Once again, it’s time to check off some items on my “TIDU List” – Things I Don’t Understand:
*Why fans should trust Bruce Allen.
The president of Washington’s NFL franchise emerged from his cocoon Wednesday and promised changes after another wretched season. Just like he did after 2013, 2011 and 2010 He vowed to hold everyone (else) accountable and shared the (missing) keys of successful football teams: “It’s good players, good coaches, good chemistry – that’s the winning formula.”
That’s a sound blueprint but useless in the hands of an incompetent architect.
*How the Winter Classic will get old.
The NHL shot and scored in 2008 with the first Winter Classic. The event brings a Super Bowl-air to host cities and draws plenty of viewers to TV. Last year’s game drew more than 100,000 fans and tied a 39-year-old TV ratings mark. More success is sure to follow Wednesday when the Capitals host the Blackhawks at Nationals Park.
But staging six outdoor games last year was overkill.
*Why the 49ers couldn’t appreciate Jim Harbaugh.
Before parting ways with his highly successful coach, owner Jed York should have considered the Dallas Cowboys. That franchise hasn’t been the same since Jerry Jones butted heads with Jimmy Johnson. Harbaugh didn’t win a Super Bowl, but he reached one and three NFC title games while going 49-22. Those types of coaches make personality conflicts worthwhile.
If the 34-year-old owner is looking for a perfect union, he’ll learn.
*How top-shelf colleges will voluntarily end the arms race.
Michigan gave Jim Harbaugh $5 million per year, more than double Brady Hoke’ salary. Alabama pays Nick Saban $7 million per year and will give him a bump if NFL interest warrants. According to the USA Today database, the average FBS coach’s salary has doubled – to nearly $2 million – since 2006.
As Patrick Ewing would say, big-dog programs make a lot but they spend a lot.
*Why Ndamukong Suh didn’t get a stiffer penalty.
The Detroit defensive tackle, who appeared to intentionally step on QB Aaron Rodgers and originally was suspended for the Lions’ playoff game, won his appeal. Fox analyst Mike Pereira said nothing would’ve been said if the players involved weren’t named Suh and Rodgers. But past history should be part of the process for flagrant foulers like Suh.
A playoff game was too harsh but sitting out next season’s opener sounds right.
*How a 2-3 road trip would be disappointing.
The Wizards’ grueling stretch of five games in eight days – against elite Western Conference foes – started well. They won at Houston on Monday but were throttled at Dallas on Tuesday. They’ll face Oklahoma City next before completing the Texas Triangle at San Antonio and conclude the trip at New Orleans. Brutal.
They’ll disagree, but there’s nothing wrong if that last game is the next win.
*How a devastating in-and-out combo won’t elevate Georgetown.
The guard – Big East Preseason Player of the Year – is listed at 6-3 and 214 pounds. The center – neither first team, second team nor honorable mention – is listed at 6-10 and 350 pounds. Together, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Joshua Smith have led the Hoyas back to the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2012-13.
This one-two punch should lift them higher than No. 25.
*What Tom Izzo was thinking against Maryland.
Michigan State’s hoops coach called two timeouts in the final 16 seconds of regulation Tuesday, first erasing a game-clinching layup and then giving No. 12 Maryland a chance to set up its offense. Dez Wells hit a game-tying 3 and the Terps won in double OT. “It was my choice not to foul at the end of the game,” Izzo said. “… I haven’t done that for 20 years. We’ve done OK.”
The Turtle says “thanks!”
*Why the Atlanta Falcons won’t have their pick.
The five NFL coaching vacancies offer high visibility, located in the nation’s Top 9 media markets. Gigs in places like New York, Chicago, San Francisco/Oakland and Atlanta usually aren’t open at once. While each has some appeal, the Falcons have a franchise QB, a free-spending organization and they play in the NFL’s worst division.
The Dirty South looks like the clear choice from here.
*How NCAA coaches can claim ignorance.
A headline grabs your attention: “Confessions of a Fixer.” The Chronicle of Higher Education report deals with grade shams, not point spreads, a cheating scheme that helped hundreds of college stars. “Mr. White” says many coaches directed players his way and some assistants admitted guilt to the Chronicle. But coaches like UNC’s Roy Williams are clueless?
Control freaks can say they don’t know, but not knowing is against their nature.