U.S. men’s soc­cer team fail­ing to make World Cup sim­ply baf­fling

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - DERON SNY­DER

Once again, it’s time to check off some items on my “TIDU List” — Things I Don’t Un­der­stand: How the U.S. men whiffed on World Cup bid

All things con­sid­ered, reach­ing the World Cup should’ve been the least of our con­cerns. Soc­cer has ex­ploded in pop­u­lar­ity in the U.S. We hadn’t failed to qual­ify since the 1986 cy­cle. The op­po­nent on Tues­day, Trinidad & Tobago, had noth­ing to play for. Ac­cord­ing to Five-Thirty-Eight, the Amer­i­can men hadn’t lost a match with such a high prob­a­bil­ity of win­ning since 1885.

No won­der our soc­cer is clowned around the globe.

Why Pres­i­dent Trump nee­dled the lo­cal hockey team

The Pitts­burgh Pen­guins brought the Stan­ley Cup Tues­day as they vis­ited the White House. Trump rubbed it for D.C. fans. “Are they tough, the Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals?” he jovially asked the Pen­guins. “Are they tough? What do you think, huh?” Pitts­burgh de­feated Wash­ing­ton in the play­offs the last two sea­sons. Over­all, the Pens have won nine of 10 post­sea­son se­ries against the Caps.

The only thing tough when they meet is the Caps’ luck.

How forced ad­her­ence equals unity NFL com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell and Cow­boys owner Jerry Jones – and fans who agree — are miss­ing an im­por­tant point in the de­bate on player protests dur­ing the na­tional an­them. Tak­ing away the very free­dom that the flag and na­tion sup­pos­edly rep­re­sent is coun­ter­pro­duc­tive for demon­strat­ing that this is a free coun­try. The free­dom to dif­fer is fun­da­men­tal and lib­erty doesn’t co­erce in­di­vid­u­als to honor songs or sym­bols.

That’s some­thing I’d ex­pect to see in, say, North Korea.

Why ESPN sus­pended Jemele Hill

The Sports-Cen­ter an­chor tweeted that fans who op­pose the stance by Cow­boys owner Jerry Jones should “boy­cott his ad­ver­tis­ers.” As some­one paid to of­fer her opin­ions, Hill did her job. ESPN has failed to say ex­actly what con­sti­tuted a sus­pen­sion-wor­thy of­fense. The net­work comes across as knuck­ling un­der in re­sponse to crit­i­cism or com­men­tary that might have a neg­a­tive im­pact on spon­sors.

Com­fort the af­flicted and af­flict the com­fort­able, in­deed.

How the NFC East has flipped up­side down.

When Philadel­phia and Wash­ing­ton met in the sea­son opener, it was billed as a bat­tle to avoid last place, where one of the fran­chises was pre­dicted to fin­ish. Since then, Car­son Wentz emerged as a bud­ding star and Wash­ing­ton’s de­fense ap­pears for­mi­da­ble. Mean­while, New York and Dal­las are bring­ing up the rear with no in­di­ca­tions of im­pend­ing change.

For most fans in D.C., it couldn’t hap­pen to nicer fran­chises.

Why Ter­rapin QBs are an en­dan­gered species.

Ohio State drubbed Mary­land by 48 points last week and added in­jury to in­sult by knock­ing quar­ter­back Max Borten­schlager out of the game. The sopho­more — filling in for in­jured Kasim Hill (who was filling in for in­jured Ty­rone Pi­grome) — might miss Satur­day’s game against North­west­ern. This marks the third straight year and fourth out of six that the Terps have started at least three quar­ter­backs.

Of course, ri­val schools won’t whis­per that to Mary­land prospects.

How Alex Ovechkin turned back the clock.

No one can main­tain a pace of scor­ing 191 goals, es­pe­cially not 32-year-olds with as much mileage as the Cap­i­tals’ cap­tain. But the “Great Eight” has served no­tice that he’s not done yet, de­spite ev­i­dence he was slow­ing down. Ovi, who scored just 33 goals last year (his sec­ond­low­est to­tal in a full cam­paign), is the first player in 100 years to open a sea­son with back-to-back hat tricks.

I’ll have what­ever he’s hav­ing.

How A.P. in Ari­zona wasn’t destiny We should’ve seen it com­ing. For­mer rush­ing cham­pi­ons Em­mitt Smith, Edger­rin James and Chris John­son fin­ished their ca­reers with the Car­di­nals. Now it’s Adrian Peter­son’s turn, traded from New Or­leans where what­ever he has left (if any­thing) was wast­ing away. He to­taled 27 car­ries for 81 yards with the Saints, but Smith, James and John­son all had at least one big year af­ter ar­riv­ing.

Re­tirees and old half­backs re­ally love it in the desert.

Why Chris Fo­er­ster recorded him­self and sent it

It’s not the fact that a (now-for­mer) Mi­ami Dol­phins as­sis­tant coach sniffed co­caine. It’s not the fact that he ap­par­ently did so at work. It’s not the fact that he ca­vorted with a gor­geous Las Ve­gas model. It’s not the fact that he has a wife and three chil­dren. It’s not the fact that he re­port­edly earned between $2.5 mil­lion and $3 mil­lion per year.

It’s the fact that he was SO stupid!

● Brook­lyn-born and Howard-ed­u­cated, Deron Sny­der writes his award­win­ning col­umn for The Wash­ing­ton Times on Tues­days and Thurs­days. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @DeronSny­der.

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