Monthly Archives: December 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

December 26th, 2016

Yesterday was a Christmas miracle! The Lakers got back in the win column on Christmas day after losing 11 of their last 12 games.  Yes it took injuries to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin for this to happen, but let’s not be picky Laker fans.  You’ll take wins any way they come right now.  The last two weeks have definitely wrecked the Lake Show’s playoff hopes, however, things aren’t as bad as they seem. Many of the troubles the team has had in recent weeks can be attributed to injuries to very important players.  When a young team like this has those types of key pieces in and out of the lineup, consistency is going to be an issue.  On top of that, everyone forgot that the core of this team is still in their early 20’s, learning to play defense and share the ball consistently.  They aren’t quite as good as you thought in the early going, but they still aren’t nearly as bad as you think they are right now.  Even Jim Buss is encouraged, because he’s now publicly saying that if the team shows progress, here won’t be stepping aside like he promised he would.  I’m not so sure that Jeanie Buss will feel the same way come this summer, but it would be a big mistake if she let Phil Jackson back in the fold just to tie her personal and professional life together.   I wonder if D’Angelo Russell got this phone case in his stocking……

As for the Clippers, the injuries are beginning to pile up.  First Blake Griffin goes down for a few weeks, then Chris Paul and J.J. Redick get injured too.  The Clipps are a distant third in the league to the Cavs and Warriors, and maybe an even further distant fourth to San Antonio if they are injured.  It’s a talented bunch, but one that has come together at the wrong time.  Even when Doc Rivers continues to keep Blake, CP3, and the rest of the core together, they will simply continue to age and further minimize their chances of winning.  Then again, Doc Rivers probably doesn’t care because he wouldn’t want to coach the team if they had to rebuild.  Looking back at their game from against the Spurs a few days ago, the Clippers should be eliminated from the playoffs just for this ridiculous sequence……

Elsewhere around the Association on Christmas Day, great game between the Warriors and Cavs.  Kevin Durant is probably going to demand a trade to Cleveland after his Warriors lost.  Kyrie Irving is clutch, and it’s starting to feel like he has Steph Curry’s number.  Did you know that Richard Jefferson is the first Civil War Veteran in NBA history to dunk twice in the same game? Lebron totally got away with hanging on the rim for about 90 seconds after his monster dunk late in the game.  Meanwhile in New York, Carmelo Anthony’s teammates one wish for Christmas was that he would waive his no-trade clause and leave the Knicks.  New York got beat by Boston.  Then there’s Russell Westbrook who’s Thunder beat the T-Wolves, but the real story was Westbrook denying that he was yelling out of excitement when Kyrie hit that last second shot to beat Durant and the Warriors.  Too bad we have visual and audio evidence of his excitement.  The guy clearly is still bitter about Durant leaving the Thunder.  Check it the evidence right here…..

Has anybody checked out the new NBA CBA? You can be almost assured that no elite players are going to be leaving their current teams when they reach free agency.  The new labor agreement has included a rule where any player who earns MVP, All-NBA, or Defensive Player of the Year honors is eligible to make $76 million more by staying with their teams.  That means Karl Anthony Towns and Anthony Davis better get comfortable, because they will be spending their entire careers in Minnesota and New Orleans, respectively.  It also means teams like the Knicks and Heat are screwed because they were counting on free agency to reload their teams, and instead they will be forced to build through the draft from here on out.  The Lakers may not have gotten any big time free agents of late, but at least they were fortunate enough to have drafted five high potential players in the last three years.

What a pathetic show put on by the Rams on Christmas Eve.  LA just gave the 49ers their only two wins of the season.  Somehow, Jared Goff is finding a way to get worse with every week that goes by.  Whatever new coach comes in is going to have to alter his throwing mechanics completely because he missed a lot of open throws.  Tavon Austin should look like Tyreek Hill of Kansas City.  Instead, he’s $44 million more expensive, and not nearly as consistent.  Tickets were going for $30 at the Coliseum on Saturday.  That sounds a lot like football in LA right before the Rams left for St. Louis.  As for the Jon Gruden rumors, I don’t understand how people think he’s a real candidate for the Rams head coaching job.  Gruden is the Jeff Van Gundy of the NFL.  He hasn’t even coached in the last 8 years, and would be a huge risk with this group of players.  Does anybody even know if he can still do it? I sure don’t.

