Monthly Archives: November 2018

Monday Morning Coffee

November 26, 2018

Clay Helton is going to remain the USC coach.  Somewhere, UCLA fans are doing the Carlton dance.  I don’t remember a team that once had Top 10 talent that couldn’t even finish in the Top 25, let alone become bowl eligible.  Despite putting up a decent fight against Notre Dame, it’s become so bad that many Trojan fans don’t even care anymore.  They had less than 60,000 people show up to the Coliseum on Saturday night.  This is no longer a Clay Helton problem, it’s a Lynn Swann problem.  How can Helton have a $15 million buyout? The man isn’t even one of the top 6 highest paid coaches in the conference.  That’s a complete administrative failure, and the fact Swann is sticking with Helton after a total debacle tells you that he is the man responsible for this.  Get ready for another season of boos and angry Trojan fans.

Meanwhile, UCLA got punched back to reality by Stanford.  Memo to Chip Kelly: you might want to upgrade your defense in the offseason.  The Bruins gave up 40 or more points in four games this season.  They probably also need to find a better quarterback now that Wilton Speight will be graduating.  New coach and they still can’t beat Stanford.  I’m amazed at how other Pac-12 coaches are looking at the Bruins and think they might be real contenders next year.  That’s like being in an MBA grad school program and thinking all 5 girls in your class are super models.  The conference is terrible, the promise that the Bruins might have shown didn’t bank them any more wins, and their offense isn’t what Chip Kelly’s used to be.

If you think that’s disappointing, you should have seen UCLA basketball over Thanksgiving weekend.  After playing the equivalent of high school varsity teams in their first four games, the Bruins looked like they didn’t even belong in the same gym against 11th ranked Michigan State and 7th ranked North Carolina.  It was so bad that Michigan State players were commenting on how immature and disjointed the Bruins looked, and how they were able to take advantage of that.  The real word here is structure, and UCLA has none of it.  That’s all coaching, and Steve Alford isn’t providing that.  Guess Alford has no more of his own kids to play to try and save the season.

To the NBA where the Lakers layed an egg yesterday at home against Orlando.  If I didn’t know better, I would think Nikola Vucevic was the 2nd coming of Wilt Chamberlain.  Vucevic dropped another 31 points and 15 rebounds on the Lakers, about a week after crushing them in Orlando.  The Laker record is ok at 11-8, but they would be a hell of a lot better if they stopped producing more turnovers than Betty Crocker.  Heck if they had just a few less turnovers, they would probably be winning many of these games by double digits.  On the bright side though, Brandon Ingram is delivering, making the rest of you look foolish who wanted to trade him a week ago.  Nothing can stop this guy from looking like a fool though….

Speaking of the NBA, Dwight Howard’s life seems to be getting worse by the day.  The latest is Twitter roasting him over his sexual preferences after a gay man accused him of cheating on him.  I could care less what his sexual preferences are.  However, Dwight might be the most unlikable person in the league.  Had he come out of the closet earlier, he might have actually improved his reputation because of the support he receives.  I guess his lack of mental toughness goes way beyond the basketball court.

To the NFL, where the Chargers destroyed the Cardinals yesterday.  Philip Rivers tied an NFL record with 25 straight completions.  Coincidentally, 25 is also the number of children he’s created.  The only bad news is that Melvin Gordon went down with a knee injury that looked pretty serious.  Hopefully he’ll be ok because the Bolts will need him if they want any chance of beating real opponents come playoff time.  Meanwhile, I love how the team announced a sellout crowd yesterday, while the stadium was half empty.  I suppose it’s better than having a stadium full of the visiting team’s fans.  However, think about this: At an average $190 per season ticket with 6,000 no-shows, that means people spent over $1,000,000 yesterday to not watch Charger football.  That’s exactly how much people don’t give a crap about them.

Elsewhere around the NFL, your goal in life should be to find someone who loves you as much as Cris Collinsworth loves Aaron Rodgers.  The Bengals haven’t won a game since Hue Jackson joined their staff.  He’s like a plague for NFL teams.  The Redskins got crushed on Thanksgiving like it was 1492 all over again.  Nothing says Thanksgiving like muting Joe Buck so you can hear a crazy rant by your uncle during the Cowboys game.  Legend has it the Chiefs and Rams are still somewhere scoring touchdowns.  The Colts won and Andrew Luck cursed in his postgame interview for the first time ever.  The Bills beat the Jags, but the real winners were the two people in the Bills Mafia who were filmed having sex in the parking lot during a tailgate.

