Author Archives: omzzzzz

Monday Morning Coffee

November 13, 2017

So Luol Deng wants a trade? That’s hilarious.  Deng really doesn’t know the Lakers have been trying to trade him for over a year? If they could find a taker for him, I’m sure Rob Pelinka would carry Deng to Minnesota, Phoenix, Philadelphia, or any other sucker franchise that might take him.  If the Lakers are so focused on moving Deng’s contract, and maybe even Clarkson or Julius Randle, why the hell doesn’t Luke Walton actually play them?  It would actually help their trade value. I get that Kyle Kuzma is pretty good, and that Lonzo Ball needs to develop, but Clarkson and Randle can actually help them win games now.  You would never be able to tell by the way we are treating them though.

I love those idiots that supported the idea that the Clippers were somehow going to be better without Chris Paul this year.  The Clips have lost five in a row, are sinking like the Titanic, and some of you think it will be all good once they get healthy.  I’ve got news for you, they have a bunch of injury prone players on their team.  They are never going to be healthy.  Even when they are, they just aren’t that good.

Do you realize how disappointing this UCLA story was last week?  The whole program goes to China, three people get detained, and none of them included Dan Guerrero or Steve Alford.  Even more disappointing is the fact that we didn’t get a Lavar Ball-Donald Trump press conference.  Nothing could possible be more entertaining.  I guess LiAngelo Ball already leads the Bruins in steals.  He probably wouldn’t have gotten that many minutes on the Bruins’ team this year anyway, and neither would the other two players who were arrested.  That’s says a lot considering UCLA struggled against Georgia Tech on Friday, looking nothing like the solid they were last season.

So that’s it for Trojan football huh? They couldn’t just wait another week to clinch the Pac-12 South and make their game against UCLA next Saturday a little bit more interesting could they?  Sam Darnold didn’t have any problems against Colorado on Saturday, and USC jumped out to an early lead, while toying with the Buffaloes on the way to another win.  Colorado just couldn’t match the talent of the Trojans, which was reflected in the number of big plays USC made on both sides of the ball.  I’d expect that to continue next week against an inconsistent UCLA team, but trouble could be ahead come the Pac-12 Championship game on Dec 2nd.

It was nice of Josh Rosen and the Bruins to show up against Arizona State.  By show up, I mean it was only the offense that showed up, but that was enough to actually beat the Sun Devils.  How do the Bruins rack up that many points and still don’t have a 100-yard rusher?  If feels like Jim Mora has to win his last two games just have a chance to keep his job, and I’m not even sure that’s enough to ensure him he stays.

Just when you start to believe in Notre Dame they go back to being the same old Irish, disappointing against top 10 opponents.  That’s exactly what happened when they got embarrassed by Miami on Saturday.  Things haven’t been this bad for Notre Dame since the movie Spotlight game out.

To the NFL where the Rams are now 7-2 after destroying the Texans.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Jared Goff is turning himself into an MVP candidate.  He’s probably not going to win it because ESPN is in bed with Carson Wetnz, as well as the fact Todd Gurley is going to split votes with him.  In any case, with Richard Sherman done for the season, the Seahawks are toast, and the Rams might as well pencil themselves in as NFC West champs.  The next three games against Minnesota, New Orleans, and Philadelphia will really tell us whether or not the Rams are going to have any real chance once they actually get to the playoffs.

i’ve gotta hand it to the Chargers, who just find new ways to lose games all the time.  This time it was at the hands of the Jaguars, and their former kicker Josh Lambo.  How many more games does this team have to lose before the league just forces them to go back to San Diego? How many more embarrassments at the StubHub Center involving opposing fans do we have to witness? Probably a lot more.

Finally, The Walking Dead was back on AMC last night with episode 4 of the season.  Spoiler alert if you have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  I was wondering all along who the next character to die would be.  It’s been way too long since somebody of significance died.  We’ve seen horrible deaths, but this time, the show may have gone too far.  They killed Shiva, who died at the hands of a pack of Walkers.  I can just see the amount of letters the show producers are going to get from PETA this week.  You haven’t bent this upset since Glenn died at the beginning of last season.  I’ve gotta say that most of the time, I don’t like these episodes that side track and focus on one character who doesn’t need one whole episode dedicated to him or her.  However, we needed to see the backstory on King Ezekiel, who lost his whole army, as well as Shiva.  I hope they do the same with Negan.  Speaking of Negan, where the hell is he? When do we find out what happened to him and Father Gabriel? Will we ever see Carl again? He might as well be dead.

 

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

November 6, 2017

Congratulations to the Houston Astros and their fans on winning the World Series.  As if Justin Verlander’s life couldn’t get any better.   As for the Dodgers, their cockiness caught up with them.  After game 6, Yasiel Puig and other Dodger players told the media that the Astros had no chance to win the series.   That cockiness extended to Dodgers’ radio host David Vassegh, who was even more cocky after game 6.   Screw Yu.  Yes, as in Yu Darvish, who couldn’t win the big games the Dodgers acquired him for.  The Astros treated Darvish like a Harvey Weinstein victim.  Carlos Correa’s girlfriend still got a ring before Clayton Kershaw.  The Dodgers also couldn’t hit with runners in scoring position when it mattered most.  LA will be in contention next year, but their chances of winning the World Series are no better than getting hot on the tables in Vegas.  That’s just baseball.  Kenley Jansen and Clayton Kershaw won’t be great forever.  Hopefully the Dodgers don’t sabotage themselves with an overuse of analytics moving forward, which is a major reason why they lost this series.

Very quietly, the Angels made a big move by re-signing Justin Upton to a 5-year deal.  In general, giving long-term deals to outfielders over 30 hasn’t worked out well for many teams.  However,  this is a good start to the offseason for the Halos, as they need to spend lots of money to fill a lineup that has more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese.  They also need to spend because they need real quality major league players while they rebuild their crummy farm system.  If the Angels can also find a way to trade for Giancarlo Stanton, they may actually make the playoffs next year.  Of course having the Astros in their division means the Halos will be relegated to fighting for a Wild Card spot and the right to get punked early on in the postseason.

The Lakers may have won last night, but is it too soon to be concerned about Lonzo Ball?  It’s been 10 games already and he’s played well in about 2 of them.  The biggest issue is actually not his shooting, but rather his lack of aggressiveness.  I never expected him to be Ray Allen from the 3-point line, but he is capable of doing much more on the offensive end.  Screw this “let the game come to you nonsense”.  Lonzo’s best chance to contribute more offensively is with his speed and playmaking ability in transition.   The more the Lakers run and he attacks the paint, the sooner we can stop making fun of his shot and Lavar.  I hope Luke Walton plans on making this adjustment very soon, or else people will start calling Lonzo a bust.  On the bright side though, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma are coming along just fine, as is the Laker defense.  It just so happens that the Lakers also have a better record than the Cavs too, which can’t hurt their chances with Lebron next summer either.

Meanwhile, the Clippers are like high school girls, finding a way to continue their drama when you think it’s gone.  We’re a couple of weeks into the season now and Doc Rivers is still doing damage on the team’s chemistry issues and culture last season.  His latest proclamation was that JJ Redick was practically begging the Clippers to return last summer, which Reddick denied.  Doc needs to stop talking about this nonsense and focus on basketball.  If the Clippers hope to add any free agents in the near future, any NBA player will start thinking twice about joining them knowing that Doc might be responsible for that negative culture.  Doc is definitely responsible for his team running the YMCA offense, which is nothing but Blake Griffin hero ball at the end of games.  We’ve seen much of that in the Clipps latest losing streak.

To college football, where the Trojans found the win column on Saturday against Arizona.   This one was actually much more unsettling than the final score, with Ronald Jones needing to do his best Bo Jackson impression to secure the win.  USC is a good team, but not the elite team everybody thought they were going to be.  They nearly collapsed, giving away a 21-point lead.   They’ll easily win the Pac 12 South, but the next real test they’ll have will be against Washington in the Conference Title Game.   If that game turns into another embarrassment against an elite team, they’ll be more pressure on Clay Helton.  Unfortunately for Sam Darnold, the disappointing play by the Trojans has raised more questions about his career potential in the NFL.   Darnold doesn’t care and reportedly just doesn’t want to be drafted by the Browns.  Can you blame him though? Wouldn’t you rather party with sorority girls then spend your weekends taking a beating in Cleveland.

