- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2011

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

• Why John Beck embarked on a media tour.

The Redskins’ would-be starting QB hasn’t been shy in expressing his confidence - or his gratitude Donovan McNabb didn’t work out. Beck should believe in himself and be happy for a shot, but he’s yapping too much for someone with four NFL starts.

Or else he knows the truth and he’s auditioning for his next career.

• How the NFL players can beat the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Momentum from initial victories has swung to the owners’ side after this week’s ruling by the 8th Circuit, a bench that makes the tea party look liberal. The same court will make another ruling June 3, probably resulting in another sack.

At that point it’ll be fourth-and-long for the players: “Punt team!”

• Why more owners aren’t like Ted Leonsis.

The Capitals/Wizards owner gave a long interview Thursday on the Caps’ website. “If I did [hire and fire the coaches], we’d all be in trouble,” he said. “Because what do I know?” He also gave a long radio interview when the Wizards unveiled new uniforms. And he’s open on his popular blog, “Ted’s Take.”

His teams might disappear, but he’s present and accounted for.

• How LeBron James can engender so much hate.

The origin is unclear. The decision to leave his hometown Cavaliers (via free agency)? The decision to join Dwyane Wade on South Beach (and chase titles)? The decision to conduct “The Decision” (and raise $3 million for charity)?” Even a combination doesn’t justify the vitriol outside of Ohio.

It’s enough to make you pull for him, out of spite.

• Why the No.1 pick would want to play in Cleveland.

Nick Gilbert looks like a nice kid, and maybe his dad, Dan Gilbert, had a bad day with that juvenile rant when LeBron left. But Kyrie Irving can’t look forward to playing for those unbalanced fans and a childish owner who personally guaranteed the Cavs will win a title before James.

Irving might want to pull a John Elway/Steve Francis/Eli Manning.

• How Livan Hernandez can get less support.

The Nationals’ ageless wonder took another loss Thursday, 1-0 against the Mets. It was his fourth consecutive loss and third consecutive start in which the team was blanked. The Nats scored one run in the first game of the streak and were shut out in his season-opening start.

Thank goodness he relieved the pressure with a two-out single in the sixth inning Thursday to break up a no-hitter.

• Why Kareem Abdul-Jabbar publicly lobbied for a statue.

There’s no denying he’s as worthy as Jerry West and Magic Johnson, who already have statues in front of Staples Center. The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, selected to a record 19 All-Star teams, Abdul-Jabbar won five titles with the Lakers and revolutionized basketball with his “sky hook” and dunks.

But regardless of how much he deserves a statue, asking for one is tacky.

• How drafting three players can help the Wizards.

Falling to No. 6 wasn’t the worst scenario — they could’ve dropped to No. 7. But their chances of landing an impact player are diminished. If GM Ernie Grunfeld can’t move up, he should get creative with the 6th, 18th and 34th picks and add a proven veteran.

The Wizards need to lower their knucklehead ratio as much as upgrade their talent.

• Why wearing a plays wristband is a big deal.

If Donovan McNabb was concerned about his image more than helping the team, he’d lose some of my respect. If coaches Mike and Kyle Shanahan were concerned about placing blame more than looking in the mirror, they’d lose some of my respect. Neither side looks good if the nixing-wristband report is true.

This case of “irreconcilable differences” is first on the docket once the lockout ends.

• How rushing Bryce Harper benefits him or the Nationals.

We don’t like waiting for anything in today’s culture, especially prodigiously talented prospects who draw early comparisons to Alex Rodriguez and Chipper Jones. But even though fans salivate at the thought of Harper at Nationals Park, GM Mike Rizzo is correct to keep him in the minors this year. He still has much to learn on defense and the bases.

For now, we’re stuck with the Natinals — no “O.”