This is by far the hardest Monday Morning Coffee I have ever had to write. Let me start by saying my heart goes out to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family, as well as the families of all the other people that were on that flight. Obviously, everyone is going to talk about Kobe, but there were 8 other people on that flight that were people with families as well, and some people that were even close to some of my own family members. Yesterday’s helicopter crash was a shocking tragedy that left me shaken, and like many of you, I’m sobbing and sick to my stomach.
It’s amazing that the man that at times appeared to be invincible died yesterday. As a life-long Laker fan, and a Newport Beach resident, Kobe has felt like a part of my life, and that of many other Southern Californians for the last twenty years. We watched him grow up and mature before our very eyes, and captivate us for decades. It was easy to take for granted, but he was an absolute privilege to watch. Every time he took the court, you knew that you were watching greatness, and waiting for what he was going to do next.
I love the fact that Kobe defied logic on the basketball court. He built his career on making impossible shots. These impossible shots that he made were the shots that his opponents were hoping he would take, yet that’s how he succeeded.
Kobe also commanded respect from everyone. Even his most hated rivals, and those that hated him as a player or person. His work ethic and his ability to push through pain was second to none. I always loved it when over the years someone would tell me how much they hated Kobe, yet how much they had to respect him for all that. That work ethic is what’s so inspirational to people around the world.
What makes me even more sad is knowing how much closer it felt Kobe got to the current Laker players over the last few weeks. He finally started going to games again because Gigi got him into it. Dwight Howard is going to be in the Slam Dunk Contest next month at All-Star Weekend, and he wanted to have Kobe be a part of his routine. Their relationship had come so far. Then Kobe had expressed his support for Lebron before LBJ eclipsed his scoring mark on Saturday night.
Coincidentally, in recent days I began asking myself about Kobe’s legacy as Lebron approached his scoring mark. I thought to myself that Kobe’s legacy was largely around basketball. However, after seeing everyone’s reaction the last 24 hours, it solidified the fact that Kobe’s legacy goes beyond basketball. First of all, thanks to Kobe, he set a ridiculous standard for winning in Los Angeles. If you aren’t in the business of competing for championships, then we think you suck. Why do you think I complain about Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers every week?
More than anything though, Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” is a metaphor for life. Kobe gave every ounce of his body on the basketball court until he physically had nothing left give and his body couldn’t handle it anymore. He also took that approach after basketball, and even won an Oscar. The metaphor is that if you don’t give it your all no matter what you’re doing in life, you will wake up one day with a lot of regret. In other words, live life every day like Kobe did…..pretending like your house is on fire, and strive to be great. You only have one life to live and approaching it with that mentality is this reason why Kobe inspires people around the world. Thank you Kobe for inspiring us all.
The Lakers have won 12 games in a row against teams over .500. That can’t be correct right? I mean we were all told that the Lakers only beat bad teams and couldn’t compete against the elite. Did I mention the fact they beat the Rockets on the road without Anthony Davis? Suddenly I don’t hear anybody complaining about Kentavious Caldwell-Pope anymore. At this point the Lake Show needs to figure out how to match up better with the Clippers and Bucks, as well as stay healthy. That’s it. That’s a pretty damn good position to be in. Also, those of you that want to trade Kyle Kuzma need to take an elementary school math class. You can’t trade a guy making $2 milion for a guy making $20 million in the NBA. This also goes for “Scream’in A Smith” who thinks the Lakers should trade Kuzma to Phoenix for Devin Booker. Kuz isn’t going anywhere.
Meanwhile, the Clippers are still approaching each game like a high school Senior that’s been accepted to college. I realize the Clips want to load manage not just Kawhi, but their entire approach to these games. However, they probably don’t want to settle for anything less than a top 3 seed. Otherwise they could potentially face the Lakers before the conference finals. For all the depth the Clips have as well, they sure could use some bigger bodies on the front line. There is some wild speculation out there about what the team could do, but I can’t see them moving Harrell or Lou Williams without seeing what this group can do in the playoffs first.
To the NFL where the 49ers ran over the Packers yesterday and are in the Super Bowl. This Packer loss must be Mike McCarthy’s fault too right? Aaron Rodgers just lost the NFC Championship Game to a Backstreet Boy with a nice defense. State Farm’s hopes and dreams were completely shattered after their two biggest celebrity endorsers won’t meet in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs handled business yesterday against the Titans and are in the Super Bowl. Andy Reid is pumped he’s only one win away from an epic fast food buffet at The White House. The only thing more impressive than the Chief’s comeback is the fact Andy Reid did it without blowing all his timeouts like he usually does. Patrick Mahomes may be the man, and he may be a very rich man this off-season, but he still has to go home to a very annoying girlfriend. I’m not even dating her and I want to break up with her.
So let me get this straight. You think that Tom Brady is actually going to play for the Chargers next season? Dean Spanos is so cheap, he breathes through his nose to keep from wearing out his teeth. Tom Brady is too smart to play for a bum owner like Dean Spanos. Not to mention it wouldn’t even make sense for the franchise. If they are going to replace Philip Rivers, they shouldn’t replace him with an old quarterback when they can draft a good one this year with their 1st round pick. Even if they are just trying to sell tickets in the new stadium, they are better off doing it with a young player.
To baseball where the cheating scandal the Astros and Red Sox were a part of is only getting worse, as we hear more about it. This completely altered the legacy of Clayton Kershaw, and the career and earnings of Yu Darvish. Everybody owes these two men a serious apology, because the cheating qualifies what happened in 2017, and even in 2018. As for the MLB, they should absolutely strip the title from the Astros. The fact Rob Manfred won’t tells me the Commissioner earned his degree from the Vince McMahon School of Ethics in Sports. This doesn’t excuse the Dodger front office from not doing enough. Andrew Friedman is so saavy with his analytics, yet his software can’t figure out that the opponent is cheating. I think the only solution is for the Dodgers to cheat to win the 2020 World Series. That way they win and Andrew Friedman gets fired. Sounds like a win-win for everybody.
