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!

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 1, 2018

So this is really what it’s come down to? The Dodgers messed around with bad teams all season long, and now they are stuck playing a must win game this afternoon against the Rockies.  It’s absolutely must-win today because if the Dodgers have to go to Milwaukee or Chicago for a Wild Card game, they would be starting Ross Stripling or Alex Wood.  That’s like going into a gun fight with a water pistol.  If the Dodgers can make it to Thursday, I like their chances in the NLDS.  However, I don’t like their chances of getting there.  Dave Roberts is powerless against the computer that tells him to pull his starting pitchers when they are cruising in the 6th inning.  He’s become nothing more than a flight attendant that will offer you a cocktail when the turbulence hits.  Their bullpen makes me more nervous than Judge Kavanaugh after a few beers, and their offense can’t manufacture runs when they need to.  Here’s to hoping I’m wrong but the season could very well end by Tuesday.

I like how just two weeks ago, Mike Scioscia said he wasn’t necessarily going to step down as Manager as the Angels, yet the Halos basically told him he was going to.  In fact, forcing him out couldn’t have been more obvious than when they started putting up all kinds of tributes to Scioscia during the regular season finale yesterday.  He had a great run of putting the Halos back on the map and completely changing the perception of the franchise.  However, over the last decade, Scioscia’s fit with the team became a lot more of a “square peg in a round hole”.  Instead of giving him players that could leverage his small ball style, Arte Moreno mettled with the front office, forcing them to spend money on aging sluggers.  It also didn’t help that they gave him a pitching staff that all needed their arms surgically re-attached.  This team has a lot of questions to answer moving forward, starting with getting a long-term commitment from Mike Trout.

When it comes to the preseason for any sports, I usually don’t care, and I find that going to preseason games is for suckers.  You pay regular season prices to see the best players play very few minutes.  Even with all that being said, it was hard not to get excited about Lebron in a Laker uniform last night in the team’s first preseason game, so I had to catch some of it.  In the early going, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma look like they are going to be much improved.  It’s going to be a major work in progress with all the new faces on the team.  It’s always dangerous to draw any major conclusions from preseason action, but i think we can all agree one one thing: If Lance Stephenson ends up playing like garbage, Lebron needs to make it a point to blow in his ear.

What a show the Rams and Vikings put on display Thursday Night at the Coliseum.  Who says that LA can’t support an NFL team? They support winners, and now that the Rams are winning, I didn’t even see any empty seats at game time on an early Thursday evening game.  When did Jared Goff become Joe Montana? I guess he got tired of people saying he could be the only weakness on the Rams.  Yes it’s only week 4, but at the moment they are clearly the best team in football, making it look easy.  Let’s talk about more important things though, like Coach Sean McVay’s girlfriend.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to do some Googling.  Then you’ll realize that it doesn’t matter what happens on game day.  McVay is winning every time he goes home.

Then there’s the Chargers who nearly lost to a team with their hobbled backup quarterback at home. Of course I use the term “at home” loosely, since one again, about two-thirds of the stadium were filled with the opposing teams’ fans.  The Bolts should also probably start going for 2 after every score, or just have Philip Rivers start kicking for them.  How ironic as well, since they play in a soccer stadium, yet that’s their biggest issue.  That could only happen to the Chargers.  This team is destined for another mediocre 7 or 8 win season.

Elsewhere around the NFL, last week the Patriots were finished.  This week, everybody is going to say they are headed to the Super Bowl.  The Cowboys are going to throw a parade in the city of Dallas after beating the Lions.  So will the Browns, just for making it to three straight overtime games.  Since the Raiders actually found the win column, Jon Gruden thinks he’s God’s gift to coaching.  The Steelers are probably willing to trade Le’Veon to Seattle for an injured Earl Thomas.  The Ryan Fitzpatrick era is definitely over, and Jameis Winston will be celebrating by stealing crab legs and groping Uber drivers.

To the college ranks where the Trojans tried really hard to blow it, but they managed to defeat Arizona on Saturday night.  This team took so many penalties, it was like they were trying to get Clay Helton fired.  He certainly doesn’t need any more help doing that, because the man is well on his way when you consider how unprepared the team looks every week.  Helton probably shouldn’t pick up his phone if his caller ID says “Lynn”.  The sad part about all this is that USC can perform this mediocre throughout the rest of this season and still end up in the Conference Championship Game. With the exception of Notre Dame, there is nobody left on the schedule this year where if they win, Helton should get a lot of credit for.  It’s a team that is destined for mediocrity for some time to come, and at the moment, the athletic department and the administration seem perfectly ok with it.

Then there’s the disaster that has been UCLA football, which is now 0-4 after getting blown out by Colorado on Friday.  Chip Kelly is 2-19 in his last 21 football games, and with every game he looks more like the Jon Gruden of College Football.  Calling Kelly “progressive” now is like calling Donald Trump liberal.  I’m still befuddled  why he refuses to run the offense that he did at Oregon.  I also have no idea when these guys are going to actually find the win column, because it’s definitely not coming next week against 10th ranked Washington.  If the team goes winless does he end up getting fired?  This is most certainly not what UCLA thought they were getting when they moved heaven and earth to hire Kelly.  It’s getting so bad, Kelly is beginning to make Steve Alford look like a good coach.