Elsewhere around Week 16 of the NFL, I guess Jesus doesn’t love Philip Rivers that much, because the Chargers lost to the lowly Browns.  Amazing that Cleveland won, and they didn’t even need an Xbox to do so.  I think I even heard Browns fans chanting ‘We Want ‘Bama” when it was over.  Horrible news about Derek Carr breaking his leg for the Raiders.  I was secretly hoping for a Cowboys-Raiders “return to glory” Super Bowl, but it will probably be New England-Seattle now.  Speaking of the Patriots, they dismantled the Jets.  The Texans clinched the AFC South for the fourth time in six years.  Seeing them get eliminated in the 1st round of the playoffs is an NFL tradition unlike any other.  The Chiefs look damn good after beating up on the Broncos.  Andy Reid hasn’t been this happy since he first discovered BBQ’d ribs.  John Elway is about to call Tim Tebow.  Eli Manning was about as accurate as Helen Keller from the free throw line in the Giants loss to the Eagles.

It’s bowl time in College Football, but did you even notice?  I don’t blame players like Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette for sitting out these meaningless games.  Other than the top 4 playoff teams, all the other bowl games are just glorified consolation games.  Why should these players risk injury when millions of dollars are on the line at the next level? I’m sure their teammates would agree with their decision to sit out as well.  However, I do think that this is a great opportunity to increase the number of teams in the playoffs.  If these players had even a small chance of making it to the National Championship game, they would play in these postseason games.

Has anybody seen the Michael Floyd video of him getting arrested for a DUI? I’m sure Notre Dame officials are cringing at the fact he’s sporting an Irish beanie while being arrested.  I’m shocked the Patriots actually signed him after the Cardinals released him.  Apparently Floyd’s BAC was .217 when he was arrested.  This makes sense because he’s played the last 16 weeks like he’s been drunk on the football field.

UCLA men’s basketball just finished non-conference play with a blowout win over Western Michigan. That is the first time in over two decades that the team has been undefeated in non-conference play. There’s definitely going to be some tough teams in Pac 12 play, but it’s going to be much needed for the Bruins RPI, which isn’t as they would like at #24.  I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how they handle matchups against Oregon, Arizona, and USC.

I usually find it difficult to hate any kid playing college sports, but Duke’s Grayson Allen is a total punk.  I’m not sure why the guy finds it necessary to trip his opponents, let alone from super small schools like Elon.  Allen is basically the high school villain in every 1980’s movie.  I can’t imagine that Coach K would be willing to put up with this any longer.  This is basically how you act when your dad doesn’t get you a Mercedes for Christmas…..

I still think Christmas is the best holiday.  Yes, it’s usually a lot more expensive than Thanksgiving due to the gift giving.  However, it’s a season, it’s not just a day, and you can’t beat the feelings leading up to the day.  Hope you all enjoyed it.

Monday Morning Coffee

goff-taken-downDecember 19, 2016

The Rams looked just as bad after Jeff Fisher got fired, as they did before he got fired.  It was only a matter of time before their luck against Seattle ran out, and that’s exactly what happened in that ugly loss on Thursday Night Football.  It was so bad, the FBI is planning on using the game tape as a new torture method when interrogating terrorists.  There were actually a few moments though where Todd Gurley made me remember that he was a decent running back, who was just running behind a horrible offensive line all season.  However, it looked about as bad as you would think for a team that has no coach, and only four days to come up with a game plan.  Expect much of the same in the last two games, which will be an even more pointless exercise after Jared Goff got blown up by Richard Sherman.  Goff apparently doesn’t know which direction the sun rises, nor how to not take punishment while running with the football.  Dude clearly has a lot to learn after this shot…..

