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

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Tracee Hamilton
Monday, February 7, 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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As a fan of all things Detwah: What did you think of the Chrysler spot with Eminem? Pretty effective, at least until the car stalls out while you're driving home from the dealer (actual Dodge experience of mine).

Tracee Hamilton: Best commercial of the night, IMHO. But I certainly have a bias. I've also always driven American, and never been disappointed. But that's just me.And good morning, everyone! Let's get started.

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Wilkes-Barre Farm Team: Good morning,Can I remind the smug Caps fans that their team basically beat the Pens' Wilkes-Barre farm team? Wow, what an accomplishment---beating a rival with a few key players out and acting like it was amazing. That effort will never get you a SC. Not that it was before. Shout out to Wallace for pounding Steckel. I've been hoping for that one since that "unintentional" hit on Crosby. Thanks and have a great Monday.

Tracee Hamilton: Man, these grapes are sour.

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The Super Bowl: Didn't Green Bay lead the league in points off turnovers? Even if they didn't, they were certainly among the top teams in the NFL in that statistic. So, should we be surprised that the Packers scored 21 points off the two picks and the fumble?

Tracee Hamilton: I think we can be a little surprised that Roethlisberger threw two picks. I was just happy that the Steelers kept it from being yet another boring SB.

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Jerry Jones Stadium (or whatever they call it): Glad to see that his edifice to excessiveness had so many problems from lack of adequate hot water in the home team locker room, to the 1250 fans who couldn't use their temporary seats, to the cold, snowy and icy weather. Couldn't happen to a better place. And the NFL charging what I think was $200 to sit/stand in the parking lot and watch the game on a big screen, boy those fans looked cold. I bet Danny Snyder is seriously thinking about doing this as well at FedUp Field during regular season games. (G)

Tracee Hamilton: not ready? It's not like they had to host any playoff games there.

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Stupor Bowl MVP: One of the best parts of the TV coverage - well, there has to be one, doesn't there? - is that viewers get to cast a vote for MVP of the game. I voted for Shaun Suisham. Ah, missing field goals: sweet memories.

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, Suisham looked familiar. I was happy that Randle El got into the mix. I always liked him.

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Yes, Aguilara's lyric malfunction was bad, but...: ...the sound mixing during the halftime show was atrocious. I applaud the live singing by the Black-eyed Peas, which sounded best when their mics were on. But I could barely hear the instruments. The Peas aren't a great acapella group. And then the lights for the "V" in the stage went out, so it read "LOI E." The other visual effects were interesting, but the sound...Oy! I feel bad for the tech crew, because I'm guessing some people lost their jobs.

Tracee Hamilton: I thought it was an incredibly weak halftime show. The Peas are clearly a "studio" group, and that's fine. But they just STOOD there. I found it very boring, personally, and you are right, the sound quality was very, very bad. Because the roof was closed, perhaps? Surely they planned for that.

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Has someone, anyone, pulled Danny aside and said, "Dude, c'mon!"?: Tracee, top of the morning to you, first and foremost! Okay, has anyone ever pulled Dan-o-meter aside and said something like, "Dude, c'mon. Stop it. Just stop it! What you do doesn't work. You run your businesses into the ground, you have destroyed a once-proud football franchise, you routinely alienate your current players to court (and overpay) has-been stars, and now you're suing a journalist because an article he wrote painted you in an unflattering light."? He seriously needs one long and protracted noogie. Can YOU talk to him, Tracee?

Tracee Hamilton: I've been trying to talk to him for a long time. You can't talk to someone if that person won't talk to you. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and have a conversation with him before I wrote about him. Silly me.

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I've got sunshine on a cloudy day: Caps looked good yesterday, and the Packers won. And I was able to enjoy a fine Leinenkugel bock during Super Bowl 45 (note Arabic numerals). Even the Jayhawks' loss on Saturday isn't dampening my mood much. Did you get to see any of the Super Bowl? Do you have favorite plays or, I suppose, commercials? Did you enjoy any particular beverages? -- Rico

Tracee Hamilton: Jayhawks' loss? Or loss to the Jayhawks? Because the Jayhawks won, my friend. Oh yes they did. (Sorry, AHG and RHG.) I got home about 20 minutes before kickoff so I got to see the whole thing and was very proud I managed to stay awake. I didn't have a favorite play; just thought it was a good, interesting game for four quarters.Commercial-wise, I liked the Detroit/Eminem, Lil' Darth Vader, the Bridgestone Beaver. I think those were my top three but I'm probably forgetting something. Alas, no beverages. I had intended to try my Gough Ale but I'm still just medicated enough for that to be unwise. Can't shake whatever the heck I have.

