Monday Morning Coffee

December 10, 2018

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m hoping the Lakers can find a way to lure Kevin Durant here next summer, but he sure sounds like a whiny baby who is jealous of Lebron.  KD thinks Lebron creates a toxic environment? The only thing that’s toxic right now is his relationship with Draymond Green and the rest of his teammates, who have already called him out by saying they don’t even need him to win titles.  I’d like to think this is just a smokescreen for Durant eventually leaving the Warriors for the Lakers in the summer, but who knows with a guy that uses burner accounts to argue with 13 year olds on Twitter.  As for the Lakers, they are continuing the roll and creeping further up the West standings thanks to Lebron’s brilliance.  Since most of you haven’t noticed and just complain about Lonzo’s shooting, he’s actually playing All-NBA level defense.  Kyle Kuzma is not only playing well, but roasting Lebron on Twitter too.

Meanwhile, I think the Clippers are blowing a major opportunity here.  Yes, they’ve been a surprise, but they’ve lost 3 of their last 4, including getting blown out at home by the Heat on Saturday.  More importantly though, they have assets and are missing the opportunity to make a deal for an impact player.  They easily could have acquired Jimmy Butler, and they have the pieces to trade for a Bradley Beal.  Those are proven all-star talents they probably won’t get in free agency.  They are also looking at losing Tobias Harris, who is playing well and going to get serious money from somebody in free agency this summer.  The Clips might be in the playoff picture now, but don’t be surprised if the the red headed step child of LA basketball falls out of it in the coming weeks.

To the NFL, where the Rams just couldn’t get their offense going in the cold yesterday against the Bears, who handed them just their 2nd loss of the season.  I haven’t seen anybody so useless in cold weather since Lloyd and Harry drove to Aspen in the Movie “Dumb and Dumber”.  It’s like Jeff Fisher was calling the plays.  The Rams can probably kiss home field advantage goodbye after this, but the good news is that they probably won’t have to play in cold weather again.  However, there’s some scary matchups out there that could give them trouble.  The Bears, Cowboys, and Seahawks are all dangerous teams with underrated defenses that can give the Rams trouble, even if they have home field.

Yesterday was very weird.  A Charger kicker was actually making his field goals and extra points.  It was like watching a game in the Twilight Zone.  That game was sloppier than Charlie Sheen at happy hour, but the Bolts beat the Bengals and improved to 10-3.  They barely beat a banged up Bengals team, and a Broncos team that is booking their offseason vacations, so I’m still not convinced.  However, they do have a chance to take Kansas City on Thursday and potentially get the #1 seed in the AFC.  If they find a way to do that, I’ll be impressed.  The Chargers better also hope that Austin Ekeler isn’t seriously hurt either, because he’s a key component to their offense.  At least the Bolts actually had more fans cheering for them in their stadium yesterday than the Bengals.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 14, the Jaguars got crushed by the Titans.  Sorry Cowboy fans.  You’re winning so it’s going to be hard to fire Jason Garrett now.  Going from Blake Bortles to Cody Kessler is like replacing a Ford Fusion with a Ford Fiesta.  The Giants tortured Mark Sanchez all day and destroyed the Redskins like it was 1492 all over again.  Colin Kaepernick has to be having a good laugh somewhere.  The Jets got by the Bills, but Bills Mafia still celebrated by jumping on tables and having sex in the parking lot.  Lamar Jackson can barely throw a pass, but he’s going to keep Joe Flacco and his $20 million paycheck chained to the bench.  Miami got a Christmas miracle by beating New England, but the Patriots are like cockroaches that never die.  Who did this?!!!!!

To baseball where the Dodgers have a big shopping list to take care of at the Winter Meetings.  It includes finding a starting catcher and getting some bullpen help.  Notice I didn’t say it includes a starting pitcher or a $300 million outfielder named Bryce Harper, because those would be luxuries and not necessities.  However, the real notable Dodger news last week was the fact they extended Manager Dave Roberts.  For those of you wondering why this happened, I’m wondering why you still don’t get it.  Dave Roberts simply carries out the decision making that Andrew Friedman and his computer tell him to.  It isn’t Roberts who decides to use 5 different second baseman in a World Series game, or sit his top 3 home run hitters.  It’s what Roberts is reading off in line 57 of the spreadsheet.  If anything, he deserves the extension for taking public criticism that Friedman should be getting, and for getting his players to buy into this crazy system.

In College Hoops UCLA barely got Notre Dame on Saturday night on a buzzer beater by Kris Wilkes.  I’m not sure what was worse? Watching UCLA struggle with an average Notre Dame team, or watching a telecast that at one point involved both Digger Phelps and Bill Walton.  Donald Trump called and thought that part of the telecast was too narcissistic.  This Bruins team has talent, but looks like they don’t belong with any of the Top 25 teams in the country.  If Alford can’t do much with this group in the tournament, he needs to go.  No, Fred Hoiberg isn’t the answer either after he just got let go by the Bulls.  Hopefully something better will come along between now and the end of the season.  In case you missed the final excitement on Saturday, here it is:

Finally, the LA Kings are in more denial than an alcoholic.  They are tied for dead last in the league more than a third of the way through the season.  We can’t exactly say that “it’s early” anymore.  They officially stink, and should strongly considering rebuilding.  However, one of the clear strengths of the franchise is goaltending.  I know some of you will want to take out the pitch forks and tiki torches when I say this, but it’s probably time to think about trading Jonathan Quick.  He’s reached his peak, he takes up a decent amount of cap space, still has trade value, and the team still has quality goaltending without him.  It’s going to take some serious creativity to get the Kings out of cap hell, but trading Quick is probably necessary.

Monday Morning Coffee

December 3, 2018

I thought the sky was falling and the Lakers sucked? Oh I guess they aren’t that bad because they’ve won 3 in a row and are creeping up on the top seed in the Western Conference.  If you’re complaining it’s because you have no perspective.  The Lakers are right where they should be, they are improving, as are their young players.  Kyle Kuzma is solid, Brandon Ingram is getting better, and Lonzo Ball is doing more than you think.  However, Mo Wagner looks like a fan that stole a jersey and somehow got on the court for playing time.  The real question is how they take the next step.  They need to sign one max free agent this summer and trade for another star, like Anthony Davis.  Don’t tell me they should trade everybody for Bradley Beal, because you won’t win any titles with him as your second best player.  My head also tells me that KD, Klay, and Kawhi aren’t going anywhere, but when i listen to Magic talk, he sounds convinced one of those guys are coming.  I believe in Magic and so should you.

Meanwhile, you’ve gotta give the Clippers credit.  Nobody thought they would be anywhere near the top of the Western Conference without having a star player.  Frankly, most of us thought Doc Rivers became a bum as a head coach.  However, Shai-Gilegous Alexander can actually play,  and the team doesn’t actually hate each others guts anymore.  I’m still not convinced free agents actually want to come play for the Clips, but they are much more interesting than we thought. The only problem for them is that their 1st round pick is lottery protected, so they are much better off missing the playoffs.