Notre Dame had an impressive victory over Stanford, which is creating a lot more questions.  If Ian Book is really this good, why did it take Brian Kelly 5 weeks to make him the full-time starter?  He only sees him in practice everyday, unlike the rest of us.  This means that Book has either been doing it with smoke and mirrors for the last couple of weeks, or Brian Kelly has been doing too many tequila shots at The Linebacker Inn.  I guess we’ll find out soon.  Meanwhile, Alabama is still dominating it’s games so hard that students didn’t even show up this weekend so they can try and hook up with their cousins.  Great game between Ohio State and Penn State on Saturday night.  The Buckeyes got the win, but KJ Hamler ran so fast, it was like he was running away from Jerry Sandusky.

Monday Morning Coffee

September 24, 2018

The Rams continued their assault on the entire NFL yesterday, this time taking down the Chargers in the so-called “Battle For LA”.  Jared Goff looked amazing, but he also could have gone out for Sunday brunch, come back and still thrown touchdown passes.  So much for the idea that Goff is the Rams’ weakest link.  The only bad news for the team is that both starting cornerbacks, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib might be seriously injured.  That would be a major blow to a defense that was playing excellent Peters went down yesterday.  At this point it feels like only injuries can stop this freight train.  As for the Chargers, it was actually surprising that they had fans show up yesterday.  However, only a team owned by Dean Spanos could manage to move to Los Angeles, and have its valuation nearly unchanged from last year.  The Bolts have talent, but the move to LA has been nothing but an embarrassment for the franchise and the league.

Elsewhere around the NFL, the Browns finally won a game and Baker Mayfield should have his statue done by week 5.  Scientists are still trying to come up with a mathematical explanation for how  Cleveland actually won a game.  The Chiefs crushed the 49ers and Pat Mahomes is so good, it’s like he’s playing Madden on rookie mode and destroying everybody.  The Bills shocked the world by crushing the Vikings, and Vontae Davis was ready to un-retire at halftime.  The Packers lost to the Redskins, and Clay Matthews would probably get called for a penalty just for walking onto the field during pregame warmups.  The Raiders are still winless in the 2nd coming of the Jon Gruden era, and Johnny boy is still trying to figure out why his team can’t get any pressure on opposing QB’s.

In College Football, USC escaped with a win against Washington State, so Clay Helton can wipe the sweat of his forehead for now, but the program is looking very mediocre.  This is what happens when you let your players pick the coach.  The man is just too nice.  They practice only once a week in pads.  A couple of weeks ago he let them off early to watch Sam Darnold’s first NFL game.  Wait until this afternoon when he cancels practice so the team can watch tonight’s episode of “Better Call Saul”.  SC also has two punters on scholarship that can’t get it done.  Clay should just walk across campus and find out if the goalie on the women’s soccer team can kick more than 15 yards.  She probably can, and should be on the team instead of those two kids that can’t punt.  USC is proving to be a finesse team, with a soft line, that is very poorly coached.  This university is in desperate need of both a President, and a football coach.  Considering how bad the Pac-12 is, Helton might be around longer than you think.

UCLA football is awful as well.  If this keeps up, pretty soon people will start boycotting Nike for making Chip Kelly look like a good coach.  Kelly is definitely not making any friends early on, and especially not Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s dad, Michael Robinson.  Michael has clearly been taking parenting advice from Lavar Ball, as he criticized Kelly on Twitter last week.  As foolish as that was, the real issue so far is Kelly, who has not exactly been a pleasant personality for UCLA folks to deal with.  It’s obviously very early, but when you are winning, it’s much easier to deal with a grumpy sour puss personality like Kelly.  I don’t think the Bruin faithful expected to be 0-3 out of the gate, and wondering when exactly they might win a game.  Perhaps Under Armour can just make a series of ridiculous and ugly 3rd and 4th jerseys for the Bruin football team, and that might lead to some victories.  It worked for Chip Kelly when he was at Oregon.

Meanwhile, Oregon had a spectacular choke job against Stanford.  All they had to do was kneel on the football yet the managed to screw it up.  You think the Pac-12 is garbage? The ACC is Clemson and a dumpster fire after Virginia Tech’s loss to Old Dominion.  Army nearly embarrassed Oklahoma on the road.  There were 23,000 people watching a cell phone stream of that game.  That’s more than the number of people that show up for a Chargers game every week.   Brian Kelly thinks he’s a genius for making a quarterback change as Notre Dame beat up Wake Forest, but something tells me that’s not that last change he makes.  It also helped that they played a team that forgets to send out a kicker during field goals.  Bold strategy.

