Tracee Hamilton Q&A

Nov 03, 2011

Tracee Hamilton hosts chat about sports, life and everything else.

I had a dream that the Redskins scored a touchdown. Before I even had time to bask in the glory of this outlandish fantasy and sing a dreamy Hail to the Redskins, I jolted awake. It was freezing cold, and I was late for work. Alas.

You must have had a Papa John's before you went to bed. One of the toppingless kind.

Did you see In Time? What did you think? My husband said, "You picked a good one," and he meant it. I hated Amanda Seyfried's hairdo, though. It did nothing for her.

Not yet. Not sure when I'll make it to a theater. But I'm trying! Believe it or not, I'm still trying to get to "Moneyball."

Morning, everyone. Going to go fast and furious -- more movie references -- because I have to fly out of here at noon. I've asked Carolyn about chatting and just waiting to hear back. I think our Maryland get together shoukld be Nov. 17 -- anything later is too close to Christmas. I haven't got a spot in mind but I'll come up with something by next week. Has to be near the Red Line, if anyone has a suggestion.

Let's go!

Would you want to go to a school whose football program is in complete disarray, run by a martinet, that will be losing 16 seniors, probably its best QB, and who knows how many underclassman? I know I wouldn't.

I thought for a minute you were talking about my school. No, it will be interesting to see how his recruiting goes, with all the rules. I have my doubts.

I heard a couple of esteemed sports writers mention Tony LaRussa as among the top five managers of all time. What do you think? I would probably put LaRussa behind the following: Casey Stengell, Joe Torre, Sparky Anderson, Earl Weaver, Connie Mack, and John McGraw. No disrespect intended to LaRussa. I just do not know whether he should be in the pantheon of top five managers.

You have a good list and I'm not sure I'd wedge him  in there. The one stat that impressed me -- world titles in three decades. I believe the only manager to do it. I'm on record as saying I'm no LaRussa fan, though, so I'm biased. But very happy for Cousin Packy. :)

I'm out of pine cones.

How about felt and feathers? I can help you make some very pretty birds.

Tracee: I know that Drew Brees bounced back big time from being shunned by the Chargers in favor of Rivers, but what do you imagine he thought when Rivers bungled that snap? Was he sympathetic. Or laughing a little.

I'm guessing after all this time, he was sympathetic, at least toward Rivers. He's got a ring.

I am looking for a team to cheer for since the Illini and the Terps have fallen off the earth, the Redskins are dreadful, the Bears have maxed out and look like they are headed south and college basketball has more stains on its good programs than I can count. Thank heavens for the Cardinals but it's hard to be a fan when there is little optimism for your teams. I want to root for someone, not against. I have plenty of those teams like Notre Dame, Michigan, Duke and North Carolina. Any suggestions?

Um.... er ... I kind of like Baylor. Good QB, fun to watch.

Houston? Yale? Their QB may miss the Harvard game for his Rhodes scholar interview. The Salukis?

$100,000 per student athlete? Really? That just seems wrong to me. How much do they spend on potential Rhodes Scholars?

I don't know, but it's gotta be less than that, right? Someone on this chat will know.

Why does Kansas have a football team? If they went just basketball, they could join the Big East and probably make more money.

Fair question, the first part, anyway. But the money made by even the good college basketball teams is nothing compared to the money made college football teams. They would not make more money as a basketball-only Big East school. They would make less.

I would also point out that three years ago, my football team was in the Orange Bowl. If we'd sucked for 100 years, I'd say kill the program. But yeesh. Being a mediocre team  in the Big 12 would still be more lucrative than a hoops-only school in the Big East. College basketball's money comes from the NCAA tournament revenue, and that's it. The conferences still split the bowl money, and the BCS deal is up for renewal. KU can stink and still make a pile of money.

Has anyone done the wins per pound comparison?

Edsall? Well, you can't win in this job. Poor Friedgen never heard such complaints.

