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

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Tracee Hamilton
Friday, February 25, 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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The topping on a bad ^*&*&^%$ week: Your Jayhawk gets traded to Atlanta after FTF goes weekly. Better carry an umbrella in case birds fly overhead, go ahead everyone else has ;-)20171

Tracee Hamilton: I know. Good for Kirk, bad for Tracee. :)Sorry for the late start -- could not access the chat software and a bunch of stuff had to be rebooted or something, but let's get going and I'll go long before heading to Fado.

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Shame: It's too bad it took the demise of the daily chat for us to come up with a time and place for the regulars to meet. Even more of a shame from a personal perspective is that I can't make it - I have to give a presentation at noon in Northern Virginia and won't be able to make it. What are the odds we can have another rendezvous soon?

Tracee Hamilton: I think we will try a northern Virginia and a Maryland site, which is fair. We'll wait a bit to see how my "new" life shakes out, but something on the Orange Line seems right.

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Section 405 - is it your editing background?: Could it be that what makes this chat work so well is your background as an editor? Every morning, you do a quick screen of submissions for interesting ideas expressed well.If you allow something more objectionable, you have a reason (eg. the hockey fan who'd expressed happiness about an opponent's injury - and who you persuaded to take it back and apologize).Some folks say that limiting comments to "approved posters" would make things as good as a chat run by an editor. I don't think so. I've posted here enough that regular readers will recognize my pseudonym, yet my "Tracee likes it enough to post it" average is about .400, and that's about right - Tracee's screened you from my submissions that were too "clever", too wordy, me-too-ish, or not interesting enough.That's what a good editor does.See you at Fado's, which nobody mentioned yesterday is at 808 7th Street NW, at the corner of 7th and H, a block north of Verizon Center and Gallery Place metro. I hope someone can bring Sharpies and "Hello my name is" tags ..."Hello! My name is Section 405"

Tracee Hamilton: I'm going to meet Section 405! I feel like I've known you for years from the Nats Journal days. Thanks for passing on the address; good move.I did try to pick a variety of comments -- maybe that's an editor's background. I avoided comments that insulted my co-workers personally; I chose comments that praised or criticized THEIR WORK, which is a totally different thing, I think.And see you at Fado!

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Tracee Hamilton: I'm answering posts, and they aren't showing up on the chat. Boy, what a way to go out. Well, I'll keep plugging away, I guess. Not sure what else to do.

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Where in the world....: Uh, it's almost 9:50 ET and no T-Ham.... This West Coaster is worried. Pats Fan

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, this chat host is worried, too. Sigh.Ah, the stuff just popped up. Thank goodness.

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P.S.: My email to the sports in-box protesting the chat cancellation was rejected. Can you confirm the address? Pats Fan

Tracee Hamilton: sports@washpost.com

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Lady GaGa: Did you enjoy the concert last night?

Tracee Hamilton: hit.

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Local Sports: T-Bone, I love the chats and I will miss them. That said, if the problem is a stagnant number of viewers, I think the problem is that you're not focusing on your audience. I've submitted a number of comments about my local university's sports which always go unanswered. And yet there's 5 or 6 Kansas/K State/NU questions every morning on the chat. We want to hear about UVA, UMD, V Tech, JMU, George Mason, etc. I feel like you answer questions from the same people every chat.

Tracee Hamilton: I can honestly tell you I have never rejected a question about a local university deliberately. I can't remember getting more than a few mentions of Tech, none of U-Va, maybe a couple for JMU, more for GMU lately, etc. I wonder if your questions didn't make it through. I can promise you I didn't say to myself, "we're not talking about Maryland, we're talking about K-State today!"I did reject a series of really nasty emails ABOUT Maryland but I don't think those were yours.

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Your Leaving, Morning Bullets (Wizards, What Wizards?) Column: First let me add my belated expression of sadness and distress at the shutting down of the daily version of FTF. I will look forward to the weekly version. Read your column today on the Bullets (They will never be the Wizards to me) which expresses the feelings of most fans. Why is the team making a bad (planned) season worse than it had to be? I am coming around to the point of view that much of the blame is to be laid at Flip's feet (the players have a share of course). Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, it certainly makes you wonder.

