First Things First -- Tracee Hamilton on the latest sports news

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Tracee Hamilton,Jason Reid
Thursday, December 9, 2010; 9:30 AM

Every morning, Post columnist Tracee Hamilton discusses the most amazing and outrageous news from the world of sports.

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10y treasuries: what do you think about the selloff?

Tracee Hamilton: What's a treasury?And good morning, everyone! Let's get right to it. Don't forget to vote for your favorite Seinfeld character, if the mood strikes you. If you don't like Seinfeld, that's okay too. I know Wilbon prides himself on never having seen it.

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James Franklin to Vandy?: Prisbell reports that Maryland OC James Franklin is one of two finalists for the Vanderbilt job. That would certainly solve the Terps' pay-the-coach-in-waiting dilemma, no?

Tracee Hamilton: If this is how it ends, won't that be amazing? Who would ever have thought this wouldn't work out as planned? Oh, wait, me and many others.

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Seinfeld Favorites: Loved Lt. Bookman, but for me he got nosed out by "Shaky the Mohel" . Anytime I catch that one, I'll rewind that scene at least 3 or 4 times. I recently saw you make a Simpsons reference, any chance you hit the perfect girl trifecta by also getting into South Park? Muffin Man

Tracee Hamilton: MM, sorry, I can't go 3-for-3 today. I don't dislike South Park but I will confess that I can't understand what they're saying. Ever. This is a great shame but it's like your technology learning curve; everyone reaches a point where they can't go on. My dad is done at the DVD player; they will never own a DVR. I will go further but will reach my breaking point someday too. My cartoon breaking point was South Park, because my ears and brain are too old to translate.Yet another trifecta I've blown.

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Pittsburgh Wife: Pitt beat Delaware State 70-42 last night to go 10-0 (I understand Cleveland State is 11-0, however). Go Panthers!

Tracee Hamilton: I hope your husband is getting a heck of a Christmas gift, PW. He is sure working hard for you.

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Carl Crawford 7-Year Deal with Boston: Good morning Tracee! Any thoughts on the Crawford/Red Sox deal? The fair-weather fans on NESN are jumping back on the bandwagon, but it was pitching that killed them last season. Also, runner-up to Alton Benes as best Seinfeld bit player: tie between Morty Seinfeld and Jack Klompus. Loved that the show didn't sugarcoat parental characters as saints/softies! Pats Fan

Tracee Hamilton: The Beltless Rain Coat! The Astronaut Pen! Great ones. You are right; all the parents were nuts, which I believe reflects real life. :)I'm not sure I wouldn't rather have had Crawford than Werth, just from an age perspective, but I didn't find that deal too surprising. A lot of players can send fruit baskets to Werth for the next few years; he certainly raised the bar.

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Is Pujols the First $299 million man?: Not that he doesn't deserve it, but as a beleaguered KC Royals fan, I sure wish a little of that largesse would flow our way as well.

Tracee Hamilton: Wouldn't THAT be nice? But yes, if there's a player whose earned a record-breaking deal, it's him.

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Mike "That Toddlin' Town" Wilbon: Trace - did you see that Wilbon referred to the WaPo sports chat audience as a "soft core sports audience" in his inaugural ESPN chat? He failed to mention, however, that his standard chat procedure was to arrive half an hour late and proceed to devote half of his responses to berating posters for posting questions that he thought were foolish as compared to his amazing sports knowledge. I'll miss Wilbon but not his macho posturing and belief that the world revolves around sports and sports fandom.

Tracee Hamilton:

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100 yard dash: How do you rank in the 100 yard dash? I rank behind Olympic men, Olympic women, teenagers, energetic eight year-olds, but ahead of tired toddlers tickling turtles.

Tracee Hamilton: Still am, now that I think of it.

