Monthly Archives: February 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers

February 24th, 2014

I’m really confused.  The NBA trade deadline was on Thursday afternoon, but somehow, Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, and Chris Kaman all appeared to be playing basketball for the Lakers on Friday night.  That’s impossible though, isn’t it?  I mean, why would the Lakers hang on to these three guys when they are trying to lose games, collect some assets, and cut salary to get below the luxury tax?  Then I remembered that the Lakers are now run by Jim Buss, so these moronic moves, or lack thereof make total sense.  Mitch Kupchak spoke with the media right after the deadline, and he said that the team had an opportunity to unload players for just to cut salary, but the team declined because “there were no basketball components and that’s unacceptable within this organization.”

Gee whiz Mitch…….that sounds great and all, but last year, when you had a championship roster and your boss forced you to hire Mike D’Antoni instead of Phil Jackson, there sure didn’t seem like there were any “basketball components” associated with that move.  The Lakers held on to Gasol way too long, and now, he’s going to help them win games and hurt their draft status, while also screwing them this summer by leaving to take a bigger payday elsewhere.  It’s really beginning to look like next year will be just as rough as this year for LA, because Kupchak added that the team “may take more than one year to build”.  Laker fans are smart.  Many even smarter than Jim Buss.       A rebuild is perfectly acceptable at this point to fans, but it’s pretty hard to do anything when your owners are still trying to figure out their own identity.  That is what’s unacceptable.

Meanwhile, the Clippers stole a big win on the road against Oklahoma City yesterday.  The Clipps played well down the stretch, but they took advantage of the fact that Russell Westbrook is still trying to find his game after coming back from his knee injury.  The Clippers nearly made a poor decision at the deadline, by trying to trade for Knicks shooting guard Iman Shumpert.  Although Shumpert would have moved Jamal Crawford back to bench, he can’t shoot the ball to save his life  this season, and acquiring him would have opened up another hole by trading Darren Collison.  This year’s trade deadline was about as exciting as watching paint dry, as nobody wanted to give up 1st round picks in this years draft.  So the Clipps were smart to sign Glen “Big Baby” Davis to beef up their front court.  I wonder if they’ll be interested in Metta World Peace.  He’s a former Laker, so it makes sense the Clippers would want him for that reason alone.

What a complete disgrace the US Men’s hockey team was in Socchi.  Jonathan Quick probably bought one of those “I flew half way around the world for this shit” T-Shirts, in the airport, since he got even worse offensive support then he gets from the Kings.  They didn’t have the offensive fire power to beat Canada, but the showing against Finland in the bronze medal game was outrageous.  Patrick Kane and Zach Parise should have their US citizenships revoked after just quitting half way through that game.  The entire team played like their girlfriend just broke up with them.  So much for pride.  Dan Bylsma benched Dustin Brown in the last game because he wanted to play the guys he thought could score.  I guess it didn’t work because the US went the last 119 minutes without a goal.  Thank you to NBC for putting on a soccer game right after, so we could see more scoring.

As for the rest of the Olympics, can you imagine what the next 4 years are going to be like?  We’re going to have to hear from the Canadians how they just own us in hockey, after taking the men’s and women’s gold medals.  There could not have been a more devastating way for the US women to lose that final game.  Honestly, if it wasn’t for some of the newer and more obscure sports, Team USA would be a complete failure in these Olympics.  Our speedskaters flopped harder than Anchorman 2, and our biggest stars, like Bode Miller and Shaun White, didn’t bring home much hardware.  The bottom line is that the US earned 10 fewer medals than in 2010, after sending a record number of Olympians to the games.  Amazing the US is now being outclassed by a number of socialist countries like Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands, both in athletic competitions, and in education!  So much for all of our financial backing.

