Oct 25, 2010

Post columnist Tracee Hamilton and staff writer Barry Svrluga discuss the Redskins victory against the Chicago Bears and all the latest news from the world of sports.

Tracee, No doubt McNabb is an upgrade at QB, I think when he's on he's one the best in the league and I l'd like the 'Skins to sign him to a longer deal. But he sure didn't help his case yesterday - not that his QB rating all season has been anything to write home about. Do you think this is a case of it taking a while for the team, in particular the O-line, to gel and of McNabb learning a new offense, or is it a sign that Andy Reid knew what he was doing when he traded him?

HH, I think it's a case of learning a new offense, mostly. I don't think McNabb is washed up or anything. The Eagles tailored an offense to him and the Skins aren't doing that. But no, he's not helping himself.

And good morning, everyone! Barry is poised and ready to go so let's get started!

Tracee, do you read the comments section on your column? Some of the comments are pretty awful. I think the Internet has lead to the coarsening of our culture because I saw a lot of comments on yesterday's column that I doubt people would say to your face. It's a lot easier to lob ugly comments from the comfort of your mom's basement.

Nope. I read my emails. People are unbelievably assinine in the comments section. They can say whatever they want but I sure don't have to read it.

So do you think Haslett is going to pick a fight with DeAngelo Hall every week prior to a game?

I found that whole thread fascinating, and as much as Haslett and Shanahan tried to downplay the altercation, the excellent reporting by our Jason Reid showed that it happened and that it was not just a normal player-coach disagreement.

So bring us to yesterday, when Hall presents Haslett with his game ball after the win. Things seem smoothed over, right? The kid had four picks, and he said the coach called a great game (though he admitted quibbling with a few of his tactics). Whatever, they got the performance they needed, a performance that went a long way toward saving the game.

Tracee, you articulated what I was thinking as the horror unfolded yesterday afternoon. It was frankly hard to believe I was watching two groups of men getting paid well to pay professional football, and I don't think Shanahan's view of it will improve once he, ahem, sees the film. I'll take the W but it felt more like we didn't lose rather than we won.

It's the first time I've felt sorry for Shanahan because he actually has to watch that film again! Ugh.

Should anybody have been surprised by Thom Brennaman and Troy Aikman's call yesterday? Both were wearing orange and blue ties (Chicago Bears colors) in the booth yesterday. And with regard to Aikman's comment about Hall's "excessive celebration," do you think there's any chance that was brought on by the Cowgirls getting flagged for excessive celebration two weeks in a row?

Those of us who were at the game (Tracee and I included) didn't have the joy of listening to the Fox call. But in general, I think these ex-players do an outstanding job of putting aside personal biases based on where they played, etc. Their checks are signed by Fox, and if they want to keep getting those checks, they better not pull off anything like you describe.

Ms. H: The Skins win, with a huge assist from the Bears (if Lovie had someone competent who watches the replays, the Bears would have thrown the red flag on Cutler's fumble at the goal line and changed a turnover to a TS). I'll take any win, but if the Skins offense isn't improved by next week, DEtroit has a home win. The Big 12? I-State beats Texas (soundly) at Texas, NU takes a close defensive struggle at Stillwater (51-41) after Texas shut them down, and Mizzou finally tops OU and is in the national Top 10. I'm afraid my Huskers are too inconsistent, even getting MU in Lincoln. The only consistency (sorry) is KU remaining awful, and I wouldn't be shocked if the Jayhawks still win a couple - it's that kind of year. AHG

It was a great weekend of sports TV, that's for sure (except for that one NFL game...). The Big 12 is interesting and good for Mizzou, which is hard for me to say but they earned it. Oklahoma looked nothing like the team that walloped FSU earlier this year, that's for sure. Things are all over the map.

Looks like 4 ugly wins.

That might be right. Let's go to the standings in the NFC: Washington, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Green Bay and Chicago are all 4-3. Only Atlanta (5-2) is better, though the Giants could match them by beating the Cowboys tonight. Which brings up an interesting point: Should Redskins fans actually root for Dallas tonight. A win would make the Cowboys only 2-4, still trailing the division, but it would drop the Giants to 4-3, which would again technically put the Redskins atop the NFC East by virtue of their divisional wins over Dallas and Philly. Hmmmm.