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"I've also always driven American, and never been disappointed. But that's just me.": Yes. Yes, it is.

Tracee Hamilton: Now now.

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Worse performance: Christina or the Black Eyed Peas: I give the nod to the BEP b/c we had to listen to 15+ minutes of their garbage instead of 1:54.03 or 1:53.7 or whatever the varioius betting sites are reporting.

Tracee Hamilton: I guess I agree. Her performance wasn't dreadful, although I hate that kind of mutating of the anthem. But to forget the words? Shame on you. Shame shame shame.

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Did you like seeing Rosanne getting knocked to her keister?: I thought it was funny, though somehow disturbing. I just want to add that it's official: just now, I have entered middle age. Literally just 4 seconds ago, when I typed the word "keister." What do I do now, Tracee? Is it all downhill? Next thing I know, I'll be lamenting those "Beatles" with their roll and rock music, and all those new-fangled electronic typewriters all the college children talk about so much.

Tracee Hamilton: First, you go tell those kids to get off your damn lawn. And yes, I thought that Snickers commercial was great, too. Should have made my short list.

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Cheese with that whine?: For the Pens fan who has nothing better to do than post a question after his other team loses the Super Bowl last night.

Tracee Hamilton: I know, right? Hey, the Pens were short-handed. But a minor league team? Nice.

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Happy Post-Superbowl! : Good mornin Tracee, hope you had a great Superbowl. Commericials were funny & what a win for the Packers! Sorry to see our National Anthem being blotched though. Great Superbowl overall though! :)

Tracee Hamilton: Agreed. I never think the halftime shows live up to the hype, though. Not sure why I don't flip to the Puppy Bowl instead. Just forgot.

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Suisham's Miss: How far did that miss by ? It was an unusually bad kick.

Tracee Hamilton: It couldn't have been farther off if he'd aimed it that way.

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Pittsburgh husband: Did he make it to Mass on Sunday? The rest of the stuff obviously worked (did they take a break from the pre-Superbowl stuff to watch hockey too?) so I wonder how closely the instructions from Pittsburgh wife were followed.

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, if we don't hear from PW I'm going to have a sleepless night.

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U-G-L-Y: Tracee, my two teams (the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Pittsburgh Steelers) both ended their seasons not with a bang, but with a whimper. I would have felt better after each loss if I had felt that each of my teams had played well but lost to an opponent who played better. Instead, both limped through poorly played games with missed chances, meaning that I have an off-season of hand wringing to look forward to. At least the sun is shining today...the sun is shining right? It's hard to tell from my cube. -RHG

Tracee Hamilton: The sun IS shining, RHG, at least here in Vienna. Buck up, my friend.

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Don't you find yourself saying "Jerruh," and not "Jerry"?: When they flash a picture of Jerry Jones, almost unconsciously, I find myself saying, "Jerruh." After all, he's NOT Jerry Jones, he's simply "Jerruh." It might just be me, though.

Tracee Hamilton: I find myself saying, "Plastic surgery!" Not sure why.

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Bad quarterback, bad!: The Packers did a nice job in the role of avenging angel--making three quarterbacks with atrocious off-field behavior feel crappy this morning: Michael Vick (whose last play of this season was an interception to a Packer), Big Ben, and Brett.

Tracee Hamilton: The Packers: America's Conscience.

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You must have silently backed the Steelers: Packer fans everywhere thank you for your silent pick. That and our amazing team secured the Super Bowl win.

Tracee Hamilton: The truth may now be told: Had I been forced to make a pick, I would have picked the Packers. The jinx is not 100 percent.