To the NFL where the Rams got a gift from the football gods with the Saints losing on Thursday night, allowing them to reclaim the best record in the NFC with yesterday’s win over the Lions.  They also clinched the NFC West title for the 2nd year in a row.  Aaron Donald should probably get MVP votes, but because the voters have no idea what a Defensive End is, but he probably will be completely ignored like that girl you didn’t want to go to Prom with in high school.  Next week makes me really nervous though.  The Bears seem very capable of knocking off the Rams in cold weather.  In any case, Todd Gurley doesn’t give a crap about your fantasy team.

Monster win for the Chargers. if only anyone cared.  It would have been very “Charger-esque” of the Bolts to lose the game yesterday on a couple of missed field goals with the game on the line.  I’ve seen better officiating in bar brawls.  The Chargers benefited from the officials, and now might even get themselves a first round bye if things break right for them.  In any case, it’s safe to say that home field doesn’t mean a damn thing for them, since they have no fans that show up to their games and cheer for them.  Perhaps if Philip Rivers brings all of his kids to the game, he might be able to fill up the stands.

Elsewhere around the NFL, it doesn’t matter if it’s Kareem Hunt or Hunt’s Ketchup, the Chiefs keep winning.  The Packers lost, but Aaron Rodgers was seen popping champagne in the locker room after the game when he learned that Mike McCarthy was fired.  I have no idea why Bill Belichick was yelling at Adam Thielan.  He’s white and he’s a good receiver, which means he’ll be on the Patriots in the next year or two.  Joe Flacco might never get to play again after the Ravens beat the Falcons.  Since it’s the holiday season, Cam Newton is obviously in a generous mood throwing 4 interceptions in the Panthers loss to the Bucs.  Meanwhile, every Cowboys fan has already booked their trip to the Super Bowl after they beat the Saints.

I feel like Cliff Kingsbury is just trolling every major college and NFL team at this point, just so he can get free dinners from them.  Everybody wants to hire him as their offensive coordinator.  If USC is able to hire him, I’d be very impressed. It looked like that was going to happen, then for some reason Kingsbury got cold feet.  He probably realized that he has competition with Sean McVay for the most handsome football coach in LA, and just couldn’t take it.  I think it’s safe to say Kingsbury is going to make or break the Trojans offseason.  We’ll find out within a couple of days if he’s coming.

To baseball where the Dodgers and Indians keep talking about a big trade.  That proposed trade would involve pitcher Corey Kluber going to the Dodgers, with Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, and top prospect Yadier Alvarez going to Cleveland.  Kluber is a nice pitcher and all, but this is so typical of Andrew Friedman.  He’s the kind of guy who learns that his house needs a new roof, and instead he decides to remodel his kitchen.  The Dodgers need bullpen help, not starting pitching.  Instead, Friedman is leaning on unproven and untalented arms he hopes will miraculously come through out of the pen.  Sadly, there is plenty of bullpen talent on the market that can help.

Finally, the Angels badly need to make some moves.  Mike Trout is two years away from free agency, they now have decent prospects in their system, and they can take on some money.  The Halos need to call the Giants about Madison Bumgarner, and the Mets about Noah Syndergaard or Jacob DeGrom.  They badly need pitching, and it’s only going to come via the trade market.  Of course knowing the Angels’ luck, Garrett Richards will win the 2020 Cy Young award after he just signed a 2-year deal with the Padres.

Monday Morning Coffee

November 26, 2018

Clay Helton is going to remain the USC coach.  Somewhere, UCLA fans are doing the Carlton dance.  I don’t remember a team that once had Top 10 talent that couldn’t even finish in the Top 25, let alone become bowl eligible.  Despite putting up a decent fight against Notre Dame, it’s become so bad that many Trojan fans don’t even care anymore.  They had less than 60,000 people show up to the Coliseum on Saturday night.  This is no longer a Clay Helton problem, it’s a Lynn Swann problem.  How can Helton have a $15 million buyout? The man isn’t even one of the top 6 highest paid coaches in the conference.  That’s a complete administrative failure, and the fact Swann is sticking with Helton after a total debacle tells you that he is the man responsible for this.  Get ready for another season of boos and angry Trojan fans.

Meanwhile, UCLA got punched back to reality by Stanford.  Memo to Chip Kelly: you might want to upgrade your defense in the offseason.  The Bruins gave up 40 or more points in four games this season.  They probably also need to find a better quarterback now that Wilton Speight will be graduating.  New coach and they still can’t beat Stanford.  I’m amazed at how other Pac-12 coaches are looking at the Bruins and think they might be real contenders next year.  That’s like being in an MBA grad school program and thinking all 5 girls in your class are super models.  The conference is terrible, the promise that the Bruins might have shown didn’t bank them any more wins, and their offense isn’t what Chip Kelly’s used to be.

If you think that’s disappointing, you should have seen UCLA basketball over Thanksgiving weekend.  After playing the equivalent of high school varsity teams in their first four games, the Bruins looked like they didn’t even belong in the same gym against 11th ranked Michigan State and 7th ranked North Carolina.  It was so bad that Michigan State players were commenting on how immature and disjointed the Bruins looked, and how they were able to take advantage of that.  The real word here is structure, and UCLA has none of it.  That’s all coaching, and Steve Alford isn’t providing that.  Guess Alford has no more of his own kids to play to try and save the season.

To the NBA where the Lakers layed an egg yesterday at home against Orlando.  If I didn’t know better, I would think Nikola Vucevic was the 2nd coming of Wilt Chamberlain.  Vucevic dropped another 31 points and 15 rebounds on the Lakers, about a week after crushing them in Orlando.  The Laker record is ok at 11-8, but they would be a hell of a lot better if they stopped producing more turnovers than Betty Crocker.  Heck if they had just a few less turnovers, they would probably be winning many of these games by double digits.  On the bright side though, Brandon Ingram is delivering, making the rest of you look foolish who wanted to trade him a week ago.  Nothing can stop this guy from looking like a fool though….

Speaking of the NBA, Dwight Howard’s life seems to be getting worse by the day.  The latest is Twitter roasting him over his sexual preferences after a gay man accused him of cheating on him.  I could care less what his sexual preferences are.  However, Dwight might be the most unlikable person in the league.  Had he come out of the closet earlier, he might have actually improved his reputation because of the support he receives.  I guess his lack of mental toughness goes way beyond the basketball court.

To the NFL, where the Chargers destroyed the Cardinals yesterday.  Philip Rivers tied an NFL record with 25 straight completions.  Coincidentally, 25 is also the number of children he’s created.  The only bad news is that Melvin Gordon went down with a knee injury that looked pretty serious.  Hopefully he’ll be ok because the Bolts will need him if they want any chance of beating real opponents come playoff time.  Meanwhile, I love how the team announced a sellout crowd yesterday, while the stadium was half empty.  I suppose it’s better than having a stadium full of the visiting team’s fans.  However, think about this: At an average $190 per season ticket with 6,000 no-shows, that means people spent over $1,000,000 yesterday to not watch Charger football.  That’s exactly how much people don’t give a crap about them.

Elsewhere around the NFL, your goal in life should be to find someone who loves you as much as Cris Collinsworth loves Aaron Rodgers.  The Bengals haven’t won a game since Hue Jackson joined their staff.  He’s like a plague for NFL teams.  The Redskins got crushed on Thanksgiving like it was 1492 all over again.  Nothing says Thanksgiving like muting Joe Buck so you can hear a crazy rant by your uncle during the Cowboys game.  Legend has it the Chiefs and Rams are still somewhere scoring touchdowns.  The Colts won and Andrew Luck cursed in his postgame interview for the first time ever.  The Bills beat the Jags, but the real winners were the two people in the Bills Mafia who were filmed having sex in the parking lot during a tailgate.

