Monthly Archives: August 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

Jansen win

August 29th, 2016

I have no idea how the Dodgers are winning, but they are lucky the Giants are a pile of hot garbage. San Francisco has been one of the worst teams in baseball, and somehow, the Dodgers are putting together wins.  They’ve won four of their last six games against the Giants and Cubs, and are holding down a 2 game lead in the NL West.  The more disturbing piece of Dodger news that happened last week was the trade of veteran catcher AJ Ellis to Philadelphia for catcher Carlos Ruiz.  This was simply another example of Andrew Friedman valuing statistics over people.  Ruiz may be a slightly better player, but everybody knows how important Ellis is to both Clayton Kershaw, and as a presence in the clubhouse.  If clubhouse chemistry isn’t all that important, than why is Yasiel Puig still in the minor leagues? Puig is still a more talented player than Josh Reddick, who couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat at the present time.  I had to laugh when Andrew Friedman said that he made the trade in order give the Dodgers the best chance to win the World Series.  Did you give the same consideration when you let Zack Greinke sign with the Diamondbacks? Or when you traded Dee Gordon to the Marlins?  Despite a good showing against the Cubs, it’s this type of flawed approach that makes me doubt the Dodgers will last very long, even if they make it to October.

As for the Angels, i think it’s safe to say that Tyler Skaggs has recovered from his elbow injury.  He’s just as inconsistent now, as he was prior to his surgery.  We’re just a few days away from September, and the Halos have faded into irrelevance in both the Major League Baseball pennant race, and the Southern California sports landscape.  It seems to be a foregone conclusion that Mike Scioscia gets to keep his job, however, the Halos might end up with their worst record in the last twenty years, which would naturally lead to questions about his future.  Even if the results on the field can mostly be attributed to injury, one has to ask themselves if a new voice in the clubhouse is necessary to get the Angels back to respectability,

To college football, where the Bruins are getting ready to open the season next week at Texas A&M. If there’s one thing I’m really looking forward to seeing, it’s whether or not Jim Mora Jr. has finally recruited some much bigger, stronger, and more physical offensive lineman.  If so, this is exactly the type of game that can be won by managing it properly.  Don’t turn the ball over, control the line of scrimmage, and ultimately the Bruins can win comfortably without Josh Rosen trying to be a hero.  There’s been a lot of hype around the work that Mora Jr. has been doing in the recruiting department, and although the transformation of the program takes time, we need to start seeing wins against some of the more physical teams for UCLA to be taken seriously.  I like the Bruins in this one to get their season off to a nice start.

As for the Trojans, I’m curious to see how much slack Clay Helton is going to get once they lose to Alabama next week.  The schedule is completely brutal, and as much talent as USC has, they have a tremendous amount of inexperience at the quarterback position with Max Browne.  Just listening to Helton talk about Browne makes me think he’s just hoping that Browne can be an effective game manager that can avoid the “critical error.”  To make matters worse, USC is nursing an injury to guard Chad Wheeler, who is suffering from plantar fasciitis.  The Trojans are looking at Alabama as the program they aspired to be during the Pete Carroll era, but even by those lofty standards, still fell short of the Crimson Tide’s sustained excellence.  Alabama has four national titles since 2009, compared to two under Caroll, and USC hasn’t finished ahead of Alabama in the polls since 2010.  It could be a brutal start for USC, but if they can salvage a win or two in their first four, they have the talent to do some damage after that.

Watching the Rams 3rd preseason game against the Broncos made me think they were ticketed for another mediocre season.  The team just couldn’t muster much offense against an elite NFL defense.  Case Keenum didn’t do much, Jared Goff did less, and both came away with injury scares, as did Pharaoh Cooper, who might even miss the opener now with a shoulder injury.  There was absolutely nothing positive to take away from this game, other than the fact it’s over now.  It’s games like that that make me ask myself the annual question: why do we need four preseason games? The answer is that it’s nothing more than a money grab by the owners, but as football fans, we are the ones who are going to suffer when we have to hold our breath that our teams best players don’t get hurt in these meaningless contests.

