Monday Morning Coffee

January 16th, 2017

Sometimes business and money outweigh everything else.  Just ask Donald Sterling.  Now you can ask Dean Spanos, who ripped the Chargers from San Diego last week, and moved them to Los Angeles.  Congratulations Dean, you are now the most irrelevant team in the Los Angeles sports landscape.  You are the unwanted house guest that is crashing on the couch, drinking the hosts beer, and slamming food in the fridge that isn’t yours.  Then there’s the disaster that was the team logo.  In a matter of hours, the Bolts had a new logo, that looked like it cost about 50 cents to make.  It looked like the Dodgers logo had sex with an electrical cord.  Then, just a few hours later after being destroyed on social media for the logo, Dean Spanos did damage control on local radio stations by saying this was just a temporary logo for marketing purposes.  Good one Dean.  The logo itself alienated the remaining San Diego fans, and was simultaneously rejected by LA fans.  If you think the logo is bad, wait until you see how bad the team is on the field.  The Chargers added insult to their own injury by hiring a running back coach in Anthony Lynn, just a few hours later.  LA barely has interest in supporting one lousy NFL team.  We definitely don’t need two.  This was a poor desperation move by the Spanos family, who could have easily spent money on a stadium in San Diego instead of a relocation fee, while combining that with the NFL’s contribution.  The irony of it all is that the most popular team in Los Angeles is the Raiders, and we all know they are headed to Vegas.

Speaking of coaching, the Rams have named Sean McVay their new head coach.  McVay is the youngest head coach in the NFL history at 30 years old.  This guy is so young to be a head coach, nobody is actually sure if he’s going to need a permission slip from his mother to go on road trips.  In all seriousness though, its a bold and out-of-the-box hire that is worth a try.  McVay did wonders developing Kirk Cousins the last few years as an offensive coordinator with the Redskins.  At 30 years old, he can probably do a much better job relating to guys like Jared Goff and Todd Gurley, than a guy in his 40’s or 50’s can.  Despite all the big names you heard, we knew the Rams weren’t going to get one.  However, this was a good alternative plan that could payoff in the long run.  I’m still surprised though that nobody wanted to wait for Kyle Shanahan, who has done a great job as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator this year.

I think it’s safe to say The Legion of Boom was blown up the the Falcons over the weekend.  Devonta Freeman was breaking ankles and Matt Ryan was racking up some big numbers.  The Falcons defense doesn’t look that good, but it hasn’t mattered yet, and might not next week either.  The Seahawks just aren’t the same without Marshawn Lynch.  Thomas Rawls clearly did not eat his Skittles the way Lynch did, and his performance has suffered.  Russell Wilson also suffered on Saturday.  If I didn’t know better, I would say it was Grayson Allen who was playing offensive line for the Seahawks, who ended up tripping him…..

In New England, Brock Osweiler was in a very giving mood, throwing three interceptions, as the Patriots routed the Texans.   Osweiler has become the greatest $72 million thief in history.  The Pats didn’t play that well, but handled the Texans easily.  They didn’t even need deflated footballs to take care of business either.

Then there were the good games.  Aaron Rogers proved he’s definitely the best quarterback in football after he single handedly led the Packers past the Cowboys in Dallas.  It feels like if I gave Rogers a couple of homeless wide receivers off the street to play on his team, he’d still be able to throw for 300 yards.  Now that Hillary Clinton and the Cowboys both lost their big games this year while being the favorite, blue must be the official color of choking.  The Cowboys have a very good young team, but their defense has more holes than a Packers cheese hat.  The over/under on the Packers-Falcons NFC title game must be 1,000 points.

The Steelers got by the Chiefs 18-6.  It got even worse for Chiefs Coach Andy Reid after the game, when he found out all the local BBQ joints in K.C. were closed.  Steelers Running Back Le’Veon Bell ran wild again, and is living proof that smoking weed makes you a more patient runner.  Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce just didn’t have it yesterday against the Steelers D.  I fee like Kelce is trying to be Rob Gronkowski the same way that Bon Jovi is trying to be Bruce Springsteen.  Kelce was very displeased with the officiating as well.  Sorry Travis, but you probably could overcome the officiating if you didn’t have a critical drop and a penalty in that game.  Somebody get that man a tissue.

