Monday Morning Coffee’s

January 11, 2021

The Rams got a big playoff win over Seattle on Saturday! I’m really glad the offense finally scored a touchdown in the red zone because I was about to start calling it “The Twilight Zone”. Cam Akers is a stud running the ball, but the defense is the story. They put so much pressure on Russell Wilson, he would have struggled passing the salt at the dinner table. Aaron Donald was dominant as ever, and it’s hard to argue with Howie Long’s assessment that he’s going to end up as the greatest defensive tackle to ever play when you see that. The Rams were fortunate that Donald seems to be ok since none of his ribs were broken. We’ll see about Cooper Kupp and John Wolford, but it’s hard to imagine Goff not starting next week. This team has been very up and down, but so has the entire NFC. You have to be intrigued at the thought of this team going on the road with a shutdown defense and a good running game. That plays very well against the Packers.

Elsewhere around Wild Card Weekend, if the Bills had lost, America would have had its second riot in three days. I’m not sure why Frank Reich went for two. It was like Doug Peterson kidnapped him and took over the play-calling in that moment. If the Colts had pulled that off though, you can bet your ass there would have been a 10th Rivers baby by October. Meanwhile in Tampa, the Bucs beat Washington and even though Antonio Brown scored a touchdown, he has been out of football so long he didn’t realize the chest bump is played out. It’s all about the side bump now. Taylor Heinicke played great in the loss, and who knew that Washington would find their next quarterback before their next team name? The Ravens took down the Titans on the road. Mike Vrable at one point said he would be willing to cut off his penis to win a Super Bowl, but wouldn’t go for it on 4th and 2 at the Ravens 40 yard line and down 4. Watching the Titans try to stop Lamar Jackson was like watching security try to stop the Capitol from being invaded by idiots. If you didn’t watch the Saints-Bears on Nickelodeon over CBS, then you were doing it wrong. I thought we would see a little more SpongeBob content though. How does Nickelodeon explain to the kids that Anthony Miller got ejected for punching someone in the face? He should be suspended like Trump’s Twitter account. The Browns shocked everyone by beating upon the Steelers. Pittsburgh looked more terrible than their towels last night. I don’t know what happened to Big Ben with all those turnovers. He got manhandled as if the Browns shoved him forcefully into a bathroom stall. I guess now he know what it feels like.

As for the Chargers, immediately after their last game of the season, Anthony Lynn said the team did a good job under the circumstances. Apparently he was “the circumstances” because he was fired the following day. I have no idea who the Bolts are going to make their next head coach, but this is a critical moment for the franchise. Searching for a new head coach is the right move, as long as they find the right guy. By “right guy” I mean someone who can take Justin Herbert’s development to the next level, and help the team understand how to win close games. The latter has been something that’s felt impossible for this team forever.

To the NBA, where the Lakers crushed the Rockets last night and now have the best record in the Association. That game was definitely one for the “I’m tired of the Lakers not playing hard” crowd. Let’s be honest though: they aren’t always playing hard and sometimes they look like they want to be elsewhere. I get it though. It’s because they barely got an offseason. However, you can’t really complain when they are still the #1 seed after not playing hard for much of their first 11 games. That just tells you when they decide to start playing, the rest of the league better look out. Talen Horton Tucker is a more promising young prospect than Baby Yoda. I really wouldn’t mind seeing Lebron and AD just sit out every 6 or 7 games, and play this kid some real minutes to develop him further. It’s clear that he has talent, and might be not just a good player, but an excellent player in this league.

The Clippers also found the win the column yesterday against the Bulls.  It’s safe to say that while the league is in preseason form, the Clippers are in playoff form because they keep blowing 20-point leads.  In all seriousness though, the Clips  have moments where their team looks very disengaged and uninterested in playing basketball.  It makes you wonder what the locker room dynamic is like since Ty Lue took over.  It’s too early to tell if there’s a problem or not, because the Clippers’ problems aren’t as bad as much of the league and they’re still a team that can contend.  However, I also wonder how effectively Luke Kennard and Marcus Morris are going to fit over the long haul, especially given the money they were paid.  Their contributions have been up and down, so only time will tell.

In College Hoops UCLA is is 5-0 in PAC-12 play and in first place. The Bruins swept an Arizona road trip by defeating the Sun Devils and the Wildcats over the weekend. Since Chris Smith went down with a season-ending injury, they are 3-0. This team is just grinding out wins by playing solid defense, winning the battles for loose balls, and getting just enough offense from a 10-man rotation. It’s not sexy, but it’s winning basketball games, and should put the Bruins back in the Top 25 this week. This is exactly why Coach Mick Cronin is more consistent than A Few Good Men on a rainy Sunday. Up next are the Washington schools at Pauley Pavilion.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Tommy Lasorda and his family after he passed away last week. Lasorda was someone who made Dodger fans, sports fans, or just ordinary fans of the American way feel good about themselves. He was someone that just put a smile on your face when you saw him. He was also one of baseball’s most accomplished Managers, winning the World Series and Manager of the Year twice, along with four NL pennants and eight division titles. I’m sure Lasorda was probably cussing up a storm with the way baseball teams are run today, and the way Managers are now just figureheads, unlike in his era. Nevertheless, at least he was alive long enough to see the Dodgers win another World Series before he passed.


Finally, the season premiere of The Bachelor went down on ABC last week, and it’s back on tonight. Matt James is the Bachelor this season, and he is the first black bachelor in the history of the show. I can just envision Matt telling Chris Harrison he’s ready to send Victoria home after the first episode, and Chris threatening to kill him if he did so. Anna saying she was trying to telepathically tell Matt to pick her is one of the weirdest moments I’ve seen in the history of the show, and that’s saying a lot for all the weirdos we’ve seen. How did we not have a major meltdown with two girls wearing the exact same dress? I almost feel cheated that I wanted that for two hours and didn’t see one. I guess ABC saved their budget for The Bachelor and not The Bachelorette since night one was at some spectacular mansion, instead of some shack in the desert like we saw a few weeks ago. I think one of the most disappointing aspects of the first episode was that we’ll never actually know what the vibrator looked liked, other than that it was apparently sparkly. Who knew that you could not show an image of a vibrator on television? Looking forward to seeing where the season goes from here.


Monday Morning Coffee

January 4, 2020

The Lakers are off to smooth 5-2 start and are looking good. They are also load managing games, without actually load managing players by sitting them out. That’s pretty important for a team that just finished playing last season about 5 minutes ago. If there’s one thing I’m also keeping an eye on it’s just how good the Lakers are defensively compared to last season. Their defense in the paint seems somewhat selective at times, but they have shown they know how to tighten the screws in the 4th quarter, and lock their opponents up. Keep in mind this is also coming while missing one of their best perimeter defenders, Alex Caruso, for about the last week. The best part about it is that Frank Vogel can mess around with lineups all he wants for the next few weeks because the Lakers have a very soft schedule until the end of January. At this point, if you’re a Laker fan, the only thing you should be complaining about is that you can’t go watch the team in Staples Center for a while.

The other team that still looks elite despite enduring relentless mocking from Jock Talk LA is the Clippers. The Clips took down the Suns yesterday, although we’ve reached the point where if the Clippers jump out to a 20-point lead, the opponent has to feel confident they can erase it pretty quickly. I guess Paul George was done celebrating Christmas since the team actually played to it’s potential yesterday. The Clippers need to watch out for those holidays, since PG uses them as an excuse when his team gets destroyed anywhere near them. In all seriousness though, even though it feels like the Clippers either win by 30+ points every game or lose by 30+ points every game, you can see the talent is still there from last year, and they are a dangerous team when they want to be.

To the NFL, where the Rams overcame some big injuries and clinched a playoff spot yesterday. It sure helps that Cliff Kingsbury’s playbook is just one giant Denny’s menu, or at least feels that way given some of his decisions yesterday. Nevertheless, the Rams took care of the Cardinals with backup quarterback, John Wolford, running the show. Wolford didn’t do much through the air, and his LinkedIn profile is a lot more polished than his skills as an NFL Quarterback, but his rushing ability was impressive. Then again, heading to Seattle next week to play the Hawks doesn’t sound very appealing given how banged up the Rams are. Even if Jared Goff is healthy, I’m not sure he’s mentally in the right place to win a playoff game on the road. The last time we saw him on the field was at Seattle, where he looked like he was only playing football because his parents were making him. The Rams always play the Hawks tough, but right now it doesn’t feel like much is going their way headed into this game, so I’d be surprised if they can pull it out.

