Monthly Archives: July 2021

Monday Morning Coffee


July 26, 2021

The Summer Olympics finally got underway this weekend. As weird as it is without any fans, it’s still special to watch these athletes competing and representing their countries. Except for those dogs playing for our USA Men’s basketball team. More on them in a moment. Thank goodness for our wonderful swim team, who led the way this weekend with 6 of our 10 medals. The US is expected to win the medal count according to the betting odds. However, the stakes should really be much higher than this. If we finish with more medals than China and Russia, the Chinese should be forced to stop taking our jobs for the next four years, and the Russians should be forced to stop safe harboring our hackers. I forever thought that badminton was just some sport that you played at a family reunion because nobody brought a football. It turns out it’s actually an Olympic sport. It’s these types of obscure sports that I enjoy watching most over these three weeks. USA Women’s softball could sure give the Dodgers some tips on how to hit in the clutch, as they did in their extra inning win over Australia. Watching Simon Biles dominate puts women’s gymnastics in perspective for. To me the women are arguably more skilled in their sport than the men.

As for the USA Men’s Basketball team, Kevin Durant will probably demand a trade to team France after yesterday’s loss to the Frenchman. I’m sure Greg Popovich is going to try and convince us that they are getting better and gaining more chemistry with every day they play together. Apparently nobody has told Pop that his team could be done playing in a week if they don’t get it together now. Not having a true point guard, a dominant big man, or lackadaisical defense isn’t doing this squad any favors. Heck, the way we assemble rosters in the NBA might not be how we should assemble rosters in International Play, especially since referees don’t fall for American embellishment to get to the free throw line. Every player on Team USA is going to hug the NBA referees when they get home. It turns out this dude from Rush Hour was right all along.

Speaking of basketball, congratulations to the Milwaukee Bucks on winning the 2021 NBA Championship. I admire any team, especially small market, that knows it’s window to win and takes advantage of it with big moves. The Bucks did exactly that by trading for Jrue Holiday and then getting Giannis to sign his supermax extension. That was the piece that put them over the top. Funny how the last few months everybody formed their own narrative that Giannis is limited, will never be able to shoot, and was some fraudulent NBA star. It turns out he found his true identity by dominating in the paint, and all he really needed was for his teammates to step up. Giannis is a great superstar, and a great guy that’s easy to root for. Here’s to bonehead NBA media now having to re-create their narrative around a player they got wrong once again.

The NBA off-season rumor mill has gotten ridiculous yet again. NBA Twitter is now pushing noise that the Lakers are going to acquire Russell Westbrook or Chris Paul once free agency begins next week. These are the types of ideas that are written on post-it notes and put up on a kitchen fridge, but the practicality of them never gets executed. That’s probably how this rumor started. These names are fun to throw around and all, but reality is that the Lakers probably aren’t going to give up 4 players for a $40 million Russell Westbrook that can’t shoot, or a $100 million aging Chris Paul. However, what is realistic and a huge help to the Lakers is Montrezl Harrell opting into his contract. At worst, ‘Trez is a nice trade asset. An expiring deal for a former 6th man of the year with upside. He might even still be a solid backup center off the bench for the Lakers. Either way, it’s a good situation for this team.

Memo to the Dodgers: summer is supposed to be fun. I can’t do this every night. The stress level, anxiety, and frustration you have caused us fans in the last week has been off the charts. Kenley has been phenomenal all year, but he sure picked a horrible week to collapse. The Dodgers have blown so many opportunities in the past week, by now they should be a couple of games up on the Giants. I’m also not sure what hell the Dodgers hitting coaches have been doing with Cody Bellinger’s swing. This dude is totally lost at the plate, and trying to hit everything to Mars every time he comes to bat. It’s like Andruw Jones has been working with him. I would love to see the Dodgers go get Max Scherzer this week, and add a high leverage bullpen arm to give them some insurance for Kenley Jansen. However, given Andrew Friedman’s propensity to hold on to prospects, I have my doubts we’ll see it.