As for the coaching search, this is looking more and more like an offensive coordinator’s first job, as opposed to a big name.  That’s definitely not what Rams fans want to here, nor Stan Kroenke, but that’s the cold hard truth.  Jon Gruden will never leave the broadcasting booth.  Jim Harbaugh isn’t ready to leave Michigan yet and would probably want the Bears job if he did.  Also, the idea that Pete Carroll is going to leave Seattle for the Rams job is laughable.  One guy that could be attainable is the Saints Sean Payton, who New Orleans looks ready to part with.  Goff isn’t exactly Drew Brees, but Payton is a better offensive mind than the Rams have had in years.

Elsewhere around week 15, that definitely looked much more like a Raider home game in San Diego yesterday, as Oakland beat the Bolts.  Raiders are in the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.  The Bills beat the Browns, moving Cleveland closer to fulfilling my dream for them to go 0-16.  Aaron Rogers should change his last name to “Hail Mary” after coming up with a clutch long pass late when the Packers beat the Bears.  The Chiefs couldn’t close the door on the Titans, who rallied to beat K.C. with a late field goal.  The Texans got by the Jags, but they now realize that throwing $72 million in the sewer would be better than giving it to Brock Osweiler.  The Ravens edged the Eagles and can still win the division.  The Steelers will probably have something to say about that after they beat the Bengals.  The Lions got shutdown by the Giants.  Adrian Peterson came back just in time to see the Vikings eliminated from the playoffs, as Minnesota got slammed by the Colts.  Drew Brees remembered how to play, and the Saints outlasted the Cardinals.  Falcons destroyed the 49ers, Patriots kept cruising along by beating the Broncos, and  Dak Prescott shutdown the Tony Romo supporters as the Cowboys beat the Bucs.  I loved Zeke Elliot’s TD celebration by jumping in the Salvation Army donation bucket, but of course the NFL didn’t because they are a bunch of hypocrites.  The Dolphins also crushed the Jets on Saturday Night Football, in a game the NFL didn’t want you to know actually happened.  This was actually ruled a catch?
The Lakers are in the midst of a brutal 7 game road trip.  They finally got back in the win column on Friday, but their season has been torpedoed over the last two weeks.  They got everyone healthy again, but the damage has been done.  I do find it very convenient though that everyone is playing “revisionist history” and criticizing the Lakers for not taking Kristaps Porzingas in the 2015 draft.  At the time, nobody in their right mind would have drafted Porzingas in the top 3 picks, including all 30 NBA General Managers.  The Knicks didn’t even want him, and tried to trade out of that slot, but we’re stuck with him.  The Lakers still got a pretty good player in D’Angelo Russell, so you definitely can’t say they made the wrong selection.

Then there’s the Clippers, who got some bad news after their four game road trip.  Blake Griffin is going to need a minor knee surgery, and will be out until the middle of January.  This feels strangely similar to last year, and the year before that, and the year before that.  Maybe now we’ll see DeAndre Jordan go into beast mode getting some 20 point and 20 rebound games with Blake sidelined, since he won’t be occupying as much space in the paint.  DJ is a very good modern day center, but Hassan Whiteside doesn’t think so.   He says DJ just “catches lobs”.  Whiteside does have the more consistent offensive game,  but DJ isn’t the head case Whiteside is.  Most people around the NBA would probably agree with that.  Besides, that’s probably something Whiteside should have only said to his boys and not in the media, especially when your team is a pile of lottery garbage.

Very sad news to hear about the passing of TNT reporter, Craig Sager.   Sager lost a battle with cancer, but fought very hard for the last year, and even continued to work while getting treatment.  He was very well liked by everyone, and I will always remember his great sideline interviews with coaches and players, especially when they would give him a hard time.  Sager was always such a good sport about it, and just shrugged it off, and that’s what allowed him to command respect from everyone.  RIP Craig Sager.