Did you watch the NCAA Championship Football game last week? They should have just saved everyone a lot of time and had the Republican National Convention at halftime. Trump was cheering for Clemson right? I mean they are both Orange. Ed Oregeron needs to be the new voice on the Waze app. I guess it makes sense why USC didn’t want him as their coach. He’s a winner, which does’t fit their culture. When exactly did College Football give up on playing defense? That game is more reason that the playoff shouldn’t be expanded. The difference between the top team in nation and everybody else is usually pretty significant. LSU crushed it, and was far and away the best college football team in the country this year. However, Joe Burrow will probably retire now that he’s going to be drafted by the Bengals.
I can’t believe you suckers paid $65 to watch Conor McGregor fight for 40 seconds on Saturday night. I saw the entire fight on YouTube through somebody sitting in the front row and I paid nothing. What’s the ROI on your $65 investment? Meanwhile you’re all like…..
Finally, another episode of The Bachelor went down on ABC last week, and it’s back tonight. The last episode proved nothing other than HANNAH B IS STILL OUR NEXT BACHELORETTE. The season will probably end with Peter as Hannah’s boyfriend. Something tells me the majority of these girls don’t need $20,000 of Revolve clothing. They seriously brought Demi back for an episode? I love how Kelsey just gave Peter a $5 bottle of Andre to replace her expensive bottle of Dom. Gotta love Kelsey trying to explain that bullying only counts if you do it more than once. Here’s a full recap of the episode:
You guys still want to trade Amber Rose…..I mean Kyle Kuzma? Kuz has been balling since the trade rumors started, but most of you Laker fans have the patience of a 5-year old. You can’t trade a guy with that much potential for spare parts, which is the only thing he can bring back at the moment. Meanwhile, Lebron played Friday’s game against the Mavericks like Luka Doncic was hitting on his wife. I wish Lebron would take these games against Kawhi and the Clippers that personal, because he’s going to need to for the Lake Show to beat them. Anybody still think Rob Pelinka doesn’t know what he’s doing? Congrats to him for getting a promotion and an extension despite having to deal with Magic Johnson, who probably didn’t even know how to turn his computer on in the Laker front office. I love seeing Alex Caruso being 6th in All-Star voting for West guards. For any player that has a problem with it, I suggest you call your agent and demand a trade to the Lakers.
Meanwhile, the Clippers are acting like they are in the 3rd year of a championship run with the way they are not showing up against crummy teams. It’s like they have a championship hangover without the championship, and without the alcohol. It shouldn’t take Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to beat the Grizzlies, and even without them, they should have handled the Warriors and Knicks easily. Instead, it was a struggle. Apparently this team only shows up to play against the Lakers. That’s great, except they don’t get to play the Lakers 82 times a year. Ironically, the Clips don’t matchup as well with everybody else as they matchup with the Lakers. Nevertheless, if they don’t start bringing it against everybody else, we might not get to see Lakers v Clippers in the playoffs like we all hope to.
To the NFL where the Houston Texans need to start cheating like the Astros to win in the playoffs. The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in a half, but the Texans said “hold my beer” and blew a 24-0 lead in one quarter. Pete Caroll must have been shocked to learn that Marshawn Lynch could score from the one yard line, and we were shocked to learn he punted to Aaron Rogers down 5 with 2:50 left. The Ravens lost as well, which is the worst thing to happen to the franchise since they erected a statue of a murderer. The 49ers won again, and Bill Belichick is going to drown himself in the Boston Harbor if Jimmy G makes it to the Super Bowl. This Packers lineman is actually wearing a thong!
Somebody neesds to take Keenan Allen’s Twitter account away from him. He didn’t seem to realize that Mike McCarthy didn’t coach the Packers anymore when the Cowboys hired him. You you would think someone with as much time on his hands would know what’s going on in the NFL. Then again, he might have been doing some day drinking.
It’s going from bad to worse for UCLA Basketball. They’ve lost 5 of their lat 6 games, and are already near the bottom of the PAC-12 after losing to USC. The Bruins are just 8-8, and they are scoring less than a pimple faced high schooler on Prom night. There is no elite scorer on this team, and defensively can only take them so far. I have no idea how good of a coach Mick Cronin is yes, but I sure hope he has the ability to recruit, because he will need to in order to get Bruin basketball back to a respectable level. UCLA should never lose to USC in basketball, let alone on their home floor. It’s going to be a rough couple of months ahead.
We are exactly a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training and the Dodgers haven’t done crap in the offseason. They should change their name to “The Bears” since their front office goes into hibernation during the winter. The worst part is that Stan Kasten is claiming that they will surpass the luxury tax this year. The Dodgers are about $25 million away from the tax, which tells me that they will be spending money on some very mediocre players left in free agency if they plan on spending that much more. Then again, they signed a mediocre player yesterday in Alex Wood, so maybe I shouldn’t be all the surprised. Nolan Arrenado, Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor, and Mookie Betts are all available, the Dodgers have the assets to get one, yet they don’t want to do anything to make their club better. This front office is pathetic.
Then there’s the Angels, who are really going to go into another season without any pitching. The Halos blew all their money on Anthony Rendon, which is nice and all, but it’s like buying a nice car when you need fix your roof. The Halos need to hope that Shohei Ohtani turns into Nolan Ryan and that he can stay healthy. Otherwise, you can count on the Astros running over them again in the division, and another wasted year of Mike Trout.
Every time I hear about the LA Kings these days, all I hear about is how they will be good in two years when their young prospects arrive in the NHL. I’d feel pretty good about that if it wasn’t Rob Blake who drafted them. Blake’s coach hiring decisions have been uninspiring, his free agent signings have been disastrous, and he’s made 15 trades that have resulted in almost no current NHL players. That’s tough to get excited about. Now the trade deadline is coming up, and he’s sure to not move any of the veterans on the roster that are expensive, and have some value left.
