Monthly Archives: December 2014

Monday Morning Coffee



December 29th, 2014

In the last couple of weeks, we learned a lot about the Lakers, you probably just didn’t realize it though.  Most of you were focused on Kobe and his health.  What you should have noticed, is that fact the Lakers could have easily traded for Rajon Rondo, signed Josh Smith, and traded for Lance Stephenson, and rebuilt the team on the fly.    They had a draft pick and an expiring contract the Celtics wanted for Rondo and they said no.  They had the money for Smith, but they decided against signing him.  They also had the pieces to get Stephenson, but decided against it.  This should tell you that the Lakers aren’t looking for some short-term, quick fix to get competitive again.  They are willing to slowly rebuild to build a consistent winner again.  That means enduring more losses, like the one last night at home against Phoenix, to secure a top 5 lottery pick.  Sounds like a good plan, if it weren’t Jim Buss that was a part of it.

Makes sense that Josh Smith signed with Houston.  Dwight Howard needs somebody to laugh at his jokes.  The irony of it is, I was really hoping the Lakers would sign Smith because it would make them much worse, and give them a better chance at a top 5 draft pick.  Speaking of Dwight, Santa sends his apologies to everyone for the delay after having to stop by Dwight’s 57 different kids’ houses first.

As for the Clippers, just when you think they turned the corner by beating Golden State, they come back and disappoint you with a home loss to Toronto.  For a while, it looked like Blake Griffin improved his game by adding a jump shot and improving his free throw shooting.  Except now he takes too many jump shots, and still doesn’t have enough post moves.  Blake should be a beast on the block, who should be punishing smaller defenders over and over again.  He might eventually figure this out, but by that time, the window of opportunity for this group of Clippers might have closed.

On to college football, where the Trojans found themselves in a big shootout with Nebraska at the Holiday Bowl on Saturday night.  For a few moments there USC fans were re-living the nightmares of the Arizona State and Utah collapses.   They survived, and finished up what amounted to be an ok season in Steve Sarkisian’s 1st year as head coach.  SC will probably lose three players to the NFL Draft: Defensive lineman Leonard Williams, tailback Javorius Allen and receiver Nelson Agholor.  All are nice talents, but not crippling losses.  Cody Kessler is coming back for his Senior year, and I’m not sure why all of you are so pumped that’s the case.  He’s a solid but not spectacular quarterback, and truly a game manager.  All those gaudy stats come against bad defenses.  Don’t you want to see if Max Browne can become an elite quarterback?  Sounds like it’s going to be just another ok year for USC next year with Kessler under center.


I don’t know what’s worse.  The fact that UCLA basketball can’t beat anybody that’s a halfway decent team, or the fact that nobody is even noticing how mediocre the program is becoming.  I talked to 5 UCLA alums this weekend, and when I mentioned the game against Alabama, they said “oh I completely forgot we were playing today.”  I couldn’t even find coverage of the game in the LA Times Sports Section.  The only thing worse than being bad, is being irrelevant, and that’s where AD Dan Guerrero is taking this program.  The storyline against decent teams is the same.  Terrible shooting, even worse free throw shooting, and lots of turnovers.  Oklahoma, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Kentucky, and Alabama were all the same disastrous losses.  The Bruins could easily get exposed in conference play next month if they keep this up.  Then again, at least that might make people angry enough to make them relevant.

On the ice, the Kings finally looked like the Kings on Saturday against the Sharks.  The power play is on fire, Drew Doughty looks like an elite defenseman again, and Anze Kopitar has remembered how to put points on the board.  The Ducks are still racking up those regular season points as well, including last night’s OT win against Vancouver.  The Western Conference playoff race is tighter than a Beyoncé jumpsuit.  Why is Jonathan Quick 9th among goaltenders for all-star voting?  I didn’t realize most hockey fans drink when filling out their ballots.  If you’re a hockey fan on Twitter, you’ve gotta follow @PumperNicholl.  He’s hilarious…….


