- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 21, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION

Once again, it’s time to check off some items on my “TIDU List” — Things I Don’t Understand:

• How Steve Williams can complain about the timing of his firing.

He earned an estimated $20 million on Tiger Woods’ bag alone, which would place him around 32nd on the PGA Tour career money list. Yet, Williams had the nerve to whine about being dismissed, saying “I’ve stuck by him through thick and thin” and “I’ve wasted two years of my life, the last two years.”

Please. Elin showed more class, and she was actually aggrieved.

• Why anyone’s surprised that Albert Haynesworth plans to show up.

He’s already in danger of losing $847,000 unless he wins the appeal of last season’s four-game suspension for “conduct detrimental to the club.” There’s no way he’d risk losing more money — while making himself less desirable to interested teams - by failing to report when training camp opens. He’ll probably be on his best behavior.

Not because everyone’s watching, but to drive Mike Shanahan crazy.

• How investing with an AAU guy made sense for college hoops coaches.

About a dozen high-profile coaches did business with David Salinas, who ran the Houston Select summer team and a Ponzi scheme, too. He committed suicide amid a growing federal investigation, and the NCAA is looking for recruiting violations by the coaches, who may have gained an unfair advantage.

Of course they did, unless they also asked Warren Buffett for basketball advice.

• Why Shaquille O’Neal took a shot at Chris Bosh.

O’Neal referred to the Heat’s “Big 2” instead of its “Big 3,” the common nickname for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Bosh. He isn’t as great as James and Wade, but Bosh has averaged 20 points and 9 rebounds through eight NBA seasons and he’s among the league’s best at his position.

But he’s as sensitive as a scratched cornea, which makes him easy pickings.

• How NFL teams and free agents will find the right matches.

There’s never been anything like the fast-paced wheeling and dealing that’s expected once the lockout ends. Teams will tamper and work around the 72-hour window reserved for negotiations with their own free agents, a mere bump in the road that won’t slow the frenzied search for unrestricted players and undrafted rookies afterward.

Mistakes and regrets will abound, but what would you expect? It’s speed-dating.

• Why a USC running back thinks he’s Chris Rock.

Marc Tyler, a redshirt senior, made several knucklehead comments when approached by a TMZ reporter outside a nightclub last week. The sexually suggestive stuff was bad enough, but he also joked (“joked?”) that USC players are paid more than NFL players. Already facing possible discipline for other off-field incidents, Tyler has been suspended for the season opener.

That’ll give him time to work on his next joke: studying. Ha ha.

• How going overseas would work for many NBA players.

The Turkish team that signed New Jersey’s Deron Williams is looking to the L.A. Lakers’ Kobe Bryant. Orlando’s Dwight Howard and New York’s Amare Stoudemire say they’re open to go overseas during the lockout, and a handful of international NBA players might return home, too. Let’s say a total of 15 jumps, the size of an NBA roster.

That bargaining chip is an air ball; work out a deal.

• Why pro-am hoops leagues aren’t on TV.

You can find almost anything on TV and much of it is drivel, not nearly as entertaining as D.C.’s Goodman League, L.A.’s Drew League or N.Y.’s Rucker League. Yes, players rarely see a pass they make and there’s more defense in NBA All-Star Games, but still … there’s a reason everyone oohs and ahhs during playground basketball.

Besides, we might not see NBA players otherwise for a long, long time.

• How Maryland can continue to offer 27 varsity sports.

Reserve funds for the Terps’ athletic budget have dried up, leaving a gaping hole with no easy fix. President Wallace D. Loh has formed a commission to “consider all manners of revenue enhancement and expense reduction.” Cal-Berkeley announced plans last fall to reduce its varsity sports from 29 to 24, for a projected savings of $4 million per year.

It’s going to hurt, but cuts are inevitable.

• Why Jayson Werth is taking so long to get going.

The Nationals’ right-fielder showed signs of breaking out Wednesday, with his first homer since June 16, first double since June 28 and first multihit game since July 2. But not everyone is rooting for a hot streak just yet. A D.C. bar is having “Drink Jayson’s Worth in Beer” on Sunday, which based on his current average is $2.18 for 16 ounces.

Batter up and bottoms up!