Monthly Archives: September 2023

Monday Morning Coffee

Kenneth Murray Jr. intercepts a pass in the end zone in the waning seconds to save the Chargers' win over the Vikings.

September 25, 2023

Let’s be honest, the Chargers did not deserve to win that game yesterday. If it had not been for a lucky interception by Kenneth Murray Jr, combined with some ineptitude from the Vikings offense, Branon Staley would be getting cooked right now. This guy is repeatedly making completely moronic decisions, and the latest was going for it on 4th down late in the 4th quarter deep in his own territory. This guy is like a 7 year old just learning to play Madden on Play Station. Somebody needs to take the controller from him. Of course he made the ridiculous excuse that it shows he believes in his defense. Unfortunately for the Bolts, not only is Staley still their coach this morning, but receiver Mike Williams could be lost for the season with a knee injury. That was one win they desperately needed and got, but it proved to be extremely costly in a multitude of ways.

The Rams are getting ready to take on the Bengals tonight in a Monday Night Football showdown. This isn’t quite the same two teams that met in the Super Bowl 17 months ago, but still a compelling matchup. The Rams look much better than everyone thought, while the Bengals look much worse than everyone thought. This would certainly be a nice win for the Rams to get in the early going, and take advantage of a struggling Bengals team, but I would expect them to come out with desperation. The Rams also finally traded Cam Akers to the Vikings. Apparently Akers has not been paying attention to what’s been happening to running backs around the league. He must think he should be valued or something, but not a single running back is. All he needs to do is ask Jonathan Taylor, Saquon Barkley, or Josh Jacobs.

Elsewhere around the NFL, the Denver Broncos should be relegated to the CFL after the Dolphins dropped 70 points on them. The fact that Patrick Mahomes has to answer questions about Taylor Swift in a post game interview is both hilarious and embarrassing. On the other hand, Donna Kelce has two sons playing in the NFL, and one of them could make Taylor Swift her daughter-in-law. That’s the ultimate American white woman hat trick. How about ‘dem Cowboys? Or not? Dallas got stunned by Arizona, who I’m not even sure is trying to win football games this year. The Jets are calling all their season ticket holders this morning to see if they have an interest in replacing Zach Wilson at quarterback, after losing to the Patriots. The Steelers took down the Raiders on Sunday Night Football, but George Pickens probably needs to work on his blocking.

In College Football, USC struggled, but eventually took care of Arizona State on Saturday in Tempe. This was one of those games where Caleb Williams improvisation skills, along with the talent of his receivers bailed the Trojans out of trouble. USC had trouble with both penalties and turnovers in this one, and the defense had their own issues as well. The Trojans should have no issue with Colorado next week, despite all their hype, but if they plan on getting through the conference schedule unscathed, they will have to clean up every other aspect of their game around Williams. The more he has to use his improvisation skills, as we saw last year, the more susceptible he is to injury. Once that happens, SC can kiss their playoff chances goodbye.

Meanwhile, the Bruins lost a defensive slug fest at Utah. The game was basically decided when Dante Moore threw that pick-6 on the first play from scrimmage. UCLA can’t be that unhappy though. They were right there with a Top 10 team in the country, their defense looked tough, and Moore showed some grit, coming back and throwing a touchdown late in the game. This is just part of the development curve for him, and there will be growing pains along the way. UCLA fell out of the Top 25, but something tells me they will get back in there very soon.

Elsewhere around College Football, what a horrible way for Notre Dame to lose to Ohio State, in an otherwise fantastic game. Do you know how many mistakes have to be made for there to be 10 guys on the field for not one but two plays? I mean it probably would have helped to have one more guy on the field, on a play where the running back barely makes it in the end zone. Meanwhile the Deion Sanders haters are probably out in full force on Twitter again after Colorado got dismantled by Oregon. Then there was Alabama taking care of Ole Miss. Tide fans haven’t been this excited since they found out it was legal to marry your cousin in their state.

I don’t know how much longer he can keep this up, but what Clayton Kershaw is doing right now is simply remarkable, and a reminder of just how great he is. The guy has a very cranky shoulder, yet the Dodgers desperately need him to pitch, even every 6 days. Every time he pitches, it’s brilliant. His velocity is under 90 mph, yet he finds a way to work the edges and figure out how to be effective. Since he seems to be requiring about 6 days of rest, he may only be good for one playoff start a series, so they’ll have to use him very strategically.

