Monthly Archives: September 2015

Monday Morning Coffee

Diddy Kettlebell sign

September 28th, 2015

I’ll give you this Arizona fan… make some hilarious ESPN Gameday signs.  You’re football team is no match for UCLA though.  The Bruins went to Tucson and throttled the Wildcats 56-30, in a game that made UCLA look more like a legitimate top 5 team.  UCLA moved up to #7 in the AP poll.  Josh Rosen returned to being an elite quarterback just one week after having more turnovers than Betty Crocker.  Wasn’t this supposed to be a hostile environment? Weren’t the Bruins supposed to be vulnerable after losing their heart and soul, Myles Jack?  The last couple of seasons, UCLA has talked like they are an elite team, but fallen far short of that in moments like Saturday’s road game against Arizona.  However, they have a much better quarterback in Josh Rosen, and much more depth.  UCLA is going to face three more very tough tests on the road in Stanford, Utah, and USC, but based on what we’ve seen so far, you’ve gotta like their chances.

As for the Trojans, they won what was basically an elimination game against Arizona State, 42-14.  It probably would have also meant the elimination of Steve Sarkisian as the USC head coach had they lost.  Nevertheless, the win tells us that the Trojans aren’t the total disaster that we thought they might be after last weekend.  Then again, when I see another five touchdown passes from Cody Kessler, I know USC played a team that either stinks or doesn’t have its shit together.  By halftime all Sark had to worry about was ordering from Papa John’s to satisfy his craving for drunk food.  The Trojans threw the ball to Adoree Jackson three times and he put up 131 yards and a touchdown.  Since nobody ever dares to throw the ball at this guy on defense, why the hell doesn’t Sark get the ball in this guys hands more often on offense?  You would think you would want the ball in the hands of one of the best athletes in the country, no?  SC has some time to build momentum with the bye week followed by Washington, before heading to South Bend.  USC moved up to #17 in the AP, and maybe they’ll have their act together by then.

Adoree Hurdles

Elsewhere around college football, The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame beat down UMass 62-27.  The Irish remained undefeated and 6th in the AP poll, and the best part was that nobody got hurt doing anything stupid this week.  I’ve gotta think at some point the injuries are going to catch up to Notre Dame, but I do like their chances on the road next week against Clemson.  The Tigers offensive line has been dinged up, and they looked pretty underwhelming against Louisville.  Meanwhile, the funeral for the Oregon Ducks football season took place on Saturday night after getting slaughtered by Utah.  The Ducks still know how to waste $100,00 on ugly uniforms every week.  The last time Tennessee beat Florida, I think the wheel had just been invented.  How is Texas Tech unranked after nearly beating TCU? The Frogs are going to have to score 60 points every week if they hope to make the playoffs.  All of the Alabama fans are really confused about the rumors of Lane Kiffin allegedly sleeping with Nick Saban’s daughter.  They wonder why he isn’t picking up chicks at family reunions like everyone else.  I guess Ole Miss wasn’t the only one bending over a Saban last week.  This punter from Syracuse is an animal……

On to week 3 of the NFL where Chargers were run over by Adrian Peterson and the Vikings.  The Bolts are losing offensive linemen faster than Bruce Jenner lost his penis, and they had no chance to protect Philip Rivers.  They should have better luck against the Browns and banged up Steelers in the next two weeks though.  Meanwhile, Tom Brady now has 400 career TD passes.  One for every scandal the Pats have had since he’s played for them.  The Cardinals are strongly considering making Colin Kaepernick their starting QB.  His chemistry with their receivers is incredible after throwing four interceptions for the 49ers.  DeMarco Murray was inactive for the Eagles, and as a result, he had his best game of the season.  Jimmy Clausen is so bad, he’s actually making the Bears do the unthinkable and miss Jay Cutler.  I was beginning to think that the Seahawks didn’t even know that Jimmy Graham plays for them.  Even Jason Pierre Paul thinks the Rams need to practice better safety with fireworks.   I could swear the Colts are actually trying to get the #1 draft pick in 2016.  The Cowboys could put me at Running Back and I could have a 1,000 yard season.  Speaking of the Cowboys, they along with the Saints and Browns have received 2,000 missed calls from Tim Tebow regarding their quarterback position.  This may be the worst 2 pt conversion ever.  I think Ahmad Hall was playing against someone in fantasy football that had him on their team……

To baseball where, the Dodgers are a disaster.  The Boys in Blue just got swept by the worst team in baseball, the Colorado Rockies.  Their magic number is only 2 games to clinch the NL West, but the Dodgers have problems.  When it comes to pitching, they can’t trust anybody not named Kershaw, Greinke, or Jansen.  Everybody else stinks, and will likely be blowing things up in the postseason a few weeks from now.  Then there’s Yasiel Puig, who likely will not be playing in the postseason due to a hamstring injury.  He is rehabbing in Arizona, however, a very reliable source close to me saw him last night at a bar in Arizona, getting his groove on, on the dance floor at a local bar.  Can we just trade this clown already?  The only good news is that with just one win in San Francisco, the Dodgers will be celebrating a division title on the field of their hated rivals. As much as I love rubbing it in the face of those organic eating liberals, the Dodgers have bigger things to concern themselves with, like home field advantage against the Mets.  The Mets have a 1.5 game lead on LA for home field, and sine the Dodgers are 7 games under .500 on the road this year, I think it’s safe to say they need it.