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Where are you? No Twitter here...where are FTFers meeting today?: Hello....come in if you can hear me....Where is our FTF?Help?

Tracee Hamilton: You should have it by now. It was a morning from hell, for sure.

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Walker of Dog: Have fun with the locals today, and please bend an elbow for all us out-of-towners. I'm looking forward to following your weekly chats, but I also put in my two cents with your editor. ---- Now I'm off to the ESPN comment section. If you see any post saying "Brett Favre rules --yur a tool" or "Brett Favre sucks a**, just like your mom", that's me.

Tracee Hamilton: I'm happy to know you're kidding about that. You ARE kidding about that, right?

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NFL Players: I understand Sally's point from her column yesterday and most people would agree but I think the lack of support for the players in the labor dispute points to the horrible job of PR the NFLPA has done and how out of touch with real life we feel that professional athletes have become. Instead of highlighting the struggles of guys like Reid Doughty who got hit with a fine that was a significant percentage of his salary at the time his son was clinging to life, we see them trying to defend the bonuses of guys like Albert Haynesworth when he can't be bothered to show up for work. I can in no way defend Dan Snyder but it seems like every day some player does something that makes them look like spoiled babies and fellow players don't seem to do anything to control them.

Tracee Hamilton: Well, we the media have a share of that blame as well. The Haynesworth blight takes up so much time and energy, and people seem to want to the dirt, so we forget people also like the human interest story. (Or we can't get the players to cooperate; that happens to.)

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B'More Cat and Chat Lover: On the last day of your daily chat, I feel the need to explain how much it has meant to me and why. I feel a kinship with you. First, as a single, middle-aged woman with cats who enjoys sports, books, good food, and good conversation. Second, my parents were both born and raised in Minnesota and as the offspring of such hearty Midwesterners, I completely get your upbringing and values. Third, and most importantly, you, your chat and your devoted contributors have kept me connected to my father, whom I lost two years ago. When you talk about watching TV in the basement with your dad, I fondly remember the Sunday afternoons spent watching golf with my dad in the living room. My dad loved sports. He played high school and college football on the Iron Range of northern Minnesota. He could name the starting lineup of the 1950 Minneapolis Lakers. He played golf when posted in Japan and Orville Moody was the course professional. He coached Little League and recreational softball when posted to Germany. Staying on top of sports news gave us lots in common. I remember us both telling Mom about Shaquille O'Neal's generous offer to pay the funeral expenses of George Mikan, the first "big man" of basketball, when Mikan died in 2005 and his family's financial struggles came to light. My dad was a career DOD employee who loved his country and never wanted to live (permanently) anywhere else. He subscribed to three daily newspapers (Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, Evening Capital) for over 40 years. And every time something big happens in sports, my first thought is still -- what would Dad think? (See Tiger Woods escapades.) I can't ask him anymore, but I can certainly ask you and your followers, which is almost as good. As you can tell, I still miss him terribly. Thank you for helping me stay connected to my dad through sports. (Feel free to edit for length. I trust you.)

Tracee Hamilton: Not editing a thing. What a lovely email. We certainly do have a lot in common, starting with great fathers. Thanks for sharing.

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Can't stop -- Hamiltime!: Tracee, I have had a crazy week so I have missed every one of the chats this week. So I'm submitting this at an insane hour, to get it in. Like everyone else I will be sad when FTF drops to a weekly chat. As others have said, what makes this a great chat is precisely that it isn't for anonymous shouters. (It's clear that if the Post folks want lots of eyeballs, they should just have a daily chat about Sarah Palin, because any article pro or con will evoke 800+ nasty comments from all around the blogosphere.) This chat is for folks who like to gab about Kansas, gluten, Guinness, the world's best spouses, and the way that life is an unending panoply of Seinfeld references... and sports too. In other words, it's a chat for neighbors. I know you, but I also know AHG and Pittsburgh Wife and Handle Pending and many others. This makes for a great water cooler. I think you'll be great at writing columnettes, but I think it's a mistake because it's an attempt to put your round peg into a square hole. You do chats better than anyone else, even Weingarten, and I'm a huge Weingarten junkie. So I can't wait for Thursday. Or whenever. I'm in upstate New York, but I'll hoist a cold one at noon to you and the rest of the FTFers, and I'll know that you're all doing the same. You'll always have a devoted fan who signs himself -- Rico

Tracee Hamilton: Rico -- good to hear from you! Right back at you, and we'll "see" you next Thursday.Meanwhile, the chat keeps popping into existence and disappearing. I am really, really sorry about this. No idea what's going on. Folks are working on it. I'm feverishly answering questions. Argh!

