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

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Tracee Hamilton
Tuesday, February 1, 2011; 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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My husband slipped on the ice and broke his wrist: He's being treated at the ER while I'm home- and bedbound awaiting the birth of our twins in March. So, despite the Wiz, which was not unexpected, let's try to keep it upbeat, all right? I don't need more gloom and doom.

Tracee Hamilton: Oy, sorry to hear that. Okay, upbeat it is. I guess we can talk about ...Anyone? Anyone?Good morning. I hope everyone is being careful out there. Let's get started!

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Enthusiatic Pro Bowl Viewer: I was in the locker room on Sunday after the Tot Swim, and a dad asked his little boy "What do you want to do today?" His reply was "Watch fubball!" It brought a tear to my eye; my kids always want to drag me outside.

Tracee Hamilton: Cute! The kid's so little he doesn't know that's not really football. I remember those days. At least we now know the target audience!

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"I think what really made the games exciting is that Honolulu is such a big fooball city and Raleigh such a big hockey town": From yesterday's chat-- Really? If the NHL game had been in Detroit, the viewing experience here, in DC, on TV, would have been better? It might be fun to mock in general, but I don't get that one...

Tracee Hamilton: I think the poster was just making the point that neither of those cities springs to mind when you think "pro football" or "hockey." The Hurricanes seem to have a very loyal hockey following; I don't think it was meant as an insult.

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Jayhawk Family: Tracee, Sitting here in Oklahoma watching network tv about the impending blizzard, on the Mike & Molly show they show the front to the elementary school and it's Walter Payton Elementary. Thought that was Sweet! Did you watch any of the Winter X Games over the weekend? What do you like best? Rock Chalk!

Tracee Hamilton: I didn't, because I was not in control of the TV. So all I saw was highlights.

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DC subway etiquette: Since your pet peeves list poor subway etiquette, at what point should an athletic looking younger male guy give up their seat to an older looking rider? How much gray hair should the rider have? I just say this because some older people are grateful for the seat and other older people are offended by me asking. I'm a Midwestern transplant but have now had to adopt the East Coast approach and bury my head in the newspaper whether I'm reading it or not. It isn't worth the grateful people for the risk of offending the others. I didn't used to be this rude, but some "offended" people have done this to me.

Tracee Hamilton: Look for wrinkles and people who don't look steady on their pins. Gray hair isn't enough any more. And if people are rude to you when you make a polite gesture, to heck with them but don't give up being polite. Then you just become one of the faceless rabble of dopes.

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On topic: Tracee,Can we just for one day have a chat with no discussions of Kansas or ridiculous questions about Svrluga or "Cheese Boy"? I know that this is a bit of a free-for-all especially during the slower sports periods but I feel like the same 4 or 5 people are asking the same style of questions over and over. It's great for them but not so great for the rest of us who would prefer to talk sports news (like in your chat title). I appreciate you getting up and doing this with us but my enjoyment of the chat has been declining rapidly over the past few months. Thanks!

Tracee Hamilton: here.

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qB (coach) controversy up the Parkiway: Joe Flacco has the best season of his admittedly young NFL career, and they fire Jim Zorn? That organization usually seems to have its act pretty together. Nice to see they have their occasional blips in the road as well.

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, this is very strange. Flacco's number's were the same or better (depending on the categories) from 2009. This smells like needing a sacrifice after a poor playoff performance.

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Hoyas: Ugly ugly ugly. but a win. it looks like this season may have a 3rd act after all. Is Mike Wise going to comment on this at all? I mean, apparently the JTIII Princeton/Georgetown offense had been figured out and exposed. Just ask Nova and Louisville.I realize part of Wise's shtick is to be a provocateur, but even for him that column was a bit premature...

Tracee Hamilton: Well, they have a few stinker games, you have to admit that. That loss to West Virginia -- I had the pleasure of sitting through that and it was awful. Maybe Hoyas fans should be thanking Wise; they've been a different team since he wrote that!

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Upbeat: How about those Hoyas?

Tracee Hamilton: There you go! Good win for them. I seriously thought they were toast after that West Va. game. I counted them out too soon and admit it.

