- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 23, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

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

• How copious bowl games are a good thing.

In the midst of 33 games in 24 days, ESPN stretches the definition of “Bowl Week” and our limit for mediocrity. A dozen teams have .500 records and another — Georgia Tech — is 6-7. Fans can consume 14 consecutive hours of games Dec. 29, including one at Yankee Stadium, where the forecast calls for 30 degrees and possibly snow.

The “less is more” concept should apply to bowl season.

• Why Nick Saban would stay at Alabama.

He’s in overtime with the Crimson Tide, finishing his sixth season after no more than five anywhere else. There’s no debate about his success as Alabama attempts to win its third national title in four seasons. At 61 years old and the state’s most powerful figure, Saban could quell his wanderlust and remain for good.

But the pressure at Alabama and the NFL challenge create a strong push-pull effect.

• How Adam LaRoche gets a third year.

The Nationals have all the leverage in dealing with the gold-gloving, silver-slugging first baseman. They’re not desperate, with Michael Morse/Tyler Moore ready to fill in, while LaRoche’s prospective bidders are reluctant to relinquish a first-round pick in signing the 33-year-old. The Nats have no incentive to offer LaRoche the three-year deal he wants, even if he finds it elsewhere.

Unfortunately, LaRoche picked a bad time for a career year.

• Why Tim Tebow doesn’t switch positions already.

The fact that he enamors NFL owners more than NFL coaches should be a clue. Only his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars reportedly are interested in Tebow, because owner Shad Khan needs to sell tickets. But Tebow is too inaccurate to play QB, too slow to play RB and too unathletic to play TE.

If he’s truly a team player, Tebow will line up where he belongs: fullback or H-back.

• How Alex Len became the potential No. 1 pick.

We knew he was athletic when he dunked after performing a cartwheel upon his Midnight Madness introduction last season. But Maryland’s 7-1 center has improved tremendously since then, as evidenced by his dominance against Kentucky and potential No. 1 pick Noel Nerlens. Len is listed at No. 2 on ESPN’s latest NBA draft projection.

At Len’s current rate of development, he’ll be a Wizard before you know it.

• Why anyone expects Peter Angelos to be reasonable.

The Orioles owner knows the Nationals are being hosed in their broadcast deal with MASN. He knows conditions have changed and the market has exploded since the Expos relocated to D.C. as the Nats. He’s know the “reset” formula is outdated and doesn’t come close to fair compensation for Washington.

But he also knows MLB and the Nats signed the deal, giving him cover legally if not morally.

• How Steve Nash can solve the Lakers’ woes.

The 38-year-old point guard provided a spark Saturday in his first game since Halloween, with 12 points and nine assists. But, as expected, Nash’s primary influence was on offense. Golden State had 61 points at halftime and was shooting 51 percent from the floor before losing in overtime.

The problem is defense (L.A. is third in field goals allowed per game), which Nash won’t help.

• Why the Wizards are so uncompetitive at times.

They have lost consistently but usually try hard. Then there are instances like the back-to-back against Detroit, which had just four wins more than Washington before Friday. The Wizards were short-handed, but that’s no excuse for trailing by 34 points in a 100-68 loss, or 54-35 at halftime in the next night’s loss.

They can’t afford to be short on tenacity when they’re so deficient in talent.

• How Calvin Johnson can be defended.

Wide receivers aren’t supposed to stand 6-foot-5, weigh 236 pounds and run the 40 in 4.32 seconds. But that’s why “Megatron” now holds the NFL record for receiving yards in a season. He caught 11 passes Saturday for 225 yards, giving him 1,892 on the season. “His best is yet to come,” Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said.

And defensive backs’ best — increasingly — isn’t good enough to do anything about it.

• Why Suzy Favor Hamilton talked so much.

The former track star and U.S. Olympian led a shocking double life as a high-end escort earning $600 per hour. Her fascinating story, revealed by TheSmokingGun.com, shows the depths of secrecy some folks live with. But she brought the expose on herself by sharing too many personal details with her clients.

She would not have been discovered if she kept quiet; I guess keeping her mouth shut was too hard.