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.  How did the show manage to kill off another character, yet it wasn’t Eugene? That guy is a bitch and deserves to die.  At least Jesus died as a hero, however, his story feels like it had a very unsatisfying ending.  He just took over as leader of Hilltop, and even might have had some romance brewing.  I assure you that everyone was far more worried about the dog than they were about any other character on the show.  That had to be one of the scariest episodes the show has produced in years.  How sick do you have to be to be wearing the skin of dead people? Carol’s new hairdo makes her look like she’s headed to a Lord Of The Rings convention.  You would think Negan would have gotten out of his cell through some elaborate Ocean’s Eleven type plan.  Nope, Gabriel just left the cell open.  That would have been a really great episode the week of Halloween.  It’s only been 3 episodes, but I’m impressed with what the show has produced without Rick.  Show me more! Well….in February.


Monday Morning Coffee

November 19, 2018

I’m sure many of you will freak out over the fact the Lakers lost to the Magic over the weekend, but as I’ve said repeatedly, they are fine.  Teams are going to lay eggs on certain nights in the NBA.  You can’t go 82-0.  Even for the Warriors.  Lebron showed he can win any game he wants  with his display against the Blazers and last night against the Heat, and he’s going to do that come postseason time.  However, my real concern is whether or not they can add another superstar in free agency this summer.  I’m losing faith that’s going to happen.  Kawhi appears to be staying in Toronto, Klay is staying with the Warriors, and Jimmy Butler is locked into Philly.  For those of you who think Kevin Durant might be coming, even though he’s more sensitive than a teenage girl, I can’t see that getting any better by joining the Lakers.  That being the case, the Lakers are going to have to give up everything for Anthony Davis.

I can’t wait for tonight’s big showdown at The Coliseum between the Rams and Chiefs.  It would have been savage to play the game in St. Louis, which would have been the ultimate troll job.  I’ve gotta give the players a lot of credit for leaking the rumor that they were going to boycott the game if they were forced to play on that crummy field in Mexico City.  I don’t care what the NFL says, they don’t give a crap about player safety, and they probably would have forced the players to play on a dangerous surface had they not leaked the boycott.  As for the game itself, I expect the scoreboard to break tonight because both teams will score so many points.  Neither defense has exactly been shutting anybody down, and whichever team has the ball last is my bet to win.

Meanwhile, the Chargers had their first game in Carson in over a month and lost to the Broncos .  Notice i didn’t call it “a home game” because Stubhub was filled with Bronco fans.  So Keenan Allen tries to have fun with a fan and it costs the Chargers 15 yards. But Packers players can leap into the stands. Makes sense right?  The Chargers sure could have used that extra point they missed early on.  As usual the kicking game cost them.  It’s a good thing this team is playing well, because if they were playing badly, nobody in LA would even know they exist.  The Chargers are 7-3 but they are the 8th most popular team in LA, slotting in right behind the Sparks and traffic on the 405 Freeway.   They are taking every advantage of a schedule that is softer than tissue paper.  More power to them, but don’t try to tell me they are going to the Super Bowl.

Elsewhere around the NFL in week 11, i guess Jalen Ramsey can’t talk trash about Big Ben anymore  because his team is trash.  The Bucs, trying to decide if they want Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jameis Winston to throw interceptions for them is like trying to decide between Syphilis and Herpes.  Things have gotten so bad for the Browns that they are considering Condoleezza Rice as their next head coach.  She is probably so offended, she is considering using Weapons of Mass Destruction on the city of Cleveland.  The Cowboys won, might even win the division, and Michael Irvin is going to be celebrating with hookers and blow.  The Raiders won and Jon Gruden is probably pissed because he’s trying to tank.  The Saints have the highest paid punter in the NFL.  Too bad they never need him because they are busy winning games by 41 points.  My favorite part of Sunday Night Football was Cris Collinsworth saying “Trubisky has experience as a running back. He played the position from 2nd to 6th grade.”  Good one Chris.

To the train wreck that is UCLA and USC Football.  The Bruins might as well throw a parade and give Chip Kelly and extension after defeating USC for the first time in four years over the weekend.  I might still not be sold on what Kelly is doing, but he’s off the hook for a while, even after just 3 wins.  Then there’s USC, where expectations are a little different.  It’s time for Clay Helton to go.  Helton is like that substitute teacher that stays long-term since your actual teacher is out for a while.  The kids are happy since they think they can get away with anything, but when it’s time for state exams, they get destroyed because they didn’t learn anything.  USC has top 10 talent at worst, and they aren’t even in the top 25.  If that doesn’t smell of a coaching issue I don’t know what does.  Too bad the University needs to find a new President, and has to pay out about $200 million for a sexual misconduct lawsuit.  Hiring an expensive coach is going to be tough, but it also may not be necessary either.  A good out-of-the-box hire is what they need.  Not some has-been like Jack Del Rio or Jeff Fisher.