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Chat?: Are you here? It's past ten and no chat? What's happening?

Tracee Hamilton: Never been so frustrated! It's disappearing into the ether, apparently.

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Wizards: Not a question as much as a comment...absolutely agree with your Wizards article in yesterday's issue. What I don't understand is how the organization can tolerate such self absorbed behavior and not bench the jerk. Can you imagine if a Caps player acted out like that!

Tracee Hamilton: I think a lack of discipline is one of their problems.

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'Till next week: I just picked up FTF a few months ago, but it's become one of my daily reads (go Nats!). I've been reading the WaPo chats since they started having them, and read the WaPo online every day. However, I don't need a newspaper cluttering up my recycling bin, so I don't want to subscribe. I'd be happy to (voluntarily) pay the Post something for the entertainment and education, like public radio. Please tell TPTB that they should set up a system through which individuals can make contributions. We'll miss you; until next week!

Tracee Hamilton: Thanks!

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Responses showing up: Here's something weird. They aren't showing up on Internet Explorer but ARE on Firefox. WTH?

Tracee Hamilton: Oh, they're on Firefox? Well, that's something, I guess. I do NOT know what's going on but folks have been alerted.

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Tracee Hamilton: Got this in my email this morning and had to pass it on; apparently she couldn't get through the other day. Thanks!s toured around the worldFrom Vancouver to BeijingIt's Tracee, go T-Ham, yo T-HamAnd the rest can go and playCan't touch thisU can't touch thisU can't touch thisU can't touch thisYeah, U can't touch thisI told you, U can't touch thisToo hype, can't touch thisYo, we outta here, can't touch this

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FTF Friday Meetup: Tracee: Would give anything to meet ya at Fado today, but alas, getting from the PacN.W. to D.C. on short notice wasn't possible. However, I've got some Guinness and as long as it is noon in D.C., I'll be hoisting one at the appointed hour. Keep us updated on Twitter as to where we might look forward to finding our daily fix of Hamiltime. My only hesitation over a Facebook platform is having to surrender my FTF handle in favor of my real name. (Still can't believe the comments people leave on 'celebrity' updates under their real names, and I bear no ill-intentions!!) Cheers to you and the FTF community gathered at noon in person or in spirit. Pats Fan

Tracee Hamilton: You'll be there in spirit, Pats Fan.

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where is the chat?: ?

Tracee Hamilton: Try again, mine is working currently. Enjoy the wacky font sizes! Yeesh. We have had virtually no technical problems in 12 months -- until today. I suspect Kilgore.

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Germantown MD: Well, I will be missing the daily chats. Too bad I cannot make the get together, but I will be watching for the weekly chats and a get together in MD.-bob

Tracee Hamilton: Excellent!

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Last First Things First: <sniff> It's been a fun ride, if nothing else you have given me an appreciation of Sniefield. I meant to make this suggestion early, but work got in the way ... maybe everyone could list their favorite TV show, beverage, and sports team on the way out. Am very sorry I don't live in DC and can't make lunch. I am a West Wing loving, Guinness drinking Royals Fan. Let's Go Royals

Tracee Hamilton: LGR, that would have been great but giving our massive technical difficulties it's probably better that we didn't.

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Kendrick Perkins gone - Why?: Hi, Tracee-So what's going on with the Celtics? Has Danny Ainge concocted a magic elixir that will keep Shaq healthy through June? Will Jermaine O'Neal ever play regularly this year? Jeff Green is a very fine player, but I just don't see what they're up to here. They have not been too worried about rebounding because they shoot at such a high field goal percentage, but when they do get a cold hand, they will get killed on the boards now, I fear. I have heard that they were concerned about resigning Perk after this season, but I am baffled by this move. In the Green we trust, but this was a big surprise to me. What say you?

