With the New Year underway, it’s time to check off some items on my “TIDU List” – Things I Don’t Understand:
*How Kirk Cousins can be elsewhere next season.
We’ll forget that his final pass of 2016 was a completion to Jordan Reed (whose lateral was returned for a touchdown). It’s Cousins’ next-to-last pass – a defeat-clinching interception – that will be remembered and used as evidence against his case for a long-term contract. He played poorly in a couple of must-win games and posted slight decreases in several categories compared to 2015.
Looks like he’ll have to scrape by with $24 million from a second franchise tag.
*Why Chip Kelly would stay in the pros.
His NFL experiment began with back-to-back 10-6 records in Philadelphia, suggesting he might be headed the sort of success enjoyed in four seasons at Oregon (46-7). But Kelly didn’t survive a power-grab and nosedive to 6-9. Worse, he jumped at a four-year offer from one of the league’s most dysfunctional franchises, San Francisco, which dumped Sunday him after a 2-14 season.
Here’s true genius, though: Being owed money from two teams that fired you 367 days apart.
*Why anyone blamed Otto Porter for anything.
Players selected third overall – even in drafts as thin as 2013 – are expected to quickly evolve into star performers. Porter’s development was slowed by injuries and Randy Wittman, but the Georgetown product has become a versatile threat for the Wizards. He wasn’t at fault as a first-year starter when the team regressed last year and he’s a key to success this season, averaging career-highs in points, assists and rebounds.
It took a while, but Porter’s game is on Otto-Pilot.
*How Ronda Rousey convinced herself she could box.
Perhaps the worst thing for Rousey’s groundbreaking MMA career was dropping Bethe Correia with a devastating right hook in August 2015. It raised her record to 12-0. Nine wins had come via arm bar and the judo expert’s grabbling skills were instrumental in the other two. But Holly Holm put on a boxing clinic and Amanda Nunes was more impressive Friday in a 48-second destruction of Rousey.
She should’ve followed the old saying: To thine own self be true.
*How anything about the Capitals matters until April.
Putting any stock in the Caps’ regular season is like being emotionally invested in a game’s opening faceoff. Such is life when a franchise has won division titles six times in nine years (with two second-place finishes during that span), yet failed to reach the conference finals, let alone the Stanley Cup finals. Maybe eking in the postseason will be better.
Like the last two minutes of NBA games, the Caps’ playoff performance is all we care about.
*Why George Karl is such a bitter old man.
Only four NBA coaches have more victories than Karl (1,175), but he’s far down the list in class and grace. In an upcoming book, “Furious George,” Karl eviscerates seemingly everyone in the league. Among other unfortunate remarks, Karl criticizes Carmelo Anthony for being fatherless; Anthony was a toddler when his father died. Not worried about being PC, Karl has no use for civility or decency, either.
He comes off as mad but the whole thing is just sad.
*Why DeSean Jackson would be the choice.
We love the long ball, whether via home runs, half-court shots or deep passes caught in stride. The mere threat of Jackson blowing past safeties makes Washington’s entire offense more dangerous. However, Pierre Garcon makes more sense if the Skins can retain only one of these free-agent wideouts. Garcon’s exceptional toughness and professionalism gives him the edge.
Speed kills and few can burn like Jackson; but give me slow and steady in this case.
*How Tiger Woods’ comeback is anything but inspirational.
He turned 41 on Friday, meaning he has struck balls in PGA Tour events for a quarter-century. The last few years have produced more false starts than a jittery left tackle. Woods hasn’t won a tournament since 2013 or a major since 2008 and chronic back problems allowed him to compete just once in the past 16 months. But he played well in the Bahamas in December.
A 15th major is unlikely but vigorous pursuit would be thrilling.
*How $400 million is an unreasonable salary for Bryce Harper.
The 2018 MLB free-agent class is a monster, with the likes of Manny Machado, Adam Jones and several other All-Stars up for bids. Harper might be the best, especially if he approaches his 2015 MVP production over the next two years. The Nationals have valid reasons to pass but that doesn’t mean the Yankees or Dodgers would balk at an unprecedented contract.
Baseball pays market value and Harper could trigger a historic re-set.
*What Terry Bradshaw knows about NFL coaches.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion but that isn’t the point in the FOX Sports personality’s commentary on Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Bradshaw doesn’t have to be impressed with Tomlins credentials, which include a Super Bowl victory and 103 victories in 10 seasons. But after saying “I don’t think he’s a great coach at all,” Bradshaw admitted: “I don’t know what he does.” So what’s the opinion based on?
A thought process like that raises questions about Bradshaw’s spelling ability.