Finally, the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later.  How did the show manage to kill off another character, yet it wasn’t Eugene? That guy is a bitch and deserves to die.  At least Jesus died as a hero, however, his story feels like it had a very unsatisfying ending.  He just took over as leader of Hilltop, and even might have had some romance brewing.  I assure you that everyone was far more worried about the dog than they were about any other character on the show.  That had to be one of the scariest episodes the show has produced in years.  How sick do you have to be to be wearing the skin of dead people? Carol’s new hairdo makes her look like she’s headed to a Lord Of The Rings convention.  You would think Negan would have gotten out of his cell through some elaborate Ocean’s Eleven type plan.  Nope, Gabriel just left the cell open.  That would have been a really great episode the week of Halloween.  It’s only been 3 episodes, but I’m impressed with what the show has produced without Rick.  Show me more! Well….in February.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

November 19, 2018

I’m sure many of you will freak out over the fact the Lakers lost to the Magic over the weekend, but as I’ve said repeatedly, they are fine.  Teams are going to lay eggs on certain nights in the NBA.  You can’t go 82-0.  Even for the Warriors.  Lebron showed he can win any game he wants  with his display against the Blazers and last night against the Heat, and he’s going to do that come postseason time.  However, my real concern is whether or not they can add another superstar in free agency this summer.  I’m losing faith that’s going to happen.  Kawhi appears to be staying in Toronto, Klay is staying with the Warriors, and Jimmy Butler is locked into Philly.  For those of you who think Kevin Durant might be coming, even though he’s more sensitive than a teenage girl, I can’t see that getting any better by joining the Lakers.  That being the case, the Lakers are going to have to give up everything for Anthony Davis.

I can’t wait for tonight’s big showdown at The Coliseum between the Rams and Chiefs.  It would have been savage to play the game in St. Louis, which would have been the ultimate troll job.  I’ve gotta give the players a lot of credit for leaking the rumor that they were going to boycott the game if they were forced to play on that crummy field in Mexico City.  I don’t care what the NFL says, they don’t give a crap about player safety, and they probably would have forced the players to play on a dangerous surface had they not leaked the boycott.  As for the game itself, I expect the scoreboard to break tonight because both teams will score so many points.  Neither defense has exactly been shutting anybody down, and whichever team has the ball last is my bet to win.

Meanwhile, the Chargers had their first game in Carson in over a month and lost to the Broncos .  Notice i didn’t call it “a home game” because Stubhub was filled with Bronco fans.  So Keenan Allen tries to have fun with a fan and it costs the Chargers 15 yards. But Packers players can leap into the stands. Makes sense right?  The Chargers sure could have used that extra point they missed early on.  As usual the kicking game cost them.  It’s a good thing this team is playing well, because if they were playing badly, nobody in LA would even know they exist.  The Chargers are 7-3 but they are the 8th most popular team in LA, slotting in right behind the Sparks and traffic on the 405 Freeway.   They are taking every advantage of a schedule that is softer than tissue paper.  More power to them, but don’t try to tell me they are going to the Super Bowl.

Elsewhere around the NFL in week 11, i guess Jalen Ramsey can’t talk trash about Big Ben anymore  because his team is trash.  The Bucs, trying to decide if they want Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jameis Winston to throw interceptions for them is like trying to decide between Syphilis and Herpes.  Things have gotten so bad for the Browns that they are considering Condoleezza Rice as their next head coach.  She is probably so offended, she is considering using Weapons of Mass Destruction on the city of Cleveland.  The Cowboys won, might even win the division, and Michael Irvin is going to be celebrating with hookers and blow.  The Raiders won and Jon Gruden is probably pissed because he’s trying to tank.  The Saints have the highest paid punter in the NFL.  Too bad they never need him because they are busy winning games by 41 points.  My favorite part of Sunday Night Football was Cris Collinsworth saying “Trubisky has experience as a running back. He played the position from 2nd to 6th grade.”  Good one Chris.

To the train wreck that is UCLA and USC Football.  The Bruins might as well throw a parade and give Chip Kelly and extension after defeating USC for the first time in four years over the weekend.  I might still not be sold on what Kelly is doing, but he’s off the hook for a while, even after just 3 wins.  Then there’s USC, where expectations are a little different.  It’s time for Clay Helton to go.  Helton is like that substitute teacher that stays long-term since your actual teacher is out for a while.  The kids are happy since they think they can get away with anything, but when it’s time for state exams, they get destroyed because they didn’t learn anything.  USC has top 10 talent at worst, and they aren’t even in the top 25.  If that doesn’t smell of a coaching issue I don’t know what does.  Too bad the University needs to find a new President, and has to pay out about $200 million for a sexual misconduct lawsuit.  Hiring an expensive coach is going to be tough, but it also may not be necessary either.  A good out-of-the-box hire is what they need.  Not some has-been like Jack Del Rio or Jeff Fisher.

The LA Kings are the worst team in the league.  However, they do lead the league in goalie meniscus tears.  Maybe they need to re-hire John Stevens and fire him again so they can win another game.  It’s been absolutely brutal, but coaching and goaltending are not the problem.  It is looking more and more like this team is going to need a complete rebuild, and should start selling off spare parts immediately to collect assets.  They are also going to be in cap hell for a while, so it might take Jerome Powell to solve this one.

Finally, another episode of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  Rosita was remarkably clean for having been covered in mud just a few minutes before passing out in the forest.  There could not have been any more gay sexual tension between Aaron and Jesus in that fight they had.  I was waiting for those two to go out on an apocalyptic date afterward.  Someone saying “It’ll be dark soon” while it’s clearly midday is my new favorite thing.  Had they killed off Daryl’s dog, there would have been more outrage than when Glenn and Abraham died.  What’s up with the X’s on Daryl and Michonne’s back? Is Maggie gone for good? Would be nice if the show told us what was up.  It’s been six years and apparently Daryl is still looking for Rick.  Take it to the bank….someone is going to die next week.  A little bit of a slow episode but looking forward to the mid-season finale!

Monday Morning Coffee

 

November 12, 2018

I completely expect the Lakers to reel off six or seven victories in their next ten games.  They are playing some pretty terrible teams, just as they did the last two nights.   It was an ugly win for the team last night, but a win is a win.  Funny because even when the Lakers win, people always have something to complain about.  Some of my favorite whining includes Lebron going to some party last week after a loss, or when Brandon Ingram has a great game and people suggest he needs to be traded because he can’t perform consistently.  The Lakers are going to be just fine, and they are only going to be better with Tyson Chandler, and even better when another shooter like Trevor Ariza or Kyle Korver gets bought out and signs with them.  It would be nice if Lebron played a little bit of defense though…..