Congratulations to Billy Jean King for joining the Dodgers ownership group.  I’m waiting for a statement from Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi taking credit by saying “we ran the numbers first but it made sense to add her.”  On the field though, this team still has me very nervous with a slim division lead heading into the final week of the regular season.  The post season is still no sure thing, especially given the fact they find a way to play down to their competition.  The most frightening scenario is a one-game playoff having to go to Colorado without Kenley Jansen.  The next most frightening scenario is a one-game playoff in St. Louis, where Clayton Kershaw is starting and having to face all his demons all over again.  This team is so up and down, pretty soon Universal Studios is going to replace “Jurassic Park The Ride” with “The Dodger Ride” because it’s a roller coaster of emotions for their fans.

NBA training camps open up this week and the Jimmy Butler drama has been keeping things interesting.  Butler thinks Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins know nothing about winning.  Then he told the T-Wolves he wanted to be traded to one of three biggest loser franchises in the NBA: The Clippers, Nets, or Knicks.  This is why NBA players need to stay in school longer folks.  I’m not that into the idea of Butler joining the Lakers, but I think it’s extremely notable that the Lakers aren’t on his list, since Adrian Wojnarowki reported that he didn’t want to play in Lebron’s shadow.  If this were Kobe, I’m sure many of you would be screaming from the mountain top that “nobody wants to play with Kobe because of his ego.”  This is definitely something to keep an eye on since the Lakers badly need to add one more star free agent in the next year.

As for the Clippers, the idea of trading for Jimmy Butler now makes very little sense.  Sure they have some attractive assets, but Butler by himself isn’t going to help them contend this year.  Besides, they have a lottery protected first round pick, so no matter what they try to tell us, I’m convinced they will really try to tank this year.  Also, congratulations to Lee Jenkins for being hired by the Clippers front office.  Jenkins admitted that he knows nothing about evaluating talent.  Don’t worry Lee! Doc Rivers doesn’t know crap about evaluating talent either, so you should fit right in and can’t do any worse! In all seriousness though, by all accounts Lee is a great guy who should be very successful.

NBA social media is amazing! The Jimmy Butler drama led to some entertaining trash talking between Andrew Wiggins’ brother and Butler, followed by some barbs between Wiggins and Stephen Jackson.  That wasn’t even half as good as Joe Ingles posterizing Blake Griffin on Twitter.  Ingles had tweeted at his teammate, Ricky Rubio, saying he was surprised that the team jerseys were selling like they were, including his own.  Then Griffin reacted to it, which was clearly a big mistake on his part.

Finally, the LA Kings announced last week that they are no longer going to be broadcasted on AM radio this year, and instead will be streaming their games on their own platform on the iHeart Radio App.  This of course has all the old-timer fans up in arms over not being able to listen to the games on radio.  These sound like the same “get off my lawn” fans that complain when baseball tries to do something a little more modern.  I’ve got news for you complainers: the Kings and the rest of the NHL are trying to grow the game and attract the next generation of fans.  Unlike you, those fans don’t still use an eight track player, a flip phone, and have an email address.  It’s actually a great move, but unfortunately, some people just can’t appreciate it.

Monday Morning Coffee

September 17, 2018

The Rams are pounding teams into dust.  Through two weeks, they already look like the best team in the NFL.  It’s early but I’m going to allow myself to become prisoner of the moment for now.  They are so good, they might not even need a kicker.  Turns out they might have to live without one for a while because Greg Zuerlein is hurt.  Their offense is clearly capable of scoring 30 points a game like they are playing a video game, and their defense can shut down opponents.  The only mystery is why they can’t sell out their games.  At one point yesterday, tickets for the home opener were going for as low as $4.  I can’t even go watch a crappy movie for that price.  My expectation is that the crowds will get bigger as the Rams continue to pile up the victories.  That’s just how it works in SoCal, but it doesn’t make people here bad sports fans because of it.

Meanwhile, the Chargers played a team that was so bad, their starting cornerback, Vontae Davis, decided to retire at halftime.  You would think that could only happen to the Cleveland Browns.  Honestly though, the Chargers should be ticked they gave up 20 points to a team as sorry as the Bills.  Buffalo should be demoted from the NFL to the MAC.  The bad news for the Bolts is that they have to go face the juggernaut that is the Rams next weekend at the Coliseum.  If the Bills can score 20 on the Chargers without Joey Bosa, aren’t the Rams going to be good for at least 40?  “The Battle For LA” might not be much of a battle at all.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 2, AJ Green has been charged with crimes against humanity for what he did to the Ravens on Thursday night.  Is Ryan Fitzpatrick the greatest quarterback of all-time, or just the greatest quarterback alive?  The Bucs took down the Eagles.  Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs are lighting the NFL on fire.  Mahomes is 19 years younger than Tom Brady, unless he’s actually God, which would make him much older.  Great News for Oakland marijuana dispensaries: Martavis Bryant is back! However, he couldn’t help the Raiders find the win column yesterday against the Broncos.  The Vikings found a new version of Blair Walsh, resulting in a tie with the Packers.  The Cleveland Browns did very Cleveland Brown like things against the Saints, losing in Brown like fashion.  Even Lebron was outraged by their kicker Zane Gonzales blowing the extra point…..