It’s the early part of the baseball season, and that means once again, Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke is saying or doing something stupid.  Greinke was asked about his thoughts on starting the season in Australia against the D’Backs, and he’s not very happy about making the trip. “I would say there is absolutely zero excitement for it.  I can’t think of one reason to be excited for it.”  Naturally, the Australian organizers of this event were not happy about the comments, and wanted an explanation from the Dodgers.  It’s understandable that Greinke may not be thrilled about disrupting his routine with such a long trip abroad, but that doesn’t mean he should express that moronic comment.  Major League Baseball is trying to grow the game abroad, and Greinke doesn’t get it.  It’s safe to say that the Australians will not be throwing another “shrimp on the barbee” for Zack during his trip.

The Angels and Mike Trout look like they are gaining momentum toward an extension, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.  According to Passan, the deal could be around 6 years and $150 million.  Trout is eligible for arbitration next season, and is 4 seasons away from free agency.  So essentially, the Angels would be paying Trout an extra $10-$15 million per year, to lock him up for an extra two seasons.  Although an 8 year deal would be more ideal for the Halos, this would still be a pretty good deal for both sides.  This would definitely make Angel fans feel a little bit better about what’s going on in the organization these days.  Well….at least until the season starts.

Disappointing loss for UCLA yesterday.  These guys just continue to disappoint with a chance to catch Arizona for first place in the Pac 12.  It’s the third time this year that UCLA has won the opener of a weekend set, and then lost the 2nd game.  It’s two steps forward and one steps back for this group, and that kind of play won’t keep them around long come March Madness.

No Walking Dead review this week, so I’ll be catching up on DVR tonight!






Monday Morning Coffee

Blake Griffin,LeBron James


February 17th, 2014

The weekend started off pretty lame, but finished strong.  Yesterday’s NBA all-star game featured the usual dunk fest and no defense early on, but got competitive in the 4th quarter, before the East outlasted the West 163-155.  We got to see what most basketball fans wanted: Lebron James and Kevin Durant go one-on-one.  We also learned that Kyrie Irving  isn’t completely overrated, as he earned MVP honors, and we witnessed a solid showing from a handful of the league’s upcoming stars.  Say what you will about the players “on-again”, “off-again” competitiveness in the All-Star game, however, it’s still arguably the best all-star game of the four major sports.  The game is for the fans, and the players usually put on a great show.  The Clippers were well represented with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, however, the Lakers were not, since Kobe Bryant sat this one out with a knee injury.  Although if you count Kevin Love as a future Laker, they had good representation.

Speaking of Kobe, his comments to the press regarding his recovery from his knee injury are very concerning for the Lakers.  In his press conference he said, “maybe this is the end.  But then again, maybe it’s not.”  What?  This is Kobe Bryant we are talking about.  The man who has forever believed he is completely indestructible, one of the most confident players on the planet, and now he is questioning he basketball mortality?  Gee wiz….. this probably would have been good to know a few months ago, since the Lakers just invested $48 million in him for the next two years.  What free agent is going to want to sign with the Lakers when Kobe might not even be healthy enough to play?  Kobe might not play again this season, and if he doesn’t, he would have played just 6 NBA games in 18 months.  Even if you’re Kobe Bryant, and you’re healthy, it’s not very easy to play at an elite level, after taking that much time off.

Speaking of injured Lakers, if you haven’t seen the Grantland piece on Steve Nash, it’s a must see.  I’ve ripped on Nash quite a bit, but after watching this, you can’t help but feel bad for him.  It isn’t that Nash’s skills have deteriorated at all.  It’s simply that his body can no longer endure playing NBA basketball 4 or 5 nights per week.  Take a look for yourself….

As for the rest of All-Star weekend, I’m not sure what the hell they were thinking when they re-did the format for the dunk contest this year.   The “free-style” round was just ridiculous, and the end of the contest was very anti-climactic, without any real heal-to-head between the two best dunkers.  On the bright side, they did actually get some names in the contest this year, and they eliminated the ridiculous props, as well as sped the time between dunks.  Now, they need to simplify the format more next year.