Meanwhile, the Chargers got themselves nothing more than a morale boosting win over the Chiefs yesterday. Neither team had anything to play for, and the Chiefs had a a bunch of Door Dash drivers in their lineup since their starters were resting after clinching. Watching Anthony Lynn getting aggressive and making analytics-friendly decisions in Week 17 is like eating that one celery stick after finishing off 12 wings…..it’s too late! According to Jay Glazer, Lynn is going to be fired today, and likely by the time you are reading this article. When it comes to these situations though, I always ask the larger question: if you’re firing him then who are you replacing him with? I don’t suspect the Chargers are going to make some splashy hire like Urban Meyer or even Robert Saleh, who is the hottest name right now. These guys aren’t going to spend $10 million on a head coach. It’s simply not the style of Dean Spanos. Whoever it is though, they better be able to take Justin Herbert to the next level as a QB, or else the Bolts are just wasting away the golden opportunity they have with Justin Herbert.

Elsewhere around Week 17 of the NFL, I think most of America didn’t care who won the NFC East as long as it wasn’t the Cowboys. The Colts beat the Jags and good thing because if they didn’t make the playoffs, Philip Rivers wife would been angry that Philip would have retired and been around the house all the time. The Browns clinched by beating the Steelers, and Pittsburgh should be nervous that Big Ben looks worse than Mason Rudolph. The Bills hammered the Dolphins, sending Miami to their living room to watch the playoffs. The Ravens suddenly look a lot scarier heading into the playoffs after throttling the Bengals. The Jets lost to the Patriots, then fired Adam Gase for winning too many games this season. That Tom Brady guy isn’t too bad at football, as the Bucs beat the Falcons. It turns out only 3 women at a club can shutdown Alvin Kamara, rather than anyone on the football field, but the Saints beat the Panthers anyway. The Titans got a miracle from AJ Brown and a goal post to win the AFC South as they got by the Texans. The Raiders beat the Broncos but they are social distancing from the playoffs. The Seahawks beat the 49ers, who have so many injuries and a training staff that couldn’t heal a paper cut in a week. The Packers beat the Bears, but Chicago is going to the playoffs which is more impressive than anyone that can eat an entire Chicago Deep Dish Pizza by themselves.

To the College Ranks where Alabama beat up on Notre Dame over the weekend to advance to the National Championship game against Ohio State. The Buckeyes also took down Clemson. I’m tired of this stupid narrative that Notre Dame doesn’t belong in the playoff because they get blown out every time. In what sport does your performance from previous seasons actually prevent you making the postseason? The reality of it is Alabama, Clemson, and even Ohio State are just that much better than anybody else. I don’t think Cincinnati or Northwestern would do much better in the CFP, but I’m all for expanding the playoff. It’s also performance in previous seasons that adversely impact those other schools, which is wrong as well. It’s always been a flawed system, but don’t act like the Irish are some scrub team like the Twitter mob seems to think. As for Clemson’s loss to Ohio State, this was good practice for Trevor Lawrence, because he’s going to be trailing a lot next year with the Jaguars.

Speaking of College Football, I’ve got bad news UCLA fans. Martin Jarmon isn’t planning on getting rid of Chip Kelly right now. Jarmon came out and said he supports Kelly, but also said he wants to win more, and looks forward to seeing that. Jarmond also complimented the effort put forth in every game they played this season. These are exactly the type of words that are spoken by an AD who is mostly concerned about a $9 million buyout, which is the main reason why he has to be so supportive of his football coach. I don’t suspect that will be an impediment after one more mediocre year with Kelly, which is as sure to happen as the sun is to rise tomorrow.

As for UCLA Basketball, they received some devastating news over the weekend, learning that Chris Smith is done for the year with a torn ACL. Smith was arguably UCLA’s best player, and one of their top scorers. The ceiling for the team isn’t quite as high without him, although they did pick up a victory over Colorado on Saturday to improve to 3-0 in Pac-12 play. UCLA is going to have to share the ball and turn up the intensity on the defensive end to overcome this. Up next are the Arizona schools next week for a couple of duels in the desert.

Chris Smith - Men's Basketball - UCLA

This baseball off-season has been unbelievable so far. NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. I wonder what GM’s are doing? Their bosses must have given them a 6-month vacation since none seem to be allowed to spend money. I know everybody wants to talk about the Padres being the only team that made moves by acquiring Chris Snell and Yu Darvish. However, don’t buy the hype because the Dodgers still own the NL West until further notice. With that being said though, the Dodgers still have moves up their sleeves and decisions to make. There’s a lot of talk around DJ LeMahieu, which would be great if the price is right. Still, I would rather see the Dodgers bring back Justin Turner on a reasonable deal and sign Liam Hendriks or Brad Hand to strengthen their bullpen. However, since everyone in baseball apparently doesn’t seem to care about being competitive other than the Padres, I think the Dodgers will be pretty good no matter what they do.

Then there’s the Angels, who’s absolutely blow my mind. This team has never needed pitching more, but they don’t seem to be making any effort to get any. I bring this up because two of the best pitchers in baseball last season were just traded to the Padres for a bottle of hand sanitizer, and some rolled tacos from Roberto’s Mexican Cantina. I realize that the Halos didn’t have the prospects to get Chris Snell, but they sure as hell could have tried for Yu Darvish. Instead, it appears as though Arte Moreno had no desire to add to the payroll to help his team win, which is contrary to what he’s trying to tell us publicly. Apparently nobody has told him that he currently has one of the greatest players of all-time, in his prime, on his team. Arte must want to win, but on his own terms. Otherwise, he must hate pitching.

Monday Morning Coffee

December 28, 2020

The Lakers are off to a solid start after picking up a win vs the Wolves last night. Kyle Kuzma was so hot from 3 to start the game, he probably melted the slab of ice the LA Kings play on that was underneath the hardwood. The way the Lakers moved the ball in the last two games was a thing of beauty, and Marc Gasol is a huge part of that. I’m not sure if I like him because of that, or because his vertical isn’t much higher than mine, if at all. The best part of all though is that the Lakers showed last night that they can still defend at a high level. Losing Dwight and Javale, while adding Gasol, Schroeder, and Trezz won’t necessarily change that. It makes them different defensively, but not worse. I’d love to see more minutes from Talen Horton-Tucker, but watching this team play every night is a blast for Laker fans.

I didn’t realize that the Clippers had The Dream Team on their schedule. I mean they did play The Dream Team right? That’s the only way they could lose by 51 at home. Oh wait, it was just the Mavericks they played. I don’t care if they played without Kawhi. No NBA team should ever play that bad. Especially since the Clippers should be used to playing at Staples Center without real fans. It’s super early, and I still think the Clippers are in the upper echelon of the Western Conference, but there are certain things about this team that puzzle me. When this team mentally checks out, like they did yesterday and like they did in the bubble, THEY REALLY CHECK OUT. The results at that point are bad. Also, why did they give Luke Kennard a $64 million contract without seeing him play a single regular season minute for the team? I don’t even know if Kennard is going to be good enough to stick in the rotation on this team, let alone be as effective as he was last year for the Pistons. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Clippers loss yesterday was because Kawhi threw a party at his pad for his teammates on Saturday night with tons of strippers. Seems like a very Kawhi thing to do. The Clips might need to change their logo after that embarrassing performance….

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The Rams offense was a total disaster yesterday, as LA lost to the Seahawks. The loss also gave the Seahawks the NFC West title. The offense was nowhere to be found for the 2nd week in a row. I don’t know if Sean McVay was calling plays while drinking eggnog the last couple of weeks, but every week I have no idea what to expect from this group. The decision making from his quarterback isn’t helping either. I’ve seen better decisions made while leaving the club drunk at 2 am than the ones Jared Goff made yesterday. This went from a team we thought might sneak into the Super Bowl, to a team that is hanging on for dear life just to make the playoffs. Don’t forget the bonehead move that Josh Reynolds made yesterday just handing the ball back to the Seahawks late in the game. This team’s best hope is to get Cam Akers back from injury to ignite their run game, and then hopefully get enough solid throws from Goff to get by. The good news is that their defense is elite and can keep them in games. In any case, I’m preparing myself for the worst with the Rams in the coming week or two at most.

The Chargers took down the Broncos yesterday. The Bolts are winning games just in time to destroy their draft position and give them an excuse to keep Anthony Lynn as their head coach. Yesterday’s game was probably more aggravating than the 45-0 loss to Patriots. Lynn couldn’t even design plays for his superstar running back, Austin Ekeler. There’s also stretches where Lynn goes extremely conservative without unleashing Justin Herbert, who is already showing he is one of the most promising young quarterbacks in the game. It’s going to be fascinating to see if the Bolts succumb to public pressure to move on from Lynn after next week’s game, or if Dean Spanos stays with the comfort of not paying multiple head coaches. Stay tuned!