Finally, The Bachelor is back! Another season of this train wreck television show you can’t stop watching. This time it’s Peter Weber who is The Bachelor this season. I love how Hannah Brown walked into Peter’s group date to remind all the women that she had sex with him 4 times in a windmill. There’s nothing quite like watching 30 women cry over a man they’ve known for 48 hours. Then again, what do you expect from a group that largely thought the cow that appeared on the show was a horse. I guess it wouldn’t be The Bachelor without that and hearing about a childhood trauma, which in this season is some woman who had a traumatic experience riding the teacups. Anybody else mad that Kelly cheated on the obstacle course? Victoria F modeled for a company called “White Lives Matter”. Where do they find these people? You clearly have to be abnormal to be on the show, otherwise it’s not happening. In any case, looking forward to seeing where it goes from here this season.
The Lakers are back to beating crummy teams again, and everyone should be perfectly ok with it. They lost 4 straight in the month of December, yet still have a 4 game lead in the West. Kudos to the Suns on still clearly finding a way to enjoy New Year’s Eve in L.A. last week despite it being a work trip. That’s work/life balance we should all strive for. Did Darren Collison find God already? That was a quick retirement and search for the man upstairs, if he’s really coming back next month. The Lake Show really needs him to help their bench. ESPN is the new CNN when it comes to covering the Lakers. Woj harped on the relationship Collison has with Doc Rivers because he played for him, but conveniently failed to mention he played for Frank Vogel too.
Meanwhile, The Clippers sure do have a lot of games where they don’t show up for a team whose entire ad campaign is built around how real they are. “Earned, not given” is acting like a team in the 3rd year of a three-peat run? Lay off Kawhi though. He must be EXHAUSTED after playing 4 in a row! WHY DID KAWHI PLAY 35 MINS IN A BLOWOUT AND A MEANINGLESS REGULAR SEASON GAME??? I still don’t get this bizarre load management schedule they have him on, and I’m not sure anybody other than Kawhi does because he’s the one telling the Clips what he’s doing.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of former NBA Commissioner David Stern, who passed away last week. Stern’s legacy will always be remembered as the man who helped globalized the NBA, and taking it from a sport few cared about to one of the top sports leagues in the world. Also, as much as Laker fans want to hate him for vetoing the Chris Paul trade, the Lakers are the greatest franchise in the NBA partially because Stern knew the importance of big markets during his tenure.
That was a shocking Wild Card Weekend in the NFL. Bill Simmons is in tears right now trying to figure out how the Patriots loss is somehow like Rocky III or Road Rules Challenge. Tom Brady was doing his best Jameis Winston impression on Saturday. You think the dynasty is over until Belichik signs 13 new refs and finds a new way to cheat. Patriots haven’t won a playoff game since they arrested Rich Hill. Then there’s the Bills who choked away their game against the Texans. Bills Mafia bought all those tables to break at the tailgate for nothing. I feel terrible for Drew Brees, but you can always count on the Saints and their fans complaining that the refs screwed them instead of holding themselves accountable for missed opportunities. The Seahawks won and that means Beast Mode gets to continue entertaining us for another week.
I don’t usually agree with Scott Kaplan on much, and definitely not when it comes to his feminine orders at Starbucks. However, I do agree on the fact that the Charger franchise really screwed Philip Rivers, when he’s shown loyalty to them. Rivers could have “Bolted” to a better situation, but instead, showed faith in a franchise that set him up to fail. The Bolts never added the final pieces to even put themselves in position to get to the Super Bowl, and it wasn’t like it was only Tom Brady that prevented them from doing so. Now Rivers’ frustration has boiled over with the move to LA, where he knows the team has no fans. At this point you can only feel bad for the guy.
Although this is quickly looking like a down year for UCLA Basketball, I was really happy to see freshman Jake Kyman not only get some minutes, but also take advantage of them. Kyman looked like Klay Thompson against Washington with all his clutch shooting, and made a solid contribution in the loss against Washington State yesterday. There hasn’t been a lot to get excited about, but as long as this kid continues to develop, he can be a really important player for the program for the next 4 years.
It’s January and as usual, the Dodgers have done nothing to improve their ball club. Also as usual, Stan Kasten is in damage control mode with the media. He’s trying to tell us this is a successful team already that is still determined to win the World Series. You could have fooled me. If the Dodgers were really concerned that Gerrit Cole wanted to be a Yankee, why didn’t they try to outbid them instead of telling us they could have? Everyone knows Scott Boras clients always go to the highest bidder. I have never blamed the Dodgers for making the TV deal they did, but I do blame them for not spending the money, and spending it the right way. They didn’t even spend the money to bring back Rich Hill, who is on the MLB equivalent of welfare. Kasten also thinks that just because we show up to his games we agree with how his team does things. The man is simply out of touch with reality. Here’s to proving me wrong Stan, but based on what you did in Atlanta, this looks like the sequel to a bad movie.
Finally, CNN is unbelievable. I remember when they were a respectable network. You knew that had a little bit of an agenda before, but it was professional. Now they have become far more embarrassing than Fox News. These people actually cried on election night in 2016 when Trump won. Now they are getting drunk on New Years Eve, and talking about penises on the air.
Tough week for the Lakers. They snapped a 4-game skid but not before losing some games to some quality competition, namely the Clippers. On top of that, I’m pretty sure Kyle Kuzma’s trainer isn’t going to be invited to Taco Tuesday at Lebron’s house, after firing off some highly critical tweets. Lebron is already sending a strongly worded letter to the Santa at the North Pole demanding that he takes a crap in the trainer’s stocking next year. I don’t know if Kawhi is better than Lebron on a nightly basis, but he certainly makes the matchup difficult. In all seriousness though, Lebron is going to have to figure out how to be the smarter and more skillful player against the Clippers, rather than the most athletic guy. That’s the only difference between the Lakers and Clippers right now, but I think Lebron is capable of figuring out that challenge.