As for the Angels, their resiliency has been impressive.  With one week to go in the season, the Halos are just .5 games back of Houston for the AL’s final wild card spot.  I think I’ve written these guys off about 4 times in the last month, but somehow they are still in the race.  The problem is, they are basically fighting for one spot with Houston and Minnesota.  They are also missing Joe Smith and now Huston Street for at least the last week of the season.  Houston has the more favorable schedule facing the Mariners and the D’backs, while the Angels have to deal with the A’s and the Rangers.  Even the Twins get Cleveland, and a Kansas City team that won’t have anything to play for.  I don’t know what’s gotten into Johnny G, but it looks like he’s been slamming a 5 Hour Energy drink before every game in the last week.  It also doesn’t hurt to have this guy playing center field for you……

Just another day in Washington where Jonathan Papelbon tries to choke out Bryce Harper….

NBA training camp opens today, and that means Lakers basketball is right around the corner.  The Lakers actually signed Metta World Peace to a one year deal. Since Metta hasn’t played NBA ball in about a year, he’ll probably change his name to Metta World War III once we see him play.  This just goes to show you that the Lakers really don’t have a lot of great options at the small forward position.    To a large extent, Metta is going to be mentoring Julius Randle, which should help the young Laker power forward develop much quicker.

Meanwhile, Paul Piece says that if the Clippers win an NBA title, he is going to retire.  I guess that means Pierce will be playing until he’s 100 year old.

Finally, the 2nd to last episode of the season of Fear The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  What I’m starting to love about this show is that it’s becoming good television showing very few if any walkers.  I guess that’s why they call it “Fear The Walking Dead” because it’s just the concept that we are fearing in this show.   I definitely envisioned the hospital we saw, just like the “Grady Memorial Hospital” in season 5 of The Walking Dead, but that wasn’t entirely the case.  It was both a real hospital, and a penitentiary.  Interesting that Nick was saved from quarantine by some dude that’s bribing soldiers with expensive watches.  The history of The Walking Dead tells us that if you’re black, you’re going to die, and those walkers will tear you to shreds.  Chris and Alicia have this weird romance where they apparently get turned on by breaking into rich peoples places, dressing up in their clothes, and breaking their crap.  It’s weird and borderline incestual for the almost step brother and sister.  The most powerful moment of the episode was clearly the torturing of Andrew that was done by Daniel and Ophelia.  This is the first time in this show we’ve seen people doing horrible things out of necessity, and it left a major psychological trauma for both Daniel and Ophelia when it was done.  Travis on the other hand shows he has yet to come to grips with going to those lengths, as he won’t even shoot a walker when the military asks him to.  I’m really waiting to see if any of these characters tie in to The Walking Dead in the coming seasons.  Looking forward to the final episode next week!

Travis Hug

Monday Morning Coffee

September 21st, 2015

The Bruins finally played some real competition on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, and they dodged a major bullet by beating BYU 24-23.  UCLA moved up one spot in the AP Poll to #9.  The guy who really dodged the bullet was Josh Rosen, who looked a lot less like the “Chosen One” and more like the “Frozen One”, barely able to complete a pass in the first half.  Maybe we should all stop calling this guy the next Andrew Luck? Rosen showed he’s going to take time to develop, and that has the potential to cost a talented Bruins team in their quest to make the College Football Playoff.  Rosen did a pretty good job of getting the hell out of the way, giving the ball to Paul Perkins and Nate Starks to let them run wild.  Jim Mora also deserves a lot of credit for making the right adjustments by speeding up the tempo, as well as not benching Rosen in favor of Jerry Neuheisel, allowing him to learn from his mistakes.  Up next is the duel in the desert with Arizona, which is another land mind in the Bruins schedule.