UCLA Bruin Basketball is so good, I don’t even know what to say about them anymore.  They didn’t even play that well on Saturday, yet improved to 12-0 after beating Ohio State by double digits.  I’m almost thinking they should probably lose a game or two before March.  As long as they win the conference and get a #1 seed, there would actually be less pressure on a group that wasn’t undefeated heading into the tournament.   As the legend of Lonzo Ball grows, I suddenly mind Steve Alford a lot less.  Whether Alford becomes a hindrance com tournament time though remains to be seen.

Do USC fans actually know they have a basketball team? Better yet, do they realize that their basketball team is 10-0 and ranked #24 in the nation? The Trojans are by no means a college basketball powerhouse, or a team that can win the national championship, but they are extremely underrated.  Andy Enfield is finally recruiting the kids he needs to implement his uptempo style in a successful manner. Their most impressive win was probably against Texas A&M, and they should be able to contend in the Pac 12, as well as make some noise come tournament time.

How lucky are the Dodgers?  Kenley Jansen was offered more money by both Washington and Florida, yet he instructed his agent to get a deal done with LA.  Justin Turner wanted to stay in LA, and the market for his services didn’t work out too well.  Thus, they both were willing to take less money than they were worth on the open market, in order to stay with the Dodgers.  In addition to the market, baseball’s new luxury tax penalties will be gradually phased into the game over the next couple of seasons.  In other words, Andrew Friedman got the perfect storm, enabling him to re-sign two key members of the Dodgers.  Now if he can somehow trade for Brian Dozier, i’ll be impressed.

Monday Morning Coffee


December 12th, 2016

I’ve gotta hand it to the Rams.  They know they stink on the field, but they are finding a way to keep us amused with all their drama off the field.  Nobody should be surprised they got destroyed by the Falcons yesterday.  Atlanta scored more touchdowns in LA than the Rams have all season.  Jeff Fisher was probably trying to figure out how to stop Andre Rison and Jamal Anderson all week.  Remember when the Rams had one of the toughest defenses in the league? That defense is about as soft as Charmin toilet paper now after getting run over by the Atlanta offense.  Jared Goff hasn’t exactly looked all that promising since his first start, and when I watch the offense, I get about as bored as Michael Vick would be at a PETA meeting.  Off the field, there’s the rumored dysfunction between Fisher and GM Les Snead.  Both deny that there is a rift between the two of them, but given how long it took to actually get Goff on the field, as well as the fact that several sources have reported on this rumored front office tension, there must be some element of truth to it.  Even though both guys were given contract extensions, if LA is an embarrassment  over the last three games, like they were yesterday, either one or both could still be fired.  Stan Kroenke isn’t going to run out of money anytime soon, and will do what he needs to do.  Now there’s rumblings that Jim Harbaugh could leave Michigan for the Rams.  For the love of god, make this happen Stan! I don’t care if Harbaugh is a jerk.  He’s been successful everywhere he’s gone.  That shouldn’t be any different here.

Elsewhere around Week 14, the Chargers got blown out by the Panthers, and all their fans want for Christmas is to actually beat the Browns.  The Titans got by the Broncos.  Le’veon Bell and the Steelers dismantled the Bills.  Buffalo’s field looked like Johnny Manziel’s hotel room after Saturday night’s Heisman Trophy ceremony.  Carson Palmer ruined the lives of his Cardinal teammates and fantasy football owners, as Arizona got beat by Miami.  Remember when everyone thought RGIII was better than Kirk Cousins? That’s laughable now.  Cousins has been dominating and the Redskins topped the Eagles.   Every time I see the Colts and Texans play, I can’t help but think how far those teams have fallen.  Houston outlasted Indy.  The Vikings gave themselves hope they’ll get Adrian Peterson back this season by beating the Jaguars.  Only the Lions would nearly let Matt Barkley beat them, but they just got by an undermanned Chicago team.  Russell Wilson threw as many interceptions yesterday as he did all season, as the Packers throttled the Seahawks.  The Saints can suddenly play defense, but they also forgot how to score, and they lost a tight one to Tampa.  The Jets beat the 49ers in OT, in a game that should be been moved to PBS at 3 am.  The Raiders had a costly loss to the Chiefs on Thursday  Night Football.  Andy Reid has so much fat on his body, there’s no way that guy ever gets cold during those KC winters.  Tony Romo can’t be blamed for last night’s Cowboys loss.  Here come 12 weeks of good jokes about the ‘Boys.  The Bengals took down the Browns.  Here is a recap of Browns football this season……