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Hokie Hi: Tracee,I apologize to you and my fellow chatters for another Hayneworth post, but I have to read the chats in the evenings because of work. One thing about the Haynesworth saga that I haven't seen mentioned is the dynamic between a boss and his subordinate when the subordinate is paid so much better than his boss. This is almost unique to pro sports but I experienced it firsthand myself. I was in Iraq as an Army Senior NCO who had contractors working for me, and all of them made much more than I did - in a couple of cases five times as much. It is extremely challenging to work in this environment. Just like with the Redskins, the vast majority were great people who worked hard and cared, but I did have one who simply refused to do anything he was told. Handsome paychecks breed a culture of entitlement, and some people rate their relative worth to their paycheck. Essentially, some people believe "If my organization thinks I'm worth so much more than my 'boss' monetarily, I must be that much more valuable and can more or less do what I want because they can't do without me." I think there was a lot of this in the Haynesworth case. Again, sorry for bringing up Fat Albert again but I missed the chance yesterday. I really miss being able to do them live!

Tracee Hamilton: HH, I am sure the audience will understand, and you are right, it's a strange dynamic. I know because I've done it as well. The columnists at the Post certainly made more than the editors when I was an editor. Mitch Albom is another good example. Luckily, the highly paid people I had to manage weren't, ah, jerks.I never thought of this in terms of the military but I can see it. Also movie stars make more than directors, authors make more than editors ... there are probably other examples as well. When I covered the Pistons many years ago every player, including the lowest paid, made more than Chuck Daly. He responded by being better dressed than all of them and they loved him. Just depends on the people involved.

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B-Mitch: Have you heard about the latest dust-up between Brian Mitchell and a Redskin, this time Phillip Daniels? He said that Phillip Daniels "sucked," which is pretty harsh describing a guy in his mid-30's, who has played 15 years in the league, and rehabbed like crazy to come back from a bad injury recently. Is it just me, or is B-Mitch still bitter about being cut 11 years ago. Plus I'm tired of how B-Mitch talks like he was the greatest Redskin to ever take the field...the hardest worker, with the most heart. Look, he was a nice return man. RETURN MAN. Not even a full time player. Let it go, man. Just let it go.

Tracee Hamilton: I really respected Mitchell as a player and thought he was treated poorly by the Skins. But I heard him on the radio yesterday, and man, it sounded so much like sour grapes. He'd be more effective if he'd dial it down a notch. But I agree, he's getting pretty pleased with himself and his stature in the game is growing. Disagree with Daniels, fine, but Daniels had a lot of good years and as you said, he came back from an awful injury and is, as near as I can tell from my interactions, a pretty good guy who doesn't deserve that.

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Cliff Lee: So the Yankees have bit and gone to a 7 year offer for Lee. Think there's any chance of the Lerners outspending the Steinbrenners and bringing Lee to DC? I know it's crazy, but I keep thinking how fantastic a 2012 rotation of Lee/Strasburg/Zimmermann would be.

Tracee Hamilton: Sure, there's always a chance. Remember that Mrs. Lee did not like the Yankees fans? Well, of course, they'll be sweet to her if he signs, but wait till he has a bad game. :) So there's a chance. Plus he and Werth are friends. Someone to take a little of the spotlight and pressure off Strasburg would be a really good thing for this team, and for Strasburg.

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Who's the "Jerry" to your "Elaine?": Tracee, with the WAPO sports department as the backdrop, how would you complete this analogy:Elaine is to Jerry, as T-Ham is to _______________?

Tracee Hamilton: Matt Rennie, my main editor. He's quite a dope but you guys would like him.

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Haynesworthless: Now there's a case study in a deal gone bad. The thing that bothers me the most is that he'll still walk out of here with a ton of our money AND he'll end up back in Tennessee next year just like he wanted. Me thinks Albert might be a very skilled negotiator! Maybe he could get a job helping the President deal with the new congress!

Tracee Hamilton: One thing no one has accused Albert of is being stupid. I think he's a pretty sharp guy.

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Seinfeld: If we're talking major character, it's George, no question.For a recurring character, I like Puddy. "You got a question, ask the 8-ball!"

Tracee Hamilton: And his love of Arby's. The episode where he tells Elaine she's going to hell is priceless. And everytime I see a "Jesus fish" I laugh.