The NFL regular season is in the books, and the final weekend had plenty of drama.  I guess nobody told the Chargers that if they had won yesterday, they would have been in the playoffs.  It doesn’t seem to matter who is coaching this team or who is on the field, this team just has a knack for coming up short in the biggest moments.  JJ Watt is a damn good football player, and if he had a halfway decent quarterback, he would probably be the MVP of the league this year.  Demarco Murray and Dez Bryant are going to make some serious money from somebody.  I’m just not so sure the Cowboys will be paying both of them.  RG III wasn’t all that bad yesterday, but the ‘Skins defense was.  Great tank job by the Bucs yesterday against the Saints.  It’s like the front office called Lovie Smith at halftime on the sidelines, and told him he better take out the starters so they can lose and secure the #1 overall pick.  That showing was so pathetic by the Falcons yesterday, that it shouldn’t be the Panthers in the NFC Playoffs.  It should be Baylor.  The last time the Lions won in Green Bay I was in the third grade.  The 49ers parting ways with Jim Harbaugh still makes no sense to me.  He’s been in three of the last four NFC title games, including one Super Bowl, and even made decent QB’s out of Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick.  The only reason the Niners went 8-8 this year was because of injuries and off the field issues.  He’ll turn Michigan around then be back in the NFL in 3-4 years.  He’s the Larry Brown of football.  It sure would have been interesting to see him try to turn it around in Oakland.

As for Wild Card Weekend, that Steelers-Ravens showdown should be another classic, but if Pittsburgh is without Le’Veon Bell, they might as well kiss their playoff hopes goodbye.  The Cardinals caught a huge break by matching up with the Panthers in the 1st round, even though Arizona might be playing with their 3rd string quarterback again.  The Cardinals asked Santa for another QB for Christmas, and another one when that QB gets hurt, and a new ambulance.  The Lions have tons of talent, but can’t beat a decent team on the road, so I’m going with the Cowboys.  The Colts should take the Bengals as well since Andy Dalton is usually a disaster come January.

Another plane got lost?  How does this happen?  How do you lose a plane?  I guess these black boxes aren’t as useful as we thought.

Did anybody actually see The Interview?  It was funny and all, but the movie got way too much hype.  Most of us didn’t even know about it until we knew there were terrorists trying to prevent us from seeing it.  In fact, that’s probably the only reason why people went to see it, which ended up making the movie a huge success.


Monday Morning Coffee

Ben McLemore, Kobe Bryant

December 22nd, 2014

It’s finally here.  The decline of Kobe Bryant.  It feels weird saying that about a guy who is averaging 25-5-5 in his 19th year.  However, his shooting percentage has been horrendous: a career low 37%.  That’s almost 8 percent lower than his career average.  For a guy who has made a career out of making ridiculous shots, this makes sense.  He’s still taking the same ridiculous shots, but just not making them.  Then again, he’s also not making the typical ones either.  It’s pretty tough to win games when your franchise player is 36 years old, and shooting this badly.  The Lakers have plenty of other problems too, but if they are serious about protecting their $48 million investment over the next two seasons, they’ll start sitting Kobe out for some games.  Byron Scott should also bring his minutes down from the 35 he’s averaging on the season.

You probably thought for just a second, the Lakers had a shot at acquiring Rajon Rondo.  They didn’t because like I’ve been saying for months, they don’t have the assets.  Hoping for major free agents to sign in LA is great and all, but most of them are traded and re-signed before they really hit the market.  It takes young players, draft picks, and expiring contracts to make this happen.  Had the Lakers traded Pau Gasol before he left them in free agency, they might have had some of those assets to acquire a player like Rondo.  Amazing how the NBA glamour franchises are all in the toilet: Lakers, Celtics, and Knicks.  Only the Celtics have embraced the idea of rebuilding.  The sooner the Lakers and Knicks do, the sooner they’ll be competitive again.

Then there’s the Clippers.  You want to believe they are good enough to at least make it to the West Finals.  Then you watch them play, and you realize it’s a long shot.  The Clipps are going to need to get the right matchup just to make it out of the 1st round.  They’ll probably get dominated by the depth of the Warriors, the experience of the Spurs, the grit of the Grizzlies, and the athleticism of the Thunder.  However, they’d probably survive a series against the soft Rockets, inexperienced Blazers, or aging Mavericks.  This team is only going to go as far as Blake Griffin’s game improves.  He showed flashes of brilliance last season, and was an MVP candidate.  While his jump shooting has improved, he’s averaging 2 rebounds per game less than last season.  You know the saying: no rebounds, no rings.

The Warriors are 22-3.  The Knicks are 5-25.  That was a close call Steve Kerr.

Speaking of terrible basketball, UCLA got completely embarrassed on Saturday against Kentucky.  I’m sure UCLA AD Dan Guerrero is frantically trying to reach Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart right now to cancel next year’s home and home with the Wildcats.  That game felt like a driveway game of basketball between a father and his 8 year old son.  Seven points in the first half? Kentucky had more blocks and forced turnovers than that.  I get that Kentucky is great, and that they’ve won every game by double digits this year.  However, Saturday’s game was a cold, hard reminder, of just how far the Bruins basketball program has fallen since it was going to Final Fours a few years ago.  Welcome to the Steve Alford era.

