Monthly Archives: January 2017

Monday Morning Coffee

January 30th, 2017

What are you waiting for Doc Rivers? Just pull the trigger on the Carmelo trade already.   How many times are you going to try and convince us that your team is good enough to win as currently constructed? We all know it’s not, and deep down inside, you know it too.  ‘Melo isn’t Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard, but he’s still an All-Star caliber small forward that will make Clippers better.  Even if you have to give up J.J. Redick to get it done, you’re getting a massive upgrade at the position you need the most help.  Yea I get it, most of you think ‘Melo is some one dimensional ball hog.  However, if you put great players around him like CP3 and Blake, just like in the Olympics, he becomes a huge asset.  Not to mention the fact he’s a much better locker room guy than people give him credit for.  Even if ‘Melo doesn’t get the Clipps by the Warriors or Spurs, they are still a better team with him, as well as a more entertaining one.

Speaking of trades, it’s time for the Lakers to find a trade partner for someone to take Lou Williams and Nick Young.  By trading those guys, they might even be able to get another 1st round pick, shed some longer-term salary along with them, and get some of the kids more playing time to develop.  With that development likely comes more losses, which is actually much needed as well.  The Lake Show are trying to hang on to their top 3 protected lottery pick this year, and if they are successful, they would also keep their 1st round pick in 2019 as well, which is a result of the Dwight Howard trade.  In other words, by losing they are protecting not one but two future 1st round picks.  Drafting NBA players in the lottery is a crapshoot, but if you keep picking, eventually you find your franchise guy.  Just ask the 76ers and Bucks.

So the NBA players and coaches complained about the fans having too much say in the All-Star selection process.  This year, when they changed the voting process to give players a say, it turns out most voted for themselves, their friends, or didn’t even bother to vote.  Many didn’t even have Lebron James on their ballot! Perhaps the NBA has forgotten what the All-Star game is about: it’s a game for the fans, so they should get to see what they want.  If the fans want to see Steph Curry start over Russell Westbrook then they deserve it to see it.  For the most part, the fans do a pretty good job, and a much better job than the players themselves.  Without the fans, there is no NBA.  After this idiotic display by the players, the next player, coach, or member of the NBA that suggests anything is wrong with the fan voting should be slapped.  As for the Cavs, according to this reporter, they do some pretty interesting things in the huddle…..

The Dodgers finally made a big move to acquire a second  baseman you’ve probably never heard of.  It was Logan Forsythe of the Tampa Bay Rays, and it cost them one of their better pitching prospects, Jose De Leon.  I sure wish the Boys in Blue were able acquire Brian Dozier from the Twins instead, however, Forsythe is just as good, but without the power.  He also fills a lot of needs: an everyday second baseman, leadoff hitter, and someone who hits well against left handers.  That sounds great and all, but the Dodgers aren’t in any better position to win a World Series than they have been the last 6 years.  They are probably good enough to win the division, and then get abused by another midwest team in the playoffs.  The Dodgers wouldn’t have had a need to acquire Forsythe had Andrew Friedman not made that stupid Dee Gordon trade a few years ago, as Gordon is now a very affordable all-star second baseman.  The team would also probably perform a lot better if Friedman didn’t insist on changing his outfield lineups more frequently than Kim Kardashian changes husbands.

Remember when I didn’t mind that Steve Alford was coaching the Bruins basketball team? After losing to USC, I think every UCLA Basketball fan should mind.  The Bruins should never lose basketball games to the Trojans.  Even Trojan fans know that.  UCLA returned to the team we saw against Arizona, which couldn’t play defense, and had an offense that was totally of of rhythm.   It’s like Alford forgot he had to coach this team when they ran into trouble.  Speaking of Alford’s forgetting things, it feels like Bryce has suddenly forgotten how to play in the last two games.  Even Lonzo Ball shares some blame in this, serving up more turnovers than Betty Crocker last Wednesday.   These are still eighteen and nineteen year old kids, which is hard to remember, but their development and focus falls at the feet of the coaching staff.  The more adversity the Bruins seem to face this year, the more that coaching seems non-existent.

I wish they would permanently do away with the bye week prior to the Super Bowl.  Just give us the game already!  By the time we get to Super Sunday, NFL analysts will be forced to analyze issues like what color hoodie will Bill Belichik be wearing? Or whether or not Tom Brady wears Gisele’s underwear for good luck in big games? You’ll just have to hear about this stuff for the next seven days.  The game features the Patriots #1 defense in the NFL, vs the #1 offense of the Falcons.  These games never end well for the offensive juggernaut, so this game has Patriots blowout written all over it.

It’s one thing to have a sport with an All-Star Game that’s less than ideal.  However, the Pro-Bowl takes this concept to a new level by making the NFL just look like garbage.  The entire game has become a joke that nobody watches anymore, in which the players hardly try so they don’t get injured.  Many deserving players don’t even want to go or are playing in the Super Bowl.  This is one league showcase they should have ended five years ago.  Unfortunately, as successful as the league is, it isn’t necessarily run by the smartest people.  Roger Goodell even came out last week and claimed that Thursday Night Football is a good product.  It seems that even the NFL Commissioner is suffering from CTE.