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blaming goalies: One annoying problem with hockey is that the goalies are seen as heroes when they win a game 4-3 and are inconsistent bums when they lose 3-2. In each game, they gave up 3 goals. Like a pitcher's ERA in baseball, just judge them by their goals per game. My point is that if the Capitals actually scored as much as last year, they would be seen as having two of the best goalies in the game. Instead, they are seen as part of the problem.

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, I've never been on board with blaming Varly and Neuvirth for this year's problems. They have two good young goalies. You have to look beyond that. The position makes a great scapegoat, but unfair.

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Well, at least the Duke women upheld the ACC's honor: The best part is that they were talking smack before the game about how being undefeated record should have made them #1. That's not usually something you hear from a team before it's doubled up in the second half. FH

Tracee Hamilton: Nope, I'm guessing that'll put a lid on the talk for a bit. They're obviously very good but so is U-Conn. If you like smack talk, though, it's good to see women getting into it as well.

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0-24 on the road. Sigh.: My wife was class optimist in high school, and has the yearbook to prove it, but even she is starting to get discouraged. However, we both believe the Wiz are going to surprise us before the season is over. We just hope it's not against the Cavs, which game we both epect them to win.

Tracee Hamilton: What is the Wizards come in winless on the road and the Cavs come in with their losing streak intact? The Wiz really need to root for a Cleveland win in the next two weeks.

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Duke love?: Hi Tracy,How does Duke get manhandled by an unranked, no vote getting St John's squad and only drop 2 spots in the polls?

Tracee Hamilton: You aren't seriously asking that, right? You know how. I know how. Everyone knows how.

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Is the Super Bowl over yet?: I'm already bored.

Tracee Hamilton: nothingness to sit through.

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Are the Wizards ...: ... on the schneid?

Tracee Hamilton: Big time.Sorry, we're supposed to be talking about something positive for the poor bed-ridden woman with twins on the way and a one-armed husband. Anyone?

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Caps v Habs?: I'm taking my son to the game tonight. Will the Caps win? Thanks for letting me know in advance!

Tracee Hamilton: Yes.(You must be new to the chat if you're asking me THAT.)

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Montgomery Village, MD: TraceeMaske's article had an interesting stat about the last time the Packers and Steelers met. It was a high scoring affair. Could that be because both offenses practice each day against one of the best defenses, both of whom run the same 3-4 schemes , designed by guys who coached together ? Besides all the film the QB's have watched , they can actually practice against the SAME defense run by the very best players. Could be tempted to take the "over" on Sunday.

Tracee Hamilton: Go for it, MVMd. No rooting interest for you, I take it.

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Brrrrr!: With all this cold icy weather we're having I'm so jealous of those who are going to the Superbowl in the hot state of Texas this week. Wait... Dallas is freezing, the airport is closed and it's 13 degrees down there? Yikes.

Tracee Hamilton: Yeah, Dallas isn't exactly Miami in a good year.

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Tom Jackson lame Super Bowl prediction: So ESPN's Tom Jackson has proclaimed, if Aaron Rodgers has a great game, the Packers will win. What kind of prediction is that? Anyone can say that. They're paid for this? That's like saying "if President Obama gets the most votes, he will win the election."

Tracee Hamilton: That IS pretty lame (wrote the woman whose predictions can singlehandedly bring a team to its knees).

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Cepacol, chocolate stout, dogs attacking windshield wipers: I think an edited collection of FTFs would be a best-seller. Lots of good (and occasionally not so good) sports observations, coupled with a sprinkling of genuine Americana. I would certainly buy a copy!

Tracee Hamilton: We're not everyone's cup of tea, but I like us. (And that was intended to start a tea discussion.)

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Falling: Fell yesterday on the ice and my only thoughts were do not extend arms to break fall and take the fall on your hips. It worked. A little sore this morning but no broken bones or separated joints.

Tracee Hamilton: Nicely done! I'm in dread of the ice, afraid I'll try to break my fall and tear up a shoulder. Not sure I could think that quickly these days.

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Mike Tomlin: I don't t think that Mike Tomlin gets enough credit for the job he's done in Pittsburgh. He has the chance to win two Super Bowls in three years. Why doesn't he get any credit?

Tracee Hamilton: I think Tomlin gets a lot of credit and he's tremendously liked and respected.

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roger goodell: I thought one of his primary jobs was to promote the league? what was he thinking to even make a statement about Roethlesberger to Peter King at this point?