Also: Don't count that win in Detroit yet. Be careful.

I know you are no longer an editor but hopefully you can provide some insight to the layout of Sunday's sports section. I know this is a Redskins town BUT why have one half of the front page devoted to a feature story on McIntosh? Navy upsets Notre Dame, Giants win the NL, VA Tech wins, MD wins, UVA wins, DC United's best player ends his career at home, etc. Wouldn't at least some of these be judged to be worthy of being "above the fold"? Granted Navy and the Giants made it but the McIntosh piece with a graphic, certainly that's overkill even for what most would consider a feature Redskins story worthy of page three. Thanks for reading, I can understand a series of game stories and sidebars above the fold but ONE player profile getting that much space??? I'm baffled but guess I shouldn't be -- if it is burgandy and gold, everything else is second class. FYI I don't have a favorite team among the ones I listed, I'm just a sports fan in a "company town" and I bet I'm not the only one who wondered.

Well, the thinking when I was an editor was that the Sunday paper should provide something other than results, a good "reader", which is what we would call Maese's fine story. Now, that doesn't mean the reader was always the display story. It WAS a newsy day. But there seems to be a trend toward giving readers something they don't already know in the morning paper. The games, everyone sees or gets on the web to read about. That's the reasoning, anyway.

I've been watching football for 50 years and one of the axioms I've come to believe in is when the kicker misses an important field goal by hitting the uprights or cross bar the team usually looses - we got off the schnide yesterday.

When do the Redskins start worrying about Graham Gano? That miss from 37 yards -- a kick that would have put them up 20-14 -- could have really hurt. He's now missed kicks in three straight games and is 13 for 18 on the year.

"I think I'm more confident leaving this game than I have been," Gano told our Rick Maese. He has to hope the Redskins are as confident in him.

I tried to look up the record for 4 ints in a game but it didn't look like they dfferentiate as to whether any of the priors were done in two halves or a single half. One wouldn't think that that would happen in just one half.

I was going to send a note to Redskins PR people about this today. There were 18 other people to have four picks in a game, so there are plenty of opportunities for it to happen in one half. Still, that was pretty incredible. We'll try to clear that up on Redskins Insider today.

I used to think he was pretty good and maybe he is when he isn't covering the Redskins, but I guess he's been doing it long enough now that he feels comfortable letting his Cowboys prejudices come out. A wide open Redskins receiver flat-out dropped a pass and Troy said, "Chicago forces another punt." There were several instance like that, but the most egregious was when he seemed quite put out that DeAngelo Hall didn't get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after his pick 6.

Second one like this. Maybe there's something to it.

T-Ham: I wrote into the chat last week calling D-Hall "dead weight" due to his propensity to fall down, argue with the coaching staff, and get caught out of position. Guess I spoke to soon, so I'm officially rescinding the comment. Also, with the Skins you always take the bad with the good. The bad: Donovan McNabb looks terrible right now, skipping pass after pass into the dirt (although in fairness a number of passes were also dropped). The good: Albert Haynesworth?! Wow, what a force he can be when he wants to. Pushing the center back into Cutler for a sack, leaping over the line like a breaching whale to stone Cutler on the goal-line sneak, and drawing consistent double teams. Going forward do we see more of this (good Albert bad Donovan), or will it be a different script every week? There seems to be no consistency.

I keep thinking the offense will break out and be consistent on both in the air and on the ground. The offensive players seem to think that will happen. But we haven't really seen that yet. Will it be different for this team every week? Quite likely.

As for Haynesworth, he is very pleased that they've changed his assignments so he can just go after the QB. He sounded more upbeat about that than anything else after the game. He's obviously still a little in shock about his brother and he's not happy they didn't let him play last week but for this week, he had no complaints -- and had his best game of the season.

Nice chip shot field goal attempt off the upright. Is it just me or does it at least seem like the last time we had a consistent kicker he had the name Mosley on the back of his jersey?

