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Monday Morning Coffee

February 8, 2021

Super Bowl LV was like New Years Eve. It was weeks of hype, but ended up being a gigantic letdown. Nevertheless, congratulations to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on their Super Bowl Championship. Brady is undoubtedly the greatest quarterback of all-time, in case you weren’t already convinced. Meanwhile, it was a rough night for the Chiefs. It turns out offensive lineman are pretty important, and the Chiefs didn’t have a chance when they were missing those key players. On top of that, Abraham Lincoln could finish a play better than Kansas City could last night. Their defense also looked worse than the Capitol’s on January 6th. Leonard Fournette and Gronk were out here just grown-manning the Chiefs on play after play. If it was ever possible for a defensive coordinator to win MVP, it should have gone to Todd Bowles for the scheme he put together. The Bucs d was so dominant that the fan who ran onto the field had an easier time getting near the endzone than the Chiefs did. Brady now has as many rings as JPP has fingers. As for Patrick Mahomes, he’s still great and he’ll be back. Even three of his incomplete passes were the most spectacular we’ve ever seen. I’m sure we’ll see plenty more of him on this stage in the coming years.

As for the other theatrics in the broadcast and the commercials, everything was rather underwhelming. The DoorDash commercial? Just wait until Big Bird finds out it costs $27 to get those groceries delivered from DoorDash. How much weight did Matthew McConaughey lose for that Doritos commercial? Logitech might as well have lit $5.6 million on fire instead of air that commercial. Hey Chipotle, spare me your serious commercials. Make us laugh or save your cash clowns. Someone is going to have to explain to Gen Z’ers that Bud Light commercial. Who was suddenly in the mood to go slam some 2% milk after that Oatly commercial? Rocket Mortgage had to be the only commercial I laughed at. I feel like Super Bowl ads are targeted exclusively at people who clap when celebrities show up unannounced on SNL. Drake really delayed his album drop so he could shoot an insurance commercial. I guess even Jake from State Farm needs a break. I like how Robinhood tried to sneak in an ad during the blowout like we forgot what happened two weeks ago. Meanwhile, the halftime show with The Weekend was average at best. The Weekend had me looking forward to Monday. I had motion sickness when he went into his little fun house. It was like FaceTiming with my dad. Plus his backup singers looked like a cross between a skin you unlock when you play Warzone, and the Whisperers from The Walking Dead. Here’s some of the better commercials, and that’s not saying much.

To the NBA, where it was a pretty good week for the Lakers, collecting another three straight wins. However, if the Lakers had to play the Pistons in the playoffs, they are clearly in trouble. Not sure why the Lake Show doesn’t show up against Detroit every time they play. It was like both teams bet on the Pistons to cover on Saturday night. Despite being uninterested in playing hard in that game, they were extremely impressive a couple of nights earlier against the Nuggets. Lebron dominated and THT is getting better and better every game he plays. When it’s all said and done, Talen Horton-Tucker will have to be the GOAT on the all-time hyphenated name list. As for Lebron, he told everyone on Saturday night that he can’t eat “fun food” anymore during the Super Bowl because he’s too old and pays the price for it. Never before have I felt so close to Lebron James. Also, good thing that incident with “Courtside Karen” happened in Atlanta instead of Utah. If it were in Utah, Lebron probably would have had to deal with 7 “Courtside Karens” because all those Jazz season ticket holders usually bring their 7 wives to the game.

Meanwhile, it was not such a great week for the Clippers. I’m not talking about the losses to the Nets, Celtics, and Kings. I’m talking about the fact that Paul George is going to be out for a while with a toe injury. This is a huge problem for both the Clips and Jock Talk LA. How am I supposed to keep making fun of PG when he’s sidelined with an injury? For the Clippers, he was playing at an all-NBA level, and they were leaning heavily on him and Kawhi Leonard. When Ty Lue was asked how long George would be out for, it was like he was searching WebMD at the time trying to figure it out. He probably got distracted at that point, thinking he was going to die, as most of us do reading that site. Nobody knows for sure on George’s timetable, other than knowing that Otto Porter missed most of the season last year, when he suffered a similar injury. In the meantime, this would be a good time for guys like Luke Kennard and Marcus Morris to start earning their paychecks.