People ask me why I hate on the Clippers so much, and try to convince me that they are playing pretty good ball.  You know why i can’t take them seriously? Because they make tribute videos for Austin Rivers.  I can’t make this up.  The Clippers made a video tribute when the Washington Wizards visited Staples Center.  Tribute videos are reserved for legends who actually accomplish something for a franchise.  However, since the Clippers have nobody that ever accomplishes anything, they have to resort to making tribute videos for the former 8th man on their team, but the team wasn’t even that great.  For those of you that think I’m making this up, here’s the video:

To the NFL where the Rams held off the Seahawks yesterday afternoon at the Coliseum.  I can’t wait to hear what Keyshawn Johnson has to say about this.  Keyshawn always finds a way to hype of Seattle as a team that “shouldn’t be ignored” every single week on ESPN Radio.  The Rams could be headed to the Super Bowl in February, and Keyshawn might still be convinced the Seahawks were still a team to be reckoned with from their couches.  This was a nice bounce back victory after last week against the Saints, but if Cooper Kupp is lost to a torn ACL, that’s going to be a major blow to this team.  He’s turned into an unbelievable offensive threat that can’t be replaced.  I’d also be concerned about this team would be not having home field advantage in the playoffs, and Marcus Peters getting lit on fire every week by the opponents’ top receivers.  However, I never get tired of hearing Marcus Peters talk to the media.  Nothing could be more entertaining.  Especially this comment after the Saints game, in response to New Orleans’ Coach Sean Payton saying he liked the matchup against him.

Meanwhile, the Chargers and Raiders went at it in a game that should have been called “The Relocation Bowl.”  I can’t give the Bolts credit for beating up on a Raiders team that clearly isn’t even trying to win football games right now.  The Raiders were apparently handing out masks to fans attending the game to protect themselves from the polluted air caused by the fires.  What they needed to do was hand out tequila and paper bags so Raider fans could properly deal with watching their team.  The Bolts should have no problem for the next three weeks against Denver, and Arizona.  They are also going to get a big boost when Joey Bosa comes back soon.  Too bad they can’t get a boost from fans, since nobody shows up to their games.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 10, The league should have applied the mercy rule and end the Saints vs Bengals game at halftime.  The Bills crushed the Jets in a game that should have been on Comedy Central. Big Ben has been charged with animal abuse for brutally mistreating the Panthers in the Steelers’ Thursday night victory.  The Jaguars defense has disappeared like Houdini.  Meanwhile, Tyreek Hill is part wide receiver and part camera man.

Let’s get to the disaster that is USC Football.  The Trojans were stunned by Cal at the Coliseum on Saturday night, eliminating them from the Pac-12 South race.  It’s crazy to think that a football team that has arguably top 5 talent in the nation is only 5-5, especially in a currently mediocre conference.  The Pac-12 might as well announce that the UCLA-USC game is going to be airing on The Learning Channel next week.  Forget Clay Helton.  USC Football has reached a level that should be absolutely unacceptable to any self-respecting Trojan fan.  They need to completely clean house and start over.  Helton is in total damage control saying programs can turn it around quickly.  However, the Trojans will always get quality players.  They are USC, and kids still want to play there.  Developing that talent is a whole different story, and it’s going to take a young out-of-the-box hire to get that done.

Then there’s UCLA, whose football team stinks too.  You can’t sugar coat what you’ve seen if you’re a Bruin fan, but there’s still one thing to hang your hat on: you can beat USC next weekend.  The game is at the Rose Bowl.  UCLA blew out Cal on the road, and Cal just upset USC at the Coliseum.  I fully expect this to be a a very competitive game, and if the Bruins find a way to win, Chip Kelly can give the fans and his employers something to feel really good about heading into next year.  On the other side of the rivalry though, if USC loses, I’d be shocked if Clay Helton wasn’t fired the next day.

Speaking of UCLA though, basketball season is underway for the Bruins.  The first week of the season brought two unimpressive victories, including an escape against Long Beach State on Friday night at Pauley Pavillion.  I’m going to take it easy on Steve Alford at the moment considering he had to evacuate his home due to the fires in Thousand Oaks.  UCLA might not be Duke this year, but they have some solid talent that should be able to go deep into the NCAA Tournament and contend for a Pac-12 title.  However, the real story so far this season has been freshman center Moses Brown.  I’m not talking about his play.  It’s his hair and his really short shorts.

Finally, another episode of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later.  It’s a whole new world, fast forwarding six years from the last episode.  Seeing Rosita kiss Gabriel is just weird and kind of nasty. Thank you for the “Richonne” baby, which wiped that nasty scene out my head.  Gabriel has still gotten more tail in the apocalypse than Daryl.  Judith and Negan are bonding, in exactly the same way Carl and Negan bonded in the comic.  Negan’s gone from murderous sociopath to math tutor.  He also got a haircut, but everyone else looks like they woke up from a 6 year coma.  Michonne must have been watching Law and Order during the time jump.  What are you going to do with a ring in the zombie apocalypse? Take it to a pawn shop?  The Saviors are like roaches! Why are any of them still alive? Six years later, Carol is still a badass burning people alive.  Just so everyone can keep things straight, Walkers don’t talk.  They aren’t Walkers.  They are “The Whisperers”, who are the new villain.  It was a pretty good episode, and so far I’m impressed with their attempts to reinvent the show.

Monday Morning Coffee

November 5, 2018

All this time I thought Andrew Friedman was a heartless, soulless, computer nerd.  It turns out he’s just a computer nerd that can sometimes look beyond the analytics.  That’s exactly what he did when  he re-signed Clayton Kershaw to team friendly 3-year $93 million contract last week.  Kershaw might not be at the peak of his game, but he is still an excellent pitcher who can win a lot of games for the Dodgers.  He also has the ability to age gracefully since he’s already showed signs of re-inventing himself as a master of control and location.  This was a good move, and the Dodgers still have about $65 million more to spend.  They don’t need to spend that money on Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.  Instead, they should do everything they can to help their bullpen, and get a couple of contact hitters in their lineup.  Friedman and Farhan Zaidi could care less though, and they are probably still nerding it up at Blizzcon as you are reading this.

NBA journalism has gotten ridiculous.  Even Adrian Wojnarowski, the best in the business, manufactures a lot of details around his reporting.  This couldn’t be any more obvious from Woj’s story over the weekend that inferred that Luke Walton is on the hot seat.  Sorry Woj, but this story turned into something as worthless as Lavar Ball claiming that Luke Walton should be fired last year.  Even after losing to Toronto, Walton isn’t on the hot seat.  Just because Magic had a stern talk with Walton and is disappointed that he hasn’t seen certain things, doesn’t mean he’s going to replace him.  The Lakers’ schedule is about to get a lot easier, and their record should get better quickly.  They are also in better shape than Houston, which all of you loved.  By the way, everyone said Lonzo Ball sucked, will never learn to shoot, and should be traded because you don’t like his dad.  He’s shooting 41% from three this season.  Don’t lose your minds people.  It’s a long season.

To the NFL, where the Rams suffered a tough loss yesterday to the Saints, but it was a spectacular game.  That’s the way every NFL game should look like, and hopefully we get to see those two teams again in the NFC Championship game.  That Michael Thomas touchdown was a back breaker.  In case you missed it, Thomas hid a cell phone in the goal posts and pulled it out to celebrate after the TD.  He probably tried to call Marcus Peters, but couldn’t get through because Peters had no coverage! I don’t know what happened to Peters, but he’s not the same shutdown guy we thought he was in the first few weeks.  He hasn’t been the same since getting hurt.  The Rams probably could have won the game with a call or two going in their favor, like that fake punt run that fell short of the 1st down by inches in the 1st half.  Nevertheless, if the Rams don’t have home field advantage against the Saints in the playoffs, I don’t like their chances nearly as much.  I still think pulling out a cell phone is cheesy, even if it’s a tribute to Joe Horn.