Tracee Hamilton: You gotta trust Ainge knows what he's doing, right? That said, I'll miss that pair. I'll miss just seeing them standing next to each other. While the Celtics remain No. 1 with me, I will admit the Thunder are probably my choice to root for in the West so at least I can keep up.

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Maryland Fans: When I was editor of my high school newspaper, we had a firm policy that editorials about school spirit were inherently too lame to be newsworthy. Apparently Scott Van Pelt never got my memo. All of this to-do about Maryland student no-shows at the Florida State game is way off the mark. Like it or not, college sports are a business: they provide entertainment and customers - er, students - decide whether or not they want to buy. If the product isn't selling, find out why - don't just point a finger at the customers and tell them they have an obligation. Besides, if this is really an issue about showing pride and supporting the university, where's all the outrage over lack of attendance at Maryland baseball games? Or track meets? Sheesh. - K-Stater (P.S. And I went to grad school at Maryland. P.P.S. This is what happens when you mess with tradition and start switching leagues around. P.P.P.S. Don't think I can make lunch today - sorry! Hope we can do it again sometime!)

Tracee Hamilton: Sorry we won't get to meet this time, K-Stater, but it's inevitable.I do think Maryland is focusing too much on the Duke game and not enough on building a consistent winner, but that is their choice, I guess.

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Old Blue in Exile: As one female sports fan to another, gonna miss ya, sweetie!

Tracee Hamilton: Well, please come back Thursday! I don't want to lose all of you for good!

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Alas poor FTF, I knew you well!: I won't be able to join you at the wake due to work and a recent health issue (who knew the thyroid actually did something) but I wanted to salute the chat's ending appropriately. Local Pat's Fan (oh and congrats to the GMU Patriots, I have to like any team labelled the Patriots, and no I've never heard them referred to as the Pats.)

Tracee Hamilton: Good excuse; health comes first. Take care of that.

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concussions: The other day someone asked if you would let a child play football, knowing what we are now learning. I have to say, it's really scary right now that former NFL and NHL players are in a position of knowing that they're possibly (probably) going to have mental problems a few years down the road, in part because the audience likes to see big hits. I love and grew up playing hockey; if I had a child I wouldn't let her or him play it on ice until they were at least in their teens and able to understand the possible ramifications (so, maybe until in their 30s?). It's just horrible reading about guys like Dave Duerson and Fred McNeill, and seeing what's happening to guys like Savard. I really think there needs to be some very loud audience education as to why people shouldn't cheer for head hits.

Tracee Hamilton: The Duerson situation is just heartbreaking and I am sure a lot of players (and parents) are waiting to see what tests show. We may look back on this as the watershed moment in football.

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The Last First: Good morning, Tracee. So, I'm bummed, and I have been all week. I first started reading and participating in these chats starting with the first one you did. Since then I've missed only about a handful. Over that (Hamil)time, First Things First has managed a beautiful balance between entertaining, thoughtful, and goofy, a fantastic counter to the dour headlines. Put simply, this daily chat made the online Post better and canceling it has made it worse. Even when it can't be "monetized," promoting a forum for civility and wit is never not worth it, and I can't help but feel that the decision to cancel this was a snydery one. All that being said, I came today to praise FTF, not to bury it. Thank you, Miss Hamilton, for taking the time out of your day to do these chats, and thank you for doing 'em so well. And thank you too to all the folks who have posted interesting things for us to read and talk about. And that goes double for the folks I disagreed with. See ya next Thursday, Tracee!

Tracee Hamilton: Very kind; thank you! And yes, see you Thursday!

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That was me: Thanks for posting it.Nothing showed up on my other 'puter with Firefox, but some comments do on this one, fwiw (at 10:10 a.m.). Sorry to miss the get-together. (MC natsfan1a - now back to lurkdom).

Tracee Hamilton: Sorry I won't see you; maybe at FanFest?

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"Dancing With The Stars": Any word on which current or retired athletes might be signing up for the spring season of "Dancing With The Stars"?