How angry are you Dodger fans? Andy Friedman has completely blown up your championship contending team, for one that he believe will be more “cost effective.”  Funny because Friedman said he understood that Matt Kemp was a talented player, but “you have to give up talent to get talent back.”  That’s great except you didn’t get any talent back Andy!  Friedman also seems to think that because he’s in a big market, he can spend money on getting rid of players, as opposed to spending money on acquiring them.  He once again, foolishly decided to get rid of Brian Wilson in a contract year, before seeing if his performance would improve any.  I mean, the Dodgers owe him $10 million for god sakes! Why not at least see if he can rebound from last season before cutting him loose?  I’m fearful of what idiotic move will come next.

On to week 15 of the NFL, where the Chargers got a massive win over the 49ers.  Philip Rivers manned up and played through pain.  Meanwhile, Jim Harbaugh is already getting a head start on that Raider job by losing to division rival San Diego.  Arian Foster now has as many touchdown passes as Johnny Manziel.  That was some collapse by Joe Flacco.  Is North Korea taking credit for hacking him?  So is the NFC South title game between Carolina and Atlanta next week a play-in game for the College Football Playoff? The Colts were so awful yesterday, they couldn’t even tackle a Florida State football player’s homework assignment.  The Cowboys have completely ruined my NFL coverage because I can’t make any more jokes about them since they are in the playoffs.  RG III is already playing better after his brief benching, but I’m sure Marcus Mariotta is texting Chip Kelly, asking him why he didn’t tank earlier.  Meanwhile, Marshawn Lynch was abusing defenders last night….

If we don’t figure out a way to get “The Interview” back in theaters, we would have let the terrorists win.  When I was growing up I used to think that politicians around the world were among the smartest people in the world.  It turns out they are actually some of the dumbest, especially when you listen to the statements being released by North Korea.  They claim they didn’t have anything to do with the cyberattack on Sony, because they would never do such a thing, but if the US doesn’t shut up, they will launch an attack on us.  Makes perfect sense right?  Of course North Korea also believes that the US government is responsible for the creation of the movie, because their government creates all kind of stupid propaganda all the time.  Come on….not even our socialist President would do such a thing.

Finally, the season finale of Homeland went down on Showtime last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you waiting to watch it on DVR.  Actually, to come to think of it, if you didn’t watch it you didn’t miss anything, so there really is nothing to spoil.  This was possibly the most disappointing hour of television I have ever watched.  In fact, I want my hour back.  NOTHING HAPPENED!  We waited a full season for this ending?  Nobody died.  All we got was a brief romantic scene between Carrie and Quinn.  This show doesn’t know how to stick with what works.  We want intense CIA drama.  Not some boring family drama, which this episode was filled with, as we learned about Carrie’s mother and how she abandoned her.  Do you know how bad this episode was?  It was so bad that bringing Dana back for one of her lame love scenes would have made it interesting!






Monday Morning Coffee

Kemp home run

December 15th, 2014

I don’t even know where to begin to express my frustration.  When you have a leak under your kitchen sink, you don’t remodel the entire house, while not even fixing the leak.  This is exactly what Andrew Friedman and his band of small market jocks have done to the Dodgers.   They took a team that was on the verge of winning a World Series, and managed to put all kinds of holes in their lineup, because that’s what the computer told them to do.  This isn’t Tampa Bay, Oakland, Kansas City, or some other third world country.  It’s Los Angeles, where we actually have the financial resources to assemble a team.  Dee Gordon was a cost controlled, all-star 2nd baseman, who was only going to get better.  Matt Kemp is still the best hitter in the National League when healthy.  The Dodgers gave them away for a pile of crap.  Kemp is going to murder the Dodgers when he faces them 18 times next year with the Padres, while Joc Pederson probably won’t even be able to hit a baseball.   I also hope Corey Seager is good enough to play 3rd, short, and 2nd at the same time, since Juan Uribe, Jimmy Rollins, and Howie Kendrick are all free agents next year.  Somebody please take the kiddie Monopoly Board away from Andrew Friedman.

On the other hand, the Angels actually benefitted from the Dodgers small market stupidity.  They acquired left-hander Andrew Heaney, who gives them some much needed young pitching depth.  The Angels suddenly have some decent young arms: Heaney, Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs, and Hector Santiago.  That leaves the team in pretty good shape, as Jered Weaver gracefully ages, and CJ Wilson ungracefully stinks.  I think the Halos should take a chance on Stephen Drew, who played some 2nd base next year, and can at least compete for the job with newly acquired Josh Rutledge, from Colorado.  It’s a low risk move for the Halos, who also need Josh Hamilton to start earning his paycheck next year to make up for the offense that Howie Kendrick brought to the lineup.

