Monday Morning Coffee



January 20th, 2014

When the Lakers and Celtics get together, it’s usually pretty exciting.  Except on Friday, it wasn’t.  With both teams improving their lottery position by the day, the winner of Friday’s game was really the loser.  That loser, was really the Lakers, who came back to beat Boston in the final minutes.  The remaining Lakers games should be televised on Comedy Central, because it’s getting comical.  I mean Ryan Kelly is even starting now.  Yes, I know the Lakers are on a whopping 2 game win streak after beating Toronto, but they still stink.  Even more embarrassing were Nick Young’s teammates, who didn’t even stand up for him when he threw a punch at Phoenix Suns Center Alex Len earlier in the week.  Kendall Marshall claimed the Lakers couldn’t come to his aid because they only had 9 healthy players left, but so what? I’m not really sure why Young was so surprised nobody rushed to his defense.  After all, that would require the Lakers actually defending somebody.

Meanwhile, Magic Johnson decided to chime in earlier this week on the state of the Lakers.  Magic basically ripped Jim Buss apart, questioned his leadership, criticized his last two coaching hires, and called him out for letting his ego get in the way of building a championship team.  There’s probably very few people out there that disagree with Magi’c assessment of what is going on in the Laker front office right now, but that doesn’t mean publicly expressing his opinion on it is the right way to go.  The Lakers are at a very critical stage right now, especially with what they are going to do this summer and next, to potentially attract some major free agents.  Magic’s comments don’t exactly inspire the confidence of Laker fans in Jim Buss, or the potential free agents that could make a difference on the Lakers.  If Magic really cares, he should think twice before he speaks.

I will never understand the rationale of the Clippers front office.  It’s almost like they decide to pursue every player that has either played for the Lakers, or they think the Lakers might be interested in, just to get under their skin.  For instance, even after Chris Paul was injured, there was no reason to sign Darius Morris, since they already had enough guys that could handle the ball, as Morris played a whopping 6 minutes the other night.  Then they signed Hedo Turkoglu, which is just bizarre.  I can just see Donald Sterling talking to his front office now: “I know what we need guys! Another player that plays 25 feet away from the basket, can’t defend or rebound, and is way past his prime!  This will really piss the Lakers off, since I heard they were interested in him!”  Once again, the Clippers looked like a 2nd tier team when they faced a real championship contender on Saturday, in Indiana.  Paul George was just nasty…..

On to baseball, where the Dodgers finally locked up ace Clayton Kershaw to a massive deal last week.  Kershaw signed the largest deal ever for any pitcher, inking a 7 year $215 million contract.  A 7 year deal is a long deal for any pitcher, but Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball, and is definitely worth it.  He’s only 25 years old, he probably hasn’t even reached his peak, and the Dodgers are now going to have him under contract for the prime of his career.  Look, it’s just money, and clearly this franchise has plenty of it.  They might even add Japanese pitching star Masahiro Tanaka to their staff this week, which shows you how deep their pickets really are.  The pieces are now in place for the Dodgers to make a World Series run for the next few years, now it’s up to the players.  Meanwhile, down in Anaheim, all eyes are on the Angels to see if they can also lock up the cornerstone of their franchise, Mike Trout.  Otherwise, the natives will burn down the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland.

To the college hardwood, where the Bruins basketball program went straight to hell on Saturday against Utah.  UCLA fell to 3-2 in conference play, after losing to Utah, and after it looked like they had turned the corner one week ago, they were badly exposed over the weekend.  Jordan Adams is far less efficient than last year, Norman Powell can’t buy a basket, and both Bryce and Steve Alford stink.  Who misses Ben Howland?  At least the team would play defense and have a better chance to win the Pac-12, than with what we are seeing now.

We’re not seeing anything from the USC basketball program under Andy Einfield.  So far the Trojans coach looks way over his head in conference play, as USC is 0-5.  Einfield was a completely out of the box hire, who was supposed to bring an exciting run and gun style to the program.  Instead, his team looks like a talentless group of chumps, that are allergic to defense.  Einfield had better have some magic up his sleeve when it comes to recruiting, or his USC coaching stint will be as short as the career of Vanilla Ice.

There was some serious bull shit that took place in Detroit on Saturday night during the Kings and Red Wings game.  The Kings got completely screwed when the Red Wings tied the game in the last few seconds of the 3rd period on a controversial call.  The puck bounced off the netting above the glass, then came back into play and hit Jonathan Quick in the back before ending up in the Kings net.  The Red Wings went on to win the game in a shootout.  The referees ruled that since they didn’t see the puck go out of play, the goal counted.  Amazing!  These four moron referees didn’t see what everyone else in the building saw.  This is equivalent of a fan throwing the puck into the net from the stands, and having it count as a goal.  It’s even more offensive that the Red Wings coaches and players didn’t have the class to admit the goal shouldn’t have counted at the time.  I’m really looking forward to the Kings losing home ice advantage by 1 point, and bitching about this game again in the spring.  So typical….the city of Detroit steals something again.  It’s an embarrassment that this is actually a goal…..