Tracee Hamilton: I see Nastia Liukin mentioned here. Along with Faye Dunaway. Hmmmm.

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Tracee Hamilton: Long ago I promised to pass along the date the final season of "Friday Night Lights" will begin. That date is April 15, which should be easy to remember!

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Cold Comfort: I'm been comforting myself this morning about the end of daily FTF by reminding myself that we will still have the weekly chat (until they, G-d forbid, decide to end that). It's not helping too much. One of the truly great things about the daily chat was the ability to talk about sporting events on a daily basis. Mondays seemed so full sometimes because we had 3 days of sports to discuss. I can't imagine how a full week of sports, plus cats, hair products, Seinfeld (not a fan of it) and beer will all fit in!

Tracee Hamilton: My guess is we'll run over. :)

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Starting Wall Over again when John leaves?!: Your column seems to fit hand in hand with John Wall calling out his teammates (as he has good reason to). Can we really expect him to be here after his rookie contract short of paying him in gold bricks?

Tracee Hamilton: If they don't start getting him some help, no way. But they've got some time to do that.

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Before you go: Just a word of thanks for doing this. It's been enjoyable and become a regular part of my day, even at work. This, of course, means I visit the Post's website every day, driving up site traffic, but why beat a horse that's been buried.More important than simply showing up every day to do this, you were kind enough to receive a wide array of comments with class, sensitivity and humor, and responded in kind by sharing more than just your opinions, but a lot of yourself: your life, your background, your likes and dislikes. I may actually visit Kansas some day, just because of you.To me, that's a lot more important than whatever website traffic you produced in the process. The end of that sharing will be the greatest loss.So, have on me today, since I'm at work (my usual order is a bourbon on the rocks, with a splash of water, which might be a bit much for lunch). Meanwhile, since I'm a Vienna resident, maybe I'll see you around and say hello.

Tracee Hamilton: Oh, that would be great. I'm always around Vienna; I'm a shop-where-you-live girl. If you see a KU T-shirt running around, that could be me. :)

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Pittsburgh: I'd love to see Steelers "Mountain Man" Bret Keisel on "Dancing with the Stars," because he can already bust a few dance moves during pre-game warm-ups. He just shaved his iconic beard for charity last night, but I assume he could re-grow it if it helped the show!

Tracee Hamilton: Ratings through the roof!

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Glass half full...?: Does the end of FTF mean more appearances on Mr. Tony?

Tracee Hamilton: I'd like that. I miss Tony and Nigel and Jeanne and Gary and ... everyone.

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Nosy Parker: For Tracee, B'More Cat and Chat Lover, and any other ailurophiles and bibliophiles in the chatting audience:

Tracee Hamilton: Looks familiar.And again: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I'm near the end and it's just gripping and sad and heartening and educational. How great is that?

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Pittsburgh Wife: Tracee, I will miss this highlight of my day. I love to start off with you & the whole gang as I sit sipping my Cherry Coke Zero. You are a joy to chat with. I wish you all of the best & I will be there on Thursdays. Go Pitt.

Tracee Hamilton: PW, it was always great to hear from you, to get offers to "use" PH for nefarious purposes or to kidnap him. You have a great sense of humor and thank god for that.

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Why didn't we think of this earlier?: The obvious solution to this problem: threaten to "go country" on your boss if he doesn't continue the daily chats? I'm sure you can get some referrals...

Tracee Hamilton: I haven't gone country in a long time, but I'll bet it'll come back quick.

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Also: Thanks for hosting these chats! Regarding the option to "comment" on articles - One of the things I like best about the chats is that generally people either know what they're talking about, or ask questions because they want to know. You can't get that in the comments sections. (When I particularly need a break from work, sometimes I skim them for amusement, until I wind up hitting a really bad batch. Comments could be useful if we could flag them as "needing fact-checking," but I think the process really only removes comments flagged as spam, given the large amounts of comments filled with obscenities, hate speech, personal attacks, etc. that remain on site.)

Tracee Hamilton: I'm the same; I try to read comments on the Bog, for instance, and I'll be rolling along and then POW! Some nasty attack. Just. Not. Worth. It.

