weaker team in a stronger division. Do you think it was an east coast big city bias towards RGIII?

Oh, heavens, yes. Luck is a bright kid but not flashy like Griffin, either. Griffin has a lot of charisma. Which one will have the longer and more meaningful career? We shall see. But definitely, what happens in middle America often stays in Middle America.

Now that Matt Hendricks has moved to Nashville, who is the best interview in the Caps locker room? I am excited that the season is around the corner. Glad to have Brooks Laich back at 100%. The team needs his grit, effort, and the accountability he imposes.

Brooks is usually good, but Brouwer is probably top dog now. But it's a little early to make the call. The room changes from year to year.

If so, I'm willing.

Give it a shot. It can't hurt.

Is there any truth to the story that Dan Snyder now agrees that the name of his NFL team "Washington Redskins" is offensive and will change it to the "Landover Redskins?"

Thanks for the laugh! At least they no longer play in "Raljon".

Is he a first ballet HOF?

Normally I try to fix typos but this one made me laugh so hard I just couldn't do it. I am picturing him performing in a ballet and not hating it.

I think he will be a first ballot HOF'er.

Somebody asked Boz about the balks in his chat on Monday. This was his reply: The core intent of the balk rule is to prevent pitchers from tricking baserunners. Once you allow pitchers to do ANYTHING with quick movements or flinches the whole sport would disintegrate into a silly game of fake moves to pick off runners. Or else force runners to almost stand on first base until the ball in thrown. So the first thing pitchers are taught is that once you are on the rubber DON'T MOVE. Don't twitch or flinch or start to do something and then change your mind. Then, once you DO start your motion, or pickoff, keep it fluid and in one movement. Strasburg stood on the rubber and TOOK HIS HAND OUT OF HIS GLOVE and then put it back in! (Twice. The second time, he stopped mid-way like, "Oh, God, I did it again." But it was too late. The only way he could get the ball back in his hand was to put his hand back in the glove! Sooorry.) "That way madness lies." You can't let pitchers start to do one thing and then do the opposite. What next, jerk your neck? Or flip out your elbow? Did you see Davey face? That was not the face of an outraged manager.

What he said.

Are you still being deprived of beer? Too bad, there are some lovely pumpkin beers out this fall, many of which are enchanting mixed 50/50 with a stout.

I am really not a fan of pumpkin although oddly I just bought a can of pumpkin pie filling for my cat. But yes, I'm still off the beer.

I don't want to debate the name, but wanted to get your opinion on Sport Journo's like Peter King refusing to use the name. I feel it is an activist statement, and inappropriate.

Well, it is "activist," I guess, but it was "activist" when Shirley Povich relentlessly beat the drum about the team not having any black players, so I'm not sure that's always such a bad thing.

You think pitchers throw to first too many times now? Can you imagine a speed merchant drawing a dozen throws, especially from a visiting pitcher? Bud hates the sounds of boos...

Fair point.

And if he's lucky, when he's making his comeback he can go in the booth with Brent Musberger. WTH was that? And hasn't ol' Brent shown that maybe he should be a little LESS interested in the youth of today? TBHitW

I'm sure Musburger didn't set that up, and whoever did should be fired. Does Eminem really need this? Stick to selling cars.

Actually, he has actively encouraged it, by dictating when he will play, how much, etc. and forgetting that the coach is in charge. He is quickly transitioning from the nicest, most gracious, athlete since Cal Ripken to becoming just another jerk who thinks the sun revolves around him. Now I have to turn off the TV when he speaks and just focus on the 4 quarters on Sunday.

He certainly hasn't fought it. I think part of the reason we get disillusioned with many athletes is that they are no longer a mystery. We know what they think because of TV, radio, Twitter, newspapers and the interweb in general. It was perhaps better when we didn't know so much. It's so easy to get sick of the overexposed, unless you shield yourself, as you do.

got hurt in the first ten minutes of the first practice session and left the ice.

There goes the season!

Seriously, that's potentially not good, depending on the injury.

I gave up on watching the Nats on TV at home a month ago. They are 21-9 since. I watched parts of the game 2 Sunday's ago during the PGA. They lost. I vowed not to watch them all the way to the World Series.

It's the unsung heroes like you that make this country great!

Okay, time to stop. Have a good 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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