Elsewhere around the college game, “The Ohio State University” just took “The Biggest Beatdown” of the season on Saturday.  The Big 10 is doing everything possible to not send a team to the College Football Playoff.  Baker Mayfield put up video game numbers, and Oklahoma outlasted Oklahoma State.   It feels like those two teams scored more points than 49ers and Browns have all season.    The Irish keep winning, which is weird for the fans.   Notre Dame fans feel like Cub fans before the World Series win last season, always waiting for disaster to happen.  To Brian Kelly’s credit, that disaster hasn’t struck yet.

I think its safe to say the Rams are a lot better at football this year.  The Rams and Seahawks both faced injury decimated teams yesterday.  The Rams dismantled the Giants, while Seattle lost a close one at home to the Redskins.  That’s where this team is easily the best in the division right now.  The Rams have also scored 263 points in 8 games this season.  They had just 224 points all of last season.    It just goes to show you that the NFL is more unpredictable than who Donald Trump is going to argue with next.  The best part is the Rams still have to play the Eagles and the Saints at home, which is potentially huge for home field advantage in the NFC playoffs.  Did I really just write that? Playoffs? The Rams are really that good, and they are getting even better.  Let’s just hope they get the support they deserve next Sunday the Coliseum.

Week 9 was filled with blowouts.  The Eagles ripped the Broncos, and replacing Brock Osweiler with Trevor Siemian is like using a bandaid to stop an oil leak.  Leonard Fournette was benched by the Jaguars for being a highly successful player, which is a direct violation of team rules.  The Jags still managed to destroy the Bengals.  DeShaun Watson with a torn ACL is probably better than Tom Savage.  So is a coat rack.  The Raiders beat the Dolphins, and used Amare Cooper on the “hands team” to recover an onside kick.  Cooper leads the NFL in drops.  The Raiders just trolled the Dolphins.  Ezekiel Elliot’s “on again” then “off again” suspension was back off, and the Cowboys beat the Chiefs.  Elliot and the NFL are more on and off than Rachel and Ross on “Friends”.  It was also a fantastic week for the Browns, who didn’t play, which means they didn’t actually lose.  Great potato sack race celebration by the Chiefs here…..

Finally, The Walking Dead was back 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.  I like how Morales was around for about 15 minutes before getting killed.  It was like he got his acting job back and taken away in the same day.  He talked more in those 15 minutes than he did during the entire first season.  Can we just find out already what happened to Father Gabriel?! This is turning into that moment when we thought Glenn died after falling off the dumpster, but didn’t find out he lived for a couple of episodes.  I prefer Daryl and Morgan’s “kill now and ask questions later” strategy.  Daryl is clearly not big believer in the idea that you “don’t shoot the messenger.”  If you like spaghetti on this show, you’re going to die.  Herschel, now Eric.  After we learned that the Saviors were ordered not to kill Rick, Maggie, or the King, no way the King is going to die in the shootout we saw in the cliff hanger.  Michonne and Carl just hanging back in Alexandria like they are on vacation.  Hope the next episode moves a little faster.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 30, 2017

The World Series has been exciting, but never have I been more frustrated as a Dodger fan.  They shouldn’t be down 3-2 to a team with no bullpen.  Andrew Friedman is data dumping all over this series.  Dave Roberts has managed the lineup so poorly, even Doc Rivers could do a better job as Dodger Skipper right now.  I didn’t realize there was a rule you had to use every play on your roster or you lose.  They Dodgers must think this is a rule, otherwise you can’t explain the nonsense that has gone on.  Charlie Culberson has been phenomenal in the postseason, but didn’t start until game 5.  Andre Ethier is one of the best hitters on the roster, but he’s probably wondering why he’s even on the roster.  Why would you pull Rich Hill in game 2 after he was cruising through the 5th after 60 pitches? Why would you pull Alex Wood after giving up 1 hit on 84 pitches? Of course the bullpen is going to get tired.   Anybody that knows analytics knows they aren’t used to make decisions, but to help provide more info in making them.  Except if you’re Andrew Friedman.  This series was lost in game 2 after Friedman’s software upgrade.  Hard to imagine the Dodgers winning two straight, even if it’s at home, from such an evenly matched team.  It was a nice run while it lasted.

Is it going to be like this every night Lonzo Ball takes the court? The opposition motivated as ever to embarrass him, just because his dad said something stupid.  Lavar has done a lot of good things, but this is where he’s making life 10x more difficult for Lonzo, who has put together one good game out of six.  I didn’t realize that the holidays had come so early this year, because the Lakers were in such a giving mood, they gave away a 17-point lead in Friday night’s loss to Toronto.  Their defense may be getting a little better, but the 3-point shooting has been abysmal.  This is supposed to be the easy part of the Lakers’ schedule, so excuse me for not jumping for joy like some of you who are satisfied with the moral victories of close games and playing hard.  The Lakers need to win games now, and if they don’t it’s going to crush their big plans next summer.

Meanwhile, the Clippers suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday at Staples.  The Pistons locked up the Clippers, holding them to just 15 points in the 4th quarter.  Doc Rivers said the team just didn’t have the right spirit.  I think they just didn’t have the right coach.  With a 4-1 record, this team is off to a much better start than I thought, but I have serious doubts about Doc’s ability to re-invent this team without Chris Paul.  Danilo Gallinari is shooting under 30% from the floor, and Doc sure isn’t giving anybody any confidence that he can create a game plan that can effectively utilize Gallinari, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan.

You didn’t really think the Chargers were going to go into New England and beat the Patriots did you? I was surprised they didn’t take an even greater beating than they did.  The Bolts made more bad decisions in this game than I made on a Saturday night while in college.  Meanwhile, the demise of the Patriot defense was far exaggerated, as they have suddenly figured out how to shut down their opponent’s the last several weeks.  The Chargers are loaded with weapons on offense, but you would never be able to tell with how they execute.  Life isn’t going to get any easier with their next three games against the Jaguars, Bills, and Cowboys.  This has to be the worst punt return of all-time…..

Elsewhere around the NFL, cheer up Browns fans! You actually had the lead at halftime before losing to the Vikings in London.  It didn’t take very long, but the Raiders have returned to being the Raiders after losing to the Bills.  That wasn’t rain in New York.  It was the tears of Jets fans after losing to the Falcons.  Deshaun Watson has more touchdowns through seven games than Mitch Trubisky had completions against the Saints.  The 49ers lost to the Eagles, and they have now won just 3 of their last 27 games.  Those 3 games were against the Rams.  It feelsl ike the Browns and 49ers are in a “hold my beer” battle for who can be worse.

To college football where the Trojans got back in the win column on Saturday at Arizona State.  The Trojans blew the Sun Devils off the field, which has to be even more frustrating for the USC faithful.  How could the team look so dominant against ASU, yet look so awful against Notre Dame?  Actually, you might argue that was only the 2nd complete game they played all season long, with the other one against Stanford.  The whole does not equal the sum of the parts.  It’s becoming more obvious, especially as USC will probably win the South, then get obliterated in the Pac 12 Title game by Washington.

Then there’s the Bruins, who were crushed like a grape against Washington.  I haven’t seen a beat down that bad since…..the last time UCLA played on the road.  The Bruins have lost 8 in a row on the road, and they’ve lost 4 of the past 5 road games by at least 17 points or more.  Josh Rosen is banged up, but he couldn’t do much anyway against an elite team.  He also isn’t helped by the fact the Bruins have the worst run defense in the country.  There’s no way this team is going to even get to a bowl game.  Saturday was the epitome of the way the Bruins play football: dropped passes, foolish penalties, and missed tackles.  I think UCLA is ready to not only move on from the Jim Mora era, but also the Josh Rosen era as well.