Moving on to the Olympics, where Southern California NHL players are dominating.  The average person watching the Olympics would think that the Kings probably never lose, since Drew Doughty, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, and Anze Kopitar have scored a combined total of 9 goals in international play.  It’s almost like the Kings players have decided to troll their fans.  One can only wonder if these guys will start scoring goals when they return to NHL hockey in about 10 days.  Jonas Hiller and Cam Fowler have been representing the Ducks pretty well too with their play.

What an amazing game between Russia and the US on Saturday.  The US was very fortunate to have won that game, and I was surprised Vladimir Putin wasn’t referring the game by the third period.  He probably had somebody executed for disallowing Russia’s third goal.  Jonathan Quick was brilliant, and so was TJ Oshie in the shootout.  Although, I still don’t know why any coach would pick one player to shoot 6 times a shootout, however, I can’t blame Dan Bylsma now, since it actually worked.  A re-match between these two teams in the gold medal game would be phenomenal, although, I’m a little upset that Canada and the US can’t meet in the gold medal game this year.  American hockey fans want their revenge from 2010.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to give a special shout-out to all the morons that said that Claude Giroux should be on the Canadian Olympic team instead of Jeff Carter, and especially the buffoons that thought Ryan Miller should be starting over Jonathan Quick for Team USA.  I realize that many of you east coasters are in bed while NHL games in the Western Conference are still going on, but just so you guys know, there is actually this portion of the United States known as the west coast, where some really good hockey takes place.  You should try experiencing it sometime.

As for other Olympic action, I’m a little disappointed in what we saw from Shani Davis, Shaun White, and Bode Miller.  These guys are supposed to be the stars of the Olympics for the US, but they have just one medal between the three of them at this point.  One has to wonder if Davis was affected by his back and forth changes in skating suits, or if Miller was impacted by his knee injury or loss of his brother, or if White’s wrist injury was his downfall.  However, sometimes we forget the real issue with these Olympic athletes trying to make history.  They are old by Olympic standards.  These three athletes have been dominating their sport for nearly a decade, which is why making history is so difficult for them.  You don’t find many athletes who can dominate any sport at the highest level for a decade, and that is exactly what each of these guys is facing.  There’s no shame in that.

Skeleton? Luge? Or ski jumping?  If I told you that you had to do one of these insane events tomorrow, what would you choose?  I’d probably go with Luge.  I’d would break both of my legs on my first ski jump, and no way am I sliding down some ice slide at 80 miles per hour, while going head first.  I am really wondering if that was the best men’s curling team we could possibly put out there.  Really?  Out of 315 million people, we can’t do any better?  I’m sure there were many drunk conversations taking place in people’s living rooms this past weekend, where many people wondered the same thing.

With spring training opening up, there are a few stories that surfaced last week regarding our local squads.  Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp proclaimed that he’s “no 4th outfielder”, and will return to his all-star form.  I’m sure that if all 4 outfielders are healthy, Matt Kemp is probably not going to be sitting.  However, Kemp has dragged himself out there repeatedly while not healthy, and his performance has suffered.  I’m suddenly getting the feeling there’s this tension building between the Dodgers front office and Matt Kemp.  If Kemp isn’t producing, that tension is only going to get worse, and be a disruptive force for LA this season.  At some point, one of LA’s four outfielders may get traded, but let’s hope its not because one is being a pain in the ass.

As for the Angels, there’s talk that the team is talking extension with Mike Trout, which is good news.  The real question is how much the Halos can afford to give this guy.  On the open market, he’s probably going to get 10 years and $300 million, and I’m sure he knows it.  Are he and his agent willing to compromise, especially if it means buying out his first few years of free agency?  The fact that the Halos have been so reluctant to exceed the luxury tax makes me question whether or not this will get done.  However, Arte may have to suck it up and give him what he wants, or see his franchise crumble.