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How to Spend Super Bowl Sunday: Drove the wife to Ikea in Miami, ate the meatball platter with fries and gravy and an extra side of lingonberries, carried her stuff for an hour through the Marketplace while she bought candles 'n' whatnot, picked the friend up at the airport (by the way, for pure multicultural flavor and people sweating in many tongues, DC in August has nothing on Miami International), drove home and got to the other friends' house just in time to hear someone torture a cat while images appropriate to the National Anthem showed onscreen. I am The Best Husband in the World.

Tracee Hamilton: All hail the BHitW.

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C.A.P.S. CAPS CAPS CAPS: Good Morning Tracee,I've been reading your discussions for over a year and enjoy them very much. However, I must say some "talk" last week of trading Ovechkin, Green, etc... was just too funny of a read. From what I have been observing the last months or so from this team I must say that this team has a much greater chance to make a deep push for the Cup. They are not outscoring their opponents by 5 or 6 goals a game. They have commited to playing solid defense and are playing for each other as oppose to playing for themselves. GREAT GREAT win versus the PENS yesterday afternoon. The Phone Booth was extremely loud! Boy, yesterday was a bad bad day in PITT... Also, I think Matt Hendricks has earned himself a contract from the Caps. Be it another 2 years or so but he earned it. I love his grit and his will to do WHATEVER it takes to get the job done. P.S. The hit on Ovie by Cookie was DIRTY! Let's GO CAPS!!!

Tracee Hamilton: I'm not in favor of trading Ovie, but I find it an intriguing idea for discussion. Green either, poor guy. That was a very fun game yesterday, and yes, the hit on Ovie was dirty. I expect their next meeting to be ... lively. hope Matt Hendricks sticks around.

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NHL Penguin bias: Hi Tracee, I used to laugh when i heard my fellow Caps fans complain about the Penguin bias, but I laugh no more. During the break between the 1st and 2nd periods NBC showed a nice piece about how the Penguins were playing inspired hockey without Crosby and Malkin. During the intermission between the 2nd and 3rd periods the topic was"Whats wrong with Caps and Ovechkin isn't as quick as he used to and appears to have lost a step". When Matt Cooke had an obvious knee on knee hit on Ovechkin that drew a penalty, the announcers mentioned that Ovechkin had a similar hit on a Penguin player 2 years ago in the playoffs, thereby excusing Cooke. But the worst of it all was the after game interview when a Cap was asked, "Crosby and Malkin are out and you only won 3-0, what's the problem?" I thought my brain would explode with that one!

Tracee Hamilton: Oh my, I'm sorry I missed that question. I should have taped the game since I hear a lot about the NBC coverage. Just forgot, as usual. I'm sure NBC was bitter that it had a national game and neither of those guys was playing. That's the way it goes.

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Our National Anthem: I knew the national anthem sounded a little different last night. I just couldn't understand why I felt that way 'til it was all over the news this morning. (The melody was a bit off too, but who's listening?) Do you have a favorite SB national anthem rendition? Personally, I don't think anyone has topped Whitney Houston's version.

Tracee Hamilton: Caleb Green is my current favorite. He's military; he does the Caps very often, he's been at the Skins games. He's got a booming voice, sings in perfect pitch, and sings it the way it was written. I actually get excited when he's introduced as the anthem singer. Caleb Green rocks.

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Was that you?: Hi Tracee, Was that you sitting next to Neuvi in the locker room? I saw the post game interviews and thought that was our wonderful host Tracee:)

Tracee Hamilton: Oh God, don't tell me I was on TV. I had him all to myself for about one minute and it was grand.

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Boudreau: "He knows damn well what he did." : Instead of a total focus on some out-of-town football game could we also talk about the game played yesterday by a local team against visitors from Pittsburgh. Is Penguin Matt Cooke a dirty player? Well, when was the last time you saw Nicky Backstrom throw the first punch, eh? The refs didn't do a thing to either Ovechkin or Backstrom for dropping their gloves but will the league office do anything to Cooke for what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to injure Ovechkin during yesterday's game? Please discuss.

Tracee Hamilton: Boudreau was awesome talking about Cooke. Hendricks said it was a dirty play and he had a look in his eye that I liked. The league office will certainly look at the play. Whether he'll be punished or not -- I don't have a good feel for that. But with Cooke's history, you'd think so.