In baseball, the Dodgers dropped a bomb on the rest of the MLB by signing Trevor Bauer over the weekend. That’s right folks. The defending World Series Champions just added last season’s NL Cy Young Award winner. The Dodgers didn’t need to add Bauer, but you’ve gotta appreciate the fact Andrew Friedman was able to lure him to LA on short-term deal, and aggressively keep this championship contending window open. Bauer is a loose cannon, a social media troll, and simply a weird guy, but he can pitch. More importantly, by adding him to the staff, the Dodgers can use one of their stud young pitchers like Julio Urias, Dustin May, or Tony Gonsolin out of the bullpen, which still needed to be strengthened. To finish things off though, the Boys in Blue really need to re-sign Justin Turner. He’s not only still a productive 3rd baseman, but he’s a big part of their clubhouse culture. You need leadership like that to absorb weird guys like Bauer getting added to the mix. Hopefully Andrew Friedman’s computer understands this when it tells him what to do.

Then there’s the Angels. You thought Trump’s first 100 days in office were bad? Perry Minasian said “hold my beer”. This guy managed to increase the payroll by $25 million this season, and the only impact pitchers he has to show for it are Alex Cobb and Jose Quintana. Minasian said they are in a “decent” position with their pitching. “Decent”? Picking up a couple of pitching rejects from terrible teams isn’t exactly what everyone had in mind for making this a playoff team. Oh, and how could I forget about the extremely mediocre acquisition of Dexter Fowler? That guy is the definition of “league average”. Also, nice background check on Mickey Callaway. I’m sure the league would consider punishing the Halos, but then they probably saw the moves Minasian was making as punishment enough. Callaway is sure to be fired soon, because Arte Moreno would never allow anybody other than himself to be the source of negative press for the team.

That was one very disappointing showdown between UCLA and USC hoops on Saturday night. The Bruins had a week to prepare, but they were missing both Cody Riley and Jalen Hill. That meant they got crushed on the boards and dominated in the paint. I actually felt like the Trojans should have won by more, but they didn’t shoot a whole lot better than the Bruins anyway. UCLA is scrappy, but they aren’t going to beat any good teams when Tyger Campbell is off his game, while missing those two big men. There’s still plenty of time left to win the conference, and considering ranked teams are falling faster than the stock price of GameStop, UCLA might even have a fighting chance in the tournament.

Speaking of USC, their football recruiting class was ranked 8th in the country after National Signing Day last week. Although this is much improved from last year’s 64th ranked class, it really doesn’t mean that much. Recruiting has never been a problem at USC, it’s coaching and development. Some recruiting classes are better than expected, like in 2020, and others are worse than expected, like in 2016. As long as Clay Helton is the head coach of this program, while running the air raid, this program is going nowhere. The Trojans should win 75% of their games next year just because of their athleticism, but they’ll lose to teams like Notre Dame and Oregon because of that lack of coaching and development. Those of you that claim winning the PAC-12 and the Rose Bowl is enough are fooling yourselves. You know your expectation for this team is National Championship. Isn’t it that way with every college and pro sports team in LA? No reason to suddenly settle for less, because the USC administration is trying to fool you into that while they get their crap together.

Finally, the Bachelor is back on ABC tonight, and we had another explosive episode last week. ABC needs to give Katie a good size check. She’s out here playing therapist and being a contestant at the same time. Victoria handled getting sent home the same way Trump handled losing the election. She says she’s never dating a guy named Matt again. I hope they put her in Paradise, and cast only guys named Matt during that season. Once we found out how racist Rachael is, it made that whole shopping spree date a big bummer. I’ll leave it to you guys to Google that one. Who does the background check for these contestants? The Angels HR department? Imagine seeing someone come back from a shopping spree one-on-one date, while you get to go on some group date digging ditches and dressing like Little House on the Prairie. The spirit of Victoria really never left after her departure. It just entered a new host who is more evil in MJ. There’s nothing quite like seeing multiple toxic villains get sent home in one episode. MJ vs Jessenia was fabulous television though. It was like Burr vs Hamilton, Bachelor style. The limo ride was especially uncomfortable. It was like when your mom makes you carpool with the popular mean girl at school. Matt looked like he was ready to send himself home after that. Looking forward to seeing more fireworks tonight.