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Late Caps Rant: Sorry, I've been away for a couple of days. . .was there sufficient outrage when the Caps gave up a three goal lead to the Leafs? I watched in disbelief in a sportsbar. I thought maybe I'd entered a time warp and we were in the playoffs already. . .but then I realized the Caps had scored four goals meaning that we couldn't be in the playoffs because they usually limit themselves to one goal per game in the post season. Anyway. . .that was pretty pathetic. Your take?

Tracee Hamilton: It was pathetic. I was happy I fell asleep in the chair and didn't see it. I was sure surprised when I woke up, though. I am not sure these early struggles are not a good thing for this team. They certainly aren't going to get complacent if this keeps up, but it's going to make the fans nuts.

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Favorite sit com: Hi T-Ham and FTF devotees! Okay, I loved, LOVED Seinfeld. But, for my money, if we're talking BEST sit com of all time, I think I'd go with Cheers. The "back office" scenes with Sam and Diane were art. Example:Diane: What is that smell, Sam, a cheap new cologne?Sam: No, ah, roach balm. But you know, hey, that's not bad. Anyone here agree that great as Seinfeld was, Cheers might just nudge it out as the BEST?

Tracee Hamilton: I loved Coach, and Norm's lines as he entered the bar. But I have to say I'd go with Seinfeld over Cheers. Although I should get a DVD of Cheers and see how it holds up.

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Seinfeld: I didn't like the character he played at all, but I was glad to see James Spader do a guest appearance (he was a soda jerk with anger issues). Also Grace Zabriskie & Warren Frost from Twin Peaks played Susan's parents. I still liked Marla the virgin best.

Tracee Hamilton: Oh, yes, Susan's parents. Another good example. Grace Zabriskie is a completely underrated actress. She's great at anything!

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Alex., VA: Is the Post going to be live blogging from the MLB Rule 5 Draft this AM?

Tracee Hamilton: I don't know because Kilgore won't return my calls.

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the soup nazi: Ms. H: No question, if you're not including the "stars," then he leads the pack. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" ("ummmmmmm, Jambalaya) AHG

Tracee Hamilton: AHG, good one! I feel like I'm hosting the Family Feud, by the way. Survey says...

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I recently saw you make a Simpsons reference, any chance you hit the perfect girl trifecta by also getting into South Park? Muffin Man : I wish you the best of luck in your continued search.

Tracee Hamilton: I kind of like this guy's standards, though.

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Chiefs QB problems: Oh No! .Matt Cassel had his appendix out yesterday and may not be able to play for a while....this throws the Chiefs march to the post season into the quagmire. I mean Brodie has great hair and all, but he's not a very good quarterback. Suddenly the Chargers game looks a lot dicier than it should, and do I dare say the hated Raiders may be in the catbird seat after all.

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, Cindy and I have been lamenting this since yesterday. Very, very downhearted about this.

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NORM!!!! He said "Mommy!": And how about the time when Norm walked into a relatively empty Cheers, and only 1-year old Frederick (Frazier and Littith's son) cries out "NORM!", and Lillith goes, "He said 'mommy!'" Classic!

Tracee Hamilton: Ah, good one!

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Best sitcom ever: Short lived Delta House starring Michelle Pfeiffer, the prez of Delta from the movie, and Zero Mostel's son. Michelle Pfeiffer got this aprt after her big role in the movie Hollywood Knights one of the ebst car movies ever.

Tracee Hamilton: Never saw it, which is surprising, but I'll take your word for it. Is Michelle Pfeiffer the most beautiful young actress turned middle aged actress ever? I say yes.

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I was 5 feet tall. Still am, now that I think of it.: Are you sure? When was the last time you measured your height? You know we shrink as we get older.

Tracee Hamilton: How can you DO this to me? Now I'm going to wonder about this all day.

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Hands down...: Jackie Chiles. Your face... Is my case!

Tracee Hamilton: Oh Lord yes, he was awesome.

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Nose Tackle?: So now that Baby Huey is done who will replace him this year at NT in the 3-4? If they stick with the 3-4 will there be any free agents out there we should look at? When I think of nose tackles I always think of thick necked white guys who went to schools like Nebraska or Iowa who never smile in their pictures.