Although Bruin fans might be amused at the disaster that took place at the Coliseum for the Trojans, their loss to Stanford is bad for everybody else playing USC.  The Trojans took a 21-10 lead against the first real competition of the season, and then decided to stop playing football, and coaching it as well.  The Cardinal then imposed their blue collar style of play, controlling the tempo with long drives, dominating the line of scrimmage, and piling up 41 points along with 471 yards in total offense.  That’s right Trojan fan….we’ve reached the point where Stanford and their super nerds with 4.0 GPA’s are winning football games against USC.  Sark must have been reading Tom Coughlin’s clock management playbook at halftime, because he couldn’t have mismanaged this one any worse.  His defense was absolutely exhausted, unable to get off the field, yet he refused to use most of his timeouts until the final minute.  He also should have kicked an easy field goal down by two scores in the final minute and then went for the onside kick, as opposed to stubbornly trying to go for the touchdown.  USC only dropped to #19 in the polls, and has plenty of chances to move back up again, but this wasn’t some one game let down.  This is a team with good (not elite) talent, coached by a man with questionable decision making on and off the field.  Now the heat is really on Sark, who will probably be out with an underwhelming 8 or 9 win season.

Very impressive win by Notre Dame over Georgia Tech on Saturday in South Bend.  At this rate the Irish are going to make the playoff, but have too many injured players to participate in it.  I think Michigan State has a great chance to knock off Ohio State after what we saw this weekend.  The Buckeyes don’t play anybody until then.  LSU and Georgia are the most dangerous SEC teams to me.  Ole Miss suddenly has Alabama’s number, but both are extremely overrated.  I wonder if the AP Poll voters all get in a room before casting their weekly votes, throw back 6 or 7 shots of tequila then put pen to paper.  Seems like a reasonable question given what the poll looks like.  Stanford beats USC on the road, yet they are ranked two spots behind them?  Oregon loses to #2 Michigan State in a close one, yet they are #13, one spot behind Alabama, who lost to #15 Ole Miss at home? Obviously AP stands for “Alabama Pollsters”.  This is classic “luck of the Irish”……

When Alabama fan realizes that their cousin isn’t going to be in the mood tonight…….. Bama Fan Cousin

Let me sum up week 2 of the NFL for you.  All the teams that suck won: Raiders, Jaguars, Browns, Bucs, and Redskins.  That sentence will never be written again in the history of civilization.  In typical Charger fashion, the Bolts followed up last week’s win with an undisciplined, turnover filled performance against the Bengals.  Cowboy fans are losing their minds after losing Tony Romo to a broken clavicle.  Good thing for them the NFC East stinks.  We reached that awkward moment where Brandon Weeden had more rushing yards than DeMarco Murray.  The Giants had more trouble hanging onto balls than Caitlyn Jenner.  The Falcons improved to 2-0.  Until Tom Brady is dead, I will never fall for the notion that the Bills are ready to take the AFC East.  The Ravens would like to point out that even though they lost, the city of Baltimore had two less murders than Oakland last year.  Jay Cutler threw a pick six and then blew out his hamstring on the same play.  That’s the first pick 6 in history that has actually helped the team throwing it.  The Cardinals gave the Bears a beat down.  The Browns treated Marcus Mariota like they treat their own quarterbacks.  If you’re still alive in a survivor league you must be some sort of Einstein, or you should go buy a lotto ticket.  After fumbling away a game to the Broncos on Thursday, here’s what Chiefs Running Back Jamaal Charles text inbox looked like……. Charles Inbox I’m having my doubts that this story is true, but either way, it’s damn good entertainment.  There’s a Bills fan that posted on Craigslist, looking for the dude she jerked off at last Sunday’s game. Here’s the post……. handjob Since there’s really no good segway from that story, let’s just go to baseball, where I’m trying not to write the Angels off yet.  They are right in the thick of the AL wild card race, but the next three games will determine the fate of the season.  The Halos are 2.5 games back of the Astros, who hold the AL’s final Wild Card spot.  They took a big two of three against Minnesota over the weekend, but the pitching is falling apart on and off the field.  Matt Shoemaker got lit up again yesterday.  Hector Santiago was once a very good pitcher for them, but lately he’s been tanking harder than the S&P 500.  I never know what Jered Weaver is going to show up anymore, and both those dudes are going to be pitching against the ‘Stros.  To make matters worse, set up man, Joe Smith, sprained his ankle coming down the stairs of his hotel over the weekend.  It’s amazing that these guys are world class athletes, yet they can’t seem to get out of the way of one step.  The Halos aren’t dead, but it just feels like they are barely hanging on.

Then there’s the Dodgers who are close to clinching the NL West, but in the big picture, have some issues to work through.  One thing the Dodgers don’t need to be doing is playing 16 inning games, where they use 11 pitchers and 28 players, like they did against the Rockies earlier in the week.  Every win is important and all with home field on the line, but keeping this team healthy, rested, and sharp  is also important.  By the 10th inning, I would have said “Sorry guys…..we’re going home in twenty minutes.”  The fans sure did on that night.  Does anybody even remember Yasiel Puig? Do you even want the guy back for the playoffs?  Puig is talented, but hasn’t played in ages, and it’s going to take him forever to re-discover his magic in time for October baseball.  The Dodgers have too many reliable players that are playing well to gamble on Puig.  At this point, Justin Ruggiano, Carl Crawford, and Scott Van Slyke are way more steady performers.  The Dodgers are also going to have to give strong consideration to playing Corey Seager regularly, even when Jimmy Rollins returns.  Rollins has had success against some of the Mets starters, their likely divisional playoff opponent.  However, Seager has been on fire.  Don Mattingly is going to have to consider matchups.  Too bad there are no good choices to consider in the bullpen, because that is going to be this team’s downfall.