Then there’s just nonstop drama with the Lakers.  Let’s start with the Jeanie and Jim Buss interview that they did together with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.  Just reading through the transcript of this interview made me uncomfortable.  When they discussed Phil Jackson, as I expected, Jeanie and Jim still had a major difference of opinion on what happened, and the only thing they could agree upon was that they had moved on.  However, what I found alarming, is that these two still don’t even seem like they are in agreement on the plan moving forward.  Jim was asked where the Lakers will be in 5 years, and he said back on top, while Jeanie said she’d like to know more about how that was going to happen.  She also didn’t really seem to give his plan to exclusively pursue free agents a ringing endorsement, and seemed more supportive of developing young players.  Even more shocking was the fact that Jeanie left the door open that it’s not totally improbable for the Lakers to trade Kobe.  I’m not even sure these two could agree on what to order for lunch.  The fact the Laker owners still aren’t on the same page tells you they’re in real trouble.

Congratulations to Kobe for passing Michael Jordan for 3rd on the all-time scoring list.  However, I’m going to lose my mind when the Lakers get the 6th of 7th pick in this years NBA draft, and have to give it over to the Suns.   Even Magic Johnson knows that the Lakers are better off losing right now, and there’s nothing wrong with him saying what many of the rest of us are thinking.  If Kobe weren’t playing every damn game like it was game 7 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers might actually keep their pick and speed up the rebuild.  I do find it amusing that people were shocked to see Kobe yelling at his teammates in practice and talking trash, like they’ve never seen an NBA practice before, or never knew he was doing this for the last 20 years.   You may not like his leadership style, but it has worked for him and the Lakers.  Still, Mitch Kupchak said he doesn’t see Kobe playing after next season, so enjoy him while he’s around.  For some reason, this feels like he’s putting Kobe on notice that the Lakers are planning on moving on after his contract is up.

It’s funny how the Clippers are currently the better basketball team in Los Angeles, but not a single person is talking about them.  Probably because they don’t exactly look like “Lob City” anymore.  They didn’t even look like “Lob Small Apartment Complex” this past weekend against Washington and Milwaukee.  The defense consistently stinks, and slowly, bigger questions are starting to be raised.  Is CP3 still the best point guard in the NBA?  I’m sure Stephen Curry, Tony Parker, and John Wall have something to say about that.  Is the CP3-Blake combo truly championship caliber?  The more I watch the team play, the more I think the 2nd round is as far as this core is going to go.

I think we can all agree that UCLA basketball just isn’t that good after watching them get dismantled by Gonzaga over the weekend.  This team definitely isn’t top 25 worthy, and they’ll be lucky to finish 4th in the Pac-12.  They only have two non-conference games left, and can you imagine what Kentucky is going to do to the Bruins next Saturday in Chicago?  This could get ugly.  I’m thinking the Bruins are going to lose by 30, and it’s going to feel like a #1 seed vs a #16 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

On to Week 15 of the NFL.  Looks like the 49ers have clinched a bye.  A bye in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round of this year’s playoffs.  Weren’t the Chargers supposed to have a much improved running game this year? Keenan Allen isn’t even an elite receiver anymore.  Odell Beckham did more damage to Washington yesterday than the Obama administration.  Was that mental toughness I actually saw from the Cowboys last night in December?  I hear that Al Qaeda tortured its POW’s yesterday by making them watch the Jets-Titans game.  If you thought Thursday night’s Rams-Cardinals game was exciting, wait until next Thursday’s Jaguars-Titans game!  The NFC South doesn’t even have a team that would be bowl eligible if they played in the NCAA.   Can you imagine if you played a drinking game while watching that Cincy-Cleveland game where you took a shot for every time you saw somebody do that “Johnny Football” money gesture?  You would have been dead after the 1st quarter.  I think Johnny Football’s BAC was higher than his quarterback rating during that game.  The Raiders have released a new T-Shirt for their fans…..

Raiders T-Shirt

To the NHL, where ESPN posted an article this week about how the LA Kings are vulnerable, and could miss the playoffs.  The article talked about how the Kings are allowing opponents much greater possession time, easier entry into the zone, and more shots on goal.  After watching road losses to Montreal and Toronto, it’s easy to think that.  However, this is explained by everything I’ve been saying for months: the Kings style of play isn’t conducive to regular season success.  The Kings are defined by physical play, running into people, and wearing them down with their size.  This style takes a toll on the Kings themselves, and they cannot play like this for 82 games at a high level, which explains why the opponents possession and shot stats look so good.  It’s because the Kings aren’t knocking people off the puck like they do in the playoffs.  LA just needs to make sure they get into the playoffs, and they’ve got as good a chance as anyone to raise another Cup.