Then there’s the NHL All-Star game which may have finally gotten an All-Star Game right.  They made it an exciting three-on-three tournament, with teams broken up by division.  There’s probably more goalies that are named “All-Stars” who probably shouldn’t be because of the divisional format, but the goalies don’t really matter.  It’s a huge showcase of skill, with enough competitiveness and entertainment for the fans.  That’s what they came to see.  Yesterday, it was nice to see the present LA Kings, Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty, play well in front of the home fans, but also a lot of former Kings make their presence felt as well.  From former King Wayne Simmonds getting the MVP, to former Kings Luc Robitaille, Marcel Dionne, and Wayne Gretzky being honored among the top 100 players of all time, the hometown heroes were well represented.  The most epic part of the weekend though was the NHL letting Snoop Dog open for the Skills Challenge on Saturday night.  It just so happens though, that the league forgot to tell him to censor his lyrics…..

On a much more serious note, I am happy to hear that LA Kings broadcaster Bob Miller is in good spirits and doing well.  Miller suffered a mild stroke on Saturday, and was admitted to USC Keck Hospital, where he is resting comfortably.  Miller is not only a Hall of Fame Broadcaster but a great guy as well, who is very loved in the hockey community.  Thoughts and prayers with him and his family, and here’s to a speedy recovery.

Ok folks, somebody on The Bachelor is going home tonight, and I have a feeling it’s not going to be Corrine, even though she’s making most of us “cor-ringe”, every time she speaks.  Mind you, on the last episode Corrine claimed that even Michael Jordan took naps.  However, none of his teammates during the Olympics remember him taking any naps and were pretty amazed by that.  Corrine, you are no Michael Jordan.  You are more like the seven dwarfs in one episode: sleepy, happy, grumpy, and slutty (if there was such a dwarf).  Taylor is likely to be the one to go tonight, mostly because if it’s not Nick who says so, it will probably be the producers.  Raven beating her cheating boyfriend with her home wrecker’s stiletto is one of the best “please love me because I’m damaged” stories I’ve heard in a long time.  Why are there so many Danielle’s on the show? The producers really blew it on that one, even though Danielle L. is my favorite.  Nick definitely knew what he was doing when he took all the girls to the farm to check out their skills milking cows.   The more I think about it though, I think Corrine is really just Tiffany Trump living a double life to troll all of us right now……


Monday Morning Coffee

January 23, 2017

Last week Jeanie Buss met with Magic Johnson to talk about the state of the Laker franchise.  As you can see from the selfie they took from her seats, they made no secret about their meeting.  You can be sure that they were not reminiscing about Magic’s playing days, or about that old television show he used to host called “The Magic Hour” (which was easily the worst television show in the history of television).  Jeanie has to be strategizing a shakeup in the Laker front office, and specifically, replacing her brother Jim with somebody else as the head of basketball operations.  Jeanie was probably using Magic to generate ideas, and probably even gauging his interest in returning to the Lakers in some capacity.  I certainly can’t see Magic in a player evaluation role for the team, but I could see him in a higher level business operating role.  At most, overseeing the basketball operations department, but delegating to others.  He already looks bored of his ownership role with the Dodgers.  Nevertheless, this wouldn’t be too radical of a shift in leadership, but one that would appease the public more than anything else, as well as appease Jeanie and Magic, who both love the Lakers as much as life itself.   On the court things have been rough of late.  The Lakers lost D’Angelo Russell for a couple of weeks to another knee injury, and took a senseless beating from the Mavericks yesterday by 49 points, which was their worst loss in franchise history.  Time to cheer for more losses folks to keep that 1st round draft pick!

Speaking of losing, the Clippers lost Chris Paul to an injury again.  This time, another 6-8 weeks for a thumb injury.  I could swear I’ve seen this movie before, as well as the sequel, and it’s going to end the same way in the trilogy.  Blake Griffin will come back next week.  Then Paul will be back by the end of the season, and the Clipps will struggle to regain their chemistry.  They’ll fool some of you into thinking they can contend, and then they’ll either choke in the first round, or get blown off the floor in the second round against the Warriors.  Somehow, Doc Rivers and Steve Ballmer will then convince themselves to bring back the exact same team next season, even if it costs them another $400 million to keep Blake and Paul.  You’ve gotta give Doc Rivers credit for being able to bamboozle the former CEO of Microsoft, and convince him to keep the team together for this long.  This might also explain why Ballmer is no longer the CEO of Microsoft.

What a horrible pair of conference championship games we saw yesterday.  I refuse to accept the fact we had to watch two blowouts.  I’m so upset, starting today I’m going to be protesting, picketing, rioting, and forming support groups.  #NotmySuperBowl.   In Atlanta, the Packers played so badly, Aaron Rogers’ family probably won’t plan on making up with him anytime soon.  Stay positive though Packer fans.  You still have obesity, cheese, and 11 months of Winter to help you through this difficult time.  The Falcons are a way better team than everybody gave them credit for, and Matt Ryan has been arguably the best quarterback in the NFL this season.  The highlight of the game was the Falcons’ Robert Alford doing his best Lebron James impression…..