As for the Clippers, yes they are basking in the glory of a win over the Lakers on Xmas Day, but then they followed that up by laying an egg against Utah. Doc Rivers blamed the loss on the fact his team is sick, but they are probably sick from watching Paul George shoot 30% from the field the last 4 games. He been awful lately, and nobody cares unless your name is Lebron, Harden or Westbrook. Then there’s Kawhi Leonard, who won the AP Male Athlete of the Year, but I’m sure he’s going to miss the ceremony due to load management. The Clippers are winning but they are annoying. So is Kawhi’s Uncle, who probably asked Jeannie Buss for sexual favors while negotiating with the Lakers over the summer. This dude reminds me of the Uncle in the movie “He Got Game”.
The Rams may have found the win column yesterday to finish the season over .500, but it was a lost cause. Todd Gurley just isn’t getting enough work, and whatever happens next season, he and Sean McVay need to hold hands and sing ” Kum-By-Ya” until they resolve whatever weird beef they have. They are also going to be a team that is shopping at the “99 Cent Store” this off-season, since they have paid everybody already, and still need to pay Jalen Ramsey. Despite that, I see no reason why the Rams can’t get back to the playoffs next year if they get creative with the cap, and fix the offensive line. There is still talent on this team.
The Chargers’ season also mercifully came to an end yesterday, but sadly the Charger career of Philip Rivers probably did as well. After watching Rivers get emotional at the post game press conference yesterday, I was thinking how much respect I had for the guy. I’ve gotta admit, I’ve always been a Drew Brees guy over Philip Rivers, but Rivers played so hard and didn’t care about the interceptions. He was always about going for it, even if the ride with the Bolts was bumpier than the Matterhorn. For Philip’s sake, and the sake of his 22 children, I hope he goes someplace else next year where he can win. For the Chargers, it’s going to be a disaster either way moving into a new stadium and losing name players like Rivers and Melvin Gordon, while having no fans.
Elsewhere around Week 17, America is cracking the champagne open after the Patriots lost to the Dolphins, which means they have to play next weekend in the playoffs. Marshawn Lynch was serving tequila shots at a parking lot tailgate in Oakland two weeks ago for the Raiders’ last game there. Last night he started for the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. Legend. The NFC East playoff spot should go to LSU instead of the Eagles. More on them in a moment. Jameis Winston has thrown 30 interceptions this season, and he’s asking for $30 million next season. Isn’t this country amazing? The Bengals are so bad, even their celebrations suck.
USC football finished up their season with a Holiday Bowl loss against Iowa State. The only thing worse than the SC coaching is Qualcomm stadium. The seats in that stadium look like they were recovered from the Titanic. As if Trojan fans aren’t mad enough, now USC AD Mike Bohn is blaming the fans for the Trojans’ poor recruiting class. Maybe it’s because recruits don’t want to join a Clay Helton-coached team that consistently gets embarrassed by good competition. Not because the fans want to see them fail. Helton has embarrassed USC Athletics more than Lori loughlin. Anybody that wants to point out that USC lost Kedon Slovis, Slovis doesn’t play defense or special teams, where much of their problems were against Iowa State. USC was supposed to finish strong in the Holiday Bowl. Instead, it validated every concern its frustrated fan base has levied against Clay Helton.
As for the College Football Playoff, the United Nations has charged LSU with crimes against humanity for what they did against Oklahoma. Oh should Oklahoma join a conference now? Or maybe they should be relegated to Division II. Look, for all the “Prisoner of The Moment People” saying Oklahoma didn’t belong in this game, yes they did. They had the fourth best season in the country. This happens sometimes. The top teams are just really good. The same thing can be said for Division II and Division III College Football, which has the larger playoff format most people are pushing for. Meanwhile Ohio State and Oklahoma have agreed to play a 3rd place game and Ohio State is already up 28-0 before the game started. Hopefully the Championship game is a little more competitive.
I don’t even know what to say anymore about UCLA Basketball. They lost at home to Cal State Fullerton. UCLA should NEVER lose to Fullerton. Now Coach Mick Cronin issued an apology to all the fans for the poor defense that they played Saturday. However, it’s actually their offense that is far more offensive to watch. Cronin is basically saying he doesn’t have enough talent. He also said he plans on talking to Chip Kelly and borrowing some of his football players to work on post defense with his players in practice. That’s like asking Chris Brown for advice on domestic abuse prevention. Kelly’s players have no talent, and they sure don’t win. Things look like they are going to get worse in Westwood before they get better.
For those of you that missed it, Dodger free agent pitcher Rich Hill and his wife were arrested at a Patriots game last week. This arrest makes him a great candidate for the Astros to sign, since it’s pretty much a requirement to have a criminal record to play for them. This also validates the “Dick Mountain” nickname he gave himself for being so ballsy. Have you seen Hill get angry and throw water coolers when he gets removed from a regular season game by Andrew Friedman’s computer? Imagine what he did to those cops if he did that to a water cooler. Probably took the whole squad to take him down.
OJ Simpson Twitter is still great for jokes that simply write themselves. OJ’s latest Twitter debacle was after he won his fantasy football championship, and showed up on social with a belt hours later. I’m beginning to think the league doesn’t really exist because it usually take a while to get your league’s belt or trophy if you win. Juice got his hands on it like he was given the Stanley Cup, which seems unlikely. Kirk Cousins should be a little nervous since OJ thinks he nearly “murdered” his chances. Clearly, OJ is still “killing” the competition. But seriously though: who would play in a Fantasy Football League with OJ, let alone invite him to one?
