Monthly Archives: October 2022

Monday Morning Coffee

What a surprise. The 49ers came into SOFI Stadium yesterday and beat up on the Rams again, this time 31-14. It doesn’t seem to matter if the 49ers are banged up, where they play, or what the situation is. San Francisco has been smacking the Rams around for 8 straight regular season meetings. What really made this one sting is that Cooper Kupp and Matthew Stafford got banged up, and they were also victimized by Christian McCaffrey, who they tried to trade for a week ago. The problems are still the same. Poor offensive line play, no running game to keep the 49ers off the field, and no vertical threat in the passing game. The only good news is that they don’t have to play the 49ers again for the last 10 games of the regular season. If the Rams could somehow sign Odell Beckham and trade for Kareem Hunt, that would change their offense quite a bit. However, that’s a lot to ask for. Since that probably won’t happen, I suggest Sean McVay send a fruit basket to Cam Akers so he will get back in the lineup and come with a positive attitude.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 8, the Bills took down the Packers on SNF, and Aaron Rodgers is ready to send his wide receivers to Greenland for the rest of the winter. The Seahawks got the best of the Giants, and Geno Smith has risen from the dead like Jesus Christ himself. The Colts got beaten by the Commanders, and this time they can’t blame it on Matt Ryan or Carson Wentz! The Eagles crushed the Steelers, and the Pittsburgh fans are going to use those terrible towels to wipe their tears. The Raiders must have had too much jambalaya before their loss in New Orleans. The Broncos beat the Jaguars, but the British informed us that if we ever send those two teams to play in England again, they will consider it an act of terror and will declare war against the United States.

To the NBA, where the Lakers finally found the win column last night, ending a five game losing streak. For just a moment, I will give Russell Westbrook credit for his performance last night, and since coming off the bench. He played well, however, he’s still a terrible fit, and this team has absolutely no shooting. I also found it interesting last night that Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka didn’t show for the George Mikan retirement ceremony. That tells me they are self-aware of the public dissatisfaction with the team, and that they didn’t want to endure getting booed. The more and more I watch this team, I don’t even think it’s worth a trade to try and keep the Lebron and AD era alive. AD is elite when he’s healthy, but he’s never healthy. Of course he injured his back again last night, but do you really think he’s going to hold up for another 77 games? Lebron is still excellent, but as great as he is, he doesn’t impact the game like he used to, evidenced by the fact he can’t even get the bums around him to the play-in game. By the time Rob Pelinka makes a trade, it’s going to be too late. I’m also afraid that he’s still focused on Kyrie Irving, who is clearly an idiot, and it would be a mistake to bring that lunatic to the Lakers, even by some crazy chance it goes down. The scary part is, knowing Pelinka, he will probably make a trade when it’s too late.

Meanwhile, the Clippers should be very worried about Kawhi Leonard. I realize that Kawhi has often been handled with extra care, and load managed quite a bit since leaving San Antonio. However, even for Kawhi, you have to wonder if his knee is really going to hold up. He hasn’t played basketball for over a year, yet he’s going to miss 5 straight games after tonight, due to “load management” of his knee. On top of that, despite all their depth, the Clippers haven’t looked good. Were it not for the disasters that are the Lakers and Nets, people would be talking more about this. Not only do the Clippers need Kawhi to be healthy, they need him practicing and on the floor so they can build chemistry. It’s definitely a problem to keep a very close eye on given the expectations.

Every since the Dodgers got sent home early, all I keep hearing about is rumors about who they are interested in pursuing this off-season. The name that keeps coming up is Aaron Judge. If Andrew Friedman, or anybody else thinks the Dodgers need Aaron Judge to solve their problems, you seriously haven’t been paying attention. You really think the Dodgers need more talent? You really think they need another guy that is swinging for the fences all the time and strikes out a lot? You really think they need to give another long-term deal to a player in his 30’s? Just because they have the money to go get a guy like Judge, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. The Dodgers problem isn’t personnel. They will have a talented team next year that is in contention once again. Their issue is their approach to postseason baseball, and until they fix that over-analytics based approach, we’ll be having the same conversation again this time next year.

