May 4th, 2015
Has anybody seen Steve Ballmer? He’s probably streaking naked across the 405 freeway after the Clippers eliminated the defending champion Spurs over the weekend. I’ve gotta hand it to both CP3 and Blake Griffin. CP3 channeled his inner Isaiah Thomas, and played a great game 7 with a pulled hamstring. As for Blake, he finally imposed his will when it mattered most by recording a triple double. The one thing that always separated the Clipps from being elite was that their two superstars were never at their best when their best was needed. When that changed Saturday and the Clipps showed mental toughness, it suddenly became believable that the Clippers are a contender. Then again, after seeing both CP3 and Steve Ballmer cry, I’m not sure they actually realize there are three more rounds to be played. As for the Spurs, this is the worst thing to happen to San Antonio since border patrol. I’m sure Tim Duncan and his band of senior citizens will be back in contention next year. They always are.
The Clippers vs Rockets quarterfinals will be interesting. When the playoffs started, there was no way you could trust either one of these two teams when it mattered, and both appeared to have the mental toughness of a flea. The Clipps have to just be radiating with confidence after taking down the defending champs. Even though the Rockets have a dangerous James Harden and a deep bench, Blake and CP should easily be the best players on the court (assuming Paul is healthy). Meanwhile, Dwight Yokum has more toughness than Dwight Howard at this point in the season. I’m taking the Clippers in 6 games, before they get taken down by the Warriors.
Everyone who ordered the fight on Saturday now knows how the Bengals feel after giving Andy Dalton $100 million. I can’t believe we waited four years to watch that. To the average person, it looked like neither Floyd nor Manny “won” the fight. Ok, so Floyd may have landed a couple of more punches to get the decision, but I’ve seen more contact in a WNBA game than in that fight. Floyd might be the best in his era, which lacked any dominant fighters, but he’s far from the best of all time. Not even top 10. Still, I do love the narrative as well that if you are watching the fight, you are supporting domestic violence and bigotry. If you’re going to watch sports depending on the character of the people you are watching, I’ve got bad news: you’re probably not going to be watching any sports. There are plenty of professional athletes committing adultery, smoking weed, and probably doing all kinds of things you don’t approve of. If you can’t separate the performance from the person than you should just forget watching. You gotta admit though, the fight between Floyd and his side chick had more contact than what we saw Saturday.
I was unable to get a bet in for the Kentucky Derby, despite some last minute efforts. If you have never been to Churchill Downs on the first weekend of May, it’s absolutely worth doing at least once. The victory by American Pharaoh was great, and the race was exciting, however, I have a sad confession to make. I don’t actually know how place a bet on horses at the racetrack. Yes, it’s true. I have to go ask the person at the counter about the meaning of things like “trifecta” and “box”, which always annoys the hell out of them. I better stick to making my bets online.
The Halos have been getting spanked. They just got destroyed over the weekend in San Francisco, and they are already 7 games behind the Astros in the AL West. No really…the Houston Astros are in 1st place! That’s right people. Hold onto your loved ones, and better ask forgiveness for all your sins, because the universe must be coming to an end. The Angels look more the team we saw two years ago that struggled to hit early, and later on couldn’t come up with consistent starting pitching. Jered Weaver looks like he’s completely finished. The man is throwing about 82 miles per hour, and getting punked every time he goes to the mound. CJ Wilson has been underwhelming too, and those two are supposed to be at the forefront of the Angels rotation. To make matters worse, the Angels have the 2nd worst team batting average in the AL. The Angels better hope this month was just an aberration, otherwise their season is going to hell quickly.
As for the Dodgers, I have no idea how this team is in 1st place with their starting pitching being held together by duct tape. The Dodgers offense appears to have more fire power than ISIS right now, but the injuries and the pitching are very concerning. Clayton Kershaw has been average, Brandon McCarthy is done, Hyun-Jin Ryu will forever have shoulder issues, and Brett Anderson is bound to get hurt any day. Who are these guys getting the starts? Scott Baker? I’m not sure how long Don Mattingly can keep giving the ball to these no names and hoping for the offense to carry them. Especially not with Donny Baseball blowing out the bullpen like he does. The Boys in Blue might need to make a trade, and it may involve giving up some big time prospects for Cole Hamels. It’s going to be a steep price but much needed if they are serious about contending. Yesterday’s walk off was nice though…..
What a complete joke this Ducks vs Flames semifinals series is. It’s like watching grown men go up against a pee wee hockey team. The Ducks are bigger, faster, more physical, and more experienced than the Flames. Calgary doesn’t even know who to start in goal anymore. Even if Calgary wins a couple of games at home, which they won’t, the last time they won in Anaheim Disneyland hadn’t even been built yet. This is like watching a #1 seed vs a #16 seed in the NCAA tournament, except you have to endure it for a whole week. Just give us Ducks vs Blackhawks already.
The NFL draft was also part of this past weekends sports insanity. Brett Hundley was selected by the Packers, but not until the 5th round. He was also the 6th quarterback taken, which shows you just what scouts think of his throwing ability. Maybe Hundley should have stayed in school for his senior year. Four USC players were also chosen Saturday, including Buck Allen and Josh Shaw. 68 Trojans have now been selected in round 1 since 1967, which is 10 more than any other school. Does Chip Kelly realize that there are other conferences other than the Pac-12? He only drafts Pac-12 players. Chip was also reportedly offering blood money, unborn children, players, draft picks, and his soul to the Titans for Marcus Mariotta. The Titans are now only 11 players away from being a championship contender. Pray for Amari Cooper everyone. He was drafted by the Raiders. The Cowboys spent much of the week scouting local prisons for late round sleepers. The Redskins helped their offensive line, but the bad news for their fans is that RGIII might have time to throw.
What a great episode of Game of Thrones last night on HBO. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it. The one thing I really enjoyed from this episode was the backstories told by Ser Barristan to Dany, about her brother and the Mad King. I also enjoyed hearing the backstory that Littlefinger told to Sansa about Rhaegar Targeryen. Interesting that Sansa and Dany’s perception of each of those people are much different than the stories they were told. I was so disappointed in Tommen that he proved to be a weak King when Margaery asked him to get her brother out of jail. At least if it were Joffrey, he would have had as much bloodshed as necessary to get the job done. I’m sure Lady Olenna will get involved now, so the Lannisters are really in trouble! Stannis actually seemed like a decent human being in this episode. He complimented Jon Snow when his wife referred to him as just another bastard child. Then, he seemed like a really good father when he explained to Shereen, how he cared for her when she had Greyscale. Based on the preview for the next episode, it seems as though Ser Barristan is dead. I think this sets the stage for Jorah to really get back in to Dany’s trusted inner circle.