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Re: Jayhawks: In Sunday's Post Puzzler (so much harder than the Post Magazine Sunday Crossword), one clue was "2008 March Madness Winner." It was, of course, Jayhawks. I thought of you, Tracee! I only had to look up two clues on the internet. I'm proud of myself. Do you do the Puzzler?

Tracee Hamilton: I don't, but if they're going to put Jayhawks in it I will! Thanks for the tip.

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Anthem singers: Agree with you on Caleb Green. Bob McDonald, the Caps' other anthem singer, is also good. I think part of what makes the military guys good is that they sing it at the correct tempo. None of this drawn-out dirge-style garbage that's become all the rage. The majority of anthem singers go way too slowly.

Tracee Hamilton: Amen.

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I've always bought american cars: My first was my 1978 Pinto which wasn't too bad except for the time I turned the key and the starter caused a fire. And it did only last 50K miles. But I kept buying american. Honda/Acura made in Marysville, OH.

Tracee Hamilton: Dodge Colt, Chevy Blazer, Ford Probe and Ford Explorer and have liked them all.I also have a friend who works at that Marysville plant.

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Pittsburgh Wife: Yes, he made it to Mass. It's not Kosher (yes, I know. . .) to pray for your team to win, though. He loved the lobster, but the prime rib was a touch rare for his taste! They brought him back safe and sound.I got the cutest picture of my nephew, my niece, and their 6 day old son in their Steelers clothes (yes, little Jack too!) waiting for the game to begin!

Tracee Hamilton: PW is still among us, and seems fine. Excellent!I agree about praying for team wins. In general I try not to ask for anything; there are a lot of people in the world who need divine intervention a lot more than me.

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Most Groan-worthy: Watching Cameron Diaz feed Alex Rodriguez popcorn in the luxury box seats. Eww. And why invite A-Rod to a football game in Texas? Is that a "thanks" for helping the Rangers to get to the World Series last year?

Tracee Hamilton: A-Rod is still letting other people put stuff in his body. Remember the cousin with the syringe?

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Brett Who?: Can we stop talking about this guy now?

Tracee Hamilton: We weren't. Why'd you bring him up? :)

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Super Bowl numbering: I know Friday's column about Super Bowl numbering was a joke and I got a kick out of it. After perusing the chat transcript, it appears that some people took it seriously! For the humor-challenged folks out there, the reason the NFL won't use the calendar year when referring to the Super Bowl is that the game corresponds to the previous year's season (example: the 2011 Super Bowl concludes the 2010 NFL season).

Tracee Hamilton: Oh, you wouldn't believe the angry emails. Seriously. Spent yesterday trying to answer them. Some I just gave up on. I am AMAZED.

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National Anthem: Why, for the love of God, can they not just hire someone who will sing the friggin' song, and not put on some sort of horrifying strip club version? Next year they should just use a HS chorus! Enough!

Tracee Hamilton: Yes yes yes yes yes yes.

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Hey I'm the Best Husband in the World: I folded all the laundry and then took my kids to the Super Bowl party while my wife took a nap and took herself to her favorite Italian restaurant, which was deserted!

Tracee Hamilton: Another candidate. Although I hope you fold the laundry more than once a year, dude. I'm sure you do.

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Elton John: Had to love the commercial with the gunslinger leading all in EJ's 'Tiny Dancer'. Brilliant. And Darth Vader was very cute. Kids and babies (E-trade) are usually winners in commercials. Too many violent commercials, I thought, and I still can't figure out what Go Daddy (porn site?) does or how they make enough money to buy air time each year.

Tracee Hamilton: I have always found the Go Daddy commercials disturbing and confusing. They are an internet domain name site, I believe. I did like "Tiny Dancer" one too.

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nd the NFL charging what I think was $200 to sit/stand in the parking lot and watch the game on a big screen, boy those fans looked cold.: Did someone force them to buy those tickets and stand out in the cold?

Tracee Hamilton: No, and that's the amazing part.

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I'm just not sure almonds would be the first thing I'd reach for: I keep seeing these ads for almonds. They say, "enjoy a handful after an intense workout to replenish!" I don't know about you, or my esteemed fellow FTFers, but I'm just not thinking "almonds" after exercising. Am I missing something?