I read a headline on ESPN yesterday that actually said: “Lebron Not Managing His Load”. The journalists that cover the NBA are severely underestimating the maturity level of their fan base. In all seriousness though, LBJ missing last night’s game is no big deal, but he should take a few games off, even if it means we’re going to be disappointed not seeing him on Christmas Day. The Laker losing streak isn’t a big deal either. Meanwhile, Magic Johnson still can’t shut up. He felt the need to tell the LA Times that the Lakers wouldn’t be where they are today without him. Actually Magic, the Lakers are where they are today despite your stupidity. There’s no way Magic had any idea who Josh Hart was when he was in college, and it’s not terribly difficult to “evaluate talent” like Lonzo Ball when he is in your backyard playing Oregon on a Thursday night. Something tells me Magic wasn’t exactly going to scout Colgate vs Monmoth in January, and it was his scouts doing that, and Pelinka doing the real roster manipulation. If anything, had Magic not been an idiot, Kawhi would be on this team with Lebron and AD, and the league would be over.
Meanwhile, Doc Rivers is talking trash about load management. Doc claims that the Lakers load management philosophy is “whatever Lebron says it is.” That’s funny Doc, but the Lakers aren’t load managing at all, and it’s really you that is load managing Kawhi because that’s how Kawhi says it’s going to be. However, it doesn’t seem to matter how much Kawhi is load managing, because right now Giannis and the Bucks look like the best team in the NBA. Giannis isn’t the same player Kawhi locked down in the playoffs last year, and he’s suddenly making three-pointers like he’s Reggie Miller. For now, the Lakers and Clippers might just be battling it out for 2nd place.
That was a spirited effort by the Rams on Saturday against the 49ers, but their playoff hopes got crushed like everyone’s hope of Trump actually leaving office. I don’t really subscribe to the theory that the Rams are done being competitive in the NFC, but this is definitely going to be looked at as a season of missed opportunities. The Rams should have handled business against the Bucs, Cowboys, and Seahawks on the road. Even if they win two of those games it’s a different story. I’m also not sure what the weird dynamic between Sean McVay and Todd Gurley is. Gurley rarely touches the ball 20 times a game anymore, and it’s like McVay got offended he was hitting on his fiance or something. Whatever the case is, these two guys better work it out before next season.
Then there’s the Chargers, who are just a sad football team at this point. They lose to the Raiders, they have to rely on silent counts because they are basically playing a road game in their own stadium, and then Philip Rivers complains about how much the lack of support hurts. Melvin Gordon also re-iterated how tough it was to play in that stadium for the last 3 years. Don’t worry Melvin, I don’t think the Bolts are interested in paying you even $5 million next year, so you won’t have to play in LA anymore. Even more ridiculous is the Chargers making a joke out of the Raiders leaving Oakland. Apparently when the Bolts left San Diego it was all business, but when the Raiders leave Oakland it’s all one big joke.
Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 15, Jameis Winston is the first quarterback to ever throw an interception during a commercial. Lamar Jackson is so good, at this point he’s trolling people on the field. With the Bengals clinching the #1 overall pick, every single draft eligible player has announced they are all returning to school. The Dolphins are so bad, they couldn’t even tank properly this season. The Seahawks are about to hold tryouts with their fans for their starting running back position next week. Stay positive Cowboys fans you still have the Lakers and Yankees seasons to look forward to!
To baseball where the Dodgers have yet to do anything of significance to improve their club, and we are nearly at Christmas time. I did not expect the Dodgers to bring back Hyun Jin Ryu. However, I did expect them to do something to improve their bullpen, starting pitching, and their lineup to a lesser extent. I get it Andrew Friedman, you don’t want to give out long term deals. However, you also don’t like giving up high end prospects in trades. So in case nobody has told you, you can’t improve your baseball team if you aren’t willing to do either. I’ve been hearing names like Lindor, Clevinger, and Arrenado since the off-season ended, but I’m having a hard time seeing the Dodgers actually do anything because that has never been Friedman’s style. Here’s to hoping I’m wrong by the time you read this.
As for the Angels, they desperately need pitching and still haven’t gotten it. No Cole, no Wheeler, Bumgarner, Keuchel, or Ryu. They probably needed two of those guys, and not Julio Teheran. I realize the Angels are paying for durability on their pitching staff, but maybe they can start paying for talent while they are at it. It’s going to take some creative trades by the Halos to find some impact arms to help them get in the playoffs at this point. David Price seems like the best bet, especially with only 3 years left on his deal, and still performing at a reasonably high level.
Does anybody actually care that USC will be playing in the Holiday Bowl on Thursday? Anyone? Bueller? I guess we’ll get the true answer on Thursday when no Trojan fans show up, or a bunch of angry ones. I hear Clay Helton is counting 7-on-7 workouts as real practices to claim that USC would have practiced 15 times in preparation for the game. The only thing worse than the people that run USC is the stadium this game is going to be played in. That’s another reason why San Diego needs another new stadium. By the way, USC’s recruiting class is now worse than Bowling Green’s. Keeping Clay Helton is going really well so far guys.
The Lakers keep winning, and keep winning on the road. If Lebron keeps this up, pretty soon he’s going to start giving away his underwear to fans, in addition to his shoes. Not only are they winning, they are having fun and enjoying playing with each other. This week it gets real with a showdown against the Bucks, and the following week a Xmas Day showdown with the Clippers. Get your popcorn ready! Those Laker haters are going to have to block Laker fans on Twitter if the Lakers keep winning on the road.
As for the Clippers, they should have been able to beat a team like the Bulls, even when Kawhi sits out. Then there’s Paul George, who felt the need to bring up what happened when he left Indiana to the media earlier in the week. PG13 sure talks a lot for a guy who doesn’t say much. One thing we can say about him though is that he clearly doesn’t like pressure or accountability. That’s exactly why he’s a Clipper and not a a Laker, and exactly why he has never wanted to play with Lebron.
RIP to the Rams playoff hopes. I don’t know what the hell happened but the Rams played that game with the intensity of a preseason game. The Cowboys have been losing games left and right until Sunday. At least Sean McVay should get coach of the year for allowing us to score all the garbage time fantasy points. I’m also done with Jared Goff. I just can’t defend him anymore for his play. McVay has gone from genius to lunatic. He’s allowing Goff to throw 51 times, instead of giving the ball to Todd Gurley. If everything is perfect with the protection, Goff is solid. If not, he’s pretty mediocre. It’s been a season of squandered opportunities that have killed their playoff hopes.