To College Football, where USC outlasted Arizona over the weekend, in another typical Lincoln Riley shootout. Caleb Williams is out here throwing another 5 touchdown passes for the 2nd straight game, and racking up over 400 yards in passing. This guy is putting up video game numbers, and this time it came without his leading receivers, Jordan Addison and Mario Williams. As great a Caleb Williams has been, he’s still probably 3rd in the race for the Heisman Trophy. Hendon Hooker from Tennessee and CJ Stroud from Ohio State are the two front-runners for now. Whether or not Williams candidacy improves will depend on how his team finishes over the course of the next month, and especially if the Trojans can’t find a way to sneak into the CFP.

Williams isn’t the only Southern California College Quarterback vying for the Heisman. Dorian Thompson Robinson from UCLA is also continuing to put up impressive numbers every week, including this past week in the win over Stanford. It’s amazing that we are talking about DTR in this light, after everything we saw from him before this year. Then again, these are just college kids, and not everybody develops at the same rate. If UCLA finds a way to sneak into the CFP, and there’s still a chance, then DTR will at least find himself in New York for the Heisman ceremony. The Bruins are up to #10 in the AP Polll, but they have two tough games against the Arizona schools before their showdown against the Trojans.

Monday Morning Coffee

October 24, 2022

It’s been three games, and the Lakers are still winless. Did I expect them to beat the Warriors and Clippers? No. However, I did expect them to beat the Blazers. I could easily sit here and tell you that the defense has been much improved, and that Anthony Davis looks elite again, and Lebron is still elite. I’m not going to though, because the problems are just too big. Their biggest problem is Russell Westbrook. Never in my life have I seen a player destroy value the way he has. Yesterday, the Lakers had the game in the refrigerator, and he ripped it out of there by coming back in the game, and taking a stupid 2-for-1 jumper that missed everything with plenty of time left and the lead. He was 1-6 on shots at the rim. He was also 0-11 from the field on Thursday night. This isn’t about him being a bad fit anymore. This is about an NBA skillset that has completely eroded, and he needs to be sent home immediately. Even if you can’t trade him immediately, let Russ have the peace of mind and enjoy his $47 million, and let this team move forward. Whether you think it’s Russ’s fault or the Lakers fault doesn’t matter. Both sides need to move on immediately, and they will both be better off for it.

Meanwhile, the Clippers may have lost last night to the Suns, but they have the potential with all their stars and depth. That depth will get them through the season successfully. However, I’m shocked that both Kawhi and John Wall are still being load managed, considering the fact that both haven’t played NBA ball in over two years. That actually adversely impacts their conditioning, as well as their long term ability to build chemistry with their teammates. We saw this issue come up in the bubble, but in the long-run this is probably something the Clippers need to keep an eye on.

To the NFL, where the Chargers got wrecked at home by the Seahawks. Just when you think the Bolts are elite and ready to seize control of the AFC West, they lay an egg against Seattle. All I keep hearing before the start of every season is how talented the Chargers roster is, and how man for man it’s arguably the best in the NFL. Either none of you have any idea what you’re talking about, or the Bolts are just horribly coached. Then again, I suppose both are possible. Even though the Seahawks are probably a little better than most of us thought, they shouldn’t have been able to run over the Bolts they way they did, especially with a “defensive guru” like Staley. In fact, the sooner the Bolts do this, the sooner they can start competing for the services of Sean Payton, who is a proven head coach that has won before. To add insult to injury, the Chargers also lost Mike Williams and J.C. Jackson to injuries, both of which looking very significant. This team is unfortunately looking more and more like a .500 team, and not the powerhouse you thought they were going to be, even with the greatness of Justin Herbert.

In baseball, Andrew Friedman is a man who sees no problems. This is a problem. When asked about the Dodgers October woes, naturally, he defended Dave Roberts, but offered up almost no solutions for the Dodgers October troubles. He reminded me of that Elmo GIF of him shrugging. He suggested that some of this might just be the way baseball is, and that there is no solution for not being able to hit with runners in scoring position. What I was hoping to hear is how they might consider manufacturing runs in stretches when the offense is struggling, or how they might manage the pitching staff differently in October, rather than pre-scripted managerial decisions. The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have a problem, and Andrew Friedman isn’t even at step one yet, which is even more upsetting.

Speaking of problems, the Angels also have a Shohei Ohtani problem. Ohtani went back home to Japan, and told the local papers, he has a “negative impression” of how the season went down. Othani is one of the nicest and most polite people you will ever meet. What he really means to say in the nicest way possible, is that this franchise has been an absolute joke since he has joined them, and is run by fools. If you believe Joe Maddon, who was on the Dan Patrick Show a few days ago, he believes he is on his way out of Anaheim after the season, and will have 30 options to choose from. This doesn’t seem to bode well for new ownership that will be coming in over the course of the next few months, and their hopes of retaining Othani. Their only hope is to sell them him on a vision.