Elsewhere around Week 16 of the NFL, Alvin Kamara was in a giving mood, giving anybody that faced him in fantasy another reason to drink in 2020, and giving the Saints a win. The Raiders lost to the Dolphins in the most “Raiders gonna Raider” way. It turns out the Lions suck just as much without coaches, who were out with COVID in their loss to the Bucs. The Cardinals lost to the 49ers, and Cliff Kingsbury is calling plays like a 12-year-old playing Madden on XBOX. That Jets are such a horrible franchise, they can’t even lose correctly, as they beat the Browns and ended their hopes of drafting Trevor Lawrence. The Falcons lost to the Chiefs on a missed field goal from Younghoe Koo which makes perfect sense: he’s a former Charger. Philip Rivers had to wrangle all 12 of his children on Christmas morning, but couldn’t wrangle a win for the Colts against the Steelers. Mitch Trubisky is suddenly a really good quarterback, as the Bears dominated the Jags. The Bengals beat the Texans in what should have been called “The Injury Bowl”. The Ravens woke up from their season long nap to beat the Giants, but may not make the playoffs. The WFT made their fans say “WTF” after losing to the Panthers. The Cowboys beat the Eagles and can still win the NFC East, but the division is so bad they shouldn’t even be allowed to host Christmas dinner, let alone a playoff game.

It feels like UCLA Basketball hasn’t played since Dan Guerrero had hair on his head. The Bruins had their game at Oregon postponed, after a couple of officials tested positive for COVID-19. UCLA is going to have to play really well in conference play since they don’t have the opportunity to get any signature wins against non-conference opponents. I see tons of potential in this group and feel like on some days they can play with anybody in the country. However on other days, it feels like Sean McVay is running things while drinking spiked eggnog. Up next is Utah on Thursday, and the Bruins need to start banking wins ASAP!

So the Trojans decided to decline an invitation to a bowl game, which some people look at as an admirable thing to do. Do you really think they would have declined the bowl invite if it were a New Years Six Bowl? No way. This is all about the money, and trust me, USC and every PAC-12 school needs it right now. There’s no money in going to the Alamo Bowl or the Toilet Bowl, or whatever glorified consolation game they got invited to. The real question is whether or not Carol Folt will eventually take the handcuffs off of Athletic Director Mike Bohn, and let him hire a real football coach. USC is going to be kicking themselves if Urban Meyer gets away and goes to the NFL or to another college program. Until Folt gives Bohn the power to do his job to the best of his ability, the only thing you can count on is USC being consistently inconsistent.

Finally, The Bachelorette season finale went down last week in a big 2-night extravaganza. My man Ivan really got screwed. His fantasy suite was in a trailer park. The other dudes got real fantasy suites, even if it was just La Quinta. Look, I don’t agree with the decision to go with Zac over Ivan, but they both handled the whole thing gracefully, and with as much maturity as possible for The Bachelorette. I also wasn’t sold because we didn’t even get an “After The Final Rose” special. Dudes all over the US were definitely writing down Zac’s proposal after hearing how impressive it was. Credit to Tayshia for saving a season that Clare broke with a wrecking ball, and on a show with a budget that was mismanaged like it was Lehman Brothers. However, if Tayshia is worried about religion, maybe she should be on Christian Mingle when she and Zac break up. Tayshia and Zac are getting off easy in this whole thing without even having to answer anybody’s questions now that it’s over. I feel like it was the viewer that got the short end of the stick, but that’s what we’re stuck with in a pandemic.

Monday Morning Coffee

December 21, 2020

I can’t decide if Talen Horton-Tucker is the greatest player of all-time or merely the greatest player in our lifetime. In all seriousness though, THT is playing like 2nd year lottery pick this preseason, not a 2nd rounder that was taken near the end of the draft. I don’t like to put a lot of stock into preseason play, but I can’t help but notice he didn’t even have a bad game in all four preseason games. I don’t really know how good he is going to be, but he certainly looks like a very good rotation player at minimum. His arms are longer than Inspector Gadget, he’s already a very good defender, and he’s an improving play maker. If you think the hype around Alex Caruso was insane last year, THT might break Twitter if he keeps this up. The best part about this for the Lakers is they don’t actually need him to be great. They are pretty deep. However, if THT is as special as his teammates keep saying, the Lakers are going to be as dominant as ever.

Meanwhile, the Clippers free agent signing of Kawhi Leonard is under investigation by the NBA. Even the NBA can’t believe that anybody would be weird enough to pick the Clippers over the Lakers. Even if the Clips are found guilty of wrong-doing here, I’m not sure how Adam Silver can punish a team without any draft picks to take away. Besides, having Paul George under contract for the next five years is already a big punishment. If nothing else though, this is really a bad look for the Clips, and makes me wonder about Steve Ballmer, and the lengths he was willing to go to last year to make his franchise more popular in LA. It’s been speculated he paid media to spread negative stories about the Lakers, none of which were true. Now it’s been speculated that his franchise may have done things to circumvent the salary cap in a desperate effort to secure Kawhi. Although I have a hard time believing Jerry West could be that foolish, I think it’s a little premature for executives around the league to have voted Ballmer the best owner in the NBA. Also, Uncle Dennis is really starting to remind me of that Uncle in the movie “He Got Game”. This guy just wants his piece of the pie.

I can’t believe the Rams laid an egg yesterday against the Jets. I don’t know what the hell either team was thinking. The Rams had a great chance to inch closer to a division title, and even the #2 seed with the Saints loss. The Jets blew their chances at drafting Trevor Lawrence with the #1 pick. Heck, that win might get Adam Gase fired this morning since it might have been the most devastating win of all-time. I know we’re all conditioned to blame this on Jared Goff because we’re all jealous he has a super hot girlfriend, but this loss wasn’t entirely on Goff. The entire team just decided not to wake up from their power nap until the 2nd half. This team should be forced to move to San Diego after this loss. The good news is that they can still win the division with a win against the Seahawks next week, but hard to be confident after watching that debacle.

That was exactly how I pictured a Chargers vs Raiders game going last Thursday night. Both teams kicking away golden opportunities to win the game. Anthony Lynn doesn’t even know when to call timeout anymore, let alone how to manage the clock late in a half. Even more head-scratching is the fact that Lynn just took the ball completely out of the hands of Justin Herbert in the 4th quarter, attempting just one pass in the last 15 minutes of regulation. The only thing that saved the Bolts is the fact Jon Gruden doesn’t even know what hat he should be wearing, let alone how to get his team to win football games they should. As I mentioned last week, I’m still not entirely convinced the Chargers are serious enough about winning to replace Lynn. It’s a weird organization with a weird owner, that suddenly lucked into having a franchise quarterback.

Elsewhere around Week 15, the Falcons blew another lead to Tom Brady in their loss to the Bucs, which had to feel like the good old days. The Bears beat the Vikings, but Chicago wishes David Montgomery had decided to turn into Barry Sanders when they could still make the playoffs. The Cowboys won and didn’t have Zeke Elliott, who makes $90 million and is probably slamming grub like James Harden. The Seahawks beat Washington, but DK Metcalf got hurt, which seems impossible since we all thought he was a machine. Dolphins beat the Patriots and America is celebrating the Pats playoff streak snapping. The Texans lost to the Colts, and Houston fumbling late in the game is as sure as the sun setting. Dez Bryant scored for the first time in three years in the Ravens win over the Jags. I thought he quit 2 weeks ago? Derrick Henry murdered more defenders in the Titans win over the Lions. Come on DH, these guys have families!

The Oregon Ducks won the Pac-12. The state of Oregon recently legalized every substance known to man. I’m sure that made for a very interesting evening on Friday night after the Ducks beat the Trojans. That was the first time Larry Scott had not been booed during a championship presentation. Prior to Friday night, I was offended at the mere suggestion by some writers and analysts that USC should be in the College Football Playoff. Anybody who had not been drinking knows that USC is a talented but extremely poorly coached playoff team, that has no business competing against the elite of College Football. Even if USC had pulled off another comeback and won Friday, beating ASU, Arizona, and UCLA doesn’t make this a top 10 team, let alone a top 4 team. Credit to Bill Plaschke of the LA Times for admitting this mistake.

As for UCLA football, how did Chip Kelly manage to turn this into a losing season? It was gift wrapped for him to win the Pac-12 south, yet he’s the only guy that managed to turn lemonade back into lemons. He had a 34-20 lead against Stanford, yet handed it over like some 501C3 charity. He shouldn’t have taken his foot off the gas late in the game after that onside kick. He also should have played for the tie to go for the 3rd overtime since he was at home. Even those that play College Football on PlayStation know this. Now we’re suddenly hearing that Kelly might not come back, and there’s even rumors that AD Martin Jarmond will explore the hiring of Urban Meyer or Chris Petersen. I don’t know how a program that is bleeding cash like they are Disney is going to hire an expensive coach like that. Especially when things went so bad with an expensive coach like Chip Kelly.

UCLA basketball was in action over the weekend against Ohio State, but the Bruins lost a tight one. The Bruins play hard, they are a solid team, but they also shoot like Paul George in the playoffs. This team misses way too many easy looks in the paint. I’m assuming that some positive regression will occur in that area over time, but the results aren’t helping them in the AP polls. Chris Smith must have entered a time machine and gone back to sophomore year, because he’s absolutely invisible at times. UCLA is going to have to play a lot better overall in conference play to strengthen their tournament resume. They have talent, but they also have a heck of a lot of work to do between now and March.