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The Lakers extended Jared Vanderbilt last week. His new contract is 4 years and $48 million. Some of you naysayers will question the contract because he’s not a big offensive threat, but if so, you’re not paying attention. The salary cap is going up, and that means players are getting paid more. $12 million a year for a versatile defender like Vando, who can play multiple positions and rebound well is still a reasonable deal. Plus at some point, the Lakers could need some tradeable salary, and Vando gives them that, even with the 4 year term. It’s really another sensible move by Rob Pelinka.

Finally, speaking of the Lakers, I’m extremely disappointed that HBO cancelled “Winning Time”. You cannot end a series like this with the Lakers losing to the Celtics in the 1984 NBA Finals. Then again from HBO’s standpoint, content and ratings are very fickle, and tastes can change quickly. They want to make cheap content that appeals to the masses, and not interesting, expensive content that appeals to niche audience. Then again, something tells me that this may not be the end of the series, and that somebody else may pick it up. Well, at least that’s what I’m hoping.

Monday Morning Coffee

September 18, 2024

I don’t know if the Rams are legit, but they sure looked pretty good against the 49ers yesterday. I mean the 49ers are supposed to be this all-world, nobody can beat them, greatest team of all-time according to the media. So this has to be a pretty good measuring stick. They were in the game up until the end, and might have even won were it not for Kyren Williams taking his eye off a pass that led to an interception. Matt Stafford has only been sacked once in two games, and Puca Nakua is producing like he’s Jerry Rice out there. Then there’s the weird Cam Akers situation, where it suddenly appears he’s done with the Rams. Sean McVay and Akers are talking to each other through the media like an old married couple that is on the verge of a divorce after the 1,000th fight. Meanwhile, Kyren Williams has taken over the starting job, and sounds like the new girlfriend waiting in the wings, talking like the ink on the divorce papers is already dry. I don’t really see how there is a market for Cam Akers at this point, but also don’t think he has much of a future with the Rams. Nevertheless, will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

I am running out of things to say about the Chargers faltering in the clutch against teams they should beat. Maybe I should just start copying and pasting the same content about them every week and it should work just fine? Once again, they blew a double digit lead, took some very undisciplined penalties, and couldn’t make the clutch plays in overtime when they needed to. This continues to be a Brandon Staley problem, but we all know about that by now. If the Bolts can’t beat the Vikings and Raiders, they might as well pack it in because the schedule is going to get a heck of a lot tougher after that with the Cowboys and Chiefs looming. They are the Chargers for a reason. They also are getting exactly what they are paying for in coaching.

Elsewhere around the NFL, Joe Burrow has turned into Andy Dalton after signing his extension, and the Bengals are now 0-2 after losing to the Ravens. The Cowboys are having way more success right now than their fans are probably used to. Tyreek Hill looks like he’s playing against little children out there as the Dolphins beat up the Patriots. Gotta feel bad for Aaron Rodgers and the Jets, especially after seeing Zach Wilson, but hope he’s able to have a speedy recovery, and sounds like he’s determined too.

To College Football where UCLA looked pretty good against North Carolina Central over the weekend, and Dante Moore continues to look like a star. Things are going to get real for the Bruins now when they play Washington State next week, followed by Oregon State. Chip Kelly still doesn’t want to publicly commit to Moore, which is idiotic. We all know he is the guy, and all Kelly can say is “we should probably get him more reps”. I know it’s probably easy to say the Bruins haven’t played anybody yet, but keep in mind that they started the same way last season and ended up being a good team despite their expectations. Their defense also looks legit, holding opponents to under 20 points in all 3 games, and Moore is getting better with every snap he takes. Show us what you’ve got next week Chip, and then we can talk.


USC had a bye week, but they’ll take on ASU next week in Tempe. The Trojans are still ranked at #5 in the AP Poll, but there’s two things that should be concerning to them. The first is the fact they are the most penalized team in the PAC-12. That’s always killed them, even dating back to the Clay Helton era. Then there’s the schedule. The PAC-12 is a gauntlet with 8 ranked teams. They might be able to afford one-loss, but two? Forget about the College Football Playoff.