What has happened to your Chiefs? I remember you clearly stated that they look "Bad" and it will be another long season for them. Well, looks like they turned things around and are playing harder disciplined football. Of course the did get lucky with the Chargers fumbling the snap that would have potentialy won the game with a game winning field goal.

Freely admit I expected zilch from them this year so every win, even the lucky ones, is quite enjoyable.

Salveamus, Magistra Tracee! The sports situation at Maryland is a mess. Athletic Department head Kevin Anderson has made a questionable hires in football with Edsall; I'll give Mark Turgeon the benefit of the doubt. The other sports depend on the revenue stream from football and men's basketball to thrive. They aren't thriving. What's worse, the revenue driving sports are choking on the combination of legacy errors by Friedgen and Williams, the Great Recession, and a combination of hubris and stupidity. The Testūdinēs need more than sports writers to cover this tragedy: they need a playwright like Sophocles or Ibsen, so that future generations may weep at "Edsall's Goats of Many Colors."

I'll agree with everything you've said. I've left the garble in this time because I honestly don't know quite where you were going with it. Testudos?

How much do you love this ad? (this is the adult beverage chat, right?)

I like the funeral one better, but this one isn't bad.

Not sure who else to complain to, so I'll vent here .. The Royals won a Gold Glove, just the wrong one. Alex Gorden was not the best fielding left fielder in the AL. He was the best left fielder in the AL. Therefore this is why he won the only award that is voted on by the managers and coaches of baseball. This is why Jetter has some many Gold Gloves. He is at best an average fielder, but was the best SS for a decade. Escobar, the Royals SS is the best fielder since Ozzie Smith. He did not win the AL Gold Glove, he's not a good enough hitter. They need to either rename the award or have a best player voted on by the managers. Let's Go Royals!

I am here for the venting. Vent away.

O goddess of the Plains and Knower of all things GREAT and small-- Good thing Ovie isn't Iranian or Coach Bruce might have had him whipped like the 2 Iranian soccer players. Wonder how many lashes you get on the pitch for giving somebody a full wedgie ? Nice nepotism column . So what was it that you were doing wrong in how you wrapped pennies? Put too many in because you were being generous (my guess) or too few to improve grampa's bottom line ?

Bruce would never have whipped Ovie, but maybe he'll make him practice more often. :) I don't know what I was doing wrong but I'm guessing grandma and grandpa had a big fight about it later because she said I could and she was mad. But my grandma was a great lady and would never fight with grandpa at the bank! My grandpa worked there 60-some years; I forget the exact number now. He was a character.

As native St. Louisan, I was delighted by the Card's performance in the post season. However, as a Mizzou alum, I don't understand what the university is doing. Since when in Missouri located in the southeast? What about the KU rivalry? And doesn't the SEC already have enough Tigers?

Don't ask me to explain Mizzou! :) Yes, you'd think the SEC would have plenty of tigers, wouldn't you? And I'm delighted by the Cards as well, so there's something we can agree on. If both schools are smart, Mizzou and KU will find  way to keep the rivalry going. But I'm not holding my breath. Shame.

Agree or Disagree? 4 things that will not stand the test of time:

The Snuggie


2 & 1/2 Men w/o Charlie Sheen

Randy Edsall

Disagree. That horrible show is doing great numbers even without that horrible man.

please tell us why, when underperforming players leave the Redskins they suddenly become productive (cf. Carlos Rogers as the latest example) and when stars from other teams come to the Redskins, they stink up the joint (cf. Antwaan Randle-El)? This is the pattern across different coachs, OCs and DCs. There are three common denominators: the name Redskin (which I believe is cursed), the FedEx monstrosity and the owner. Get rid of all of these (and as a 30-year fan, I'm not saying this lightly) and perhaps things will improve?

