Monday Morning Coffee

March 29th, 2021

What a ride it is for UCLA Basketball! If I told you two weeks ago that this team was going to be in the Elite 8 you would have thought I was smoking crack. That game is going to be referred to as “The Shorts Game”. I think it’s safe to say John Petty’s shorts were an L for the Tide. Alabama shot free throws like DeAndre Jordan all game, which gave a big break to UCLA. However, the mental and physical toughness that Mick Cronin has instilled in his squad is amazing. ‘Bama was quicker and more athletic, but UCLA has guys like Jamie Jaquez that seem like football players playing basketball. I thought the Bruins couldn’t recover when the Tide hit that 3-pointer to send it to OT. Turns out it was just me that couldn’t recover. They did all this with no Chris Smith, and no Jalen Hill. They also did this without Daishen Nix, their top recruit, who was stolen by the NBA G-League after committing. Mick Cronin has every right to complain about that like he did last week, because Nix had already committed to the Bruins when he reneged. Cronin was on a roll last week too, and might as well have sounded like Rodney Dangerfield, describing the disrespect UCLA and the entire Pac-12 have gotten all season. That’s absolutely true but no matter what happens against Michigan tomorrow, UCLA should feel pretty good about the group they have and the identity that Cronin is bringing to the program.

Elsewhere around the NCAA Tournament, USC took down Oregon, and I think they actually have a shot to beat Gonzaga. The only question is whether or not Trojan alums will realize they have a team in the tournament before it’s over. After that huge run can you believe Oral Roberts lost on that last second rim job? That blows. Syracuse needed Carmelo Anthony to re-enroll in school to beat Houston. The Pac-12 should be sending Oregon State a thank you note after beating Loyola Chicago. That’s $6.72 million in NCAA units that will be distributed to everyone in the conference. With that half million dollars, ASU can build the new porn department they’ve always wanted, while USC and UCLA can finally afford to fire their football coaches.

To the NBA, where the Lakers are trying to stay afloat with Lebron James and Anthony Davis out for extended time. If the Lakers keep losing, Frank Vogel might lose his mind and dye his hair blonde like Kyle Kuzma. Even though they won the last two games, they have been so sloppy that the fake crowd at Staples Center should have had a refund. Ultimately, this team needs Lebron and AD back or else they are toast, but you can say the same thing about any team that loses their two best players. That’s why I think the Lake Show was smart to not do anything crazy at the trade deadline. I like Kyle Lowry, but he’s 35 years old, and I wouldn’t give up THT in a package for him, even if the Raptors threw in Drake. Rob Pelinka knows what he’s doing, and he showed it by signing Andre Drummond, which fills a big defensive need. Not sure what took Drummond so long though to decide. I think he was just trying to squeeze free dinners and lunches out of the Lakers, Celtics, Knicks, and Hornets. He’s also a decent offensive option with Lebron and AD out, but clearly none of the teams chasing him saw him do this…..

As for the Clippers, they made a bit a splash at the deadline by acquiring Rajon Rondo from the Hawks for Lou Williams. Let’s start with Rondo, who currently may seem old, injury prone, and unmotivated, but we said the same thing about him last year before the playoffs started. If “Playoff Rondo” shows up, it gives the Clippers exactly what they’ve been missing: a guard who can create, a good leader, and a high IQ player. As for Lou Williams, trading him impacts both basketball clubs, as well as The Gold Club. This dude was probably going to retire until he found out that he was going back home for some Lemon Pepper Wings, and high quality strip clubs. In all seriousness though, as good as Lou was for the Clippers prior to this season, both sides seemed like they were ready for a change of scenery. Lou was being phased out of the rotation, and after last season’s chicken wing fiasco, he seemed like a questionable locker room fit from that point on. The Clippers are a much less deep team than they were last year, but they’ve gotta hope their chemistry is better come playoff time.

The NBA trade deadline proved to be more entertaining than I thought. I love how NBA Twitter is acting like it’s 2011, and that Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, and DeAndre Jordan are still All-Stars. I’m not sure if any of those fans have seen those three play basketball of late, but it’s not pretty. The Rockets were prepared to trade Victor Oladipo for a stimulus check and one of Jimmy Butler’s old socks. Meanwhile, the Magic were busy trading so many players, their fans are about to demand a trade in the off-season.

I’m not sure if anybody noticed but the Dodger pitchers have been taking a beating for the last couple of weeks of Spring Training. Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Trevor Bauer have all been thrashed like rag dolls. Hopefully these guys, especially Trevor Bauer, start pitching with their eyes open. I’m a little concerned, but I’m also going to chalk this up to a little arm fatigue and lack of focus in in these tune up starts. Since the season is starting next week, my expectation is that the pitching will be as elite as we expect it to be.

Those LA Times columnists really need to stop drinking when they write their articles. Mike Digiovanna picked the Angels to win the AL West this season. He is citing the fact that Shohei Ohtani will be an X-Factor, while the Astros and A’s have lost too much. Apparently Mike hasn’t seen the Angels pitching, because it’s far worse than anything the A’s and Astros are going to throw out there this season. The Halos have an outside shot of making a Wild Card spot because they have Mike Trout, but unless Ohtani turns into a combination of Nolan Ryan and Barry Bonds, they are probably going to miss the playoffs again. I also love the story about the Angel fan that saved another fan from getting hit by a foul ball during a spring training game by using a beer as a shield. The Angels rewarded the fan by sending more beer to that section, but I’m sure Arte demanded that his staff send only Coors Light to save on costs, like he always tries to do.

Finally, last week Pepsi announced that they are partnering with the marshmallow brand, Peeps, on a limited edition soda. First of all, Peeps are absolutely sticky and disgusting, and there are far superior Easter candies: Cadbury Eggs, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, among others. Second of all, a Peeps flavored Pepsi is nothing more than diabetes in a can. This has to be the worst idea ever, and there can’t possibly be any demand for this drink. More importantly though, for you marketers out there in various industries, this should serve as a reminder that no matter what your ideas are, they can’t be worse than this.

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