On to College Football where the Trojans got embarrassed by unranked Texas on Saturday night in Austin.  This isn’t 2005 and Texas doesn’t have Vince Young playing for them.  USC should have hammered Texas with all their blue chip talent.  Instead their offensive line got pushed around, and their play calling was as horrible as the food at the dive bars in Austin.  This is all on Clay Helton, and his Offensive Coordinator Tee Martin.  All of these guys are just nice guys, and not great leaders.  I’m beginning to think the same thing about Lynn Swann, who is starting to look like nothing more than a figurehead.  The players are talented, but every time I see them take the field, they look totally unprepared, and at this point, so do the coaches behind this mess.  The real issue though is that the Pac-12 South is awful, so it’s really not out of the question at all that USC could end up in the Conference Championship Game.  Then again, that might actually be the worst thing for the program because it would just keep them locked into a mediocre purgatory none of the Trojan faithful want to see.

I see you laughing Bruin fans, after reading that last paragraph.  I’m not sure why since your football team is garbage too.  I’ve seen very little that’s positive from the Chip Kelly era and when I look at the schedule, I’m beginning to ask myself when UCLA is even going to win a game.  They’ve been outscored 113-52, and the offense looks nothing like the innovative scheme we saw at Oregon.  At this rate, people are going to be boycotting Nike because they once made Chip Kelly look like a good coach.  I get that it’s early and I get that Kelly needs players, but there is a lot more to be concerned about than not with UCLA football.

Notre Dame has to be the worst 3-0 team in the country after escaping with a win against Vanderbilt. The Irish have looked worse than Catholicism in their last two wins.  BYU pulled off the upset over #6 Wisconsin.  The ginger ale was definitely flowing in Utah on Saturday night.  Florida State is now working on trying to schedule games against University of Phoenix, Devry, and Clarke School for the Deaf this season, so they actually have a chance to win a game.  Alabama went up 52-7 in their game against Mississippi, but Nick Saban was still losing his mind when his team settled for a field goal.  Ohio State is 3-0, Urban Meyer is coming back, and of course nobody at the school cares that he could care less about domestic abusers.

To baseball, where the Dodger performance against the Cardinals this weekend is another reason why this team is infuriating for fans to watch.  They take 3 of 4, and are still in the thick of the playoff race.  Yasiel Puig in particular, who decided for one weekend, he was going to show that when he’s focused, he can be one of the best players in baseball.  With two weeks to go, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Dodgers missed the post season completely, or went on a run and won the division and made it all the way to the World Series.  The inability to take care of business against the worst teams in the league could cost them.  So could their pathetic bullpen, and so could the front offices stupid computer program that switches the lineup everyday.  The computer program must have gotten a virus, because they actually played the hot hand this weekend in St. Louis.

We’re only 8 days away from start of Laker training camp.  With that being said, there’s tons of talk out there about who the Lakers should sign with their open roster spot after waiving Luol Deng.  Let me be clear about what they shouldn’t do with that spot.  Sign Andrew Bynum, Ray Allen, Jamal Crawford, or any other old guy.  No more old guys! I also don’t want to hear any more nonsense about Phil Jackson or Kobe Bryant.  Stop hanging on to the past people.  The Lakers always succeed when they turn the page and move on from their past, no matter how successful it was.  It worked when they hired Phil Jackson.  It worked when they traded Shaq.  It will work after they hired Magic Johnson.  Well…it will once Golden State decides to stop paying to keep a championship team together.

There’s usually nothing good to talk about when it comes to the Clippers.  Most of the time, they are nothing more than a great punching bag for bloggers, writers, and the Twitter universe.   However, perhaps the best thing about the Clippers is Ralph Lawler, their play-by-play man for the last four decades.  This season will be Ralph’s 40th, and just a few days ago, he announced he will be retiring upon its completion.  This man has endured 2,000 losses in more than 3,000 games.  While most of you probably think I’m trolling him, I’m really not.  He deserves to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  For one man to endure that much losing and still bring the energy to the mic on a nightly basis, that takes some serious talent.  He is most definitely one of the better play-by-play men in the business, and should be honored for that.

Finally, I’m not saying that boxing is rigged or corrupt, but they certainly aren’t doing a lot to make us think that is isn’t corrupt after this weekend’s Canelo vs GGG fight.  Out of 51 media members polled, 34 scored the fight for GGG, 15 had it a draw, and 2 scored the fight for Canelo.  Yet Canelo still won.  I guess GGG’s check didn’t clear.  In any case, I’d gladly see these two guys fight again, but I don’t need to see Mayweather and Pacquiao hug each other in the ring for 2 hours, as Mayweather says is going to happen again.  I’m not sure how many of you are willing to fork over $100 for this nonsense, but I’m not one of them.

Monday Morning Coffee

September 10, 2018

I am amazed that people actually picked the Chargers as a sleeper to get to the Super Bowl or be contenders in the AFC.  It’s like some of those people were smoking with Elon Musk (more on that later).  The Bolts couldn’t have looked any more overrated in their season opener against the Chiefs.  They also had their 30,000 seat stadium packed with Kansas City fans, which is no surprise.  A total embarrassment for a franchise that is used to embarrassing moments.  It was so bad that the Chargers had to call timeout to drown out the crowd noise while on offense in their own stadium!  If you went to the fridge to get a beer, you probably missed Tyreek Hill and his Olympic speed scoring early on.  You just can’t trust the Chargers to finish off any game successfully, and playing 16 road games isn’t going to help them much either.  For a team this talented, the sum of the parts is a lot less than the whole.