Monday Morning Coffee

February 1, 2021

That was wild. Matthew Stafford has been traded to the Rams, and Jared Goff is headed to Lions. You gotta feel bad for Goff. One day you’re young, rich, and good looking, with a smart coach and cool stadium on a good team in a great city, with the world in the palm of your hands. The next, you’re off to Detroit. Life comes as you fast. At least he has enough money to buy the state of Michigan. This is a great move for the Rams. They get an upgrade at quarterback with Stafford, a more team friendly contract, and continue to contend for Super Bowls. As for the audacity of trading two first round picks, I’ve got news for you: the Rams don’t need them right now. They haven’t had a 1st round pick in four years, and over that stretch they are 43-21 with 2 division titles, 3 playoff appearances, and one Super Bowl appearance. Most GM’s are doing their best to not get fired and keep their jobs as long as possible. They can do that buy acquiring the currency of draft picks, which buys them more time in their jobs. Les Snead doesn’t have to do that. He has enough equity to try and win now, and it’s been successful for him. Those extra picks help the Lions new front office buy more time for themselves. Ultimately, it’s a deal that both sides can benefit from.

To the NBA, where the Lakers wrap up their 7 game road trip tonight in Atlanta. The Lake Show has gone 4-2 so far on the trip, and have had some big wins over the likes of Boston and Milwaukee. However, after that embarrassing loss to the Pistons on Thursday night, they should have been forced to stay at a Motel 6 for the rest of the trip. Nevertheless, it was good to see Anthony Davis put in a strong game on Saturday night. AD has played much of the season the way I play basketball after eating a Chipotle burrito. He’s been moving slower, less reactive on defense, and out of rhythm on offense. Not sure if this is because of a lack of training camp and practice time, but I would expect him to get back to the level we saw him at during the NBA Finals if the Lakers want to defend their title.

As for the Clippers, they took down the Knicks yesterday, which was their 10th win in the last 11 games. The Clips have separated themselves from the rest of the pack, and are still title contenders. Ironically though, they are much more top heavy this year than last year. It’s been total domination from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, with less depth than we saw last year. In fact, Lou Williams is almost getting phased out of the rotation completely. It’s like Ty Lue has something against Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings. I didn’t realize that St. Nick was still delivering gifts this time of year, because Nic Batum is a quite a gift the Clips received, playing well at a minimum salary. Now the Clips can get ready for a big matchup tomorrow night against the Nets and their newly formed super team.

Speaking of hoops, UCLA Basketball grinded out another win on Saturday night in typical Mick Cronin fashion. This time it was over Oregon State. The Bruins are still in 1st place in the PAC-12 and up to #23 in the AP poll, but they’ve got a big week ahead. They take on Oregon tonight at Pauley Pavilion, and visit USC on Saturday. The Ducks might not even be able to play enough games to be eligible to win the conference. Just being able to keep your team healthy enough to play, let alone continue to win games is a task right now, and Cronin is doing a great job with both. The man is doing so well with both, he should just replace Gavin Newsom and run the state of California while he’s at it.


The baseball season is rapidly approaching, and the Dodgers still haven’t figured out what their infield is going to look like. Kike Hernandez and Joc Pederson have departed, which isn’t surprising, given that they were promised larger roles elsewhere. The real question is whether or not Justin Turner is going to be re-signed. The odds are he will be, since both sides want to make it work. However, I have to laugh at those of you who were upset that Nolan Arenado was traded to the Cardinals instead of the Dodgers. That’s like being upset that your side piece got hitched while you are feverishly trying to work things out with your wife. The Dodgers don’t need Arenado, and they also don’t need Trevor Bauer. Bauer is a loose cannon that’s only going to take development time away from some of the Dodgers young stud pitchers. If it’s a one-year deal? Ok maybe, but the Dodgers have more pressing needs, mostly in their bullpen.