Finally, the Bachelorette went down last week, and it returns for back-to-back nights this week. Bruh……why was Ivan dripping sweat like that? Is he ok? The crew needs to get this poor, sweating guy a towel or something. I believe that people have the right to make their own decisions about life without being criticized. Except that doesn’t apply when analyzing this show, so if Tayshia doesn’t choose Ivan she’s a fool. Ben said he almost killed himself twice. I would too if I were stuck in La Quinta the entire time I was on the show. I guess the whole show budget went there since we saw some pretty lame dates. All of these guys in the final episode are extremely flawed though. Ben is clearly at a point he can only focus on himself because his mental health needs attention. Brenden is not ready for a relationship like this, let alone to speak at the rate of a normal human being. Zac has too much baggage and said he wasn’t even thinking about a wife when he got on the show. The reality of it is Tayshia has probably helped all these guys find new confidence in themselves, which is a really nice story. However, that’s not why we watch The Bachelorette. We watch it for the train wreck we expect. It’s rather bitter sweet this season.

Monday Morning Coffee

December 14, 2020

One one hand the USC-UCLA game on Saturday night was very exciting, and reminded us why it’s one of the best rivalries in College Football. It was back and forth, it had amazing plays, and it had two teams that just didn’t like each other. On the other hand, it was so symbolic of just how much the coaching is holding these two programs back. The Trojans have incredible talent with a coach who has no idea how to utilize it. Their offense is about as predictable as your computer getting a virus from downloading porn. Given the talent, this is mediocrity at best. The Trojans have been barely getting by against teams they should beat. As for the Bruins, they blew that lead as a result of poor play calling and a series of mental lapses. Those errors are the difference between this team being 6-0 vs 3-3. The turnovers in Colorado, the Hail Mary at the end of the half in Oregon, and every 4th and short vs USC showed this. When you pay Chip Kelly $24 million, you expect much better than that. It took a pandemic shortened season just to get this team to a respectable .500. That’s the sad state of these two historical programs that deserve much better.

To the NBA, where the Lakers got the pre-season underway this weekend. I don’t really like to draw too many conclusions from preseason play in any sport. However, I think it’s fair to say that the Laker bench should be getting some heavy minutes for the first several weeks of the season. I don’t want to see Lebron and AD do anything but get some light conditioning in against some scrub teams until Valentines Day. The team is good enough to collect some wins and stay in contention in the West while the their stars get much needed rest. Also promising is Talen Horton Tucker, who is only 20-years-old and looking like he could be solid contributor. I can see why he was overlooked in the draft. He’s got a weird looking body, and looks like he was assembled from leftover parts of 7 different people. I would love to see them add Pau Gasol to the mix as well, which would be an awesome story. Pau has to get himself into shape though, since he hasn’t played NBA ball in nearly two years.

As for the Clippers, they made headlines last week by signing Paul George to a massive extension worth $226 million. Getting that extension for shooting a three of the side of the backboard, and lying constantly in interviews is an inspirational story of people who fail upward. In all seriousness though, I’m going to give the Clippers credit for being smart here. This extension wasn’t about the fact they love him and want to see him retire a Clipper. It’s about retaining an asset they paid a kings ransom for, so they can potentially trade him for something down the line. PG is a talented player, who has shown that he is extremely mentally fragile in big moments, while lacking accountability. I’m pretty sure the front office knows this since they reportedly shopped him prior to signing him to the extension. I’d be shocked if he finishes that contract in LA.

To the NFL where the Rams lit up the Patriots like a Menorah on Thursday night at Sofi Stadium. If Cam Newton is going to rush for 171 yards and the defense is going to be lights out like that, I’m not worried about Jared Goff. Sean McVay now has four straight winning season in LA, which can’t be taken for granted. The Rams have suddenly morphed into a physical team. They play stifling defense and are now running the ball with authority. McVay is also evolving as a coach. I’m sure it pained him to run the ball 30 times in one game against Belichick, but he did what he needed to do. Even more amazing is the idea that this same Patriots team dismantled the Chargers in the same stadium just four days earlier.

Speaking of the Chargers, their game against the Falcons was meaningless for both teams, but the real question is whether or not Anthony Lynn will be their coach moving forward. One man who is extremely plugged in to the Chargers is my man Scott Kaplan, who now has an evening show on ESPN Radio 710. He also covered the team for many years in San Diego. According to Scott, he fully expects the team to retain Lynn, not only until the end of the season, but next season as well. Dean Spanos isn’t the kind of guy to go pay $10 million for a coach. He’s also not a “win at all costs” kind of guy. Considering he just gave Lynn an extension through next season, Spanos would rather contract COVID-19 than have to pay two coaches at the same time. That makes you think the Bolts are going to be locked into mediocrity, in a city that doesn’t really care about them for a long time to come.

Elsewhere around week 14 of the NFL, Josh Jacobs told us he doesn’t care about our fantasy football team, but I guess nobody told him those fantasy owners don’t care that the Raiders lost to the Colts. Mitch Trubisky turned into Patrick Mahomes against the Texans, which is typical for 2020. The Vikings lost to the Bucs, and Kirk Cousins doesn’t like that. It turns out Daniel Jones is just as bad on one leg as he his with two healthy legs as the Giants got beat by the Cardinals. The Jaguars are streaking! And by streaking I mean they’ve lost 12 straight after losing to the Titans. The Dolphins lost to the Chiefs, and Miami is going to need to hold tryouts with their fans with all the injuries they have. Watching the Bengals and Cowboys without their starting QB’s is like going to Ruth Chris with them being out of steaks. The Seahawks beat up on the Jets, and I haven’t seen the Jets look this foolish since last week. AJ Brown is not human…..

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UCLA Basketball is now 5-0 after taking down Marquette on Friday night at Pauley Pavilion. That’s 5 straight wins for the Bruins. Every game they’ve played since Mick Cronin took over is an emotional rollercoaster. The first 8 minutes you ask yourself “what the hell is this team doing?” The next 10 minutes you couldn’t be more excited about the potential. The last 2 minutes you find yourself saying “what the hell? Ok, good we got the win!” I guess that’s why Mick Cronin is more consistent than A Few Good Men on a rainy Sunday. You get the emotional ups and downs, but more often than not you get wins. This team is getting healthier, and slowly getting better. The Bruins also now have the Jordan Brand to replace Under Armour. Some will say that they will lose recruits because of this. However, I say they lost recruits because of Steve Alford. This can’t be any worse.

In baseball, it’s been a very slow off-season so far, but the Angels have been apparently trying to make news. The Halos were reportedly in the mix for James McCann, but “lost out” to the Mets. I’m not sure whether Angel fans should be happy about the fact they didn’t get this guy, or concerned about the fact they were willing to offer a career .249 hitter a contract worth $30 million. The Halos need to put every dollar they can afford to spend at this point into their starting pitching. They need at least two, and arguably three starters, and at least one of those could be had for $10 million. I’m almost dreading to see what moves actually happen just knowing what the Angels were pursuing, but only time will reveal this disaster.

Finally, the The Bachelorette is returning for back-to-back nights beginning tonight on ABC. Looks like the producers needed more practice controlling the lie detector test, as I’m pretty sure it wasn’t working once dudes were lying about their real name. Who the hell let Bennet back on the property? That guys has some real Ted Bundy vibes. Netflix is going to cast him as the lead guy in the next season of “You”. I have no idea what Riley shared. I would have an easier time understanding Chinese. I think ABC just spoiled things by showing Noah at “The Men Tell All”, meaning he’s probably not getting a rose. My biggest issue with Brendan , is that he takes like TEN FREAKING MINUTES to say a SINGLE FREAKING SENTENCE. The next two nights should be entertaining. I love how the producers really used a screen saver and tried to pass it off like it was an EKG for the lie detector.

Monday Morning Coffee

December 7, 2020

I’m not sure yet if the Laker players are happier over the fact Lebron James and Antony Davis signed long-term extensions, or that they can smoke as much weed as they want this season without the league testing them. I have to say that I was surprised by the timing and length of the contracts Lebron and AD signed. Lebron has never committed to this kind of contract with Cleveland or Miami, which speaks volumes about his trust in the organization. The same goes for AD, who likely committed to being a cornerstone after Lebron retires. The only bitter sweet part for the Lakers is that barring a sign-and-trade, it’s unlikely they will acquire a third star in the next two off-seasons. Then again, Laker fans shouldn’t be complaining, especially since no team has two stars as good as Lebron and AD, let alone three. Rob Pelinka and Jeannie Buss have built a very stable organization, contrary to all the negativity that was written about them in the past two years. Laker fans only complaint should be that they probably can’t go to Staples Center to see their team play for another year.