On to College Football, where UCLA got beaten down by Oregon over the weekend in Eugene. Although it has to be disappointing for the Bruins, if you had told them they were going to win 2 of 3 games in this stretch, most of us would be very impressed. They are still #12 in the AP Poll, and still have an opportunity to win the Pac-12. The mistakes against Oregon were fixable as well, as much of the momentum in the game was altered with that onside kick in the 2nd quarter. The Ducks have a tough schedule the rest of the way with games against Utah and Oregon State, but UCLA could still play them again in the Conference Championship game. Dorian Thompson Robinson was good, but not playing out of his mind as well for the first time in weeks. Nevertheless, for where we were with Chip Kelly just a couple of months ago, things still don’t look so bad.

Don’t forget about UCLA Basketball, which is about to get their season underway. The Bruins are ranked #8 in the preseason poll, and should have an excellent team. This is going to be a much different Bruins team than we saw last season in terms of personnel, but also in terms of style of play. The team could actually be a lot more athletic with freshman guard Amari Bailey, and center Adam Bona. Since this is still a Mick Cronin coached team, I would still expect to see elite defense, but more of an uptempo style than they played before. They’ll still have some big time competition in the conference from the likes of Arizona, Oregon, and USC, but this team is still a title contender.

Memo to Jonathan Quick, the LA Kings Future Hall of Fame Goaltender. I don’t know if anybody has told you, but the Kings are going to need you to play until you’re about 45 years old. The Kings have started the season winning just 3 of their first 7 games, and they’ve given up more goals than any team in the league. For a team that prides itself on defense and goaltending, they are getting none of it. The defensive zone coverage has been problematic in Jonathan Quick’s starts, and when Cal Petersen starts, the goaltending is awful. That’s a problem given the fact Petersen is making $5 million, and was supposed to be the heir apparent to Quick. Right now, he’s looking more and more like he’s going to be bought out and driving Door Dash in the next year at the rate he’s going.

Finally, the season finale of House of The Dragon went down on HBO last night. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case. I’m pleased to announce that I will be fully supporting all of Rheanyra’s war crimes next season. Aemond is a little turd that probably should have lost both of his eyes, let alone one, after that prank he pulled that got Luke killed. It’s probably going to be a quiet Dragon ride home for him after that. I guess Viserys was right when he said
“the Idea that we control the dragons is an illusion, they’re a power men should have never have trifled with.” Aegon learned that the hard way, and probably didn’t mean for Luke to die, and will probably have nothing to say to his mom other than “my bad”. I can’t believe we now have to wait until the summer of 2024 to see the next season. I mean you would hope that at least we would get something in 2023, but nooooooo. Some of these shows take way too long between seasons, and it really kills the buzz and the momentum. Nevertheless, I’m fully invested, and can’t wait until it comes back.


Monday Morning Coffee

October 17, 2022

Here we are again, enduring another painful October of Dodger baseball. The Boys in Blue lost the NLDS to their little brother, 3 games to 1, after a pair of disappointing and devastating losses over the weekend. The fans are pissed, and they should be, since a 111-win team couldn’t even win a playoff series. I’m not sure we should be all that surprised though. In ten straight years of being in the playoffs, the Dodgers have one World Series title, and just three World Series appearances. When the stakes are the highest, the team isn’t performing. Why? It has nothing to do with personnel. It has everything to do with organizational philosophy and approach. Even if you have a great bullpen, using them as early as the 3rd inning on a nightly basis is never a good idea. They are relievers for a reason. It’s especially not a good idea when your starter is dominating through 5 innings. The Dodgers also didn’t get much out of Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, and Trea Turner until game 4. Why? Because they actually started playing small ball and manufacturing runs in game 4. Had they done this earlier and not relied on the same “wait for the 3-run homer” analytics that got them through the regular season, they would still be playing today. This also has nothing to do with Dave Roberts. This is a strategy and philosophy that is dictated from Andrew Friedman, and Roberts simply is executing what he is told. This is the extreme version of modern day baseball. The Dodgers might have $160 million to spend this offseason, but it doesn’t matter if they don’t change their approach come October. Since nothing has changed in 10 years, why would I think anything would change next year?