Then there’s the Angels. I’m beginning to wonder if new GM Perry Minasian has seen the Halos play the last couple of seasons. The season is just around the corner, and they still have no reliable pitchers. The Angels should do a sponsorship deal with Robinhood, so that whenever they are losing in a game, the app will step in and force the winning team to stop playing. That’s probably the only chance they have with the scrubs they will be sending to the mound every game. I don’t believe for one second that the Halos will sign Trevor Bauer either. Even if I look past the previous rocky relationship with Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway, there’s no way Arte Moreno would go into the luxury tax to sign him. While I’m not the biggest fan of Bauer as I mentioned earlier, the reality of it is you can acquire anybody in baseball these days if you are willing to take on money, even if you don’t have prospects. The Angels could have acquired a player like Yu Darvish or Blake Snell had they been willing to take on money. It’s clear at this point that Arte Moreno does not, not matter how hard he tries to fool us into thinking he will.

Speaking of baseball, every year we have to endure this same discussion: should steroid users be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Some of the writers want to pretend using steroids like Barry Bonds did, is a greater or lesser offense than gambling on baseball, like Pete Rose did. Others try to distinguish between guys who were just bad people like Ty Cobb, who murdered someone, or Omar Vizquel, who is a domestic abuser. Baseball is historically full of cheaters, and that is simply the story of the game in the modern day, and the past. You can’t tell the story of baseball without any of these cheaters, and that’s what the Hall of Fame is: it tells the story of the game. With that being said, I say you simply let these players in the hall based on what they did in their era, since most of their competition was cheating anyway. It sounds a little cynical, but it’s a practical reality.

Finally, the Bachelor is back tonight on ABC, and it was quite an episode last week. The best part of that episode was seeing the sour look on the girls faces when the five new girls walked in. They deserved every bit of it after the way they bullied Sarah. Anna is all teeth. She’s a cross between the Predator, Alien, and Mr. Ed. Brittany is Anna’s “Antifa”. Matt’s pocket square game is top notch. Legend has it that Magi is still paddling. How come Victoria looks like she got punched in the face every week we see her? I usually find “bullied” to be the most overused word in the show’s history. Not this season though. This season is like a 2021 remake of “Mean Girls”. The whole house is nothing but bullies. It’s so bad that real sex workers that were trashed during the last episode have more class than these women. The producers missed a great opportunity by not putting Katie and Victoria in the same fighting ring. I would have killed to see Victoria take a beating. Michelle is looking strong right now! Matt James memorized entirely too many Tik Tok dances in quarantine. I look forward to more episodes of Victoria and Anna trashing everyone and then complaining they have no time with Matt.

Monday Morning Coffee

January 25, 2021

The Lakers are now 9-0 on the road. They should just ask the league if they can play all their games on the road, especially since they don’t have to worry about the fans that aren’t allowed to attend their games. They are tied for the best record in the NBA, and have the best defense in the league as well. Everyone thought they would be much worse defensively, but it turns out they are just as good, and even better offensively. Heading into Saturday, the Lakers had a positive net rating of +1.7 when Lebron is on the bench, and a +12.1 rating with him on the court. No team Lebron has ever been on has finished with a positive rating with him off the floor. It certainly helps that Alex Caruso and KCP are shooting like the Splash Brothers right now. There’s some tough road games ahead this week, but the Lakers are looking good. It would be nice to see THT get some more minutes though.

The Clippers are looking strong as well. In fact, Kawhi Leonard should be in the conversation for MVP through one quarter of the season. The media probably won’t vote for him though because that’s like going back to your ex-gf when she cheated on you repeatedly and made you look like an idiot in public. That’s exactly what happened last year when these media clowns picked the Clips to not only win the title, but dominate everyone, and instead they crashed and burned like the Hindenburg in round 2. Nevertheless, Serge Ibaka and Nic Batum have been great value free agent signings that are playing well. However, Luke Kennard, Marcus Morris, and Lou Williams are disappearing like Donald Trump from the White House. That has to be a concern given how much money they are spending on those three, but the Clips flaws aren’t nearly as big as others in the West.

Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Kobe Bryant, and his daughter Gianna. That was the start of what many of us would consider the worst year of our lives. I don’t think a day has gone by since then where I haven’t thought about Kobe. He was truly a legend, and the magnitude of his legacy wasn’t fully understood by everyone until he passed away. In some ways, when you think about his drive and work ethic, sometimes it feels like he is still with us. I’m sure it doesn’t feel that way for Vanessa and her family, and I still cannot fathom how she deals with this everyday. Nevertheless, the only thing each of us can do is to give everything we have to each day, and hold nothing back, because that is the legacy and inspiration he wanted to pass on to everyone.

I love TNT’s Inside The NBA. There’s a reason why it’s an Emmy Award winning show. It’s so good, at times I find myself watching the halftime shows and Inside The NBA, rather than the games than themselves. With that being said though, Shaq and Chuck need to better understand the time and place to be critical of today’s players. There’s no doubt that today’s players are much more sensitive to criticism, and fail to realize that it’s an analysts job to be honest. However, that criticism shouldn’t come in the middle of interviews. I know that Shaq was trying to motivate Donovan Mitchell in last week’s interview, but Donovan Mitchell isn’t Kobe. Not everybody reacts to criticism the same way. This interview is the equivalent of your boss telling you that no matter what you do, you’ll never be promoted in this company, while providing no explanation.

To the NFL, where we had a couple of great games on Championship Sunday, and some surprises. Tom Brady is back in the Super Bowl again, after the Bucs shocked the Packers. Thank god Matt LaFleur kicked that field goal to give Green Bay 3 more points when he was a couple of yards away from tying the game with 2 minutes left! He must have forgotten the GOAT was going to get the ball back. I’m thinking somebody must have replaced LaFleur’s play calling card with a menu of Wisconsin cheeses, because there is no explanation for why he kicked a field goal there. I don’t know why people are surprised the Chiefs beat the Bills. Tony Romo predicted it, like he accurately predicts everything after they played in Week 12. If this guy tells you you’re going to commit a crime in the future, you might as well turn yourself in to the cops right then and there. Congrats to the Chiefs, but also congrats to the Bills and their fans. At least this time you didn’t lose in the Super Bowl! The Chiefs put 38 on the scoreboard and they didn’t even play Chad Henne. In all seriousness though, this is going to be a fantastic Super Bowl with Brady vs Mahomes. Greatness and both sides, and we’re lucky we get to witness it with the stakes the highest they could be.

Now that the Rams are out of the playoffs, the rumors have started to circulate about how they plan to improve their team. At the center of that discussion is Jared Goff, and if the team will part ways with him. We’ve also heard Rams sources leak to ESPN that they would trade Jared Goff and multiple picks to the Texans for DeShaun Watson. That’s like saying you want to trade in your used Mazda with 50K miles on it for a Ferrari. Every team should want Watson, but the Rams salary cap situation makes it virtually impossible for them acquire him. However, if the Rams can restructure some contracts and free up an extra $10 million, they can go get themselves an offensive lineman or two, and some help at linebacker. They might even be able to find some cheap help at QB to push Jared Goff. It doesn’t sound splashy, but it’s probably all they really need to try and get back to the Super Bowl.

To College Hoops where the Bruins lost their first game in conference play over the weekend, losing to Stanford. UCLA can still win the PAC-12, and even make a run in the tournament, but they can’t afford to take any nights off. They have talent, but not enough to just put it in cruise control. They’ve done that the past few games and it cost them Saturday, especially in the final seconds when they gave up the game-winning layup at the buzzer. The Bruins also need to turn their defense into offense, with easy fast break points. There were no fast break points at all on Saturday, and it’s been limited all-season. It’s called “Showtime”. Not “Slow Time”. Last year a loss to Stanford helped them correct a lot of their flaws, and propelled them to a hot streak. Let’s hope this loss results in the same type of streak.

