Monday Morning Coffee

USC Falls Short

March 21st, 2016

So much for “Dunk City”.  The Trojans blew a major opportunity to steal the basketball spotlight in the NCAA Tournament against Providence.  USC was up 5 with 2 minutes to play, but missed three critical free throws in those final moments, and lost after giving up an open layup on an inbounds play at the last second.  That’s like the equivalent of losing a football game on a Hail Mary.  Everybody is giving Andy Enfield credit for a great season, but why didn’t he remind his team to slow down the pace in the final two minutes and take more time off the clock? Was he too busy staring at his super model wife? The Trojans are an athletic squad, but one that may be lacking the fundamentals to ever win anything meaningful.  They’ll be returning a solid and more experienced squad next season, but so will Oregon, who’s lasted longer in the tournament, and won the Pac 12 while missing their best player.

So how bad is your bracket looking right about now? The leader in your office pool is probably the girl who picked teams based on who has the cutest mascot.  I think I’m going to pick the NIT bracket instead next year.  At least my Fighting Irish of Notre Dame are moving on to the Sweet 16.  Michigan State screwed us all.  Who names a school “Middle” Tennessee State?  Kentucky lost to Indiana, and John Calipari is going to punish his players by taking back all the money he paid them.  Yale shocked us by beating Baylor, only to have Duke treat them like protestors at a Donald Trump rally.  That half-court shot Northern Iowa hit to beat Texas is March Madness at its finest.  So was Texas A&M’s unbelievable comeback after being down by 12 points in the last 33 seconds, which was just preceded by Wisconsin’s buzzer beater against Xavier in the moments before.  Don’t worry Northern Iowa fans, you still have corn.  West Virginia had a poor showing against S.F. Austin, and hasn’t been that embarrassed since watching Gino Smith play in the NFL.  Meanwhile, Bill Clinton probably celebrated Arkansas Little Rock’s first round win with cigars and interns.  The Pac 12 had a pretty awful showing.  I remember when they used to be the best basketball conference in the country.  Sean Miller was sweating like a dude who’s girlfriend asked to see his phone……

Sean Miller Sweating

Northern Iowa choked in round 2, but this win over Texas was still pretty epic…….

People are losing their minds about who should be the #1 pick in the NBA draft.  Duke’s Brandon Ingram is a nice player, but LSU’s Ben Simmons has the ability to be a transcendent player.  LSU didn’t make the NCAA Tournament, but that’s a product of the parity in college basketball.  People are saying the same thing about Simmons as they said about Lebron James going into the draft: he has no jump shot, and he’s not aggressive enough in the big moment.  Just because he didn’t give a crap about school, doesn’t mean we should hold it against him when it comes time to draft him.  Don’t screw around when you have the #1 pick.  Take the best player available.

I’m no fan of Jim Buss, but I think Laker fans should be almost as horrified at the thought of Phil Jackson being a part of their front office.  Phil the coach was the best in the history of American team sports.  However, when it comes to him as an executive, he’s a disaster.  He refuses to hire a coach that will run anything other than the triangle, which means there’s only three or four mediocre coaches that could possibly coach your team.  In fact, he’s so desperate to get a guy like Kurt Rambis a job in the NBA, he’s proposing to coach the teams home games next season.  Are you kidding me? He’s admitting that Rambis isn’t capable enough to do the job all by himself.  What’s next? He’s going to propose to coach while Skyping in? At least the Lakers have a capable General Manager, 4 promising young players to work with, and two max salary slots.  The Knicks only have 1 promising young player, an aging star, and no max salary slots.  Phil just wants a payday and doesn’t even want to be there.  Laker fans should be even more terrified at the thought of Jim being replaced by PJ.