The Kings and Ducks have both opened training camp, and hockey season is only a couple of weeks away.  The bad news for the Kings is that defenseman Slava Voynov just deported himself from the country, permanently leaving the kings without one of their better defensemen.  The reality of it is however, that it was probably right that Voynov is no longer playing for the Kings after beating his wife.  Now that the Voynov drama has been resolved and the Kings have some financial clarity, hopefully they can take care of the Anze Kopitar contract extension.  Meanwhile, the Ducks have overturned about 1/3rd of their roster, and added some nice depth.  Expect another fast start in Anaheim and a strong regular season.  As usual, the jury is out after that…..especially on coach Bruce Boudreau’s future.

Is the GOP debate over?  Are you sure? How come nobody said, “live from New York It’s Saturday Night Live?” If there’s one thing I learned from the last debate it’s that Carly Fiorina should be the Republican nominee if they really have a chance to take back the White House from the Democrats.  However, the level of ignorance of voters in this country is amazing, and Donald Trump is smart enough to realize that, which could very well win him the nomination.  Plenty of voters never came out to vote prior to the 2008 election, yet they all decided to come out and vote for Obama.  People will do the same for Trump.  Why? Simply because of name recognition, and pop culture.  People aren’t voting for Trump because he understands the economy, or will cut taxes.  It will be because it’s the cool thing to do.  People are also dumb enough to focus on what religion their candidates are, and let that influence their decision.  It sounds like I’m oversimplyfying it, but that is the simplicity of the average American voters’ mind.  It’s a sad but true reality.

Finally, a new episode of Fear The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  Oddly enough. there wasn’t a single zombie that was seen or killed in this episode.  It was simply an emotional and mournful look at a slowly decaying society.   Now the real villain of the show appears to be the military, who are killing people who aren’t even sick.  That plot is about as predictable as the Dodgers losing every October to the Cardinals.  How stupid is Alice? The military is killing people with the slightest splatter of blood on them, so carving a tattoo onto your arm to honor your dead boyfriend probably isn’t the best idea.  Nick’s drug addiction couldn’t be any more over the top when we see him hiding under the bed stealing a taste of the morphine drip.  When Maddy slaps Nick, most of us probably cheered for hopefully knocking some sense into the drug addict.  However, it’s simply a moment between two people that love each other, who’s behavior reflects their realization that their lives are circling the drain.  I still don’t really understand why the military decided to take Nick instead of Daniel? I guess that’s the real cliff hanger that this show needed with only two episodes left.

Maddie on Glass

Monday Morning Coffee

Perkins vs UNLV

September 14th, 2015

I think it’s fair to say that it was “Cupcake Saturday” for the Bruins and Trojans.  The Bruins went to Vegas and stomped all over UNLV 37-3, pushing the UCLA up to #10 in the AP poll.  I was thinking Josh Rosen might have a bad game here after a rough night out at the Cosmopolitan, but he didn’t even come back to earth that much.  He came up with a modest 223 yards and actually threw his first interception, to go along with a touchdown.  Since everyone has been acting like he’s the next Joe Montana, it’s probably good for his ego that he pumped the brakes a little bit and didn’t blow up this week.  It’s better he struggles a little now then against some quality opponents later on.  The Bruin defense was solid and Paul Perkins reminded everybody that he’s actually one of the best running backs in the Pac 12.  UCLA actually has to play real people the next two weeks starting with BYU at home, then Arizona on the road.  Looking forward to seeing them play real people.

Speaking of not playing real people, the Trojans had a power puff opponent of their own on Saturday against Idaho.  That of course meant that Cody Kessler put up some more video game numbers, 410 yards to go along with 3 touchdowns, propelling the Trojans to #6 in the AP poll.  We haven’t seen a beating like this in the ghetto since Rodney King.  I truly have no idea how good this team is after two games.  They are loaded with talent, but they seem to rely on the big play against these weak ass teams.  I’m not sure if the big play is going to be there against the prime time opponents.  Their offensive line was better, but the defensive line put about as much pressure on the quarterback as a girl who’s been engaged for 10 years puts on her fiancé.  Justin Davis was impressive in his return from injury, and is starting to make the team look like “Tailback U” again, with their log jam at running back.  I like their chances against Stanford and ASU, but after that the road is going to get much tougher, and then we’ll really see if Sark gets to keep his job.