Speaking of the PAC-12, Larry Scott will no longer be the conference commissioner come June 30th. This is a move that desperately needed to be made. The PAC-12 has a TV network that nobody can watch, and receives far less revenue than the other Power 5 Conferences. On top of that, Scott moved the headquarters to a much more expensive location, in San Francisco. He also had to deal with the wrath of state Governors enacting plenty of limitations this year around all sports. The PAC-12 had better figure out how to come up with a better media deal, because the top recruits are going to go elsewhere if their games aren’t getting a lot of exposure. Let’s hope the next guy in charge is capable of running more than just a hot dog stand like Scott was. That’s huge for the likes of USC and UCLA athletics.

To baseball, where the Dodgers lost one of their big-time performers over the weekend, Kike Hernandez. The super-utility player signed with the Boston Red Sox. Hernandez was a great find by Andrew Friedman, who came over in the trade with the Florida Marlins for Dee Gordon, six years ago. I’m sure this is going to devastate all those women who just watch Kike to play in his tight pants and all, but the reality of it is the Dodgers have cheaper options. More specifically, they have Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor. There’s also talk of the Dodgers going after free agent pitcher Trevor Bauer. They certainly don’t need Bauer, but signing him would be keeping him away from their NL rivals like the Padres. What they do need however, is to re-sign Justin Turner, and add an impact pitcher in the bullpen.

As for the Angels, they actually signed a pitcher! Last week they inked starter Jose Quintana. He’s not exactly Randy Johnson, but he’s a decent middle of the rotation arm that can give the Halos some innings. However, only the Angels would sign a pitcher who suffered an injury in the past year while washing dishes. They’ll need more pitching than that though, and I wouldn’t count on it coming in the form of Trevor Bauer. Arte Moreno treats the luxury tax like a form of cancer causing radiation, so I wouldn’t count on the Halos getting anywhere near it. Still, let’s hope Moreno’s penny pinching doesn’t get in the way of signing another capable starter.

There are certain things in life that you don’t have a true appreciation for until you get a little bit older. One of those things was Larry King, and his broadcasting career. I was saddened learn of his passing last week, as he was truly a legend in his industry. His non-confrontational and conversational interviewing style is one that I wish most journalists would follow these days. Those were the good ‘ol days.

Do you guys remember the LA Kings? You know, the hockey team in LA that actually won two Stanley Cups in the last decade. Well they hadn’t played in 10 months, until the season began last week. Their defense looks about as organized as the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine though. It’s sad to see how far the Kings have fallen, but what’s even more said is that they have the #1 farm system in the NHL, and they aren’t playing many of those prospects. Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, and Drew Doughty all made their NHL debut’s before 20 years old. They were cornerstones on those Cup winning teams. Just because the Kings best prospects are all in that age range doesn’t mean they should baby them. Take the training wheels off and let them play now, otherwise what is already a 4-year rebuild will become a 10-year rebuild.

Finally, The Bachelor is back on ABC tonight, and it was an eventful last episode. In a matter of 10 minutes, Sarah became the show’s villain. I’m not sure how though, with Queen Victoria still in the house. The girls wanted Sarah to come out of her room but all they did was make fun of her and single her out. All those girls deserve to be kicked off the show and sent to La Quinta as punishment. I don’t care if Bennet would find Sarah deficient in 3 of 4 emotionally intelligent components. That wasn’t cool. I’m glad there are five more girls coming to compete according to the previews, because those mean girls deserve to have more competition. So do the other 30, I just haven’t learned their names yet. Kit and Victoria really came together in that episode to form a super villain. On behalf of Bachelor Nation, thank you to whoever farted on Victoria’s pillow. Who would have thought the girl showing up with the vibrator on the first night would be the most mature person in the episode? She put both Sarah’s happiness and Matt’s above her own, and that is why she is too good to even be on this show. At this point, it’s Abigail and Katie for Matt, and it’s not close.