The LA Kings are the worst team in the league.  However, they do lead the league in goalie meniscus tears.  Maybe they need to re-hire John Stevens and fire him again so they can win another game.  It’s been absolutely brutal, but coaching and goaltending are not the problem.  It is looking more and more like this team is going to need a complete rebuild, and should start selling off spare parts immediately to collect assets.  They are also going to be in cap hell for a while, so it might take Jerome Powell to solve this one.

Finally, another episode 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 that is the case.  Rosita was remarkably clean for having been covered in mud just a few minutes before passing out in the forest.  There could not have been any more gay sexual tension between Aaron and Jesus in that fight they had.  I was waiting for those two to go out on an apocalyptic date afterward.  Someone saying “It’ll be dark soon” while it’s clearly midday is my new favorite thing.  Had they killed off Daryl’s dog, there would have been more outrage than when Glenn and Abraham died.  What’s up with the X’s on Daryl and Michonne’s back? Is Maggie gone for good? Would be nice if the show told us what was up.  It’s been six years and apparently Daryl is still looking for Rick.  Take it to the bank….someone is going to die next week.  A little bit of a slow episode but looking forward to the mid-season finale!

Monday Morning Coffee


November 12, 2018

I completely expect the Lakers to reel off six or seven victories in their next ten games.  They are playing some pretty terrible teams, just as they did the last two nights.   It was an ugly win for the team last night, but a win is a win.  Funny because even when the Lakers win, people always have something to complain about.  Some of my favorite whining includes Lebron going to some party last week after a loss, or when Brandon Ingram has a great game and people suggest he needs to be traded because he can’t perform consistently.  The Lakers are going to be just fine, and they are only going to be better with Tyson Chandler, and even better when another shooter like Trevor Ariza or Kyle Korver gets bought out and signs with them.  It would be nice if Lebron played a little bit of defense though…..

People ask me why I hate on the Clippers so much, and try to convince me that they are playing pretty good ball.  You know why i can’t take them seriously? Because they make tribute videos for Austin Rivers.  I can’t make this up.  The Clippers made a video tribute when the Washington Wizards visited Staples Center.  Tribute videos are reserved for legends who actually accomplish something for a franchise.  However, since the Clippers have nobody that ever accomplishes anything, they have to resort to making tribute videos for the former 8th man on their team, but the team wasn’t even that great.  For those of you that think I’m making this up, here’s the video:

To the NFL where the Rams held off the Seahawks yesterday afternoon at the Coliseum.  I can’t wait to hear what Keyshawn Johnson has to say about this.  Keyshawn always finds a way to hype of Seattle as a team that “shouldn’t be ignored” every single week on ESPN Radio.  The Rams could be headed to the Super Bowl in February, and Keyshawn might still be convinced the Seahawks were still a team to be reckoned with from their couches.  This was a nice bounce back victory after last week against the Saints, but if Cooper Kupp is lost to a torn ACL, that’s going to be a major blow to this team.  He’s turned into an unbelievable offensive threat that can’t be replaced.  I’d also be concerned about this team would be not having home field advantage in the playoffs, and Marcus Peters getting lit on fire every week by the opponents’ top receivers.  However, I never get tired of hearing Marcus Peters talk to the media.  Nothing could be more entertaining.  Especially this comment after the Saints game, in response to New Orleans’ Coach Sean Payton saying he liked the matchup against him.

Meanwhile, the Chargers and Raiders went at it in a game that should have been called “The Relocation Bowl.”  I can’t give the Bolts credit for beating up on a Raiders team that clearly isn’t even trying to win football games right now.  The Raiders were apparently handing out masks to fans attending the game to protect themselves from the polluted air caused by the fires.  What they needed to do was hand out tequila and paper bags so Raider fans could properly deal with watching their team.  The Bolts should have no problem for the next three weeks against Denver, and Arizona.  They are also going to get a big boost when Joey Bosa comes back soon.  Too bad they can’t get a boost from fans, since nobody shows up to their games.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 10, The league should have applied the mercy rule and end the Saints vs Bengals game at halftime.  The Bills crushed the Jets in a game that should have been on Comedy Central. Big Ben has been charged with animal abuse for brutally mistreating the Panthers in the Steelers’ Thursday night victory.  The Jaguars defense has disappeared like Houdini.  Meanwhile, Tyreek Hill is part wide receiver and part camera man.