Look, I think what Deion Sanders is doing at Colorado is awesome. However, the hype machine has gone way too overboard at this point. They barely beat Colorado State. The game was exciting, but at best, they are probably an upstart fringe Top 25 team. They certainly keep it interesting, but the coverage around them is insane. The star power though is also insane, given that Deion made $1.2 million with Blenders Eyewear in one day, after Colorado State Head Coach Jay Norvell criticized him for wearing shades all the time. That’s the ultimate troll!

To baseball, where the Dodgers clinched the division title over the weekend by sweeping the Marlins. They have now won the NL West 10 out of 11 years. Before you start saying we only care about the championships (and yes that’s true), keep in mind that everybody picked the Padres to win the division. Meanwhile, the Padres won’t even make the playoffs, and will be searching for answers on their Cancun vacations in the next couple of weeks. The fact the Dodgers did this by plugging more kids into their lineup and into their rotation speaks to just how good their player development is. The pitching going into the postseason is obviously still a concern, including Clayton Kershaw’s drop in velocity, but there’s still a few weeks to try and figure this out before it’s show time in October.

Why do the Angels manage everything so poorly? Shohei Othani is getting shut down for the season, the Halos said nothing for a while, making it look like he cleaned out his locker because he was done with the team. They also kept Anthony Rendon’s injury a total secret, rather than saying he fractured his tibia. Rendon probably wouldn’t have continued to make himself look like a douchebag anyway, but still poorly handled. I also have no idea why Mike Trout wants to put himself back in the lineup for the last two weeks of the season. That just feels like more of a health risk for him, especially if he’s going to be traded.

Monday Morning Coffee

September 11, 2023

I was told the Rams were going to be garbage. Apparently their demise were greatly exaggerated. They handled the Seahawks without Cooper Kupp, with a bunch of dudes you’ve never heard of as wide outs, and on defense. It’s just a reminder of how competent you can be with solid coaching, a good quarterback, and a good offensive line. I’m not sitting here telling you the Rams are some Super Bowl juggernaut. But the idea of them bottoming out looks very unlikely. Then again, if the Matt Stafford trade showcase has begun, we may be having a different conversation.

As for the Chargers, new season, same dreadful outcomes. I was told Brandon Staley was a defensive coach, yet his team just gave up 536 yards of total offense. Once again, this team still finds a way to lose games in the biggest moments. If you’re a fan, this is like loving someone that will simply never love you back. This is the least surprising thing I’ve seen since the last time I saw the Chargers play.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 1, the Giants dismantled the Cowboys, and Danny Dimes looks like he should be paid about a dime for his play instead of $44 million. Travis Kelce and his agent are just counting the dollars on his next contract after missing Thursday Night Football and the Chiefs lost to the Lions. The Denver Broncos still have NEVER beaten the Las Vegas Raiders. The Browns must have gotten DeShaun Watson a really good masseuse or two before the game, because he played well enough for Cleveland to beat the Bengals. The Eagles won, but they probably don’t feel great. Everybody expects them to be good, which usually means they won’t be good though. Meanwhile, if Ryan Tannehill keeps throwing interceptions, DeAndre Hopkins is going to fight him. Kenny Pickett played so bad for the Steelers yesterday in their loss to the 49ers, they might lock him out of the building this morning.

In College Football, that was quite a beating USC put on Stanford over the weekend at The Coliseum. Caleb Williams looked like he was playing a video game again, piling up another 281 yards and three touchdowns in just one half of work against the Cardinal. Also, considering that USC didn’t allow Stanford to score until the final minutes, for now it seems their defense is holding up. Williams is probably annoyed for two reasons right now though. First, he is probably being told nobody will vote for him again for The Heisman Trophy, even if he cures cancer, just because the voters like to see new kids win it. Then he’s probably annoyed that his dad is telling people that he may return to USC next year if it looks like he’s going to go to an NFL team that stinks. Sorry pops, but no matter when your son goes to the NFL, he’s going to go to a team that stinks. That’s just how the system works. You may be able to keep your kid getting paid and getting laid by sorority girls for a year, but eventually, your kid will have to start playing for a bad NFL team. In the meantime, up next is a duel in the desert with Arizona State for the Trojans in two weeks.

As for UCLA, it’s amazing how good Dante Moore looks. He threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns, and the Bruins dominated the Aztecs 35-10 in San Diego. After all that, and not even playing Ethan Garbers, Chip Kelly still refused to publicly say Moore was going to be his starter. That’s nice Chip, but we all know that if you plan on trying to win football games this year, Moore is your guy. I’m sure Garbers and the rest of his teammates would agree, especially after wide receiver Logan Loya said “he’s going to be a star”. I’m not necessarily convinced the Bruins are some conference title contender, but they probably crack the Top 25 this week, and if they continue to play Moore, he’ll continue to get better, and they may surprise a few teams.