Something also need to be said about LA sports fans in this case. Fans are outraged. The outrage is that a 111-win team could be this kind of a post-season failure. While they do have a right to be disappointed and upset with the inability to capitalize on postseason opportunities, there is an element of baseball that is a crapshoot. You should expect to compete for championships every year in LA, even in baseball. However, it’s not the NBA, where your talent is everything, and if you have the talent there’s no excuse not to win. It’s also much harder to win in baseball because of all the intangibles, especially timing. For all the success the Astros have had in the last decade, they only have 1 World Series win to show for it. And they cheated to get it. That’s how hard winning is in baseball. It’s not fair to expect a tyrannical dynasty per se, but it is fair to expect the Dodgers to change their approach to the postseason when their approach hasn’t been working.

To the NFL, where the Rams got back in the win column yesterday against the Carolina Panthers. The team hasn’t been looking all that sharp, but clearly the best way to resolve this is to play a team is crummy as the Panthers. The Rams still have offensive line issues, a limited running game, and no deep threat beyond Cooper Kupp. Some of this is fixable if they can bring in OBJ, but they’ll have to both get healthier on the o-line, and find some other solutions than they currently have from within their roster. The OBJ saga is like watching an on again, off again, couple flirt with each other for years, inevitably knowing that the two of them will end up together. OBJ would definitely be one solution, but another solution doesn’t appear to be Cam Akers, who apparently wants out and is not comfortable with his role.

Elsewhere around the NFL in week 6, Tom Brady is probably thinking that he didn’t leave his super model wife to lose on Sunday to Kenny Pickett and the Steelers. Death, taxes, and 49ers players getting injured every year. The Niners got punked by the Falcons. The Browns and Patriots fans came together in the Pats win, and chanted “f*** the Yankees!” Nice to see our country coming together on that one. If Aaron Rodgers had All-State instead of State Farm Insurance, he would probably have been better protected and the Packers wouldn’t have lost to the Jets. Tua is out of concussion protocol, but the Dolphins aren’t out of hell yet, losing to the Vikings. Matt Ryan finally did not look like the worst QB in the league, as the Colts took down the Jags. The Eagles took down the Cowboys and it’s suddenly looking 2017 all over again with a 6-0 record.

In the NBA, the Lakers are about to start the season on Tuesday, after a 1-5 pre-season. Russell Westbrook got told he was coming off the bench, and suddenly, his hamstring started to ache. Nothing suspicious there. Then there’s Dennis Schroeder, who apparently might be out for a while with a finger injury. No joke, this team could easily start the season 1-5, and 4-9 with the looks of their schedule. It’s a mine field, there’s a ton of distractions with the Westbrook situation, and the defense is quickly looking as bad as it did towards the end of last year. I can’t say I’ve got a great feeling about this team, until they are able to offload Russ for some capable role players, and I don’t have much confidence that’s gonna happen anytime soon.

To the college ranks where the dream is over. USC and UCLA won’t meet each other both undefeated in a few weeks, after USC lost to Utah. You certainly can’t blame this loss on the referees, even though I know most of you want to find those Pac-12 referees and burn their houses down, like a soccer fan from a 3rd world country would. There were horrible calls on both sides, and the Trojans had plenty of opportunities to win, blowing a 14-point lead twice, and then another lead with 6 minutes left. The Trojans also should have started using timeouts with 1:30 left, ultimately getting the ball back into Caleb Williams’ hands. Instead, they relied on their defense, which is like relying on Russell Westbrook’s defense these days. It’s still possible for the Trojans to sneak into the CFP, but they will need UCLA to keep winning until the play them, win the rest of their games, and chaos to ensue within the teams ranked ahead of them.

On the other hands, UCLA didn’t play but they continued to move up the ranks in the AP Poll. In fact, don’t look now, but it’s not out of the question for the Bruins to make the CFP. That would be a whole new level of unexpected, considering we all wanted Chip Kelly to be ejected from the universe about six weeks ago.

Elsewhere around College Football, Alabama got upset by Tennessee on Saturday. This is the worst thing to happen to Bama fans since they found out it is illegal to marry your cousin in 13 states. Michigan ran all over Penn State, and suddenly nobody minds Jim Harbaugh anymore. Notre Dame couldn’t even score points against lowly Stanford. The Irish haven’t been this embarrassed since they played last week.