Even if the curse theory is correct, and even if they decided to change the name, they won't get rid of FedEx and how do you get rid of the owner? You can't just "get rid" of an owner. I mean, if this was an episode of "The Sopranos," maybe, but this is real life. This is the guy. All the waiting around and saying "we need a new owner" may be true, but it's not realistic. Sorry.

The Euro is still a good idea, and countries like Greece, who cannot manage their economies, should be able to opt out of it, like West Virginia and the Big East.

Greece wants to join the B1G, but as a Legend or a Leader?

What happened with the Saints? They lost to the Rams who were without Bradford and a shaky O line. Wow that was an upset special!

That was a stunning result. Just goes to show you ... something.

He was fired because he called Stephen Strasburg a wimp for not pitching through an injury that required Tommy John surgery. The fact he coniders Peter Angelos "a great guy" says it all. What a jerk.

When will Dibble stop moaning about his time here? Caravan has moved on!

What, he didn't tuck his shirt in? This is getting ridiculous.

Hard to tell. Hate to take it lightly and find out it was something serious, or vice versa.

Ms. H: I've had it - from now on the B1G is the "Big 10 (12)," the Big 12 is the "Big 12 (10-2+2)," and the Big East is (I can't say that in a chat). That aside, now that KSU has come back to earth, let me belatedly note that, like him or not, Coach Snyder might be the best of all time in improving a football team. KSU probably was the absolute worst "major" college football team of all time until he took over - it nosedived when he left, and now, it's at least respectable. I was hoping Turner Gill could do something of the sort with KU, but it looks like that's a "no." (not that KU football every approached the awfulness of KSU) AHG

You're being kind, AHG. We are approaching epic awfulness this year. Snyder is a very good coach who might also be the devil. My old pal Fam liked him very much and that says something in his favor.

Aren't we going to have to rename all these conferences? Because they make less than no sense anymore. (Boise in the Big East?)

Hi Tracee, I really feel that BB did what he had to do. His job is to not please the fans and have Ovechkin out there if he feels that he won't benefit the situation at that particular moment. I think this organization finally "get's it". EVERYONE should be held accountable for thier performances. This is just one step toward the goal and that being the Cup!

Took guts, and as long as Ovie doesn't get what my old boss called "a puss" over it, everything will be fine.

You know things are bad when Beck gets sacked on a weekday. The decision to change Beck's scramble-fumble-recovery from a running play to a sack means that he was sacked 10 times, not a mere 9, against Buffalo. Interesting to see if Beck and the O-line can rebound but it won't be any easier this sunday.

No, the scary thing is that that defense had struggled this season -- four sacks coming into the game? Good gravy.

Jason Reid seems to have a personal dislike for Mike Shanahan. His last couple of pieces have skewered Shanahan without acknowledging that the offense is now pieced together with duct tape - e.g. no mention yesterday of Moss, Cooley, or Hightower and only passing reference to Williams and Lichtensteiger, saying the O line was pretty bad even when they were healthy. Don't think that's true. Lots of problems on D side too. Every team has to deal with injuries but the Redksins are snakebit this year. I do agree with J Reid that the Redskins should have made a play for a proven QB but Shanahan and Allen were probably gunshy after McNabb and yes hubris that the system would compensate played a role. But let's face it, Shanahan(s) is/are trying to score points with offensive personnel more likely to see action in a pre-season fourth quarter. Shanahan is grim and appears to take himself way too seriously, both qualities shared with many other coaches, but hard to argue being 3-4 is due to his lack of preparation or effort.

I don't think Jason has a personal dislike for Mike. I also don't think it's necessary to repeat in every column the litany of injuries, the history of the team, etc. Columnists are allowed to take liberties and assume knowledge on the part of the reader. The offensive line played well at the beginning of the year but was it great offensive line? I would say no. I think I wrote that myself. It was made of backups from last year, largely. That's not a good sign.