Monday Morning Coffee

Rams' Jared Goff plays well, but starting job still uncertain - Los Angeles  Times

January 18, 2021

That was a tough loss for the Rams on Saturday against the Packers. Ironically, it was the defense that didn’t come through this time, but that’s what happens when Aaron Donald is injured and can only play 51% of the snaps. That can’t happen against Aaron Rodgers. Still, the season went much better than most of us thought. Cam Akers looks like he can be an elite running back, and the combination of a healthy Donald and Jalen Ramsey is a championship defense. Jared Goff played fine, but his relationship with Sean McVay isn’t fine. McVay lies about everything, most notably the health of his players. However, for some reason he doesn’t lie about his relationship with Goff. McVay said he’s the quarterback “right now”. That’s like saying “she’s my girlfriend right now until I find somebody hotter.” Somebody needs to tell McVay that he’s stuck with Goff for at least another year, and that DeShaun Watson isn’t walking through that door.

Elsewhere around the Divisional Weekend games, the Bills took down the Ravens, but that game was awkward. The Ravens don’t pass, the Bills don’t run, and none of the kickers can kick. Watching that game was like watching an awkward middle school dance. Thanks to Lamar Jackson, not only was that game less competitive than we thought, but we had to deal with a bunch of poop memes when he left the game. The Chiefs got by the Browns, and still managed to do so after Patrick Mahomes suffered a concussion. Did every kicker in the NFL get drunk this weekend prior to taking the field? Apparently the Chiefs are so good, they can overcome all that, but their opponents can’t overcome the refs officiating the game like the survivors in the movie Bird Box. The Bucs topped the Saints, and Michael Thomas disappeared liked Jimmy Hoffa, while Drew Brees threw the ball like Drew Barrymore, in another disappointing playoff loss for New Orleans. In all seriousness though, my hat goes off to Drew Brees on an incredible career if in fact it was his last game. Of course Tom Brady tried to high-five the referee after all they’ve done for his career.

As for the Chargers, they have hired Brandon Staley, the Rams defensive coordinator as their next coach. Staley did a nice job with the Rams this past season, but this feels like a weird hire the Bolts made for all the wrong reasons. Now that the Chargers have a young and dynamic franchise quarterback, you would think they would hire and offensive coach that has developed quarterbacks. Eric Bieniemy, the Chiefs OC, would make even more sense because he’s an offensive coach that knows their division rivals so well. Not only did they pass on him, but they also passed on Bills OC, Brian Daboll, who developed Josh Allen. It’s like the Chargers said they don’t want to wait for the season to end for those coaches, they don’t care about developing Herbert, and they care only about a cheap coach while sticking it to the Rams as well. That is the typical Dean Spanos mentality that makes this a typical Spanos hire. Not what you want to hear if you’re one of the five Charger fans that actually go to their games.

To the NBA, where the Lakers are still rolling. They have the best record in the league and their 3-point shooting is looking like that of the Splash Brothers. Their defense has been so good, not only are they shutting down their opponents, but they are also shutting down their haters on Twitter. The real question though is how threatened should they feel about the Nets, after assembling their own big three. The answer is not threatened at all for now. Heck, the Clippers are a greater threat to the Lakers than the Nets. Acquiring James Harden is a social experiment just as much as a basketball experiment. They’ve acquired all three types of Brooklyn guy: weird skiny guy, a guy with a beard, and a guy obsessed with astrology and conspiracy theories. Usually when you put three top 20 players together they end up in the finals, but this time I’m skeptical.

As for the Clippers, they are still looking good. Winners of 7 of their last 10 games, and very much a contender in the Western Conference. However, Paul George is already taking a victory lap three weeks into the season. He claims he’s “back with vengeance”, and that last season everybody saw his weaknesses. That’s not true because I only saw accountability as his weakness, and didn’t see any strippers, but that is a well-documented weakness of his. Maybe if PG just changed his self-proclaimed nickname to “Preseason P” it would be more appropriate. It’s the same story every year: Play well early, say it’s finally the year you’ll succeed, fail in the playoffs, find an excuse, then start the cycle all over and claim it’s revenge season. Show me when it matters!

