November 23rd, 2015
Saturday’s UCLA vs Utah game should have been called the demoralization bowl. Neither one of these teams can go a full series without losing a starter to injury. Lucky for the Bruins, they survived the war of attrition by putting together a strong defensive effort, and some gutty moments from Josh Rosen. The freshman QB didn’t exactly set the stat sheet on fire, but he showed enough maturity and poise throughout to guide UCLA to a big road win. The guys post game comments have been pretty epic as well of late, saying that he “wussied it out” on a few throws while not standing in the pocket, and a couple of weeks before saying that Oregon State had some “B.S.” defensive tactics. I was impressed, but now comes an equally challenging task: going to the Coliseum and beating cross-town rival USC with the Pac-12 South on the line. This game is a coin-flip. The Trojans may have a slight edge in talent and depth, but the Bruins are better coached and they might even have the better quarterback. Should be a good one, and the way the Pac-12 South should be decided every year.
Speaking of those Trojans, their defense against Oregon was about as sloppy as a Thursday night on fraternity row. Oregon QB Vernon Davis exploded for 407 yards passing and 6 TD passes, something an opposing QB has never done against USC. I’ve said all along that the Trojans don’t even need a handful of games to realize that Clay Helton shouldn’t be their head coach of the future. However, this was a reminder for those of you that think that Helton is the guy. The secondary always looked completely out of position, and the team was penalized repeatedly. That’s the sign of a team that is totally unprepared, and that falls on Helton. Cody Kessler must lead the league in throws that are short of the sticks. The Trojans won’t be anywhere near elite again until they get a quarterback that can actually throw the ball down the field (maybe Max Browne), and a coach that looks to do so.
Elsewhere around College Football, that Notre Dame vs Boston College game was unbelievable. Ball handling hasn’t been that sloppy since your freshman year of college. You know you played a bad team when you turn it over five times and still win. I think the Irish get bumped from the top 4 for now in this week’s College Football Playoff Poll. However, if they beat Stanford next week, they should still get in that playoff. The bad news though is that Notre Dame is piling up more injuries, losing starting cornerback KeiVarae Russell to a broken leg, and now running back CJ Prosise to an ankle sprain. Meanwhile, Urban Meyer is probably going to check himself into the hospital with more “health problems” now that Ohio State finally played real competition and lost to Michigan State. Foolish play by TCU to go for 2 pts to try and win the game against Oklahoma. You take your chances in overtime where you have a much greater chance of winning. After Oklahoma State’s loss to Baylor, they would need a lot to happen to get into the playoff. The debate between Notre Dame, Iowa, and Oklahoma will be an interesting one for the committee this week when it comes to who is going to occupy the #4 spot.
To the NBA, where these days, the Lakers win games about as often as Charlie Sheen uses a condom. Still, there’s a few things you’ve gotta love. Kobe is doing an excellent job of mentoring the Lakers young core of Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and D’Angelo Russell. For all you folks that love to criticize Kobe for being selfish, a terrible teammate, and all that nonsense, he’s not only helping those players with their development, but also stepping aside and giving them more and more opportunities to succeed on the floor. Despite all the minutes Bryant is playing, Kobe is making a conscious effort to move the ball, and give LA’s future stars the opportunity to play major roles in the offense. It’s sad to see Kobe struggling just to walk to his car after the game with all his ailments, and that tells you it’s probably time for him to hang it up. However, at least he’s finding ways to help the franchise in ways that most of you probably never thought he would do.
Meanwhile, there must have been one hell of a party on Saturday night in LA, which the LA Clipper players attended, because they got blown off the floor early against the Raptors yesterday. Don’t look now, but the Clippers are now one game under .500, and their chemistry is about as bad as anyone acting in a movie with Katherine Heigl. The advantage the Clippers had coming into this season was their depth, but Doc Rivers can’t decide if he wants to play 7 or 8 guys, or if he wants to play 11 or 12 in a given night. Lance Stephenson has no idea if he’s going to play 30 minutes or not at all. Josh Smith decided to sign with the Clippers so he could have more of a “defined role”, but he probably didn’t think that role would be limited to 15 minutes a game. To make matters worse, the Clippers still have no idea how to overcome their psychological woes in the big moment, like when the blew that massive lead the other night against the Warriors. There’s plenty of time to work through their issues, but the Clippers had better not get too far behind in the West or it will be trouble.