Speaking of getting hurt, there are some things in life that are certain: death, taxes, and Tony Romo injuring his back.  This may actually be a blessing in disguise for the Cowboys.  They’ll be forced to move on from the Tony Romo era with Dak Prescott.  Then there’s Colin Kaepernick, who’s play has actually been far more offensive than his decision to not stand for the national anthem.  There’s a time and place for everything.  If you don’t like the Presidential candidates this fall, that’s fine, but there’s no need to disrespect those who fought for the United States by not honoring the National Anthem.  Then again, maybe Kaepernick may just be pushing for the 49ers to release him, so this could have been some form of desperation in that regard.  As for the Chargers, I can’t really blame them for their position in the Joey Bosa contract dispute, however, their decision to make the negotiations public was not wise.  The Bolts already have a reputation of historically playing hardball in negotiations with some rookies (dating all the way back to Eli Manning) so there  was no need to perpetuate this perception by going public with the details.  Here’s a look at Tony Romo’s text inbox after his most recent injury…..

Romo Inbox

Finally, I think it’s great that the USOC is holding athletes like Ryan Lochte and Hope Solo accountable for their stupidity in Rio.  Don’t get me wrong, Solo and Lochte are both great athletes, who have contributed a great deal to the US Olympic success in their respective sports, especially Lochte.  However, these athletes also have a major responsibility to represent our country in the best way when they go abroad, especially when we are making an effort to try to bring the Olympics back to the US in 2024.  The suspension for Solo was very appropriate, and one for Lochte should be in the works too.



Monday Morning Coffee

on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

August 15th, 2016

Michael Phelps has been a joy to watch over the last 10 days.  He’s an athlete that makes you want to stop everything you are doing, and watch him because he’s that good.  He’s arguably the greatest Olympian of all-time, and maybe even one of the greatest athletes of all-time, but I don’t for one second believe we’ve seen the last of him.  In 2012, he claimed he was walking away, and was adamant about it, yet he came back.  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.  Even his teammates don’t believe he’s done.  He’s too good and too competitive to not come back for another run four years from now in Tokyo.  See you then Mike.

Elsewhere around the Olympics, I admit that watching the fastest man in the world competition is very entertaining, and I was glued to the TV watching the dominance of Usain Bolt last night.  However, I’m definitely ready for a new era of sprinting for the U.S. and others. We already know that Justin Gatlin was caught for doping years ago, even though he might be clean now.  It’s also hard to believe that Usain Bolt and all the other Jamaicans are clean with their weak drug testing program.  As far as I’m concerned, any 100 meter time under 9.80 seconds is suspicious, a mark that Bolt has gone way under before.  I don’t know why any of those parents of the U.S women’s gymnastics team looked so stressed, since they dominated, especially Simon Biles.  They clearly don’t pay attention to betting odds.  My hat goes off to American swimmer Lilly King, who called out her Russian rival, Yulia Efimova, before and after beating her in the 100 meter breast stroke.  Like King said, U.S. Olympians are tested multiple times a month.  You should know everything that is going in your body, so Efimova has no excuse.  It’s obvious the IOC has no integrity by allowing the Russians to compete, so good for King for calling out the drug cheats, and then backing it up.  Speaking of swimming, I feel bad for Missy Franklin, who suffered an unbelievable fall from grace in these Olympics.  It seems to be more than just an injury issue for her but nevertheless, she deserves credit for being a good teammate and handling everything with class.  The same can’t be said for Hope Solo, who showed no class when the U.S. Women’s soccer team lost in the quarterfinals to Sweden.  Apparently she think she shouldn’t be accountable for her own play, or her teammates.

Then there’s the U.S. men’s basketball team, who has had some major close calls.  If these guys lose, frankly, they should be deported.  This team has some major defensive issues.  Kyrie Irving, DeMarcus Cousins, and Carmelo Anthony are known to struggle at the defensive end, and the team often relies heavily on isolation basketball.  I still think at this point, the only way to insure that the U.S. wins the gold medal in basketball is to send their very best players.  In other words, nothing is for sure without Lebron James and Steph Curry.

If Ryan Lochte and his three swimming teammates getting robbed at gun point but walking away unharmed is the worst thing that happens during the Olympics in Rio, then everyone should consider themselves lucky.  This kind of thing happens in Brazil everyday.  This whole thing was a disaster waiting to happen, and those disasters have been rather minor in the big picture.  Then again if Michael Phelps was held at gun point, he would have beaten the criminals with his 23 gold medals.