The Notre Dame effect is taking over the college football.  The Irish jumped up to #5 in the AP poll after defeating NC State on Saturday.  This is also setting the stage for the Irish to be placed in the top 4 for the first release of the College Football Playoff Poll on Tuesday night.  Notre Dame is way better than I thought they would be, and despite Brian Kelly’s shenanigans, are looking like a good bet to make the playoff.  Much of that effect is the fan fare the Irish are going to get, and how well their fans travel.  Even the fools that run the NCAA are smart enough to figure this out.

I like that Drew Doughty of the LA Kings was attributing the Kings hot start to the coaching change.  Doughty told the media that the team simply enjoys coming to work everyday, and that hockey is fun again under John Stevens.  Apparently Darryl Sutter leading the Kings to two Stanley Cups didn’t really mean a whole lot to Drew.  I just hope that when the Kings start regressing to the mean and they go through some tough times later this season, there’s accountability in the locker room, which they always had with Sutter.  Only time will tell.

Finally, a wild episode of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  Morales is back?  Wait, who the hell is Morales? Yea, I had to Google him too in order to remind myself that the guy was all the way back in season 1.  The forests of Georgia suddenly feel like Jurassic Park with Shiva attacking Saviors.      How come nobody ever needs to reload when they are shooting?  I like how Morgan went from being determined to not kill anybody to killing more people than the Terminator.  I’m still not really sure how he survived getting shot though.  I appreciate the action, but the episode was a full hour of gun fighting.  Had I watched an old John Wayne western, I would have been about as entertained.  Hopefully next week brings something with a little more of a storyline.

Monday Morning Coffee

October 23, 2017

The Dodgers have finally gotten back to the World Series! The last time this happened I was in kindergarden, and Michael Jackson was still black.  No, this is not enough.  The Dodgers need to actually win the World Series and not just be happy being there.  Andrew Friedman wasn’t brought in to make it to the World Series.  He was brought in to win it.  Meanwhile, Kike Hernandez has lost his mind.  Three home runs? When did he become Reggie Jackson?  After it was 7-0 in game 5, the Cubs probably asked the umpires if they could insert Mitch Trubisky and play football instead of baseball.  The Dodgers are going to have their work cut out for them against the Astros.  Houston’s lineup has more firepower than ISIS, and their starting pitching is nearly as good as LA’s.  Corey Seager’s health is a must in this series if the Dodgers are going to win.  It’s also a must that Curtis Granderson be locked out out the clubhouse, let alone not even put on the roster.  His performance was so offensive he shouldn’t even be allowed to watch the World Series on TV.  Let’s hope the Dodgers finish this season off the right way, otherwise we might be waiting until 2046 for their next trip to the World Series.

The Lakers know they are going to sign Lebron James and Paul George right? I mean they must be damn sure it’s going to happen because they gave away D’Angelo Russell for a ham sandwich, and Russell has been balling so far in Brooklyn.  The Lakers looked great against Phoenix, but everybody looks great against the Suns.  KCP is really making $17 million this year? Where was I when the Lakers were handing out money this summer?  After three games, I’m very concerned that this is going to be a 25-win team without a 1st round pick.  That would be a serious disaster if that were to happen.  It would destroy all the positive vibes that have been around the franchise for the last few months.  Lonzo Ball can play when he wants to, but sometimes he’s a little too laid back.    He needs to learn to bring it every night and ASAP, as does Brandon Ingram, if the Lakers are going to sign some real players next summer.  They’ve show some great moments and some terrible moments through three games, but that’s not going to take this franchise where they hope to go.  In the meantime though, you can enjoy the media sticking a microphone in Lavar Ball’s face to get his thoughts every time Lonzo goes to the bathroom.

Meanwhile, the Clippers dismantled both the Lakers and the Suns in their first two games.  Are we supposed to be impressed? Nobody ever said the Clips didn’t have talent.  It’s just a matter of whether that talent can stay healthy.  Considering Milos Teodosic just went down with a foot injury, it feels like the Clipper curse is looming again, even before Halloween gets here.  Just because Blake Griffin is putting up monster numbers doesn’t mean his team is any closer to winning anything.  I also found it interesting that Chris Paul revealed to ESPN that he didn’t like the Clippers’ culture, and that they should have been doing everything they could to compete with the Warriors.  Paul is clearly referring to the fact Doc Rivers wouldn’t trade his kid for Carmelo Anthony, which is fair.  However, Chris Paul was the leader of the Clippers for six seasons.  Criticizing the culture is like telling everybody how much you suck as a leader.

I think the question has to be asked at this point: Are the Rams the best team in the NFC? Wait, did I just say that out loud?  Am I suffering from CTE?  No but really, they just might be after ripping the Cardinals 33-0 in London.   They’ve dominated everybody they were supposed to beat, and looked very solid against great teams.  Now the defense is looking like it was last year, and the offense is far more capable than the 1990’s offense that Jeff Fisher was running last year.  I think it’s safe to say that coaching in the NFL makes a difference.  Cooper Kupp is the Rams version of Wes Welker.  The Rams are for real, but now the question is will the fans in LA believe it enough to start showing up to the Coliseum on Sunday? We’ll have to wait until November 12th to find out when they play Houston.  The last nine games are going to be tougher, but there’s no reason they can’t go at least 5-4 and contend for the division title.  It would take a collapse of epic proportions to not even make a Wild Card spot.  That’s shocking considering where this team was just six months ago.

The Chargers actually found the win column for the third time in a row, and this time they won in the unfriendly confines of the StubHub Center.  The place was covered in orange, and the Bronco fans were out in full force.  I haven’t seen that much orange since last Halloween.  Somehow, the Bolts overcame it and are even back in the AFC West race with a record of 3-4.  The Chargers did luck out though in that they faced a Bronco team that was more beat up than an NFL players’ wife.  They Bolts also didn’t exactly look great on offense either.  They were so bad, I’m beginning to think they have an “offensive uncoordinated” calling the plays.  The division is still going to come down to the Raiders and Chiefs, with both of them probably getting to the playoffs, but at least the Bolts can feel good for the time being.

Elsewhere around the NFL,  Ezekiel Elliott should be charged with assault after what he and the Cowboys did to the 49ers.  Jay Culter came out of the game due to injury, and the Dolphins chances of winning instantly went up.  Cutler and Carson Palmer got injured and Colin Kaepernick will still be unemployed.  Watching the Ravens offense is like watching someone die a slow painful death.  Adrian Peterson is already making a huge impact after being traded to Arizona…….the Saints are 2-0 since the trade.  I don’t know what’s worse: Cam Newton’s play, or the clothes he wears after the game? Leonard Fournette, Devante Parker, and the entire Cleveland Browns team were the notable inactives this week.  The Steelers crushed the Bengals, and JuJu Smith Schuster crushed this “hide and seek” touchdown dance……

To College Football, where the Trojans got throttled by the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame on Saturday night in South Bend.  In the first half alone, Sam Darnold fumbled, was sacked twice, and his team trailed 28-0 by halftime.  It was like he was already playing for the Cleveland Browns.  I’m not even sure the Trojans let Tee Martin and Clancy Pendergast ride the bus to the airport, after USC was shredded on both sides of the ball.  This was bound to happen, but it goes far beyond injuries.  Darnold’s decision making needs work, the play calling is a train wreck, and the defense can’t even tackle.  The problems are big, and too big to stop without a bye week.  USC will end up in a mediocre bowl game, and the questions on Clay Helton will be coming up again.  Meanwhile, why isn’t Josh Adams a Heisman Trophy candidate yet? Perhaps ESPN should take note of this.  Brian Kelly may be off the hot seat for now, but as underrated as the Irish look, don’t underestimate Kelly’s ability to blow it against a lesser opponent in the coming weeks.