Over in the AFC Championship Game, Roger Goodell is going to need to fly to New England to investigate the Steelers claim that they were raped by the Patriots.  The Pats executed at a much higher level than the Steelers, and totally blew them out of the building.  Le’Veon Bell’s groin injury didn’t help Pittsburgh’s cause, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.  Unless Bell could figure out a way to shutdown the Patriots’ receivers, New England still would have handled business.  Bell probably told team doctors that all he needed to recover was a box of Pringles and two joints.  If Brady finds a way to win his 5th Super Bowl in two weeks, he’s definitely going to have a strong case as the greatest quarterback of all-time, which probably won’t sit well with many of you.  I’m going with the Pats.

It’s been just over a week, and the Chargers move to LA is already a total disaster.  In fact, the NFL owners are actually furious with Dean Spanos, and were privately hoping that he would re-consider moving the team back to San Diego.  If the NFL wants the Chargers back in San Diego so badly, why don’t they just write a check for it? I’m sure San Diegans would take them back, the same way you talk smack about your hot ex-girlfriend, until you are just giddy when she asks to get back together with you.  Spanos isn’t going to move them back to San Diego though.  He’s done the accounting, and he knows the money is in LA is great, regardless of how much people are going to hate him.  He’s going to crash the party despite the fact nobody cares about him.  As you can see, last week’s rally went really well…..

I could swear I entered a time machine on Saturday, and was watching a Steve Lavin coached UCLA basketball team.  It wasn’t Lavin, but his horrible reincarnation, Steve Alford, as Arizona upset the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion.  It wasn’t the fact the Bruins lost.  It was how they lost.  Alford’s team couldn’t defend the Wildcats, he couldn’t make adjustments, and they were outmuscled in the paint.  The Bruins have a phenomenal offense, but if they can’t defend teams like Arizona in March, they are going to be sent home very quickly.  Alford knows his team needs defense, but can he actually teach it? Based on what we’ve seen from him in the past, there’s no reason to believe he can.  As amazing as Lonzo Ball is, he can’t do it all himself.  To make matters worse, UCLA is now in danger of finishing 3rd in the Pac 12, unless they get some serious help from other teams, and less likely to be a #1 seed in the West for the NCAA Tournament.  There’s certainly time to get their act together, but simply being an offensive juggernaut isn’t going to be enough.  At some point, coaching has to come into play.

As for the Trojans, they held off Arizona State yesterday, and ended up going 1-1 against the Arizona schools.  After a great start, USC is just 4-4 in conference play, good enough for only 6th place.  The Trojan defense is just as bad as the Bruins’, but they aren’t nearly as explosive offensively to make up for it.  They’ll have a cross-town showdown with the Bruins at the Galen Center on Wednesday night.

I don’t understand the rationale of baseball hall of fame voting.  If you get 75% of the writers votes you are in the hall of fame, but why do writers decide to vote for someone one year, but not in another year?  You are either a hall of famer or you aren’t.  It shouldn’t matter who else is on the ballot.  I also think the fact that Ivan Rodriguez made the hall of fame tells me that eventually Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and other documented steroid users will get in.  The younger generation of writers is more progressive and thinks that these players were already hall of famers with or without the juice.  Besides, if you don’t vote for Bonds, he’ll probably take a baseball bat and smash your car out of roid rage.

Ok guys, admit it, your wives and girlfriends have made you start watching The Bachelor on ABC.  Even ESPN’s Mathew Barry has started a fantasy league revolving around the show.  It’s really like repeatedly watching a live train wreck on television.  As gorgeous as many of these women are, most of them are crazy, or just trying to monetize their fame of being on the show (maybe even both).  That’s fine, but no need to make yourself look like an idiot in the process, even if it’s for our entertainment.  This season, the Bachelor is Nick Viall, who was among the finalists in several previous seasons of The Bachelorette.  However, the true entertainment factor on the show is Corinne Olympios, a 24 year old business owner from Miami.  Corinne was totally “that girl” in college, who was sloppier than Lindsay Lohan at happy hour, and getting nailed by the entire football team.  That was pretty evident when she took off her top, as well as made use of the “whip cream bikini” in the first three episodes of the season.  Still, regardless of what Nick thinks of her, there’s no way the producers are going to let him cut her from the show for a while.  I have to say, the fact that this woman runs a company (even if inherited from her father), should give every aspiring entrepreneur hope that they can one succeed.

