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

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Tracee Hamilton
Friday, February 11, 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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National Anthem: I forget in which baseball as-told-to bio I read this story, but the player was at some event over the winter with his 3-year-old where they played the anthem, and the three year old shouted out "Daddy! They're playing the baseball song!"The first pitchers and catchers report in 3 days.Section 405

Tracee Hamilton: Section 405 is getting excited. Aren't we all? Soon Boz will be in Viera with Kilgore. Boz and Svrluga roomed together one year down there, or Boz stayed in Svrluga's apartment, and Boz showed up with part of his baseball card collection and showed them all to Svrluga -- all night, I think. That might have been the Nats' first spring training. He was excited too. Who wasn't!?And good morning, everyone. Happy Friday -- let's get going!

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Snyder lawsuit: Is there a WCP legal defense fund? I'm broke and unemployed, but I'd like to make a modest contribution.

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, there is. According to Dan Steinberg, they've raised $18,000 already.

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Rental car meets technology wall: Just read the Thursday chat transcript. In re. your dismay upon receipt of a non-electric rental model, I submit the following from the Be Careful What You Wish For Department: On a recent trip to California, my husband and I received a rental that was all-electronic, including the ignition. Took us quite a while to figure out how to start it, with nobody around to help, of course. And there was no manual in the glove box, of course. Does this mean that we both hit the technology wall simultaneously? He's normally a very tech-savvy guy (me, not so much). Oops, gotta go -- (shouting) hey you kids, get off my lawn!!

Tracee Hamilton: Ha! I had no electrics; you had too many. I forgot to mention that there was a strip of tape across the trunk saying "do not open." It was on from the factory but I didn't know that so I didn't use the trunk. (I only had the car two days.) The guy at the counter said, "oh, you should have torn that off." Yes, certainly I should have known that. Seriously unhappy with Hertz. And you damn kids turn down that bass!

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Slap Shot movie: A few days ago I asked you whether the Post has any plans to commemorate the 24th anniversary of Slap Shot. Another questioner noted I was off by 10 years (it'll be the 34th anniversary). Please accept my apologies. I did not intend to use supply-side arithmetic. I should have used real-world arithmetic.

Tracee Hamilton: You should have said it was released XXXIV years ago, so we'd all understand. :)

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Jerry Sloan's Retirement: It's sad I didn't care much for the Utah Jazz but Jerry Sloan was a great coach. All of remaining old school coaches are retiring (or in Phil Jackson's case about to retire), in part due to the changing climate of the NBA. All of the preening stars such as Deron Williams and Lebron James need to respect their coaches and run the plays that veteran coaches such as Sloan set up, not bitch and complain and run their own plays. I hope that it is true that Sloan just felt it was time or I say shame on Williams and the Utah Jazz front office, for pushing out such a gritty smart coach such as Sloan. As an aside why does Wise always use the term "knucklehead" when talking about the NBA? I bet when you talk to Wise he works that word into every conversation.

Tracee Hamilton: Agree about Sloan, although that was an amazing run for any coach in any professional sport.Wise uses the word "knucklehead"? I'm not sure I've heard that. I've heard Wilbon use it.

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Snyder, PTI, and Around the Horn: I don't watch everyday, so maybe I missed it, but did either of the ESPN shows, "Around the Horn" or "Pardon the Interruption" discuss the situation involving Dan Snyder and the Washington City Paper?

Tracee Hamilton: I don't watch "Around the Horn," usually, but one of the boys referenced the lawsuit yesterday or the day before. I don't think it's been a "reported item" on the right-hand list or anything; if it was I missed it. Then again, I'm not sure it's a national story, really. I don't know; trying to think of the interest outside our area. What do you think?

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Stras is Throwing!!: Good to hear that our boy started to throw! Everyone keep your fingers crossed that that arm stays attached and in 1 piece!! Pitchers and catchers report in a few short days! Amen! - Ashburn Fan

Tracee Hamilton: I forgot to mention last week that my fav Josh Wilkie was re-signed to a minor league deal. I really want this to be the year Josh comes up. Nats fans would love him.

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Billionaires arguing with millionaires: I have to say I'm by and large with the players on this one. Their earnings window is pretty small and it seems to me like the owners are really being greedy. According to Mark Maske this morning, the owners "maintain that the sport's economic model is broken and must be fixed to give owners incentives to re-invest in the product and continue to increase revenues." Who are they kidding? They're making money hand over fist, the Super Bowl ratings were through the roof and you have at least two franchises valued at over $1 billion -- and they both had embarrassingly bad records last year. If the owners want any sympathy from the public they need to try a different tactic than they're not making enough money (he says, sitting here in a $250 Redskins jersey).