Over in Pasadena, the Bruins got back in the win column against Oregon.  However, let’s be honest. They beat a terrible Ducks team that was playing with their backup quarterback.  When I look at the rest of the Bruins’ schedule, I’m beginning to wonder if that was the last game of the season they’ll actually win.  They still have Utah, Washington, Cal, and USC.  They need to go 2-2 just to become bowl eligible.  Is this what is has come down to for Jim Mora? He gets to keep his job for just a 6-win season?  Nobody expects UCLA to be a football power house, but they should consistently be in the Top 25.  Instead, they are consistently finding new ways to embarrass themselves.  I’m not going to blame Josh Rosen at all for deciding to go to the NFL after this season.  It will take a lot more karate kicks like this for UCLA to get to a bowl game this year…..

Whats gotten into LA Kings forwards’ Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown? Do they think it’s their job to score goals or something?  Oh wait, it is actually their job to score goals.  I almost forgot because they were invisible last season.  Kopitar and Brown are hotter than the sun right now, playing like MVP candidates for the Kings, who are off to their best start in franchise history.  They are playing so well, it feels like they are just another lopsided trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets away from winning another Stanley Cup.

Finally, we’ve waited 203 days for this.  The Walking Dead is back!  Spoiler alert if you missed the season premier last night, so read no further if that is the case.  They should call this season “you miss 100% of the shots you take,” because I’ve never seen such horrible aim. I’m wondering how much time has passed  since the last season ended.  Judith looks like she’s paying taxes already.   She’s grown but Maggie isn’t even showing a baby bumb yet? When Morgan kills somebody in the first 15 minutes, you know the episode is going to be intense.  It’s comforting knowing there are still Twizzlers during the apocalypse.   I like how they left Carl at home but brought Enid to the big fight.  Carl’s hat has survived longer than most characters in the show.  I think Father Gabriel will pull a Glenn and escape both the Walkers and Negan.  Just when you start to like him he failed to grow a pair and let Gregory die.  Rick’s Group has everything planned out so it’s sure to go wrong.  That was a far more action packed episode than I thought for the season premier, but I did not really expect them to kill anybody after what they put us through in the first episode last season. Looking forward to seeing the battle continue next week!

Monday Morning Coffee

October 16, 2017

The Dodgers did what they absolutely had to do.  They won their first two home games of the NLCS.  With the next three in Chicago, the Dodgers will be fortunate just to win one, and that would be perfectly fine.  However, with Corey Seager out of the lineup for the series, the Dodgers are suddenly hitting like little leaguers.  Losing Seager means we’re going to see more of Curtis Granderson and Joc Pederson, both of whom are just terrible.  The Dodgers left so many runners in scoring position last night, it would make any fan want to throw furniture across their living room.  The pitching has held up for LA, but this series is far from over.  The Cubs have been the best team in baseball during the 2nd half of the season.   The Cubs also have some big game pitchers that may not have performed well during the regular season, but that have the ability to come up big in October.  However, with Yasiel Puig doing his best Hank Aaron impression, and Justin Turner providing the heroics, it’s hard not to like the Dodgers’ chances of getting to the World Series.  Beating Houston without Corey Seager though is another story.

The Rams not only won on the road yesterday, but their defense even made a “special celebrity guest appearance.”  This team isn’t going away.  The Rams are making us look foolish for doubting them, and suddenly, the NFC West is in more trouble than Harvey Weinstein.  Jared Goff didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but he didn’t turn the ball over, and Todd Gurley continued to be productive on the ground.  I’m still baffled at why the Rams acquired Sammy Watkins.  If the team had no plans to use him, then why give up the draft pick they did for him? I think they should consider moving him at the trade deadline to get a draft pick back, since Watkins is serving as nothing more than a human pylon right now.  The Rams next game against Arizona, in London, is going to be another tough one, but there’s no reason to think they can’t find the win column again if they play solid football like they have been.

Meanwhile, the Chargers and Raiders engaged in a riveting battle for the 9th and 10th pick in this year’s NFL draft in Oakland.  I like how the league decided they would rather both teams suffer lung damage than face the embarrassment of playing a game in San Diego.  The Chargers two wins have come against one of the worst teams in the NFL, and a Raider team that is sinking like the Titanic.  I think the Chargers are also starting to wish they could play on the road every week, because they probably have just about as many fans in that stadium as they do during their usual home games.

Elsewhere around the NFL, the Packers can kiss their Super Bowl hopes goodbye after Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone.  They would probably sign Bart Starr before signing Colin Kaepernick.  The Saints and Lions game was the equivalent of a Charlie Sheen cocaine bender.  Adrian Peterson rose from the dead for Arizona and pretended like it was 2009, leading the Cardinals to a win.  The Browns only choice is contraction after losing again.  Even though the Patriots beat the Jets, Bill Belichick is debating how many players he’s going to trade to the Browns for 2084 7th round picks after nearly losing.  The Dolphins not only defeated the Falcons, but Kiko Alonso found love……

The Trojan football team “won” on Saturday against Utah, but it may actually hurt them in the polls.  That first half was sloppier than a Thursday night on fraternity row.   Another totally undisciplined performance filled with three  turnovers was salvaged by the heroics of Sam Darnold and Ronald Jones III.  If you played a drinking game where you had to take a shot for every time it was 3rd and 10 for the Trojans, you would be dead by the 3rd quarter.  Darnold needs to go to the NFL and take Tee Martin with him.  The Trojans should win the Pac 12 South, but it’s hard to have much confidence in them winning anything meaningful beyond that at this point.

I’ve gotta hand it to UCLA football.  Just when you think they can’t embarrass themselves anymore, they find a way to take it to a new level.  This time getting dominated by Arizona, giving up 457 yards on the ground.  I guess now that classes have started since UCLA is on the quarter system, not only does the performance of the student athlete suffer, but apparently so does that of the defensive coordinator. The Bruins can’t even block and tackle anymore, two of the basics that Jim Mora assured us would be elite when building the program.  Mora has had every opportunity to keep his job in a Pac 12 South that is far more average than we thought, but can’t turn the season around.  I’m not even convinced that Dan Guerrero cares, but he should get an ear full from angry alums.

Speaking of embarrassments, the US failed to qualify for the World Cup last week after their loss to Trinidad & Tobago.  There’s about 4 million Americans who are going to pretend like they are outraged and then forget about it for the next 4 years.  Those 4 million people are also probably confused at how we lost to “both” Trinidad and Tabago at the same time.  So much for building on the success of the last World Cup.  We just don’t care to invest what other countries do in soccer, and we should be ok with it.  Taylor Twellman on the other hand is going to have an aneurysm over the whole thing….

We’re just a couple of days away from the NBA season.  Spoiler alert! The Warriors are going to win the title again.  There is some hope for the Lakers though.  That’s because “Kuzmania” is taking over.  I do think Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball will help the Lakers get a lot closer to the playoffs this year, but not actually in the postseason.  If the Lakers can win 35-40 games this year with a strong showing from those three players, they will be a viable destination for next summer’s top free agents.   That’s truly the best they can hope for because the Lakers have no 1st round pick this season, and they are putting all their eggs in that free agent basket.  Luke Walton did say he was undecided on the starting lineup.  Hopefully he’s not undecided on his team playing defense because judging from the preseason, there isn’t much of it being played.

Then there’s the Clippers, who seem to be convinced they have a playoff team.  The only playoffs this team will be seeing will be in their living rooms come April.  Blake Griffin, Danilo Gallinari, and DeAndre Jordan sound like an intriguing front court duo.  They’ll only be intriguing if they can all stay healthy, and that’s doubtful for Danilo and Blake.  There’s a lot of whispers about how good of a coach Doc Rivers really is, and whether the Clippers have constructed any kind of real organizational success.  Now that CP3 is gone, we’ll find out real soon if that is the case, or if the Clippers are still gonna clip.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 9, 2017

You didn’t actually think that I wouldn’t complain about the Dodgers, despite taking a 2-0 lead against the D’Backs did you? Ok fine, I can’t overlook the positive.  The Dodgers are hitting like we haven’t seen them do before in the postseason.  Cody Bellinger hasn’t even done much, and the offense is still scoring more than high schoolers do on prom night.  Then there’s Yasiel Puig, who has suddenly matured and harnessed his talent into a game-changing player.  His teammates actually like him now too.  However, I still don’t trust the bullpen.  I also don’t trust Dave Roberts to use his head and actually take Clayton Kershaw out of the game after six innings.  Apparently nobody told him Kershaw has an ERA of over 25.00 in the 7th and beyond.  Imagine how much different the playoff narrative of Kershaw would be if Kershaw was actually removed after six innings? I expect the Dodgers to close out the D’Backs early next week, but the questionable decision making and untrustworthy middle relief leave me skeptical.

