September 15th, 2014
You thought they were toast. I thought they were toast. Instead, the unthinkable happened. Neuheisal saved the day. No, not Rick Neuheisal…..it was his son Jerry. I think most of us were thinking the same thing: He’s still on the team? UCLA may have played a terrible Texas team, but they managed to remain undefeated without their best player, and on the shoulders of a miracle performance from their backup quarterback. Now, their bye week couldn’t have come at a better time. They’ll need plenty of time to hopefully get Brett Hundley healthy, and prepare for a showdown with Arizona State. There’s no doubt this team looked like crap in the first three games, and they seem extremely overrated, despite their 3-0 record. The Bruins will need to be much better in conference play, or else they are going to be toast. However, assuming Hundley will be ok, they have time to regroup. That may be the best thing they have going for them.
Meanwhile, USC fans haven’t been this upset since they last tried to watch their basketball team play. The Trojans got upset by Boston College on Saturday, in a game that horrifically resembled the team we saw last year. The Eagles completely dominated the line of scrimmage on Saturday night, piling up 452 yards rushing, while also managing to sack Cody Kessler 5 times. This was a serious let down after the big win at Stanford last week. Clearly the Trojans needed an off the field distraction to focus, since it worked the last two weeks. Maybe in the next two weeks one of the football players will get drunk and fight with one of the Sigma Chi fraternity members at Del Taco because he wasn’t served first. Sark can only hope. I had concerns about the offense coming into this week. Now they should have concerns about the defense too.
Elsewhere around college football, it feels like Purdue plays well once a year, and it only comes against Notre Dame. The Irish managed to win and crack the top 10 in the polls, but the Boilermakers gave the Irish all they could handle again. Still, considering all the academic issues and injuries that are testing their depth, Notre Dame is in good shape. How overrated is the SEC? 7 teams are ranked in the top 15. Do these guys every play anybody in their non-conference schedule? I find it hysterical that Ole Miss is #10 after beating Louisiana-Lafayette. I’m also sick of all these southern rednecks pretending like their conference is some alternate form of the NFL, when most teams in the middle of the conference would get exposed if they didn’t play cupcake teams.
On to baseball, where the Dodgers came up with some big wins this weekend in San Francisco, against the Giants. The Boys in Blue have a 3 game lead in the NL West with 13 games to play. For those of you that think Clayton Kershaw shouldn’t win the MVP because he is a pitcher, think again. Kershaw has faced 693 batters this year, while no other NL hitter has had more than 666 plate appearances. There goes the theory that pitchers don’t do enough work pitching every 5 days. He also has an MLB leading 19 wins, and that’s after sitting out the first 5 weeks of the season with a back injury. More importantly, the offense came around at the right time, exploding for 17 runs on Saturday, and some more power hitting from Matt Kemp yesterday.
The major concern for the Dodgers is Hyun-Jin Ryu, who re-injured his shoulder on Friday night. Ryu sounds like he’s going to be missing the rest of the regular season. Even if he’s ready to go for the playoffs, should LA risk throwing him out there without knowing if he’s on his game? It’s either that or Dan Haren, who has pitched well of late, but probably not somebody you want to give the ball to starting a playoff game. It’s true what they say: you can never have enough pitching. The other concern the Dodgers should have is Yasiel Puig. Is this guy just an ordinary player now? He made a few big plays this weekend, but the power is gone. The magic is gone. I think it’s time for Don Mattingly to give Andre Ethier some more time in the outfield to see if he can get some more productivity. It’s becoming obvious though that Mattingly won’t do it, because the Dodgers have too much invested in Puig both on and off the field.
Then there’s the Angels, who actually lost yesterday. No really….they had not lost in 10 games, and they had dominated their opponents by outscoring them 86-34 in that stretch. Their magic number is down to 4, but as far as I’m concerned, they might as well start celebrating. The Halos can actually win 100 games by simply going 7-7 in their final 14 games. Funny, how it was just a few months ago that everyone was calling for the firing of both Mike Scioscia & Jerry Dipoto. Dipoto has successfully rebuilt the bullpen, and Scioscia has successfully managed a team that has been hit with key injuries and crappy play from Josh Hamilton and David Freese. With Baltimore losing Chris Davis, Oakland sinking like the Titanic, and Detroit floundering, the Angels are a serious threat to make it to the World Series.
What a really nice week it was for the NFL. I’m sure Roger Goodell is reserving judgement on this whole Adrian Peterson incident until he sees the TMZ tape of him beating his kid with a stick. Oh sorry….a “switch”. How many of you just learned what that was last week? I’m all for disciplining your kids and spanking them when needed, but beating them with a tree branch feels like taking it to another level. As for Ray Rice, I can’t believe how badly Goodell mishandled the whole thing. Did he not suspend him at first because he didn’t lead with his helmet when he hit his fiance in the elevator? Goodell won’t be fired by the owners because he’s making them boat loads of money, and that is all they care about it.
Last week really put the sporting world into perspective, especially with all the race related discussion happening in the NBA to go along with the NFL criminal activity. We are supposed to be watching sports because it’s an escape from reality. Instead, all of this ridiculous activity, much of it cause by social media, brings all of these social issues to the forefront of the discussion at times, defeating our entire purpose of watching sports. So to sum it up, the NFL has a bunch of criminals and the NBA has a bunch of racists. Your move MLB.
As for the actual NFL action in week 2, in a completely not surprising game, the Chargers defeated the Seahawks. This is what they do folks. They beat the teams they aren’t supposed to, and lose to the teams they aren’t supposed to. Richard Sherman got schooled yesterday, and he knows it, which is why he panzied out and didn’t wanna face the media. Instead he sent some wussy little tweet. I feel bad for RGIII, but I think Kirk Cousins is going to win the Redskins some games while he’s gone, although he’s probably not the long term solution. RGIII may not be either anymore. The good news for the NY Giants is……actually nevermind, there is no good news. Nobody beats the New Orleans Saints like the New Orleans Saints. Those Panthers are looking good. The Rams vs Bucs should have been televised on Comedy Central. Only the Jets could lose a touchdown by calling an illegal timeout. Those Broncos love to let teams back in the game, and a gutsy effort by the Bears last night.
There’s a good chance your fantasy football season blew up this weekend, if you had RGIII, Knowshon Moreno, Adrian Peterson, AJ Green, or DeSean Jackson. I’d also like to give a special thank you to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who proclaimed that Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall was “very likely to be sidelined” for yesterday’s game. Turns out Marshall played and had 3 touchdowns, so of course he was sitting on my bench.
Finally, I’m amazed by the fact that the IPhone 6 Plus is already sold out, rather than the IPhone 6. The IPhone 6 Plus and it’s 5.5 inch screen won’t even fit in your pocket, especially if you are wearing skinny jeans. However, the fact that people are buying it tells me that consumers are interested in the novelty of what Apple is selling, and not the practicality of their products. It’s also ironic because Steve Jobs used to be so critical of those very large screens produced by Apple’s competitors. Good luck to those of you trying to get your hands on one anytime soon.