NFL Football returned to LA over the weekend, but it only took one play to remember how much the Rams stink.  The Rams ended up giving up a 60 yard TD kick return to the Cowboys on the first play of the game.  I thought by halftime the Rams were going to board a plane and head back to St. Louis.  Despite the victory, LA has to have some concerns.  Jared Goff looked pretty bad after only 9 passes, Case Keenum was underwhelming, and the secondary was getting burned like breakfast toast on every play.  The Cowboys didn’t play anybody of significance, and the Rams didn’t play Todd Gurley, so I wouldn’t take too much away from this, other than the fact that Jared Goff, the Rams franchise QB has a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to stick in the NFL.  I do really love what I’ve seen on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” so far.  Through 1 episode, the show has helped me get to know some of the players a little better, and didn’t just focus on the obvious story lines of Gurley’s star power, and Goff’s potential as a quarterback.  I also found it entertaining how stupid Deon Long was for getting cut just for having some girls in his room.  That sounds like something Michael Beasley would do.  Oh wait…that’s because it is something Michael Beasley did.

The Olympics nearly made me forget that the Dodgers existed for the last week.  The Boys in Blue missed out on an opportunity to overtake the struggling Giants in the NL West, by losing two of three to the Pirates over the weekend.  Brett Anderson is back, and he reminded us of his mediocrity in an instant, by giving up 5 runs in the first inning.  Since Brandon McCarthy is going back on the DL, it’s only right that LA replaces one mediocre pitcher with another by activating Anderson.  I don’t care how good the bullpen is on paper.  If the Dodgers continue to throw out mediocre starting pitching, they will burn out their bullpen very quickly.  The acquisition of Rich Hill makes more and more sense with every passing day.  He’s an injured starting pitcher that has been mediocre for a long time.  He should fit in quite nicely with the rest of the Dodger pitching staff.

Then there’s the Angels, who not only got swept over the weekend, but have now lost 10 in a row.  They now have the 3rd worst record in the AL.  The Halos just can’t seem to find the pitching.  Yesterday it was Jared Weaver who got bombed early.  In the two days earlier, it was Matt Shoemaker and Tyler Skaggs.  The Angels don’t just have bad pitching, they don’t have any pitching because so many are on the DL.  It’s going to take some extreme creativity on the part of GM Billy Eppler to fix this team.  On a better note, the Angels are now looking at re-negotiating their lease in Anaheim, and potentially renovating their current stadium again.  Although renovating the stadium again seems shortsighted compared to building a new stadium, the Angels have their focus in the right place by trying to keep the team in Anaheim.  LA has too many stadiums at this point, and it would take a lot of approvals and a lot of obstacles to overcome to get a brand new stadium.  Plus, the Angels would have lost quite a few fans, had they moved the team to South Orange County.

I just don’t understand Tim Tebow.  Now he wants to play baseball? Isn’t it obvious that the guy just wants to be a football player? He should just suck it up and go play in the CFL or the arena league.  He’s a good enough player to get back to the NFL if he were to switch positions, but unfortunately, most coaches and players don’t want to deal with the media circus that he brings with him.  That problem is still going to exist if he were to get himself on a major league baseball team.  I also find it odd that he decided to try baseball since he’s never actually made it past first base.  Tebow’s phone has been blowing up since he said he’s going to try baseball.  Here’s a look at his text inbox….

Tebow text message

Finally, the NBA didn’t do the Lakers any favors at all when it came out with the 2016-2017 schedule a few days ago.  LA will have to play 20 of their first 33 games on the road, and will play the Warriors three times in the first month of the season.  They have 16 back-to-backs, and 13 of them end with road games.  Their longest road trip of the season is 7 games in December, and they’ll also have a grueling 5 game trip in February for their annual “Grammy Trip”.  Oh, and just in case the last game of the season means anything, they’ll have to finish up against the Warriors on the road.  For a young team that is trying to learn to win in the NBA, that definitely does not bode well for a much improved Laker season.  Nevertheless, if the Lakers can manage to win 30 games, that would be a significant improvement, and something they can continue to build on.