Meanwhile, as the Clippers opened training camp and there are continued questions about their chemistry and the dynamics of their locker room. At the center of it all is Paul George. This man has a growing reputation for lacking accountability, and it’s already on full display this season. George blamed Doc Rivers for not making adjustments, and making him play like more of a spot-up shooter last season. Doc may have his faults, but I’m pretty sure he’s not responsible for George shooting like Philip Seymour Hoffman in Along Came Polly in the playoffs. Ty Lue better have some transcendent leadership, because this looks like the same cast of characters that don’t like each other, and don’t want to do what it takes to win. Kawhi and PG must also be devastated the league isn’t going to allow players to go to strip clubs this year. I’m sure they will go back into “a dark place” without them.

The Rams got a huge victory yesterday against the Cardinals. Jared Goff remembered how to play quarterback, and the running game finally showed some life. More than anything though, the Rams defense proved to be unbelievable again, putting intense pressure on Kyler Murray all day. They forced a fumble and Troy Hill came up with a huge pick 6. When the Rams lead at halftime under Sean McVay, everybody might as well pack it up and go home. They are 33-0 at that point. That’s a Phil Jackson like number when he went up 1-0 in a playoff series. The Rams are back in 1st place in the NFC West, which seems to be changing leaders more frequently than babies change diapers. However, they better win their next two games because they are against a rebuilding Patriots team, and a terrible Jets team that isn’t even trying to win.

Another brutal game for the Chargers yesterday. Apparently the Bolts are not expected to relocate because of COVID, but all of LA probably wants them to anyway after that embarrassment against the Patriots. I guess Anthony Lynn loves the run so much he must have told his team not to stop it. There is no reason the Chargers shouldn’t be able to beat a rebuilding team like the Patriots at home, with the talent that they have. The team looked totally unprepared to play, their special teams were garbage, and their kickers have about as much confidence as I have in asking out Jennifer Aniston. The weekly disappointments are becoming predictable, and it’s only a matter of time before we see a coaching change.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 13, the Jets are relieved they lost to the Raiders so they can still draft Trevor Lawrence. Odell Beckham wants to know why Baker Mayfield can’t play that way all the time in the Browns win over the Titans. The Lions are probably wondering if they fire their coach every week if they can win after they beat the Bears. The Bengals put up a bigger fight in their sideline brawl with the Dolphins than in the actual game. Mike Zimmer might as well have asked Kirk Cousins to return his game check after the Vikings got an unimpressive win against the Jags. The Texans lost to the Colts, and they are wondering if they can still blame Bill O’Brien for their problems. Also, don’t let the Saints beating the Falcons distract you from the fact the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl.

The Trojans may have gotten a victory yesterday against Washington State, but if I were Clay Helton, I’d be getting very nervous right now. Helton has skated by in a year where everybody has focused on the pandemic, rather than his mediocre and unimaginative coaching. However next week, if he can’t beat his less talent rivals, those wealthy Trojan donors may be selling their Ferrari’s and Beverly Hills mansions to come up with the $20 million necessary to buy him out. Frankly, If I were Clay, I might hope my team couldn’t play because of COVID because I would have a lot more to lose than gain from this game.

I never thought i would say this, but UCLA Football is showing some real progress under Chip Kelly. They are over .500 for the first time since he’s been their coach. This is definitely not what I thought a Chip Kelly team would look like by any means. I still don’t understand why the offense looks nothing like it did when he was at Oregon. Nevertheless, the defense is stepping up, and they are coming up bigger and bigger every 4th quarter they play. Now they might even have a great chance to beat their cross-town rivals next week, which would be a big statement for Chip Kelly to turn the narrative around. Now if only the PAC-12 Network could get people to watch their games, people might know this was happening.

UCLA Basketball picked up another win last night, this time over Cal. I realize that Mick Cronin is all about defense, and emphasizing play at that end of the floor. However, you still need to score to win, and you still need shooting. That’s why Jake Kyman needs to play more minutes. Since the middle of last season, when the Bruins started surging, it is no accident that co-incided with Kyman playing more minutes. He’s arguably the best shooter on the team, a better defender and more athletic than he’s given credit for, and his mere presence out there as a threat stretches the floor and creates more spacing. Chris Smith and Jalen Hill could really use that space on the offensive end. We saw Kyman as a threat in limited minutes last night, and here’s to hoping we’ll see a lot more of him as UCLA continues conference play.

Finally, the Bachelorette is back on ABC tomorrow night, as we get a little closer to Tayshia getting engaged. I guess the producers realized that they didn’t have a villain to work with after Chasen got sent home. That explains why they quickly pivoted to putting Noah and Bennett in a room together for a clash of the Titans. I like it better when Bennett was a fun loving, mask wearing nerd. Now he is the uptight dad in every rom com who hates his daughter’s deadbeat boyfriend, who is Noah. Zac must have the attention span of a two-year old. He admitted to infidelity when it was infidelity that ruined Tayshia’s first marriage. Bachelor Nation is ready to break out the pitch forks and tiki torches in protest after Eazy got sent home. Chris was so traumatized by his late night run-in with Ed that he is probably ready to quit the show, since we barely saw him in the last episode. Jojo really said “I don’t know” when Noah asked her how his hair looked. There’s 11 guys left and 5 episodes remaining, so Tayshia is going to have to start sending some dudes packing! Meanwhile, it looks like she just went shopping at Homegoods for the Black Friday sale.

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Monday Morning Coffee

November 30, 2020

The Lakers have already had a massive offseason, but things could get even more interesting. Anthony Davis has yet to re-sign with the Lakers. It’s not because he’s looking elsewhere, and it’s not because he’s still eating Thanksgiving leftovers. It’s because he’s waiting to see if Giannis signs an extension with the Bucks. If Giannis doesn’t he becomes a free agent next summer, setting up a scenario where Lebron and AD could take less money for a year so the Lakers could sign The Greak Freak. Meanwhile, the Lakers re-signed Giannis’ little brother, Kostas, while the Bucks are hanging in the balance with the super max offer sitting on the table for their franchise player. That’s just mean, and borderline trolling. More than anything though, I would love to hear all the complaining from other teams and the media if Giannis became a Laker. The league just spent the last 7 years slandering the Laker organization, not just about their performance on the floor, but their competence as an organization. It turns out it was all baseless, so nothing would give me more pleasure than to stick it back to all these people.

As for the Clippers, the reality of it is, they have lost talent, and lost depth this offseason. Signing Nic Batum would have been an amazing move 5 years ago. That has prompted many executives around the league to believe that they could trade Ivica Zubac, Lou Williams, or Pat Beverley for a point guard. Those might be the Clips most valuable trade assets, but what it could bring them back would be nothing more than shuffling chairs on the deck of the Titanic. The Clippers need a playmaking point guard. The players available might be George Hill, Lonzo Ball, or Terry Rozier. None of them give them what the team really needs: elite facilitating for others. A trade would simply be made more so for the purposes of changing the culture of the locker room. Perhaps it’s simply that the Clippers don’t want Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings as part of the culture.

Just when you think the Rams might actually be an elite team, they blow a huge opportunity against the 49ers. Jared Goff looks like Johnny Unitas against every NFC West team except the 49ers. The offense was so inept yesterday, the Rams had a better chance of scoring with Nick Mullens on the field, than with their own offense. That’s right people. The Rams just lost to a quarterback that looks as weird as the goblins from Harry Potter. I’m beginning to think Goff would play better more consistently if he went home to an ugly girlfriend. It wasn’t all Goff’s fault though because the running game has also been pretty non-existent in the last couple of games. Stupid penalty by Jalen Ramsey as well to cost the Rams an extra 5 yards, which made a difference on that game-winning kick. The bottom line is that the Rams look like a playoff team, but they are just as flawed as many of the other playoff teams in the NFC right now. That makes the entire NFC playoff picture a crap shoot for everybody.

Meanwhile, the Chargers lost to the Bills to fall to 3-8. The Bills are a much better team than the Bolts at this point, but it doesn’t make any of the things we saw any less disappointing. Anthony Lynn is now coaching not to lose, rather than coaching to win, which we saw with his poor clock management at the end of the first half. Even more bizarre was the play calling in the last minute, rushing the ball multiple times without any timeouts. The offense could be even better if they played in a much more uptempo mode as well, which would keep the opposing defense off balance. Joey Bosa single handedly tried to keep the defense competitive yesterday, but he needs more help and health on that side of the ball. Their uniforms were also not nearly as cool as the powder blue, and look like some sort of unlicensed knockoff you’d find in a clearance bin on Figueroa.

Elsewhere around Week 12, hope you enjoy turnovers for Thanksgiving, because the Lions brought plenty of them on T-Day, and it got Matt Patricia fired after losing to the Texans. I’m thankful the Cowboys give me the opportunity to make fun of them ever year on Thanksgiving with their often disastrous play, and this year was no exception in their blowout loss to Washington. The Saints should have let the Broncos borrow Jameis Winston since they didn’t want to use him in their win against Denver. The Browns beat the Jags, but Baker Mayfield still has more commercials than touchdown passes. The Falcons beat up the Raiders, and the Vegas fans must feel like they are in an abusive relationship with all their ups and downs. The Giants beat the Bengals and are now in 1st place in the NFC East, which makes them the tallest person in a land of midgets. Nick Folk is more reliable than a tweet from Woj, as he gave the Pats a win over the Cardinals. Adam Gase and the Jets scored scored 3 points in 2 games against the Dolphins, as Miami beat up on on New York again. Derrick Henry is a human bulldozer, and the Titans smashed the Colts. Kirk Cousins is thankful nobody will make fun of him this week in the Vikings win over Carolina.