A few weeks ago I said if the Lakers can get to mid December around .500, and manage the injury bug, they would have a real shot at the playoffs.  Well so much for that.  The Lakers have lost six straight, and they’ve lost contact with the top eight playoff teams in the West, now trailing the Blazers by a couple of games for the 8th spot.  D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young were back from injury, but Russell sure looked rusty.  A couple of games behind Portland might not sound like a lot, however, when healthy the Lakers are about a .500 team, and they’d need to be slightly better than that to make the playoffs.  Just to get back to .500, they will need to reel off six or seven wins in a row, or a streak like 10 out of 12.  Even though this team is improving, they aren’t that good yet.  More than anything though, the Lakers still haven’t figured out how to play consistent defense.  They compete hard on most nights, but they just need to play smarter.  Given how far Luke Walton has taken these guys to this point, I suspect that will come eventually.

As for the Clippers, you didn’t actually get fooled into thinking they were championship contenders did you?  The Clipps got dismantled by the Warriors last week, and like the late Dennis Green would say, “they are who we thought they were”.  The Warriors didn’t even play that well, yet they showed why they are so much better.  As good as CP3 and Blake Griffin are, Golden State is better at a number of positions.  In fact, they are better individually and collectively in the backcourt, infinitely better at small forward, and maybe even better at power forward.  It doesn’t matter if DeAndre Jordan is better than the Warriors starting center, because Jordan isn’t skilled enough offensively to exploit today’s small ball.  Neither is any center in today’s game for that matter.  All the Clippers can hope for is that Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson slip on banana peels and get injured, and even then I’m still not sure they would find a way to get it done.  That’s because they are the Clippers.

Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple double.  I repeat, AVERAGING A TRIPLE DOUBLE.  The only player to ever do that was Oscar Robertson, during the 1961-1962 season.  Despite that, Mark Cuban claims that Westbrook is not a superstar.  By Cuban’s definition, a superstar leads his team to 50 wins and to the playoffs.  That is by far the dumbest thing said by one of the smartest people of all time.  Besides, how would Mark Cuban know what a superstar is anyway? He hasn’t been able to sign one in the last 5 years of free agency.  Then there’s Phil Jackson, who still thinks it’s 1998.  After pissing off Lebron James with his careless comments, Jackson is now taking shots at his superstar, Carmelo Anthony, claiming that he hangs on to the ball too long at times.  Usually there is a method to Phil’s madness, and a reason why he says what he does.  However, he’s failed to realize that the game is totally different as an executive than as a coach.  He’s alienated his superstar, he’s alienating other superstars around the league who will probably never consider his team in free agency, and he’s forcing an antiquated offensive system on his players.  When you are winning, you can get away with this.  Phil isn’t winning as an executive, so it doesn’t fly.  Apparently nobody has told him that.

It’s only a matter of time before the inevitable happens: the Dodgers losing Kenley Jansen in free agency to Florida or Washington.  That may even happen with Justin Turner as well, and it would serve Andrew Friedman and his 30 general managers right for screwing around with them.  Friedman is no genius at all, and every time I hear somebody say that he is, I want to slam my head into a wall.  The Dodgers stellar farm system is not the product of his work, but rather the product of Ned Colleti’s.  The team has had no greater success under him than under Colletti.  In fact, now that the Dodgers actually have to cut payroll, they can’t re-sign two of their most critical players because of the horrible contracts Friedman’s front office gave to Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy.  Sooner or later, the Dodgers are going to fall back to being a mediocre team under Friedman, as he continues to strip the roster of talent.  You can also be sure that he’s not going to pay big money for Clayton Kershaw when he opts out in 2018.