Monday Morning Coffee

Josh Reddick LA

August 8th, 2016

I’ve been saying it for more almost two years now.  The Dodgers need to trade Yasiel Puig.  Andrew “Jones” Friedman and his bumbling front office have completely destroyed his trade value.  Puig’s trade value is about as valuable right now as a promise from Hillary Clinton, and now LA is stuck with his piss poor attitude, or forced to get rid of him without compensation.  Just think, one year ago the Dodgers could have traded Puig for David Price, Aroldis Chapman, or Cole Hamels.  In other words, the one player that could have made them World Series Champions for the first time since 1988.  If that’s not bad enough, two years ago they could have traded him for Giancarlo Stanton.  Apparently Puig had the equivalent of a babysitter in Tim Bravo his first couple of years, but Bravo is no longer with the club.  The fact Puig is being sent to the minors while hitting .260 tells you just how terrible of a teammate he is, and how much people can’t stand him.  So now we’re left with the underwhelming Josh Reddick and Rich Hill trade.  Both have been useless since being acquired.  We are supposed to believe that Reddick is that much better than Puig? The guy can’t even hit left handed pitching.  Remember when the Dodgers had four stud outfielders? Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, and what you thought was a stud in Puig? They are all gone now, and they’ve hung on to the worst of the four.  LA is luckier than a leprechaun right now, since their starting pitching is mediocre at the moment, yet the Giants have been awful for over a month.  The Dodgers could be so good, but their leadership in the front office will forever hold them back.

What’s with every baseball team honoring David Ortiz? The Dodgers did so on Friday, and the Angels did a few weeks ago.  We know that he used steroids in the steroid era, and although he actually has never failed a drug test, nobody thinks he’s on PED’s? He’s 40 years old, and somehow he’s got a higher batting average than he’s had in almost a decade, and he’s going to hit nearly 40 home runs.  Yea that’s not suspicious at all, yet we are giving him the farewell tour in every ballpark he goes to.  None of the other steroid users like Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens were given this type of treatment.  Just because Ortiz is smart enough to beat the system, doesn’t mean he’s not as guilty as the rest of them.

What a weird trade the Angels made at the deadline.  The Halos are desperate for quality starting pitching, yet they traded away cost controlled starting pitcher Hector Santiago to Minnesota, in exchange for pitchers Alex Meyer and Ricky Nolasco.  Meyer is a prospect who has had shoulder problems, who the Angels are gambling on.  Ricky Nolasco is awful, and he’s the new Tim Lincecum, because Lincecum was released over the weekend.  It won’t be long before Nolasco is next.  GM Billy Eppler seemed to just shrug his shoulders and chalk it up to having to take a chance on somebody.  Didn’t they take a chance a frail pitcher like Andrew Heaney? Didn’t they take a chance Josh Hamilton? It feels like they have taken risks that aren’t so calculated, and this is another in a long line of them that is bound to not work out.  I wasn’t sure if the Halos could make their pitching any worse in 2017, yet somehow they managed to do so without even improving their farm system.  At least Mike Trout is still making super human plays….

I have been totally glued to the Olympics this weekend, however, I completely understand why the Opening Ceremony got poor ratings.  It wasn’t because of the tape delay.  The Olympics have been tape delayed for years.  It’s because people are disgusted with the IOC, and the fact that they’ve even put the games in Brazil.  As for the ceremony itself, it was rather underwhelming compared to the show put on in London and China in the last two summer Olympics.  Funny how Brazil had enough money to spend on that Opening Ceremony, but not enough to provide clean water, pluming, or enough to clean up all the criminal activity.  I also found the focus on the environment hilarious when the water is the most polluted anybody has ever seen.  It’s very disappointing that they can’t even fill up these stadiums and arenas because the locals can’t afford the tickets, and the tourists are just too scared to go.  The new competitions in this years games should include: how to escape a mugging, swimming in sewage water, and track and field – Zika version.