Did the USC football players go out for a fun night at the Nine-O followed by some drunk food at Huerto’s? That must explain how all their scholarship players came down with COVID, and their game against Colorado got cancelled. God forbid that USC take the field without having any scholarship players available. As if their walk-ons aren’t worth a crap. I find cancelling that game an extreme disservice to those walk-ons that worked hard to earn a spot on the team. I would argue that USC should still be able to beat Colorado with those players. Well, maybe they would if they were coached by anybody other than Clay Helton. Helton is probably just stoked that another week is going by where he can’t actually be fired. Helton isn’t immune from COVID. However, he seems to be immune from being bought out at $20 million this year.

As for UCLA Football, I have no idea what to make of them after they beat up on Arizona. The Bruins appear to be better than last year, on defense in particular, but it’s not necessarily the Chip Kelly team you thought you would see. More than anything, they have taken advantage of a conference that appears to be softer than tissue paper. Arizona and Cal aren’t great, and they nearly beat a vastly overrated Oregon team. With the way this team is playing, they could actually beat USC if and when they play in a couple of weeks. That would be a big deal when it comes to the perceptions of Chip Kelly and Clay Helton. Frankly, Helton is probably hoping the game gets cancelled because of COVID since he has far more to lose than gain in that game.

UCLA Basketball got their season underway last week, and thus far it’s been sloppier than a Thursday night on fraternity row. They got beaten up against San Diego State, then needed 3 overtimes to beat Pepperdine. The defense doesn’t look quite as sharp as last season, and the offense looks even further behind that. However, I wouldn’t panic too much. UCLA looked pretty bad last season up until conference play. Midway through conference play, they looked like they could beat anybody in the country. The team looks like it hasn’t been able to practice much together given COVID, and looks like they need that time to gel again. You can see the shot making ability though of Chris Smith and Tyger Campbell, and how good this team could really be once they get themselves in rhythm.


Imagine spending $50 to watch a Youtuber, an ex-NBA player, and 2 senior citizens box. This is what it’s come to in 2020 for some of your entertainment needs. I like entertainment and I love Mike Tyson, but the people that paid for that fight on Saturday were the real losers of the evening. Nate Robinson got destroyed. The NBA season hasn’t even started yet and the Knicks are already taking losses. That’s also the first time we’ve seen somebody essentially die in the ring since Apollo Creed in Rocky III. Snoop Dog needs to do way more sports commentary. There’s a real need for him to just talk smack rather than listen to these polished play-by-play folks and analysts all the time. I realize this was just an exhibition, but the judges really blew it. Tyson won that fight and deserved better, hands down.

Finally, the Bachelorette went down last week and it’s back again tomorrow night on ABC. Suddenly everybody likes Ivan for Tayshia. Except nobody knew who Ivan was until last week. Chris Harrison must be ready to hang himself after dealing with all that Clare nonsense, and then having to hang out with Ed at 2:00 am. It’s almost like the producers did that just to troll him. Honestly, if Tayshia weren’t coming in the middle of a season with one of the worst Bachelorette’s ever, you might actually give her more serious consideration for the best Bachelorette ever. Meanwhile, there’s already rumors surfacing of Clare and Dale not even living on the same coasts, and talk that he was flirting with some girl outside a New York Bar. This relationship sounds like it’s going to last about as long as my first girlfriend, who I dated for 2 hours before math class in 6th grade. I’m still shocked nobody is talking about how big that bowl of ice cream was!

Monday Morning Coffee

November 23, 2020

The Lakers aren’t just winning the NBA off-season. They are dominating it. The defending NBA Champions just got younger, deeper, and more athletic. Adding Montrezl Harrell was a thing of beauty, and those of you who say he’s not that versatile or that great of a defender won’t be saying that when you see him playing on a front-line with Anthony Davis. Dennis Schroeder is the play-making point guard they desperately needed, and Wesley Matthews is a much cheaper version of Danny Green. Marc Gasol is a solid defensive big man who will help with spacing. Keeping KCP was critical too. I’m happy for Rajon Rondo, but I’m a little disappointed in Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley. Dwight’s departure itself isn’t disappointing, but him thinking he was coming back prematurely is the most Dwight Howard thing ever. Meanwhile, Bradley leaving the Lakers after bailing on them in the playoffs is absurd. The man should be forced to stay in 3-star Orlando hotel for the next 3-months with no room service and crappy internet to get his championship ring. Nevertheless, I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet but Rob Pelinka is really good at his job. He and Rich Paul are playing chess with the entire league right now, while everyone else is playing Chutes and Ladders.

As for the Clippers, they managed to save a little bit of face by signing Serge Ibaka, but I think it’s adorable that people think this was some home run signing. The reality of it is, the off-season has been a train wreck for this franchise. They lost the 6th man of the year to their cross-town rivals. JaMychal Green, a critical rotation piece, left them for the Nuggets. They had to overpay to keep Marcus Morris, who also hates playing with Paul George. They got turned down by Rajon Rondo, Kent Bazemore, and Kris Dunn. They still didn’t get the play-making point guard the desperately needed. In the last two days they’ve been rejected more than Urkel at Senior Prom. Meanwhile, all those people that tried to tell us the Clippers were building a dynasty last year are trying to tell us now that they have closed the gap between themselves and the Lakers. Those must be the same people who told themselves they had COVID last January, just so they could convince themselves of their own immunity.

Elsewhere around NBA free agency Dwight Howard signing with the Sixers just means that he and Joel Embiid are going to be in competition for who can tell the lamest jokes all season. The Celtics biggest move of the off-season was signing Tristan Thompson, which means the Kardashians are going to be attending all their games. I’m pretty sure you haven’t heard any leaks out of the Charlotte Hornets organization because Mitch Kupchak is probably still using a typewriter. I also love the fact that Mitch would rather eat $9 million by waiving Nic Batum than give the Celtics anything back in a sign and trade for Gordon Hayward. Once a Laker, always a Laker! Knicks fans spent the last week photo shopping Westbrook, Gallinari, and Gordon Hayward just to end up with Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, and Elfrid Payton. Has anybody checked on Woj and Shams? Somebody send food and water ASAP.

To the NFL where the Chargers reminded us why they are 2-7 yesterday. They actually had to fight it out against the winless Jets to get a victory. This also happened with Justin Herbert once again looking like a generational talent all game. It’s like owning a McLaren, but having driving Miss Daisy operating it. Even in a victory, the Bolts walked away leaving observers wondering about the play calling, the decision making, and just plain and simple giving their fans more anxiety than 2020 itself. To be honest, the week was full of nothing but bad decisions, including Justin Herbert’s haircut, which now makes him look like he’s a 14-year-old boy.

The Rams are getting ready for a big showdown tonight with the Bucs. This is the Rams fifth trip back east this season. I’m beginning to think the league is just punishing Sean McVay for having a smoking hot fiancé. A win tonight would put the Rams in first place in the NFC West, and suddenly put them in the conversation for securing a bye week in the playoffs. This would also be sweet revenge for the Rams against Tom Brady, who stuck it to them in the Super Bowl two years ago. I’m shocked that Antonio Brown hasn’t torpedoed the Bucs yet, but it’s only week 11, so there’s still time for that.

Elsewhere around Week 11, seeing Carson Wentz vs Baker Mayfield was like watching two drunk guys fight each other in the Browns win over the sorry Eagles. Speaking of the NFC East, the Cowboys got their 3rd win when they took down the Vikings, and are probably ready to throw themselves a parade since they are a 1/2 game out of 1st place. Taysom Hill handed all his doubters a big fat L, as the Saints beat the Falcons and moved into 1st in the NFC. Congratulations to the Jaguars, who lost their 100th game under their current owner, Shad Khan. It’s those kinds of losers that really make Monday Morning Coffee what it is! The Bengals lost to Washington, and lost Joe Burrow for the season. It’s like they bought a new IPhone in the offseason, but didn’t even buy a case for it. The Dolphins lost and Tua’s starting job lasted about as long as the rap career of Vanilla Ice. Death, taxes, and the Packers always blowing leads against the Colts. That Patriots lost to the Texans, and Cam Newton needs to start picking more appropriate outfits for losses during the postgame pressers. The Lions lost to the Panthers, and Detroit scored as many points as you did in that game. The Titans beat the Ravens in OT, and Baltimore would have an easier time tackling a freight train than bring down Derrick Henry and AJ Brown.