Tracee Hamilton: I like a good almond, roasted with a little sea salt, and no flavoring. But after exercise? Eh. I don't feel like a snack of any kind after exercise.

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Went to the Wizards game Saturday night: They trailed the Hawks by 7 the whole game, and in the 4th quarter every Wizard tried to morph into Michael Jordan and win the game single-handedly. What a mess! I got some appreciation for Kirk Hinrich, who was under my radar.

Tracee Hamilton: Kirk's good people. He's never been on a team that's remotely as bad as this one and I think he's in shock about half the time.

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Someone's pouring poison into Danny's ear: A Wormtongue whispering "Are you going to take that from the City Paper tabloid? Man up, Danie!l"

Tracee Hamilton: I don't think he has a Wormtongue, actually, since Swanson left. I think he's making these poor decisions all on his own.

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A-Rod and Cameron: Ms. H: As a board-ceritified dirty old man, I go on record to state that Ms. Diaz may put anything in my body she wants to. (AHG)

Tracee Hamilton: I'm skeezed out and laughing at the same time.

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Thanks a _M: Can't get the bar over the "M" to designate a million, but thanks a million for your reporting, and that you come out here *every* morning to talk to us.Thought you might be interested in Super Bowl reactions of folks who's sports dedication lies somewhere else. This is "Section 405", dedicated to the Nationals, and I went over to watch the game with a couple who are longstanding friends, and who woke up at 5:30 AM to get to a bar that was showing the Glasgow Ranges vs Celtic in the Premiere Football (eg. soccer) League at 7 AM. They were PO'd that it ended in a tie (Celtic's goalie made many, many saves), and she (my friend S.) said she couldn't root for anyone that was wearing green. Her husband, J, was neutral throughout the evening.I started mildly in favor of Green Bay. By the end of the first half, S. was rooting for Green Bay as well.... J. stayed neutral all night, but having known both for 30 years (heck, I'd introduced them), I wasn't surprised.BTW, I was mildly for GB, but wanted a close game, Thanks, GB & Steelers for providing it,Pitchers & catchers report in, like, 2 weeks!Sect 405

Tracee Hamilton: Good report, Section 405. Two weeks, my friend. Heck, maybe less. Where's my non-Roman calendar?

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Post-game Violence: I had friends visiting from Scandinavia during one of UMD's post-season runs into the NCAA tournament, when their fans destroyed much of College Park (burning matresses, etc.) and a different group during last year's Duke/UMD game. Each time it was like, but your team won! And the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on its front page this morning says, almost wistfully, fans are very subdued. No looting or rioting, as there was 2 years ago when they were victorious. This drives me nuts. What's your take on this? Is it limited to certain cities or cultures (young)? I was goimg tp say it's probably too cold in GB to riot, but Pittsburgh is not exactly Honolulu.

Tracee Hamilton: I can't explain why some places do this and some don't. The mattress-burnings in College Park were a complete surprise to me. I was in Detroit for the post-1984 riots and can't explain that, either. Why extreme happiness should lead to destruction is beyond me.

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SB held interest for 4 quarters, can't say the same for the ads: As a 1 share owner of the World Champions, I declare today that everyone can have the rest of the day off to celebrate the win (starting after you finish your work today). Overall the ads left a lot to be desired. A few were good, a lot were average and many were 'what a waste of $3M'. While none of the ads will cause me to go out and buy the product, a lot will cause me to boycott their brand.

Tracee Hamilton: I, too, thought the overall crop was mediocre but there were a few gems. The e-Trade ads weren't up to their usual standard, I thought, and they're letting the baby "age," which is a little off-putting.

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SB officials: A lot of good non-calls during the game. That face mask penalty on one punt return was probably the worst call of the night. While the excessive celebrating penalty was by the rules, its the SB for goodness sake, allow some leeway on rules interpretation. I was also surprised as to the overall lack of trash talking and such during the game.

Tracee Hamilton: The facemask call was bad and I thought the celebration call was, too. This wasn't a guy making a cell phone call in the end zone, for heaven's sake. It's the Super Bowl. He should be excited.