Monday Morning Coffee

January 16th, 2017

Sometimes business and money outweigh everything else.  Just ask Donald Sterling.  Now you can ask Dean Spanos, who ripped the Chargers from San Diego last week, and moved them to Los Angeles.  Congratulations Dean, you are now the most irrelevant team in the Los Angeles sports landscape.  You are the unwanted house guest that is crashing on the couch, drinking the hosts beer, and slamming food in the fridge that isn’t yours.  Then there’s the disaster that was the team logo.  In a matter of hours, the Bolts had a new logo, that looked like it cost about 50 cents to make.  It looked like the Dodgers logo had sex with an electrical cord.  Then, just a few hours later after being destroyed on social media for the logo, Dean Spanos did damage control on local radio stations by saying this was just a temporary logo for marketing purposes.  Good one Dean.  The logo itself alienated the remaining San Diego fans, and was simultaneously rejected by LA fans.  If you think the logo is bad, wait until you see how bad the team is on the field.  The Chargers added insult to their own injury by hiring a running back coach in Anthony Lynn, just a few hours later.  LA barely has interest in supporting one lousy NFL team.  We definitely don’t need two.  This was a poor desperation move by the Spanos family, who could have easily spent money on a stadium in San Diego instead of a relocation fee, while combining that with the NFL’s contribution.  The irony of it all is that the most popular team in Los Angeles is the Raiders, and we all know they are headed to Vegas.

Speaking of coaching, the Rams have named Sean McVay their new head coach.  McVay is the youngest head coach in the NFL history at 30 years old.  This guy is so young to be a head coach, nobody is actually sure if he’s going to need a permission slip from his mother to go on road trips.  In all seriousness though, its a bold and out-of-the-box hire that is worth a try.  McVay did wonders developing Kirk Cousins the last few years as an offensive coordinator with the Redskins.  At 30 years old, he can probably do a much better job relating to guys like Jared Goff and Todd Gurley, than a guy in his 40’s or 50’s can.  Despite all the big names you heard, we knew the Rams weren’t going to get one.  However, this was a good alternative plan that could payoff in the long run.  I’m still surprised though that nobody wanted to wait for Kyle Shanahan, who has done a great job as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator this year.

I think it’s safe to say The Legion of Boom was blown up the the Falcons over the weekend.  Devonta Freeman was breaking ankles and Matt Ryan was racking up some big numbers.  The Falcons defense doesn’t look that good, but it hasn’t mattered yet, and might not next week either.  The Seahawks just aren’t the same without Marshawn Lynch.  Thomas Rawls clearly did not eat his Skittles the way Lynch did, and his performance has suffered.  Russell Wilson also suffered on Saturday.  If I didn’t know better, I would say it was Grayson Allen who was playing offensive line for the Seahawks, who ended up tripping him…..

In New England, Brock Osweiler was in a very giving mood, throwing three interceptions, as the Patriots routed the Texans.   Osweiler has become the greatest $72 million thief in history.  The Pats didn’t play that well, but handled the Texans easily.  They didn’t even need deflated footballs to take care of business either.

Then there were the good games.  Aaron Rogers proved he’s definitely the best quarterback in football after he single handedly led the Packers past the Cowboys in Dallas.  It feels like if I gave Rogers a couple of homeless wide receivers off the street to play on his team, he’d still be able to throw for 300 yards.  Now that Hillary Clinton and the Cowboys both lost their big games this year while being the favorite, blue must be the official color of choking.  The Cowboys have a very good young team, but their defense has more holes than a Packers cheese hat.  The over/under on the Packers-Falcons NFC title game must be 1,000 points.

The Steelers got by the Chiefs 18-6.  It got even worse for Chiefs Coach Andy Reid after the game, when he found out all the local BBQ joints in K.C. were closed.  Steelers Running Back Le’Veon Bell ran wild again, and is living proof that smoking weed makes you a more patient runner.  Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce just didn’t have it yesterday against the Steelers D.  I fee like Kelce is trying to be Rob Gronkowski the same way that Bon Jovi is trying to be Bruce Springsteen.  Kelce was very displeased with the officiating as well.  Sorry Travis, but you probably could overcome the officiating if you didn’t have a critical drop and a penalty in that game.  Somebody get that man a tissue.

Looking back at the National Championship Game from last week, that was a great finish to the college football season with Clemson getting by Alabama in the final seconds.  That game was very boring early on, and lasted longer than a Kim Kardashian marriage.  However, the Tigers were simply the beneficiary of getting the last opportunity to score, and they took advantage of it.  They also benefitted from Alabama Running Back Bo Scarborough breaking his leg.  It was great for college football that Clemson knocked off the team that was viewed as a dynasty in Alabama.  Knowing Lane Kiffin though, he probably was happy as hell his former employer lost, since Sark replaced him as offensive coordinator for that game.  Sark called a pretty good game, however, the Crimson Tide defense couldn’t keep the ball long enough to keep their defense off the field and rested.  I’m sure Sark also filled the Gatorade bottles with some vodka to take the edge off.  The loss wasn’t a big deal for him since he planned on getting drunk anyway when it was over.