To the NBA where Rob Pelinka should probably be arrested for shoplifting. The man signed big man Christian Wood to a veteran minimum contract. Wood may have his attitude issues, but given that he’s playing for the equivalent of NBA welfare, he’s going to be on his best behavior. He’s also extremely talented, can stretch the floor, and will give the Lakers additional front court depth and versatility. In this age of load management, he’ll be a very nice luxury to give Anthony Davis a break, and he’ll get his share of playing time to make an impact. Forgot all this adding a 3rd star nonsense. The Lakers have had a very sensible off-season, and it should at minimum, put them in the hunt for title contention this season, even in an extremely competitive Western Conference. That’s all you can ask for if you’re a fan.

As for those of you wondering if there’s any progress in the Clippers attempts to acquire James Harden, there is not. Multiple sources have repeatedly reported that the Clippers are not willing to trade anything more than picks and expiring contracts for the Sixers disgruntled and strip club loving star. Nor should they. They might be more interesting with him, but they don’t need him. Instead, they need their stars to be healthy and available, whether Harden is on the team or not. On the other hand though, Daryl Morey cannot afford to trade Harden for pennies on the dollar. His best bet is to keep him, or else the optics look really bad in front of his star, Joel Embiid.

Speaking of basketball, I love how some of you still act like it’s 1992 when hearing that Team USA lost in international competition. Since clearly a lot of you don’t understand how this works today, we can no longer win an international competition without sending our very best players, and even then it’s hardly a guarantee. Team USA didn’t even medal. They got 4th in The World Cup. Canada defeated them in the bronze medal game. Yes, I know most of you think that Canada is good for nothing but cheap medication and hockey, but they actually have NBA players that play for them in international competition. Of course when Team USA loses, it gets all the star players fired up to want to play in the Olympics. However, I don’t know why Lebron and Anthony Davis want to do it at their advanced age. On the bright side though, this tournament was a great showcase for Austin Reaves, who is getting better with every game he is playing, and may even be an NBA All-Star one day.

In a matter of 7 days, the Dodgers playoff chances look like they are in shambles. Much of this has to do with their rapidly declining number of good starting pitching options. Julio Urias is an idiot, who got himself in another domestic abuse incident. He’ll probably never pitch for the Dodgers again, and will be lucky if he gets to pitch in the majors again. He can kiss his fat contract goodbye too, because he was pitching poorly this season. Walker Buehler announced he won’t return this season, Clayton Kershaw’s velocity is suddenly down because he doesn’t look healthy, and Lance Lynn remembered that he’s…….Lance Lynn. That leaves a bunch of inexperienced kids that will likely have to come through in October like Bobby Miller, Emmit Sheehan, Ryan Pepiot, and Gavin Stone. That’s a scary thought considering these guys have such limited MLB experience, let alone playoff experience, despite their promising talent.

Meanwhile, what’s happening for the Angels on the field isn’t really interesting anymore, as they are now out of playoff contention. However, what is interesting is that Bob Nightengale from USA Today is now reporting that if Mike Trout asks for a trade, the Angels are open to trading him. That sounds like a big deal, but how big can this dude’s market really be? He has a no-trade clause, he’s 32, he’s owed $249 million for the next 7 years, and he’s missed 249 games in 3 years. The fact they are leaking this makes me think they may be trying to free up some additional money to increase their bid for Ohtani. Also, don’t completely count the Angels out of the Ohtani sweepstakes. His injury clouds his pitching future, which could bring him closer to the value the Halos can pay, especially since the Angels give him the power to do what he wants and shield him from the media. What about winning? Well perhaps Ohtani decides to take a one year deal to rehab his value, and then take his max pay day elsewhere in the fall of 2024. Is it likely? No, but it’s a possibility you can completely dismiss.