Tracee Hamilton: It'll have to be Ma'ake.

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CHEERS!: I much prefer Cheers to Seinfeld. Once in a while I catch an episode on a rerun somewhere and still laugh out loud.

Tracee Hamilton: Another vote. You know, that would have been a good thing to put on my Christmas list. Ah well.

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Wilbon: Wilbon's professional persona is that of a cantankerous misanthrope. It works for him and conflict sells so. . .whatever. I bet his new chat audience won't EVER use the word misanthrope in his chat!

Tracee Hamilton: It's funny he's perceived that way, because I don't think of him that way at all. But I always thought his chat personality was not quite him.

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Seinfeld or Beer. Not a hard choice for me.: Like Mr. Michael I've never watched a Seinfeld episode. Spent the time drinking beer instead. Speaking of bad news on that front for the beverage chat, your colleagues are reporting DC's iconic bar the Brickskeller is about to close after 53 years of good beer offerings. One fewer option as a site for the inevitable FtF gathering, too.

Tracee Hamilton: I love that you drank beer instead, so we can once again make this the Official Beverage (and Seinfeld) Chat of the Washington Post! Yes, bad news about the Brickskeller.

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I'm bored: Can you go ask the Nats to sign somebody for a lot of money? I need something to talk about...

Tracee Hamilton: I would, but Rizzo's line is busy and Kilgore won't return my calls.

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Keeping up with Ex-Jayhawks: Do you try to follow pro games featuring former Jayhawks even if it really isn't your team? My SO is an alum ('92, I think) and two of his prize possessions are the the Pierce Celtics jersey and an original painting of the SI 2008 KU championship cover I gave him. He always roots for Boston strictly due to Pierce!

Tracee Hamilton: I do try to keep up with the former Jayhawks. We have one right here in town, Milt Newton, who is in charge of scouting for the Wizards and is a GREAT guy. He was on the '88 team. He is going to try to have a little Jayhawk get-together when OKC is in town. I'll post something on here when I know more. I think my folks are coming in for that!

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Crickets: I've been reading and listening to coverage of the Crawford signing. Surely there is someone who thinks that a 7 year $142 mil deal for a player who has never hit over 20 homers is a bad idea! Surely there is someone who thinks a speedster is wasted baseball's smallest left field! Surely there is someone who thinks that giving 7 years to a player that relies mostly on his legs will fall off a cliff in terms of production in the later years of the contract. But no, I hear only crickets in the national media, because Boston is allowed to spend big while the "poor" Nats are not. Oh yeah, here's a question: Will the Terp's field hockey team repeat next year? I haven't followed them closely since Paula Infante left.

Tracee Hamilton: I'll say yes on the Terps' team but you really ought to bounce that off Cilizza, our FH expert.

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Ms. Pfeiffer: In this board-certified dirty old man's opinion she is, as you said, the greatest beautiful middle-aged actress "from" beautiful young actress ever! AHG (you can throw in "ultra hot" too)

Tracee Hamilton: AHG has spoken!

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Kilgore: Just pop over to his apartment and tell him "So YOU want to be my Latex salesman."

Tracee Hamilton: He's dead to me. Dead!

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Post coverage: Whatever on earth will the Washington Post do now that Haynesworth is gone? He's good for two feature columns a day, what will they replace it with?

Tracee Hamilton: I don't know yet, but I have a firm belief someone new will pop up.

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Seinfeld: I would watch "Friends", my father would watch "Seinfeld". Neither one of us could see what the other saw in their show. Oh, and we were saying "yada, yada, yada" before the show ever came on the air.

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, I think "yada yada yada" wasn't original with that show, but they sure made it work. I like certain episodes of "Friends," not all. The later years, not so much. But it had a certain appeal.