And the concerns from the fan base grown. One question the Skins have to ask themselves as it relates to Gano: Who else is out there?

M-I-Z! ...

Big win, congrats!

When the NFL enacted "Instant Replay" realized the officials needed help. The way it is set-up now, is not enough. Coaches are reluctant to challenge plays because they can only get a max of three. That is if their first two are ruled in their favor. What needs to be done is give each team a max of 5 if they are all correct or two wrong challenges which ever comes first. I realize it has no chance of happening BUT the erroneous calls that are allowed to stand is wrong.

I think Lovie Smith got gun-shy after he lost the challenge on the long pass to the 1-yard line. Because he lost that one, he didn't have the guts to then challenge whether Cutler had snuck into the end zone before London Fletcher forced a fumble.

I don't think, though, that increasing the number of challenges would solve the problem. How many times do coaches use all three challenges alotted them? Not many.

How about giving Hall a bone on offense in the red zone. I think he can at least create a bit of confusion...

I asked Hall after his press conference yesterday when was the last time he played receiver (mostly because his hands are so dang good). He at first said at Virginia Tech, but then remembered that he had a chance on offense when he was with Atlanta. Derrick Brooks, he said, nearly took his helmet off, and that was the end of that experiment.

Is he a perfect cornerback? No. But he has exceptional athletic gifts, the kind that can change a game. For now, that'll stay on defense, I'd think.

What two NFL teams don't play in a stadium, field, or a dome?

My head hurts. Anyone?

A friend of my wife's tried to make the point Saturday that "Oregon doesn't deserve to be in the BCS championship game because they don't play anybody," unlike the SEC teams. Isn't that cute? My greatest football hope is that Boise State and Oregon play in the title game, and BSU wins 77-76 as the Ducks try for 2 and wind up six inches short.

Well, I don't think it's true of the Pac-10 this season, that's for sure. Boise State-Oregon would be fun; have to admit I enjoyed watching Auburn on Saturday.

Haynesworth had another pretty good game, that sack was classic Haynesworth. Hall was just amazing and Torain reminded me of Larry Brown. Do you, like me, expect the 'skins to be flat against Detroit? We seem to play at the level of our opposition. If you put the obvious dropped passes into the picture McNabb was pretty good. How many 'skins fans are conflicted about rather to root for the Giants or Cowgirls tonight? My wife would root for the Cowboy's opposition even if the win meant we didn't make the playoffs. I'm more practical.

I'll focus on one of these elements: I think it's very, very likely the Skins will have a difficult time in Detroit. Whether that's because, as you say, they come out "flat" or not I don't know. I think it might be because the NFC is just very, very compressed this year. There's not much separation. Keep in mind that the Redskins lost by two touchdowns to St. Louis, and Detroit beat St. Louis 44-6. So if the Redskins lose, does that mean they came out flat? Or does it just mean that all of these teams are pretty close to each other.

Keep in mind, too, the point differentials in the Redskins' games this year: 6, 3, 14, 5, 3, 3, 3. That's an average of 5.3 points, with six of seven games decided by less than a touchdown. Not much margin for error.

My wife finally made the connection yesterday. It took 8 years of marriage but she is not a sports fan so the lag was expected. She noticed that I was somewhat manic while watching yesterday's game. There were moments when I was engaged in her talk about the new furniture she wanted to buy (when the Skins were playing well and had a lead). There were moments when I was grumpy and mad at her for talking about the new furniture she wanted to buy (when the Skins were playing poorly and losing). Then there were times I was indifferent when she was talking about the new furniture she wanted to buy (pregame and halftime, and whenever there were commercials). Now that she is finally aware of the pattern, will she leave me alone during the games? I realize that with two children at home under 5 years of age, I won't get peace and quiet, but I'd love to do away with furniture talk.

Negotiate. She gives you the three-hour window for the game, you give her a three-hour window before or after that to go buy furniture or just get away from her crazy husband and two kids.