Elsewhere around the NFL, Eagles fans are so excited about their season opening win against the Falcons, they are going to celebrate by eating more horse manure.  The Browns are going to throw a city wide parade after earning a tie with the Steelers.  Nathan Peterman was so bad for the Bills, his quarterback rating actually went up after throwing an interception against the Ravens.  The 49ers and Jimmy G were by far the next most overrated team coming into week 1.  The Saints made Ryan Fitzpatrick look like Johnny Unitas and probably screwed you in your survivor pool.  The Cowboys cut Dan Bailey because he didn’t have a criminal record and really could have used him against Carolina.  That Bears-Packers game was like a big middle finger from Khalil Mack to Jon Gruden.   Then Aaron Rodgers pulled a Paul Pierce and brought the Packers back.  Here’s a look at Bears fans after Rodgers pulled off the magic comeback……

To College Football where the Trojans put on some mediocre performance against Stanford on Saturday night.  The more and more I watch this team the more I think Clay Helton is the new Jeff Fisher of College Football.  I’ve seen elementary school kids with more creativity than the creativity that Helton shows on offense.  Of course Helton said after the game that he was really proud of his kids and how they competed.  Apparently he thinks this is AYSO soccer.  At this point the best thing going for USC is their talent and their schedule.  Not even Clay Helton should lose to Texas next week, and they only dropped 4 spots in the rankings.  Otherwise, the Trojan faithful shouldn’t be too thrilled about the big picture.

UCLA shouldn’t be too thrilled either with their 0-2 start, although I thought they were going to lose by a lot more than 28 points to Oklahoma.  Things are so bad for the Bruins, Russell Westbrook attended the game and looked about as upset as he usually does after every playoff series.  Things should get a little better for the Bruins in time, but the biggest concern has to be that Dorian  Thompson-Robinson isn’t that good, which means UCLA needs to recruit another quarterback.  If he’s under center for most of the rest of this season, it’s going to be a very long and ugly season for the Bruins.

Even though the Dodgers took 2 of 3 from the Rockies over the weekend, they are running out of time to give me any confidence they are going to make the postseason.  Their chances of making it are about as good as a coin flip.  Everyone wants to talk about how much easier their schedule is than the Rockies and D’Backs, but LA just lost 2 of 3 to the Mets at home.  I’m not even sure the Mets are trying to win games at this point.  They also have to go to St. Louis to play 4 games against the Cardinals, who own the Dodgers’ soul at this point.  It’s going to be especially embarrassing for a team with that much talent and that much of a payroll to be sitting home in October.  There’s also nothing more fitting than the Dodgers giving away these digital bobbleheads.  In other words, they are actually giving NOTHING.  Not an actual Bobblehead.  I refuse to believe that anybody other than Andrew Friedman or his computer came up with his absurdly stupid and nerdy idea.

Now it just feels like Shohei Ohtani is trolling the Angels.  Ohtani is probably going to undergo Tommy John surgery, just like everyone said he would after the Halos stubbornly put him back on the mound.  Then Ohtani went on a home run hitting tear like he was Babe Ruth.  This guy could easily hit 40 home runs exclusively as a designated hitter, and would provide Mike Trout with all the protection he needs.  Instead, the Angels will have to wait until next season to keep Ohtani exclusively as a DH, moving even closer to Mike Trout’s free agency.  Get ready for another 6 months of Mike Trout trade rumors since the Halos have been going nowhere.  The Angels actually have money to spend this offseason too, but most people would probably bet on them spending it on another pitcher that’s going to end up on the operating table.

I thought the dumbest thing I had ever seen was Democrats boycotting In-N-Out because they donated to the Republican party.  Then Republicans said “hold by beer” and started burning their Nike gear when they saw Colin Kaepernick as the face of a Nike campaign.  That campaign doesn’t make most sensible people any more or less likely buy Nike, but it is an interesting strategy by the company.  They definitely do not care about people in Texas, Alabama, or anybody in the middle of the country.  They are focused on 12 cities around the globe, most notably LA and New York that are filled with diversity.  They’ve also shown that historically they are willing to build these campaigns against controversial athletes (Tiger, Kobe, Charles Barkley, etc).  It’s worked for them in the past, so no reason to think it won’t work now.  It also gave us a week of some amazing internet memes.

I don’t really have that big of a problem with Elon Musk having a couple of sips of whiskey and smoking weed during his interview with Joe Rogan on Friday.  However, given all the scrutiny he’s been under, the timing of it all seems very stupid, and you know his investors are going to lose their mind.  For that reason, it amazes me that some of the smartest people can make some of the stupidest decisions.  The real story behind that interview though was the fact that Musk was talking about some crazy “end of the world” technologies, that was essentially mad science that would eventually end the human race.  It was like the guy just got back from Burning Man.  He’s brilliant, but he’s crazy.