It would have been so typical of the Chargers to blow that game agains the Seahawks yesterday.  Some teams have a curse at certain positions.  The Angels have a left fielder curse.  The Clippers have a small forward curse.  The Chargers clearly have a kicker curse.  No matter who their kicker is, they stink and cost them games.  That’s exactly where they are with Caleb Sturgis.  Not only should that guy be cut, but he should have to walk back to LA from Seattle.  I’m still not sold on this team, but the best thing going for them is their schedule.  They got handled by the Chiefs and Rams, yet got by the other garbage they’ve played.  Other than a couple of road games left against the Chiefs and Steelers, there’s not much preventing these guys from missing the playoffs.  Once they get there though, don’t expect them to do much, and don’t expect anybody to show up to their playoff game unless they are wearing the oppositions’ jersey.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 9, The Raiders’ defense got destroyed by a UPS driver on Thursday night.  Jon Gruden will probably trade 12 first rounders for him.  Matt Ryan finally realized he has Julio Jones & tossed a TD pass to him. The Bills fans who toss sex toys onto the field have a higher QB rating than Nathan Peterman.  It’s Week 9 and Le’Veon Bell still hasn’t shown up.  The man clearly doesn’t like money.  I guess the Jets coaches didn’t explain to Sam Darnold that he’s supposed to throw to the guys wearing the same jersey he is.  Don’t worry Sammy, you get to go up against the Bills next week.  Good to see Cam Newton showboating again. I’ll be sure to remember this when he starts complaining and acting like a crybaby when things don’t go his way.  The Browns have a new coach, but that isn’t changing how they play football.

To College Football where the worst possible combination of events happened to the USC Football program last week.  Athletic Director Lynn Swann gave Clay Helton a vote of confidence, the Trojans beat a crummy Oregon State team, and Utah lost opening the door for USC to win the Pac-12 South.    When you add in the fact that we turned the clocks back an hour on Sunday, it means that USC is just giving Helton more time to flounder in mediocrity.  Most USC fans wish they could have turned the clocks back to 2003 instead of just an hour.  You probably forgot, but the Trojans were a top 15 team when the preseason rankings came out.  I’m not even sure the Trojans are a top 15 team in the state of California right now.  This is a total embarrassment for the program, and it’s shocking nobody there has done anything about it, or sounds like they plan to.  This team is going to win 7 games if they are lucky and then get embarrassed in a bowl game.  The new USC Football everyone!

Then there’s the Bruins who got crushed on the road against Oregon.  I’d just like to point out that the first UCLA home win coincided with the sale of alcohol at the Rose Bowl.  This was a very sensible decision because everyone now realizes that you are going to need a lot of alcohol to be able to sit through any UCLA Football game the rest of the season.  This is just bad football.  Missed tackles, dropped passes, lots of penalties, and questionably unimaginative coaching.  The latter is the most alarming part of this whole equation.  However, if UCLA beats USC, Chip Kelly definitely gets a free pass this year.

To the NHL, where the LA Kings are a total disaster, which led to to the firing of coach John Stevens yesterday.  They are dead last in the league folks.  The worst in the league, even after Saturday’s win over Columbus.   The Kings should have just hired Byron Scott to coach them because they should be tanking and rebuilding instead of trying to convince people that they are still cup contenders.  They have the worst offense in the league, and are in the bottom 3rd of the league in defense.  All of their knowledgeable fans can see this, but right now the front office appears to be in denial more than anything.

Finally, a monumental episode of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  My mind is blown.  As I suspected, Rick survived getting impaled, but to my surprise, he didn’t die although he’ll be off the show!  The irony is however, he spent the whole episode searching for his family only to be taken away on a helicopter by trash lady, and never get reunited with those people who he fought so hard to find.   Typical TWD trying to screw with your emotions.  I’m changing my Facebook relationship status with AMC to “it’s complicated”.  They are also going to screw with you further with three AMC Walking Dead movies that Rick Grimes will star in.  Guess all you “Richonne” fans will also have to deal with the fact there won’t be a “Richonne Baby”.  Does this mean that trash lady is off the show too? It remains to be seen.  I have to give the writers credit though for using transforming Baby Judith into the new Carl, and carrying on the Grimes legacy.  I can get with this idea along with “Mamachone” and “Grandma Carol”.  I still have some skepticism, but I’m willing to give this re-invention a chance.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 29, 2018

Well that was fun.  The Dodgers latest World Series appearance lasted about as long as the rap career of Vanilla Ice.  As I told you months ago, Andrew Friedman built a team that is too dependent on the home run, and a bullpen with middle relievers that couldn’t close a hot dog stand.  Well, at least the computer chooses the wrong relievers.  I also feel terrible for Dave Roberts, who is nothing more than a middle manager, taking instructions from Friedman and his computer, while the rest of you make fun of him for his stupid decisions.  It’s not him you should be mad at.  Give the Red Sox credit.  I’ve never see a team with so many clutch 2-out hits, and they deserved to win the World Series.  Say goodbye to Manny Muchado. as much as I’d love to have him back.  Friedman isn’t going to spend $200-$300 million on a player.  Somebody is, even if he has character and hustle issues.  I do hope they find a way to bring Kershaw back by extending him at a reasonable rate.  A future rotation with him, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urias would be very dominant.  Too bad Friedman will probably spend most of the money on a software upgrade instead.

To the NBA where Lebron James made a documentary called “Shut Up and Dribble”.  Rajon Rondo needs to make a documentary called “Shut Up and Shoot”, after passing up a critical layup late in the Lakers loss to the Spurs on Saturday.  Look I get it.  “The West is soooooo difficult”.  Every team is like trying to take on Spider-Man and Batman at the same time and all that.  I’ve heard this so many times I might jump off the roof the next time I hear it.  However, there’s teams everyone loves that are off to much slower starts, like Oklahoma City and Houston.  The Lakers play hard every night, they’ve been in every game, and they are running up and down the court like it’s 1980.  The shooting, the defense, and the way they finish close games can only get better.  This team is much better than you think, and they’ll show it sooner than later.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Todd Gurley after yesterday.  The Rams defeated the Packers, and Gurley refused to go in for a touchdown late so he could keep the ball and not let Aaron Rodgers get another shot to win the game.  Of even greater significance is the fact Gurley completely screwed the guy I played in my fantasy football league this week, since he had the Rams running back on his team.  He also screwed a handful of gamblers who had the Rams -7 and the over.   I guess the Rams can’t murder every team they play, but this was still an impressive victory.  This team still looks like the best in the league.  Still,  I’m surprised Donald Trump hasn’t comment on them yet, since he seemingly has nothing better to do.