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UNC Student Attendance: They're having their own problems in Chapel Hill. Because student attendance is down, UNC has cut the number of tickets available to students by 34 percent. Maybe it's time for Maryland to do this?

Tracee Hamilton: If they aren't showing up there ... Is it too much TV? Easier to stay all toasty in your PJs with a pizza than venture out? I don't know; I don't think I missed a game in college. One season as a student fan. One season as a mascot. Three seasons on press row. And we weren't that good when I was in school. Not as good as we are now, certainly. But kids have so many other options now, too.

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A little customer service tip: Didn't you say earlier in the week that your boss was out of town and wasn't able to respond to emails to sports@washpost.com, until he got back into the office? Well, in the immortals of Colonel Potter on M*A*S*H, "horsehockey!" Webmail.Or have another staffer respond, even just to say we got your email and will provide you with an appropriate response as soon as we can.If you don't want to keep losing readers/visitors, stepping up the customer service might help. Meanwhile, you, we love...

Tracee Hamilton: I just didn't want his Blackberry constantly beeping when he's trying to get time off. Trust me, he earned it. That wasn't his request; that was me, trying to be thoughtful.

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Thursdays: I'm here on Thursdays! Try the Veal!

Tracee Hamilton: I just flew in from Kansas and boy are my arms tired!

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Mascot?: You were the Jayhawk?

Tracee Hamilton: Baby Jay, one year.

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re: "...short of paying [Wall] in gold bricks?": They tried that with Fat Albert. Didn't work out so well.BTW, "Californication," Dos Equis Amber, and any team with a giant Husky head on the shorts. We'll miss you, kiddo. BHitW

Tracee Hamilton: Good list. Did you check out "Episodes" on Showtime? I kind of loved it.

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Weird moment today: A promo ad on ESPN 980...for their Orioles broadcasts. I'm actually a secondary O's fan and I know well the history of support for the O's in DC, but it still seemed weird. Yet another sign that the Nats still have work to do to own this town.BTW, favorite part of the spot? "The O's have never looked better."Um, yeaaaahhhhh.....

Tracee Hamilton: Everyone should be a baseball team in February -- you know, when people see you and say "You have NEVER looked better! Did you lose weight? Have you been working out?" Everyone needs a dose of fantasy, not just baseball teams.

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DWTS: I stopped watching it a few seasons ago, but methinks they need better representation of baseball players. A lithe and graceful shortstop would seem to be a natural, although a DH or catcher could be amusing.(and not sure that work schedule will permit fanfest)

Tracee Hamilton: I'm assuming the filming interferes with the baseball season, which as you know seems to run about 13 months now.

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Baby Jay, one year: Got a photo you could post? Puh-leeeese?

Tracee Hamilton: Oh, I have a great one, but not here. (I'm at work.) Maybe tournament time. But remind me!

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I just figured it out!: FTF is the Seinfeld of chats! We kind of meet up, talk about nothing in particular--but in great detail--and know both too much and too little about each other. BHitW

Tracee Hamilton: Yes! And you can be Kramer, flying through the doorway, if you want. Actually, we have a lot of Kramers. :)

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Pittsburgh Wife: I'll leave you today with something gorgeous to think about. Matt Bomer! (He's almost as gorgeous as PH, but I don't share him!)

Tracee Hamilton: Ah, Matt Bomer. (Pause for quick but elaborate "Officer and a Gentleman"-style fantasy.)

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RE: some player does something that makes them look like spoiled babies...: I supposed I don't disagree with that statement, but I'm siding more with the players in this dispute. The owners are acting like spoiled babies themselves. Greedy spoiled babies. They want to take money from the players to build more luxurious stadiums that don't really benefit anyone. The players get money for a very limited period of time, and suffer lots of lasting injuries. The owners get to own the team and make money from it for as long as they want. If he owners want more luxurious stadiums, they should foot the bill themselves.

Tracee Hamilton: I think the chatter meant that we hear more about the Haynesworths of the world that we do about the guys who don't make nearly as much money and have the same problems as we do. There are players whose kids have disabilities, autism, all kinds of things; they struggle like we do. And some don't make nearly the money we imagine they do. For every AH there are a lot of good guys. At least I think that was the point.