Yesterday it felt like Jeff Fisher was coaching the Rams again.  The offense was a turnover machine, Todd Gurley was bottled up, and the defense was on the field way too long.  What happened to Sammy Watkins? He has disappeared like the fans at the Coliseum.  Wasn’t he supposed to stretch the field? There goes another draft pick.  How did Cooper Kupp drop that pass?  That’s one he’s gotta catch, and it totally changes the narrative.  The Rams now have to go back east to play the Jags next week, which suddenly looks like a very tough game.  The Seahawks are still the class of the NFC West, and the Rams may suddenly be facing a losing skid, reminiscent of last season.  Buckle up for the bumpy ride.

Meanwhile, you know what Chick-Fil-A and the Giants have in common? They both don’t show up on Sunday.  The Chargers took advantage of that and finally got their first victory as the LA Chargers.  I feel terrible for OBJ, who was making some huge plays for the G-Men before he went down.  This is apparently what it’s going to take for the Bolts to actually find the win column.  Broken ankles from the opponents best players.  The solution for the Chargers may just be playing every game on the road because playing at home seems to be an even more hostile environment with 27,000 of the opponents’ fans.  The road game might even help next week against a struggling Raiders team, which has massively underperformed.

As for the rest of week 5 in the NFL, the Cowboys shouldn’t be kneeling for the national anthem, but instead should be kneeling when Aaron Rodgers walks by them, after his Packers beat Dallas in the final minute.  The Steeler fans are going to use their terrible towels to wipe away their tears after losing to the Jaguars.  I think VP Mike Pence realized he would have been far more offended watching the 49ers and Colts rather than the players actually kneeling, which is why he really left the game early.  I guess Cam Newton’s kryptonite is not angry female journalists because he led the Panthers over the Lions.  The CIA plans on using the Browns and Jets game film as a method of torturing terrorists.  The Eagles hammered the Cardinals, and it looks like they’ll have to start walking Torrey Smith intentionally…..

To college football where the tune of Trojan fans has changed overnight.  Prior to the Washington State loss, USC fans were purchasing tickets to the College Football Playoff game.  Now they are probably listing those tickets on StubHub, especially after an underwhelming victory over Oregon State.  The Trojans had three turnovers against the Beavers, yet they won by 28 points.  If they have three turnovers against Utah, Notre Dame, or UCLA, they will get crushed.  #3 Oklahoma lost, which seems like a golden opportunity, but USC just isn’t that good, and is likely to get exposed in the coming weeks.  Even the great Sam Darnold can only be so great when his offensive line can’t protect him, but there could be a bigger problem than than.  The question arising is whether or not coach Clay Helton is actually building anything meaningful.  We might find out in the next few weeks.

Elsewhere around the college game, Oklahoma has developed a bold new strategy.  This year they figure they can’t actually blow it in a playoff game if they don’t actually make the playoffs.  I guess that’s why they lost to Iowa State.  Notre Dame is up to 5-1 after beating UNC, but the Irish faithful are probably disappointed because Brian Kelly is getting closer to a contract extension than being fired.  As for the latest AP rankings: 1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. A  4. Bunch 5. Of 6. Teams 7. With 8. No 9. Chance.

I’m not big on preseason games for any sport.  However, if I knew nothing about basketball (like many NBA GM’s), and began watching the Lakers first two preseason games, I’d say that Kyle Kuzma is easily the Lakers’ best player.  It’s only a matter of time before Kuzma is inserted into the starting lineup, likely in place of Julius Randle.  Luke Walton is trying to emulate Golden State’s system, which is pretty difficult to do if you don’t have shooting.  Kuzma gives the team shooting and versatility.  However, the real concern right now is the durability of Lonzo Ball, who’s ankles are about  as stable as the Knicks front office.  The Lakers need to hope Kuzma, Ball, and Brandon Ingram make major strides this year, or their plan to attract big free agents next summer will be obliterated.

Speaking of Lonzo Ball, his father Lavar was back in the news last week.  Lavar said he is going to pull LaMelo Ball out of school, and home school him for his final two years of high school.  Lavar said this is simply because he doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the new head coach at Chino Hills.  I’ve been a big believer in what Lavar is doing to create a brand, but home schooling your kids in the last two years of high school is one of the most short-sighted things I’ve ever heard of.  What most people fail to realize is that going to school (and college as well) is about learning about yourself and building social skills, not just education.  I can’t say I would expect Lavar to understand this though.

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero rewarded basketball head coach Steve Alford with a one-year extension last week.  This one isn’t going to sit well with the Bruins fans.  It was only 18 months ago that people were questioning whether or not Alford was the guy to lead the program back to the Final Four.  However, the extension for Alford and the continued support for football coach Jim Mora are more a reflection of the financial limitations at UCLA.  The Bruin athletic program simply isn’t going to pony up the big dollars for big-time coaches, even for basketball, their profile sport.  As long as Dan Guerrero is in charge, which will probably be for at least a couple of more years, I wouldn’t expect any bold “shoot for the moon” changes in the athletic program.

Finally, the NHL got their season underway last week which is always exciting.  After Saturday’s nights’ Kings win over San Jose, I can’t decide if this is a new and improved Kings team, or the same old San Jose Sharks.  In any case, it’s nice to see Anze Kopitar actually scoring some goals.  The last time that happened, we actually had a President who wasn’t crazy.  Meanwhile, the Ducks allegedly started their season on Thursday night too.  You wouldn’t be able to tell though, because it looks like Anaheim doesn’t plan on showing up until the 2nd half of the season like last year.

 

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 2, 2017

Wow, USC is involved in another corruption scandal.  Who could have seen this coming? This is about as surprising as Donald Trump insulting somebody.  Assistant basketball coach Tony Bland is the culprit this time.  On the bright side, this makes him an excellent candidate to be the Dean of the medical school, which is facing a scandal of its own.  The corruption at USC is still at comedic levels a decade after the Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo violations, even after installing new leadership.   However, the NCAA either needs to abolish their archaic rules and start paying student-athletes, or make these violations punishable by criminal law.  I’m in favor of the former.

Speaking of the Trojans, on the field their sloppy play finally caught up with them.  You would have thought that USC had Jesus Christ playing quarterback, the way everyone was talking about Sam Darnold.  The Trojans could not convert a 3rd down to save their lives, and their offense is highly dependent on one or two explosive plays.  That’s not good enough against a quality Top 15 opponent like the Cougars.   I’m sure the story will be how much the injuries have hurt the team with no bye weeks, but this team looked questionable prior to being banged up.  I can easily see a couple of more losses with this erratic group.

Meanwhile, the Bruins earned an underwhelming victory at Colorado.  UCLA football success has been reduced to victories over mediocre programs in which they avoid embarrassment.  This game was more of the same, characterized by hero ball from Josh Rosen, and a running game that has disappeared like Hilary Clinton.  What’s very telling is that UCLA recruits three and four star players, while San Diego State takes the leftovers.  That San Diego State team held Stanford to 17 points, while UCLA gave up 58 to them.  This is all about coaching and it’s becoming more and more obvious that Jim Mora is the problem.

Elsewhere around college football, Notre Dame beat fake Miami (Ohio) over the weekend, which isn’t much to get excited about.  The Irish still can’t figure things out when they face anybody ranked in the top 10.  Meawhile, here’s an updated look at the rest of the college footballs rankings: 1. Alabama 2. Alabama’s backups 3. Alabama’s cheerleaders 4. Alabama’s practice squad 5. Clemson.