Elsewhere around the NFL, the Raiders lost to the Colts and Derek Carr is probably about to be traded for a pylon and a garbage can.  The Bucs lost to the Bengals and Jameis Winston got benched, but I’m sure he’ll still find a way to keep throwing interceptions.  The Browns lost to the Steelers and Hue Jackson still has a job.  Anything is possible in America folks.  We’ve reached that awkward moment where Danny Amendola threw more touchdown passes than Brock Osweiler on Thursday night.  The Chiefs beat the Broncos and their offense is a human video game cheat code.  Shout out to anybody that watched the 49ers-Cardinals game.  You just stared torture right in the face and laughed.  The Seahawks beat the Lions, but this celebration was the real winner of the day:

To College Football where USC decided that the best way to celebrate Halloween was to demonstrate how frighteningly bad they can play football.  This time, an embarrassing loss to Arizona State at home, in front of a crowd of 47,406.  Each one of those people came dressed as empty seats, because it felt like nobody was at that game.  Losing is one thing, but when you combine that with an empty stadium, that’s what can get Clay Helton fired.  The Trojans aren’t even looking that likely to win the horrific Pac 12 South anymore, which could have been Helton’s saving grace.  Get ready to hear a whole bunch of tarmac jokes because Clay Helton has to really be on the hot seat now.  If it weren’t for the Dodgers and Lebron, this would be a much bigger story.

Just when you think UCLA football was starting to heat up by beating up on some scrub teams, they get dismantled at home by Utah.  You thought that game was bad? Wait until next week when Oregon assaults them.  There’s only one glimmer of hope for the Bruins, and that’s the fact it’s not crazy that they could beat USC in a few weeks.  If that happens, you might as well give Chip Kelly an extension.  Otherwise, the job he’s doing so far is highly questionable at best.

Another completely under the radar story right now is the fact the LA Kings have been playing like garbage.  Despite yesterday’s win over a horrible Ranger team, if I didn’t know better I’d say they were trying to get Coach John Steven fired.  Lisa Dillman of the LA Times tweeted yesterday that the Kings had their first lead of a game since they played Montreal.  It feels like it’s been so long that I was beginning to wonder if she meant in 1993 when they played Montreal in the Finals.  It’s been so ugly and the effort has been so poor, I’m totally unsure if the team is terrible and needs to rebuild, or if they just need a kick in the butt.

Finally, The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night in the first of Rick Grimes’ final two episodes.  Spoiler alert if you don’t want to hear anymore, so read no further if that is case.  I’m not falling for this one again! The show left us thinking that Rick was going to die after being impaled and Walkers about to eat him.  You made me think Glenn was going to survive and you killed him.  I think Rick might die, but it’s definitely not going to be from that incident.  Of course there’s all the symbolism of Rick being thrown off a white horse.  I think it’s safe to say at this point the most hated character in all of TWD is Rick’s horse.  Negan is practically giving himself a concussion over Lucille.  Seriously though, who else thought that Michonne said “eat n***a?”  I guess AMC isn’t that bold.  Did Carol really just get called “a weak woman”? Somebody is gonna pay for that.  I think it’s safe to say that Angela Kong has really transformed the show.  Whether that’s a good thing remains to be seen though.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 22, 2018

Just when you thought people from Boston who live in LA couldn’t be any more annoying, I give you the 2018 World Series! I really couldn’t be any happier for Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp especially for getting this far.  However, I was amazed at the stupidity of the decisions the Brewers made in Game 7, and throughout the series.  The Dodgers were fortunate they went to their pen so early in every game, because Milwaukee’s starters were shutting them down.  They were also fortunate because Hyun-Jin Ryu completely “Yu Darvished” game 6.  In any case, give the Dodgers credit because they are a resilient bunch.  They are much better off going up against Boston’s inconsistent pitching staff than Houston, but taking down the Red Sox will be a tall order.  Considering Kershaw and Manny Muchado are potential free agents among other Dodgers, this is probably the last shot for this group to win a title.  I just wouldn’t be so optimistic about it.

Looks like State Farm can’t help Chris Paul this time.  Paul, Brandon Ingram, and Rajon Rondo all got suspended for their brawl on Saturday night at Staples Center.  These guys were ready to murder each other, while Lebron, CP, and ‘Melo were probably sharing a bottle of Kendall Jackson when the game was over.  That’s the modern day NBA, where everybody wants to be best buddies.  As for the Lakers, I’m sure many of you are going to be ready to jump off the tallest building in downtown, but no need to. The Lakers have actually played pretty well in their first two games.  They lost to a tough Portland team on the road, and an elite Houston team at home.  They were in both games up until the end, and Lonzo has looked good.  The shooting may not be amazing, but it will get better, and so will the schedule.  They’ll just have to be without Ingram and Rondo after this….

Here’s all you need to know about the Clippers.  On Saturday night the Lakers served the media a fat taco bar.  On Sunday night against the Rockets, the Clippers served the media Meatloaf. That should be symbolic of their seasons.  With a lottery protected 1st round pick this year, I see no reason for the Clips to try and push for a playoff spot, no matter how hard they try to convince us that is what they will do.  There’s nothing quite like the “overreaction standings” in the early going of the NBA season, and last night’s Clipper effort against Houston will help fuel that.  After about a month though, it’s the real standings that will matter.

The Rams dismantled the 49ers yesterday in the Bay Area.  What was most impressive is they were able to do this while running around Levi Stadium dressed as yellow mustard packets.  It’s hard to take anyone seriously when your uniforms are that ugly.  The Rams are back to crushing teams like grapes, and they look like they are going to clinch home field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs  any minute now.  What would be really nice to see though is a trade for Patrick Peterson, or another shutdown corner since Aqib Talib’s health is in question for the rest of the year.  In any case, it’s safe to say that at the moment, they are the best team in the NFL.

The Chargers got by the Titans and remain a game behind Chiefs in the standings.  However, that’s not the real story.  Reports surfaced this week that NFL owners are concerned that the Bolts might not be viable in Los Angeles, considering they don’t have many fans coming to their games.  In a related story, water is wet and the sky is blue.  It amazes me that 32 of the wealthiest people in the world could collectively make one of the dumbest decisions in the world.  Everyone knew the Chargers weren’t viable in LA, except those 32 idiots.  Even more embarrassing is the fact the franchise is selling PSL’s in their new stadium for penny’s on the dollar.  I’m surprised we haven’t seen a Groupon to get in on Charger season tickets.  It’s getting more and more embarrassing by the day, especially as the team wins more and still nobody shows up.

Elsewhere around the NFL, the Chiefs got flexed onto Sunday Night Football because NBC thought their game would be more competitive, but so much for that.  The Browns have now played four OT games this season, which should put Hue Jackson in line for a contract extension.  After being benched at halftime, Blake Bortles has informed the Jags he has retired.  The Bills got hammered by the Colts, and someone should give Bills Mafia the number for a suicide prevention hotline.  The Cowboys found a way to lose late.  That’s about as predictable as a stupid tweet from Donald Trump.    Justin Tucker is raising the bar on kickers choking after missing a game-tying extra point against the Saints.  The Panthers took down the Eagles, and Cam Newton celebrated by dressing up like Dick Tracy when it was over.

How much longer is USC going to put up with this Clay Helton debacle? That was one of the worst displays of Trojan Football I’ve seen in years, after that blowout loss against Utah.  JT Daniels is now regressing, and looks as bad as a quarterback for the Buffalo Bills.  This isn’t his fault though.  His offensive coordinator is a disaster, and his head coach puts on practices that are much less physical than women’s soccer practices across campus.  Helton has to be getting desperate for a shake up at this point, and if he doesn’t, he’s really clueless.  He either needs to demote Tee Martin, change his quarterback to Matt Fink, or start having real practice in pads.  I’m not so sure we’ll see any of those things next week, especially since the Trojans are still in contention for a mediocre Pac-12 South title.