Big props to my high school alma matter St. Margaret’s, as the Tartan football team will be playing for the state championship this coming Friday at the Stub Hub Center in Carson!

Finally, another wild episode of Homeland last night on Showtime.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  What was Dar Adal doing in the car with Haqqani after they both fled the scene?  He had to have set up everything from Haqqani’s fake death, Sandy’s murder, Saul’s kidnapping, and the American withdrawal from Pakistan, all to force Lockhart out.  Most of the episode was Carrie playing cat and mouse with Quinn.  I think Carrie’s dad passing away was a reminder that she’s losing everybody: Brody, Ayaan, Fara, and now her father, which makes her seem so desperate to prevent Quinn from putting himself in danger.  Carrie is so screwed up that I think she acknowledge her daughter for about 30 seconds or so when Max embraced her.  This can only end with a showdown with Dar Adal, and some blood shed.  I’m thinking Quinn is the most likely candidate to die here, and possibly even Max, who seems to be losing his mind over Fara and could do something stupid.  Looking forward to the season finale next week!

Episode 411





Monday Morning Coffee

Kobe Bryant

December 8th, 2014

That picture tells you everything you need to know about the Lakers’ season.  Even Kobe Bryant is yawning.  Last night’s loss against the Pelicans was another game where the team looked completely disinterested.  The only thing remotely interesting last week about the Lakers was Kobe’s breakfast with Rajon Rondo in Boston.  Cue the “Kobe won’t pass the syrup” jokes.  That meeting doesn’t make me think the Lakers are going to trade for Rondo, but brings about the next obvious question, which is whether or not they should sign him this summer.  This is really an issue I’ve wrestled with quite a bit over the last few days.  He’s a Celtic, with a questionable attitude, and questionable shooting ability.  However, he’s a guy that they need to sign.  He’s a great playmaker, who will speed up the rebuild, and will make things easier on Kobe in his last year.  More importantly, he’s a player that would give Kevin Durant a reason to sign with the Lakers in 2016, which would thrust the franchise back into contention.

Here come the Clippers.  Well, sort of.  The Clipps have won 7 in a row, and you would think they are one of the hottest teams in the NBA.  Except 6 of their 7 wins have come against teams below .500, and the other came against a Houston team without Dwight Howard.  Say what you will about their lackluster defense, but the Clipps power puff schedule over the next few weeks could give them a great chance to put a grip on one of the top seeds in the West.  The bad news is that the Clippers might need to give DeAndre Jordan a 5 year $103 million extension if they want to retain him.  This is exactly the problem with the NBA.  There’s no way Jordan is worth a max contract.  However, the Clippers will have to give him one because they need to retain him.  The more I watch them play against real competition, the more I think the window of opportunity for this group has closed.  Giving Jordan such a contract would only further lock the Clippers into 2nd round playoff purgatory.

On to college football, where the inevitable happened: two teams got screwed yesterday in the new playoff format.  We went from an imperfect system that screwed a few teams, to another imperfect system that screwed a few teams.  Let’s just have a 16 team playoff already.  I hate the idea of punishing a team for not having a conference championship game.  However, without a more extensive playoff,  that was bound to happen.  This is the worst thing to happen to Baylor since all their players found out they had to spend the next 4 years of their lives in Waco, Texas.  As for TCU, it’s mind boggling to think that they just dropped three spots after blowing out their last opponent.  However, they probably never should have been ranked that high.  As dirty of a program we all know Ohio State and Florida State run, they are both very deserving of moving on.

Meanwhile, our locals were given bowl bids over the weekend.  UCLA received a bid from the Alamo Bowl, where they will take on Kansas State.  Given what we saw from the Bruins in their game against Stanford, and what we saw against Baylor in the Holiday Bowl in 2012, I fully expect UCLA to get their asses kicked in this game.  This team appears completely checked out after beating USC, and even at the risk of embarrassing themselves, I can’t imagine them being too interested in this game.  The Trojans will be a bit more excited because they get to stay local, and go to the Holiday Bowl against Nebraska.  This is practically going to be a home game for SC, as most Trojan fans will make the drive down the 5 freeway, then celebrate after by going to those dirty clubs in Tijuana.  Nebraska is a team in transition right now after hiring Mike Riley, while the Trojans have some momentum coming off their win against Notre Dame.  Speaking of Notre Dame, they shouldn’t have even accepted their bowl bid with the way they just laid down the past few weeks.