Finally, you’ve gotta hande it to ABC.  Nobody wanted to see Colton as the next Bachelor, yet they found a way to give America exactly what it didn’t want.  Colton as the next Bachelor.  Is this guy really going to lose his virginity on fantasy suite night? Better yet, I can’t wait for the episode where Chris Harrison has to give Colton a sex ed course.  Of course everyone is saying they are boycotting the show this season.  they really really mean it this time.  Except we all know that everyone will be back.  In reality though, Colton is a bloggers dream as the next Bachelor because there are so many jokes you can make.  It’s like the jokes actually write themselves.  For those of you that wanted Jason, Peter, or Blake, you clearly have not caught on to how this works yet.

Monday Morning Coffee

September 3, 2018

If you’re a Trojan fan, the big question is what stage of denial are you in? Stage 1 is where you think you just played down to a mediocre UNLV team, but you are still playoff contenders.  Stage 2 is where you think you’ll have some work to do, but you’ll probably be ok and win the Pac-12.  Stage 3  is where you know Clay Helton is way in over his head and this team is going nowhere fast.  Most sensible people should be somewhere between stage 2 and 3, and if you were at 1, you’ve probably been drinking at a fraternity house since Thursday night.  The Trojans just gave up over 300 yards rushing to a crummy team.  Imagine what will happen when they visit Stanford next week. USC has talent and JT Daniels looks nice, but unless he turns into Sam Darnold over night, things could get ugly for the Trojans over the next couple of weeks.

Then there’s UCLA, which started off the Chip Kelly era with a brutal loss to Cincinnati.  I can’t say watching this team looked any different than watching a team coached by Jim Mora Jr.  Kelly’s offense looked a lot more like the ineffective displays we saw from him in San Francisco and his last year in Philadelphia during his time in the NFL.  The defense may have looked better, but I saw nothing that resembled the Chip Kelly that coached College Football years ago.  Of course suspending six players before the game didn’t help either.  Those six players probably were suspended for skipping out on the bill at a Chinese restaurant.

Elsewhere around College Football, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame renewed their rivalry with Michigan and got a big win to start the season.  I think it’s safe to say it’s been a rough couple of weeks for Catholicism, so that victory was much needed.  As for Michigan, not sure what’s happened to Jim Harbaugh.  I guess he didn’t want to “show too much” against the Irish.  He must be saving it all for that big game against Western Michigan.  Ohio State beat up Oregon State, but the Urban Meyer debacle continues to make headlines.  Meyer covers up domestic violence and receives a 3 game suspension. Josh Gordon smokes weed and was suspended for 2 seasons. The only similarities between the NFL and Ohio State is that they both pay their players.  Alabama crushed Louisville, but Nick Saban is still acting like a lunatic.

To the NFL, where the Rams finally got a deal done with Aaron Donald, who will be swimming in money after being guaranteed $87 million.  As if that wasn’t enough good news, they also learned that John Gruden has no idea what he’s doing in Oakland, trading Khalil Mack to Chicago.  That means the Rams won’t have to face Mack when they open the season next week in Oakland.  Gruden is going to need to hire some body guards after Raider fans found out what he did.  The Rams look amazing on paper, but that’s the scary thing, NFL games aren’t played on paper.  The only thing that can go wrong is what’s gone wrong for teams that have had this much hype behind them to start the season.  Only time will tell, however, not playing any starters in the preseason may not have been the smartest idea.  The Rams weren’t all that effective in the playoffs when resting their starters in the final regular season game last year.  We’ll see how effective the starters are come one week from today.

In baseball the Dodgers had a quite a dramatic series against the D’Backs over the weekend.  Both teams along with the Rockies look like they are headed for a very close finish in the NL West.  If  there’s one thing we learned over the weekend it’s that the Dodger starters should be pitching a lot longer into games, regardless of what the analytics say.  The bullpen has been so horrible, each reliever only has one pitch: the home run ball.  Great idea however, by Elon Musk to create an underground mode of transportation to Dodger Stadium.  That way the relievers can quickly exit the building when they embarrass themselves on a nightly basis.  The solution for this team over the last month is to use two starters per night.  They clearly have enough good starting pitching to do so, but not enough quality relievers.  That should make it easier to get the ball to Kenley Jansen.  I’m just not so sure the computer will approve of this move. Nevertheless, great heroics by Matt Kemp for two days in a row, and an even better update to Archie Bradley’s Wiki page!

The Angels season ended long ago, and they have been playing meaningless games for quite some time.  However, I will never understand some of the things Mike Scioscia does.  He says that Shohei Ohtani will get much better as he gets more at-bats against left handed pitching.  Since these games mean nothing, why isn’t he giving him more of those at-bats? Instead, Scioscia has been committed to putting him back on the mound, which means potentially putting him back on the operating table.  This franchise badly needs to move on from the Scioscia and Albert Pujols era.  The latter seems harder to achieve given the years left on his deal.  This offseason though, the Halos need to find a Manager that can co-exist with the modern day data drive front offices, and one who has achieved success.  The guy that comes to mind would be Joe Girardi.