If it took 8 years for her to notice, this is a fixable problem. :)

Have you ever seen such a bumbling mess as yesterday's game! Neither team looked like they are highly paid pros. I'm just glad the 'Skins were in the lead when the final bell rang. What do you think went wrong all around?

They should not have put Crisco on the ball before the second half. An unwise move. Perhaps it's an angle we should've covered more.

So we're rooting for the Coyboys tonight, right? I will find that very hard to do. . .but if I must.

Well, I'm afraid that Skins fans must bite the bullet tonight. Difficult, I'm sure.

Wouldn't it benefit the users of WashingtonPost.com if someone wnet out and deleted those comments and banned the IPs of those making those comments. Once you knock off his home and work IPs, you pretty much lock out the knuckleheads... it would certainly add to the discussion if WaPo filtered out and eliminated the idiots.

I'm afraid the comments section will never be a place for reasonable discussion among readers for that reason.

Could you imagine the dismal state of the Redskins offense if they had succeded in acquiring Jay Cutler? He has even higher numbers than Jason Campbell in the picks/fumbles/sacks trifecta. CC

I was in a cab with Mike Wise from Soldier Field to O'Hare last night (racing so we could sit on the tarmac for an hour because of thunderstorms), and he said exactly that, that he could have written a column that started something like, "Hey, Redskins fans, you still want Jay Cutler?"

We ran a poll last week on Redskins Insider asking Skins fans whether they would like McNabb, Cutler, Campbell or Mark Sanchez to be their QB now. All were, at one point or another, in the conversation. McNabb won overwhelmingly. He's not playing at his highest level -- far from it -- but given the other options, he seems like the best choice.

The sound when Brian Mitchell suggested to Carlos Rogers that he get an eye exam. It was done in earnest, but was quite uncomfortable. Maybe something that could have been done off camera...

Ooooooooo, ouch.

"Long time" reader, first time writer. Is DeAngelo Hall's 4 INTs in a half a record of any sort, or did one of the other players who shares this record accomplish that too?

We will track this down today.

Really, how is 4-3 significantly different from 5-2, since the entire NFC playoff list is going to end up between 9-7 and 7-9? Stand on your principles and assume the Skins are out anyway, and you can enjoy the game.

Okay, the alternate point of view.

Tracee, in that portrayal of you as a hard-boiled cynic of a sports editor, cigarette dangling idly from your mouth, ball cap (perhaps) atpop your head, as you knock away at a typewriter, whilst barking orders at your underling journalists, who who would typically draw your ire the most? B-Svrl would NOT, I presume. My money would, for some reason, be on, not Cheese Boy (too obvious), but, instead, on Sally Jenkins. Am I wrong?

Oh, heck, no, not Sally. I love Sally!

Here's a question that no one is asking: The Redskins are first in the NFC in the giveaway-takeaway statistic. Do you think if that statistic were more important in Fantasy League Football (where it barely matters at all in most leagues), then the fan base would be less down on the Skins after their victories? It is my assertion that Fantasy Football has completely thrown off fans' views of what it takes to win in the NFL, focusing on things like QB passing yards and multi-touchdown games by running backs. What do you think?

It's an interesting question. My gut take would be that fantasy football has skewed how fans watch the entire league -- caring less about results in, say, the Oakland-Denver game than how many times Darren McFadden got in the end zone -- but that when it comes to their own home teams, they still care in the exact same way.

The plus-minus stat is huge for the Redskins. Think about how much trouble they had creating turnovers in the past few seasons. Now, through seven games, they have forced 17 turnovers -- the same as they forced all of last year.

Hey guys, what, in your opinion, has a more sparkling personality? Shanny during a post-game presser, or a store-brand diet cola? Shanny is a major upgrade over the nice, but not-quite ready for prime time Jim "It's Entirely Possible That, Indeed, I'm From Neptune" Zorn, but a little sizzle would be nice. No?

Shanny's never going to give us much in the news conferences. That's just not him. Zorn was the gift that kept on giving last year. Shanny doesn't get up, he doesn't get down, and the players really do notice that and I think they like it, actually. He doesn't let them get too high after a win or too low after a loss and when your team is all over the map like this one is, that's probably the smart play. Just not too exciting for the media and fans.

