Monthly Archives: January 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

AFC Title Game

January 25th, 2016

Just think how happy Roger Goodell is right now.  He is spared the embarrassment of having to hand the Patriots a Super Bowl Trophy after his initial suspension of Tom Brady was overturned earlier this season.  Goodell is also happy that he changed the extra point rule by pushing it 15 yards back, otherwise the Patriots probably would have sent the game into overtime, and possibly won it there.  Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are both amazing players, and their brilliance nearly pulled it off, even with the Broncos defense all over Brady all day.  I’ve gotta hand it to Peyton though……the man has now made 4 Super Bowls with four different head coaches.  For all the times it felt like Peyton had been owned in the playoffs by Brady, he’s now 3-1 against him in AFC title games.  Yesterday, he made the big throws he needed to, in order to get the win.  I can’t say I like their chances against the Panthers though, who’s defense is just as good.  I wonder who Giselle is going to blame for this one?

Then there’s the dominance of the Carolina Panthers.  Carson Palmer played that game like a college kid who downed a 12 pack and decided to play some Madden.  I’m surprised that the Cardinal haven’t announced Palmer’s retirement after that.  Then again, should we really be surprised? The Panthers went 15-1 during the regular season, their defense was as dominant then as it is now, and so was Cam Newton.  He really is Superman.  I mean he broke his back and was back in the lineup right away.  Batman broke his back and it took him weeks to come out of that hole and take on Bain.  Too bad for Larry Fitzgerald, who is a good guy, who many want to see win a title before his career is over.  Meanwhile, Carson Palmer’s cell phone has been blowing up…..

Palmers Cell Phone

To the NBA where the All-Star starters were announced a few days ago.  As we expected, Kobe was named to his 18th All-Star team, and I’m totally ok with it.  The game is for the fans, and that’s who the fans want to see. I’m sure most of Kobe’s peers are ok with it as well.  I just wish the guy would take a week or two off so he can actually be healthy for the game and the rest of the season.  I actually think the fans did a pretty good job of picking the starters.  In the West, Draymond Green nearly started, and probably would have if not for the Kobe situation.  In the East, Andre Drummond probably deserved to start over Carmelo, but that’s still not a terrible choice.  I’m also not outraged by Dwayne Wade of Jimmy Butler, since he’ll surely be named a reserve.  The rest of the reserves in the West should be CP3, Klay Thompson, Draymond, Blake Griffin, Demarcus Cousins, James Harden, and Anthony Davis.  In the East, I’d take John Wall, Jimmy Butler, Chris Bosh, Paul Milsap, Demar Derozan, and Pau Gasol.

As for the Lakers….the more and more I watch D’Angelo Russell play, the more I think that he’s going to be the teams best player as early as next season.  Russell looked good offensively on Saturday against the Blazers, despite another Laker loss.  I’m really hoping the Lakers can get 4 players into The Rising Stars All-Star Weekend event: Russell, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, and Larry Nance, Jr.

Meanwhile, the Clippers have now lost 2 of their last 3 games after reeling off 10 straight wins.  Funny how Doc Rivers described his team’s bench play as “awful” after losing by 18 points to the Raptors yesterday.  This is exactly what we knew was coming.  The Clipps play real teams like Cleveland and even Toronto, and they get exposed for what they really are.  The Clippers also decided to end a disastrous six months with Josh Smith, by sending him back to the Rockets.  In typical Clipper fashion, Smith had a great game in his first game back with Houston, where he clearly seems to be more comfortable.  It’s going to be especially amusing when the Clippers play the Rockets again in the playoffs this spring, and Smith is the one that destroys them and sends them home early again.

The Cleveland Cavaliers really amaze me.  The were 30-11, in 1st place in the East, and they fire head coach David Blatt.  He probably wasn’t the best coach for the team, but the way this whole situation was handled, screams of a team that has no idea what it’s doing.  The weirdest part is that they immediately signed Tyronn Lue to a three year extension.  Lue? A dude that has never been a head coach? This kind of crap, along with paying a role player like Tristan Thompson $82 million, is only done in Cleveland, where they are at the mercy of their superstar, Lebron James.  Funny, because Pat Riley would never have to ask Lebron about these type of things, because he knew what he was doing.  The Cavs don’t.  If these buffoons had any idea what they were doing, they would have fired Blatt over the summer, and brought in a real high profile head coach to bring this superstar team together.  The Cavs are looking more and more like a franchise that is going to waste the talent of the best player of the generation with their incompetence.  The All-Star game should be a 1st half of David Blatt coaching vs Luke Walton, followed by a 2nd half of Steve Kerr vs Tyronn Lue.