Finally, House of The Dragon went down last night with episode 9 of the season. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching later. Rhaenys could have ended this whole thing by going dracarys on Alicent at the end of the episode, but she apparently showed mercy. If we know anything from Game of Thrones, usually that gets you killed. I like how all of us have become ok with incest on the show, but when it comes to a foot fetish, we consider that disgusting.
Rhaenyra did everything she could to prevent this. Tried peace, proposed marriages and alliances and still, they usurped her throne. Whatever war crimes she’s about to commit, I’m on her side.

Monday Morning Coffee

October 10th, 2022

The Rams look pretty awful right now. Yesterday, SOFI Stadium turned into AT&T Stadium West. Meanwhile, the Rams offensive line provided as much protection as a busted condom. The Cowboys defense was all over LA, who’s offense is like an NBA team without three-point shooting at this time. In other words, no deep threat. Cooper Kupp is as close as it comes to that, but there is nobody else that can even get open, and without an offensive line, there is no running game either. Allen Robinson is getting paid boat loads, and he can’t even get open. At this point, the offensive line needs some in-season re-tooling, and LA needs to call OBJ immediately and sign him. The only good news for the Rams is really that the rest of the NFC isn’t that good right now. Does anybody rally believe that the Eagles or Vikings are legit? I certainly don’t.

Meanwhile, the Chargers came up with a victory against the Browns, but it looks like they are coached by a buffoon. What in the hell was Brandon Staley thinking, going for it on 4th down, where all he had to do was punt to seal the game? This guy must have been playing Madden on Play Station a few too may times. This dude needs to basically issue an apology letter to everybody on his team for putting them in a position to lose that game. They should force him to stay in a three star hotel in Cleveland for an extra night and fly home on Spirit Airlines the next day punish him. Otherwise, a spectacular effort by Justin Herbert and Austin Ekeler to get another win.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 5, the Broncos and Colts game was so bad on Thursday night that everyone is going to cancel their Amazon Prime subscription after having to endure that game. The Packers flew all the way to London just to lose to Daniel Jones and the Giants. The Steelers fought harder protecting Kenny Pickett than they did in their loss against the Bills. The Jaguars and Texans played in a game that Houston won, but frankly, should have been aired on Comedy Central. The Jets hammered the Dolphins, who are running out of quarterbacks. The Lions remembered that they are only the Lions in their loss to the Patriots. Tom Brady found the win column on the field when the Bucs beat the Falcons, but he’s losing the battle off the field in his marriage. I still have no idea why he wants to play football after all he’s accomplished.

To baseball, where the Dodgers and Padres will meet in the NLDS beginning tomorrow night at the Ravine. Yes, this is a better matchup for the Dodgers than the Mets, but don’t be fooled by the regular season domination. The Boys in Blue will have their work cut out for them to advance to the NLCS again. The extra days off will definitely benefit the pitchers, but it’s the hitting that concerns me. I’m pretty much assuming that when it comes to hitting elite pitching, it’s all going to come down to Mookie and Freddie. Trea Turner has been a bust in the playoffs historically, and I think if we’re lucky we get occasional hits from the likes of Will Smith, Gavin Lux, or Justin Turner. Notice I didn’t even mention Cody Bellinger. This is about being able to manufacture offense against elite pitching, so we’ll see if the Dodgers are able to do that to advance. Let’s be real….if the Dodgers are going to win the World Series, they will have to run the gauntlet against the Padres, Braves, and then the Astros. Can they do it? Sure. They’ll have their work cut out for them though.

Meanwhile, the Angels season came to an end last week, and we got some interesting news. Phil Nevin had the “interim” tag removed from his title, and will now return as the skipper of the Halos for at least one year. That of course means that you can be sure nobody is going to be spending any money this offseason on improving the ball club. Even Shohei Ohtani’s $30 million is just making it easier to trade him if they need to because it creates cost certainty for teams that want him. Best case scenario for the Angels is to sell the team by the time spring training starts, and then maybe by the deadline, they can start making some real moves. It’s going to take some time unfortunately, which they don’t have with Trout and Ohtani.