Let’s get to the disaster that is USC Football.  The Trojans were stunned by Cal at the Coliseum on Saturday night, eliminating them from the Pac-12 South race.  It’s crazy to think that a football team that has arguably top 5 talent in the nation is only 5-5, especially in a currently mediocre conference.  The Pac-12 might as well announce that the UCLA-USC game is going to be airing on The Learning Channel next week.  Forget Clay Helton.  USC Football has reached a level that should be absolutely unacceptable to any self-respecting Trojan fan.  They need to completely clean house and start over.  Helton is in total damage control saying programs can turn it around quickly.  However, the Trojans will always get quality players.  They are USC, and kids still want to play there.  Developing that talent is a whole different story, and it’s going to take a young out-of-the-box hire to get that done.

Then there’s UCLA, whose football team stinks too.  You can’t sugar coat what you’ve seen if you’re a Bruin fan, but there’s still one thing to hang your hat on: you can beat USC next weekend.  The game is at the Rose Bowl.  UCLA blew out Cal on the road, and Cal just upset USC at the Coliseum.  I fully expect this to be a a very competitive game, and if the Bruins find a way to win, Chip Kelly can give the fans and his employers something to feel really good about heading into next year.  On the other side of the rivalry though, if USC loses, I’d be shocked if Clay Helton wasn’t fired the next day.

Speaking of UCLA though, basketball season is underway for the Bruins.  The first week of the season brought two unimpressive victories, including an escape against Long Beach State on Friday night at Pauley Pavillion.  I’m going to take it easy on Steve Alford at the moment considering he had to evacuate his home due to the fires in Thousand Oaks.  UCLA might not be Duke this year, but they have some solid talent that should be able to go deep into the NCAA Tournament and contend for a Pac-12 title.  However, the real story so far this season has been freshman center Moses Brown.  I’m not talking about his play.  It’s his hair and his really short shorts.

Finally, another episode 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.  It’s a whole new world, fast forwarding six years from the last episode.  Seeing Rosita kiss Gabriel is just weird and kind of nasty. Thank you for the “Richonne” baby, which wiped that nasty scene out my head.  Gabriel has still gotten more tail in the apocalypse than Daryl.  Judith and Negan are bonding, in exactly the same way Carl and Negan bonded in the comic.  Negan’s gone from murderous sociopath to math tutor.  He also got a haircut, but everyone else looks like they woke up from a 6 year coma.  Michonne must have been watching Law and Order during the time jump.  What are you going to do with a ring in the zombie apocalypse? Take it to a pawn shop?  The Saviors are like roaches! Why are any of them still alive? Six years later, Carol is still a badass burning people alive.  Just so everyone can keep things straight, Walkers don’t talk.  They aren’t Walkers.  They are “The Whisperers”, who are the new villain.  It was a pretty good episode, and so far I’m impressed with their attempts to reinvent the show.

Monday Morning Coffee

November 5, 2018

All this time I thought Andrew Friedman was a heartless, soulless, computer nerd.  It turns out he’s just a computer nerd that can sometimes look beyond the analytics.  That’s exactly what he did when  he re-signed Clayton Kershaw to team friendly 3-year $93 million contract last week.  Kershaw might not be at the peak of his game, but he is still an excellent pitcher who can win a lot of games for the Dodgers.  He also has the ability to age gracefully since he’s already showed signs of re-inventing himself as a master of control and location.  This was a good move, and the Dodgers still have about $65 million more to spend.  They don’t need to spend that money on Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.  Instead, they should do everything they can to help their bullpen, and get a couple of contact hitters in their lineup.  Friedman and Farhan Zaidi could care less though, and they are probably still nerding it up at Blizzcon as you are reading this.

NBA journalism has gotten ridiculous.  Even Adrian Wojnarowski, the best in the business, manufactures a lot of details around his reporting.  This couldn’t be any more obvious from Woj’s story over the weekend that inferred that Luke Walton is on the hot seat.  Sorry Woj, but this story turned into something as worthless as Lavar Ball claiming that Luke Walton should be fired last year.  Even after losing to Toronto, Walton isn’t on the hot seat.  Just because Magic had a stern talk with Walton and is disappointed that he hasn’t seen certain things, doesn’t mean he’s going to replace him.  The Lakers’ schedule is about to get a lot easier, and their record should get better quickly.  They are also in better shape than Houston, which all of you loved.  By the way, everyone said Lonzo Ball sucked, will never learn to shoot, and should be traded because you don’t like his dad.  He’s shooting 41% from three this season.  Don’t lose your minds people.  It’s a long season.