Justin Davis vs Idaho

Elsewhere around College Football, Notre Dame’s season is about as over as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.  The Irish may have escaped in exciting fashion against Virginia, but they lost starting quarterback Malik Zaire in the process.  That in addition to losing starting running back Tarean Folston the week before.  The Irish are up to #8 in the poll, but at some point, the injuries are too much to overcome.  I’d like to personally thank Brian Kelly for pushing Everett Golson out the door, as well as running plays that jeopardize the health of his QB on every play.  DeShone Kizer, their backup QB, has a cannon.  However, he can be so inaccurate, I worry he might hit me while I’m sitting in my living room.  With Auburn dropping like a rock in the polls, the Irish are forced to stay in the top 25 for two more weeks.  Auburn did “the unthinkable” by beating Jacksonville State at home in overtime.  I guess they have demonstrated that they are a clear favorite for the FCS title.  What a joke the SEC is.  Since they can barely handle and FCS team, asking Arkansas to beat Toledo was just too much.  Ohio State looks pretty unstoppable right now, but Michigan State will make things interesting.

Week 1 of the NFL finally arrived!  Ameer Abdullah looked scary great for a moment, but the Chargers had a nice rally in the 2nd half to beat the Lions.  Detroit reminded us that they are the Lions by only getting the ball to Calvin Johnson twice for 39 yards, and the Bolts took advantage.  The Steelers were dominated by Gronk and the Patriots on Thursday.  Somebody told Gronk there is bottle service in the end zone.  The Cowboys spent all of last night handing the Giants a free win and New York said “No thanks”.   Peter Caroll finally gave the ball to Marshawn Lynch at the end of the game, although it didn’t make a difference.  The Rams tore the Hawks defense to shreds and came away with the win.  I’m sure the Colts are going to complain the NFL that the Bills have too many fast black guys, and that an investigation needs to follow after getting smoked by Buffalo.  Somebody should tell them “Suck For Luck” ended years ago.  The Texans proved that they are much better at reality TV than football after losing to the Chiefs.  Football season doesn’t start until Jay Cutler throws an interception, which happened yesterday against the Packers.  Green Bay owns Chicago.  It’s amazing how good Ryan Fitzpatrick can look against the Browns.  The Jets sunk to a new low however, by giving up a touchdown to Johnny Manziel.  Tyler Eifert was a beast and the Raiders still stink.  Peyton Manning aged overnight, but they still beat the Ravens.  The Saints offense just isn’t what it used to be.  Jacksonville’s is what it’s always been.  Marcus Mariotta must love playing against Jameis Winston, since it probably feels like playing East Carolina State.  Everybody’s playing football, while the Dolphins and Redskins were playing hot potato……

I knew the Dodgers middle relief sucked, but now even Kenley Jansen is struggling to close games.  Zack Greinke has to be the front runner for the Cy Young award.  He’s piling up the wins and the stats to back him up, and he’s going to get a fat contract this winter.   It’s going to be a shame when those moronic nerds that are now in the Dodger front office convince themselves that a couple of .500 pitchers are adequate replacements for him.  Corey Seager is proving his worth right now.  Jimmy Rollins should be extremely nervous that Seager is on the verge of taking his starting spot at shortstop.  We thought that was going to happen over the winter, but the way things are going, it might need to happen in the next month if the Dodgers are serious about contending.  Clayton Kershaw said the Dodgers need to bring some urgency at this point in the season and they have.  It would be nice if the front office did as well by bringing up Julio Urias and helping their crappy bullpen.

Then there’s the Angels, who were dealt a knockout punch to their season yesterday afternoon.  The Halos were on the verge of closing within 2.5 games of the AL West leading Astros, before Huston Street got bombed in the 9th inning of yesterday’s game.  Instead, they are 4.5 games back in the division, and another 3 back in the wild card.  They may not really be dead, but I’m not sure how they recover from losing that game.  The Angels actually play all the teams that are still in front of them quite a few times, so in a way, they do control their own destiny, but other than one hot streak in July, I haven’t seen anything from this team that makes me think they can still sneak into the playoffs.  The pitching is falling apart, and the lineup is just too inconsistent outside of Trout and Pujols.

Did anybody see the Floyd Mayweather “hug” on Saturday night? You may never see another fighter like Floyd again unit Dancing with the Stars airs next week.  There’s no doubt that Mayweather is an excellent fighter, but unfortunately, he isn’t what boxing needs to keep the sport from dying.  It’s also a shame that Floyd dodged some of the better fighters throughout the prime of his career, including Manny Pacquiao.  I don’t think many people really knew that Floyd even fought Andre Berto on Saturday night, which is a sad ending to the career of such a successful fighter.  I’m disappointed that this is what’s become of boxing.