It really took an an injury to Dorian-Thompson Robinson to get Wilton Speight back in the lineup for UCLA?  It’s amazing how suddenly the offense put up 31 points with the guy who was supposed to be the starting QB since the start of the season.  Then again, they did play Arizona, which is also a train wreck.  These two schools might as well throw $10 million into a big pile and light it on fire given how much money they are spending and how much they are losing.  Oddly enough, UCLA still controls its own destiny in the Pac 12 South.  That’s how bad it is folks.

In case you missed it, the Angels named Brad Ausmus as their new Manager.  I recognize that we are entering an era of new baseball skippers we don’t know much about, but Ausmus seems like a very uninspired choice.  Billy Eppler said he wants a Manager who can think about probabilities when it comes to outcomes.  What he’s really saying is that he wants a Manager who can use an iPad and take instructions from a computer.  Or even the front office.  This is what managing a baseball team has become today sadly.  Brad Ausmus doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to fit that description, nor want to do that.

Finally, The Walking Dead went down last night on AMC so spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  Now that we know what’s with the helicopter, I think we know what happened to Heath as well.  it’s no wonder Rick asked Gabriel to keep an eye on Jadis.  Too bad he really only has one eye.  Bad move Rick.  Jadis claims she and Gabriel can go to a better place.  This woman lived in a dumpster.  What does she consider a better place? When will these people learn? Carol can’t die!  She’s a badass.   When you step on tomatoes, you risk your life.  I don’t know what an A or B is, but I do know that Daryl had an “A” written on his jumpsuit when he was captured by the Saviors, and that  Rick had an “A” written on the container Jadis put him in at the dumpster.  That “Richonne” moment was touching, but there won’t be much more of that since Rick is done in two more episodes.  Knowing TWD, they’ll kill him right after Michonne finds out she’s pregnant.  Meanwhile, Maggie has apparently found a replacement for Glenn, and of course he’s Asian. I’m guessing his name is “Len”.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 15, 2018

The Dodgers escaped Milwaukee with a split.  However, they might actually win this series because the only front office that is dumber than the Dodgers’ is the Brewers. Notice I’m referring to the front offices and not the managers, because they are forcing their managers to make stupid decisions exclusively off analytics.  This series should be called the “Nerd Bowl”.  The idea of taking out your best pitcher at the time because of some statistical splits is stupid. You thought the Dodgers overused their bullpen? The Brewers front office just said “hold my beer” and took out a starter throwing a 2-hit shutout yesterday.  I’m not sure what all the fuss is about anyway though.  The winner of this series is simply going to have the right to get abused by the Astros.  Well that and see Kate Upton in the stands for four straight games.

The Lakers are about to  start the season this week and it’s going to be fun. However, Joakim Noah just got waived by the Knicks, and for some reason everybody thinks he’s a fit on the Lakers.  Aside from the fact the dude can’t even play basketball anymore, the Lakers don’t have a need for another true center.  Then again, the Lakers signed a bunch of crazy people, and Noah is crazy, so it is somewhat of a fit there.  I guess the folks that suggested this too aren’t confident that they will get enough quotable material from the other lunatics on the Laker roster.  As for Lonzo Ball, he looked good in the two games he’s played in the preseason.  I’m sure Lavar made 100% sure he was not only healthy, but the team around him was playing well before he would risk having him play again.

To the NFL where the Rams found the win column against Denver yesterday to improve to 6-0. When the Rams don’t score 30 points and beat the crap out of teams, I begin to think something might be wrong. That’s how good they have been. Just think, Robert Woods was a very average receiver for years in Buffalo. With the Rams, Sean McVay has turned him into one of the most dynamic receivers in the league. Todd Gurley was in beast mode yesterday, piling up 270 yards rushing, and the Broncos had no answer. Every week looks like he’s playing a video game. I fully expect the Rams to destroy the wounded 49ers next week as well.

The Chargers bombed the Browns yesterday in Cleveland.  It took 6 weeks, but the Bolts finally look like the team some of those weirdos picked to make it to the Super Bowl.  Actually, what it really took was playing the Cleveland Browns.  This team has boat loads of talent, but the fact every week doesn’t look like yesterday tells you that they just don’t have the intangibles to win enough games in this league.  Some of those intangibles include having home games with actual fans that can cheer for them, as opposed to the other team.  Reality is the Chargers four wins have come against the garbage of the NFL: Bills, 49ers, Raiders, and Browns.  I suppose they could pick up another 3 wins just by playing the Raiders and Broncos, but expecting this team to make the playoffs is simply myopic.

Elsewhere around the NFL, the Raiders got blown out by the Seahawks, and Jon Gruden is trying to trade Amari Cooper. Gruden should trade himself for a couple of draft picks.  The Giants got crushed by the Eagles and Odell Beckham Jr. is ready to check Eli Manning into a retirement home.  Adam Thielen dominated and the Vikings cruised to a win over the Cardinals. Ronde Barber said Thielen “isn’t going to wow you athletically.”  Good one Ronde. I’m sure that comment had nothing to do with him being white.  A Steelers-Bengals game just feels like “The Criminal Bowl” when those two teams play each other. Adrian Peterson has to be the toughest dude in the NFL.  He hyperextends his knee, dislocates his shoulder, or even loses a cleat, and he’s still running hard!

I watched the USC football game from my living room on Saturday night.  You know what I have in common with the Trojans? We both had zero rushing yards in the first half of that game.  I had a few more actually if you want to count my trip to the fridge.  They may have won, but their offense is pathetic.  If this keeps up, Tee Martin is going to have to start hitting up LinkedIn for another job. I’m sure some of you are going to point to the fact that “at least the defense played well”.  Too bad they allowed Colorado to run off 84 plays, even with an average of just 3.2 yards per play.  In other words, the win had more to do with the Buffaloes ineptitude than anything else.  The win also didn’t even put the Trojans back in the Top 25, despite beating a ranked opponent.  That’s how sorry the Pac-12 is looking these days.

Congratulations to UCLA for finally winning a football game! Cal should be demoted to the CIF after getting crushed like that.  That win basically vaults the Bruins back into contention in the Pac 12 South too.  It’s that pathetic.  Heck if they win another game or two, they might throw a parade for Chip Kelly on campus. Somehow, in a game where the Bruins scored 37 points, their quarterbacks and receivers still looked incredibly underwhelming.  Welcome to the Chip Kelly era.

Finally, episode 2 of The Walking Dead went down last night on AMC. Spoiler alert if you don’t want to hear anymore, so read no further if that is the case. It’s no wonder Daryl is so angry and punching dudes. Carol and Ezekiel are about to get hitched and now trash lady and Gabriel are getting together. Meanwhile, Daryl can’t even get laid. I like how Rick shot a rope from afar in one shot, but couldn’t even manage to hit Negan once last season. Why is the half-blind guy on watch at night? Sounds like a smart idea. Are we ever going to learn about the helicopter from last season? It was really nice of Enid to give Aaron a hand there. Oh wait, never mind! You gotta love how Justin was a total jerk on the bridge yet they made him in charge of luring walkers away. Those Walkers getting crushed by rolling logs was like watching Donkey Kong throw logs at you on Nintendo. Overall good episode and looking forward to next week.