And finally, The Walking Dead continued the 2nd half of Season 4 last night on AMC.  Last night’s episode gave the the audience a little more of what we expected in last week’s episode, which was learning what happened to all the characters after the prison war.  Spoiler alert for those of you that have it on DVR.  Daryl and Beth run from walkers, and then try to track down the rest of the group.  We also get a peek into Beth’s diary, and her constant belief in “hope”, which is why she urges Daryl to help her find the rest of the group.  We find Maggie with Sasha and Bob, and they battle a bus full of walkers, in their attempt to find Glenn and others.  Tyreese is with Lizzy, Mika, and Judith, and fending off another group of walkers.  Things get really interesting when Carol meets up with them, and we remember that Tyreese still has no idea that Carol burned the bodies of his loved ones back at the prison.  And finally, Glenn is back at the prison, and teams up with Tara to escape from the walker infested area.   When the episode ends, we are introduced to three new characters: Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene.

This was a pretty solid episode, and the most intriguing part had to have been where Carol and Tyreese meet up.  I do wonder how the relationship between those two will transpire from here, and if eventually, Tyreese will find out what she has done.  Interestingly enough, in the comic, those two have a romantic relationship, but the show seems to be straying away from the plot line in the comic.  Also, you didn’t really think the writers of the show were going to kill off baby Judith did you?  I sure didn’t.  Another major question of course is whether the three new characters at the end of the show are now friend or foe.  Things may have slowed down a bit, but you have to appreciate the little things on this show to really enjoy the ride.  Looking forward to the last 6 episodes of the season.

Maggie Episode 10



Monday Morning Coffee



February 10th, 2014

It’s gotten really bad for the Lakers, but it just hasn’t gotten bad enough.  Early last week, it looked like the Lakers were well on their way to free falling all the way to the third worst record in the league.  This is exactly what they needed, to continue to lose to position themselves for a top 3 pick in this summer’s NBA draft.  However, several players foolish pride took over, and LA came away with wins agains the floundering Cavs, and 76ers, before losing to the Bulls yesterday.  So how’s that rebuilding job going in Cleveland?  They couldn’t even beat the Lakers, when LA was down to 5 players.  That situation could only occur in a game where Mike D’Antoni was coaching against Mike Brown.  That game reminded me of a bad horror film.  I’m thinking worse than Freddy vs Jason.  Obviously, there are several teams taking their tanking efforts far more seriously than the Lakers.  Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss had better start shipping out a few more players, if they are serious about their own rebuilding job.

It’s one thing for the older players like Kobe, Nash, and Gasol to suffer injuries at this point in the twilight of their careers.  However, aren’t most of you wondering why younger players, like Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry, and Nick Young are getting injured as well?  Do you really think this is just one big ugly coincidence?  Far from it.  Mike D’Antoni’s ridiculous, run and gun style, is driving his players into the ground.  He wants to play at a furious pace, which is taking a toll on both his older and younger players.  That’s not even taking into account the horrendous defense that results from his silly style of play.  The players are so tired of D’Antoni, Steve Blake’s was thrilled he ruptured his ear drum against Cleveland, so he wouldn’t have to listen to him anymore.  D’Antoni’s act has become very old with the fans, it’s simply a matter of when it wears out with the front office.  Oh, and as I predicted, Nash is injured again, less than one week after returning.

Meanwhile, the Clippers got Chris Paul back yesterday, and then demolished the 76ers.  Blake Griffin has been killing it, and could even be making a case to be an MVP candidate.  As Blake continues to take his game to new levels, some ridiculous rumors began surrounding the Clippers last week, especially with the Miami Heat coming to down.  ESPN writer, Brian Windhorst, who has been sniffing Lebron James jock strap since he entered the NBA, wrote a piece about how Lebron could consider forcing a sign and trade to the Clippers this summer.  Windhorst explained that sources close to Lebron have told him that this summer, all 30 teams are an option if he wants to play for any one of them, and that his close friendship with Chris Paul could be the deciding factor.  Windhorst suggested that Blake Griffin could be headed to Miami in that sign and trade.