Meanwhile, the Chargers got bombed by the Vikings. Melvin Gordon went from potentially getting $10 million a year to getting benched. This man is losing money faster than Lehman Brothers. Even Phil Rivers realizes that he’s making more turnovers than Martha Stewart, and that his future is in doubt. It’s no wonder this team can’t sell tickets in their brand new stadium next year. There is already nobody that cares about them, they stink, and they don’t have any young players to get excited about. Again, 80% Vikings fans during a Charger home game, and even the Vikings fans know where the Bolts belong.
Elsewhere around Week 15, I’m not even sure Jesus Christ could lead the Browns to the playoffs. The Bears figure if they don’t make the playoffs, then a kicker can’t actually lose them a playoff game. Now that the Bills have actually clinched a playoff spot, Bills mafia will probably be breaking even more tables at tailgates. Most teams prepare for the Bengals by just taking a nap. However, the Patriots actually needed to tape their opponents.
It’s time for a Dodger cold stove update. That’s right people. As usual Andrew Friedman is 100% full of crap telling you he expects big changes. The only change this guy makes is upgrading his Windows software. The Dodgers could have outbid the Yankees for Gerrit Cole, or even acquired Corey Kluber for pennies on the dollar, but Friedman overvalued his prospects like he usually does. I’m not sure why anybody is surprised. He spent another $10 million on a reliever coming off a terrible season as well. Typical Dodger blueprint for “success”.
As for the Angels, signing Antony Rendon is mice and all, but it’s like buying a Ferrari when you need to fix your roof. The Halos desperately need pitching, or they aren’t making the playoffs. Last I checked, Rendon can’t pitch. With Cole, Kluber, and now MadBum off the market, there’s not many more places they can go to get it. Not that the Dodgers were desperate for Rendon, but the notion that it was the Hollywood lifestyle that kept him from LA is ridiculous. I’m pretty sure Clayton Kershaw isn’t living the Hollywood lifestyle.
I don’t understand how the Lakers are winning all these games against good teams. I mean they just played a road back-to-back against teams with an over .500 record. I was told they only play against WNBA teams and that they’re sure to get bombed against real competition. This can’t be true because the people that told me this cover this sport for a living. I mean it’s impossible anybody could be that bad at their job right? Maybe the Lakers strength of schedule is bad because most every team they play loses to them. This team is damn good, and at this point there are probably two or three teams at most that stand in their way between them and the title. Wait until Kuzma gets his act together and this team will be really unstoppable.
Then there’s the Clippers. I see the Bucks took advantage of their weak schedule on Friday. Paul George is already in playoff form against elite teams, but hey…. at least Kawhi is well rested. I’m sure all 5 of you Clipper fans are still confident. In all seriousness though, it’s clear the Clippers are playing the long game with Kawhi, PG, and how they are approaching a lot of these big matchup regular season games. At a certain point though this team needs time to build chemistry to succeed against the elite, and since they aren’t even practicing together very much, I’m not so sure they are setting themselves up to do that.
Where has this Rams team been all season? After dismantling the Seahawks last night at the Coliseum, LA is still only on game back of the last playoff spot in the NFC playoff chase. Suddenly Jared Goff and Todd Gurley look like themselves. I’m just not sure it’s going to be in time to make the playoffs. Thanks to Sean McVay for “not being an idiot” as he claimed, and giving Gurley the ball. I’m suddenly not so worried about the Rams beating up on the Cowboys next week, and might not even be shocked if they beat the 49ers at Levi Stadium. However, it’s the Vikings schedule, or lack therof that makes me think the Rams will be watching the playoffs at home.
The Chargers actually won a game, after the destroying the Jaguars on the road. That kind of beat down makes you realize just how much this team has underachieved. They have unbelievable talent, but they can’t beat anybody at the most critical times. If only Philip Rivers could play like it was his birthday everyday. Now that their season is meaningless, the Bolts will probably win every game.
Elsewhere around Week 14, NFL Sunday’s don’t officially start until Jameis Winston throws an interception, and he did plenty of that yesterday. Let’s be honest….it was probably Bill Belichick that managed to get the Chiefs equipment sent to New Jersey. Funny how Mitch Trubisky looks like Lamar Jackson against the Cowboys. The Texans showed up dressed like Average Joe’s, and they played like Average Joe’s against the Broncos.
To College Football where Mike “Bohn-head” made a move that every Trojan fan feared. He kept Clay Helton as his head coach. I realize that the University is trying to clean up scandals and lawsuits, but one can still do that and win football games by hiring a coach that isn’t Clay Helton or Urban Meyer. Also, anybody that thinks the boosters and the fan base aren’t important doesn’t get it. The Trojans are going to cost themselves millions of dollars in donations and revenue with the poor decision they just made. If they don’t realize that, then Carol Folt and Mike Bohn are completely clueless as to the significance of USC’s place in the Los Angeles sports landscape.
As for UCLA, Chip Kelly said he’s excited for what’s ahead with UCLA football. Let’ see: the man is owed another $15 million for three more season, his job is safe, his defensive coordinator is going to take all the heat, and he doesn’t have to coach another embarrassing loss for 9 more months. Of course he’s excited!
Ok ESPN I get it. The Yankees like Gerrit Cole. I don’t need to see it in headlines 80 times. The Yankees want to make Cole a priority. That’s a cute story. I want to make Jennifer Aniston a priority as well, but that probably doesn’t matter because she won’t date me. The same goes for Cole, who we know prefers the Angels or Dodgers. Let’s be honest though, Andrew Friedman isn’t going to pay $250+ million for any player. The real question is simply whether or not the Angels are going to make a bid high enough, knowing Cole already wants to be here. They don’t actually need to outbid the Yankees.