The Angels are back in the news, and it’s not because Shohei Ohtani is hitting home runs like Babe Ruth. It’s because once again, Arte Moreno is being criticized for being a cheapskate owner. This time, it’s minor leaguers in their system, who are claiming that their living conditions have become unbearable and have impacted their mental health. In general, minor league conditions are terrible. However, do you realize how bad minor league conditions are in this case if players are actually complaining about it? Kieran Lovegrove , an active minor league pitcher in the Angels organization, is quoted in an ESPN piece saying that Arte “doesn’t give a “sh** about the winning side”. This dude is basically saying that Donald Trump would feed him better food with his fast food at the White House than the Halos are providing him. What joke! It’s no wondering the player development for the Halos has sucked. I feel bad for Lovegrove though, who’s career will probably end faster than that of the career of Vanilla Ice after these comments.

Awful news for the Rams last week, losing stud running back Cam Akers to a torn achilles injury. That’s some kick in the balls for this team. As much of a genius as Les Snead is, it’s not exactly like he can find Barry Sanders to plug in the lineup to replace Akers. We’ve seen how much different a Sean McVay offense is without a dynamic run game, especially when Todd Gurley was no longer the same player he once was, and how good they became once Akers began to emerge. I’m sure Darrell Henderson will get his shot, but he’s seemed a little bit frail in the early going in his career. Here’s to hoping I’m wrong, but this doesn’t bode well for the Rams.

Finally, another episode of The Bachelorette went down last week. Everyone is asking themselves how the hell Katie managed to keep Justin and Blake over Andrew. However, perhaps the worst line in Bachelorette history was Mike P saying “She reminds me of my mom.” I think everybody got chills down their spine when they heard that, and not in a good way. Even more bizarre was Katie chasing Andrew out, like she didn’t just shatter his heart into a 1,000 pieces. He had perhaps the classiest exit in the history of the show though. The man might have set himself up to be the next Bachelor. Nice strategic move by the producers to put the virgin on the sexual cuddling date. Greg has to be the most vanilla bland ass dude I’ve seen in a while on the show. Too bad she and Greg have been wearing matching outfits, which makes me think the fix is in and he’s going to win when it’s over.

Monday Morning Coffee

July 19, 2021

Shohei Ohtani hit his 34th home run of the season in yesterday’s loss to the Mariners. That’s cool but I guess it’s not really that significant because Ohtani just isn’t marketing because he has a translator……well at least according to Stephen A Smith. What a stupid take on a television network that is becoming even more stupid by the day. I want to see greatness. I don’t need to hear it speak. If anything, Ohtani is actually more marketable because he’s a Japanese superstar, meaning he has more potential for global relevancy. I don’t know if there is supporting data to show that a foreign born player is more marketable than one who isn’t, but I do know that there are international superstars like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Roger Federer, who’s marketability is certainly not damaged because English might not be their first language. Ohtani was also the brightest star of them all during the all-star festivities. He got the win as a starter, had tons of fun, and even gave the fans some thrills before being eliminated in the home run derby. The Angels reminded us over the weekend that they still look as bad as they did before the break, but Ohtani is a star worth the price of admission, and he was the brightest star during the all-star festivities.

As for the Dodgers, they blew a big opportunity yesterday to tie the Giants in the NL West. Kenley Jansen has been great all year, but he gave that game away like he was a charity for kids. They’ll get their crack at the Giants for the next four games beginning tonight, but there is plenty to be worried about. With Tony Gonsolin and Josiah Gray starting the next two nights, the bullpen is going to get more work than a stripper when James Harden shows up at the club. I do like the fact that the Dodgers have basically admitted they are resting Clayton Kershaw to try and preserve him for the fall, but it seems highly likely that Trevor Bauer has played his last game for the team. Stan Kasten appears to be doing whatever he can do to get out of his contract, and you can further read the tea leaves when Andrew Friedman said he was prioritizing starting pitching at the upcoming trade deadline. Since the Dodgers need all the offense they can get given their starting pitching situation, they better hope Corey Seager and Mookie Betts can overcome injuries and get themselves in the lineup.

To the NBA where it feels like every Laker not named Lebron James and Anthony Davis is doing everything they can to get traded. Kyle Kuzma is telling the media he can be an all-star in the right role; Montrezell Harrell is complaining on social media about his playing time; Dennis Schroeder just wants somebody to pay him; and Andre Drummond thinks he’s Shaquille O’Neal. Let’s be honest, as crafty as Rob Pelinka is, he needs to try and retain as many of these people as possible and convince them their roles will be better. That way if necessary, he can later trade some of these guys when their value goes up. For those of you expecting a Damian Lillard trade to the Lakers, your chances of winning the Powerball are better. If you’re hoping for this, the best thing for the Lakers would be for Lillard to hold out for another year, or at least until the deadline. That way the Lakers can gather more assets, and have some players with more value than they have now. Still, the Powerball will have better odds.