So let me get this straight Brian Windhorst.  Lebron James is going to leave a team that has won two, possibly three straight NBA titles, and force his way way out of Miami, just to play with his buddy?  I’m sure he’s just going to walk into Pat Riley’s office in June, and say “look Riles, you better trade me to the Clippers right now, or else I’m going to sign with Milwaukee or Cleveland!!”  I’m sure Riley will fall out of his chair laughing at that point.  Just because Lebron’s people use Windhorst as a mouthpiece, doesn’t mean that Windhorst is excused from using his brain when writing.  Go back to HomeTown Buffet Brian, and stop wasting our time with your ridiculous columns.

On to the college ranks, where the Bruins and Trojans battled it out at the Galen Center on Saturday night.  UCLA defeated USC for the 2nd time this season on the hardwood, by a score of 83-73.  Norman Powell exploded for the first time since he was playing high school ball, with 21 points, and the Bruins maintained their grip on 2nd place in the Pac 12.  This was a reminder of what we’ve been seeing all season long from these two squads.  The Bruins can score in bunches, but they are still allergic to playing defense, and their coaching is mediocre at best.  Sometimes it feels like Steve Alford and his two sons were sent by the Trojans to sabotage the program. As for USC, the Trojans simply lack the talent on their squad right now, and one has to wonder whether Andy Enfield was hired any reason, other than for all of us to stare at his hot wife during the games.

USC may have lost the battle on the basketball court this weekend, but they did win the football recruiting battle with UCLA last week.  The Trojans somehow, pulled off the 10th best recruiting class in the nation, while the Bruins had to settle for the 18th best class according to .  The fact SC was able to do this while hiring Steve Sarkisian at the end of the season was remarkable.  Sark just finished putting together his coaching staff a few weeks ago, yet he still managed to steal 3 of Southern California’s top high school players away from UCLA: Serra’s Adoree’ Jackson (defensive back), Long Beach Poly’s JuJu Smith, and St. John Bosco’s Damien Mama (offensive lineman).  The Bruins should have had a top 10 recruiting class, and they are a year away from going back to a program without a quarterback.  UCLA will likely have a better football team than USC next year, but Sark has made a statement that it may not be long before the Trojans turn things around.

Speaking of football, I’m not really sure why everyone is making such a big deal about Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchasing 60 acres of land in LA recently.  This is nothing more than another attempt by an NFL owner to use LA as leverage for a better stadium deal with the city their team currently resides in.  The sixty acres of land isn’t even enough to build a new football stadium on, and even if it was, I’m sure the FAA would have something to say about it, since the stadium would be right in the path of all those LAX flights.  Kroenke is the 2nd wealthiest owner in the NFL, and he’s asking the city of St. Louis for public funding for a new stadium, which the city refuses to give him.  Look Stan, if you want to move the Rams back to LA, go right ahead, but you won’t see a single dollar from the tax payers for a new stadium.  You’ll also have to deal with a hefty relocation fee from the owners.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me 10 times, shame on me.  The NFL isn’t coming back to LA anytime soon.

Spring is right around the corner, and that means one thing: pitchers and catchers have begun reporting for spring training.  You know….pitchers?  Those critical players that are vital to a baseball teams success, which the Angels can’t seem to find any of these days.  With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report on Thursday, the Halos are going to be relying heavily on the likes of Garret Richards, Hector Santiago, and Tyler Skaggs.  The odds of one of them being pretty successful is reasonable.  The odds of two being successful is fair.  The odds of all three being successful are the same as the odds of a successful Kardashian marriage.  The Angels really don’t want to take their chances with signing either Chris Capuano, Joe Saunders, or even Johan Santana?  The Halos seem to be in “win-now” mode, but they also seem to be caught between not wanting to exceed the luxury tax and winning with the group they have now.  When you consider that Mike Trout needs to be paid big bucks really soon, it’s scary to think this team can’t even afford a real #3 starter right now.