Monday Morning Coffee

September 4, 2023

Happy Labor Day everyone! The Dodgers were definitely bullied this weekend at the Ravine by the Atlanta Braves. There’s no question going into October, the Braves should be the definitive favorites to come out of the NL. However, that shouldn’t really bother you if you’re a Dodger fan. That’s because having the best record in baseball and being the favorite has basically been a death sentence for that team in the postseason the past twenty years or so. While that might not make sense on paper, in reality, it actually makes plenty of sense. The best thing the Dodgers have going for them is that they won’t be the favorites this year. They also should have Walker Buehler, JD Martinez, and Clayton Kershaw in October, which they didn’t have in this series due to injury, or just the schedule in Kershaw’s case. I think it’s fair to say though that Bobby Miller made a statement yesterday that he should be in the postseason rotation, regardless of what Andrew Friedman’s computer says. Hopefully Max Muncy’s injury isn’t too serious though.

As for the Angels, what a pathetic display we’ve seen from this organization over the past week. They put every player they acquired at the trade deadline on waivers, just so they could get under the luxury tax. I’m sure Angel fans were hoping that somehow Arte could be put on waivers too, but sadly, that’s not possible. Then they lose 2 of 3 to the Phillies, then they get swept by the A’s, the worst team in baseball. On top of that, Mike Trout says he plans to talk to Angels brass about the future of the organization, and had no comment when asked if he might ask for a trade. However, what he probably doesn’t realize is that his trade value is probably worth a bag of chips right now considering he’s been injured and he makes a ton of money. Don’t feel bad though Mike, your teammate, Anthony Rendon is a worthless pile of garbage, who isn’t even worth a pack of gum either at this point. Besides, how can he talk to Angels brass about his future, when it’s quite possible they won’t even be around. Bob Nightengale says that Arte Moreno is deciding whether or not to keep skipper Phil Nevin, and GM Perry Minasian after this season. That sounds like a solid plan when you are in the process of trying to keep the great free agent of all time from signing with another franchise.

To College Football, where USC dominated Nevada over the weekend at the Coliseum. Caleb Williams looked like he was playing PlayStation out there, throwing 5 touchdown passes, and slinging the ball around the yard like he’s Al Bundy. More importantly for USC, their defense actually had it together this game. The held Nevada to 49 yards in 38 carries, the lowest rushing total for a USC opponent since Arizona State’s 47-yard total on Nov. 9, 2019. The Trojans should feel good about that but where they should be concerned is how rough the PAC-12 suddenly looks. It’s so tough, I have no idea how any team in the conference could get through the season undefeated. The Trojans shouldn’t have any problem with Stanford next week though.

Then there’s UCLA, which took down Coastal Carolina by pulling away late. The story though was Dante Moore. I was beginning to think Chip Kelly was going to wait to play him until he entered the transfer portal. Ethan Garbers played ok, but you simply cannot deny the talent that Moore has, and what kind of upside the team can have with him developing every game and leading that offense. It’s hard for me to believe that the Bruins are going to be that great with the conference being so stacked, but things might be looking up for them with Moore after this year, even as they head to the Big 10.

I realize that the cable model is completely screwed up at this point. However, Spectrum is making a huge mistake by not carrying ESPN at the worst time of year. The only thing that is keeping the cable model alive right now is live sports. For Spectrum to reach an impasse over the distribution rights with ESPN, that’s extremely shortsighted. If you aren’t going to carry live sports, even if it’s ESPN and their woke crap, then you might as well just give up on the cable business, because that’s the only thing keeping the model alive.

To the NBA, where the Lakers are about a month away from training camp opening. However, it’s that time of year where we get to hear ridiculous rumors and names. The ones that came up in the past week were Giannis, and Trae Young. Giannis, who is rumored to potentially ask for a trade if the Bucks don’t continue to show they are in contention, is now being rumored to be headed to the Lakers. This is the type of thing that is discussed on talk radio, but would never actually happen anytime soon, or unless Giannis forced his way out. Then there were sources that suggested that the Lakers were interested in Trae Young previously. That was probably before they realized that they already have a third star in Austin Reaves. Again, this type of thing is only talked about in fantasy chat rooms and talk radio, with almost no chance of it actually happening. Besides, every single great player is linked to the Lakers.

Finally, can we just call Kelly Stafford “The Pillow Snitch”? I don’t care if she has a podcast or not. Why does she think it’s ok to be just spilling info about her husband’s relationship with his teammates? Is she naive enough to think that his teammates won’t begin to resent him knowing that he told her these things? Between Stafford’s minor friction with teammates, Cooper Kupp’s injury, this is already trending toward a season the Rams could give up on quickly.