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Favorite TV show, beverage, and sports team : Just in case you find the time:"Frazier," Jack Daniel's (on the rocks, splash of water), the BALTIMORE Colts...

Tracee Hamilton: Another good list!

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Dancing with the baseball stars: Can't you just see John Kruk prancing around the stage? Or Big Papi?

Tracee Hamilton: Oh Lord. Yes, they need a big guy with nimble feet.

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RE "better representation of baseball players": Couldn't they get a retired player who's not too decrepit yet?

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, they could. Andy Pettitte?

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One Final Tease of T-Ham: "Pause for quick but elaborate "Officer and a Gentleman"-style fantasy." You want to do pushups while Lou Gossett, Jr. yells at you?

Tracee Hamilton: No, while Matt Bomer yells at me!

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Lapsed Kansan: Thanks for the fun chats all this time. Because of your pride of being from Kansas, I kinda rediscovered my own Kansas roots (left in '91) and even brought cookies to my office in honor of Kansas Day in January. I doctored up a flower-shape cookie cutter to look like a sunflower, and had one of the shape of the USA and put an icing dot in the middle for my geographically-challenged staff. You do your homies proud!

Tracee Hamilton: I think I have an extra Kansas-shaped cutter if you'd like it for next year. I'm completely serious. I have something like 125 cookie cutters.

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Handle Pending: Sigh, final daily chat day, sigh. And it was so nice of the technology gods to decide to go nuts on you today. Geeesh! Anyway thanks for the daily fix and I do look forward to the weekly chat. And you just about made me spit out my cereal this morning with the "someone named Baltche" line in you column. Between the Natinals and this I just wonder about the quality control at these "professional" franchises. Way to go Traece (intentional)!

Tracee Hamilton: HP, if I can make you spit, I know I've done my job. :)

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All's Well That Ends Well?: Or, to quote another Shakespearian line, "If done, t'were best done quickly." I add my tears to the multitude of lachrymose tributes to your skill at conducting these soon-to-end daily chats, T-Ham, but so that you have some topical queries on which to offer responses I will include a question: How many boxes of his old baseball cards did Boz take with him to spring training THIS year?

Tracee Hamilton: Ha! I'd ask Kilgore but he won't answer my emails! Save that one for Boz at his new time on Monday. (Don't forget, Boz chats Monday starting next week!)

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West Coast Pats Fan: As a former Hoya I miss the WaPo terribly and consequently check in on line daily with your chat transcript being FIRST (chalk up one more in the "gateway to the site" column). Reading this week that the daily is canceled just piled on to my woes (cat had surgery, among other catastrophes). I will miss the great chatters here and the ability to respond/carry on a topic the following day. I will be with you all in spirit today at the wake, wish I could be there in person! Tracy

Tracee Hamilton: Oy, cat surgery. Never a good time. Hope kitty is doing better soon!

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Caps Ticket Prices?: If Caps fans don't like the Caps high, rising ticket prices, there's one thing they can do about it....stop going to the games. Not as some sort of silly protest, but as a simple economic signal that, given their lack of success in the playoffs, those prices aren't worth it. As it is, the Caps are selling out games at these high prices...and given the market for tickets, could probably support higher prices. I wish I could just walk up and buy $10 student tickets like I could a few years ago, but I'd rather have a successful, popular team that excites the town to the point that they sell out every game even at higher prices. I don't understand why sports franchises are expected NOT to charge regular market prices for their product...and frankly it annoys me that sports fans act like buying a luxury item like a sports ticket (which, lets face it, it is, it is definitely not a necessity) at a below market price is some kind of Constitutional right, and consider an owner who charges more or less what the market will bear is some kind of an ogre...especially when you can just watch it on TV.

Tracee Hamilton: You are right; it's the only real control a fan has over his or her teams. You vote with your feet -- or really, your butt, but that sounds wrong.

