- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 9, 2012

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

How Seattle became so desperate at wide receiver.

Terrell Owens might have tread left on his tires at 38. He has missed a full season and had major knee surgery since his last NFL game, but had 72 catches and nine TDs in 2010. Though his finances are a mess, he remains in awesome shape physically

Still, signing a punch line says a lot about the Seahawks and it’s nothing to brag about.

Why Bryce Harper’s mentality is a concern.

He argued with an ump Wednesday and shattered a bat on home plate Sunday. He slammed a bat off the wall and into his face in May and snapped a bat in July. Helmets have been abused. Batting .176 in a woeful second-half slump, he wasn’t in the lineup Thursday. But he’s only 19, so no worries.

Harper will become more comfortable with imperfection as he grows older.

How Gabby Douglas could be more inspiring.

Disney movie heroines have stories more believable than Douglas’s tale. We’d roll our eyes at the screen if a 14-year-old African-American girl moved in with a family she didn’t know, in a community where few people looked like her, and won Olympic gold two years later. It would be too sappy if it wasn’t real life.

Forget about the demographics in gymnastics; Douglas expanded the realm of possibility.

Why the NFL hired a female fill-in official.

Shannon Eastin made history Thursday in the Packers-Chargers game. Too bad some folks consider her a scab for betraying the locked-out, regular officials. “It was an opportunity for me to get in and to show that I am capable,” Eastin said in a conference call. I don’t blame Eastin for taking her shot.

But the NFL should’ve made sure its pioneer was the real thing.

How Bobby Petrino will be sidelined long.

The former Arkansas coach was emotional in his first interview since being ousted for hiring a mistress. “How could I put what we had in jeopardy?” he asked ESPN. “My actions, my behavior — for months it was just wrong.” He lost his dream job and $21 million in potential earnings.

His wife might dump him, too, but his .743 winning percentage makes him irresistible to many.

Why John Wall’s playoff talk is a joke.

The first reaction is to scoff, but training with Team USA renewed Wall’s confidence. He likes the Wizards’ playoff chances and he hasn’t been shy in saying so, most recently on Jim Rome’s show during which he praised the additions of Nene, Trevor Ariza, Emeka Okafor and Bradley Beal.

Don’t laugh; you have to conceive and believe before you achieve. Ask the Nats.

How Randy Edsall’s makeover will work.

The Maryland football coach has concluded his goodwill tour. The Terrapins have a new media relations staff. There even are new uniform combinations to choose from. But it’s hard to envision Edsall regaining his balance after being on the wrong foot throughout his inaugural season.

He said the lesson is “stick to your guns.” Expect another self-inflicted wound momentarily.

Why tape-delayed Olympics are a big deal.

NBC has been slammed for not airing some events until prime time, even though they ended hours earlier. But the strategy, which led to the #NBCFail hashtag, is paying off for the network. The overall prime-time viewership average is the best for a non-U.S. Olympics since the 1976 Montreal Games.

Besides, most folks still watch anyway, despite knowing the results. #ArgumentFail.

How the Nats can let Adam LaRoche go.

Few if any observers expected Washington to pick up the first baseman’s option for 2013 when he signed last year. Now, GM Mike Rizzo looks like a genius for including that clause (and passing on Prince Fielder). LaRoche’s stellar defense and sweet stroke make him a bargain at $10 million next season if both sides agree.

That could delay Tyler Moore’s path to a full-time job, but he’ll get over it.

Why RG3 can’t follow Cam Newton’s lead.

Newton had the most productive season ever for an NFL rookie quarterback. Fellow Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III is unlikely to replicate those numbers — 4,051 yards and 21 TDs passing, 706 yards and 14 TDs rushing — but at least it’s possible. If RG3 comes close this season he’ll be a huge success.

If he doesn’t, 2013 would be just fine or else.

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