Monday Morning Coffee

January 7, 2019

Lebron says he’s the greatest player ever. If he said it now after watching Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball play for the last 5 games, I don’t think anybody would argue. Ingram and Lonzo might have had moments where they put up numbers, but they are empty when the team doesn’t win. They’ve been asked to do more in Lebron’s absence, and it’s a major indictment on them that they haven’t been able to. I’m also disgusted by the entire team’s free throw shooting, which is worse than Philip Seymour Hoffman’s shooting in “Along Came Polly”. If the Lakers can’t beat teams like the Knicks and Timberwolves without Lebron, their young core probably isn’t more than nice support players. That’s been a disappointing reality of the last week.

To the NFL, where the Chargers almost “Chargered” that game yesterday. However, thank goodness for them that the Ravens had more fumbles than people murdered by Ray Lewis. Speaking of Lewis, he really “killed” that pregame dance. The MVP of the game had to be Bolts kicker Michael Badgley. The Chargers must be ready to induct him into the Hall of Fame after making nearly all his field goal attempts, which is unheard of for any Charger kicker. I still don’t understand why Joe Flacco didn’t play in the 2nd half. My only explanation is that Lamar Jackson had a sex tape of John Harbaugh he was threatening to release. The showdown with the Patriots next week is going to be fun, but it’s hard to imagine the Chargers coming out of New England with a victory.

The Eagles v Bears game was unbelievably boring, unless you like punts and bad officiating. The ending may have been exciting but that’s it. The best thing to happen to the Rams and the NFL was the Bears getting eliminated yesterday. Jared Goff had trouble with the Bears defense, and even though tackling Ezekiel Elliott 30 times a game won’t be fun, the Cowboys aren’t great on the road in the playoffs. The Bears also make for a boring low scoring football game in whatever game they are playing in. On the other hand, scoring off the field for Nick Foles shouldn’t be very hard.

Elsewhere around Wild Card Weekend, if that was college football, the Colts wouldn’t be in the playoffs, but they would have been playing the Texans in the Taxslayer Bowl. The ESPN broadcast was the playoff version of the Houston Texans. Imagine paying hundreds of dollars to sit in a stadium, only to have your favorite team get “R. Kelly’d“ for 3 hours. That’s what it was like for Texans fans, as the team logged off about 3 minutes into that game. Meanwhile, it was like Clay Helton was calling the plays for the Seahawks, who lost a close one to the Cowboys. Russell Wilson was dominating in the first half, yet they were running the ball like it was 1996. That onside kick was almost as bad as Seattle throwing the ball at the one yard line in the Super Bowl. To think that we all thought it was Jason Garrett who was the liability in this game. Troy Aikman must have forgotten to take his Visine after getting high before the game.

To College Basketball where Bruins actually started PAC-12 play with a 2-0 record. It certainly helps that the conference is trash, but it also helps that they have a coach who isn’t clueless. It’s nice to see someone who decides to keep it simple, play uptempo, full court-press, and use the team’s athleticism to its advantage. Imagine how much better they could be with an elite coach? Rumors have it that elite coach could be Rick Pitino, because several boosters are pushing for him. Nothing says UCLA like hot tubs, honeys, and cash. Sure Pitino would make the program elite, but at what cost? When it comes to college sports, there still needs to be some level of morality here. This isn’t Michigan State or Ohio State. I can just see Oprah yelling “you get a stripper and you get a strippper!” I also love the shade that Jay Bilas threw at Dan Guerrero by saying “If you know what you’re doing, you don’t need a search committee for a coach.” Nice to see somebody else realizes that Dan Guerrero doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Much like UCLA basketball, USC football is struggling for relevancy in the LA sports market. What’s been happening with Cliff Kingsbury isn’t helping fix that. Kingsbury took the Trojan offensive coordinator job, was seen as the savior to the program, and now NFL teams want to interview him. In a total rookie move by Lynn Swann, he is blocking him from interviewing with NFL teams. This marks the first time anybody at USC has blocked anything in months. Not only is this a rookie move by Swann because it looks terrible to block a coordinator from the NFL, but it was stupid to not add a clause in his contract preventing Kingsbury from interviewing for a year. It turns out Dan Guerrero isn’t the only clueless AD in Los Angeles.

What happened to all the money the Dodgers were supposed to spend? You can’t fool the fans. The Dodgers just dumped $40 million in payroll without getting anything in return, and for the last two years Andrew Friedman insinuated they were saving up for this big 2018 free agent class. Instead they have done nothing with the savings, and spring training starts in 39 days. Mind you, this is a team with the richest TV contract in baseball, and some of the highest ticket prices in the game, with fans coming to Dodger Stadium like sheep. I’m not saying the team needs to spend money on Bryce Harper, but they have money and have done little to nothing to improve the team this offseason. Stop pretending like the luxury tax is some crippling impediment for the franchise. The team is much worse than last year, and even two years ago. Meanwhile Andrew Friedman is probably planning on spending the savings on a costume for Comicon and a new Xbox.

Finally, Saturday night was supposed to by 90’s night at Staples Center for the LA Kings. The Kings ended up winning 4-0 against the Oilers. If it were really 90’s night the Kings would have lost 5-0 to the Oilers and would have used 3 goalies. Fox Sports also brought back the glowing puck on its telecast, and could track the MPH of the puck. What should be tracked is the deterioration of the Kings the longer they stubbornly keep their expensive core together. This team is in cap hell, and has won one playoff game in four years since winning their last Cup. Time to turn the page but unfortunately, their front office remains in denial about it. They should be trying to tank games and get the #1 pick in this year’s draft, but they refuse to see the big picture.

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