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Cheers and Haynesworth: Since someone mentioned Cheers I had to throw in my favorite line. About to go into the backroom with Diane and have it out, Sam says:"Coach, we're going back there and we don't wan to be bothered."Coach replies:"So who does?"And speaking of bars, Haynesworth admits he was out drinking Thursday night, then on Friday he was "sick" when it it was time to practice. Coincidence? More precisely, if his suspension is contested, do you think the Redskins will try to bring evidence of him rendering himself unfit to practice/play?

Tracee Hamilton: Great line. And yes, I am sure the Redskins made sure they had their ducks in a row before they suspended him. They knew what would happen...

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Seinfeld characters, peripheral: Useful reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Seinfeld_minor_characters#Notable_one-time_characters For one-time characters, I'd have to go with Jimmy, the gym denizen who constantly referred to himself in the third person. I also liked the Soup Nazi, but that was a real person being played by an actor. Special shout-out to Art Vandelay for best performance in the imaginary alter-ego category.

Tracee Hamilton: Jimmy Legs!

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Seinfeld "Bit" Player: Keith Hernandez."Keith! It's me!!! The chukkah!!!!"

Tracee Hamilton: He was great. "I broke up with him." "Me too!"

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That's what she said!: Am I the only one voting for The Office? We cannot seriously leave out Michael Scott.

Tracee Hamilton: The early Office was brilliant but I find it's sometimes painful to watch in reruns, he's so cringe-inducing. The Office now is dreadful. What a pity they don't kill shows before they begin to stink.

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Anyone here agree that great as Seinfeld was, Cheers might just nudge it out as the BEST?: I did love Cheers and one of my favorite lines was when Sam says "Diane, change." Diane replies "Not for you or any man!" Whereupon he reminds her she was supposed to be getting change out of the change machine. But, I don't think it's better than Seinfeld. I actually am reminded of some Seinfeld episode just about every day still. Whenever I see a Penske moving truck I think about the Penske file episode. Whenever I'm eating tortilla chips, the double dipping episode. Etc...

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, that's the thing about Seinfeld -- it comes up every day. You hit the nail on the head.

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Best Sit-Com Ever Was. . .: Northern Exposure. . .but maybe that was more of a Dramady?

Tracee Hamilton: Yeah, I don't think an hour-long show can qualify. Again, the first couple seasons of that show were great.

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I like certain episodes of "Friends," not all. The later years, not so much.: Yep. I stopped liking when they made Ross really crazy. It was stupid.

Tracee Hamilton: Yeah, they really made Ross unlikeable and weird and then the baby was the final straw, as it often is. I think that hurt The Office as well. If you're going to have a baby on a show, start with a baby, like Raising Hope. That is one seriously hilarious show.

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Best SitCom: Sports Night ...And no one ever saw it.

Tracee Hamilton: I did! Every episode. It was probably the closest thing I've seen on TV to what it's like in a newsroom. I know it wasn't a newspaper but it was very familiar. And what a cast!

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Frazier: I liked Frazier MUCH better than Cheers. I thought the people at the bar were a bunch of losers (funny though they were), but all of the people on Frazier were educated &/or professional people. My favorite episode was the one in which Daphne's English "fiance" came to dinner and everybody ended up lying about everything. "That poor old astronaut" was the funniest exit line EVER!

Tracee Hamilton: Liked Frasier but I loved that bunch of losers at the bar. Although Niles Crane was a great, great character.

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Spent the time drinking beer instead: But there is no rule against drinking beer while watching Seinfeld.

Tracee Hamilton: Very true. But maybe this person was really focused.

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Arrested Development: would be the top if it had lasted longer.

Tracee Hamilton: Oh yes, and I see it's on a lot on the IFC channel. I have several seasons of that on DVD and it is just hilarious. Martin Short's guest appearances alone will make me laugh till I get light-headed.

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Favorite Seinfeld bit player: Marla, professional virgin and closet organizer. She leaves Jerry in disgust over The Contest.

Tracee Hamilton: Ah, yes, and the invisible John F. Kennedy Jr., which is poignant now in re-runs.

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John Wall Column: From your column today: "In fact, the past 10 rookie of the year winners have averaged nearly 77 games played in their debut seasons. Wall would have to play in every game the rest of the season to hit 75." Sounds like you've learned something from Boswell. Where's the rest of the historical analysis? :)

Tracee Hamilton: I can't hope to match Boz's research abilities but I knew you'd be impressed by that.