As for the games themselves, the Team USA men and women’s basketball steam rolled their competition early on.  I thought the Chinese were just going to forfeit and play Pokemon Go instead.  Good thing Draymond Green didn’t kick anybody in the balls in that game, otherwise a Chinese man might have died.  Michael Phelps reminded us yesterday that he’s probably the best swimmer of all time (and maybe the greatest Olympian), but Katie Ledecky is the most dominant swimmer ever.  Speaking of dominance, Simone Biles not winning the all around gold medal in women’s gymnastics would be even more shocking than the US Men’s Basketball team losing.  US Men’s Volleyball is now getting destroyed in Olympic matches by Canada? That’s shameful, but not as shameful as the Brazil men’s soccer team tying with Iraq.  I miss the Misty-May Treanor & Kerri Walsh Jennings duo in beach volleyball, however, the Jennings-April Ross duo is pretty damn good as well.  I love how Olympic ping pong is only played by Asians, none of whom actually play for Asian countries.  That’s probably because white guys play beer pong.  I love watching all these very obscure sports in the Olympics.   However, I don’t care if it’s referring to women’s Olympic weight lighting, nobody in their right mind can keep a straight face when the announcers keep using the term “snatch” and “clean and jerk”.

Major League Baseball has proven over the years that it has a serious problem marketing their players.  This was magnified when last year, Cubs’ 3rd Baseman, Kris Bryant, drove around as an Uber Driver, yet nobody in Chicago recognized him.  Many of those people that rode in his car claimed they were huge Cubs fans.  I bring this up because baseball is coming back to the Olympics in 2020.  The World Baseball Classic is interesting to nobody.  However on the Olympic stage, Major League Baseball players competing would be great television.  This would require the MLB to adjust the schedule for a couple of weeks in the summer to allow players to play.  The NHL does it for the Olympics, and it’s by far the best Winter Olympic sport.  Since the NBA has been spending pros to the games, the game has exploded globally.  If Rob Manfred were smart, he would figure out a way to make this happen, and the players would probably love to do it.

To the NBA, where Russell Westbrook has shocked us all by signing a re-negotiated contract extension with the Thunder.  On one hand, this has to be a bummer for Laker fans, who were holding out hope Westbrook would sign with the team as a free agent next summer.  He seemed like a logical candidate to return to LA since he’s from here.  Had he been available in a trade, giving up all the teams’ young talent for him wouldn’t have been smart.  However, the extension may not be all that bad.  Westbrook is essentially under contract for two more seasons, and then he can test the free agent market.  In one year from now, the Lakers probably won’t be that good.  However in two years from now, they could be a playoff team if things break right and their young players develop.  That would put the Lakers back in position to sign Westbrook and/or DeMarcus Cousins, who will hit free agency then as well.  However, whatever way you look at it, the Lakers young players have to become very good players to have a successful rebuild.

Jared Goff was looking really good on Saturday at the Coliseum during the Rams scrimmage.  I still don’t think Jeff Fisher is going to start him early on.  The schedule is a mine field in the first several weeks.  Three of the first four are on the road, and will consist of games against San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Arizona.  Considering they have to play the Panthers, and travel to New Orleans and New England to close out the regular season, a 7-9 season would almost be an accomplishment.  As long as Goff develops nicely and Gurley emerges as an elite back, they can build on that moving forward.

Couldn’t A-Rod have waited at least a couple of days before making this announcement yesterday that he was essentially retiring? Even if this was a decision made by the Yankees, at least let Mark Teixeira have a week of enjoyment after he announced his retirement just the other day.  As for A-Rod’s career, he should go down as one of the greater position players in the history of the game, Unfortunately though, his legacy is somewhat tarnished by wasted postseason potential, along with his documented Performance Enhancing Drug usage.

Finally, this has really been killing me.  I mean we really have to get on the same page here as a country.  It’s a major issue that needs to be resolved.  When we go to the checkout counter of a retail store, are we swiping our cards, or are we using the chip reader? For the love of God, make up your mind retail stores! I thought everybody was supposed to be using the chip reader.  Then some merchants install it, then tell you not to use it, and slide your credit card instead.  You go to the next merchant, and you attempt to slide the card, then they scold you and tell you to use the chip reader.  Then you are confused, while the person in line behind you give you the death stare because you are taking too long.  If only more merchants would have Apple Pay then this crisis could be averted.