Speaking of incompetence, it’s time for me to dust off that Joe Blanton joke book, now that the Dodgers just signed him to a $4 million contract.  Isn’t baseball amazing? Joe Blanton was absolutely horrible two years ago with the Angels, after being mediocre with the Dodgers the year before.  He looks ok for half a season, and he finds an idiot like Andrew Friedman to pay him $4 million to pitch out of the bullpen.  That’s right…the bullpen.  The crappiest part of the Dodgers team the last couple of seasons.  By the time you finish reading MMC, Blanton would have already given up 3 home runs.

In college hoops, the UCLA Bruins continue to flirt with missing the NCAA tournament.  The Bruins got handled by Oregon in Eugene on Saturday.  The Ducks just looked way more athletic, and crushed UCLA on the glass.  It amazes me that Steve Alford was actually known for defense at New Mexico, because his team plays none, and is especially awful when it comes to zone.  Alford’s idea of a game plan is to hope that his son Bryce is shooting 38% from three, and then his team will have a chance.  Hopefully this nonsense doesn’t cost the Bruins some of their better recruits they are slated to have next year.

Finally, don’t laugh Trojan fans.  Your basketball team came crashing back to earth last week as well.  USC lost to both Oregon and Oregon State, and will probably tumble back out of the top 25.  Suddenly, the Trojans can’t make three point shots, or play any defense.  It will be interesting to see if this team just caught lightning in a bottle for a couple of weeks, or if they are really legitimate threats to win the Pac 12.  The answer should be revealed soon.

Monday Morning Coffee

Kobe over KD

January 10th, 2016

Ok people calm down.  Everybody wants to burn Mitch Kupchak at the stake for saying that this season is all about Kobe, and that the Lakers can’t move on as a franchise until he retires.  Isn’t this obvious? He’s Kobe Bryant.  He’s a once in a generation talent that can’t be replaced.  Kupchak never said the Lakers aren’t going to develop their younger players.  They already are.  All he’s saying is that even when Kobe doesn’t play, every game is still about Kobe.  In fact, that’s actually a good thing.  The Lakers can develop Russell, Randle, Clarkson, Nance, and Brown, with little to no pressure on them because it’s all about Kobe.  Once again, we have another classic example of  NBA fans and media losing their mind and providing zero rational perspective on a story.  Besides, Russell and Clarkson have been balling of late.  They just need some work on their celebrations.  What is this Ben Stiller nonsense???

Russell does Stiller

Clarkson does Stiller

Stiller Along Came Polly

What do you know….the Clippers have won 9 straight games.  What a surprise…..all 9 of those games have come against teams that under .500.  This has nothing to do with Blake Griffin being in the lineup or out of the lineup.  It’s nothing but status quo for this same cast of characters.  CP3 and DeAndre leading the way, JJ Redick shooting well, but there’s still no help from the bench.  CP3 is getting serious about his all-star campaign however, as Justin Bieber is asking all his Twitter followers to vote for Paul.  This brings up a much more important question.  How the hell does Bieber have more Twitter followers than Kobe, Lebron, Durant, and Chris Paul combined?

What a crazy Wild Card Weekend in the NFL.  The Seahawks are so lucky, I wouldn’t be surprised if they win the $1.3 billion Powerball on Wednesday.  Maybe Jesus is rewarding Russell Wilson for his will power to not have sex with Ciara? As for Blair Walsh, I’m sure years from now he’ll be screaming that the laces were out in a small town in Florida, have a sex change, and kidnap a Viking.  Hopefully Ace Ventura will be around to solve that case.  It was so cold in Minnesota, the Seahawk fans were wearing their Warriors and Royals gear underneath their clothes for extra warmth.  Even the Bengals think that was a bad loss by the Vikings.  Speaking of the Bengals, the last time they won a playoff game, America had only 13 colonies.  Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones are total pieces of shit for their actions at the end of that game.  So is the Bengals fan that threw the beer can at Ben Roethlisberger when he was being carted off the field.  That fan was far more accurate however, than his teams quarterback.  After seeing Martavis Bryant’s ridiculous touchdown catch though it’s official: to make a catch in the NFL you must use two hands, touch two feet, hold the ball to your butt, do a front flip and keep control.  Meanwhile, Marvin Lewis phone was blowing up after the game…….