As for the Ducks, they are rolling.  They’ve won 19 of 21 games, and they have the best record in the NHL.  However, I’m amazed at how many people are suddenly picking them to win the Stanley Cup.  I guess nobody realizes that 8 of the last 10 Presidents Trophy winners failed to win the Stanley Cup.  I’m not trying to rain on the Ducks parade here, but they’ve still got some major questions to answer come playoff time.  Can they beat Chicago on the road in a 7 game series?  Do they have enough grit and toughness to win in the playoffs? Anaheim isn’t exactly going to be pounding teams 9-1 in the post season, like it did against Vancouver last week.  It’s going to come down to matchups, and if the Ducks get the wrong one, they could be badly exposed, like they were last year.

Other interesting NHL happenings include the massive brawl that took place at the beginning of the Canucks vs Flames game on Saturday night.  2 seconds into the game, all 5 players on each side squared off, an engaged in a line brawl.  200 penalty minutes were handed out in that game, along with 8 game misconducts.  Canucks head coach John Tortorella was so mad that he got into an altercation with a Flames coach and player outside the locker room in the first intermission.  This whole incident prompted long time baseball analyst Peter Gammons to tweet it.  He said “Calgary and Vancouver last night re-iterated why the NHL is a minor sport.”  Good one Pete!  News flash buddy: this isn’t the 1980’s anymore.  Your sport is in the toilet because its filled with cheaters, and has been surpassed in popularity by nearly all 3 other major sports (including hockey).  I guess Peter didn’t notice the 100,000 people that showed up on New Years in the freezing cold to watch Detroit and Toronto go at it.  Here’s a look at the crowded penalty boxes after Saturday night’s brawl….

Crowded Penalty Boxes

What a great championship Sunday it was yesterday in the NFL.  The Broncos showed why they were the best team in the NFL all season, handling the Patriots 26-16.  Peyton Manning threw for 400 yards and a pair of touchdowns.  This may be Manning’s final season, and he played the game with that kind of desperation.  I’m sure Papa John himself was waiting for the Broncos in the locker room, naked and covered in pizza sauce.  As for the Patriots, in many ways they are wasting some very good years of Tom Brady’s career.  They constantly strip the team down of talent on both sides of the ball, and think they can get away with it because they win their crummy division and end up in the AFC Championship game every year.  They have definitely left a few Super Bowl titles on the table because of their ridiculous “Patriot Way”.  Poor Tom Brady.  What does he have left after this loss, other than his good looks, super model wife, and amazing life and hall of fame career?  This is probably what his text inbox looked like after the game…..

Tom Brady after AFC Loss to Broncos

In the NFC, the Seahawks held off the 49ers 23-17, to advance to the Super Bowl.  The 49ers looked like they had this one in control, but Russell Wilson made some big plays down the stretch, while Colin Kaepernick had some critical turnovers with the game on the line.  The big story after the game was Richard Sherman and his thug-like interview with Erin Andrews.  We get it Richard:  You are the best cornerback in the game.  But at this point, you should let your game do your talking for you, instead of yourself.  Skip Bayless is going to have a field day with Sherman this morning.  Stanford University must be so embarrassed that this dude is actually one of their alums.  Why is he so angry?  It’s like he had a series of bad sexual experiences with nerdy girls at school.   I’m sure Sherman is a smart dude, but it’s moments like this make people just dislike pro athletes…..

Did anybody actually go see Anchorman 2?  I haven’t seen it, nor have I driven a Dodge Durango, but after watching a little TV, I feel like I have done both extensively.  I’ve gotta admit that I was pretty excited to see it when it first came out, but word of mouth killed this movie quickly.  The plot sounded stupid, and the amount of media exposure in the weeks leading up to it, just wore me out.  The real mystery here is how the film even ended doing as well as it did, raking in $115 million so far.

With the Winter Olympic games coming up, ESPN released a 30 for 30 film called “The Price of Gold”, which looked back at the 1994 scandal involving figure skaters Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan.  This documentary was riveting, and I still find it amazing that to this day, some people actually believe that Harding had no knowledge that Kerrigan was going to be attacked.  One of the most interesting parts was one interview with Harding, after the U.S. Championships, and well before anyone connected her to the plot to injure Kerrigan.  In that interview, she was speaking as though it was a foregone conclusion that Kerrigan would miss the Olympics due to her injury, which was even before any doctors suggested that she could miss the Olympics.  Her tone itself suggested she was hopeful Kerrigan wouldn’t compete, and in my mind, implicates her in the plot.  Well, Kerrigan did compete, and showed she had way more skill, class, and grace than Harding ever had, by winning the silver medal in the 1994 games.  Meanwhile, Harding, a total white trash loser, tried to cheat and took a pathetic 8th place.  Too bad the U.S. sent a total gutter rat to represent our country that year, and that should have never happened.


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