In the NBA, I don’t love drawing any significant conclusions from preseason basketball, but the Lakers effort and intensity has been much improved from last season. I’ve seen ball movement, more focus on defense, and role players that seem halfway decent around Lebron James and Anthony Davis, in the limited preseason minutes that we’ve seen from them. Russell Westbrook doesn’t even look like the disaster he was last season, albeit, still a very poor fit for this team. I’d still trade him if I could. As for the Rob Pelinka extension, I don’t think it’s unreasonable, even though most Laker fans want the guy ejected from the universe. Yes, he made a poor trade for Russell Westbrook, which has hurt the team, ultimately sacrificing the wing depth and defense with KCP and Alex Caruso. However, he did the salary cap gymnastics to get Lebron here, made the AD trade, put together a good supporting cast in 2020 and 2021, and he got Lebron to sign an extension. I can’t blame him Lebron and AD got hurt in 2021. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of building a relationship with Klutch. If you want to criticize him, you can criticize him for being hated, which makes it difficult to do deals. However, if you look around the league, most GMs haven’t accomplished what Pelinka has. You’re just a Laker fan and aren’t used to that.

In College Football, USC found the win column again on Saturday night against Washington State. The Trojans are now 6-0 heading into a big showdown with Utah next week. WSU isn’t a bad team, but USC’s offense looked a little sluggish again at times, before breaking it open late. Nobody is going to be terribly upset where USC is, given how bad things were last year. However, they probably aren’t the 7th best team in the country, as the AP Poll indicates. Frankly, there’s a lot of teams in that poll like Kansas, James, Madison, and NC State, that shouldn’t even be ranked in the top 50. They might as well start calling this the “Friends With Benefits” poll, based on how well the opponents you beat fare later on.

Then there’s UCLA, who continues to shock the world, all the way up to #11 in the aforementioned, “Friend With Benefits” poll. Dorian Thompson Robinson and Zach Charbonnet have been running the ball right down opponents throats, and the offensive line has been obliterating everyone. Suddenly, Chip Kelly doesn’t look so bad to everyone. Of course, nobody really expected DTR to become a potential Heisman Trophy Candidate in the last three weeks, but here he is. Now UCLA has a bye before they take on Oregon. Of course everybody wants an undefeated showdown between UCLA and USC in a few weeks, but we still have a lot to get through before that happens.

Finally, House of The Dragon went down last night on HBO. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later. You knew it was gonna happen, but finally Viserys died. I’m shocked he lasted this long, given how he looked two episodes ago, which was 10 years ago. I think it’s safe to say that Daemon took “keep my wife’s name out yo mouth” to a whole new level. Even Will Smith would have been shocked by that. When Daemon helped Viserys to the throne and placed his fallen crown on his head, that was a touching moment. For the last few episodes we thought he was trying to take his crown, but in the end, he had his brothers back all along. Alicent actually thought for a hot second that Viserys wanted her rapist son to be King. All this bullshit really started because Aegon was the most popular baby name in Westeros. Now that Viserys is dead, you know all hell is going to break loose, especially within these two families. They may be talking a good game as far as playing nice, but make no mistake about it, it’s going to get nasty again real quick. I can’t believe there are only two episodes left in this season. I don’t even know that they can cover enough ground in two sixty minute episodes, unless they turn this into what we saw in the last season of Game of Thrones. Either way, I’m excited to see it.


Monday Morning Coffee

 Chargers running back Austin Ekeler dives for a touchdown past Houston Texans safety Jonathan Owens.

October 3, 2022

Welcome to October!  For a moment the Chargers looked like they were gonna “Charger” that game against the Texans yesterday.  However, Justin Herbert looked like he was healthy again, and Austin Ekeler returned after disappearing for a few weeks like Hodini.  It’s good to see the Bolts find the win column again, but the win doesn’t come without concern.  They are still getting ripped apart on the ground, giving up another 131 yards to Dameon Pierce.   That of course has to do with the fact Joey Bosa is going to miss the next 8-10 weeks after having groin surgery.  Nevertheless, the next two games are very winnable against the Broncos and Falcons, so let’s see if the Chargers are game, even with the injuries.

The Rams and 49ers will get after it tonight on Monday night football.  The Niners are actually 1.5 point favorites here, which may seem surprising but it’s really not.  The Rams may have beaten the Niners in the NFC title game last year, but San Fran owns them in the regular season.   In fact, it’s to the point, where I’m rather nervous about the game tonight, and the Rams actually being able to win.  The Niners have always played much more physical, and constantly find a way to win the battles at the line of scrimmage.  That could once again be a problem tonight, as the Rams o-line isn’t exactly it’s biggest strength.