The USC Football program is amazing. I’ve never seen a team that keeps winning and just looks progressively in decline each week like we are seeing. The only thing that could have made USC’s offense worse this weekend were if the FS1 announcers were calling that game. Utah had 9 new players on defense, and they just wrecked Kedon Slovis for most of the game. The scary part is that this was the best game USC has played. However, Slovis looks like he has regressed. He’s holding the ball way too long, and missing wide open targets. His offensive line isn’t helping either. What is helping Clay Helton though is the fact that every team he’s played has been playing their season opener. He is sure to survive another season, and keep this program cemented in mediocrity for the time being.

As for UCLA, you have to admire the fight they put up against Oregon. They nearly won with their backup QB, and with a bunch of guys out of the lineup because of COVID. With that being said though, it makes you wonder just how good Oregon really is, and also if Chip Kelly is playing the right quarterback. Chase Griffin had very little preparation time, and he looked pretty darn good. I wouldn’t trust Chip Kelly to pick the right ingredients for scrambled eggs right now, let alone start the right quarterback. We’ll see if there’s any real momentum to be built here, or if it was just a one week aberration.

To baseball where I will start by congratulating Andrew Friedman for winning the MLB Executive of the Year. Anybody that can assemble the team he did, win a World Series, and endure relentless jokes and criticism from me for 5 years is well deserving of the award. He is by far the best executive in baseball today. With that being said, I don’t really understand the rumors we are hearing about the Dodgers trading for Rockies 3rd Baseman Nolan Arenado. If the Dodgers are going to spend money, they should be spending it on starting pitching or bullpen. Trading for Arenado is like buying a Ferrari when you just need a reliable, but still nice four- door Mercedez. Re-signing Justin Turner, giving Gavin Lux a chance to play, and spending money on starting pitching or bullpen would be much more practical for LA. With that being said, the Dodgers have the resources to do whatever they want. I just hope they continue to exercise that power wisely.

Finally, the Bachelorette is back on ABC tomorrow night. I’m sure the Harvard PR department is crawling into a hole right now after discovering that Bennett can’t do math. He must have been a legacy admission. Chasen referring to himself as “wolverine” is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. That and the name “Chasen”. Chasen also needs to find a dictionary to find a substitute word for “smoke show”. Try playing a drinking game for every time he uses that word. You would be dead pretty fast. I like how Ed wussed out of the wrestling match using the lame excuse of a chronic shoulder injury & said he couldn’t even throw a football, yet he can lift heavy weights. Can’t fool me bro! Overall, nice to see Tayshia being open minded and giving these dudes a chance, unlike somebody else we saw earlier this season.

Monday Morning Coffee

November 16, 2020

I love how NBA GM’s are complaining they don’t even know the rules and dates when they are allowed to make trades, yet Rob Pelinka knew and was the first guy to make one this offseason. Pelinka is about to consummate a trade for OKC point guard Dennis Schroeder, in exchange for Danny Green and this year’s first round pick. Schroeder is a young, solid playmaker, and improving shooter. He’s got a reasonable contract, and fills a big need for the Lakers. It’s not splashy like CP3 or even DeMar Derozan, but it’s effective, and keeps the Lakers in line to spend lots of money next summer. The bad news is that it looks like they are going to lose Rajon Rondo to a team that is going to overpay for him. I’m sure many Laker fans are hoping they can trade Kyle Kuzma for a Playstation 5 and some games to go along with it. However, I have my doubts his $3.5 million salary is going to bring back a quality player, especially now that Green’s salary just went out the door. All of this is hard to judge until you see the finished product, but I think it’s safe to say Pelinka has a plan and knows what he’s doing.

Meanwhile, I have no idea what the Clippers are up to, but there’s a lot of noise coming from them. The latest is the idea that they could trade for Russell Westbrook, and maybe even swap Paul George for him. The idea of adding Westbrook to this team is like lighting a fire, and then trying to put it out by adding lighter fluid. The more interesting part of this story however, is the fact we keep hearing Paul George’s name getting thrown around in trade rumors. It came up in a Jrue Holiday trade rumor. Now it’s coming up in this Westbrook rumor. In other words, other than Kawhi, there’s nobody on the team I see as a certainty to return. Curious to see how this drama plays out.

Another super interesting story related to the NBA that came up is the proposal by Warriors Owner Joe Lacob to try and get fans in NBA arenas. Lacob is proposing something that could actually be a viable option for the event business in general. His proposal is to spend $30 million on rapid COVID-19 testing on game day for every fan in the building. The results of those tests would be reinforced with 50% capacity in the building, and with everyone wearing masks. I applaud the efforts of Lacob for pushing the envelope on this, and trying to be innovative. However, I question whether or not an extremely restrictive state like California will be allow him to do this. I also question whether or not there would be an appetite for the owners of these types of venues to spend $30 million just to fill them to 50% capacity. I hope the man proves me wrong, as it would be wonderful to see, but I think we’re looking at 2022 before we might see some normalcy to the event business.

The Angels finally hired a General Manager! Perry Minasian is the new man, and I’m sure you’re all feverishly Googling him to figure out just who the hell he is. I was beginning to wondering if the Angels we’re about to start interviewing season ticket holders for the vacancy, since it sure didn’t seem like too many people wanted the job. Congrats to Minasian who has actually worked in baseball for a long time and deserves a shot, and a man who also has a strong scouting and player development background. I’m just not sure if Arte Moreno has informed him that he will be doing all of the scouting and player development, since he’s going to be adding much of a staff underneath him like most owners would. This unfortunately is as good as it was going to get folks. There was never any Dave Dombrowki splashy name that was going to come given the circumstances. Considering Minasian will not have much of a staff, he’ll have an owner dictating things to him, and he’ll have a manager in place that isn’t his guy, if he can succeed he might be one of the greatest ever.

The Rams are tied for 1st place in the NFC West! You’ve gotta hand it to the defense yesterday, shutting down one of the most explosive offenses in football. Seattle tried to “let Russ cook”, and instead he almost burned the kitchen down. The Rams sacked Russell Wilson 6 times, and intercepted him twice. Jalen Ramsey also shutdown D.K. Metcalf, who had just 2 catches for 28 yards. There’s a lot of football left to be played, but suddenly you have to feel really good about their chances to win the NFC West. The Seahawks and Cardinals are really good, but they are all about Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray. The Rams have a great defense, they can run the ball, they are well coached, and they have playmakers on the perimeter. I’m suddenly not so concerned about all those NFC East wins. Here comes another trip back east though to face Tom Brady and the Bucs next Monday. This one should be fun.

Meanwhile, the Chargers did their fans a favor and just got dismantled early on by the Dolphins instead of disappointing everyone at the end. The Bolts looked totally overmatched in this one from the start, and this was the first game where Justin Herbert looked pretty ordinary. If the Chargers can’t win when he looks like an absolute stud, they have no chance of winning when he’s just a guy. The Dolphins are a solid team and even though people might not want to hear this, the injuries are just too much for the Chargers to overcome. You can’t lose Joey Bosa, Derwin James, and Mike Pouncey, and expect to win most of your games. Plus the team is losing running backs faster than Donald Trump is losing electoral votes. Say what you will about the disastrous finishes, but if the Chargers don’t have their best playmakers at the end of these games, it’s going to be hard to come out on the right side of these games.

Elsewhere around Week 10 of the NFL, the Eagles lost to the Giants and the NFC East winner should just donate their playoff spot to a frontline worker this year. The Packers look like they ate too much cheese in their lethargic win over the Jaguars. Chase Young handed the Lions an early Christmas Gift with a late penalty, and a Detroit win. Baker Mayfield wishes it rained hard every week because it actually made him look like a good quarterback in the Browns win over the Texans. The Bucs won and Tom Brady will probably get to eat one extra almond as a reward from Gisele. The Saints won and Jameis Winston got some playing time. I’m sure he celebrated with some of the finest crab legs in New Orleans afterward. DeAndre Hopkins should make that game-winning catch vs Buffalo his Christmas Card and send it Bill O’Brien. Big Ben and the Steelers dismantled the Bengals like they have every game they’ve played for the last give years.

To College Football where USC beat Arizona, in what proved to be underwhelming again. This must be the worst 2-0 football team in USC football history. What has happened to Graham Harrell’s play calling? I can only believe that Clay Helton is involved in it now. The Trojans must be trying to break the record for most checkdowns in a season. This could not be anymore painfully obvious the more we have to endure watching USC play: the have average coaching, and are producing average results. They may not have Matt Leinart or Reggie Bush level talent, but their talent is good enough to dominate the Pac 12 and to compete against some of the better teams in the country. The biggest win for Clay Helton this season is the fact there’s less games, and nobody will actually be in attendance to watch how pathetic he is doing. Congratulations for getting the best of 2020 Clay.