Looking back at the National Championship Game from last week, that was a great finish to the college football season with Clemson getting by Alabama in the final seconds.  That game was very boring early on, and lasted longer than a Kim Kardashian marriage.  However, the Tigers were simply the beneficiary of getting the last opportunity to score, and they took advantage of it.  They also benefitted from Alabama Running Back Bo Scarborough breaking his leg.  It was great for college football that Clemson knocked off the team that was viewed as a dynasty in Alabama.  Knowing Lane Kiffin though, he probably was happy as hell his former employer lost, since Sark replaced him as offensive coordinator for that game.  Sark called a pretty good game, however, the Crimson Tide defense couldn’t keep the ball long enough to keep their defense off the field and rested.  I’m sure Sark also filled the Gatorade bottles with some vodka to take the edge off.  The loss wasn’t a big deal for him since he planned on getting drunk anyway when it was over.

To the NBA, where the Lakers fell to the Pistons last night at Staples, but the more intriguing stories are off the court as we’ve reached the halfway point of the season.  The Lake Show were reportedly interested in acquiring Atlanta Hawks Power Forward Paul Milsap or the 76ers Center Nerlens Noel. Milsap is an all-star player, but acquiring him makes little sense for a team as far away from contending for a title as the Lakers.  He’s off the trade block for now, but hopefully the Lakers don’t pull the trigger on that trade.  As good as Milsap is, he’s really an elite complimentary player on a team.  He’s a B+ player that doesn’t get this team to the playoffs, he’d cost at least a couple of the teams best young players in a trade, and he’s going to be due for a very expensive $140 million contract extension when the season ends.  As for Noel, his shot blocking ability would be a great fit in the front court for this young Laker team.  If the Lakers could find a way to make that trade without trading Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, or Jordan Clarkson, they should do it.  Perhaps a Lou Williams for Nerlens Noel trade might make sense considering the 76ers need backcourt help.  Forget the playoff pipe dream that most of you had early on in the season.  The Lakers are on pace to win almost 30 games, and before the season started, most of us thought that would be major progress.

As for the Clippers, they’ve won six straight and stabilized things after going through a rough stretch.  Blake Griffin is also due back soon, and they’ll need him to see where they stack up.  Beginning at the end of this month, they’ll face the Warriors three times, the Spurs, Raptors, and Celtics, in a four week stretch.  Keep in mind, Blake Griffin needs to play well for his own free agency.  Under the new NBA CBA, if Blake gets first, second, or third team All-NBA, he is eligible for a 5 year contract for over $200 million this summer.  The next closest another team could offer is 4 years and $124 million.  However, if Blake doesn’t get All-NBA honors, the Clippers could only offer 5 years and about $150 million, which would make it slightly easier to leave LA if he desired.  The other situation to keep an eye on is the rocky relationship between Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony in New York.  If Melo does become willing to waive his no-trade clause, the Clippers and Cavs are the only teams he would be willing to go to.  However, would the Clippers really make that trade if the Knicks asked for Blake Griffin? I have my doubts, even if Chris Paul is buddies with ‘Melo.

That was a great win by the UCLA basketball team on Saturday at Utah.  The Bruins rallied from a nine-point deficit in the second half despite their defense looking as soft as rigatoni.  The Bruins were out rebounded and allowed the Utes to shoot 54% from the field, but they made big shots down the stretch.  Coach Steve Alford actually did something right other than style his hair nicely during this game.  He even sat out his son Bryce on some key defensive possessions late in the game, allowing the Bruins to matchup better in certain situations.  The win was definitely character building for a team that hasn’t had many tests thus far this year.  They’ll get tested next week though as they take on Arizona and Arizona State.

As for the Trojans, they aren’t nearly as good as you thought a few weeks ago.  USC will probably fall out of the Top 25 after losing to Utah.  They also barely got by Colorado.  The Trojans are a combined 2-6 in higher elevation trips to Utah and Colorado since those teams joined the Pac 12 in 2011-2012.  At least they are enjoying the legalization of marijuana on these trips since they can’t seem to beat those schools, which they should.

Finally, we’re just beyond the halfway point of the NHL season, and I think it’s safe to say we can draw some conclusions about the Kings and Ducks.  The Kings score less than Steve Urkel did on Family Matters, and need some major help.  The good news for LA is that despite their scoring woes and the loss of starting goalie Jonathan Quick, they are currently hanging onto the last playoff spot in the West.  With the emergence of young defenseman like Derek Forbort and Kevin Gravel, the Kings can afford to trade a quality defenseman like Jake Muzzin for some offensive help by the trade deadline.  Then there’s the Ducks, who have grinded their way into 1st place in the Pacific Division at this point.  Anaheim has also done it with defense, despite not having veteran goal scorers pull their own weight offensively.  Unless Anaheim can find a taker for Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry, I doubt we’ll see much movement from them at the deadline.  The real question though is if these guys can actually do something in the playoffs, which remains to be seen.

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