Monday Morning Coffee


August 1st, 2016

We’ve reached the baseball trade deadline, and the Dodgers do not look like they are going to do anything of significance yet.  Even though they have until 1 pm PST on Monday to do so, don’t hold your breath.  The Boys In Blue have crept within 2 games of the Giants in the NL West, and have a 2 game lead in the wild card standings.  However, Andrew Friedman and the Dodger front office probably look at where they are as a pleasant surprise.  LA has less talent than in previous years, and their next wave of talent is still developing.  The trade market is complete garbage (as is the coming free agent market), so less than impactful players are commanding premium talent.  It’s like a Ford dealer asking $100,00 for a Prius, because there aren’t that many Ferrari’s available.  Still, a player like Jay Bruce makes too much sense for the Dodgers, because they need power in their lineup, and they shouldn’t have to give up top tier prospects to get him.  I guess that explains why all they want to give up is Yasiel Puig, who’s play is about as consistent as Hilary Clinton is on any social or economic issue.    I also love how Dodgers reliever Adam Liberatore told the LA Times that he’s the best left hander in baseball.  Is Clayton Kershaw dead and we just don’t know about it? That’s a pretty awkward statement for Liberatore to make considering arguably the best left-hander of all time is his teammate.

Then there’s the Angels, who endured a rough weekend against the Red Sox.  The Halos ended up splitting four games with Boston, but closer Huston Street blew yesterday’s game in brutal fashion, giving up 5 runs in the 9th inning.  Street cost the Halos last season down the stretch as well, blowing a crucial game against the Astros that probably prevented the Angels from making the playoffs.  At least this year the team won’t have to worry about his games costing them the playoffs, because they stink even when he doesn’t blow games.  On the bright side, Tyler Skaggs looks great, while Matt Shoemaker and Hector Santiago are looking more and more reliable.  In fact, teams have been calling the Angels about Santiago and Shoemaker, but the Angels are hesitant to give up any cost controlled pitching when they barely have any healthy arms for next year.  I’ve never seen a situation like this before: a team that can’t afford to be buyers or sellers.  It’s the worst possible situation, and one that sets up the Angels as no better than a .500 team for the next three years.

For years people criticized Michael Jordan for not being outspoken enough against social issues.  Finally, MJ stepped up and not only spoke out against police brutality against African Americans, but also made a $2 million donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Institute for Community Police Relations.  Still, journalists like Kevin Blackistone are finding a way to criticize Jordan for his actions.  Blackistone suggested that he donate his money elsewhere, like the Black Lives Matter movement, and also felt that Jordan should encourage Hanes to bring jobs back to the US from overseas.  These types of criticisms are ridiculous because Jordan is simply trying to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem.  How much money did Blackistone donate to Black Lives Matter? Jordan can’t be criticized for putting his money in the place where he feels is best to solve the problem.  Also, the notion that bringing back jobs to the US will suddenly improve relations between policemen and African Americans is shortsighted.  Jordan should absolutely be applauded for stepping up and speaking out.  As for why he never acted before, his livelihood was never impacted the way social issues impacted the livelihood of Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, and Jim Brown.  Times change, and Jordan should be credited with adapting to the changing social environment around us.

The Clippers are reportedly exploring options to move to a new arena.  It’s about time this happened, however, it won’t be easy.  The Clippers are the bastard child of the Los Angeles sports market.  They have their best team they’ve ever had, yet their popularity is unchanged.  Do you have any idea how difficult it’s going to be to get approval to build an arena on the westside of Los Angeles? I highly doubt Steve Ballmer could get the approval to build in Santa Monica, Westwood, or even Inglewood.  Look how hard it was just to get a football stadium approved in Inglewood. That makes me think he would consider Orange County, but suburban stadium and arena building is becoming a thing of the past.  There’s still some conspiracy theorests that think this is all the start of a ploy to eventually move the team to Seattle.  However, those that think that just don’t understand business.  Even as the least relevant sports franchise in the Los Angeles market, the Clippers are still far more valuable in Los Angeles than they are in Seattle.  The same way a piece of real estate is more valuable in Southern California than it is many other places in this country, the Clippers can command more TV money in LA than in Seattle.  The Nets just recently built a beautiful new arena in Brooklyn but it didn’t make them any more relevant compared to the Knicks in New York.  Expect the same with the Clippers if they build a new arena.