Yes, the Skins have had some BAD injuries, but lots of teams have injuries. The Packers last year had an amazing number of injuries, but were deep enough across the board to win the Super Bowl. The Skins aren't that deep nor is anyone expecting them to be, yet. The hubris, I think, comes from not being upfront from the beginning and saying they were rebuilding, that it was going to take time. Because they were, and it is.

I would guess that Shanny and Allen looked at the QBs out there and didn't see one they liked and decided to try to make it through the season with what they had, knowing they HAVE to draft one in April.

But I am not sure I agree that part of the blame doesn't like with Shanahan's preparation. It is pretty clear that with the pieces in place, they need to make adjustments, NOW, to save Beck's life and maybe score some points. They seem incapable of doing that. Maybe Sunday we'll see that they've altered counts or changed some plays to give him a chance. (With no running game, it's hard to get the passing game going, I know, and Hightower's loss was a huge blow.) It just feels like they keep beating the same rock with the same hammer. They need to make some adjustments.


Kudos to the Lerners for their willingnes to spend more money on free agents after their disastrous recruitment of Jayson Werth. Bos seems to think he will rebound somewhat next season, but that's still a huge price to pay. It has to hurt big-time. I wish them better luck in this off-season.

I agree with Boz; he'll be better than last season, probably not approach his Philly seasons. The Lerners know now's the time. Strasburg seems healthy; we shouldn't be far away on Harper. Now's the time to spend.  So we'll see.


Actually it is the opposite. He could explain to recruits that they are so bad, that even decent freshmen will get playing time next year. Lots of the guys don't want to sit for 3 years to get their opportunity to play.

But will they want to take out their earrings? I know I wouldn't.

I paid for college by working at a pizza joint (those were the days!), and our local anti-everything activist often stopped by for a pie. He was vegan, of course. His kid (8 or so) was crazy and would wander around the tables chanting "Meat is murder!" but the hippie dad was alright. As for his pie? Crust and sauce only. Kinda like a low-rent focaccia, now that I think of it. He still paid the "cheese" price, though.

I went to college so long ago, I wouldn't have known what a vegan was. Or maybe I hung out with a bad crowd.

I had a dream where I explained to Danny Snyder that "Moneyball" didn't mean "spend a lot of money on aging ballplayers". Just trying to do my part.

That sounds more like a nightmare.

Tracee, thanksfor the chat. Do you believe with the Big East inviting Boise State and the Big 12 admitting West Virgina that the argument against the a national championship because the travel would interfere with academics is no longer valid?

It will remain valid as long as the BCS is against a national championship, despite the fact that it is hypocritical. I weep for America.

I'm not one of those short-memory guys, but you have to give credit to LaRussa (and Francona, and anybody I'm forgetting who's won two (the old guy from the Marlins?)) in the free agent era. Not only are there more competitors, there's no way you'd keep the '27 Yankees together any more.

That's very true. I just like Mugsy because he was crazy, and Connie Mack because he was Connie Mack. :)

I know Albert Pujols is fantastic right now, but why would anyone sign a 31 year old to a 10 year contract? If anyone should want to know what happens to expensive aging stars, look at the Yankees with those two albatrosses (A-Rod and Jeter). I would hope that the Cardinals would be smarter than that, but they might have to sign him just for public relations.

That's the dilemma they face. They know a long deal is not a good idea but they also know they're St. Louis, not New York. On the other hand, those are some understanding fans. They'll be disappointed but they won't charge into Busch with torches and pitch forks.

That tells you right there that the BCS system is broken.

You are not wrong.

With the sorry state of MD athletics both on the field and off the field ($$$), can Maryland just move to Division II? :)

I know you're kidding, but talk about a loss of revenue. No, they'll have to kill some sports. I know there's nothing in it for UnderArmor, but it would be nice to take some of the uniform money and give it to the FH program or something similar.

While I hate MD fired the Fridge, I am sure he is resting comfortably on his $2 million. Guess we should have gone with our "coach in waiting".