Meanwhile, the Clippers should be getting at least a little bit nervous about Kawhi. This is a weird dude. He was weird enough to choose the Clippers over the Lakers, and might even be weird enough to leave them. There’s unconfirmed reports out there that Kawhi might take meetings with other free agent teams, and that he is unhappy with the Clippers medical staff. His injury certainly complicates things quite a bit and if he might re-evaluate his future. However, more than anything, Kawhi is just too unpredictable and nobody really know what’s going on with him. That’s the scariest thing for the Clippers come August 2nd.

To the NBA Finals where I haven’t seen Suns fans this shaken since they played a healthy Laker team in early round 1. The Suns are on the brink of elimination after dropping a close game 5 at home to the Bucks. The Suns played well enough to win the last couple of games, but the Bucks trio of Giannis, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton have been ballin. As lame as this series felt going in, it’s turned out to be a phenomenal. It feels like we deserve 7 games. As for that Giannis block in game 4, it was great, but as usual everyone is prisoner of the moment and thinks it’s suddenly better than the Lebron block in 2016 in game 7. The NBA needs to change their slogan to “Where You Become Prisoner Of The Moment”. This photo though is pretty iconic.

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Team USA Basketball has had a wobbly warm up to Olympic Play. They managed to defeat Spain yesterday to improve to 2-2 but they should be worried. They don’t have a lot of size, and they don’t have a play making point guard. They also lost Bradley Beal to COVID, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have to call on more Uber drives to replace him. There is also one major problem: there are more Celtics on the team than Lakers. Seems like a pretty simple problem to me. It’s also a little bit of a struggle for these NBA players who are used to getting phantom calls from referees. These international referees don’t fall for that flopping garbage, and pretending like you got fouled while shoot a 3. The meaningful games start on Saturday, but can’t say I’m terribly optimistic about their chances of winning the gold.

I’m super excited about the Olympics but also very nervous about COVID-19 impacting it. At this point if you test positive for COVID-19, for all intents and purposes your Olympic experience is over. Just ask Bradley Beal, who as I mentioned tested positive, and will no longer be going to Tokyo. The Olympics are always a treat, but this year, it’s truly going to feel a lot more like a battle of attrition.

The UCLA Bruin basketball team is looking really good for next season. Johnny Juzang and Cody Riley made wise decisions to return to school after putting their name in the NBA draft. That means the Bruins will return every single player that helped them get to the Final Four last season, along with a couple of elite recruits that should put the Bruins no worse than in the preseason Top 5. If that doesn’t get people excited and get them to fill up Pauley Pavilion, I don’t know what will! Now if only UCLA could do something about Chip Kelly!

Finally, The Bachelorette is back on ABC tonight, and it was an eventful episode last Monday. It sure feels like all the dudes on the show were far more in love with Connor than Katie based on their reaction to him getting the boot. Heck Michael A kissed him on the cheek goodbye! I was starting to think Connor was going to see more action with Michael than Katie before his time was over. If someone ever played country music outside my window, I would call the police. For reals though guys: who the hell is Brendan and why is he getting a rose at this point? I always thought a roast was filled with jokes, but too bad I didn’t hear any. Katie on a date in a wedding dress is the most ridiculous date this show has ever done. If I ever saw a girl in a wedding dress on a date, I would run for the hills. Perhaps the most cringe-worthy date in the history of the franchise. I’m ready to see where this disaster goes next!

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Monday Morning Coffee

July 12, 2021

The Dodgers got a dramatic win yesterday against the D’Backs to finish off the 1st half of the season strong. However, there is much to be concerned about. The Boys in Blue still can’t seem to overcome the Giants, who still have 2 game lead on them, and the best record in baseball. There is also concern about their pitching staff suddenly getting decimated with injuries to Clayton Kershaw and Dustin May, while Trevor Bauer’s future with the team is in serious doubt . I don’t know about you guys but a one-game playoff against the Padres in October sounds even less appealing than the new Dodger Dogs. The Dodgers might be one of the best teams in the league, but they are vulnerable. The 2nd half of the season is sure to be a stress test for the team, and their fans.