To the NBA where I’m very disappointed in the way the Lakers handled the Luol Deng situation.  Finally, the Lakers elected to waive Deng on Saturday, meaning his enormous salary will remain on the books for the next four seasons.  Yes, getting rid of Deng means the Lakers will be able to afford 1 max player next summer.  However, they still would have had an opportunity to trade his entire salary off their books next summer, probably by giving up a single 1st round pick at that point.  Doing that would mean not only adding a max player next summer, but also another quality player for $10 million.  I’ve gotta think you could find some good ring chasers that want to play with Lebron at that price.  I’m also not really sure why the Lakers have been treating Deng like he’s Smush Parker or Kwame Brown.  Sure he’s aged, but it’s not like the man can’t play basketball.

Hockey season is just around the corner as NHL training camps open up in about a week.  I had the privilege of attending the LA Kings State of The Franchise event last week.  During that event the Kings had several broadcasters and alumni signing autographs.  One of those alumni was Brandon Convery.  I have been a Kings fan for 27 years.  Why the hell haven’t I heard of this guy? That’s because he played a whole 3 games for the team back in the 1998-1999 season.  The Kings really couldn’t get anybody else for this event?  Sean Avery, Jeremy Roenick, Dan Cloutier, or some other useless alumni wasn’t available?

Finally, I got a great laugh out of all the morons that decided they are going to boycott In-N-Out Burgers, after it was revealed they donated to the Republic Party.  You can absolutely hate Donald Trump, but the fact that anyone wouldn’t go eat somewhere because the restaurants political beliefs are different from their own is a new level of narrow mindedness.  I guess some people have lost their damn minds and are ok with it.  If that’s the case, they better be prepared to boycott plenty of other establishments and services that they frequent.

Monday Morning Coffee

August 27, 2018

According to the co-founder of the Big3, Jeff Kwatinetz, Kobe Bryant will be joining their league next season.  That is unbelievable news for a league that I thought would last about as long as the career of Vanilla Ice.  Kobe must have gotten bored with all those pickup games at Equinox.  The man still has so much star power, he could probably get the Big3 to play their games in his front yard for convenience.  I have to say though, Kobe has played this whole retirement thing pretty well.  Contrary to what most people thought when Kobe retired, he certainly doesn’t miss basketball, and the fans miss him a lot more.

Paul George is a fool, and now he’s talking like one.  He’s going around telling the media that the Lakers were angry they didn’t even get a meeting with him.  He also suggested that he’s still got another contract to sign before his career is over, and that he could still join the Lakers down the line.  The mere fact that he felt the need to say this tells me he’s already questioning his decision to not only spurn the franchise he dreamed of playing for as a kid, but also the opportunity to play with the best player in the world.  Apparently George has no interest in playing for an NBA Championship, because with him, Lebron, and plenty of expendable pieces to trade for Kawhi at that point, the Lakers would be competing with the Warriors for a title this year.

Despite the sweep over the weekend, the Dodgers have been sinking like the Titanic.  They picked a very bad time go into the tank with about 30 games left in the season.  Their bullpen is so bad that they are now forced to run Kenley Jansen out to the mound while being completely unprepared to pitch.  Somehow even Manny Machado has caught the Dodger Blue Virus that prevents you from hitting with runners in scoring position.  Here’s some analytics Mr. Friedman, when you go to your bullpen too early, there is a 100% chance you will blow the game, but that doesn’t seem to matter since 70% of your fan base can’t actually watch your games on TV anyway.  I also love how the Dodgers couldn’t be any more desperate for bullpen help, yet Friedman is out there trying to trade for another guy hitting .220 in Bryce Harper.   This feels like it’s going to be a disastrous finish for the Dodgers.

Has anybody looked at UCLA’s football schedule this year? It’s going to be like trying to get through a field of land mines.  They play five teams in the preseason Top 25 AP poll, including a trip to Oklahoma to play the 7th ranked Sooners.  It’s definitely a championship schedule, but UCLA is far from a championship team.  They’ll be very lucky to go 8-4. The Bruins don’t even know who their starting quarterback is going to be yet, but for now they can be excited about having Chip Kelly coach their team.  Ironically when Chip Kelly is your coach you get no name recruits that end up producing at very high levels.  The Bruins need to hope Kelly still has the magic he had at Oregon because that feels like many moons ago, despite the success it was.

Meanwhile, USC might be loaded with talent but their schedule is softer than Charmin toilet paper.  Sure that won’t be a problem when the Trojans are dismantling UNLV and the Sigma Chi’s are celebrating on their front lawn doing keg stands.  However, it will be a problem once the end of the season comes and they start bitching that they should be in the College Football Playoff with a loss or two.  Now that JT Daniels has been named the starting quarterback in week 1, it’s only a matter of time before Jack Sears and maybe even Matt Fink decide to transfer.  It will take an injury or extremely poor performance by Daniels for them to ever see the field.