Tracee Hamilton: The idea that the owners need incentive to re-invest IN THEIR OWN BUSINESS is kind of crazy, isn't it? Am I missing something? The NFL is minting money and there's plenty for everyone. And all these rich people (on both sides) will fight for the last penny. Maybe that's why they're rich.

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TV Time: Hey Tracee, are you still watching "White Collar"? I have really enjoyed recent eps. Although the only problem is that watching Matt Bomer is a little like looking directly at the sun -- it's almost too much for the eyes to take, sometimes. And the man can sing as well. Sheesh.

Tracee Hamilton: I was thinking the same thing. Watched it on DVR yesterday and when he sang with Dionne Warwick I thought, "Is there nothing this guy can't do?" But I liked last week's ep better, when he made the fake ruby and had to remove his shirt to do it. I say, make a fake ruby every week! Why not!?A-Rod would probably NOT be embarrassed to have Matt Bomer feed him popcorn, that's how good-looking he is. :)

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World News: I don't know, if you ask me that Mubarak guy is acting kinda Snydery.

Tracee Hamilton: HA! Snydery really has a chance of catching on, I think.

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Slapshot: Do Kilgore, Svrluga and Sheinen remind you of the Hanson brothers? Also, what's the best line from Slapshot that can be quoted on a family friendly website? I would say, inarguably, "Puttin on the foil."

Tracee Hamilton: They are the Hanson brothers of sports writing, certainly. I'll throw the question about the line out to the entire group.

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Never Another Squire?: Tracee - In FTF yesterday you mentioned that there probably would never be another Squire type owner. It left me a bit troubled. Sure big corporations and big-ex corporation big-whigs like Dan Snyder maybe are the wave of the future - but doesn't that line of thinking also leave the current ownership group off the hook a bit? For ever Dan Synder there has to be a Cooke or Abe Pollin out there who has made their fortune and are ready to give back. Maybe they don't offer top dollar for the team/franchise - but on the flip side maybe the current owners that are approving the deal should push back and say that we need to really consider what is best for the league and its fans. Thoughts?

Tracee Hamilton: It's a nice thought but they'll continue to pick the richest guy in the room, I'm afraid. What I meant by "no more Squires" is really that there aren't guys any more with that personality and just huge presence and the ability to both meddle and make the right decisions. He was just a unique personality.

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18 game season: In a vacuum I'd be against it, but as a season ticket holder who has to buy two full-price preseason game tickets, I'd rather get something for my money. Better yet, just have two preseason games. The NCAA seems to get by without a preseason.

Tracee Hamilton: I could see having two preseason games, 16 regular season games, two bye weeks, and expand the roster to, say, 55 or 56. But I'm afraid 18 games is pretty much a done deal. The players union will agree to that to get some economic concessions, is my bet.

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Rookie Salary Cap: Ms. T-Ham,Considering how different the NFL is from even the best NCAA conferences and how many highly-touted rookies flame out, I have no problem at all with a rookie salary cap. If I were the union, though, I'd require the owners to spend the saved money on veterans, especially on players with a couple years of experience who were drafted lowly but turn out to be so much better than the busts at the top of the draft board. Careers are short so players shouldn't have to wait too long for a big contract if they deserve it.

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, the trouble with contracts is, you are now getting paid for what you've already done, which is why players (not just the NFL) get big contracts at what seems like advanced ages. And if you get hurt before you reach that plateau, you never get that payday. Which is why your idea would be fine with me. Not sure how you change that system.

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Burke, VA: Hammer-Time:Are you allowed back on the mother's milk of stout again?

Tracee Hamilton: Yup. Ain't it great? I've been going into restaurants the past month, saying, "Bring me some gluten, with a side of gluten, and ale, my good man!" I've been thrown out of a lot of places but seriously consuming too much gluten. Sadly, some things no longer taste good. Maybe not gluten-y enough.

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Are you a weird ice cream flavor gal?: I saw a show (I think it was "Bizarre Foods") featuring weird ice cream, such as brocolli, rose (yes, the flower!), onion, chili, pit viper, carrot, paper, potato, alligator, and the like. Would you even consider eating any of these? In short, are you a weird ice cream gal?

Tracee Hamilton: Absolutely not. I'm a traditionalist. If given a choice, BR Pralines 'n' Cream is good enough for me. (Although I'd give anything to have my grandpa's homemade ice cream just one more time, at the farm. Sigh.)