Last week Alabama won the College Football National Championship. That is the least surprising thing I’ve heard in my life. Devonta Smith was putting up numbers that you couldn’t even put up playing Madden on easy mode, and it was in the 1st half. He was great, but I’ve seen better defense at the Capitol than what we saw on the field last Monday night. Before you tell me that Notre Dame doesn’t belong in the playoff again, remember that the Irish and Crimson Tide were actually the closest playoff game we had this season. Nick Saban is awesome and arguably the greatest ever, but the sport needs him to go away to level the playing field. By the way, Saban was probably in the office at 7 am the next morning, since he has a psychopathic work ethic. We don’t need the playoffs expanded. We need Alabama, and even Clemson and Ohio State to come back to the pack.

Speaking of College Football, now that Urban Meyer has been hired by the Jaguars, USC Football fans can only wonder what could have been. The Pac-12 desperately needs the Trojan program to become a powerhouse again to give the conference credibility. Not to mention the Trojan faithful are tired of achieving nothing but mediocrity. Meyer may not be a great fit in the NFL, but he could have turned the USC program into the powerhouse they were back in the Pete Caroll days. Clay Helton said he sees an upward trending football program. That’s like the Captain of The Titanic saying he saw the iceberg. The expectations aren’t simply to win a mediocre conference. It’s to win National Championships, or at minimum contend for them. I’m not sure Carol Folt or Mike Bohn understand this either. Until that happens, don’t expect much to change.

Watching UCLA Basketball is like watching “the Bizarro World” episode of Seinfeld. They are starting to look like a juggernaut on offense, averaging 86 points per game in their last two games, but a work in progress on defense. A defensive work in progress is the last thing you would expect from a Mick Cronin team, but they made the Washington Huskies look like the Golden State Warriors on Saturday at home. In any case, the Bruins are still undefeated in the conference, and in sole possession of 1st place. It’s their best start in 26 years. The bad news is that Steve Lavin jinxed them though by saying they are National Title Contenders. Over the years it feels like when Lavin says something about UCLA on National TV, it’s like a guy talking about his ex-girlfriend, saying nice things about her, but you’re not really convinced he’s saying those things out of sincerity.

The Dodgers lost a couple of players last week, including pitchers Alex Wood and Pedro Baez. Woods signed with the Giants, and Baez with the Astros. I wish them both well, but certainly not any of their scum bag teammates, especially those cheating Astros. For Baez, I guess the Astros figured he would have been pretty good against them if they weren’t cheating. His contract is really for one year, but it will take him two years to get through since Baez pitches like a human rain delay.

As for the Angeles, they signed Kurt Suzuki to shore up their catching, but still need lots of pitching. Everybody has been saying they need pitching, yet it’s still not happening. I’ve decided that Arte Moreno would rather inject himself with COVID-19 before paying big money for a pitcher. Way back in 2003 when he purchased the team, Moreno went on record to say he did not like to spend big money on starting pitchers, since they only play every five days and are injury prone. That doesn’t give me any optimism that they’ll address this problem they’ve had for years.

Finally, the Bachelor is back tonight and went down last week. I don’t know what Victoria’s skincare routine is, but it’s more toxic than the environment she’s creating on the show. She may also have the ugliest dress in bachelor history. Somebody convince me that she wasn’t actually at the Capitol two weeks ago. Did she really say “oil and vinegar”? That’s salad dressing. Where’s Bennett and his emotional intelligence book when you need him? It wasn’t all Victoria, but unfortunately, much of the episodes significance revolved around her. Ok Matt, we get it, you’re cut. You don’t need to spend the whole show walking around without your shirt off, making every man alive feel terrible about their New Years dieting resolutions. Matt vowing to take care of Bri to her mom when they’ve known each other for two hours is pretty hilarious. How did the producers decide to leave us on a cliffhanger, then spoil the cliffhanger with a preview? Couldn’t Sarah have waited until later in the season to get hammered and blackout? It’s only the 2nd episode!

Matt James "The Bachelor"

Monday Morning Coffee’s

January 11, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Morning Coffee

January 4, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Smith - Men's Basketball - UCLA

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

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

Monday Morning Coffee

December 28, 2020

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Morning Coffee

December 21, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Morning Coffee

December 14, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Morning Coffee

December 7, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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