Novak Djokovic proved why he’s the #1 men’s player in the world with his victory over Roger Federer in the US Open yesterday.  Novak has now won 3 of the last 4 majors, and feels like he’s been dominating for the last few years.  Even though Federer hasn’t hoisted a major trophy since 2012, I’m still impressed that he has been able to play at an elite level as he ages.  As for the women, I still don’t understand how Serena lost to Roberta Vinci.  Nevertheless, the highlight of the tournament was still the Williams sisters going at it.  Hopefully this isn’t the last time we got to see them battling it out with each other in New York.

Finally, a new episode of “Fear The Walking Dead” aired on AMC last night.  We’re seeing the world fall apart slowly as the zombie apocalypse takes over.  The police and the military are beginning to understand that they need to actually shoot down the people there are sick.  They are also beginning to understand the the dead and now walking amongst the living, and that “the sick” are really dead.  As we are witnessing this, the writers are open to some criticism here.  They are portraying the main characters as strategizing to leave and go to the desert, or somewhere in the morning.  However, if the world around you were falling apart like the show is portraying, you’d probably be losing your mind.  The quick and smart people would die as quickly as the dumb people.  Those that survive would be too much in shock to actually do anything, and likely would be curled up in the fetal position somewhere.  The most powerful scene in last night’s episode was seeing Susan’s husband Patrick find her as a zombie, and as he goes to embrace her, the military takes her out with a bullet (just before she can attack him of course).  It’s facinating to see how this all began, and I’m looking forward to seeing more.








Monday Morning Coffee

September 5, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) throws against the Virginia Cavaliers during the first half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsSeptember 7th, 2015

You’re trying not to overreact but you can’t help it.  You’re trying not to be prisoner of the moment but it’s too late.  You’re trying to keep it in your pants, but your pants are off.  True freshman quarterback Josh Rosen was that good in his debut for UCLA against Virginia on Saturday.  Rosen went 28-35 for 351 yards and 3 TD’s in the Bruins blowout win.  Rosen actually told teammates that the game felt slower than he thought it would be.  Look….the sample size is small, but that’s all we have to go on, so we might as well talk about it.  Rosen’s debut was equally as good as Brett Hundley’s, and he’s got the tools to be better than him.  In fact, he looks more like Cade McNown, who was an absolute stud in the 90’s.  The Bruins have some great talent on both sides of the ball, but at the end of the day, it’s going to depend on how this kid performs against the elite.  That’s something that Jim Mora and the Bruins have’t been able to do in recent years.  Maybe now they finally have the piece to get them over the hump.

As for the Trojans, they bombed Arkansas State 55-6 at the Coliseum on Saturday night.  I hope Arkansas State cashed the check they received from USC before they got off the plane, because they earned it for coming all the way out here for that beat down.  Cody Kessler’s accuracy wasn’t exactly as good as it’s been, and neither was the Trojan offensive line, but USC came up with some big plays throughout.  These early games are more about impressing the voters with big margins of victory and surviving injury.  USC was very luck with the latter, as sophomore standout Adoree Jackson suffered an abdominal strain early on and didn’t return.  The injury doesn’t appear to be serious, and Jackson can probably even sit out next week to recover before Stanford comes to town in two weeks.  USC might have a better chance than I thought of starting 4-0, except with Stanford and Arizona State laying eggs early, that might not hold that much weight with the voters.

Elsewhere in college football, My Fighting Irish of Notre Dame beat up on Texas 38-3, except they lost starting running back Tarean Folston to a season ending knee injury.  That means Josh Adams is going to have to do a lot more of what he did on Saturday.  For at least one week, it was nice to see the Irish not be their own worst enemy, turning the ball over time after time.  Malik Zaire was pretty accurate, and off to a good start as the new Irish quarterback.  It’s easy to forget that Notre Dame started 6-0 last year before imploding.  Other than UCLA, USC, and Oregon, the Pac-12 was a disaster.  Not only did ASU and Stanford blow it in their first game, Washington and Washington State laid eggs as well, while Arizona survived against UTSA.  Michigan is probably bad enough to lose to the 49ers.  The highlight of the weekend though was the ending to BYU-Nebraska.  The non-alcoholic beers were flowing in Utah after this…….

Speaking of football, we’re now just 4 days away from the start of the NFL season.  I’m sure Roger Goodell is now going to suspend Judge Berman’s NFL Red Zone channel for the first 4 weeks of the season, after he overturned Tom Brady’s suspension.  I wasn’t a fan of either side in this whole deflate gate debacle, but it’s amusing to see Goodell’s authority overruled.   I guess the Patriots had to release Reggie Wayne because he had trouble adjusting to catching deflated footballs.  This was actually the last weekend until February of 2016 that the Browns, Raiders, Jets, and Redskins will be in first place.  Trent Richardson was cut by the Raiders, potentially ending his NFL career.  Rumor has it that while cleaning out his locker, it took him 14 attempts to carry his stuff 20 yards to the parking lot.  Speaking of players getting cut,  Maybe Tim Tebow was cut for all of our sins? I actually thought he played well enough to be the Eagles #3 QB, but apparently Chip Kelly didn’t think so.  It’s too bad the media circus that surrounds the guy ultimately hurts him, because he seems like he can be a serviceable NFL player.  Now there’s rumors the Eagles are interested in Christian Ponder.  Obviously they feel that they just had the wrong “Christian”.