Tracee Hamilton: I wondered about that remark, this week, but from what I was able to glean, King talked to him some time ago, not during Super Bowl week. Still, why would Goodell say that at any time? If I'm King, I want to know that, but if I'm the Steelers who spoke to him in confidence, I'm not best pleased.

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Watch fubball!: Darn! My 2.5 year old daughter loves to watch football. Well, she loves to watch for a while and then play nearby while it's on. She likes it when we yell for the TDs and stuff. I asked her this weekend what she wanted to do and she said "watch the football game!" And I told her there wasn't one! Totally forgot about the pro bowl. Oops.

Tracee Hamilton: She'll never know!

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"I was not in control of the TV": Were you on the Outer Limits? ("We control the vertical; we control the horizontal;" I forget the rest)

Tracee Hamilton: I was in my father's basement. I'm not going to say more.

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Super Bowl National Anthem: Apparently Christina Aguilera will be singing it. I'd like to request that she start now; that way, we know she'll be done in time to keep the kickoff on schedule...

Tracee Hamilton: Oh, nice! I hate those yodeling anthems, I really do.

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Watching the snow in KCMO: I'm sitting at my work desk watching the blizzard start up and wondering if the Wizards could win at Allen Fieldhouse. I wouldn't take bets on that game.

Tracee Hamilton: Me neither.

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The silly season: I dread the two weeks between the end of the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, as they are annually filled with the worst non-stories in all of sportsdom. See, for instance, the flap about injured players in the Packers' team photo and the question of whether R. Goodell has unfriended B. Roethlisberger. As a former sports editor, how did you handle these two weeks? - RHG

Tracee Hamilton: Hey, RHG! Well, that first week you can pretty much skate through. It's this week that was the killer. It's hard to do anything original or interesting but everything is tightly controlled, the interviews are canned ... it's a slog. That said, I'd sure like to see one of these slogs before I die. Hint hint to my editors. :)

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Giving up seats on Metro: 20 years ago my roommate HAD ONLY ONE LEG (she used crutches) and she had to ask people for seats. If that isn't a gimme, I don't know what is. Thank you for your courtesy.

Tracee Hamilton: Good gravy. Well, I don't doubt it.

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It isn't worth the grateful people for the risk of offending the others.: But it IS worth it to the grateful person who will have to stand if you don't offer. Not only will they be grateful but it will renew their faith in humanity and in turn they will have a better day. I'm serious. When I was riding the subway at 8 months pregnant and there were no seats available, it made me so happy when someone gave me their spot. Not only could I rest my aching feet, but it made me smile to know that there are many unselfish people in the world who will do what they can to help others.

Tracee Hamilton: And it makes the person who gave up the seat happy to feel they did something nice for someone. I've been on both ends and I know that's true.

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Duke Women?: Please. . .nobody cares about women's sports! Ok, if something historic happens, like UConn women, then they'll get a mention but other than that they are required to stay unheralded!

Tracee Hamilton: Oh, pooh, some people do care. Don't generalize!

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I like you, too!: I'm old and disabled and you always get my day off to a good start (except when I'm hospitalized and can't read you). You have a nice feel for picking the right mix of questions and usually make me smile. I simply skim over those of no interest. People w ho don't like you or your chats don't have to read them.

Tracee Hamilton: I'm glad you're with us. Stay well!

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Happy St. Bridget's Day!: Today is St. Bridget's Day and the first day of Spring in Ireland. Being as it's the first day of Spring my thoughts turn towards baseball. As they say, hope springs eternal and I'm committed to being optimistic about the Nats' prospects this year. The key, of course, is starting pitching and I think the rotation will out perform expectations and we'll finish above .500 and above the Mets in the NL East! As we say as Gaeilge. . .Le cunamh De!/With God's help!

Tracee Hamilton: I don't know how to say "ditto" in Irish but I'm with you in spirit.

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Speaking of Detroit: In Coach Slouch's Super Bowl viewing guide he mentioned that the Browns, Jaguars, Lions and Texans have never played in the Super Bowl. Which of them might never play in a Super Bowl in my lifetime (44 Bowls and counting)? I'm guessing the Jaguars.

Tracee Hamilton: Hmmmm. I'll go with the Lions, on the theory that I'm actually helping them by picking them.