Marvin Lewis Phone

Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins didn’t like that.  Before you go making fun of the Redskins however, put yourself in their moccasins.  Next year’s winner of the NFC East should get unlimited breadsticks.  Brian Hoyer was so terrible in that Chiefs-Texans game that Andy Reid should have just punted the ball back to Houston on 1st down to give Hoyer more chances to throw the football.  DeAndre Hopkins probably wanted to trade himself to Carolina for a draft pick by halftime.  I mean the Texans offense was so bad they probably couldn’t score on the Rockets.  As for Kansas City, they haven’t caused that much suffering in Houston since they were down 4 runs in the 8th in October.

It’s starting to look like by Wednesday afternoon, we could have not one, but two NFL teams officially moving to Los Angeles.  The rhetoric has changed quite a bit over the last few weeks, but the league seems more motivated than ever to get this situation resolved.  The most sensible move would be for the Chargers and Rams to share a stadium in Inglewood, but that would take Dean Spanos and Stan Kroenke putting their egos aside, and the league feeling bad enough for the Raiders to provide them with a viable alternative with more financial support.  Moving the Rams makes sense, but moving two teams to LA is foolish.  Even research shows a general apathy SoCal fans have toward NFL Football coming back, which the league is ignoring.  The Chargers claim that they need to move if another team is moving to LA to protect the 25% of their fan base that comes from the LA area.  Ok, but what about the fact that moving will alienate the other 75% of their existing fan base?  San Diego sports fans make up barely any of the fan base of LA sports teams.  Once two teams move, one will instantly become the red headed step child, while the other will be the more popular team.  It will almost surely be the Chargers in this instance.  Look at the difference in fan base between the Lakers and Clippers.  The Dodgers and the Angels.  The Kings and the Ducks.  Those differences played out over many years.  The differences in this case will be apparent right away.  We couldn’t support two teams twenty years ago, and we’re definitely not in a better position to support two teams now.

I’m taking Alabama tonight over Clemson, but the bowl season has been a complete joke.  The selection committe should be embarrassed for ranking Iowa #5 and Michigan State #3 after their horrendous bowl performances.  Ohio State and Stanford would have been more appropriate choices.  Ranking these teams is no art or science.  It’s a political exercise subject to incredible human error.  Sounds like the Obama administration might have had a hand in this.

Years ago, I thought the Pac-12 was the best basketball conference in the country.  This year, top to bottom it’s making a case once again.  Great game on Thursday night between UCLA and Arizona, and the Bruins came away with another win against a ranked opponent.  Are UCLA fans really surprised? This is the Steve Lavin era all over again.  Lose to Washington and Washington State on the road, come back and beat Arizona, and almost lose to Arizona State.  It always feels like one step forward and two steps back with Steve Alford as coach.  That’s also because when things get tight, nobody on the Bruins touches the ball except for Bryce Alford.  He hit big shots late against both Arizona schools, but the Bruins actually have some decent talent that they sometimes forget to use.

Meanwhile, USC might actually be a basketball school for the time being instead of a football school.  The Trojans are 14-3 overall and 3-1 in conference play thus far, including an exciting win over Arizona.  This is a critical year for Andy Enfield, who could be fired if his team doesn’t make the tournament.  The Trojans are looking good so far, but Enfield almost botched Saturday’s game against Arizona single handedly.  The Trojans had the lead late in regulation but didn’t use either of their two fouls to give.  USC has also had success as an outside shooting team all year, but they stubbornly tried to play inside against a bigger Arizona team with little success.  Katin Reinhardt has been one of the teams best outside shooters all season, but was chained to the bench in OT.  Wednesday’s USC vs UCLA showdown should be great, and a riveting coaching battle.  It will be Alford’s nepotism vs Enfield’s ineptitude.

Finally, seeing Mike Piazza get inducted into the Hall of Fame this past week as a New York Met is just sad for Dodger fans, and another tragic reminder of the franchise flaws over the past twenty years. A couple of years ago, Piazza came out with a book in which he talked about his hard feelings toward the Dodgers after they were unable to come to terms on a contract extension, and then ultimately traded him in the late 1990’s.  Piazza blamed Vin Scully of all people, for turning the fans against him.  Who hates Vin Scully? What a weirdo.  Besides, what Dodger fan actually hates Mike Piazza? I blame much of that situation on the new Fox ownership that had just acquired the Dodgers at the time.  If the new Guggenheim group were smart, they would find a way to make amends with Piazza, and retire his jersey.  It would be shortsighted on behalf of both Piazza and the Dodgers if they don’t try to work things out.