It’s official, the LA Kings are back in the playoffs.  The Kings have won 4 straight, and are not only trying to lock up a Pacific Division title, but potentially the top seed in the Western Conference.  Call me crazy, but I’d much rather the Kings face San Jose in the first round.  The travel will be easier than facing a Central Division team like Minnesota, Nashville, or even Colorado.  San Jose is also not very good at home, and much better on the road.  This isn’t the NBA.  The top seed can easily be defeated in the first round.  Maybe I’m just paranoid because the Kings are actually playing well going into the playoffs, unlike their last two Stanley Cup runs.  However, the Kings rugged style of play can not only wear the opposition down, but also themselves if they aren’t careful.

This Adam Laroche situation is ridiculous.  There’s not a single job in the world where it’s ok to bring your kid around 100% of the time.  The White Sox also didn’t say don’t bring him around, they just said don’t bring him around all the time, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  The funny part is, the White Sox should be stoked.  They don’t have to dish out $13 million a year to a guy who hit .200 for them last year.  Props to the White Sox front office for taking a stand against him, and actually creating a professional environment since their team has been a joke the few years.

I’m beginning to wonder if Donald Trump is going to be dangerous or entertaining if he wins the Republican Presidential nomination.  Trump suggested that if he didn’t receive enough support from the Republican delegates to get the nomination, then there could be riots.  So now he’s promoting violence? We’ve already seen some at these Trump protests, so why would he stop there? We’ve never seen anything like this before.  Then again, the Republican Party is truly to blame for letting this guy get this far, and not taking him seriously.  Meanwhile, Ted Cruz continues to stand there and look like a guy trying to sell me a use car, John Kasich looks like the guy trying to stuff his face with food at a cocktail party when nobody is looking, while Marco Rubio’s campaign was about as effective as Ricky Rubio shooting a basketball.

I’m beginning to feel sad over the fact that The People vs OJ Simpson on FX is coming to an end.  We only have 3 more episodes, and we’ve reached that critical episode where OJ tries on the gloves in court.  After every episode, I always have to ask myself “is that really how it happened?”  That’s exactly the question I asked myself when Robert Shapiro actually picked up the gloves that Simpson wore during the murder, and realized they wouldn’t fit OJ.  Judge Ito and the prosecution actually allowed that? It was actually much worse.  Not only did Shapiro try the gloves on, but the entire defense team did during a courtroom break.  It was just another complete screw up by the prosecution, despite the mountains of evidence against OJ.  I also love unnecessary but totally entertaining jokes that the show makes about the characters.  For instance, back in the mid 1990’s, most people weren’t making use of internet porn.  Instead, they were buying Hustler, Penthouse, and Playboy.  When Robert Kardashian was going through OJ’s bag to make sure there was no murder weapon in it, he found nothing but those dirty magazines.  There was no reason to show a bunch of dirty magazines coming out of that bag, other than to make the audience think that OJ was that guy who had to have his dirty magazines.

Finally, that episode of The Walking Dead was much crazier than I thought it would be.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see last night’s episode, so read no further if you plan to watch it later.  Funny that just when Denise was becoming stronger and more capable, she ends up getting killed by the Saviors.  Maybe they can give her other eye to Carl? At least Darryl got his crossbow back.  It was good to see that Eugene didn’t have a nut allergy after his uh….biting incident.  Perhaps they should have named this episode “Tenacious D”?  Of course the other major part of the episode was Carol deciding to leave the group again.  She’s leaving because she hates the person that she’s become.  The people she’s killed is weighing on her conscience.  Unfortunately, what she fails to realize is that if she wants to survive in what’s left of the world, she’s going to have to continue to kill. It’s probably better to do that with people she loves than without them.  Carol is too important of a character to just leave once again, as unceremonioiusly as she did.  She might eventually die, but there’s no way we’re not going to see her again.  In fact, the preview of the next episode seems to indicate that Darryl will chase after her.  If Darryl is off chasing Carol, I’m thinking the group gets invaded by the Saviors.  Now I’m starting to think that it really is going to be Glenn that will die before the season is over, at the hands of Negan.

Eugene and Abraham

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