Does anybody have any idea what the Dodgers and Angels plans are going into the winter meetings this week?  I feel like somebody needs to remind the Dodger front office that they are actually in “win now” mode, and should consider that with every move they make.  They almost made a solid move by trading Andre Ethier to Arizona for catcher Miguel Montero, but the D’Backs ownership squashed that.  Now that they attempted to trade him and the cat’s out of the bag, Ethier needs to be traded, or else he will show up at spring training complaining like a housewife who’s husband hasn’t mowed the lawn.  I’m also still wondering what the Angels are doing to improve their team.  Unless they have the balls to move a guy like Howie Kendrick, I can’t see anything major happening this off-season.  That’s also ok, because they really just need a healthy Garret Richards.

On to Week 14 of the NFL where Jim Harbaugh is already leading the Raiders to victories before officially being named coach this off-season.  That interception by Manti Te’o last night was extra special, because it marked the 5th anniversary of his 4th date with Lennay Kukua.  Didn’t seem to matter because the Pats took care of business against the Chargers.  Has anybody seen the 53 men in Louisiana that call themselves The Saints? It was very fitting that Thursday night’s Romo vs Cutler game ended with an interception.  Le’Veon Bell is quietly becoming one of the best running back’s in the NFL.  When a Jets game goes to overtime, it’s the fans that are the real losers.  The Rams feel like the best 6-7 team I’ve ever seen.  Peyton Manning clearly doesn’t care about any of your fantasy football teams.  His Broncos keep rolling.  The Seahawks look like they are back, and just as dangerous as last year.

To the ice, where the the Kings are pretty much wasting our time right now.  LA didn’t even show up for Saturday’s matinee against the Flyers, and played like they were out chasing tail in Manhattan Beach the night before.  If the Kings are going to play half the season bored and uninterested, then maybe we just shouldn’t care until April?  I mean that’s usually when the Kings get their act together anyway.  On the bright side, I love the fact Dean Lombardi re-signed defenseman Alec Martinez to a 6 year $24 million contract.  This defense is going to be good for a while.  As for the Ducks, they continued to cruise with their 4th straight win last night.  Anaheim’s only real concern right now is the knee injury to Corey Perry.  The Ducks have a lot of fire power, but won’t be going anywhere in the long run without their leading scorer.

I’d like to thank The Discovery Channel for completely wasting two hours our life last night.  We all were under the impression that a man was going to be eaten alive by an Anaconda.  Instead, we waited two hours to watch some dude hunt down an Anaconda, and then cuddle with it for 15 minutes.  Unlike the movie Anaconda, if Ice Cube and Jennifer Lopez were involved in this, it might have actually made it better.  If i really wanted to see something eaten alive, I would just watch the hopes of Washington Redskin fans every September.

Finally, Homeland is so much better this season, and this actually has the potential to be the best season yet.  Slight spoiler alert if you haven’t seen last night’s episode.  I love how the show has finally gotten away from that stupid storyline with Brody’s annoying family.  Frankly, I questioned how the show would go once he died, but it’s turned out to be much better.  The show has a way of luring you into things that you want emotionally, even though you know that they are intellectually wrong.  The show has also given us a look into how complex the issues are when our country tries to assert its imperialistic will overseas.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens to Quinn  in the last few episodes, after he has completely gone rogue.  I have a feeling he might get justice, but will lose his life in the process.

Quin Homeland






Monday Morning Coffee


December 1st, 2014

I had the displeasure of seeing not one, but two horrendous college football games this weekend.  Let’s start with Saturday’s debacle at the Coliseum, where USC ripped Notre Dame to shreds, 49-14.  Do you know how bad this game was?  It was so bad that people actually think that Cody Kessler is a Heisman Trophy candidate next year! It was so bad, it was the worst game that I never saw (since I spent much of the first and fourth quarters in the parking lot tailgating).  The real question though is why The Trojans didn’t throw the ball to George Farmer more this year? This guy is easily the fastest player in the team, and probably would have helped in those losses against BC and Arizona State.  Still, 8 regular season wins may not be what most Trojan fans were hoping for, but considering that Sark beat Notre Dame for the first time in two years, any realistic SC fan can’t be all that angry.

