Category Archives: Morning Coffee

Monday Morning Coffee

November 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Morning Coffee

 

November 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Morning Coffee

November 5, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 29, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 22, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Morning Coffee

October 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 1, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Morning Coffee

September 24, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Morning Coffee

September 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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