Meanwhile, UCLA actually had a great game against Cal. Of course this game happened on an NFL Sunday so nobody got to see it, and in an empty Rose Bowl. I don’t know why everybody made such a big deal about having to switch opponents at the last minute due to COVID? Chip Kelly wouldn’t have prepared his team a whole lot either way! You’ve gotta love how the schedule was changed so quickly like it was Sigma Chi playing Kappa Sigma on Thursday night before hitting the bars. Believe it or not, this is the first time that the Bruins have been at .500 in the Chip Kelly era. Credit to the UCLA defense for showing up in this one. We can only hope that come next week against Oregon they look equally as strong, but don’t hold your breath.

Congratulations to Dustin Johnson on winning The Masters! DJ was actually proven to be the winner in the state of Georgia, and miraculously no re-count was necessary. The man was dominant as ever, tying the major championship record by shooting -20. I’m not going to say something lame about Paulina Gretzky though and take the focus of his spectacular performance. I’ll leave that to Colin Cowherd instead.

Finally, the Bachelorette is going down tonight on ABC, and we saw what we think is the last of Dale and Clare last week. How do we tell Chris Harrison that we just don’t give a crap about Dale and Clare when he was interviewing them? I did get a kick of out seeing the look on Dale’s face when Clare was talking about having babies with him on live TV. Chris must be in the hospital though with a back injury after having to carry the show this season. The producers must have lost their minds when Tayshia said she can see herself marrying Brendan after two episodes. I’m not sure what the hell is wrong with Jason. Dude is acting like he needs therapy after falling in love with Clare for 5 minutes. Did she even have time to learn this name? Then again he probably decided to go home after he settled for a La Quinta vacation and everybody got served hot dogs and hamburgers after the game of pool basketball. These guys must be livid that they aren’t even traveling to good places, let alone getting any good food. Who is managing this shows finances, Bernie Madoff?

Monday Morning Coffee

November 9, 2020

The NBA is officially coming back on December 22nd! I know that feels bizarre considering the season just ended five minutes ago, but nobody can really be that upset about it. The players and owners need the money, they need to get closer to a normal schedule, and people need entertainment around Christmas. As for the Lakers being at a major disadvantage, a few extra weeks of rest isn’t going to make a huge difference. Lebron’s been doing this for 17 years, he knows how to pace himself, and his squad. Besides, right now, Lebron is probably just pumped he can go visit the White House, and not be served fast food. Instead, he’ll probably get fast casual food.

What is it going to take to get the Chargers to win a close game? I mean it’s getting to the point where we are running out of jokes about them to put on this blog. Even Shakespeare couldn’t script endings that are this tragic. I don’t know what more you want Anthony Lynn to do though. He can’t catch the football for his receivers at the end of the game. To a large extent this is just about execution. The talent is there. With 6 losses by 7 points or less it’s like the Bolts are nearly, almost, but not quite an elite team. Until we see it, Justin Herbert is going to look like a Ferrari that’s parked in a trailer park. At 2-6 though, it’s probably safe to say this team will be watching the postseason on TV this year.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 9, Tom Brady and Antonio Brown must have had a very awkward bus ride yesterday after the Bucs got destroyed by the Saints. That Giants-Washington game should have been included as part of Saturday Night Live. The Cowboys avoided a bloodbath against the Steelers, but moral victories don’t even count in the NFC East. The Falcons shocked their fans by actually holding on to a lead in their win against Denver. Even James Harden thinks Seattle’s defense stinks, as the Seahawks got beat the by the Bills. The Ravens roasted the Colts, and Philip Rivers will get roasted by his teammates for a pathetic attempt at making a tackle. The Texans beat the Jags, but JJ Watt basically told the media he’d rather be playing on Mars. The Chiefs beat the Panthers and Patrick Mahomes is so accurate, he probably has a career in darts if football doesn’t work out for him. The Vikings beat the Lions, and Kirk Cousins is going to call the league and ask if they can play Detroit every week. The Titans beat the Bears and AJ Brown should change his name to “AJ Beast”. Here’s a look at the mess that was the Giants and Washington.

To College Football where the Pac-12 is back! Although USC must have received a late notice. The Trojans played ASU on Saturday at the Coliseum, and it looks like they thought the game started at noon instead. That win was about as fortunate as it gets. Good thing for Clay Helton because now he won’t have to hear noise about his job security for at least another week. Kedon Slovis made a big throw late in the game, but that covered up a lot of warts. The run defense was weak, as was the run game, but Arizona State handed that game over like they were some 501C3. The win generously put USC at #20 in the AP Poll so Trojan fans can take that for what it’s worth.

Then there’s UCLA. There’s been all this weird stuff happening in 2020, yet UCLA still stinks at football under Chip Kelly so thanks to him for making us feel normal again. The first half against Colorado may have been the worst in Bruins history, and that’s saying a lot. At that point, I was beginning to think I’d rather have Joe Biden playing quarterback than DTR. I’m beginning to wonder if Chip Kelly thinks he needs to tank to get a #1 draft pick. He does realize he’s coaching back in college again right? This program has players that look like they have regressed, and look less and less motivated to play for Kelly by the day. I realize that UCLA AD Martin Jarmond just turned on his computer, but he’s gotta at least be raising an eyebrow at what he’s seen so far.

What an exciting Saturday night it was to be a Notre Dame alum, or a football fan. The Irish knocked off #1 Clemson in South Bend in double overtime, in arguably the biggest win of the Brian Kelly era. Also, for those of you trolls that want to point out that Trevor Lawrence didn’t play, you conveniently forgot that the Clemson backup QB threw for 435 yards, two touchdowns, and didn’t turn it over. How much better can you expect from Lawrence? Unless he can tackle somebody, it’s just as meaningful of a signature win. As for the rush of students onto the field, I realize that all these kids were acting like the cure to COVID-19 was beating the #1 team in the country. It wasn’t a great idea, as are a number of other things we do anyway for a variety of personal reasons (i.e. – celebrating your candidates presidential victory, going to a rally of your preferred presidential candidate, or protesting for a social cause). They are all risky given we are in a pandemic. I will say though that for as stupid as we all think teenagers and young adults are, you’ve gotta at least give credit to nearly all the people that rushed on to the field with masks on.

To baseball where the MLB offseason is upon us. That means the hot stove is already starting to heat up with rumors around the Dodgers, and specifically with Indians Shortstop Jose Lindor. The same can be said for Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer. In years past, this is where I would crush Andrew Friedman for not doing everything in his power to improve the team when he has the resources to. Not this year though. Friedman is a super nerd, but he’s shown us that they can easily acquire those two studs, but don’t need to. This would be like buying two Ferrari’s when you already have three in the garage. Why add $50 million to your payroll, even if it’s just for one year, when you have plenty of great young arms that are only getting better, and a solid clubhouse guy in Justin Turner you can bring back on a reasonable deal? They also have a young stud of their own waiting in the wings with Gavin Lux. Anything is possible, but I don’t see the Dodgers going too crazy this offseason, other than finding a way to re-tool their bullpen.

It took 6 days, and I’m still not entirely sure the election is over. I would have never thought that two men in their 70’s could maintain an election for this long. Most people experienced some form of anxiety during this process, but not Al Horford’s sister, who claimed that it made her horny on Instagram. Meanwhile, John King is amazing. He looks even more amazing since he probably got dressed in the copy room at CNN everyday last week. I also learned last week that I’m not nearly as good at identifying states on a blank map as I thought I would be. Trump had the lead everyone, but then again, so did the Clippers. Nevertheless, it was incredible to see people refreshing their timelines like it’s NBA free agency. Those remaining states should really offer a list of demands before releasing the vote counts. On the plus side for Trump though, he no longer has to publicly pretend to enjoy being around Don and Eric anymore.

Dave Chappelle was amazing on Saturday Night Live. If you were offended, you probably shouldn’t be watching SNL in the first place. However, credit to NBC for letting Chappelle go unfiltered, despite maybe not being all that safe for network TV. This is probably one of the few comedians in the world who can get away with a KKK joke, an AIDS joke, while having a lit cigarette on stage. What may have gotten lost in all the hilarity of his routine was one important message he said to all Americans. That message is to forgive each other for how we’ve treated one another throughout this whole process, and move forward together.

https://twitter.com/FrankLuntz/status/1325471675232649217?s=20

Finally, I never thought the Bachelorette season would end before Nevada finished counting. Poor Dale. The guy has to be pissed. I’m sure he just went on the show to get famous, go on a few nice vacations, and now he has to get engaged after one date. As for the rest of those other dudes, they are stoked they get to get hurt again now that Tayshia has shown up. You’ve gotta hande it to these guys. They handled the loss of Clare with such grace, class, and dignity, which is always difficult to do after losing out on a week at La Quinta. Seeing these guys pretend like it was a struggle with the decision to stay or go is hilarious, as if they had any time at all to start liking Clare. If anything this season just goes to show you ladies that if you don’t settle at a young age, you too can get engaged at La Quinta. Seriously though, we have to watch Clare and Dale tell their story on the Tell All? I think I’ll pass on that.