Let’s go to the ice where mercifully, the LA Kings have reached the Olympic break.  The Kings salvaged a win on Thursday against Columbus, but they’ve only won two of their last 10 games, and are barely holding onto playoff spot in the West.  The Kings are the best defensive team in hockey, but they are almost the worst offensive team as well.  Dean Lombardi is feverishly scrambling for goal scoring help, but acquiring the likes of Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, or even Michael Cammalleri will be challenging given the team’s salary cap restraints.  LA will have 23 games left to get their shit together, and keep in mind, 7 of the last 13 are on the road.  Hopefully when the Kings return to action, Mike Richards, Dustin Brown, and Justin Williams start scoring, because right now, the team is about as exciting to watch as monkeys slinging poo at each other in a zoo.

Meanwhile, the Ducks cooled off quite a bit at the Olympic Break, losing 4 of their last 6 games.  That also included a 2-0 loss to the Blackhawks earlier in the week at the Honda Center.  Anaheim enters the break with a 3 point lead in the Western Conference, and they will need home ice advantage to give themselves every edge they can come playoff time.  With seven Olympians, a key question for the Ducks will be how much fatigue plays a factor during the rest of the NHL season.  Make no mistake about it, Canada and the US will be playing deep into the Olympic tournament, and at a playoff level intensity.  Will the three extra weeks of hockey take its toll on the likes of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Cam Fowler?  I suppose the same question can be asked for any team sending key players to the Olympics, but since the Ducks have had their recent share of playoff futility, it’s a far more critical question.

As an American whose uncle won a bronze medal during the 1952 Summer Olympics, I absolutely love watching both the winter and summer games.  I thought the opening ceremony on Friday was masterfully done, and did a great job incorporating numerous elements of Russian history and culture.  I realize that each of these opening ceremonies tries to “out-do” the previous one, however, each one should be evaluated on it’s own merit.  I was extremely disappointed that the NHL did shut down their season a few days earlier to allow the players to walk in the opening ceremony.  I get that the league was reluctant to let the players participate, but if they were going to let them play, then at least let them get the full experience.  Despite the greatness of the opening ceremony, I’m shocked as to how unprepared the city was for the games, and the hotels in particular.  If we are going to continue to award the games to these 2nd world countries, then the IOC better be damn sure they are prepared.  Here’s just a small taste of some of the athletes complaints about the hotels….

Johnny Quinn Bobsled

…With no phone to call for help, I used my bobsled push training to break out. #SochiJailBreak

I must say, that I am really going to miss Jay Leno.  He’s been doing The Tonight Show for the last 22 years on NBC, which is basically my entire life.  Part of me does really wonder if Leno is really retiring this time, especially after what we saw with the whole Conan O’Brien fiasco a few years ago.  With the send-off Jay received on his final show, it’s hard to imagine that he’ll be returning.  In any case, I think Jimmy Fallon is in a far better position to succeed than Conan was when Leno was pushed out a few years ago, and this should be a far smoother transition.  Although I will miss Jay, I will have no problem tuning in to watch Fallon late night.

Now that Missouri Defensive end Michal Sam has come out of the closet, is Manti Teo next?

And finally, last night The Walking Dead returned from it’s winter hiatus.  This episode really snuck up on all of us, but glad to have the show back.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see last night’s episode.  The show began with Michonne walking through the carnage that remained at the prison.  She quickly traps two walkers, and leaves the prison with them jawless and armless, and as her pets on leashes.  This was exactly how we first met Michonne, with two pet walkers.  She also comes across Hershel’s decapitated head, and sticks her Katana blade through it.  In this show, that actually passes for a form of endearment.  Meanwhile, Rick and Carl stumble upon a nice house, which they make shelter in.  Rick is in bad shape after the Prison fight, and passes out.  Walkers try to break in the house, and while Rick is passed out, Carl goes outside to fight them himself.  Although he succeeds, he barely survives.  Carl comes back to yell at his father while he’s passed out, scolding him for failing to protect the group, and shouting that he is capable of surviving without him.  Later on, Carl looks like he’s going to shoot his dad when he thinks he’s turned into a walker, but he can’t bring himself to do it.  Turns out Rick was just fine anyway.