To the NFL, where I completely expected the Rams to get crushed like a grape against the Cowboys yesterday, but they proved me wrong.  I thought the Rams could only win when they played the 49ers on Thursday night with those pajamas they wore last week.  Instead, Todd Gurley looks like one of the best running backs in the NFL, and Jared Goff is finally commanding respect from defenses.  In fact, Gurley faced 6 or fewer defenders in the box on 16 of his 23 rushing attempts.  Goff isn’t Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers, but he’s not turning the ball over and making sound decisions.  The Cowboys are a great team and the Rams deserve credit, but they did start 3-1 last season.  I wouldn’t even be surprised if they took down Seattle next week, but I’m not exactly ready to call them the class of the NFC yet.

If the Chargers lose at home, but no Charger fans were actually there to see it, did it actually happen? The Bolts are 0-4, and their five fans are obviously very disappointed with their start.  As usual, Stubhub Center was filled with Eagles fans, and many of the best seats in the house were completely empty.  The Bolts look like a team loaded with talent, but they consistently come up short on offense, and are terrible at finishing games.  That was once again the case yesterday.  It’s not all bad news for the Chargers though.  First of all they get to play Eli Manning and the Giants next week, who are just as terrible.  They can look forward to seeing Eli have that “somebody shot my dog” look on his face with a victory.  There’s also the idea that if they keep losing, this is an excellent year to get a high draft pick and draft a successor to Philip Rivers.

As for the rest of week 4 in the NFL, the Saints and Dolphins game in London was so atrocious, England is considering declaring war on the United States after such an act of terror.  The Jets won a game and since they are supposed to be tanking, Todd Bowles will likely be fired after collecting two wins.  Only the Browns could make the Bengals look like a Super Bowl team.  If you threw something in the trash yesterday, you probably racked up more passing yards than Joe Flacco.  The Raiders suck again.  The Bills are 3-1 and the Lions look like one of the best teams in the NFL, so hell must have frozen over.  Matt Ryan should never ever play receiver again……

The Dodgers begin the playoffs on Friday, and Dave Roberts claims he’s not intending to use Clayton Kershaw on short rest.  That’s like going to a strip club and claiming your intention isn’t to get a lap dance.   The Dodgers claim they have pitching depth but we know they will use Kershaw on short rest, which hasn’t worked in the past.  October also means we can expect guys like Pedro Baez to blow games in the 7th and 8th, and for Kenley Jansen to be forced into ridiculous six-out save situations because the Dodgers don’t have any competent middle relievers.  These are the nightmares of recent postseasons that have haunted LA, and are sure to haunt them again.

Then there’s the Angels, who missed the playoffs again.  This is a good time to look back at Albert Pujols saying that he’s not concerned with the standings in April, but rather in September.   Maybe if Albert decided to show up in April and start earning his $240 million, the Halos might have enough wins to actually be in the postseason.   Everyone knows a win in April is one less you need in September.  Everyone except Albert and Mike Scioscia.

The Lakers started the preseason on Saturday against the Wolves, but they got some severely disappointing news on Friday.  Russell Westbrook signed a 5-year extension with the Thunder.  Westbrook will likely go on a massive shopping spree at Hot Topic with his $205 million but there’s greater repercussions than that.  That not only eliminates him as a potential free agent acquisition, but also hurts the Lakers’ chances of signing Lebron James and Paul George.   This is just another example of why free agency by itself is a horrible way to build a team.  It’s also an example of why it isn’t the best idea to give away young productive players like D’Angelo Russell for half a can of Diet Coke.

Finally, Hugh Hefner passed away at 91 last week.  Has there ever been anybody who has had more fun in life than Hef? Every man in America could only dream of living a life like that.   It was so fun, when he gets to heaven, he will wonder why it’s such a downgrade.

Monday Morning Coffee

September 25, 2017

The Rams and 49ers were shockingly able to provide us with one of the best Thursday Night Football games we’ve ever seen.  The Rams also put up 41 points, and coincidentally, 41 is the number of people that actually attended the last Rams home game.  In all seriousness though, Sean McVay deserves credit for turning the Rams offense around and making Jared Goff a competent NFL quarterback.  However, I still have no idea if Goff is Ryan Tannehill or Matt Ryan.  It’s hard to tell when both of your wins are against the Colts and 49ers.  It’s not hard to tell that the Rams defense is garbage.  They can’t stop the run, and their secondary is average at best.  Todd Gurley seems to think the 49ers still have Joe Montana and Jerry Rice because he thinks so highly of beating San Francisco, he says the Rams are going to go “whoop up on Dallas.”  If that happens, they’ve got my attention.  Until then, this team has simply improved from terrible to mediocre.

While most of the NFL players were taking a knee during the national anthem, the Chargers looked like they were taking knee the entire game in their humiliating loss to the Chiefs.  Even more humiliating is the fact the entire stadium was filled with fans off the opposition for the 2nd week in a row.  I don’t know why the league or Dean Spanos is surprised nobody cares about the Bolts in Los Angeles.  People in LA have been screaming for years that they don’t want the Chargers to come to LA, and now the league and Spanos have egg on their face.  Spanos is more hated than Donald Trump in Amerca’s Finest City, so there’s no way the team could move back without him selling the franchise.  If the league were smart, and don’t worry they aren’t, they would let Spanos sell the team for a fair price, then move the team back to San Diego and build a stadium themselves.  That would put the Chargers back where people give a damn about them.  In the meantime, nobody even cares they stink.

Elsewhere around the NFL, Kirk Cousins just forgot to preheat the oven, but he finally tore it up last night against the Raiders.  You like that? The Jaguars probably will never leave London after dominating the Ravens.  The Jets, Jaguars, and Bills all won by a combined score of 90-29, and the Bears upset the Steelers in OT.  The odds of getting hit by Hurricane Maria and a 7.0 earthquake at the same time are greater than that happening.  The Falcons reminded us that god just hates the Lions, while Tom Brady reminded us that he might be the GOAT.  To protest injustice, the New York Giants have decided not to show up in the win column this season.  The Bears Marcus Cooper thought he had a touchdown, and then blew it by celebrating too early….

To College Football, where USC continues to be underwhelming, yet continues to find the win column.  The latest uninspiring performance came against Cal, and required some big plays from the defense to remain undefeated.  The Trojans decided to show up for exactly three minutes of this game, which was just enough to avoid being upset by an unranked team.  Most Trojan fans are going to spin this as “we’re still undefeated which is what matters.”  However, the way they are playing is going to matter when they have to play at Washington State, vs Utah, and at Notre Dame in a few weeks.  Sam Darnold and the Trojan offense are finishing about as well as a 70-year-old dude without his little blue pill.  Things are about to get much tougher for Southern Cal, which means we’re about to find out if they can live up to the hype.

There’s absolutely no hype to the Bruins, who got dismantled again by Stanford.  For the last five years we’ve been waiting for Jim Mora to show us a team that would be tough enough and physical enough to beat Stanford.  Mind you, not all of those Stanford teams were national powerhouse teams either.  On Saturday, we saw a UCLA team that has no defense, no effective threat at wide receiver, and a frustratingly inconsistent running game.  The fact UCLA had a 100-yard rushing running back for the first time in two years was almost more aggravating.  I’ll give Mora credit for his recruiting, and ability to make the team more disciplined.  However, after a solid first two years, and three disappointing years after that, it’s clear he can’t develop his talent.  With every loss Mora gives us more false promises than a Presidential candidate.  I think we’ve seen enough of the status quo in Westwood.

The Dodgers may have clinched the division on Friday, but their bullpen has officially turned into a pumpkin and stinks again, with an ERA of 7 this month.  The pen is also giving up home runs like it’s the steroid era as well.  I guess this is what happens when you have the naive belief that starting pitching is overvalued, and you are forced to use exhaust your pen over the course of 162 games.  Nice work Andrew Friedman.  The Dodgers are also about to give up their lead on the Indians for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  Then again, I’m not so sure why I’m worried about it because I have diminishing confidence in the Dodgers’ ability to get to the World Series.  I still have no idea why Curtis Granderson is playing everyday when he gives you a hit about once every 40 at bats.  Granderson must have some serious dirt on Dave Roberts because there is no explanation for this.  October is just around the corner and that means my biggest Dodger nightmares are about to arrive like the Grim Reaper standing outside my door.

