November 9th, 2015
This is brutal to watch. Never in my life did I think Kobe Bryant would look this bad as an NBA basketball player. This is like watching Willie Mays stumble around in center field in his final years, or Muhammad Ali lose his skill in his final years of boxing. It’s one thing to not be in championship contention, but it’s another thing for Kobe to be a shell of himself, which is exactly what he is now. He only shoots three pointers these days, because that’s just about the only shot he can create for himself. Watching him yesterday at Madison Square Garden was the sad beginning of a farewell tour. This is definitely not how I want to remember one of my favorite NBA players of all-time. Kobe needs to retire because playing for this version of the Lakers just isn’t worth it.
Meanwhile, the Clippers remind me a lot of the Sacramento Kings teams of the early 2000’s. Those teams were very talented, and also known for being very whiny. That Clippers are doing exactly the same thing, and it’s probably hurting them to a degree with the NBA referees that work their games. Saturday night’s loss at home versus Houston was very symbolic of a whiny team. Make no mistake about it, the Clippers got screwed when Blake Griffin’s layup was goaltended by Dwight Howard, which the referees completely missed. Nobody is going to do this team any favors. I don’t care that the Clippers didn’t have Chris Paul. They need to suck it up and use moments like that to build an “us against the world” mentality. Everyone knows the Clippers have great talent, but it’s the mental toughness they lack. Saturday night was a perfect example of that mental toughness that they have yet to find.
To college football, where the Trojans got off to a horrendously sluggish start on Saturday, before taking down Arizona 38-30. Clay Helton probably has very faint hopes of being the Trojans head coach next year, but the guy deserves a lot of credit for simplifying the playbook and just giving the ball to freshman tailback Ronald Jones II. Where has this kid been for the first two months of the season? There’s good talent and there’s special talent. No freshman tailback has put up those kind of numbers since Lendale White (before he was addicted to food and tequila). Jones may have the special talent the Trojans have been missing for quite some time. The real question is why the hell he insists on throwing that bubble screen pass all the time, which is straight out of the Sarkisian playbook? It’s like he’s determined to give up a pick 6 by running that play, which every team in the Pac-12 seems to recognize. The Trojan pass rush was ineffective, but their run defense was solid. I like USC’s chances against Colorado and Oregon, but they’ll need a lot of help along the way to win the Pac-12 South.
As for the Bruins, they romped Oregon State 41-0 at Reser Stadium. Josh Rosen probably hadn’t had that much fun since high school, throwing for 333 yards and a couple of touchdown passes in just three quarters of work. Oregon State has now lost 16 of it’s last 18 conference games, and the only part of their games that are entertaining is when the play-by-play announcers start talking about the defensive line “dominating the Beavers with their penetration”. The Bruins are looking good and so is Rosen, but I’m not sure sure it’s enough to overcome the injuries they’ve suffered. Although the Bruins control their own destiny with games vs Washington, then at Utah, and at USC, the Pac-12 south is still Utah’s to lose. The margin for error is too small at this point.
Elsewhere around college football, the College Football Playoff rankings are about to create a parting of the Red Sea for Notre Dame to get into the dance. The Irish handled Pitt on Saturday, and with 3 more wins, including one against Stanford, they’ll likely get in the playoff. Then again, we should probably expect LSU to move up in the polls after their “quality of loss” to Alabama. I used to think that the NBA official were the worst in sports, but I’m beginning to think college football may have them instead. What a horrible call at the end of the Michigan State-Nebraska game. That Nebraska receiver was clearly not forced out of bounds before catching the game winning touchdown, and it will probably cost MSU a spot in the playoff. America was really torn between rooting for Florida State and having to potentially watch Clemson in the College Football Playoff. The finish to the Arkansas-Mississippi game was one of the most amazing I’ve ever seen, and those CBS announcers called it like it was a 1 yard rush up the middle…..
Let’s talk week 9 of NFL Football. Tony Romo is clearly the MVP of the season, just from watching how horrible Matt Cassell and Brandon Weeden are. NBC needs to show more shots of Jerry Jones trying not to throw things after last nights OT loss to Philly. I don’t know who is in worse shape…the Packers or Eddie Lacy? I think Johnny Football’s passes were targeted to more fans in the crowd on Thursday night than his receivers. Funny how Andrew Luck decided to finally kick ass when his predecessor Peyton Manning came to town. Remember when Alfred Morris was a good running back? Is Tom Brady actually better than he’s ever been? It sure feels like it. I thought the Raiders might have turned the corner, but then they lose to a banged up Steelers team.
Here’s quick update on our local hockey teams. The Kings are in 1st place in the Pacific Division, but they’ve got their issues. Most of their goals are coming from three players. Anze Kopitar doesn’t have an assist yet, which makes me think everybody he’s playing with sucks. Dustin Brown makes $7 million a year and hasn’t scored a goal yet. As for the Ducks, here they come. They’ve won 4 in a row. They still can’t score, but they are getting great goaltending, and they are bound to put the puck in the net soon.
Finally, The Walking Dead was back on AMC last night for another episode. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it. The writers really slammed the brakes on the show in this episode. Of course we have to wait at least another episode to find out what happened to Glenn. I love how at the beginning of the episode, Rick defies logic by presumably escaping from the RV surrounded by Walkers that we last saw him in, and somehow ran back to Alexandria before the Walkers could get him. I’m still not really sure what the purpose of Maggie and Aaron’s field trip in the sewer was. Did she really think she was gonna find Glenn down there? Or is this her idea of clearing her head? Deanna’s son is just obnoxious. He seems like a good bet to die before the seasons over. Speaking of Deanna, are we really supposed to believe that when she killed that Walker, she didn’t actually get the Walkers blood in her mouth? I guess the show doesn’t always punish characters for their stupidity. I like how these slower episodes have to give us the teenager drama that revolves around Carl, who’s always great at putting people in danger. The scene where Jessie killed the Walker was maybe the weakest Walker kill the show has ever had. Her speech to the rest of the Alexandrians was also recycled and boring. If these people don’t get how the world is now, they never will. This slow down episode got on my nerves a little bit, and frankly, made me want more of these Alexadrians to die. I’m looking forward to a slightly better episode next week.