Meanwhile, Michonne is off wondering in the woods with “her pets”, and simultaneously hacking up walker after walker.  We come to learn through a flashback, that she and her boyfriend, Mike, had a child and somewhere along the way, with a few bad decisions, her two loved ones were lost.  Michonne is dreaming of this flashback in the car, and wakes up in a cold sweat.  Although the details are fuzzy, I’m sure we’ll learn more on this later.  The episode ends with Michonne finding Rick and Carl at the house.

This episode didn’t necessarily contain any shocking events, but it contained an interesting look into the characters of Michonne and Carl.  Carl spends much of the episode in anger, for all the loss he has experienced, and channeling that anger toward his dad.  He’s also angry because his dad held him back from being a man in such a cruel world.  By the end of the episode, Rick and Carl seem to look at the past with sadness, but no longer with any blame.  It’s almost a fresh start for the two of them.  As for Michonne, we see her taking out her anger on all of the walkers by taking them out “Kill Bill Style” with her Katana Blade.  We see that all her anger is coming from the repeated trauma and tragedy that she is constantly faced with from the loss of her boyfriend, her son,  and some of her friends at the prison.  However, by the end, she seems ready to move forward in this devastatingly cruel world.  A very good return for The Walking Dead, and looking forward to more episodes!

Carl Walking Dead







Monday Morning Coffee

Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll

February 3rd, 2014

We waited two weeks for that?  The Seattle Seahawks dismantled the Denver Broncos last night in Super Bowl XLVIII 43-8, in what was probably the worst championship game I have ever seen.  The only thing that kept me from turning the game off was reading Twitter while it was going on.  When it was over, it felt like Peyton Manning was really the Seahawks so called “12th man”.  Manning just couldn’t get it going against the Seattle defense, which was in his face all game, and extremely physical with the Broncos wide receivers.  Denver picked a bad time to have its worst game of the season.  Peyton Manning will still be considered a top 5 quarterback all-time, but without more Super Bowl rings, will never be unanimously considered the best.  As for Seattle, they  proved that once again, defense wins championships (are you paying attention Mike D’Antoni?), in an NFL era that revolves around offense.  Congratulations to Pete Carroll as well, who completely turned Seattle around in 4 years, and now has a chance to contend for many more titles with his young core of players.  Looks like he knew what he was doing when he left SC.

In addition to the game being a complete snoozer, the commercials were underwhelming too.  There’s usually a commercial or two that gives me a good laugh, but I can’t recall a single one that was funny this year.  By far the strangest commercial was the Maserati advertisement, which featured a narration by Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis.  You would think this was a trailer for a new horror film, but instead, it was an ad for the entry-level Ghibli model ($67,000).  That was probably the most important part of the commercial, which was never even explained.  However, the funniest thing I saw yesterday was prior to the Super Bowl, which was Frank Caliendo’s “30 for  30” mockumentary on Richard Sherman.  Take a look for yourself…..

On to the NBA, where the Lakers have completely thrown in the towel on the rest of this season.  How much more uninterested can these players possibly look?  They took a beating from Charlotte on Friday at Staples, and Al Jefferson completely destroyed him in the paint.  Once again, Mike D’Antoni complained about his team’s defense in the paint, but that’s like Jack The Ripper complaining about street crime.  Things should continue to get worse with the news last week that Kobe will likely be out for another month, and Nash tweaked something again while playing with his kids (I’m not even joking about that).  LA isn’t just taking a beating on the floor, but off as well.  TWC SportsNet ratings are down 37.5% through the first 40 games of the year.  I’m surprised they haven’t asked the Lakers for a refund on the season.  Magic Johnson decided to take my advice and stop “publicly” complaining about the team, but we know how he really feels at this point.

Once again, the Pau Gasol rumors have started too.  This latest rumor has him being traded to Phoenix for Emeka Okafor.  The Suns are loaded with 1st round picks, so LA will probably ask for one of those in the deal, if they are really going to trade Gasol.  Time is running out to move him. His value is low, but the Lakers had better realize it’s time to get something for him before he leaves them for nothing this summer.