Elsewhere around then NFL, I still can’t believe Tua was allowed to play on Thursday night, and it could have killed him. So much for NFL player safety protocol, which would have even let JFK back in the parade. Patrick Mahomes cooked the Bucs, while Tom Brady is still getting cooked at home by Gisele for playing football. The Raiders beat the Broncos, and ironically, the Broncos look an awful lot like last year’s Seahawks. Antonio Brown showed more D yesterday than the Seahawks and Lions combined.  The Bills came back from the dead to beat the Ravens.  The Giants got by the Bears and the last play of the game took about an hour when the Bears tried for their own version of the Music City Miracle.  The Jets took down the Steelers and Zack Wilson was dancing like he had another Netflix and Chill planned with his mom’s friend.  The Packers got by the Pats, and Bill Belichik is probably going to hold QB tryouts this week with fans because they have no signal callers left.

In College Football, USC took down Arizona State on Saturday at the Coliseum to stay undefeated. Jordan Addison went crazy with 8 catches and 105 yards in the Victory. The Trojans also now have 12 interceptions in 5 games, which is amazing, considering they were basically playing arena football for the first handful of games. USC played like they were out partying at the Kappa house the night before in the 1st half, but Lincoln Riley must have slapped the fellas around at halftime. They probably won’t get much of a test next week against Washington State at home, but then things get real after that against Utah.

Calen Bullock runs for USC as coaches, teammates and fans cheer

As for UCLA, they have our attention now. The Bruins ran all over Washington at the Rose Bowl and shocked all of us. I did not expect UCLA to win that game, let alone any of the two after that. However, if DTR is going to turn into Michael Vick and play the game of his life, that is going to change things. UCLA is dominating at the line of scrimmage, and they might just have an elite running game to go with it. It’s not exactly how we envisioned a Chip Kelly offense, but to his credit, it’s working. And yes, I realize that last thing any of you want to do is give Chip Kelly credit. Nevertheless, the Bruins might just be a real contender in the PAC-12. We’ll find out for sure in the next two weeks.

The Lakers have kicked off training camp and a few things have stood out in the first week. First of all, Russell Westbrook still shoots worse than that gorilla you see in all those internet memes. Second, somehow, the Lakers still view this guy as a starter, or at least are giving him that opportunity to begin with. I have no idea why, but once he starts destroying value again, he must be sent home immediately. Then there’s the Pacers. Indiana is still trying to negotiate with the Lakers through the media, leaking that they would gladly deal Buddy Hield and Myles Turner to LA for two 1st rounders and Russ. We get it Indy. You want two 1sts, but the Lakers won’t give you that, even though Russ isn’t good at basketball anymore.

To baseball, where Dave Roberts cannot have it both ways. Roberts told us before the season started that the Dodgers were going to win the World Series. However, yesterday, when asked about the perception of a “win or bust” mentality of fans, he suggested that they just don’t know how to enjoy the ride, and that they were only interested in the team during the postseason. Sorry Dave, but none of that is true. Dodger fans aren’t interested in only the postseason, because they’ve been packing the stands for six months, and even switching cable providers just to see your games. However, we are also LA sports fans, and whether you like it or not, the mentality of an LA sports fan is “championship or bust”. That’s the standard of excellence professional and college sports franchises have set in this town. Don’t try to tell me otherwise. Dave knows it, but he’s deflecting the noise. That’s also the last thing I want to hear with the Dodgers heading into the postseason.

The Angels terrible season has almost come to an end, and the only intrigue left is whether or not Shohei Ohtani can win an MVP award. Unfortunately, he probably won’t, because Aaron Judge has people that actually stay up and watch his games. If we’re being honest though, Shohei Ohtani’s season is far more impressive than Judge’s. Judge is having a a nice season, but passing Rodger Maris and Babe Ruth in the single season home run catagory isn’t as impressive as it used to be. Baseball made us feel this way by watering down the home run, since everyone is swinging for the fences now. On the other hand, to hit 35 home runs and win 15 games as a pitcher on a terrible team is way more impressive. Aaron Judge may be doing something more impactful, but since when has the baseball MVP ever really been about who is “more valuable”? It’s really a “who is having a better season” award.

Finally, House of The Dragon’s 7th episode went down on HBO last night. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later. It’s official, incest went down, and let’s be honest…..most of you we’re totally ok with it and even liked it. I truly enjoyed watching those kids fight more than I probably should have. How evil is Alicent for suggesting that Rhaenyra’s son needs to lose an eye for justice? In the end, what a stunt pulled by Rhaenyra, where she gets what she wanted, and so does Laenor. It was riveting and honestly, I can’t wait for the next episode!