Then there’s the Angels, whose odds of making the playoffs appear about as good as winning the Powerball.  Mike Scioscia’s new strategy is to pray his starting pitchers arm’s don’t fall off after five innings, and then hope one of his relievers don’t blow the game.  The Halos schedule down the stretch may be brutal, but that’s why they should have shown up for games in May, June, and July.  Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips were nice contributors for a few weeks, but don’t be fooled, the Halos are deeply flawed.  They need to reconstruct their entire roster, and could use an upgrade at literally every position other than centerfield and shortstop.  If the Angels hope to make the playoffs before Mike Trout’s contract expires, they should seriously consider this.

I’ve gotta hand it to Thunder GM Sam Presti for trading for Carmelo Anthony.  Presti basically gave up half a can of Diet Coke, and two pretzels for one of the best scorers in the NBA.  When you’re in a small market like OKC you have to know your window to win.  Presti realizes that with Russell Westbrook’s looming free agency, and working under a cheap skate owner.  Still, the Thunder are like everybody else and have no chance of beating the Warriors.  They very likely will be starting from scratch next year with Westbrook, Paul George, and Anthony departing via free agency.  I wouldn’t be shocked if two of those three players ended up on the Lakers.  Speaking of the Lakers, I’m still not really sure why they decided to sign Andrew Bogut.  There’s probably no center that is going to play more than 20 minutes in Luke Walton’s system, and those minutes should go to developing Ivica Zubac.

Finally, sports is supposed to unify society and help everyone rise above political differences.  I find it deeply disappointing that Donald Trump has escalated things with the entire sports world, tweeting that NFL players should be fired for kneeling during the National Anthem, and for uninviting Steph Curry to the White House.  At the same time though, I don’t think NBA players should refuse an invite to the White House, even if they don’t like Trump.  If players want to use their fame to make a difference and let their voice be heard, then why not take the opportunity to go to the White House and let your voice be heard in front of the most powerful person in the world? This would be more productive than having Lebron James, Steph Curry, and Donald Trump sling insults at each other via Twitter like high schoolers.

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

 

September 18, 2017

I thought the Rams actually had a good defense? The Rams were handing out rushing yards like they had a Groupon for them against the Redskins.  So much for the Rams getting Aaron Donald back and taking advantage of a soft early schedule.  That was a very winnable game they failed to take advantage of.  At least Todd Gurley looked as good as he was during his rookie year, and I guess we’re supposed to be excited that Jared Goff isn’t as crappy as we all thought he might be.  This team is still lacking a lot of talent, and it’s going to really show in the coming weeks against better teams.  They are also lacking some serious fan support too, with a reported 56,612 in attendance yesterday.  It feels like 25,000 of those people showed up disguised as seats.

Things were just as embarrassing in Carson, where the Chargers found a way to blow another game in dramatic fashion.  This time it was against the Dolphins.  You can take the Chargers out of San Diego, but you can’t take bad losses away from the Chargers.  After the team spent all week talking trash about Jay Cutler and how useless he is, they found a way to lose to his team.  For the 2nd straight game the Bolts lost on the leg of Younghoe Koo.  He should change his name to Younghoe Boo because the fans should boo him when he steps on to the field.  Oh and by “the fans” I mean the mere 25,000 that showed up to watch the team play.  The combined attendance of the Rams and Chargers was 81,000 this weekend, which is less than the 84,000 that showed up on Saturday to watch USC play Texas.  I can’t wait to see what the StubHub Center looks like when the Raiders come to town and the entire stadium is silver and black.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 2, Tom Brady went full on Katrina against the Saints and their bad defense.  The Patriots keep losing players to injuries but keep winning.  I walked to the fridge and picked up more yards than ‘Zeke Elliott did in the Cowboys’ loss to the Broncos.  Marshawn Lynch is the perfect Raider, and they dominated the Jets.  The Seahawks won but they score about as often as Steve Urkel.  The Packer defense was already in postseason form in their loss to the Falcons.  Andy Reid is going to celebrate the Chiefs victory over his former team by giving his cholesterol a shot of KC BBQ.  The Vikings should have just forfeited against the Steelers when they found out they had to start Case Keenum in place of the injured Sam Bradford.  The Ravens beat the Browns, but so does everybody.  The Colts found a better quarterback but couldn’t find a win against Arizona.  Starting Blake Bortles at QB is like having your football team destroyed by a hurricane every week, which the Jags learned in their loss to the Tennessee.  The Bears got destroyed by the Bucs, and are playing like Jay Cutler is still their quarterback.  Greg Olsen’s foot is broken and so is Carolina’s offense, despite their win against the Bills. The last time the Bengals scored a touchdown, Obama was still President.

To College Football where USC escaped with a win Saturday night against Texas, in a game that was nearly disasterous for their season.  Perhaps the Trojan players were star struck by seeing Matthew McConaughey on the sidelines, or just thinking about him selling them a Lincoln.  Just when you think USC has turned the corner, they come out flat against a team they should have blown off the field.  To make matters worse, Stanford lost to San Diego State, meaning that the Trojans haven’t  even beaten a ranked team yet, while struggling in two of their three wins.  Clay Helton was out-coached by Tom Herman, and were it not for some late game heroics, Sam Darnold was outplayed by a true freshman quarterback for Texas.  This is sure to hit them in the rankings, and has to make you skeptical.  I like how ten years later, this game was hyped up for “revenge” for what happened in 2006.  I’m pretty sure none of the current players on either side gives a damn about that, and are more focused on what party they are going to go to next Thursday night on fraternity row.

As for the Bruins, they suffered an embarrassment of their own by losing to Memphis.  I don’t care if the game was too early.  UCLA should never lose to a team like Memphis.  Do you really expect Josh Rosen to throw the ball 56 times, or any quarterback, and not throw two interceptions? Rosen’s ego can be irritating, but you can’t blame these losses on him when Jim Mora is asking him to play hero ball.  UCLA has no system and they have no running game.  It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Bruins get beaten like they stole something next weekend against Stanford.  As long as Mora is coaching this team, Bruin fans should buy a Vegas timeshare for their annual trip to the Las Vegas Bowl.

Elsewhere around College Football, Notre Dame did the UNTHINKABLE and knocked off an unranked Boston College team.  I’m waiting for the day Brandon Wimbush gets his head knocked off as Brian Kelly gets another one of his quarterbacks killed by letting him run around like he’s Forest Gump.  That’s what happens when the rest of your offense is inept.  The Clemson defense is the kryptonite to Lamar Jackson.  The SEC has announced they are demoting Tennessee to Pee Wee Football and will no longer be affiliated with the program.  Well at least they should announce that after Tennessee lost to Florida on a last second Hail Mary.  Rick Pitino made an appearance on ESPN’s College Gameday, but I didn’t realize that he buys his clothes at Baby Gap….

The Dodgers are really making a habit of this whole winning thing.  It was one thing to merely end that 11-game losing skid, but now they are hot again.  Cody Bellinger claimed that what helped the team get through such a rough stretch was having veterans who had been there before.  I didn’t realize that the Dodgers have players on their roster that have been on the team since 1958, because that’s the last time they had a streak that bad.  The Dodgers’ potential for playoff failure still scares me to death.  Somehow they found a center fielder that is worse than Joc Pederson.  Not only should Curtis Granderson be chained to the bench, but so should Yasmani Grandal.  Austin Barnes is statistically the most valuable hitter against right-handed pitching in the National League this year, so I have no idea why he isn’t in the lineup everyday.  Only two more weeks before the postseason, and the Dodgers have to worry about their pitchers being done after five innings, and their hitters being done after September.