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If you like smack talk, though, it's good to see women getting into it as well.: But the lack of smack is one reason people LIKE women's bball.

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, that's why I said "IF" you like it. I'm not a huge fan of smack talk myself, nor am I a huge fan of women's basketball, come to that.

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Super Bowl Media Day: Is this Big Ben's day? I'm a little surprised we haven't seen more stories about Big Ben (I'm fighting off a cold and don't have enough excess strength to try to type his last name properly) redeeming his image in the big game. Should we expect a lot of those types of questions today? Or does he have enough sense not to overplay that hand?

Tracee Hamilton: This is media day, so we'll see. I don't know him well enough to get a sense of what he'll be like. I don't think people feel he's redeemed himself just by making it to the Super Bowl or winning the Super Bowl, mainly because he's not been charged, and he's barely been punished.With Vick, the redemption line was clearer because he went to prison and paid a price. Ben Roethlisberger really hasn't paid a price except to his reputation among some people (others really don't care). So I don't think it's a true redemption story. If you don't like him because of past alleged acts, his winning a Super Bowl isn't going to make that go away.

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I've got a towel: But it's not terrible. In fact, it's rather fluffy. Should I bring it to the game?

Tracee Hamilton: No, run over it with the car a few times, really give it that gritty look.

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So ESPN's Tom Jackson has proclaimed, if Aaron Rodgers has a great game, the Packers will win. What kind of prediction is that?: Yeah, it might be lame but I think he's trying to say that if Ben and Aaron both have great games, it's the Packers who are going to win. Now if he had said "whoever scores the most points is going to win" I'm with you on the lame.

Tracee Hamilton: Damn, there goes my prediction for Friday's chat.

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Why does my husband hate the pro bowl?: An ESPN radio guy insisted that it is only the media that hate the pro bowl and normal people love it. Does that mean that my husband's rant against the game as we prepared to watch a movie instead was because a) as publisher of a non-sport hobby magazine, he is still a member of the media or b) we were in our "media room" when he went on his tirade?

Tracee Hamilton: It means your husband is a sane, normal person and you shouldn't listen to ESPN radio. Because that's nuts.

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Make it so: Earl Grey, hot.

Tracee Hamilton: I knew it. I just knew it.

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Football-watching toddlers: They'll probably be looking for it in the next few months, so record the Super Bowl, games on the NFL Network, whatever you can. When they come asking to watch it, you've got it ready to go. Works like a charm for my 3-year-old nephew in Canada, but we record curling for him (seriously, he loves curling).

Tracee Hamilton: Good idea. And who doesn't love curling?

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NHL All-Star weekend: I enjoyed watching it - but then, I've been a Chicago fan forever, which helped; I can see why fans of other teams may not have been as interested. I thought the game itself was one of the less-interesting aspects, compared with the skills competition and fantasy draft, but only because it, uh, seemed to last one period too long. (And what's up with Coach Q pulling the goalie at the end? Didn't he get the memo it was supposed to be a fun game?). I will say I was impressed by the Raleigh fans - they cheered their favorites and seemed to be mostly respectfully quiet for those they didn't support. I had heard that the hockey community there is actually fairly strong, what with the universities and all, even though it doesn't come to mind as one. But if someone wanted an obvious hockey community: Can you imagine if it had been in Philly?

Tracee Hamilton: I thought the atmosphere at the game was fine. They have a good fan base there.

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Redskin Cheerleaders: According to Yahoo Sports they were not one of the top ten squads. Snyder needs to remedy this. I suggest a total revamp of the squad. First requirement "Have you been nominated for a adult video award?" Since going to a Redskin game is no longer an activity for families with children Snyder should take it to the next level.WE can beat the Cowgirl cheerleaders if we try !

Tracee Hamilton: Um, have the seen the dance routines they do? The only thing missing is the pole NOW. I don't think they need to go any further in that direction. Seriously, it's not dancing -- it's gyrating and hair-throwing.Now get off my lawn, you damn kids! :)

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Me, too!: I'm largely bedbound, too, awaiting the birth of our second daughter, hopefully in April. And I miss my 2 year old, who's temporarily staying with her Grandma in New Hampshire. I'm afraid she won't remember what grass looks like by the time she gets back home, as they have not seen any since before Thanksgiving. But we made it through January, and February is a short month, so can spring be far behind?