That would cover part of the deficit. A lot of schools can say the same -- paying fired coaches is a big line item.

I came in from picking up avocados from the yard and turned on the Terps game last Saturday. Where was everybody? Can't you walk from campus? It didn't look that cold. (of course, I switched over to the Army game and shivered vicariously) TBHitW

Kevin Anderson wants to party with you, cowboy.

Appears to have worked with the Eagles. How about we move Haslett to OC and Kyle to DC? We can't score less than zero can we?

Do you want to take that chance?

Dressed in full Redskin regalia and carrying a cat wearing a tiny Redskins shirt & helmet. "You can't bring that cat in here!" "Please. Our power is still out, and I want to watch the game. Jurgensen here always watches the game with me. I promise he'll behave." "If he doesn't, you're out of here." After some time, Beck drives the team down the field & they kick a field goal. The cat jumps up on the bar and backflips the length of the bar. He struts back on his hind legs high-fiving everyone. "That's pretty amazing. What does he do for a touchdown?" "I don't know; he only watches the Redskins!"

Not sure why you dragged Sonny into it, or why you're in Connecticut, but okay!

That will teach me to not include accents when I write. Or when I talk. - TAC

Yes, PLEASE, no accents. Surprised my computer didn't blow up.

So what do you make of Mizzou pointedly not joining the SEC yet--this despite the conference announcing that move on its website? Is there something very weird in the works (MU+ND to Big 10, MU sticks around to create the Big 11), or what?

Again, I just refuse to try to explain Mizzou. It's rather unfair to expect me to. Although I do agree it's odd that they've been begging to be wooed for weeks and now they're playing hard to get. But again ... I'm trying to be nice here, people. You're making it very hard.

Most Rhodes scholars are on full academic college. At a private school like Ursinus (who got their first Rhodes this year) that is $40,000 in tuition or $160,000 overall. Princeton, Harvard, and Yale are all around that too. I would say Rhodes get more money because they tend to go to private schools and most (good) football schools are public.

All right.

Because some people still don't have their power back on! And Sonny was a great QB!


Regardless of what you think of either gentleman, you need to read/watch Skip Bayless' recent delusional praise and defense of all things Tebow. He is currently on ESPN2 making such claims (paraphrased) that Tebow's recent stumbles are linked to the fact that the Broncos have not overhauled their offensive system to fit his skill set. Not packages, just draw up a whole new scheme and playbook - OK? Limiting the issue to athletic ability, have you ever come across any other player in any sport that engendered such inflamed and polarized opinions?

The Tebow phenomenon is indicative of something bigger but I'm damned if I can put my finger on it. However, I refuse to give Bayless a page view. Your paraphrase is enough.

T-Ham--with all the glow of Tony and the Cards winning the Series and then his you think it will be interesting to see, when he becomes HOF eligible, if the steroid issue dogs him??!? In all honesty, he is likely to be the first non-player from the era with a very strong taint because of Oakland and the McGwire connection (Plus, the bizarreness of the way he has eviscerated Canseco while protecting Mark). It's a hard subject to bring up for me, because I was in Oakland during the Bash Brothers days and enjoyed those teams. Could you see the writers taking issue with his denials about knowing what was going on back then?

You know, that's a good question, but one you should ask Boz. He has his finger on the pulse of the ball writers more than I do, even if he doesn't vote. I have a feeling it might slow him, but not keep him out, but as you know, I'm biased.

So, do you think Jordan Williams is second guessing his decision to go pro?

I would assume so, since he wasn't ready to begin with. I can think of a couple of Jayhawks who should be kicking themselves, too.

It doesn't look like Washington will suck enough to get Luck. I don't follow college football much, but some have said that this is a deep quarterback draft class. Say Washington has the 10th pick again, who do you see as quarterback options. Thanks.

I was write a column on this topic this week and didn't get around to it. I promise we'll discuss next week. Everyone bring their choices!