A for the Angels, I really like the trade for Danny Espinosa from the Nationals.  There’s not many 2nd baseman in baseball who can give you 20 home run power, and play decent defensively, which the Halos just got.  The Angels also didn’t give up anything of real value from their farm system either, which speaks to the resourcefulness of the trade.  You can be sure that they’ll be very strong up the middle defensively, it’s just a matter of whether their pitching can rebound and stay healthy compared to the disaster that was last season.

To the college hoops where the Bruins continue to roll.  UCLA took down Michigan on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion to improve to 10-0.  That was the Bruins first sellout at home in four years! That tells you how long its been since UCLA put an exciting product on the floor.  This team is looking like the college version of the Golden State Warriors, showing the ability to blow games open with their outside shooting, while playing an exciting uptempo style.  They even find a way to sprinkle in some defense when they want to, an unusual occurrence for a Steve Alford team.  UCLA would have moved up to #1 in the nation, but Villanova rallied to beat Notre Dame and remain undefeated.  It hasn’t felt this cool to be a part of UCLA basketball since the mid 1990’s.  Hopefully they can keep it going heading into Pac 12 play.

Congratulations to Lamar Jackson on winning the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night.  Jackson was easily the most explosive and exciting player in college football this season.  Since Papa John loves Louisville football so much, you can be sure Jackson is going to get a huge endorsement deal from him when he turns pro.  That is if Papa John isn’t already paying him a salary.  Too bad OJ Simpson didn’t Skype in from prison with thoughts on the ceremony, since all the former Heisman winners were in attendance.  Johnny Manziel probably sold his Heisman Trophy for an eight ball of cocaine.  Watching these two polar opposite guys stand next to each is pretty funny…..


Do the LA Kings ever play anymore? They’ve played four less games than Calgary and one game less than Edmonton.  I still can’t understand why Darryl Sutter refuses to play goalie Jeff Zatkoff.  Peter Budaj is 34 years old, and is going to wear out from all the hockey he is playing.  Zatkoff was brought in to provide some support if Jonathan Quick got hurt, and that’s exactly what happened.  The Kings have some other issues though, like their top guys Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik not providing much offense.  They’ll have to rectify that as they head out on a nine game road trip.  As for the Ducks, they’ve won 3 straight after beating up on the Senators.  Anaheim is playing faster and better slowly but surely.  They are now in 1st place in the Pacific as they head out on a six game road trip.

Finally, the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later.  This episode had me losing my mind again because you knew people were going to die, and sure enough that’s what happened.  Amazingly enough, when it was over, it turned out to be a feel good moment for everybody.  Rick was like the dad who comes home from a long trip to find out that his kids just burned down the house.  I’m not sure whether Rick should be more angry at his his kid, who really caused all this, or Negan.  I’m sure most of us were celebrating the fact that Spencer was killed by Negan.  It turns out that Spencer hated Rick so much that it actually got him killed.  No guts, no glory, and Spencer clearly had neither when it was over.  You know Rick is about to go crazy and start fighting back again because his beard is growing.  I’m sure many of us were shocked and felt it was unnecessary for Darryl to kill fat Joey during his escape.  Think of it this way though: Had Darryl not killed him, a heart attack would have.  Eight episodes and Carol and Morgan still don’t know about Glenn and Abraham.  If they did, I’m sure they would go straight to war, let alone knowing that Darryl was captured by Negan.  Am I the only one that found it absolutely hilarious that Negan left a seat at the dinner table for Lucille?  That’s what makes him an amazing bad guy.  I also love when Enid asked Maggie if she wanted a plate for her apple pie, and she said no and just shoved it in her mouth.  Don’t we all have a friend like that? (Whether or not they are pregnant).  Any guess who that mysterious figure was, whose boots we saw after Rick and Aaron loaded the truck, and at the very end of the episode? My guess is it’s the shows next villain, the leader of the Whisperers.  Don’t act like you didn’t cry during that Rick and Darryl hug.  That was a great episode, and a good ending to a somewhat slow season.  I’m really bummed we have to wait two months, but the show figures to have a promising 2017.  Best bro hug ever.