As for my Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, what a disgrace they were on Saturday, and in the 2nd half of the season.  After the loss to ASU, which they were totally unprepared for, they looked completely disinterested in the rest of the season.  Brian Kelly, not only didn’t prepare his team and didn’t keep them focused, but crushed the confidence of his starting quarterback Everett Golson, who was afraid of just making a mistake in the last few games.  The collapse on defense is understandable with all the injuries, but the offense is inexcusable.  Getting your ass kicked by USC is a very Charlie Weiss like ending to the regular season.  I’m not ready to fire Brian Kelly, but much of this season’s collapse is on him.  On my way home last night a dog jumped in front of my car.  I guess that dog is a Notre Dame fan too.

Speaking of disgraceful performances, I also had the misfortunate of watching that UCLA-Stanford game on Friday.  Laying an egg against Stanford was so typical of this UCLA team.  Brett Hundley spent a whole week telling the media how he accomplished everything he wanted to at UCLA, and how he’s going to the NFL.  Maybe if he had shut up about that, and talked about how he wanted to beat Stanford and win the Pac 12, the Bruins might be playing a meaningful game next week.  Beating USC should not be good enough for UCLA Football.  It wasn’t that long ago that UCLA would actually win the conference and win Rose Bowls.  I guess nobody seems to care about that, and especially not Brett Hundley, because that’s exactly how he played.  This team will probably get smoked in the Holiday Bowl against a Big 12 team.  They may be young, but they’ll need a new quarterback next year, and they’ll have to actually expect more from themselves.  Apparently, everyone else expected too much from these underachievers.


Good thing Mississippi State lost, and will likely be out of the playoff now.  That way, us Southern Californians won’t have to worry about all those red neck southerners and their Ford pickup trucks invading the Southland in a few weeks.  Instead, you’ll have to deal with half as many rednecks and a bunch of smelly, unshaven tree huggers when Oregon and Florida State come to town.

On to the disaster that is the Lakers.  Byron Scott is angry.  After Friday’s loss to the Timberwolves, Scott said that “right now, we are the worst team in the West.”  Actually Byron, you’ve been the worst team in the West since July, when this roster was put together.  The worst part of this debacle is that the team isn’t rebuilding.  They are just bad.  Rebuilding involves playing young players with upside.  The Lakers aren’t playing any young players.  Julius Randle is hurt.   Ryan Kelly can’t stay healthy for 5 minutes, and Jordan Clarkson is in the D-League.  Nobody else is young.  This has the makings of a long road back to competitiveness.  The T-Wolves may stink, but they’ve got young players they are building around.  I think  Zach Lavine scored more points on Friday than he did at UCLA all of last season.  On a positive note, 6,000 assists is a great accomplishment for Kobe, and pretty good for a guy that is a “ball hog”.  Last night was a nice win against a good team,  but it doesn’t matter if Kobe plays the facilitator or the scorer.  The Lakers are going to lose a whole lot more this season.

As for the Clippers, don’t be fooled.  They went 6-1 on their 7 game trip, but they collected all those wins against the bums of the NBA.  Four of the six wins came against teams that were below .500, and another came against a Houston team that was missing Dwight Howard.  It doesn’t mean much, but then again, the Clipps are going to fatten up on a lot of these scrub teams because 7 of their next 10 games are against teams with records below .500.  LA could make its way further up the Western Conference standings in that stretch, which will probably fool everyone, including themselves, into thinking that they are for real.

Speaking of basketball teams fooling us, as Dennis Green would say, the UCLA Bruin basketball team is exactly who we thought they were.  After a 4-0 start and sneaking into the top 25, the Bruins got schooled by Oklahoma, then blown out of the gym by North Carolina.  The best thing the Bruins can say about last week, is that nobody noticed because they were all stuffing their faces with Turkey.  When UCLA faces elite teams, they resort to lots of turnovers and missed free throws.  That’s the sign of a team that just isn’t ready to compete against the elite.

On to Week 14 of the NFL, where the Seahawks were very thankful for Colin Kaepernick and his inability to complete a pass on Thursday.  The Cowboys have already begun their late season collapse.  I’m running out of adjectives to describe how bad the Bears have been.  Aaron Rodgers connected with Rich Rodgers in the Packers win over New England.  This is where Jon Gruden would say “Wow that Rodgers to Rodgers connection right there really blew my mind!”  Just when you think Drew Brees is getting old, he shows you he can still throw for 5 TD passes.  The Rams did more damage to the Raiders than those St. Louis protestors did to that Little Caesar’s earlier in the week.  They should change the Snickers ad to “Eat this Johnny.  When you are hungry you play more like Brian Hoyer.”  Gotta love the fact that RGII was in a “sub” commercial.  The Chargers don’t know how to do anything easily, but they are still in the AFC playoff chase.  Andy Dalton was so inaccurate against the Bucs, I actually got scared that I was gonna get hit in the head with a football while sitting in my living room…..