Tracee, I know Giants-Rangers wasn't the match-up Bug Selig (or Fox) wanted, but personally I think it's great for the sport.


Hi T-Ham, and B-Svrl! It just seems as if Jammal Brown is repeatedly pushed back and/or beaten repeatedly every game. Is he healthy, or is he just a sub-par right tackle? I cringe to even suggest this, but should Heyer be given a chance to beat him out. And long live Pixy Stix!!

Brown does seem to be struggling, and you have to wonder if he's as healthy as he was when he was a Pro Bowler in New Orleans (on the left side, mind you). Heyer was actually in the game in the first half for different spells, but he also found himself on the trainer's table. We'll try to get more about what's wrong with him later today.

" "I think I'm more confident leaving this game than I have been," Gano told our Rick Maese. " Funny, I got more confident when Gano left the game too!

That dude is hard to figure out.

Hey Barry, how come Kilgore doesn't do a baseball chat? You did them all the time (and we appreciated them).

I think it's more of an overall philosophy (and a way to cut down on the workload of the beat writers). The demands of keeping Nationals Journal afloat have increased since we started it all those years ago. I could go a day without writing an entry. Kilgore doesn't have that luxury.

That said, I loved the chats as a beat writer. Gives you a really good sense of what the fans are thinking and can push you to write stories you might not have thought of otherwise. I think they should consider a way to make it work.

Is it Christmas already? The Yankees get eliminated and the Philthies get eliminated on the same weekend. Feels like a Holiday to me!

And yet, here we are, at work...

You see, interception DO matter! Yes a DB's job is to prevent passes and batting the ball down is all well and good. . .BUT. . .sometimes actual interceptions can make the differenc in a game.

And it was Rogers who was victimized for the long pass play down to the Redskins' 1.

Let's be clear about something, though: Rogers doesn't downplay the importance of potential interceptions. He gets it. But he has to find a way to deal with this problem mentally, and the way he's chosen is: If I do my job covering guys, then I'm doing the most important part of it. The interceptions will come. (Won't they?)

Tracee- Since you were at the game, you missed the comment from Troy Aikman, saying that he was surprised the Bears weren't going to try Hall deep, and a minute later, Cutler threw it down the sideline for Hall's 4th pick. My son and I broke out laughing afterwards.

I heard this one; maybe someone Tweeted it. Anyway, yes, it's hilarious. I can't comment on Aikman's bias but he was just wrong about the D. Hall "celebration." And frankly, the NFL needs to lighten up a bit on celebrations. Fans love them, and they make better clips than concussion hits. Not the choreographed ones, but what Hall did was great and deserved, I thought.

McNabb is so fortunate to throw his pick-6 on a delay-of-game penalty. In other words, he is just lucky, not actually any good at all. Only Cutler could make McNabb look competent. Time to sign McNabb for only one more year so that the Redskins have time to draft a quarterback. But would McNabb take a one year contract?

The contract negotiations between McNabb and the Redskins will be very interesting to follow. That things have been quiet thus far is, in itself, interesting, because why would the Redskins allow this guy to hit the open market if they really believed in him? If they let him go, they essentially are back to square one at quarterback.

It's also possible that McNabb will start to play more consistent football once he is more comfortable in the offense. When should that happen? He believes it will happen this year. It hasn't happened yet, and we're one game short of midway through.

I thought this might be the best place to vent on a sports-related word geek issue. Over the weekend I saw a few Fox ads for its World Series coverage, in which they mentioned how the Rangers have been "inspired by their legendary team president, Nolan Ryan." Nolan Ryan may well be legendary, but he's only been team president for about five minutes. A "legendary team president" is Branch Rickey or Walter O'Malley. The correct way to say it would be "inspired by their new team president, the legendary Nolan Ryan."

Yes, we do "geek venting" here quite well. You are correct; legendary, as a modifier for team president, is incorrect in Ryan's case. Your edit is perfect.