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Love and Money: Florists, chocolateirs, and day spa owners take over the ads on sports stations around Valentine's Day. The message is "Buy her something (expensive) you know she will like or end up in the doghouse." But can love be bought with money? Let's ask our panel of experts, Lebron James, Alex Rodriguez, and Albert Haynesworth... The Airless Cubicle

Tracee Hamilton: Do women really like getting roses ordered off the internet? I wonder about that.And what a panel of experts that is! Wonder how Cameron Diaz feels about A-Rod's anger at her feeding him popcorn. About 80 million men would let her feed them cyanide capsules, but A-Rod is upset? Cameron, you can so do better than that!

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What would be an elegant adjective for "misenthropic curmudgeon"?: I desperately want to incorporate all or part of "B-Svrl" in this adjective, but for now, may I simply use "Svrluga-ey?" For example, one could say, "MAN, I got up on the wrong side of the bed today. I'm feeling all Svrluga-ey." It's not fun (or easy) to write or say, but until I come up with something better, do you think B-Svrl would mind?

Tracee Hamilton: Svrluga would probably be touched.

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Would you, under any fathomable circumstance, allow anyone to feed you on national television?: Tracee, are there ANY circumstances under which you would allow a trusted person to feed you popcorn (or anything) on national tv? I think I would let Scarlett Johannsen do it, but even then I would feel skeezed out and mortified.

Tracee Hamilton: Matt Bomer. Matt Bomer. Matt Bomer.Truthfully, I think feeding people is kind of stupid, but I wouldn't be so ungentlemanly or unladylike as to complain publicly about it and make the person doing the feeding feel stupid.

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Biebering my son: T-Ham, not that there is anything wrong with this, and I'm not here to hate, as the children say, but my son, who is 3, recently saw Justin Bieber on TV, and announced for the next 2 days that he wanted to be a girl, "just like Justin." I'm just sayin...

Tracee Hamilton: That's pretty funny. Do people keep baby books anymore, writing down the funny things there kids say and do, or is that so last century?

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BWITW: I think I won the best wife in the world prize on Superbowl Sunday. My husband asked me to go with him to a Superbowl Party at his fire company (he's a volunteer firefighter). I was already going to another party on Sunday, which I left EARLY to go home and cook pork tenderloin sandwiches with caramelized onions for his party, went to his party, (and also missed another event that evening that I really wanted to attend), and hung out watching football with him and his buddies. Because I am a Good Wife, I was happy to do it, but I want my sacrifices to be noted. :) Thank you.

Tracee Hamilton: I stopped reading at "pork tenderloin sandwiches with carmelized onions." Oh my. Is there a more perfect food than the onion? No, there is not. And yes, you were a very Good Wife.

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National Anthem: One of my favorite National Anthem renditions was a trumpet player in Dallas who would play it solo before Cowboys games. Always sent chills up my spine.

Tracee Hamilton: Instrumental is sometimes great.

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Matt Bomer: Hey! Hands off our Matt Bomer - he is assigned to our gay team, although I guess anyone can look and admire.

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, we've discussed this. I don't suffer the delusion we're going to wind up together or anything. Just let me look, okay?

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Snyder's Meddling: If Snyder could do something right once in awhile, his meddling wouldn't be so bad. But this guy clearly knows nothing about football and hasn't learned anything in X years.

Tracee Hamilton: Nice use of the numerals!What do we think about moving training camp to GMU, by the way?

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Columnists/Critics: I was a columnist in college and I was struck by how often I felt compelled to be critical, rather than heap praise or kudos. I then noticed that most columns I see now are critical, too. Of course, it could be that we choose to write about the things we feel strongest about, and those often tend to be things we react against negatively. Do you find that you're compelled to look around for a problem and then write about how bad that person/thing is and what they're doing wrong? Or is it just my outlook seeing the glass half empty?

Tracee Hamilton: You know, I've never quantified it. I'd have to look at a list. My last two have been one each, I guess. I don't sit down and think, "what can I criticize today?" but I don't want to write "game" columns all the time, either. I guess I save my most critical work for Roman numerals. :)

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Best wife: post that recipe for the pork tenderloin/onion sandwiches!

Tracee Hamilton: Great idea! You have all weekend to dig it up. Post it Monday.

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Redskin's Training Camp at GMU: Why would GMU who has worked so hard on building their image as one of the better U''s East of the Mississippi besmerch this reputation by having the worst run professional team on the planet hold training camp on its campus? Redskins are a joke and I am sure Dan Snyder will find a way to litigate GMU!

Tracee Hamilton: So I guess you're against it.