To the NBA, where the Lakers fell to the Pistons last night at Staples, but the more intriguing stories are off the court as we’ve reached the halfway point of the season.  The Lake Show were reportedly interested in acquiring Atlanta Hawks Power Forward Paul Milsap or the 76ers Center Nerlens Noel. Milsap is an all-star player, but acquiring him makes little sense for a team as far away from contending for a title as the Lakers.  He’s off the trade block for now, but hopefully the Lakers don’t pull the trigger on that trade.  As good as Milsap is, he’s really an elite complimentary player on a team.  He’s a B+ player that doesn’t get this team to the playoffs, he’d cost at least a couple of the teams best young players in a trade, and he’s going to be due for a very expensive $140 million contract extension when the season ends.  As for Noel, his shot blocking ability would be a great fit in the front court for this young Laker team.  If the Lakers could find a way to make that trade without trading Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, or Jordan Clarkson, they should do it.  Perhaps a Lou Williams for Nerlens Noel trade might make sense considering the 76ers need backcourt help.  Forget the playoff pipe dream that most of you had early on in the season.  The Lakers are on pace to win almost 30 games, and before the season started, most of us thought that would be major progress.

As for the Clippers, they’ve won six straight and stabilized things after going through a rough stretch.  Blake Griffin is also due back soon, and they’ll need him to see where they stack up.  Beginning at the end of this month, they’ll face the Warriors three times, the Spurs, Raptors, and Celtics, in a four week stretch.  Keep in mind, Blake Griffin needs to play well for his own free agency.  Under the new NBA CBA, if Blake gets first, second, or third team All-NBA, he is eligible for a 5 year contract for over $200 million this summer.  The next closest another team could offer is 4 years and $124 million.  However, if Blake doesn’t get All-NBA honors, the Clippers could only offer 5 years and about $150 million, which would make it slightly easier to leave LA if he desired.  The other situation to keep an eye on is the rocky relationship between Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony in New York.  If Melo does become willing to waive his no-trade clause, the Clippers and Cavs are the only teams he would be willing to go to.  However, would the Clippers really make that trade if the Knicks asked for Blake Griffin? I have my doubts, even if Chris Paul is buddies with ‘Melo.

That was a great win by the UCLA basketball team on Saturday at Utah.  The Bruins rallied from a nine-point deficit in the second half despite their defense looking as soft as rigatoni.  The Bruins were out rebounded and allowed the Utes to shoot 54% from the field, but they made big shots down the stretch.  Coach Steve Alford actually did something right other than style his hair nicely during this game.  He even sat out his son Bryce on some key defensive possessions late in the game, allowing the Bruins to matchup better in certain situations.  The win was definitely character building for a team that hasn’t had many tests thus far this year.  They’ll get tested next week though as they take on Arizona and Arizona State.

As for the Trojans, they aren’t nearly as good as you thought a few weeks ago.  USC will probably fall out of the Top 25 after losing to Utah.  They also barely got by Colorado.  The Trojans are a combined 2-6 in higher elevation trips to Utah and Colorado since those teams joined the Pac 12 in 2011-2012.  At least they are enjoying the legalization of marijuana on these trips since they can’t seem to beat those schools, which they should.

Finally, we’re just beyond the halfway point of the NHL season, and I think it’s safe to say we can draw some conclusions about the Kings and Ducks.  The Kings score less than Steve Urkel did on Family Matters, and need some major help.  The good news for LA is that despite their scoring woes and the loss of starting goalie Jonathan Quick, they are currently hanging onto the last playoff spot in the West.  With the emergence of young defenseman like Derek Forbort and Kevin Gravel, the Kings can afford to trade a quality defenseman like Jake Muzzin for some offensive help by the trade deadline.  Then there’s the Ducks, who have grinded their way into 1st place in the Pacific Division at this point.  Anaheim has also done it with defense, despite not having veteran goal scorers pull their own weight offensively.  Unless Anaheim can find a taker for Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry, I doubt we’ll see much movement from them at the deadline.  The real question though is if these guys can actually do something in the playoffs, which remains to be seen.

Monday Morning Coffee

January 9th, 2017

Perhaps it wasn’t such a great idea for the Giants’ receivers to go on that boating trip to Miami.  Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepherd looked like they forgot to bring their hands back from the trip, as the Packers blew out the G-Men yesterday on Wild Card Weekend.  Odell’s hands were obviously still greasy from rubbing down all those men in Miami with sunscreen, as he dropped two touchdown passes while Aaron Rodgers was connecting on another Hail Mary touchdown pass.  The Packers are are on fire, and headed for an epic showdown with the Cowboys.  It was so cold in Green Bay yesterday that Eli Manning’s mom packed an extra thermos of hot chocolate for the quarterback.  Here’s Rodgers huge Hail Mary…..

