September 25, 2017
The Rams and 49ers were shockingly able to provide us with one of the best Thursday Night Football games we’ve ever seen. The Rams also put up 41 points, and coincidentally, 41 is the number of people that actually attended the last Rams home game. In all seriousness though, Sean McVay deserves credit for turning the Rams offense around and making Jared Goff a competent NFL quarterback. However, I still have no idea if Goff is Ryan Tannehill or Matt Ryan. It’s hard to tell when both of your wins are against the Colts and 49ers. It’s not hard to tell that the Rams defense is garbage. They can’t stop the run, and their secondary is average at best. Todd Gurley seems to think the 49ers still have Joe Montana and Jerry Rice because he thinks so highly of beating San Francisco, he says the Rams are going to go “whoop up on Dallas.” If that happens, they’ve got my attention. Until then, this team has simply improved from terrible to mediocre.
While most of the NFL players were taking a knee during the national anthem, the Chargers looked like they were taking knee the entire game in their humiliating loss to the Chiefs. Even more humiliating is the fact the entire stadium was filled with fans off the opposition for the 2nd week in a row. I don’t know why the league or Dean Spanos is surprised nobody cares about the Bolts in Los Angeles. People in LA have been screaming for years that they don’t want the Chargers to come to LA, and now the league and Spanos have egg on their face. Spanos is more hated than Donald Trump in Amerca’s Finest City, so there’s no way the team could move back without him selling the franchise. If the league were smart, and don’t worry they aren’t, they would let Spanos sell the team for a fair price, then move the team back to San Diego and build a stadium themselves. That would put the Chargers back where people give a damn about them. In the meantime, nobody even cares they stink.
Elsewhere around the NFL, Kirk Cousins just forgot to preheat the oven, but he finally tore it up last night against the Raiders. You like that? The Jaguars probably will never leave London after dominating the Ravens. The Jets, Jaguars, and Bills all won by a combined score of 90-29, and the Bears upset the Steelers in OT. The odds of getting hit by Hurricane Maria and a 7.0 earthquake at the same time are greater than that happening. The Falcons reminded us that god just hates the Lions, while Tom Brady reminded us that he might be the GOAT. To protest injustice, the New York Giants have decided not to show up in the win column this season. The Bears Marcus Cooper thought he had a touchdown, and then blew it by celebrating too early….
To College Football, where USC continues to be underwhelming, yet continues to find the win column. The latest uninspiring performance came against Cal, and required some big plays from the defense to remain undefeated. The Trojans decided to show up for exactly three minutes of this game, which was just enough to avoid being upset by an unranked team. Most Trojan fans are going to spin this as “we’re still undefeated which is what matters.” However, the way they are playing is going to matter when they have to play at Washington State, vs Utah, and at Notre Dame in a few weeks. Sam Darnold and the Trojan offense are finishing about as well as a 70-year-old dude without his little blue pill. Things are about to get much tougher for Southern Cal, which means we’re about to find out if they can live up to the hype.
There’s absolutely no hype to the Bruins, who got dismantled again by Stanford. For the last five years we’ve been waiting for Jim Mora to show us a team that would be tough enough and physical enough to beat Stanford. Mind you, not all of those Stanford teams were national powerhouse teams either. On Saturday, we saw a UCLA team that has no defense, no effective threat at wide receiver, and a frustratingly inconsistent running game. The fact UCLA had a 100-yard rushing running back for the first time in two years was almost more aggravating. I’ll give Mora credit for his recruiting, and ability to make the team more disciplined. However, after a solid first two years, and three disappointing years after that, it’s clear he can’t develop his talent. With every loss Mora gives us more false promises than a Presidential candidate. I think we’ve seen enough of the status quo in Westwood.
The Dodgers may have clinched the division on Friday, but their bullpen has officially turned into a pumpkin and stinks again, with an ERA of 7 this month. The pen is also giving up home runs like it’s the steroid era as well. I guess this is what happens when you have the naive belief that starting pitching is overvalued, and you are forced to use exhaust your pen over the course of 162 games. Nice work Andrew Friedman. The Dodgers are also about to give up their lead on the Indians for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Then again, I’m not so sure why I’m worried about it because I have diminishing confidence in the Dodgers’ ability to get to the World Series. I still have no idea why Curtis Granderson is playing everyday when he gives you a hit about once every 40 at bats. Granderson must have some serious dirt on Dave Roberts because there is no explanation for this. October is just around the corner and that means my biggest Dodger nightmares are about to arrive like the Grim Reaper standing outside my door.
Then there’s the Angels, whose odds of making the playoffs appear about as good as winning the Powerball. Mike Scioscia’s new strategy is to pray his starting pitchers arm’s don’t fall off after five innings, and then hope one of his relievers don’t blow the game. The Halos schedule down the stretch may be brutal, but that’s why they should have shown up for games in May, June, and July. Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips were nice contributors for a few weeks, but don’t be fooled, the Halos are deeply flawed. They need to reconstruct their entire roster, and could use an upgrade at literally every position other than centerfield and shortstop. If the Angels hope to make the playoffs before Mike Trout’s contract expires, they should seriously consider this.
I’ve gotta hand it to Thunder GM Sam Presti for trading for Carmelo Anthony. Presti basically gave up half a can of Diet Coke, and two pretzels for one of the best scorers in the NBA. When you’re in a small market like OKC you have to know your window to win. Presti realizes that with Russell Westbrook’s looming free agency, and working under a cheap skate owner. Still, the Thunder are like everybody else and have no chance of beating the Warriors. They very likely will be starting from scratch next year with Westbrook, Paul George, and Anthony departing via free agency. I wouldn’t be shocked if two of those three players ended up on the Lakers. Speaking of the Lakers, I’m still not really sure why they decided to sign Andrew Bogut. There’s probably no center that is going to play more than 20 minutes in Luke Walton’s system, and those minutes should go to developing Ivica Zubac.
Finally, sports is supposed to unify society and help everyone rise above political differences. I find it deeply disappointing that Donald Trump has escalated things with the entire sports world, tweeting that NFL players should be fired for kneeling during the National Anthem, and for uninviting Steph Curry to the White House. At the same time though, I don’t think NBA players should refuse an invite to the White House, even if they don’t like Trump. If players want to use their fame to make a difference and let their voice be heard, then why not take the opportunity to go to the White House and let your voice be heard in front of the most powerful person in the world? This would be more productive than having Lebron James, Steph Curry, and Donald Trump sling insults at each other via Twitter like high schoolers.
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017