Monday Morning Coffee


December 5th, 2016

Let’s start with the comedy show that is the Rams.  After getting blown out in New England yesterday, the Rams are an ugly 4-8, and dealing with some obnoxious off the field issues at the same time.  Jared Goff and Todd Gurley were pretty pathetic, as was the entire defense as the Pats dismantled LA.  This outcome was fairly predictable though, as Jeff Fisher was probably watching game tape on Drew Bledsoe in preparation for this matchup.  Fisher couldn’t even identify who the Patriots running backs were heading into the game, so how could he stand any chance against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady? If that’s not bad enough, we found out yesterday that Jeff Fisher and General Manager, Les Snead, were given contract extensions.  That’s like rewarding your child with a new car for getting C’s in school.  Fisher also got caught lying to the media earlier this week during the Eric Dickerson drama as well, in which he claimed he was welcome around the team, while he really told the Rams legendary running back he didn’t really want him around the team.  The Rams have no idea what being in the LA market means both on and off the field, and they are learning about it the hard way.  Looks like we’re going to see some mediocre NFL football in LA for a while.  Jeff Fisher can’t even find his challenge flag……

Elsewhere around the NFL, the Chargers lost another close game after leading in the 4th, and their fans are probably numb to it by now.  Pretty soon LA is going to have two mediocre football teams.  The Seahawks had a good laugh on Sunday Night Football against the Panthers, until Earl Thomas broke his leg and is now considering retirement.  Eric Berry looked like Deion Sanders, and the Chiefs got by the Falcons.  The Lions beat the Saints, then trolled all the ESPN analysts on Twitter for picking against them.  Blake Bortles isn’t very good at football, and the Jaguars got handled by the Broncos.  The Packers aren’t dead just yet after beating the Texans.  The Eagles are getting Philly fans ready for a long 76ers season by losing their third straight to the Bengals.  Those are the Miami Dolphins I know! They got pounded by the Ravens.  Is Chip Kelly ready to go back to college football yet? His 49ers got blasted by the Bears.  The Raiders came back from the dead and beat the  Bills.  The Steelers remembered how to play football again and beat the Giants.  The Redskins played more like the foreskins, as they got beat by the Cardinals.  The Cowboys beat the Vikings on Thursday Night Football, and the Chargers will move to LA by the time the Vikings offense ever scores another touchdown.

On to the college ranks, where after all the drama, the Trojans are going to the Rose Bowl.  In just a matter of two months, USC went from having a dumpster fire of a football program that wanted its coach ejected from the universe, to having one of the elite programs in the country.  The Trojans are playing as well as almost any of the playoff teams, and you could still make a case for them to be in the playoff with 3 losses.  However,  It’s almost better that USC is going to the Rose Bowl instead of the playoff, so they don’t get their brains beat in by Alabama, as Washington will on New Years eve.  With huge victories against Washington, Colorado, as well as against rivals UCLA and Notre Dame, USC should feel like they have rightfully earned their place in the Rose Bowl.  They’ve also brought the program back to where USC football probably should be.

As for the rest of the college football playoff, Alabama clinched a spot in the playoff after beating Florida 54-16, and Nick Saban probably chewed out his kids for giving up 16 points.  They might as as well request a promotion to the NFC South so they can actually have a challenge in the playoffs.  Ohio State and Clemson deserve to be in there, but I was hoping to see some new teams.  Washington is sure to get embarrassed by Alabama, which is basically a punishment for winning the Pac 12.  I think it’s safe to say that Penn State just got “Sanduskied” by the playoff committee.  Urban Meyer once said if you win your conference you shouldn’t play for a National Championship.  I’m still not sure how Ohio State is in under that logic, and why Michigan even got consideration.