As for the Angels, they hit the All-Star break winners of 7 of their last 10 games, and one game over .500. That at least spares them from complete ridicule here on Monday Morning Coffee. In fact, I’m not going to sit here and complain about the pitching, or criticize selecting a reliever with their 1st round pick yesterday. Instead, I’m going to remind you that Shohei Ohtani might be having the greatest individual season of all-time. Ohtani has become “must-see TV” to the point where in the last week I’ve ran into several people desperately trying to get back to their TV sets to see Ohtani pitch. That’s amazing to think that a talent like that, along with Mike Trout play right here in Anaheim. Now the entire country will get to see Ohtani’s talents on display tonight in the Home Run Derby, and tomorrow in the All-Star Game. The man is clearly on the way to being a much slimmer, Japanese Babe Ruth. Let’s just hope the derby doesn’t screw up his spring like Arte Moreno is capable of screwing up the Halos.

To the NBA Finals where the Bucks got back in the series yesterday by winning game 3 against the Suns. For all the talk that Giannis can’t shoot threes and can’t make free throws, he’s been balling. He’s put up over 40 points in each of his last two games, and his teammates finally showed up. However, I still like the Suns to win this in six games. Chris Paul is on a mission. It wasn’t that long ago we were making fun of CP3’s contract as the worst in the league. Don’t worry though, we’ll soon be making fun of him again when the Suns give him a 3-year $100 million contract as a retirement gift.

Speaking of NBA players, we’re planning on deporting Kevin Durant and the rest of the Team USA squad that lost to Nigeria right? I realize it was only the first exhibition game, but they also lost to a team coached by Mike Brown, who was probably drawing clown faces on the clip board during timeouts. This is a good reminder that the rest of the world has gotten a lot better at basketball, and they have NBA players too. Their NBA players also seem to have more experience playing with each other and better chemistry. For that reason, we can no longer win the Olympic Gold Medal unless we send our very best NBA players. That means the likes of Lebron James, Anthony Davis, Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard, and James Harden needed to be on the team.

As for the Lakers, I’m getting really tired of hearing Andre Drummond pretend like he’s Wilt Chamberlain. Drummond sucked up so many minutes, and I have no idea why. He’s a nice center, but his offensive game was extremely limited, and frankly, he’s no worth any more than a minimum contract for the Lakers. Sure Gasol and ‘Trezz complained about their roles too, but the Lakers were just fine before Drummond got there. I hope the Lakers just decide to roll out Marc Gasol again, and assure ‘Trezz that he’ll have a bigger role with the team next year. That would be smart from both a basketball perspective, and a salary cap perspective.

How ironic: Connor McGregor said that Dustin Poirier would be leaving the octagon in a stretcher after he faced him. Instead, it was McGregor that left the octagon in a stretcher, and the rest of his career is in serious jeopardy. How can you possibly go on knowing that you’re not going to burn another $100 on a McGregor fight that’s going to last a few seconds? In all seriousness though, here’s to speedy recovery for McGregor regardless of whether or not we see him fight again.

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In general, I’ve been a big fan of Shark Week of Discovery for decades. I find sharks the most fascinating, yet also the most terrifying of animals. However, seeing Jackass as part of tradition, let alone having them eat chum and throw up on camera, was awful. The premier started off nicely with Steve Irwin’s kid diving with sharks, and comparing them to crocodiles. I also was really looking forward to seeing Great Whites on Shark Week since I didn’t get to see any sharks when I went cage diving two weeks ago in Cape Town, South Africa. Anyway, let’s hope the rest of the week is some real educational content, and not some celebrity cameo gimmicks, or fake stories that try to convince us that Megalodon still exists.