To baseball, where I’m actually going to be positive about the Dodgers for just a few moments.  They have basically wrapped up the NL West after winning 11 of their last 13, and thanks to some absolutely brilliant pitching by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.  Look, if these two guys are absolutely flawless in the postseason, they could actually end up in the World Series.  The problem is the margin for error is just too small.  Once the bullpen gets involved aside from Kenley Jansen, it’s an automatic loss.   I also don’t buy for one second that Matt Harvey won’t pitch in the postseason against LA.  Speaking of Matt’s, Matt Latos is like the 2nd coming of Joe Blanton, and at this rate, shouldn’t even be allowed to watch the Dodgers on TV in the postseason, let alone be on the roster.  The Dodgers also need to find a way to get Chase Utley in the lineup regularly, even when Howie Kendrick returns from the DL.   I sure love what I’m seeing from Corey Seager so far.  If the Dodgers value Seager and Julio Urias so much, they should be called up now to give them a chance to make an impact when the team needs it most.

As for the Angels, they aren’t dead yet, but they are definitely on life support.  They’ve won 4 of their last 5, and are only 2.5 games out of the 2nd wild card spot in the AL.  The problem now is what lies ahead.  They are going to have to face Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke for the next two nights, while 17 of their last 26 games are against teams in contention.  They are also likely to face King Felix and the Mariners one or two more times.  In addition to that, there’s a 10 game road trip in there, and only Andrew Heaney has been a reliable road starter.  Every other starter on the team has an ERA over 4.00 or higher on the road.  In other words, you probably shouldn’t be planning on saving up for those Halos playoff tickets.

This has to be the worst misjudged fly ball in Major League History……….

I loved hearing the Shaq and Kobe podcast last week, in which they reminicsed about their 3 championships with the Lakers.  These guys were so different yet so similar in many ways.  They have a very different style of doing things, but together, they were incredibly successful.  I don’t think there’s any doubt that they left a championship or two on the table when they broke apart.  While Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan were the most successful duo in NBA history, Kobe and Shaq were by far the most dominant, since there never really were two alphas like that on the same squad.  It also goes to show you that you don’t actually have to like the person you are working with.  You simply have to have a good enough working relationship and respect them to be successful.  It’s a shame they couldn’t keep that relationship together for longer, but deep down, they both have some regrets about that.

Finally, some news on the LA Kings.  They are currently in the midst of trying to negotiate a contract extension with arguably their best player, center, Anze Kopitar.  Kopitar and the Kings are currently very far apart on a deal, and we’re talking at least a few million per season.  He’s due to become a free agent next summer, and says he won’t negotiate during the season, which starts in a month.  In other words, he may want close to the $10 million per season average that Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are making.  LA has to find a way to keep this guy, or else their days of Stanley Cup contention are over.  There are three cornerstone players on the Kings.  He is one of them, along with Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick.  His offensive numbers may be slipping, but much of that is due to the very defensive system that he plays in.  He is a very valuable two-way player, and still one of the more underrated in the league.  If the Kings don’t come up with a deal, someone will break the bank for him next summer.  This is one situation that should make Kings fans very nervous for the next few months.








Monday Morning Coffee

Kobe and Jim

August 31st, 2015

Jim Buss still hasn’t figured out the politics of being an NBA executive yet.  Buss sat down for an interview last week, and started by saying that it’s completely up to Kobe, whether or not he wants to continue playing with the Lakers after this coming season.  That sounded great at first, until he said “He just has to know, at that age, and that many miles on you, what is your role?  We’ll explain the role, and if he still wants to do that and that’s how he wants to go out, that’s fine with me.”  Jeez Jim….why didn’t you just say you’re going to throw him out like Uncle Phil used to throw out Jazz on the Fresh Prince? This will likely be Kobe’s last NBA season anyway, but there’s no need to publicly throw down the gauntlet like that.  Even if the Lakers do need to move on from Kobe after next year, there’s no need to publicly say that.  If Jim’s dad were still around, he would have been smart enough to know this.  The irony of it is, Buss said some other really good things, like the fact that the Lakers are focused on developing 7 or 8 really good young players they can move forward with.  For a guy who could be forced out in a few years, he’s actually going about things the right way.  He just doesn’t have the charisma to handle these situations yet.