Meanwhile in Pittsburgh, the Steelers dismantled the Dolphins.  That game was a bigger mismatch than Big Ben locked in a room full of sorority girls.  Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Browh put up monster numbers and looked like they were playing Tecmo Bowl.  Bell is the worst thing to happen to the “anti-drug” campaign.  That team looks so good at times, but so inconsistent at others.  Still, Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin is much more than just the “cheerleader” that Terry Bradshaw suggested he is.  In the last 10 years, this “cheerleader” has won 64% of his games, with 5 division titles, 2 Super Bowl appearances, and one of only 6 active head coaches that have won a Super Bowl.  Nice try Terry Bradshaw.  Congratulations to  Matt More, who made history yesterday.   Moore is the first quarterback to die, yet continue an NFL game……..

In Seattle, the Seahawks took care of the Lions.  This is definitely the worst thing to happen to Lions fans since they found out they actually live in Detroit.  Cheer up though guys, you can still buy pieces of property out there for about $10, so it’s not so bad.  Seattle was never going to lose that game playing at home, especially while Matt Stafford had a bad hand.  I think The Lions may be the only franchise to give up a one handed TD while getting face masked and a butt catch in the same game.

Then there’s the tragedy that was the Raiders, getting blown out by the Texans.  I was waiting for a Brock Osweiler implosion here, but it was the Raiders’ Connor Cook who was the disaster.  I had a better quarterback rating than Connor Cook on Saturday, and I haven’t played tackle football in 15 years.  It was so bad that the Raiders would have been better off playing Derek Carr with a broken leg than putting Cook out there.  That’s about as good as it’s going to get this year for the Texans, who should be demolished next weekend in New England.  The Patriots thought they get one bye week during this years playoffs, but it turns out it was really two.

To the NBA, where the Lakers are still searching for some consistency.  That’s typical of a young team, however, there’s some trade opportunities out there for the team to consider.  Specifically, Chicago Bulls all-star swingman, Jimmy Butler.  According to Ric Bucher, the Bulls are shopping Butler.  Considering the new CBA is going to keep most all-star players with their current teams, when a player like Butler becomes available, it’s worth considering whether or not you should deal for him.  You can be sure a conversation with the Bulls will actually take place, but Chicago would likely ask for two players among, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle, with one of the two being Russell or Randle.  Butler is a very good player with a team friendly contract, and I had to ask myself this question a few times before deciding that the Lakers should keep the kids and not make a trade like that.  I’ve seen what a team looks like with Jimmy Butler as its best player, and it’s not only not a championship team, it might not even be a playoff team.  However, we don’t know what this Laker team is going to look like in the next 2-3 years, but it should at least be a playoff team with the development we’ve seen thus far.  You just have to have patience, which nobody seems to have.

As for the Clippers, they have turned things around winning four straight.  Chris Paul made an emphatic return with on Friday night with an efficient game, and then followed it up with an 18 assist game yesterday.  The bigger issue though is that the Clipps whine more than a room full of pre-schoolers.  They’ve been charged with 34 technical fouls this season, 3rd most in the league.  At this point, even Doc Rivers knows his team is a bunch of cry babies, and has told them to pipe down because the officials are targeting them.  More than anything though, this type of complaining is so symbolic of the Clippers lack of discipline in the last five years in big games, and a big reason why they will come up short again in the playoffs.

Russell Westbrook amazes me.  The man is averaging a triple double, which nobody in the NBA has done in the last 55 years, yet he’s getting criticized for his selfishness.  Ironically, Westbrook is one of the few elite players who decided to stay with his current team by signing an extension, which he should be lauded for.  Instead, after Westbrook and the Thunder lost to James Harden and the Rockets earlier in the week, the media was suggesting that Harden was more unselfish than Westbrook.  Harden is definitely having an MVP caliber season, but people who cover the NBA have very short memories.  Harden is the same guy who quit on his teammates last season.  Westbrook is still a better defender, and more explosive than Harden  Nobody that averages a triple double is selfish.  Just because you don’t like the way Westbrook executes at the end of games doesn’t mean he can’t change that.  The same way Harden became a better teammate this season.  If Westbrook averages a triple double for the year, he should definitely be the MVP.  Knowing the media though, they’ll probably give it to Harden.

To college hoops, where the Bruins picked up a couple of wins against Cal and Stanford the last few days.  UCLA will likely move up a spot in the AP poll, probably #3, after #1 Villanova lost earlier in the week.  Lonzo Ball is doing it all, and he might not even be the best Ball brother that’s going to be playing at UCLA in the next four years.  Apparently, their father has had them working on all kinds of crazy things in practice over the years, including regularly shooting half-court shots.  That probably explains why you see this from him all the time…..

Then there’s USC, who’s starting to look like the mid-major I thought they might be about a week ago.  The Trojans lost a close one at home to Cal last night, which is already their second loss in Pac 12 Play.  That game between the Bears and Trojans may have been exciting last night, but USC looks like nothing more than a middle of the road Pac 12 team, and nothing like the team we saw last year.