Who would you rather be right now….the Clippers or the Rockets? Houston has some major player issues with their leaders being accountable, because the firing of Kevin McHale was way too premature for a team that was in the Western Conference Finals just a few months ago. It is pretty enjoyable though to see Dwight Howard in a shitty situation. The Warriors are looking so good right now, Kim Kardashian might actually sleep with a white man before they lose again. Kristaps Porzingas is making everyone look foolish for criticizing him before they knew what he was. If the draft were re-done today, that guy might have gone #1 overall. Even Carmelo owes him an apology.
Let’s talk about Week 11 in the NFL. Wait until Chip Kelly gets his system in place…..the Eagles might lose 16 games then. Tony Romo finally came back, but for a while there, it was Ryan Tannehill who looked like the best QB for the Cowboys. Don’t be shocked if they come all the way back and win the NFC East. The 49ers loss to the Seahawks was inevitable. San Francisco made history earlier in the week by basically placing Colin Kaepernick on injured reserve for sucking. The US tortured POW’s by forcing them to watch the Titans-Jaguars game on Thursday night. Peyton Manning probably isn’t going to get his job back. The Broncos are just as good, if not better with Brock Osweiler, who is the future of their team. Nice to see the Chargers retiring Ladainian Tomlinson’s jersey. However, there aren’t a whole lot of good things happening for the Bolts other than that. Oakland had a very “Raider-like” loss to the Lions yesterday. It’s going to be hilarious when the Colts still win the AFC South with a sub .500 record and their backup quarterback.
In baseball, the Dodgers are a complete disaster. They have hired Dave Roberts, a good guy, but a manager who has no experience and will be nothing more than a figurehead. You can blame that on Andrew Friedman who had a chance to hire a quality skipper in Bud Black, but passed on him. Then there’s the drama that is Yasiel Puig. Former Major Leaguer Andy Van Slyke decided to torch any chance he had of getting another job by going on the radio and ripping everyone from Puig to his former player, Robinson Canoe. Andy is the father of Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke, and claimed that the Dodgers highest paid player (who is Clayton Kershaw), was asked by the front office what they need to do to improve. According to Andy, Kershaw responded by saying they should trade Puig. First of all, Scott Van Slyke must be mad as hell that his dad would come out and say something like this, which completely fractures the relationship between he and Clayton Kershaw. This also furthers the tension in the relationship between Puig, Kershaw, and the rest of his Dodger teammates. More importantly, if Friedman has to ask Clayton Kershaw what needs to be done to improve the team, it only further re-enforces the idea that he has no idea what he’s doing. Weren’t the Dodgers supposed to become a better and more peaceful clubhouse with Andrew Friedman at the helm? He’s been nothing but a total disaster.
Finally, a major episode of the Walking Dead went down on AMC last night. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it. It’s official, Glenn is alive. When the episode began, we see that he somehow slid underneath the dumpster to avoid getting bitten by all those Walkers while they feasted on Nicholas’ body. Of all the farfetched and ridiculous things that the show has done over the years, this was least believable (Yes I realize a zombie apocalypse is probably unrealistic too people!). Nevertheless, I’m please to see that he’s still alive. I’m definitely surprised that Enid is not a spy for the Wolves. Speaking of the Wolves, Morgan not killing that prisoner is sure to backfire, especially now that all hell has broken loose and Walkers are about to overrun Alexandria. Rick is going to flip his shit when he finds out that Morgan has that Wolf as a prisoner. Meanwhile, Spencer’s dumb decision to hang off the wall ultimately leads to him being saves by Rick’s crew. This just shows you that the Grimes crew and the Alexandrians are now beginning to accept that they are “stuck with each other” as Tara said, and that there’s even some trust building. Darryl meshed with Aaron, Glenn is with Enid, and Rick has something going with Jessie. The two groups are meshing. However, we are sure to lose some next week for the Mid-Season Finale. Stupid decision by Rick to teach Ron how to shoot. That kid is dumb, but he definitely knows how to plot his revenge, which appears to be directed toward Carl. Looking forward to what appears to be an action-packed Mid-Season Finale next week.