Relax everybody. The Lakers were going to lose again at some point. Frankly, they only really played badly for one quarter yesterday that cost them. Yesterday’s game also had that “fines all around after the game for ripping refs” feel to it. The officiating has been pretty bad league wide though. I’m not sure what the point of giving these refs replay is when they still get the calls wrong. The Lakers just need to clean up the consistency on defense, and get Kyle Kuzma going. I am getting really annoyed with people pretending like they have only played against WNBA teams, and haven’t actually beaten good teams like the Mavs, Jazz, Suns, and Heat. Meanwhile Denver loses to Sacramento, and Houston loses to some tomato can and it’s all good. We get it. The schedule gets tougher, but don’t pretend like the Lake Show isn’t a contender.
Then there’s the Clippers who admittedly are good, but NBA Twitter fawns over them like they are the 1996 Chicago Bulls. The Spurs got some revenge on Kawhi on Friday, and Paul George was already in playoff form, shooting about 20% from the field. I’m still waiting for some solid media coverage about the Clippers without knocking the Lakers in the process, or trying to provide some lame Laker hater comparison. By the way, if you think the Lakers schedule is tough in December, you should see the Clippers schedule, which is littered with back-to-backs. Hopefully Kawhi puts his other part-time job on the back burner so he can actually play in those games and help the Clips.
To the NFL, where the Rams got back in the win column yesterday with a win over Arizona. Putting Blake Bortles in the game was like lighting up a human victory cigar. It was good to see Jared Goff and Todd Gurley get right because just 6 days earlier, Lamar Jackson burned the Sean McVay coaching tree to the ground. It was like watching Rams march to a slaughter house. The Rams look nothing like the Super Bowl contender of last year, but don’t count them out of the playoff picture just yet. Minnesota’s schedule isn’t so easy, and they could still blow it.
Then there’s the Chargers. Even for the Bolts, yesterday was a rough loss to the Broncos. They’ve now lost 8 games by 7 or fewer points, but have collectively outscored all their opponents this year. It’s like when the 4th quarter rolls around, they start looking around for someone to give them the Heimlich maneuver. I’ve gotta hand it to them though. It had been a whole six days since they figured out a new way to lose. Charger games are like SAW movies. They are predictable and get more outrageous every time, to the point that they are almost comical. But I still can’t look away. With all this talk about the Chargers moving on from Philip Rivers, I’m not sure how they can if they are moving into a new stadium next year. I realize he’s been handing out interceptions like he’s Oprah, but they are already pleading with people to buy PSL’s next year. I’m sure they won’t exactly be replacing Rivers with Tom Brady, so losing Rivers probably won’t help their cause.
Elsewhere around Week 13 in the NFL, Jason Garrett has reportedly been put up for sale for $5 as part of a Black Friday special at Dallas WalMart. So far, no takers. That stiff arm on Matt Ryan put him back in grade school. If you see any Eagles players on the street, kindly pick them up and put them in a waste win. You see, the Eagles are trash. The Giants lost again, and Saquon Barkley is busy liking porn on social media. The Browns just lost to a QB named “Duck”. America sleeps better when the Patriots lose. Enough said. Here’s a live look at the NFC East standings.
It’s really nice to see USC is upset about apparently erroneous reports that Clay Helton should be fired. Perhaps they should be steamed over the fact that they are 13-11 in their last 24 games. I don’t know whether or not Clay Helton is going to remain the USC Head Football Coach. But I do know that the University Leadership has already fumbled this process like a 4th string running back. The fact they have not provided any clarity one way or another spells indecisiveness and disaster. One could also argue that by not firing Helton, the school will lose about $200 million in donations from alums, while saving only $20 million to keep him. I’m already skeptical that this new leadership team will come up with an elite replacement if the job becomes available.
On the other side of town, for about five minutes Bruin fans got excited when they heard rumors that Chip Kelly and UCLA might mutually part ways. That unfortunately, was not true after Kelly refuted the rumors. In other words, you can expect one more year of this mess before both sides move on. My favorite part of the Chip Kelly era is when Chip was hired, UCLA fans were saying “imagine Chip’s Oregon teams but with more talent?!” Then Chip went on to purge all that talent, replace them with walk-ons and 3-stars, & then tell us UCLA sucks because it doesn’t have talent. Kelly has been so bad he should face a class action lawsuit for destroying a football program. Chip Kelly isn’t even the Steve Alford of College Football. That’s how bad it is. It’s not going to get better for a while.
Speaking of UCLA, the basketball squad performed like we expected in Maui. They beat the second tier teams, and couldn’t hang with anybody in the Top 25. I realize they put up a good fight against Michigan State for a while, but this team is what it is. I’m already severely questioning if they are going to make it to the NCAA tournament. On the other hand though, thank God for Bill Walton. While some of you hate him, you fail to realize that he is providing great entertainment value on the ESPN broadcasts. He might be the highest man on the planet, but he’s a National treasurer and I hope he lives to about 150.
Finally, the baseball Hot Stove hasn’t felt very hot this off-season for the Dodgers so far. I can’t say I’m surprised though. Every day you can find some rumor connecting the Dodgers to names like Mookie Betts and Francisco Lindor. However, in reality, this is not what Andrew Friedman does. Friedman was probably shopping for some 99 cent reliever on Black Friday, and will probably look for some useless starter on Cyber Monday. As for the Angels, Mike Trout is like that woman you’ve been married to for years that’s subtly telling you that you need to buy her something nice. Trout went on the MLB Radio Network last week and said he’s waiting by the phone to hear the Halos made a big acquisition. Memo to Billy Eppler: dude is telling you to sign Gerrit Cole.
The Lakers are 14-2. Lebron has never gotten off to a start this good with any team. Hey Jackie McMullon and Brian Windhorst….not bad for a team that is “a work in progress” right? I can’t wait to see what they look like when they do, because they are already a defensive juggernaut. Weird because I thought they were supposed to be flawed defensively, and that Rob Pelinka was a novice. Where are all those people now? It’s a long season, and a lot can happen between now and June, but if this team stays healthy, no reason they aren’t going to be a legitimate title contender. These ESPN NBA analysts are more inaccurate than a Southern California Weather Man.
