- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 11, 2012


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

Why Davey Johnson already decided to retire after the 2013 season.

There was no need to announce that next year would be his last as Washington Nationals manager. GM Mike Rizzo certainly shouldn’t be in a rush to push Johnson into a consultant role, and Johnson might feel like returning at the end of next year’s campaign. They should’ve characterized 2014 as “open.”

In any case, the stage is set for a storybook ending.

How five games were long enough for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Petulant toddlers exhibit more patience than the Lakers showed with coach Mike Brown. The team still was adjusting to newcomers Dwight Howard (still recovering from back surgery) and Steve Nash. The new offense was slow to take hold, though you could argue it never belonged in the first place.

That’s it! Taking the ball and decisions out of Nash’s hands is a fireable offense.

Why Comcast Center can’t resemble Barclays Center this season.

College basketball was held at the Brooklyn Nets’ arena for the first time Friday, but you couldn’t tell based on the Maryland-Kentucky game. There was a touch of March in the energy and enthusiasm from a sellout crowd of 17,732 fans, most rooting wildly for the Terps.

Morehead State won’t generate the same fervor Monday, but more is in store this year.

How any team can slow Oregon’s quick-strike attack.

Eyes blink slower than this no-huddle offense puts points on the board. It happened again Saturday, with three TDs scored in less than seven minutes to rout Cal 59-17. Oregon averages 54.8 points, despite coach Chip Kelly routinely removing his offensive starters in the second half.

Now that Alabama has been exposed by Texas A&M, the new No. 1 team walks and quacks like you-know-whats.

Why the Washington Wizards haven’t won a single game.

Granted, the opponents in three games (Boston twice and Indiana) were playoff teams last season, while the other opponents (Milwaukee and Cleveland) had better records than the Wizards. But even without John Wall and Nene, the Wizards have been competitive enough to eke out a victory.

No excuses next game against Charlotte. That’s the only team that was worse than Washington last season.

How playing basketball on ships is a good idea.

Last season, on an aircraft carrier, North Carolina and Michigan State produced ESPN’s highest regular-season college hoops rating in five years and its highest-ever game in November. The contest went off without a hitch, unlike the copycat events last weekend. Four of five waterborne games were canceled or postponed due to condensation.

It’s time to say “bon voyage” to this novelty-turned-trend.

Why the Washington Redskins are penalized so heavily.

Coach Mike Shanahan claimed early this season that his team is “very disciplined.” But the lack of evidence is overwhelming. Entering its bye, Washington was the NFL’s most-penalized team (75), uncharacteristically of most Shanahan squads. These Redskins have been equal-opportunity offenders, committing a wide mix of infractions.

If Washington is going to remain near the bottom of the standings, the least it can do is follow the rules.

How the NHL can recover from another self-inflicted wound.

Just as it was enticing new fans who sprouted since a lockout canceled the entire 2005-04 season, the NHL is on the verge of imploding again. I guess the copious amounts of football and the genesis of new basketball seasons aren’t enough competition for the attention-starved league.

Maybe the proximity to ice has caused brain freeze, because owners and players are insane if they flush another season.

Why Adam LaRoche can’t get a three-year deal from the Nats.

He has earned a nice payday from some team, and it might as well come from Washington. LaRoche won Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards this season and was invaluable in the clubhouse. Now the Nats should sign him, even if they eventually trade him.

The Nats have plenty of promising options, but the best-case scenario involves the NL’s best first baseman.

How Thursday Night Football doesn’t diminish safety and quality.

Allegedly concerned more than ever about players’ health and welfare, the NFL has a strange way of showing it: “Let’s have every team play at least once on three days rest!” The league was super-compassionate toward Baltimore, giving the Ravens four games in a 17-day stretch.

Thank goodness the NFL cares about its players and product so much; the money grab would be brutal otherwise.



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