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Super Bowl Entertainment: Can we never have Christina Aguilera or the Black Eyed Peas performing ever again. They were both awful.

Tracee Hamilton: I think that won't be a problem.

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MVP Malarkey: Am I the only one who thinks Greg Jennings got shafted for MVP?

Tracee Hamilton: Hmmmm. Let's see. I thought Rodgers deserved it; anyone on the Jennings bandwagon?

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Super Bowl: Was that you on WTOP yesterday afternoon, or another female colleague (I caught it in the middle of the conversation)? One of you told us that the game would be fairly high-scoring, that there would be a defensive score, and that the Packers would probably win.So, what numbers should we play today?

Tracee Hamilton: If the person was right, it was me. If not, it was someone else.No, it wasn't me. Not sure who it was.

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Will everyone stop getting sick?: Good column yesterday, Tracee. I particularly liked, "He may have opened a savings account between periods."I think the question nobody is asking is: Why are the goalies getting sick? Neuvirth was out with a flu earlier this season to a point where Holtby was left to dry in a blowout game (vs the Rangers me think) because Neuvirth was not able to go, Varlomov wasn't feeling feel enough to play yesterday and apparently Neuvirth wasn't so hot either (or he was in both sense of the word). I understand that stress levels run high especially for goalies competing for one slot, you're constantly in contact with many different people, and your schedule is not stable, but I don't think Neuvirth has felt well one way or another since New Year's. Can you shed some light on this?

Tracee Hamilton: There have been bugs running through that room for about two months. There can't be a better place to grow something nasty than a hockey locker room. It's funky, to put it mildly. Why Varly and Neuvirth in particular I don't know.

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Greg Jennings for MVP: Given that he was the only Packer who could consistently catch the damn ball, yes I think he's due some serious MVP consideration.

Tracee Hamilton: Some Jennings support.

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Dan Snyder Lawsuit: Have you been asked to not address this any more in your chats?

Tracee Hamilton: Nope.

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SuperBowl ads: The ads were aimed at 18 to 20 year old males. Horrible for real adults. The game itself was fantastic, especially since the team I rooted for won! That 4th quarter 3rd down where Aaron threw down the field in what I thought was a lost cause, was the throw of the day for me. Amazing!

Tracee Hamilton: That's true, and the movie trailers were all aimed at that demographic too, except maybe Pirates. That one was right in my wheelhouse. The rest of those movies, you couldn't pay me to see. Advertisers, there are women watching the Super Bowl. Really.

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MVP Jennings?: You can make a case for Jennings, but he wasn't the game-changer. (Neither was that dude from K-State.) Rodgers was the right choice. He carried the team, even though it was the defense that got the turnovers and field position he needed; Rodgers still put the ball in the end zone. They got it right.

Tracee Hamilton: This was my feeling as well. Jennings had a great game, though, no doubt.

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Pitchers and catchers...: The first teams respond in VI days, and the Nats report to Viera in IX days. Woot!

Tracee Hamilton: Oh dear, now I'll need to use my Google machine to translate.

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Sorry, Jennings fans: The SBMVP award is better known as the "Winning Team's QB Award" unless there is an OBVIOUS better candidate. Or your QB is named Dilfer.

Tracee Hamilton: Also pretty true.

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I think the Black Eyed Peas did good for and NFL entertaing: How many PG rated bands are out there? Justin Bieber is next. Oddly enough, my tweener cousin knew where the BEP had changed the cuss words.

Tracee Hamilton: Agree about Bieber. Did anyone see him "fill in" for Jon Stewart the other night? The kid actually went up in my estimation because he kind of "got it." I will also say he was pretty good in his guest role on "CSI". Creepy but good.

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I'm home with sick toddler: Hate to call in the day after the Superbowl. Everyone at work knows I'm a huge football fan. I'm going to get h*ll tomorrow. I didn't even get to watch except the last 2 minutes since I had to spend all evening trying to get aforementioned sick toddler to sleep.

Tracee Hamilton: I'd rather be at work than have that duty. Godspeed.And I'd better wrap this up. Thanks, everyone, for joining me this morning. Let's talk tomorrow!


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