Speaking of the NBA, the Clippers are currently in the midst of negotiating a new TV deal with Fox Sports West.  However, owner Steve Ballmer suggested that the Clipps might instead move their games away from cable, and go to online streaming.  Even though consumers are slowly moving away from cable, we still haven’t yet reached a point with live sports where we can reliably go to the internet to find our content.  The Clippers already struggle with ratings and market share in LA, so moving their games to the internet for a subscription fee will only further their irrelevance in the LA sports landscape.  Let’s hope for the sake of Clippers fans that this is just a negotiating ploy by Steve Ballmer to get the deal he wants with Fox Sports.  Ultimately, Fox Sports West needs the Clippers equally as much as The Clippers need Fox Sports West.

On to baseball, where the Dodgers are the most pathetic $300 million team I have ever seen.  The Boys in Blue were no-hit for the second time in nine days.  This time it was by the Cubs and Jake Arrieta.  Fortunately the Giants have been blowing it, so the Dodgers have been hanging on to the division lead.  Nevertheless, LA is incredibly fundamentally flawed.  You think we should be excited because they won 5 in a row before last night? Yea, well they lost 5 in a row before that.  That’s called .500 baseball, or better known as mediocrity.  I love how skipper Don Mattingly has been instructed by Andrew Friedman not to play hit and run because his team cannot run the bases, and he would rather not give away outs.  It’s too bad the Dodgers don’t have a young, all-star, cost controlled, 2nd baseman and leadoff man, who can steal 60 bases a season.  Oh wait….they did have that in Dee Gordon, but Friedman traded him to Florida last winter.  Watching this team play couldn’t be any more frustrating.

Then there’s the Angels, who got swept away by the Indians.  The season has quickly gotten away from the Halos in the last few weeks, and with a month to go, the division looks out of reach.  Even the Wild Card is slipping away with a couple of teams that have jumped in front of them.  The lineup has too many holes, and suddenly the starting pitchers look like hell.  It’s sure going to be fun dishing out about $40 million next year to Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson, when neither should even be in the rotation.  If Mike Scioscia has as much power and influence as I think he does, he needs to make sure that he’s got a roster that can actually manufacture runs, play good defense, and play his style of ball, rather than one that sits back and waits for the long ball.  Otherwise, the team is making one of the best managers in baseball look like one of the worst.

It’s really a shame what Sark has done to the USC Football program in the last week.  People should be talking about how great of a team they could have this season.  Heck, Adoree Jackson might even be a sleeper Heisman Trophy candidate.  Instead, we are talking about how stupid Sark is for getting hammered at last week’s donor event.  Sark could have easily been suspended by Pat Haden for his stupidity, however, if Haden eventually has to remove Sark, the USC AD will find himself under much more heat from the University for making a 2nd straight poor hire.  Then again, without Sark, we’d be talking about something stupid like how many points USC is going to crush Arkansas State by.  This is a far more interesting story to follow!

On to the NFL where they say week 3 of the preseason is like a dress rehearsal for NFL players.  This makes perfect sense because RGIII was on the sidelines in street clothes for this past weekends preseason game.  Rumor has it that not only has Griffin lost his starting spot to Kirk Cousins, but that Subway will now try to trade him to another restaurant as well.

Did anybody actually watch the MTV VMA’s? Did anybody actually realize that some artists still make music videos?  Since there aren’t many, it must not take much to win these awards.  In any case the show was still entertaining.  The Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift “beef” is fake, but Minaj’s beef with Miley Cyrus is way more real.  Once again, Kanye found a way to make everything about him, stealing the stage for an 11 minute speech, where by the end, you really had no idea what hell he was talking about.  I do see why he thinks he has a chance to become President in 2020 though.  I mean Donald Trump has given hope to everybody now.  Miley Cyrus also had a nip slip.  Since Jock Talk LA is a family site (ok maybe not) i’ll let you just Google it.

Finally, Fear The Walking Dead aired it’s second episode last night on AMC.  This prequel to The Walking Dead is really more of a “slow-pocalypse” rather than a “zombie apocalypse”.  The world is very slowly falling apart, but that’s perfectly ok for the audience.  What we’re really seeing isn’t how the world fell apart.  It’s how human beings fell apart and brought the world to an apocalyptic state.  Nick, one of the main characters, is a drug addict who has to deal with withdrawal during the chaos.  Ironically, his seizure prevents his sister from walking off to her imminent death.  You also know the world is falling apart when the principal tries to eat you.  This show is far less bloody than The Walking Dead, and the zombie scenes are actually more intriguing because people don’t know how to deal with zombies yet.  They don’t know how dangerous they really are, and that they are actually trying to eat people.  One of the themes that’s emerging in this show is that people just don’t talk to each other either, which is causing the decay of society.  I’m talking everything from the government not communicating with citizens, to Nick’s own family members not wanting to listen to him because he’s a drug addict.  It really just confirms that the zombies didn’t cause the apocalypse.  Human beings did.

Principal Eat You