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Seinfeld: the quotidian sitcom: Yeah, like *that* word is ever coming up in an ESPN chat...

Tracee Hamilton: Well, probably not.

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Fairfax, VA: Hi Tracee,So the Caps are on little slide... My question to you is about Semin. Is Sasha going to sign a deal with the Caps or go elsewhere. In my opinion if he does not re-sign with the Caps he will go back to Russia and play in the KHL. What say you? Thanks.

Tracee Hamilton: I think you may be right re Russia, but they still could re-sign him. He's certainly playing with more fire than last season and I know he's close with Ovie.

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The girl trifecta: I thought that was liking football, the sci fi channel, and grilling.

Tracee Hamilton: Okay, that trifecta I can hit!

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SPORTS NIGHT: Anyone know if that's available on DVD? I seriously need that show.

Tracee Hamilton: It is.

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Seinfeld stuff: Hey, since this chat is theoretically about sports, I would have to point out that not only Keith Hernandez, but (fake) George Steinbrenner were great characters.

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, Steinbrenner was awesome. Another good one.

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Pfeiffer good, Davis Better (Subjective Decision): This is an area of personal preference. I'd agree that Michelle Pfeiffer is beautiful; but overall I'd pick Geena Davis. Beautiful then and now, a member of Mensa, and she almost made the U.S. Olympic team a few years ago as an archer. What more could a person be asked for?

Tracee Hamilton: Great in The Accidental Tourist.

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Wings: Not my favorite, but I liked it. I especially liked the Schubert cello concerto that was the themesong. It also gave Tony Shaloub & Thomas Haden Church their starts. . .

Tracee Hamilton: Yup, and that was another great ensemble cast in which no one didn't hold up their end.

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Top 10 Favorite Seinfeld lines!: Hi Tracee and all. Okay, here is a suggested top 10 best lines list (in no particular order) from everyone's favorite sitcom:1) That was one angry clown2) Feels like an Arby's night (Puddy)3) There was shrinkage! Significant shrinkage!4) His last words to me were, "Cherish the cabin."5) And you want to be my latex salesman6) And by the way, they're real, and they're spectacular!7) You stopped short? That'y my move!8) How could anyone not like you??9) A contest!? A CONTEST?? This is what you do with your friends!?? You're all horrible, HORRIBLE!!10) So, you're saying you want a piece of me? (Frank Costanza)

Tracee Hamilton: ALL great ones. I had forgotten "Cherish the cabin." Thanks for the laughs.

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News Radio: I loved News Radio. Anyone remember that one? Phil Hartman was on it.

Tracee Hamilton: I own that one. Brilliant in its brilliance.

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WaPo Reality TV: If they did a reality show featuring WaPo Sports writers, who should they focus on for the most drama and conflict?

Tracee Hamilton: The trio at Redskins Park. They are always interesting and lively.

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You guys are right: Ya know, I retract my statement that Cheers was best. Now that I think about it, though it's close, Sein takes it. As you said, it COMES UP EVERY DAY! Thanks for helping me see the light! Love live Crazy Joe Davola and Elaine's shrink!

Tracee Hamilton: Hey, we converted the original Cheers poster! Not that there's anything wrong with it.

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Seinfeld = Best Ever: Cheers was funny for awhile but devolved into a soap opera and stayed on WAY too long. Seinfeld was drama-free and knew when to quit. Simply look at the volume of candidates for best character it spawned here today!

Tracee Hamilton: Agreed, and that's out final word. Oh my, I've run over yet again. I am surprised Boz isn't chatting but I can find no evidence that he is. Must have a previous engagement because I know he loves to chat!My boss is busy finding guest hosts for when I head west next week so when I have a list I'll post 'em. Meanwhile, I'll be back tomorrow and we'll find something to talk about. Sorry today devolved into sit-coms, for those of you who don't like 'em; we'll try to return to beverages and Kansas tomorrow!


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