You didn’t really think that the Kings were playing well enough to beat the Blackhawks did you?  Chicago is pacing themselves just like the Kings, but they are still a matchup nightmare for LA.  The Kings have to be at the top of their game to beat Chicago, which at the present time is something they are not.  Saturday’s loss also is further proof that LA needs another top defenseman.  Meanwhile, the Ducks aren’t exactly rolling anymore.  They lost consecutive games against the Hawks and Sharks, and Frederik Anderson is not looking like the goaltender they thought he would be.  If this keeps up, Anaheim is going to be looking to trade for another goaltender.

So let me get this straight…..they are making another Jurassic Park?  Let’s see….in the first movie, a small group of people went to the island and were eaten by Dinosaurs.  In the second movie, another group of people went to the island and were eaten by Dinosaurs, while more people were eaten when the Dinosaurs came to the mainland.  In the third movie, another group of people went to the island and were killed by Dinosaurs.  Now in the 4th movie, they actually thought it was a good idea to open the park, and tons of people thought it was a good idea to go? That makes sense.   I think the real question is what lunatic actuary is insuring the park?  The bigger issue I have with the movie is that it didn’t require any discipline to make it.  The producers stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something.

On a more serious note, I’m not gonna pretend like racial profiling doesn’t exist in this country.  I also think the number of times that Michael Brown was shot is highly questionable.  However, it’s hard for me to have any sympathy for a kid that just robbed a convenience store, then thought it was a good idea to get physical with a cop.  This kind of stuff happens way too often, and it’s killing the reputation of law enforcement in our country.  Still, these liberal morons that were in the streets protesting are either homeless, criminals, or the same idiots who were participating in an election for the first time ever during the last Presidential race.  Clearly, nothing memorializes the death of Michael Brown like burning down a Payless Shoes.

Finally, the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead went down last night on AMC.  This is a big time spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it yet, so stop reading if you intend to do so later on.  Here’s a quick summary.  The episode begins with Rick chasing down Bob in a cop car.  He breaks officer Bob’s back, then guns him down, which felt a little unnecessary.  Then it was time for the “Father Gabriel Amateur Hour”, where he led zombies from the overrun school back to the church, and got some help from Carl and Michonne.  Michonne goes “Kill Bill” on the Walkers, and when they are safe, they reunite with Abraham’s group.  With the church gone and news of Beth’s whereabouts discussed, the group decides to join the fun in Atlanta.  Speaking of Beth, she gets caught up in the middle of a nasty fight between Dawn and some jerk cop named O’Donnell.  Beth shoves O’Donnell down the elevator shaft.  Rick then meets up with two other Grady cops and proposes a swap for Beth and Carol.  They go to the hospital and the stage is set for the swap.  All goes according to plan until Dawn says she wants Noah.  Reluctantly, Noah obliges.  Beth then confronts Dawn, and stabbed her in the shoulder with scissors, while Dawn responded by shooting her in the head.  Darryl then shoots Dawn in the head.  Both sides then agree to lower their weapons so nobody else dies.  The episode ends with Darry walking out of the hospital and Maggie sobbing when she Beth’s dead body in the arms of Darryl.

This was a fantastic episode, yet a sad one with the loss of Beth.  Once again, typical Walking Dead with the way she died, at the hands of a human being over a stupid fight.  Beth became a much more interesting character over the past season, but losing her is one we will all get over quickly, as opposed to losing a Darryl, Carol, or even Glen.  This show has a tendency to kill off characters that transform from weak to strong, and just when you think they have it together, they die.  Andrea, Dale, Hershel, and Beth all fall into this category.  I think all along Rick’s group should have gone in with the original “guns blazing” plan to storm the hospital.  We saw some of the new violent Rick at the beginning of the episode when he killed officer Bob.  What a dumb a-hole Gabriel is.  The guy is a total coward, deciding to bring back a group of Walkers to the church and endangering Carl, Michonne, and the baby.  That dude is a liability, and has to go.  I feel like the writers tried to establish a very deep connection between Dawn and Beth, but I just didn’t see it.  Ultimately, the show didn’t need both Beth and Carol, so it was easy to kill her off.  In a lot of ways, Beth knew that was she was doing by stabbing Dawn was like committing suicide, which was strange over someone that she basically just met in Noah.  At least there will be no more singing.    A sad ending that even caused Beth to cry on Talking Dead last night.  When Darryl cries, we all cry.


Darryl cries after beth dies