As 63 year old Os fan, I hate to say it, but I think Tony ranks above Earl. As great as Earl was, he won only one World Series (in 1970) and lost two to the Pirates ('71 and '79), as well as losing a number of AL championships to Oakland. Few remember it now, but when the Os won their last Series in '83, the manager was Joe Altobelli, who took over from Weaver that year. Not a few people said the Os played so well for Joe because they were determined to prove it wasn't Weaver's genius as a manager that made the team good. I will, however, always treasure Earl's comeback when he had to listen to someone go on and one about what a great manager Gene Mauch was. Finally, a red-faced Earl said (in the cleaned up version), "Yeah, Mauch's the greatest manager who never won nothin'!"

Good one. Richard Justice could tell a million Earl stories, and every one of them was hilarious (though not always flattering).

Hi, TH! Nice to see more column inches under your name...keep 'em coming! Has the league caught up with Ovie? Can he adapt? Will he ever score 50 in a season again? Good to see Backstrom playing so well! He is one of the big keys to their succes, I think. PS: Hope you enjoyed the Ernie Harwell clip. Had you heard that before?

I write four a week, every week, unless I write five. You just gotta look. I would be surprised if Ovie scores 50 again. Backstrom has the talent to be the lead scorer if ever gets it all together. (I did enjoy the clip, thanks; not sure if I'd heard it before.)

Are any of those handsome young Nationals getting married over the off-season? I know some of them have girl friends. . .Stras is married, and Ian is married with a baby, and they're younger than most of the other guys.

I have no idea. I have to say, I'm not that interested in the weddings of people I know, so ... I guess I don't care. :)

Insert every coach's favorite line: On any given day, any team in the league can defeat any other team in the league. For example: No team is so weak that Washington can't lose to them.

Well said.

I think the decision not to play OV in the last 90 seconds was tough and admirable and worked out for BB but it has taken the focus off of what was a big win. Coming off two lopsided losses, they couldn't afford to lose to the Ducks. They got down 3-0 and rallied back and Backstrom scored 2 clutch goals. Glad OV got the assist on the winner because that should go a long way toward soothing egos.

Backstrom's two goals were huge in that game, as was the fact that the broke that little losing streak. But it's still so early. Hopefully, the message was sent, received, and everyone can move on.

Is Matt Hendricks now our enforcer by default? Do you see the Caps making a move for a tough guy or will it just be a long season for skilled guys like Nicky B getting knocked around without fear of retaliation? Say what you want about Matt Bradley but tough guys with skill aren't easy to find.

Looks like it will be Hendricks for now. At least he's more than willing.

1. You're never going to be a top-tier football team. Settle for second tier. 2. The best uniforms were the first, with the flag colors.

The trouble with second tier is the athletic department deficit. As for the uniforms, I'm not with you on the flag ones, but luckily we don't have to agree -- they have millions of choices!

Ms. H: "bourbonrich" needs to pick by team and sports. If a frontrunner, then KU for b-ball, Bama for football, and UConn for women's b-ball. If softhearted - KU for football (sorry), NU for b-ball (forever), and the Redskins for the pros until approximately 2021. AHG

Rich, here are suggestions from AHG. (I sure wouldn't consider KU a basketball front-runner this year.)

Given that Buffalo only had 4 sacks going into the game and then sacked Beck a full 10 times, I'm predicting that SF will sack him a minimum of 19 times. What say you? Over/under 19?

Under, but I'm a cock-eyed optimist.

Is totally 2010. The Forever Lazy has surpassed the Snuggie in part because it has flaps in the back and because the commercial indicates that it will revolutionize your next tailgate party!

Oh yes, I've seen the commercials. Again, I weep for America.

Okay, that's it, gotta dash. Gathering on Nov. 17, something in Maryland, TBA. Have a good weekend, everyone, whether or not you choose to make a pine cone wreath. 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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