Meanwhile, the Clippers are at it again.  The Clipps will reportedly sign Sasha Vujacic to a 10 day contract sometime today.  Was there really any reason to sign this guy, other than the fact he is a former Laker?  Once again, the Clippers moronic front office is trying get under the skin of the Laker franchise.  There’s simply no need for this guy on the roster, especially considering he hasn’t played in the NBA in almost 2 years.  On the floor, the team continues to roll, winning 7 of their last 10 games, and doing it  without the injured Chris Paul.

I’m very surprised that Indiana signed Andrew Bynum for the rest of the season.  It almost feels like they signed him just to keep him away from Miami.  The Pacers have plenty of people on their team that want to be there, and I don’t think he is one of them.  Bynum has demonstrated that he simply has no interest in playing basketball, and I still wouldn’t expect any less from him in his new home.

Get used to it Dodger fans:  this week ticket prices went up by as much as 140% for certain seats.  The Dodgers cited “unprecedented demand” for the raise in prices.  This is what happens when you have a $250 million payroll.  Frankly, if you put a winning product on the field, I have no problem with it.  On the other hand, when you’re the Lakers, and you put trash on the floor for a full season, and the fans are getting rapped on season ticket prices, then we bring out the pitchforks and tiki torches and start the riots.

Things could not be any worse for the LA Kings right now.  The Kings were shut out for the third time in 5 games on Saturday afternoon, as they lost to the Flyers 2-0.  Fans are so upset, someone threw a Louis Vuitton handbag on the ice in protest.  I agree that this team needs a little bit of a shakeup, but those of you who are suggesting that captain Dustin Brown be traded, or Daryl Sutter be fired, need to have your head examined.  It was only a month and a half ago that this team was playing some of the best hockey in the league.  It was just last spring that they were in the Western Conference Finals for the 2nd year in a row.   The Kings are defensive team, and the best in the league at that.  That’s their identity.  They aren’t suddenly going to open things up and play a faster tempo when they don’t have the personnel to do it.  We’ve seen the Kings go through scoring droughts before, and then they turn it around.  I expect the same, but it might not come until after the Olympic break.

As for the Ducks, they are also looking toward the Olympic break.  They lead the NHL with 85 points, but they’ve suddenly lost 3 of their last 5 at home, after Saturday’s loss to Dallas.  The way things are going, the Kings may end up sliding all the way back to the 8th seed, which may result in  a Kings vs Ducks 1st round playoff matchup.  As exciting as that would be for Southern California, that’s probably not a matchup that Ducks would want in round 1.

UCLA really blew it yesterday.  If they had handled business against Oregon State, they would have been just one game out of 1st place in the Pac 12.  In typical Bruins fashion, their defense got exposed after going cold from the field.  UCLA gave up an 18-2 run to the Beavers late in the 2nd half, and shot a pathetic 39% from the field for the game.  Sometimes, this team thinks it’s much better than it really is.  I guess that’s what happens when Steve Alford is your coach.

Do USC fans even pay attention to their basketball team?  The team is simply terrible.  They have no fundamentals, and their so called “run and gun offense” doesn’t really have much running involved right now.  Right now, the Andy Enfield hire looks like a science experiment gone terribly wrong.

Finally, very sad to hear the news about Philip Seymour Hoffman.  Hoffman was found dead in his apartment in Manhattan yesterday, in what appeared to be a drug overdose.  Most will remember him for the Oscar he won in “Capote”, however, I will remember him for many of his other phenomenal performances.  Hoffman was one of those actors who the average person probably didn’t know, but every actor in Hollywood could tell you how amazingly talented he was.  He could be brilliantly serious, or he could make you laugh.  He could do nearly anything he wanted to on screen.  Ironically, my favorite movie he was involved in was “Along Came Polly”, in which he provided plenty of laughs.  RIP Philip.