Monday Morning Coffee

October 8, 2018

The Dodgers managed to stay alive in the final days of the regular season, and despite last night’s loss, are still a good bet to get to the NLCS for the third straight year.  However, no matter how good they looked against Atlanta, facing Milwaukee is going to be brutal.  The Brewers have the bullpen, a dangerous lineup, and god knows they serve better beer in their ballpark than at Dodger Stadium.  I can’t say I’m optimistic the Dodgers will win that series.  Win or lose though, Clayton Kershaw proved to the Dodgers and their geeky front office that he deserves to finish his career with the franchise he started with.  Kershaw may not have overpowering pitches he used to, but he’s been smart enough to adjust his game to be just as effective.  That means he is a very good candidate to age gracefully, and continue to be a solid contributor for the next few years.  I’m just not so sure Andrew Friedman’s computer program will allow that to happen.

The NBA had it’s annual General Manager survey, which was quite revealing.  87% of GM’s think that the Golden State Warriors are going to win the championship this year.  As I suspect, that means at least 13% of NBA General Managers are idiots.  That number is actually a lot bigger than that because not a single GM voted for the Lakers as having one of the league’s best young cores.  That’s pretty stupid considering Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart have looked great in the preseason so far for the Lakers.  Ingram might end up being an All-Star this year, and Hart already looks like a good bet to break into the starting lineup.  I haven’t even mentioned Lonzo Ball yet, who most people seem to forget can actually play.  Those people seem to be under the false impression that his dad makes him a terrible player.  The Lakers are not only going to be a lot of fun this year, but they will actually be pretty good for the first time in a long time.

You know what I love about Kobe Bryant’s legacy? He was so good that he just defied logic.  People said that he couldn’t consistently take shots that were of such a high degree of difficulty, yet he made a successful career out of it, and was more efficient than you analytics nerds think.  His whole career was about proving people wrong that it just made people angry, and ultimately, made people respect him more.  Some of those angry folks still can’t get over it though, and three years after he’s retired, they are still trying to debunk parts of his legacy.  The latest is this moron with no life, Tracy Kerby, who probably lives in his mom’s basement. Kerby had nothing better to do with his time than pose the theory that Kobe wasn’t actually standing in front of Matt Barnes when he famously didn’t flinch after Barnes faked throwing the ball in his face.  Is that all you haters have left? It’s like Kobe’s legacy just keeps getting even better after he retired thanks to losers like this.

Can you imagine what the Rams game would have been like yesterday had Jeff Fisher been coaching the team instead of Sean McVay?  Not only would he have not gone for it on 4th down late in the game to clinch the win, but he probably would have been calling plays straight out of a 1996 NFL Playbook.  McVay is amazing for not only have a brilliant coaching mind, but also empowering and trusting his players, who convinced him to go for it on that crucial 4th down.  That was a great character win by the Rams in one of the toughest places to play in the NFL.  We got so used to them murdering teams but yesterday, it was the Rams wide receivers that were murdered, as Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks left with concussions.  Speaking of murder, since Marcus Peters got injured, he’s been getting lit on fire by every receiver he tries to cover.  Despite all that, the Rams still look like the best team in the league, even winning when they aren’t at their best.

I thought the Chargers were a total embarrassment until I saw them play the Raiders yesterday at the Stubhub Center.  That game should have been called “The Relocation Bowl”.  The Raider fans showed up in droves, but their team is garbage, and they made the Chargers actually look like a really good football team, which is just silly.   After a 26-10 loss, I could just envision Jon Gruden saying “you know I could swear we had more points than that man”.  The Raider fans clearly put up a better fight in the stands than their team did on the field.  However, whoever did this was the real winner for the day……

 

Elsewhere around the NFL, the Packers are probably going to be posting an ad on Craig’s List for a new kicker after their loss to Detroit.  AMBER ALERT: The Atlanta Falcons defense has been reported missing. Last seen 5 weeks ago.  Vontaze Burfict came back for the Bengals yesterday. Expect an increase in crime activity in the city of Cincinnati this week.  I think it’s safe to say that Tom Brady let all the air out of the Colts season.  Josh Gordon celebrated that victory over Indianapolis by lighting up a couple of blunts.  The Chiefs have started 6-0.  Guess that means they won’t be winning any playoff games again this year.

UCLA Football may have scored a moral victory on Saturday with a close loss to Washington, but didn’t do much to instill confidence in the Bruin faithful moving forward.  I seem to recall the Bruins putting up a really good fight against Oklahoma a few weeks ago, only to lay some fat eggs in the next two weeks.  If Wilton Speight is healthy and was the starting quarterback when the season began, why is Dorian Thompson-Robinson still playing?  DTR isn’t exactly tearing it up on offense, and the Bruins might not get their first win in the Chip Kelly era until some time in 2019.  The only thing that can save the season is a win against USC, and that game that should be called “The Bad Coaches Bowl”.  All this time, I thought it was Steve Alford who was the worst coach on the UCLA campus.

Notre Dame had an impressive road win against Virginia Tech, but I never want to hear another joke about the Irish having an old fan base, after VA Tech had Metallica give them a pregame talk.  Meanwhile, Texas nearly blew a big lead against Oklahoma, and they should blame it all on Skip Bayless, who declared the game was over on Twitter.  When Bayless says the sun will rise tomorrow, the world will most likely come to an end.  This is entertaining and all, but at the end of the day, everyone is just playing for the right to get steamrolled by Alabama come the holidays.

Saturday night had to have been the first UFC Fight where the event itself was more entertaining than the press conference.  That’s only because of the fight that occurred after the fight.  This feels like karma though.  McGregor got destroyed by a farmer who went home after the fight, threw on an Islamic robe, slammed some pizza, and watched a replay of his victory.  However, classy move by McGregor to not press charges on the member of Khabib’s entourage who attempted to assault him. That’s because he knows going back to Russia is far worse than being in any American prison.  The re-match is going to be worth the trouble.

Finally, the season 9 premier of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later.  Who the hell is Ken and why do we have to sit through a funeral for a character we only knew for 10 minutes? Somewhere, Carl is rolling over in his grave.  Maggie apparently thinks she’s the new Don Corleone of the apocalypse.  She also decided to go right ahead and have a baby without us.  Her baby is 9 months old yet apparently Judith hasn’t aged one bit.  i need some of whatever she is drinking.  You’ve gotta love that Maggie was mad at Rick for putting Negan in jail but Gregory was still walking around her camp though.  That was until we all saw him get what he deserved.  I can’t believe Daryl just let Ezekiel swoop in and get with Carol after all this time.  That was one couple we’ve been hoping would happen for years.  Those apocalyptic spiders are more terrifying than the zombies at this point.  Father Gabriel looks like he’s had about 10 rounds of plastic surgery.  Who knew he could find one in the apocalypse?  There’s an inevitable feeling that this show is going straight to hell with all the good characters we are going to lose in a few weeks.  Nevertheless, I’m going to try and enjoy the ride while it lasts!