Tracee Hamilton: We're getting there. And think how green everything will look when your 2-year-old comes back! She'll think she's in Ireland -- or at spring training!

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keeping it upbeat: Pitchers and catchers report two weeks from Thursday, and I have my ST tix for next month. Also, the FL guidebook that I ordered is on the UPS truck and scheduled for delivery today. Wait. Do I sound like that Sprint commercial with the doctor and the injured player? Seriously, I hope that things improve for the initial poster and her husband.

Tracee Hamilton: So you have warmth in your future. Good for you!

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Seats on Metro: When I was a mid-twenties, very healthy, and able bodied young woman, I rode the subway fairly often. Most people never looked twice, but occasionally I would come across gentlemen who believed that they should give up their seats for ladies. I had no need of these seats, as I was perfectly capable of standing. After the first two times saying "No thank you, I'm fine standing" I learned that I didn't have to look at crestfallen faces if I just said, "Yes thank you, that would be lovely" and sat down. It seemed to make them happy to have done a good thing...(and I was on the lookout for pregnant/one-legged/etc. riders to give the seat to in my stead).

Tracee Hamilton: That was the correct and gracious thing to do.

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I'm not a huge fan of smack talk myself: Me neither, although I did used to love "Smoot Smack."

Tracee Hamilton: Oh, yes, funny smack talk I love. The threats leave me cold. But Fred was funny.

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Twins: Congratulations on the impending birth! Sorry about the unpleasant stuff happening now, but at least it should be over and your husband's wrist about fixed by the time they're here? And then you can raise your twins to be super athletes who, if identical, confuse the world by looking the same, or if fraternal confuse the world into stating: "Are they siblings? They don't look the same!"

Tracee Hamilton: I went to school with identical twins and we called them both "Twin." How they aren't completely screwed up now is beyond me.

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Caps: I liked Katie's article a lot, but as a veteran of the days when the Caps strategy was trap-them-and-let-Olie-make-35-saves, I wonder whether the push to be more defense-oriented is a mistake for this squad. Let 'em go! Shoot that biscuit toward the basket!Oh, and I like Irish breakfast tea, but Earl Grey is a good standby too. -- Rico

Tracee Hamilton: Rico, this is the big question and unanswerable until the playoffs. Right now all the losing and lack of scoring is making everyone nervous. And I like Irish breakfast, too.

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With Vick, the redemption line was clearer because he went to prison and paid a price.: Maybe so, and although I'll never like Vick because of what he did I do think he should be left alone since he did do his time. But then he lost major points with me when he complained he wasn't allowed to get a pet dog for another 6 months. He should just keep quiet about wanting a pet dog, and get one when the probationary period is over.

Tracee Hamilton: He might have thought that showing how anxious he was to get a new dog would score him points with some folks. But I don't think so. He shouldn't complain about any term of his probation, I agree.

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Puppy Bowl: Hi Tracee! Do you ever watch the Puppy Bowl? For at least the Kitten Halftime Show?

Tracee Hamilton: I flip over sometimes, but I'm not hooked. This year I'll be watching the game on "tape delay" since I'm covering the Caps that afternoon.

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I'm a twin: The name calling is compensated by the mind-melding powers we share.

Tracee Hamilton: Yes! This is what I envy. I actually wrote "mind melding" last week in my NHL column when talking about the Sedin brothers, but changed it. Should have kept it.

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According to Yahoo Sports they were not one of the top ten squads. Snyder needs to remedy this. : Ha, if Snyder tries to remedy the squad he'll go after former greats. We'll have a squad of 60 year old cheerleaders.

Tracee Hamilton: Oh, that's too funny!

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Giving up seats: When I'm on the bus or train, and I someone who I suspect needs the seat more than I do, I just get quietly leave the seat and let the other person decide whether he or she wants to take it.

Tracee Hamilton: Stop using quiet common sense! You just mess things up for the rest of us! :)

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Super Bowl Stories (lack thereof): Just to prove the point how awful the reporting is this week, last night ESPN ran a story showing that Steeler fans in Pittsburgh like to wave little yellow towells at games! Really?

Tracee Hamilton: Tell me more about these fascinating things!I also heard talk about how this is the first Super Bowl in which neither team has cheerleaders. Spellbinding. Gotta run. Let's talk tomorrow!


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