I'm a lawyer and I think we've got an air tight case against the Redskins for negligent infliction of emotion distress. Further investigation may show that it's actually intentional infliction but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now and assume they're not trying to give us all heart attacks. Ugliest. Win. Ever! But we'll take it I suppose.

Tracee had a couple of great lines in her column this morning, saying the game should have come with a 60-minute warning and might have been best viewed through a pinhole camera, like an eclipse. Gross.

But ugly wins are better than ugly losses, and this team has already matched its win total from a year ago. They're in the thick of the NFC race. They are, dare I say, relevant. Wouldn't you take that over the misery of the past couple of years?

G'mornin' Tracee. "Ugly" was good for starts, but it really ranged from ghastly to ludicrous to "this is a satire, right?" Although, the sight of the levitating whale wearing 92 was pretty doggone choice! Now, what I don't get is Martz's & Cutler's toxic fear of Carlos Rogers. Given that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results - and MeAngelo proved that it is also stupid, why were there nearly no throws near Carlos? Did he just have his side shut down?

Well, Rogers is pretty good at coverage, really. You don't have that many balls bounce off your hands if you are getting beat all the time. He just can't catch them. So I can see not wanting to go to his side every time. However, as the INTs piled up, you do have to wonder if Cutler was just trying to prove he could beat Hall.

Despite their win under the big lights on Saturday night - Mizzou will no doubt continue their 41 year streak of ZERO conference football titles. Is the Big XII now officially out of the BCS Title picture, and a 1-bid conference?

Out of the title picture but will still get about 20 BCS bids. Okay, maybe not 20, but more teams will get bids than deserve to.

I want to point out that a big part of his value is not just the sack, and not just the leap/forced turnover, but I noticed that he also often draws blocking from a guard and a tackle simultaneously, thus freeing up a potential sack from a linebacker. It seems like this happens no most plays against him.

This is true. And I belileve that after yesterday's performance, Mike Shanahan can never again sit a healthy or close-to healthy Albert Haynesworth. Just the potential that he could do something like he did yesterday -- either make the big play himself or open it up for someone else -- is too great to sit down. It took 16 games into his Redskins career (games he's actually played), but we finally saw a dominant player. If he's that way going forward, the defense could be different.

. . .has now earned 1/10th of 1% of his salary. To earn the remainder he must hold opposing offenses to negative running yards for the rest of the season and have a minimum of 10 sacks or assists per quarter. The Redskins must also run the table, sweep the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. To those who have been given much, much is expected!

And then there's this view.

Folks, I've got to sign off and turn my attention to covering the team. I'll leave you in the capable hands of Ms. Hamilton the rest of the way. I'll join her again next week, the morning after the Detroit game. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week.

I am starting to understand the exasperation my (few) Philly fans always felt towards McNabb: inconsistent, inaccurate, inconceivable plays. But then you win the game anyway. Easy to say he "finds a way to win" but in this case, his way to win involved a Superman play from Haynesworth (on a play that should have been a touchdown for the Bears anyway), a well-executed delay of game that undid a pick-6, and 4 picks (including a pick-6) for Deangelo Hall. Could he possible find a more straightforward way to win? I'm happy to have him, but am I wrong to wonder about giving him elite money for a long term contact? It is perplexing that his teams win so many games *seemingly* in spite of his play, but if he keeps winning, what can you say?

This seems to be the question the Skins are asking as well, re his contract, I mean. It's very true he didn't find a way to win yesterday.

Did anyone see Campbell's numbers yesterday? All those points and he was 12 of 20 for something like 204 yards.

When was YOUR last conference title in football?

Now now, let's not go down that road. You had a big win and we stink; you should be happy, not testy!

Think maybe some family members had a talk with him when he was home for the funeral? Or maybe his bro's untimely death woke him up?

I think it mostly has to do with the way they are using him. They finally came up with a plan that satisfies him and them. His attitude seemed much the same as ever; he was not backing down about thinking he should have played last week and said his conditioning was never an issue; the team thinks differently, of course. So I didn't sense this was a new Albert off the field. He certainly seemed cut up, still, about his brother's death, which is of course completely understandable.