Finally, the Bachelorette went down last week and it’s back tonight on ABC.
My favorite part of the Bachelorette every week is when Union leader Aaron tells me who I’m supposed to hate next. Nice to see that Katie thought this week was fun and easy, meanwhile, Michael almost died playing some sport she just invented. I can’t believe after all Michael went through, Hunter got a rose instead. I think Hunter actually interrupted a toast too, which makes him an extra slime bag. Thanks to ABC for spoiling that Blake gets a hometown date. Leave that to the internet guys. Greg Grippo is definitely the kind of dude that loves shopping at Target. Greg crying during Michael’s story is something everybody is talking about but come on people…..he’s an actor! I don’t buy it! It’s about to get really interesting tonight with 5 dudes getting sent packing. Looking forward to it!

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Monday Morning Coffee

July 5, 2021

There is much to get to in the 4th of July weekend edition of MMC starting with the Clippers. The Clips made it further than they have in the history of their franchise before getting eliminated by the Suns. They did so without their best player, so it has to be considered a successful season. They also gained a lost of respect with their resiliency compared to last season’s debacle. However, the sustainability of their success is solely dependent on Kawhi Leonard’s health, and if he re-signs with the team. This dude was actually weird enough to choose the Clippers instead of playing with Lebron and AD two years ago. You have to ask yourself the question if he’s weird enough to leave the Clippers when they are definitively championship contenders with him. Probably not, but nobody really knows this dude. If he starts taking meetings with Miami, New York, or Dallas, you should be worried. We’ll find out in a month from now. Pat Beverley is a punk for that shove he made on CP3, and then his weak apology when it was over. Beverley is clearly is a dude who washes his clothes in the sink. We did also find out how weird Steve Ballmer is. Imagine how crazy this guy would get if the Clippers ever won an NBA Championship.

Meanwhile, the Lakers and their fans will not let this idea of a Damian Lillard trade go. It only got worse when Dame showed up to a Sparks game and greeted Lebron warmly. Lillard is a superstar under contract for the next four seasons, and he hasn’t asked for a trade. Even if he did , the Lakers have a couple of dirty socks, Kyle Kuzma’s hair gel, and an empty can of Coke to offer. That won’t get a trade done when the Celtics, Warriors, and 76ers have much more to offer. Even the idea of trading for a player like Ben Simmons is preposterous for the Lake Show. The most important move the Lakers can make this summer is re-signing Dennis Schroeder. He’s currently their third best player and if nothing else, can be an asset used in a trade later if he doesn’t work out. Ultimately, if Lebron and AD are healthy though, everyone else is replaceable.

Well here we are at the NBA Finals I’m sure we all predicted: The Milwaukee Bucks vs the Phoenix Suns. I’m sure all the executives at ESPN and ABC are about to jump out of their windows knowing that this isn’t going to do much for the ratings. As for the matchup, I realize that every NBA champion is influenced by injuries that occur in a season. However, I have never seen a team like the Phoenix Suns get the kind of breaks they are getting. The Lakers, Nuggets, and Clippers have all had their best or 2nd best players hobbled by injuries during their series with the Suns, and Phoenix has taken full advantage. I can’t criticize them because the Jazz did not do so. Now they get a Bucks team that is going to have a hobbled Giannis. That’s another perfect opportunity for them to steal one more series, and an NBA title. I’ve got the Suns in 7.

Scottie Pippen is unbelievable. This feels like a preview of what Kevin Durant is going to be like in twenty years from now. In case you missed it, Pippen went on the Dan Patrick show and claimed that Phil Jackson is a racist for drawing up a game-winning play for Tony Kukoc at the end of a playoff game in 1994. Phil Jackson might have some racially insensitive tendencies, but it’s hard for me to imagine that this man, who was a head coach for over 20 years in the NBA, is a racist. Especially since I haven’t heard one other single player who has played for him say this about him. Scottie sounds angry and upset about the way he’s been portrayed since “The Last Dance” aired last year.

In baseball, the Dodgers are winning games but they have a mess on their hands with the Trevor Bauer situation. In case you’ve been living under a rock the past week, Bauer is being accused of sexual assault by a San Diego woman, and is now on administrative leave for the next week while the investigation takes place. I can’t sugar coat this: the allegations are bad if they are true. The media is also giving it to Stan Kasten and the entire Dodger organization right now in a “I told you so” moment, questioning if Bauer should have ever been signed. Kasten must think he works at USC, where this kind of stuff is swept under the rug all the time. That’s not the case here, as the media hammered him about it all weekend, and was not in the mood for his jokes. It is entirely possible that Bauer has pitched his last game as a Dodger if the findings of this investigation go badly. Even if they don’t and Bauer gets by on this one, doing damage control will be tough, and will continue to be tough for the entire organization. It’s going to get especially awkward a week from now when Bauer’s administrative leave is up and there is no conclusion to the investigation yet. Stay tuned for more drama on this one.