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Wizards: What were people expecting of them this year? Now that one ownership in town realized that being "in limbo", ie maybe good enough to make the playoffs, but not good enough to contend, wasn't good enough, they are taking their lumps, figuring out what they got, and moving forward. It is not going to look pretty, but the Wizards were in the second round once - is that what people really want around here? The Redskins need to finally man up and do the same thing, but people want that "glimmer of hope" of "making the playoffs", but never being a true, real good to great team.

Tracee Hamilton: My minimum expectation was that they would try to win. Not win, but at least try. Lately, that's not happening. I think I'm pretty realistic about their talent level but quitting, lackadaisical play ... that's unacceptable no matter what level you're playing.

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SW Pennsylvania: You wrote: "I have something like 125 cookie cutters."Do you have a groundhog cookie cutter from Punxsutawney, PA.? They sell them in 2 sizes!

Tracee Hamilton: NO! Do you know how hard it is for me to find new shapes! Oh, that's good to know. Plus, it means Feb. 2 cookies.

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Lapsed Kansan: Absolutely I would LOVE a Kansas-shaped cookie cutter. I considered doing one free-hand but the Missouri River came out looking like the Amazon post baking!

Tracee Hamilton: Email me at The Post and I'll either give you my extra or pick up one for you in Lindsborg in May. That's my cookie cutter supplier. They're like my crack.

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RE "better representation of baseball players" Couldn't they get a retired player who's not too decrepit yet?: Today, Rickey Henderson is the greatest dancer of ALL TIME!

Tracee Hamilton: Rickey would be perfect. He has the ego and the grace. I've told the "stepping on Rickey Henderson's toes" story on this chat before, so I'll spare you that, but he set the stolen base record AFTER that, so he should be fine.

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Costanza - Lord of the Idiots: That's how I feel in this cube.You will be missed, will try to attend the wake when it comes to VA.By then, maybe I will be able to remove the tape from the Redskins Slippers.

Tracee Hamilton: You should show up in the Redskins slippers. That would be awesome.

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Favorites: Star Trek TNG, Sam Adams Summer Ale (Jack & Diet Coke a close second), Pats/Sox/Celtics/Bruins (don't make me choose!) Local Pat's Fan

Tracee Hamilton: There's a perfect acceptable theme there.

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Cookie Cutters: I, too, have a Kansas-shaped cookie cutter (not surprisingly). A couple of years ago, thought, it somehow got lost. I checked on the vast internet and had no trouble finding a site that had Kansas - and many other state shapes. Out of curiousity, I looked up Colorado and, yes, they sold a square cookie cutter for $13.95. Still curious, I looked up Wyoming. Yep - for an additional $13.95 . . . -K-Stater

Tracee Hamilton: Good Lord, $13.95 for a cookie cutter!? Nope, place your orders via email; I can beat that price, at least for Kansas!

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DWTS: How about Ozzie Smith? We already KNOW he can do backflips!

Tracee Hamilton: Ooooh, he could be the aging contestant plus the athletic contestant and he'd be great.

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"aging contestant" : Hey, Ozzie Smith's younger than I am!!!

Tracee Hamilton: "Aging" on that show is not aging in real life. You're a mere child!

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Pittsburgh Wife: Modern Family, Cherry Coke Zero &/or Luzianne iced tea, Steelers, Pitt Panthers, Nationals, Caps & Pens (tie)

Tracee Hamilton: We could definitely watch the tube together.

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Favorites: Sopranos - Dog Fish Head 60-Minute IPA - you need to ask? - K-Stater (Trying to get a hat trick on the last day.) (Also - I didn't spend 13.95. Found another source for a $1.50. Bought several, if you ever need one.)

Tracee Hamilton: Ha! Thanks!

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Clarification: So this chat is not ending for good, but rather limited to once a week? Which day, I'm a newcomer and may go through withdrawal (Joking)

Tracee Hamilton: Right now, it's planned for the former Boswell slot at 11 a.m. on Thursdays. But we're meeting this afternoon and if that changes, well, stay tuned. It'll always be keyed off the sports front.Okay, I think I'd better wrap up. Hope to see some of you at Fado in an hour. For the rest, let's talk ... Thursday. (Gosh, who am I going to talk Oscars with on Monday??) Have a great weekend and thanks for all your support.


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