Finally, speaking of UCLA and USC, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen are already looking like strong bets to be starting NFL quarterbacks in the very near future.  Darnold might actually start in Week 1, and the Jets have been so sorry, he feels like their best quarterback in a decade.  Rosen is already throwing darts and looks like he’s going to very good for the Cardinals as well.  He’s going to make those NFL GM’s look like idiots for passing on him simply because he’s outspoken on holding them accountable for what they are doing.  Then there’s the Buffalo Bills, who passed on Rosen and took Josh Allen instead, who looks about as effective as Helen Keller would be at quarterback.

Monday Morning Coffee

August 20, 2018

You’ve gotta love how sports radio and TV networks fill air-time during the dog days of August when not much is happening. If it’s not analyzing some stupid tweet or instagram post from an athlete, it’s usually debating if Lebron is better than Michael Jordan. That’s really like arguing who is better: Spider-Man or Superman? I’ve always been partial to Batman to be honest. Nevertheless, one person that actually does care about this ridiculous argument is Lebron himself, who has admitted in recent years he’s “chasing a ghost”, which is Jordan. What Lebron is clearly trying to do to enhance his legacy is make himself active in community and social issues. It’s actually very smart. Most people subconsciously think of Magic Johnson as an even better player with a better legacy because of what he did away from basketball. Lebron’s journey with the Lakers is about to build this part of his legacy.

What a ridiculous week it was for the Clippers. They actually fired broadcaster Bruce Bowen for being critical of Kawhi Leonard, in hopes that it will help their chances of signing Kawhi next summer. Bowen was basically fired for doing his job and giving a very reasonable opinion. That’s very thin skinned on the part of the Clippers, but then again, Kawhi is a weird enough dude where he might actually sign with them next summer. Even more ridiculous was the pep rally the team threw over the weekend. Steve Ballmer claimed they weren’t going to suck for the next couple of years. That’s probably because they are going to suck for a lot longer than that.

It’s a complete disgrace that a team with a nearly $200 million payroll like the Dodgers has such a fragile rotation, and a bullpen that is totally untrustworthy. Here’s an idea. Instead of giving away a sum of cash every home game to a fan during the 50/50 raffle for charity, the Dodgers should just offer a fan a spot in their bullpen for a game. I can’t imagine the fan’s chances to get a couple of outs could be any worse than the stiffs that Dave Roberts is forced to give the ball to on a nightly basis. I’m very curious to see what happens to Andrew Friedman and the front office if the Dodgers fail to make the playoffs. Lately it looks like his computers have been hacked by the Russians given the decisions he’s been making. He better call tech support before the season is over or he might be out of a job.

The Angels’ decision to try and get Shohei Ohtani back on the mound is the worst idea since they decided to open Jurassic Park. The Angels knew that Ohtani had elbow problems prior to signing him, and those problems are flaring up already. Similar to Garret Richards, it feels like if Ohtani gets back on the mound, he’s going to end up on the operating table. If that were to happen next season, he would be unable to play before Mike Trout’s free agency in 2020. In other words, the next two seasons are critical for the Halos, so they need to make smart decisions to be competitive with Trout. Making Ohtani an everyday DH or outfielder is one of those smart decisions in the long-run.

If there’s one thing that really scares me about the Rams this year it’s the fact there is so much hype around them. ESPN came out with an article the other day basically saying it’s Super Bowl or bust. This team has so much hype around them that even Lavar Ball thinks it’s a little much. A few years ago the Eagles assembled what they thought was “the dream team” and it ended up being a total disaster. With all the combustible personalities in the Rams’ locker room, there’s no telling if all their talent will come together and perform, or implode. The NFL is that weird of a game where intangibles matter just as much as talent. Except if you’re the Cleveland Browns where intangibles and talent don’t matter because you suck anyway.

The Walking Dead franchise is in complete shambles. The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead are getting rid of characters faster than Donald Trump is firing cabinet members, and the shows’ ratings are looking more like a B-rated network TV show. On top of that, Chris Hardwick was nearly removed as host of Talking Dead after his girlfriend accused him of physical and emotional abuse. At one point I believed the franchise could take the show another 7-8 seasons, and even get the amazing ratings they once had. However, now the show has veered so far off the storyline of the comics, it feels like the writers are struggling to just make things up as they go. There is no way their remaining main characters, or Hardwick can keep the franchise alive much longer. I give it another year, then it’s time to take this series out back and shoot it because it’s a Walking Dead zombie.

Finally, I can’t believe that SyFy has made six Sharknado movies. Six! Then again, I can actually believe it because network TV sucks, there’s nothing on in August, and it nearly breaks Twitter every time they come up with another one. It’s like a bad car accident you just can’t look away from. The first 15 minutes was like watching Game of Thrones, just not quite as good. I loved the Tori Spelling cameo and high school 90210 reference she made. That movie will probably get you a history credit at your local JC. Tara Reid actually ended up in a Shark’s mouth in the movie. However, she is made of so much plastic, it’s probably considered pollution to throw her in the ocean. It’s like when they came up with the movie, after filming every scene the producers said “nah we’ll fix that later.” Just think, whenever you think you’ve come up with a bad idea, remind yourself that someone made Sharknado 6. It was a nice 6-year run.