The Rams coaching search is still in full effect.  Last week’s interviews were headlined by Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels, Bills Interim Coach Anthony Lynn, and Jacksonville Interim Coach Doug Marrone. Falcons Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan will likely be this week.  The “hot candidate” seems to be Shanahan.  However, I don’t ever recall “the hot candidate” ever being all that great in recent memory.  Mike McCoy was “the hot candidate” a couple of years ago with the Chargers and now he’s out.  Josh McDaniels was “the hot candidate” a few years earlier with the Broncos, then ran Jay Cutler out of town, and then was run out of town after that.  All the big names we heard a few weeks ago like Jim Harbaugh and Jon Gruden won’t even interview, so I fully expect to be underwhelmed when a new coach is announced.

Is Lane Kiffin one of the most disliked people on the planet? He must be.  A pretty good sign that people don’t like you is when you are asked not to call plays in the National Championship game when you’ve been doing it all year long, and then your replacement is a recovering alcoholic.  My favorite part of this was when Kiffin thought we were all dumb enough to believe that this was a mutual agreement between him and Nick Saban.  Saban just wants him gone after he accepted a job with Florida Atlantic.  I’m taking Alabama tonight over Clemson in the National Championship game.  Nobody can stop the Crimson Tide and all the money they are paying their players.


Monday Morning Coffee

January 2nd, 2017

Happy New Year everybody! Let’s kick off the first edition of MMC in 2017 with some Laker talk, and more specifically, what the breakup of Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson means.  First and foremost, it means that most guys have been feverishly checking Match.Com, Bumble, E-Harmony, and Tinder to see if Jeanie has posted a new profile since she’s single now.  I think it’s safe to say she likes older men, so if you are in your 70’s, you’ve got a good shot, which is bad news for many of us who thought we had a shot.  Knowing Phil, their breakup was probably caused by the fact that Jeanie didn’t want to run the triangle offense at dinner time.  I don’t think Phil ever really wanted to get married, because who takes a job they don’t need on the other side of the country when they are engaged?  More than anything though, the breakup should put an end to the rumors that Jeanie is going to bring Phil back at the end of the season to replace her brother, Jim, in the front office.  That should give Laker fans some peace of mind on the direction of the franchise, because bringing Phil back was a horrible idea.  It may not save Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak though.  Their fate will be decided at season’s end.  If the Lakers were to replace either one of them, I’m sure there would be a number of great executives lining up for the role, who are more qualified than both Phil and Jim Buss.  As for the team, their record is much closer to being the worst team in the league, than to a playoff spot.  With a top 3 protected pick, it’s probably time to start cheering for some more losses so the team can hang on to that pick and collect another valuable asset.

As for the Clippers, it was just a couple of weeks ago that everyone was raving about how much depth the team had, and how they were championship contenders that might be able to knock off the Warriors in the playoffs.  That so-called “depth” has come up short  of late, as the Clipps have lost six straight, and fallen all the way to seventh in the Western Conference.  Aside from the fact that Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are becoming more and more fragile as they age, the Clippers defense has been non-existent over the last few weeks.  I’m not foolish enough to believe the Clipp Show is going to miss the playoffs, but a slide down to even fourth in the West would likely lead to a second round matchup with Golden State, or even settling for the 6th seed would probably result in a matchup with the upstart Houston Rockets.  That means all those celebrity bandwagon Clipper fans will be searching for the receipts on their Blake Griffin jerseys and returning them back to the Team LA store.

Are you ready for the Rose Bowl? That’s right folks, we might actually get a good football game this afternoon, instead of that watered down, glorified, consolation game crap we’ve been witnessing for the last two weeks, as well as the boring semifinal playoff games.  Neither USC nor Penn State is going to be able to run the ball against each other, so I expect Trace McSorely and Sam Darnold to be chucking the ball around like they are playing in the backyard.  However, the Trojans have the better quarterback, and Darnold’s mobility should be able to neutralize Penn State’s solid pass rush.  I think USC pulls away late and wins by two touchdowns.  The irony of all this is that the Trojans beat Colorado and Washington, and it seems like the punishment  for those two teams was getting embarrassed by much better opponents in their respective bowl games.  The Trojans on the other hand get a nice matchup with Penn State in the Rose Bowl, which all of their fans and players would be thrilled to play in and win.  If you’re going to the game, hopefully you left yesterday, because it’s the Rose Bowl, which means it will take a Christopher Columbus like journey to get there and get in your seats by game time.

Let’s go the NFL, where mercifully, the Rams season has come to an end.  It concluded yesterday with a 44-6 beating they took from Arizona.  How did this team start 3-1? The offense was scoring less than Steve Urkel on New Years Eve.  Jared Goff took so many hits that Chris Brown is interested in dating him.  The honeymoon is over and the team needs to fix things quickly, or else they will lose buzz even before heading into their expensive new stadium in 2019.  The first order of business is hiring a coach with a good offensive mind, and drafting some solid offensive lineman.  Only then will we know whether Todd Gurley and Jared Goff are decent NFL players are not.  It doesn’t take very long to turn things around in the NFL, unless you are the Cleveland Browns.  The right coach and the right draft picks go a very long way to your success.  I guess the Rams haven’t figured this out though because they’ve had 13 consecutive seasons at .500 or worse.