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Nats Pitching: Any chance of the Nats getting that coveted starter? I've heard rumblings about Liriano which would be great!

Tracee Hamilton: That talk seems to be out there. We'll see if it gets done. All depends on the asking price.

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National Anthem: Best National Anthem: Marvin Gaye at the NBA All star game in the 80's! - Ashburn Fan

Tracee Hamilton: I think so too. There should be a compilation CD of some of the greats. There probably is.

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National Anthem: I know this will appear to be blasphemy, for most but I am all for doing away with the NA at the beginning of sporting events, at this point. Why do we, as a nation, feel compelled to have to play at every one? Seriously. Tradition has become a poor excuse to continue, me thinks.

Tracee Hamilton: I don't know, I guess my argument would be that we have so little in common with each other any more, so few shared experiences, but everyone stands up and joins together for 90 seconds -- or four minutes, if you've got a bad one -- and it seems like a small amount of time to give to something we can all agree on. Because the rest of the time we can't seem to agree on anything.

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NCAA Preseason: Of course they have a pre-season; that's when they play the teams that they beat by 50 points (basketball) or 20 points (football). Maryland just finished its preseason the other day with its wipeout of Longwood--it was just badly scheduled. I too could stare at Matt Bomer for hours. And hours. And hours. No--must think of Zimm!

Tracee Hamilton: Well, that's a true point. (Zimm's going to be very upset with you.)

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Redskins to GMU?: What is it about GMU that attracts the local pro-teams? Do they really ahve better facilities the Verizon Center and Redskins Park?!

Tracee Hamilton: Some coaches want to take their teams out of their usual haunts and put them all together somewhere different. Some coaches don't care. It's not a quality of facilities thing. The Redskins need a massive upgrade of their facility, though. No question about that.

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Beaver...what?!: Per yesterday's comment about Harry Beaver, gynecologist -- at least he didn't have an office off of the infamous I-75 exit in Troy, MI, that hooks to Big Beaver Road. (Btw, I always end up using Hertz when I fly into DTW. I hate Hertz. Hate them with the heat of a thousand suns.)

Tracee Hamilton: Ah, yes, Big Beaver Road. Been there many times. Remember the Guindon cartoon where the motorist stops and asks directions of the giant beaver?

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Very, Very Good Wife: T-Ham, in your response to the good wife who made pork tenderloin sandwiches with caramelized onions, you capitalized "Good Wife" but not "very." Based on the menu alone you should have capitalized, underlined, bolded and lit fireworks around the word very. Just an editorial suggestion. PS: Now that you're back on the gluten wagon, try the Wee Heavy Scottish-style ale at the Mad Fox brewpub in Falls Church. YUM! (My "YUM!" should also be underlined, bolded and feature lit fireworks)

Tracee Hamilton: Thanks for the suggestion, and yes, Very Good Wife!

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National Anthem: I'll vote for Christian Kane at the Cubs game a couple of years ago. But Lea Michele should sing America the Beautiful too. (She did at the Super Bowl). By the way, they'd make a cute couple--and she's short enough for him!

Tracee Hamilton: Thanks, she must have been on before I got home. I love her; so talented. And him. Oy.

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To all the ladies and gentlemen out there!: To each of you who wishes to participate, kindly name a celeb upon whom you have a desperate crush. For me, it's Krystin Ritter.

Tracee Hamilton: Let's do this next week, since we're out of time. Remind me.

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Redskins in Ashburn: I live in Ashburn and they can leave! They clog up traffic and charge STEEP prices to watch a PRACTICE! Go to GMU and don't come back! Get off my lawn! -Ashburn fan

Tracee Hamilton: I live very close to GMU so I'm already sold. Last year, I left my car running all day at training camp. In my defense, I was on a lot of drugs. But still.

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Redskin's Training Camp at GMU: As alumni I can use the facilties at the main campus. I dare Snyder and his minions deny me access to any GMU facility while his team is holding trianing camp there. I am also a graduate of GMU Law.GMU 80

Tracee Hamilton: It would be a very Snydery thing to do.

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Dr Beaver: i dated his daughter in the early 80's She sued to work at Evan's in Fairfax City

Tracee Hamilton: Dr. Beaver is famous. I'm glad to know it.

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Your Columns: I enjoy reading your work. Your analysis is always sharp and you provide some humor as well! Keep up the good work!

Tracee Hamilton: Well, thank you! That's much appreciated.And a great way to end the chat for the day. Have a good weekend, everyone. I assume we'll all be glued to the television Sunday to see what happens with Les Boulez, right? Let's talk Monday. (And Very Good Wife, you have homework -- that recipe!)


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