Here's the deal, folks. Zorn, God bless him, was in over his head the last two season. We handed the Lions their first win since the Carter presidency. The team was in constant disarray. Now we have a professional-looking outfit that has already matched its win total from last year. I doubt anybody has penciled in a "W" next to the Redskins on the schedule. Baby steps, people. Rome wasn't built in a day. Insert cliche here. Bottom line is that they're moving in the right direction for the first time in years and aren't a laughing stock any more. Enjoy it.

Well said, RRR.

Re: Here's a trivia question for you 49ers (Candlestick Park) and Raiders (Oakland-Alameda County Colliseum) ?

Well, Trivia?

I know he's only a young 17 (!) but did I hear Bryce Harper say his favorite team is the Yankees?

Oh, yes, he's already gone on about this at length. I believe his favorite football team is the ...


Trying to remember the list, I think Dan had it on the Bog. It was all front-runners, as I recall. But he's a CHILD, and he's from a place with no pro teams, so I think we have to cut him some slack for now...

Only 2 of the TDs were his. I like Jason and want him to do well, but in a game with 59 points you'd think the QB would own a couple more of the points.

I was stunned. With McFadden rolling, I guess they didn't need more out of him, but it was still pretty stunning.

Was a beast in the first half but disappeared in the second. Did the Bears just adjust well or did he burn himself out or get injured?

He had a cramp in the first half, or that's what it appeared to be, but I saw him afterward and he seemed fine so I don't think he was hurt. I think the Bears adjusted.

His agent won't close a deal with the Colts. The Redskins have the wealth of Caesar and aren't afraid to use it. Why not?

He'll finish his career in Indy, don't you think? Can't imagine him going anywhere else. No reason not to make a call but I wouldn't count on that as the Skins' solution.

Is the NFL's much-sought "parity" an incurable disease? Is there any hope at all? Ugh. So, when do pitchers and catchers report?

Well, now, most of their games have been pretty exciting this year. It's too soon to declare a trend. I think it was a class of good defenses and bad offenses, which just made it ugly. That shouldn't happen every week.

That said, there is definitely a parity feeling in the air this Monday, isn't there?

The Redskins are having a better year than predicted, albeit some frustrating wins (!) and certainly elements in all phases of their game need to improve. That being said, is it really that big of a deal how a TV commentor (former division foe or not) calls the game?

I will admit there is a particular announcer that I mute whenever he "does" a KU basketball game. Just can't listen to him but I have the ultimate power over that. If the Skins keep up like this, we'll be seeing a lot more of Mr. Aikman so get those mute buttons oiled up, folks.

He threw for 2 TDs and 0 INTs and completed 60% of his passes. If they're gaining 328 (!) yards on the ground then I'm okay with his numbers.

Oh yes, if your ground game is going great guns, then stick with it. I just thought, when I saw 59 points, that he might have put up some big numbers and was surprised he didn't. Nothing wrong with no interceptions, is there? Cutler is envious.

Now starting at shortstop for the Yankees, Cal Ripken Junior.

Yes. It's against God's laws.

Heres your answer! - Oakland (Oakland-Alameda Colisium) and SF(Candlestick Park)

I think our previous chatter got it right! Thanks!

Yeah, but at least you have the mute button. I was in a company meeting which Dick Vitale "addressed" for an hour, screaming into the PA system. I still have that headache.

I pity your headache, but I wasn't referring to Dick Vitale. He actually likes KU. The guy I can't stand does not, in my opinion.

Can we not discuss yesterday's game? I'll keep the win but let's not talk about it. It was just too painful to watch and rehashing it is likely to trigger moderate to severe PTSD.

Okay, we'll stop now! Deep breaths.

Thanks, everyone, for joining me, and thanks to Barry for pitching in. Let's talk tomorrow!

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 was 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 subway etiquette. She welcomes dissenting opinions -- in the way Great Whites welcome open-water swimmers.

First Things First Archive
Tracee Hamilton Column Archive
Barry Svrluga
Sports reporter Barry Svrluga's assignments for The Washington Post include covering golf and the Redskins.
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