The next time the NBA collective bargaining agreement is negotiated, it’s going to be interesting to see which way the owners decide to go.  Do they care more about making money, or competitive balance?  During the last negotiation, it appeared as though they wanted competitive balance, but in the end it was all about profitability.  Now there’s whispers that they want more competitive balance again.  They hate the idea of super teams, like the one Kevin Durant just created by signing with the Golden State Warriors.  If the owners are really serious about competitive balance, they might consider a rule that allows them to place a “franchise tag” on one player on their roster.  Under that rule they could pay one player as much as they wanted without it counting against the salary cap.  That would likely eliminate super teams from being created, but the owners might balk at that since it would cost them quite a bit of money.  Just think, a player like Lebron James might get $50 million a year from a team.  Even though that might eliminate the super teams, it would give the bigger markets a competitive advantage over the smaller markets when bidding for superstars.  It would also expose certain owners as being cheap or more frugal than others.  Ultimately, I think the owners care more about profitability than anything else, but we’ll find out come the next negotiation.

What a great turnout the Rams had at UC Irvine over the weekend as training camp opened up.  10,000 fans showed up on Saturday, and they had another great turnout on Sunday.  I stopped by for a couple of hours to watch practice, and the energy surrounding the team was incredible.  Jared Goff looked a lot better in the last two days than he did at the end of OTA’s.  However, it probably won’t matter who the Rams quarterback is because they really don’t have any reliable wide receivers who can make plays.  The teams success is going to rest on their defense, and how effective they can run the football with Todd Gurley, who looks like one of the best backs in the game.  We’ll see how long the honeymoon lasts, but this is definitely going to be a brutal division to play in.  Also, now that Nick Foles has been released by the Rams, he should have plenty of free time to film Napolean Dynamite 2.


Elsewhere around NFL training camps, Tony Romo decided to add 20 LBS of fat to protect his collarbone, since the Cowboys offensive line couldn’t do so.  The Titans have signed Andre Johnson.  His retirement plans is to play on a worse AFC South team this year.  Anquan Boldin will sign with the Lions.  At 106 years old, he should be an excellent replacement for Calvin Johnson.  Josh Gordon celebrated his re-instatement with a few more bong rips.  Starting next Sunday, there will be professional football every Sunday until February.  Unless of course you live in Cleveland.  It’s going to be hilarious when Ryan Fitzpatrick returns to his horrendous play after his dramatic contract standoff with the Jets.

Someone asked me about Sharknado yesterday, and why they needed to make four of these movies.  I explained that this was a very complex question.  One that is similar to “what happens after we die?” Or “Are there other forms of life in the universe?”  Then again, those questions can probably also be answered just by watching a movie or two on the SyFy channel.  Sure enough Sharknado 4 premiered last night on SyFy, and once again, this mock buster nearly broke Twitter.  This movie actually featured Gary Busey, who was a mad scientist.  I think it’s far more likely a Sharknado occurs before Gary Busey would be any kind of a scientist.  Speaking of Busey, if you played a drinking game while watching the movie, your BAC still wouldn’t be higher than that of either Busey or Tara Reid.  I still think a movie about a Sharknado is far more factual than the Republican and Democratic National conventions combined.   If this movie has taught us anything though, it’s that Apple needs to come out with a shark emoji instead of that stupid whale emoji we are forced to use if we need it.

SHARKNADO: THE 4TH AWAKENS -- Pictured: (l-r) Masiela Lusha as Gemini, Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard, Imani Hakim as Gabrielle, Cody Linley as Matt Shepard -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/Syfy)

Finally, the RNC and the DNC were like nothing we have ever seen before.  This is the new reality TV.  It’s polarizing drama that people are tuning in for, just to see what kind of disaster is going to happen next.  At this point though, it would take WWIII or martial law to keep Obama as President.  Maybe WWIII is better than Trump or Hillary?  Every single speaker at the DNC was fantastic.  All I could think about was how all of them would make better Presidents than her.  I’m also amazed at the networks.  CNN used to hide their democratic bias.  Not anymore.  We always knew Fox News wore the Republican tendencies on their sleeve.  However, in this election, watching two networks that are totally polar opposite extremes is way more interesting than watching a balanced perspective.  Still, I don’t need 9 analysts on CNN giving me their opinion.  That’s right folks…NINE! CNN apparently thinks this is NFL Primetime.