Speaking of the Dodgers, Mark Walter and Todd Boehly purchased a minority share of the Lakers – 27% – from Philip Anschutz. There is some real significance to this from a media perspective. Just when you think the cable model is about to crumble, the Dodgers and Lakers might join forces to form some media bundle for you to watch them both. Both of them currently have their own channel’s that are difficult to find outside of a cable subscription. The Dodger channel, Spectrum Sportsnet LA is still difficult to attain, even after it was picked up by DirecTV. At the same time, you may have noticed that the cost of streaming services is rising about as fast as your federal tax bill. You can expect the cost of either to go up in the near future with this move, because there will surely be an offering on both. What will you do now millennials? Double down on those illegal streams? Your move.

The Angels had a nice weekend of baseball against the Orioles, but they are still miles out of playoff contention. It’s actually quite frustrating. Joe Maddon says “We’re really close to being really good.” I’m assuming what he means by this is that they just need Mike Trout to return, then acquire three really good starting pitchers and three really good relievers. What’s especially frustrating is that Shohei Ohtani has emerged as a spectacular talent, and Jared Walsh is turning into a stud as well. So much talent, yet so little pitching. It’s remarkable really. It’s gotten so bad that the presumed “ace” at the beginning of the year, Dylan Bundy, is being demoted to the bullpen. They should have sold high on Bundy last year when he was pitching like a true number 1 starter. I’d say the Halos can be sellers at the deadline, but they really don’t have much to sell that’ going to be appealing to other teams. At best, right now this is a team that might be able to sell a few tickets with Trout and Ohtani, but no chance of winning anything at any point in the near future.

Now that the NCAA has been forced to allow their athletes to make money off their name, image, and likeness, Reggie Bush is speaking out. Bush said this week that he wants his Heisman Trophy back, and that he rightfully earned it. The bottom line is that nobody in their right mind, not even a UCLA homer, would tell you that Bush didn’t earn that Heisman Trophy. Simply because he accepted some cash or a car doesn’t change what he did on the field. He was special, and so was that entire USC team, which will always be remembered as one of the great teams in College Football History. No NCAA archaic rules will ever change that in the court of public opinion. With that being said, he absolutely deserves his trophy back, to have his jersey retired, and to be honored for what he accomplished. Still, it’s hard for me to imagine the NCAA re-instating him. The NCAA is trying to hold on to what little legitimacy and power they have left as an organization, and re-instating all the athletes like Bush who are in a similar situation, undermines that effort.

I’m ecstatic about the Summer Olympics that are coming up in 17 days, but was super disappointed that Sha’Carri Richardson is getting suspended for using pot. Richardson was the favorite to win the women’s 100 meter dash. We can sit here and tell you how archaic the World Anti-Doping Agency rules are, and how pot is not even a performance enhancing drug. We should also all feel terrible for Richardson that she lost her mom recently, causing her to resort to pot. With all that being said though, she’s been working for 4 years for this. She knows what she can and cannot put in her body. She knows she is going to be tested regularly. This is completely on her. At least we will be fortunate enough to see her run the 4 x 100 meter relay.

Finally, the Bachelorette went down last week on ABC and it’s back again tonight. The most obnoxious part of last week’s episode is that even though Thomas got the guillotine from Katie, what guy on the show hasn’t thought about being “The Bachelor”? Then again, what guy who hasn’t been on the show hasn’t thought about being “The Bachelor”? Justin really can’t ever be sent home because his facial expressions are just too good. I’m still trying to figure out how Katie’s skin tone on her hands and face are a completely different color. Perhaps an issue at the tanning bed. Bachelor Nation is completely up in arms over Blake’s arrival after all that quality time they put in with Greg the last couple of weeks. This is Blake’s third bachelorette he’s pursuing. This is a Kardashian level type of achievement. If he gets rejected again on National TV again, hopefully that PPP loan everyone is getting from The Bachelor will be used to pay for his therapy. Looking forward to seeing what goes down next.