Let’s talk college hoops, where UCLA basketball is back! The Bruins just had their biggest road win in about a decade, as they upset #1 Kentucky on Saturday.  John Calipari is outraged because he isn’t paying his kids millions of dollars to lose games like this in December.  As punishment, he’s going to take away all of the cell phones and cars he gifted his players.  In all seriousness though, Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf are playing so well,  their talent has actually allowed many other Bruins to  settle into more effective roles on the team.  Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton are perfect examples of this.  More than anything though, the Bruin defense is beyond impressive.  Never did I think a Steve Alford coached team could challenge so many shots at that end of the floor.  There’s still a long way to go, and Pac 12 play won’t be easy, but UCLA has a shot to be the #1 seed out West, and has the talent win a National Championship.

To the NBA, where the Laker injuries are starting to catch up with them.  The Lake Show got crushed in Toronto, and lost a very disappointing game to Memphis on Saturday.  This is an absolutely brutal stretch, where its starting to feel like that playoff seeding is starting to slip away.  There’s not too many teams that can win when losing their starting backcourt, and the Lakers have done pretty well just to get this far.  It doesn’t help though that LA is letting guys like Troy Daniels (yea I’ve never heard of him either) drop 31 points on him.  We’re starting to see more instances of lackluster defense, more isolation basketball, and silly turnovers, which is very characteristic of a young team.  Hopefully the Lakers can correct that to stay in the race.

As for the Clippers, I’m still not buying what they are selling.  Yes, they went on the road and beat up Cleveland.  However, Lebron looked about as relaxed as he does when he goes Banana boating with Chris Paul in the summer, and the Cavs didn’t seem to care.  The Clipps have lost four of their last six games including last night’s loss to Indiana, and they still look a lot more like the team we’ve seen the last 5 years.  They’ve also slipped to third in the West, and here come the mighty Warriors to Staples Center on Wednesday.  This is one showdown I can’t wait to see, but fully expect Golden State to handle business.

I completely forgot about Tiger Woods, and he’s back.  Although he finished 15th out of 17 at the Hero World Challenge.  As sad as it is to say, that’s a major accomplishment for him these days.  I’m not sure how that gets him to move up 248 spots in the world rankings, but apparently it’s likely to happen.  We are far from the days of Tiger’s dominance, however, hopefully he can win a major this year and has a tournament or two win in him.  That would definitely bring some excitement back to the PGA, because the current names just don’t bring it.

Finally, a creepy episode 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 you plan on watching it later.  This episode was 90 minutes of Negan toying with Carl.  If Carl was supposedly on this suicide mission to kill Negan, then why didn’t he just pull the trigger and shoot him and everybody else when he had the chance?  He has a lot of guts, but also has a lot of stupidity.  So does Michonne, who suddenly thinks she can take out Negan by herself.  Who does she think Negan is, the Governor? He makes the Governor look like Mr Rogers.   I think Negan spent more quality time with Judith in that episode than Rick has over the course of the entire series.  I love that slap Olivia gave Negan, but there’s gotta be a small part of her that would think about sleeping with him like he offered.  I mean, she probably doesn’t get laid much in the real world, let alone with the apocalyptic world.  Negan is clearly Hugh Heffner in the apocalyptic world.  This was definitely not the episode to be ironing your laundry while watching.  If Negan was really intent on punishing Carl, he would have given him a haircut.  This was definitely an “eye-opening” episode.  I can’t believe we’re already at the mid-season finale next week!  For once, I don’t think we’re going to get an all out war between Rick’s group and the opposition during the mid-season finale.  When did Gabriel become so damn likable on this show?  That war feels like several episodes away.  If there’s one character that I would bet wouldn’t make it to through the next episode, it’s Spencer.  Looking forward to seeing how it all goes down next week!