As for the Clippers, they have been finding the win column as well now that they have Paul George and Kawhi Leonard on the floor together. There’s a lot of skill set duplication with these two, but defensively, they can be very good when they want to, which we saw on Friday against the Rockets. That was a great game to watch between two very annoying teams that deserve Oscar Awards. James Harden is a phenomenal player, but his ability to manipulate referees into sending him to the foul line makes the game very unwatchable. As if that’s not annoying enough, Doc Rivers might as well be defending the three-point line since he’s so far onto the court in the 4th quarter. Then there’s Patrick Beverly who is out here acting like he just got tazed.
Speaking of the NBA, I can appreciate the idea of Adam Silver’s radical proposals. I love the idea of re-seeding at the conference finals to insure the finals are played with the two best teams. That’s a good compromise as opposed to seeding 1-16 to start the playoffs, which would cause additional travel fatigue for some teams. As for the in-season tournament, as long it doesn’t replace the All-Star game, I’m in favor. This could reduce tanking, load management, and make some of of the smaller market teams more relevant. If executed properly, it has great potential for success. You can thank the Clippers load management of Kawhi for getting the league to its breaking point on this issue.
To College Football, where I’ve never seen a weirder UCLA-USC game then Saturday at the Coliseum. Both teams fan bases wanted the other side to win, all because of the fate of Clay Helton. That’s right….UCLA fans want Helton to stay to keep the team in mediocrity, while USC fans want Helton gone to get back to being an elite program. Then it was almost like Helton and Chip Kelly were trolling each other with all the timeouts they called at odd unnecessary moments. 52-35? Cute flag football game guys. In typical UCLA fashion, the offense put up some points, the defense was awful, and Kelly was wildly idiotic. A perfect summary of the season. Get ready for another season of that. Meanwhile, the Trojans will probably make it to some mediocre bowl game, while we await the fate of the underwhelming Helton. Hopefully they don’t wait too long to decide for their sake, since their recruiting rankings are sinking like the Titanic.
I was really beginning to wonder if UCLA basketball was any good, but I got my answer after they lost to Hoffstra at home on Friday. That’s this season’s version of a Cal Poly loss, which they suffered at home in the recent past. Since Mick Cronin is telling us his team is a work progress, maybe next year he should schedule the likes of Bluefield State, Arkansas Pine Bluff, Redlands, and Hampton, who all scored fewer than 50 points in a game this week. Now I see why UCLA was picked to finish 8th in the PAC-12 by the media. Unless Mick Cronin can draw something on a white board other than a clown face, I’m pretty sure things are going to get a lot worse for the Bruins when they start facing tougher competition in Maui next week.
In the NFL, we can now add Philip Rivers to the long list of things we need to apologize to Mexico for. Rivers was awful last week against the Chiefs in Mexico, and has been looking very washed up the last few weeks. For the few of you left who are only “sticking with the Chargers because of Rivers”, you might want to start thinking about what you’re going to be doing with your Sunday’s next fall. We’ve been saying for several seasons the Bolts need to find a successor to Rivers in the draft, but they’ve been stubborn about it. Now it’s about to catch up to them. That’s just one of many problems for a team that has no fan base, and is about to move into a new stadium where they will be even more of an embarrassment.
The Rams don’t play until tonight against the Ravens at the Coliseum. However, they better bring everything they’ve got. If they lose this game, you can pretty much put the nail in the coffin on their playoff hopes for this season. I sure hope Sean McVay is planning on giving the ball to Todd Gurley about 30 times in this game, and milk the clock on every possession. Otherwise, Lamar Jackson is going to dismantle them piece by piece and it’s going to get ugly at the Coliseum.
Elsewhere around Week 12, The Patriots got the benefit of another critical call in their win against the Cowboys. The refs have to be having Thanksgiving dinner at Bill Belichick’s house. The Packers play like cheese heads when they play in the state of California. Jameis Winston recorded his 100th career turnover against the Falcons. To celebrate, all fans in attendance received a coupon for a free Apple turnover from Betty Crocker. The Jaguars made the Titans look like the the ’72 Dolphins. The Raiders lost to the Jets, and their playoff hopes are disappearing faster than a Democrat’s hopes to become President. The Steelers benched Mason Rudolph in favor of Delvin Hodges and got a win, but the real laughs were in Cleveland, where Browns fans were swinging at Rudolph pinata with a football helmet. These guys are killing it!
On the ice, I love how the Kings had won 4 of their last 5 games going into Saturday, but were in no danger of jeopardizing their lottery status. LA is still firmly in last place in the Western Conference, and only the Red Wings are worse than them in the entire league. The Kings also lost to Coyotes twice this week. The same Coyotes team that is suddenly one of the best defensive teams in hockey, and has almost as bad of an offense as the Kings. It just so happens the Coyotes are near the top of the Pacific Division. Funny how that works. You would think a Kings team that won two Stanley Cups this decade with a defensive focus would know that’s how you become competitive quickly, but apparently they decided to be like everybody else and chase speed and offense. Downright foolishness. The Kings just keep losing, while their fans would rather be watching re-runs of Temptation Island, because they’ve gotten so boring.
Finally, the Mid-Season Finale of The Walking Dead went down last night on AMC. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case. Where do I buy that Christmas sweater that Chris Hardwick was wearing? Chase the enemy on their own territory…..real smart Carol. Why didn’t she just take out an arrow and kill Alpha right then and there? I think the group is gonna need a Genie to get out of that cave where the herd is. Father Gabriel is now the biggest badass on the show. Can’t wait to see what Negan’s reaction is to all this I never thought Eugene would break through the friend zone with Rosita, but he finally did. Even super nerds can find some action people! I appreciate the show putting the music books in the proper Dewey decimal aisle in the post-apocalyptic library. Judith should have cut that guys head off for what he did to Ace. Great episode, but this is my face when I found out the show won’t be back until February 23rd of 2020!