The Angels sure are determined to make this AL Wild Card race interesting.  It sure would help their chances though if they didn’t keep losing pitchers to elbow tears.  The latest is JC Ramirez, who is done for the year, and possible next year too.  It’s almost like the team’s training staff is always finding new ways to get their pitchers injured.  Then there’s Luis Valbuena, who is perfecting his bat flip, even during those moments where he’s barely hitting the ball out of the infield.  Valbuena can’t even hit .200, meaning that never has an athlete that is so bad acted so cocky.  Valbuena’s antics actually angered Astros pitcher Mike Fiers so much, after giving up a home run to the Angels’ infielder, he threw at his head.  That got Fiers suspended for five games.  Fiers said he felt “disrespected”.  If you give up a home run to a guy who is hitting .200, you deserve to be disrespected and suspended.

In case you haven’t heard, the Lakers are retiring Kobe’s jersey on December 18th, when they host the Warriors.  They will also be retiring both his #8 and #24 jersey’s.  I think the #24 Kobe was much better than the #8 Kobe, and the Mamba reached the pinnacle of his career wearing #24.  That one should really be the only one to be retired, however, there’s probably no player in their right mind who would want to wear #8, so the Lakers might as well retire both jerseys.  By the way, the cheapest ticket to get in that game right now is $600.

The NHL preseason is underway, and it couldn’t have gotten off to a cloudier start for the Kings.  Defenseman Drew Doughty told The Sporting News that if the team didn’t start contending for Stanley Cups again, he would consider signing elsewhere when his contract expires in two seasons. When an LA Times reporter questioned him about this, he said he would love to finish his career as a King.  Drew, if you back peddle any faster, you will start moon walking like Michael Jackson.  The Kings are a lot closer to rebuilding than contending, and Doughty could easily leave the team in two years.  On the bright side though, the Kings Twitter account is run far better than that of the Ducks.  Here’s a look at their early season social media fail….

Finally, has ESPN’s Jamele Hill been living under a rock for the last year? She just witnessed complete carnage at her company, as a number of her colleagues were laid off due to declining ratings and more cord cutting.  We can attribute some of that to the fact that ESPN’s content has become more and more political, which has displeased viewers.  So what does Jamele do? She decides to go on some Twitter rant, ripping Donald Trump for being a racist, and called him a white supremacist.  Regardless of what you think of Donald Trump, if Jamele wants her political voice to be heard, she should just go join CNN with the 12 other people sitting at a desk screaming their biased opinions at each other.  I also like how hypocritical ESPN is after suspending Linda Cohen last spring for saying the network was getting too political, yet they did nothing to Hill for her unnecessary rant.  It’s also apparent to me that Colin Kaepernick has no desire to play in the NFL, because he came out and supported her rant on Twitter.  I guess the man just couldn’t get enough controversy in his life.

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

September 11, 2017

The Dodgers are collapsing faster than the state of Florida.  Oh wait, this must all be a part of Andrew Friedman’s plan right? The Dodgers must be sending a message to all the other teams in the NL, trying to make them overconfident come playoff time.  Those other NL teams must be real overconfident now because the Dodgers’ entire pitching staff looks like a bunch of stiffs.  This has to be the case since Dave Roberts assured us all a few days ago that the Dodgers will win the NL West.  Not even Clayton Kershaw can help the team find the win column, and suddenly the entire team can’t hit.  I’m beginning to think this is the law of averages catching up with the team at the worst time, because they are on the verge of one of the biggest choke jobs in baseball history.  Since Sports Illustrated came out with an issue asking if this is the best team ever on the cover page,  Perhaps the Dodgers would have better luck if Sports Illustrated’s next cover page said “Biggest Choke Job Ever?.  It’s officially time to panic.

Meanwhile, the Angels are still hanging in the AL Wild Card race, but are limping their way toward the finish line.  After avoiding a sweep yesterday against the Mariners, they Halos are just one game out of the final Wild Card spot.  However, Andrew Heaney looks more broken than those couples that win reality dating shows.  Garrett Richards looks like his arm could fall off any moment.  Parker Bridwell has remembered that he’s just Parker Bridwell.  This team has impressed me given how they’ve handled adversity, but since they have nine more games against Houston and Cleveland, I doubt they can make it through that field of land mines to make the postseason.

To the NFL, where the Colts made the Rams look like the 1972 Miami Dolphins yesterday at the Coliseum.  I’ll be far more impressed when the Rams manage to do this against a team that isn’t playing at a college level, which probably won’t be for a few more weeks.  Actually, I’m not even sure that Scott Tolzien played at a college level yesterday.  Of course Jared Goff is going to look like Joe Montana against a crappy defense like that.  The Colts lost by so many points, Chuck Pagano actually forgot who they played, referring to the Rams as the 49ers.  Don’t think the Rams managed to entirely avoid embarrassment for the week though.  The amount of empty seats at the Coliseum made the game look like a University of San Diego football game.  I guess this NFL in LA thing is really working out so far.

Elsewhere around week 1, apparently that judge had Ezekiel Elliott on his fantasy football team.  Elliott and the Cowboys got an easy win against the Giants.  First Hurricane Harvey, then losing to the Jags.  As if Houston hasn’t suffered enough.  Andy Dalton is already in playoff form, throwing four  interceptions in yesterday’s loss to Baltimore.   The NFL should spot the Browns 14 points in every game to make it more fair.  They could have used that yesterday in their loss to the Steelers.  Russell Wilson and his Seahawks got manhandled by the Packers yesterday.  He must have stopped having sex with Ciara again.  The 49ers barely scored more points than the San Francisco Giants yesterday.  Alex Smith is probably going to sit out of next week’s game with arm fatigue after throwing the ball more than 30 yards in the Chiefs win over the Patriots.  The Bills beat the Jets in a game that should have been called “the toilet bowl”.  Great special teams tackle by the Jets on themselves here…..

To college football, where the Trojans finally found what they were missing against Stanford: an elite quarterback.  The Cardinal had won 7 of the last 10 games against the Trojans, but Sam Darnold returned to the elite QB we saw for most of last season, leading USC to a big win.  The Trojan defense is nothing to brag about, but if Ronald Jones is going to run like Reggie Bush, and Sam Darnold is going to play like Matt Leinart, that won’t matter.  Nobody even heard of Deontay Burnett until the Rose Bowl last January, and now he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Darnold’s four TD passes vaulted him back in the Heisman discussion.  The Trojans beat Stanford at their own game, running the ball, and playing a much more physical, ball-control game.  The only thing Stanford did better was drink more chardonnay during the tailgate.  USC should roll in their next two games against Texas and Cal, before facing a tough Washington State team on the road.

It would have been very “UCLA” of the Bruins had they lost Saturday’s game against Hawaii after defeating Texas A&M in dramatic fashion.  Instead, Josh Rosen picked up where he left off by throwing five TD passes, piling up 329 yards like he was playing a video game, and UCLA hammered Hawaii at home.  The Bruins did what they were supposed to do, crushing a team with inferior talent, but they still have plenty of issues.  The defense is banged up, the offensive line provides about as much protection as a broken condom, and they have no running game.  If Rosen can overcome all that and lead the Bruins to an upset road victory or two over the likes of Stanford, Washington, or USC, he definitely deserves to win the Heisman.

As for the rest of college football, nice job by the NCAA to schedule all of last weekend’s great games at the exact same time.  Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly says that the Irish are really close to being able to compete with any football team in the country.  After losing to Georgia at home, the Irish are 2-11 in their last 13 games against top 15 teams.  They are only a head coach away.  Looks like “The” Ohio State University has “The” worst pass defense in the country, and won’t be in this year’s college football playoff after losing to Oklahoma.  Baker Mayfield was savage putting that flag into the center of the Buckeyes logo after the win.  Here’s the Buckeyes new logo…..

Finally, I feel terrible for Florida, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the families that were impacted by the Hurricane.  However, why don’t these people evacuate sooner? The real problem is the name of the Hurricane.  Nobody is afraid of Hurricane “Irma”.  However, if you gave it an Arab name like Hurricane “Abdullah” or Hurricane “Muhammad”, people would run for the hills.  I also love the fact that these news reporters are practically in a contest with each other for an Emmy award while reporting on the Hurricane.  In fact, it’s getting so competitive we’re practically seeing field reporters blown away on live television, and they seem to be ok with it.