Elsewhere around week 17 of the NFL, the Chargers gave their remaining San Diego fans something memorable by losing to the Chiefs, then immediately firing Coach Mike McCoy afterward.  In a few weeks from now, they will have fired the city of San Diego too.  You think things looked bad for the Raiders last week? They are down to their 3rd string quarterback heading into the playoffs after losing to the Broncos.  The Redskins had a chance to clinch a playoff spot, and instead they clinched a comfortable spot on their couch next week for Wild Card Weekend, after losing to the Giants.  The Browns lost to the Steelers, securing the #1 overall draft pick.  In related news that is likely to follow in the coming days, every draft eligible player is planning on returning to school.  Mark Sanchez showed he still has it yesterday, throwing a couple of interceptions in the Cowboys loss to Philly.  The Patriots should crush everyone in the AFC like a grape.  The Cowboys have been great, but the Seahawks, Falcons, and Giants are all capable of knocking them off on the road.  The Bills were in a very giving mood yesterday, allowing the Jets to score on a free touchdown on a kickoff in their loss to New York.

That was funny.  However, not nearly as shocking as seeing Clemson lineman Christian Wilkins grab Ohio State running back Curtis Samuel somewhere he’s not exactly supposed to after this play ended……

On to College Basketball, and UCLA hoops.  Did you know that in 1994-95, the Bruins went undefeated in non-conference play, lost their conference opening game at Oregon, then went on to win the national championship.  Sure enough, this is the first time they went undefeated in non-conference play since then, and on Wednesday, they lost a heart breaker to Oregon in the final seconds.  I’m not saying history repeats itself here, but it was good for the Bruins to lose a game to see how they would respond, and they responded well by beating Oregon State on Friday.  I would have loved nothing more than to see a final shot by the Bruins beat the buzzer after those idiot Oregon fans ran onto the court prematurely.  Nevertheless, UCLA will get its chance to beat Oregon again, and their first loss of the season does nothing more than help them build character and guts. Who would have thought I could be so positive about the Bruins after where they were a year ago?

Then there’s the Trojan basketball team, that came crashing back to earth on Friday.  USC suffered its first loss of the season against Oregon, who blew them off the floor by a score of 84-61.  As nice of a season as USC has had, the way they lost can’t sit well with them because it was the first ranked team they have played.  It definitely makes you wonder if they’ve been fooling us all along with their powder puff non-conference schedule.  A longer and more athletic team like Oregon gave them problems.  If that’s the case, with so many quality ranked opponents in the Pac 12, the Trojans are going down faster than a Bill Cosby victim.

Are the Dodgers ever going to make a deal with the Twins for Brian Dozier?  It feels like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could agree on what to order for lunch before these two teams could make a deal.  The fact that the Dodgers haven’t signed Chase Utley, or some other cheap alternative at second base, tells me that they still think they have a chance to acquire the Twins power hitting second baseman.  I know LA is holding out hope that they can make the deal by only including pitching prospect Jose DeLeon, but these types of deals for stud players with team friendly contracts usually require 2-3 prospects.  As long as it doesn’t require a player better than DeLeon (Julio Urias, Cody Bellinger, etc), the Dodgers should make the trade.

It’s a good thing the LA Kings beat the Sharks on Saturday to get back in the win column.  It has felt like the Sharks have owned the Kings for the last year or so.  Those two teams have always played close games for the last 5 seasons, but up until last year, LA had a huge mental edge.  After all those years of Shark jokes the hockey gods are striking back with a vengeance, and now San Jose has that edge.  Of greater concern is the fact that Anze Kopitar might never score again, given that he has just three goals on the entire season, and the same goes for his aging teammate, Marian Gaborik.  The Kings are going to be in a battle just to make the playoffs with the way Edmonton and Calgary are playing.  As for the Ducks, they have their own expensive players not scoring goals like Ryan Getzlaf, but they are still winning games and staying in the playoff race.  They have talent, but watching them feels like you’re looking at that girl who was really hot in high school for the first couple of years, but by your senior year, her stock isn’t quite as high as it once was because new hotter girls (in this case Edmonton and San Jose), have transferred in and garnered more attention.

Well 2016 is in the books, but frankly, the year was just a jerk.  On the LA sports front, we said goodbye to legends like Vin Scully, and Kobe Bryant, even though the Mamba gave us a nice memory with his 60 point finale.  The Rams were garbage, the Lakers are struggling, the Clippers are still the Clippers, the Dodgers still can’t win in October, and the Angels stink.  At least UCLA basketball gave us a small taste of what it could be in 2017, as did USC football.  Here’s to hoping 2017 will be better for our SoCal sports team.  Let’s hope we don’t lose as many celebrities either.  To lose Prince, Mohamed Ali, Alan Thicke, Carrie Fisher, George Michael, and others, really hurt for those of us who identified with these celebrities as we grew up.  They were a part of my childhood.  I guess 2016 also couldn’t end without killing the career of Ronda Rousey as well.  She went Hollywood, and then had too much time away from the octagon.  Time to walk away.