To the NFL, where the Rams suffered a tough loss yesterday to the Saints, but it was a spectacular game.  That’s the way every NFL game should look like, and hopefully we get to see those two teams again in the NFC Championship game.  That Michael Thomas touchdown was a back breaker.  In case you missed it, Thomas hid a cell phone in the goal posts and pulled it out to celebrate after the TD.  He probably tried to call Marcus Peters, but couldn’t get through because Peters had no coverage! I don’t know what happened to Peters, but he’s not the same shutdown guy we thought he was in the first few weeks.  He hasn’t been the same since getting hurt.  The Rams probably could have won the game with a call or two going in their favor, like that fake punt run that fell short of the 1st down by inches in the 1st half.  Nevertheless, if the Rams don’t have home field advantage against the Saints in the playoffs, I don’t like their chances nearly as much.  I still think pulling out a cell phone is cheesy, even if it’s a tribute to Joe Horn.

It would have been so typical of the Chargers to blow that game agains the Seahawks yesterday.  Some teams have a curse at certain positions.  The Angels have a left fielder curse.  The Clippers have a small forward curse.  The Chargers clearly have a kicker curse.  No matter who their kicker is, they stink and cost them games.  That’s exactly where they are with Caleb Sturgis.  Not only should that guy be cut, but he should have to walk back to LA from Seattle.  I’m still not sold on this team, but the best thing going for them is their schedule.  They got handled by the Chiefs and Rams, yet got by the other garbage they’ve played.  Other than a couple of road games left against the Chiefs and Steelers, there’s not much preventing these guys from missing the playoffs.  Once they get there though, don’t expect them to do much, and don’t expect anybody to show up to their playoff game unless they are wearing the oppositions’ jersey.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 9, The Raiders’ defense got destroyed by a UPS driver on Thursday night.  Jon Gruden will probably trade 12 first rounders for him.  Matt Ryan finally realized he has Julio Jones & tossed a TD pass to him. The Bills fans who toss sex toys onto the field have a higher QB rating than Nathan Peterman.  It’s Week 9 and Le’Veon Bell still hasn’t shown up.  The man clearly doesn’t like money.  I guess the Jets coaches didn’t explain to Sam Darnold that he’s supposed to throw to the guys wearing the same jersey he is.  Don’t worry Sammy, you get to go up against the Bills next week.  Good to see Cam Newton showboating again. I’ll be sure to remember this when he starts complaining and acting like a crybaby when things don’t go his way.  The Browns have a new coach, but that isn’t changing how they play football.

To College Football where the worst possible combination of events happened to the USC Football program last week.  Athletic Director Lynn Swann gave Clay Helton a vote of confidence, the Trojans beat a crummy Oregon State team, and Utah lost opening the door for USC to win the Pac-12 South.    When you add in the fact that we turned the clocks back an hour on Sunday, it means that USC is just giving Helton more time to flounder in mediocrity.  Most USC fans wish they could have turned the clocks back to 2003 instead of just an hour.  You probably forgot, but the Trojans were a top 15 team when the preseason rankings came out.  I’m not even sure the Trojans are a top 15 team in the state of California right now.  This is a total embarrassment for the program, and it’s shocking nobody there has done anything about it, or sounds like they plan to.  This team is going to win 7 games if they are lucky and then get embarrassed in a bowl game.  The new USC Football everyone!

Then there’s the Bruins who got crushed on the road against Oregon.  I’d just like to point out that the first UCLA home win coincided with the sale of alcohol at the Rose Bowl.  This was a very sensible decision because everyone now realizes that you are going to need a lot of alcohol to be able to sit through any UCLA Football game the rest of the season.  This is just bad football.  Missed tackles, dropped passes, lots of penalties, and questionably unimaginative coaching.  The latter is the most alarming part of this whole equation.  However, if UCLA beats USC, Chip Kelly definitely gets a free pass this year.

To the NHL, where the LA Kings are a total disaster, which led to to the firing of coach John Stevens yesterday.  They are dead last in the league folks.  The worst in the league, even after Saturday’s win over Columbus.   The Kings should have just hired Byron Scott to coach them because they should be tanking and rebuilding instead of trying to convince people that they are still cup contenders.  They have the worst offense in the league, and are in the bottom 3rd of the league in defense.  All of their knowledgeable fans can see this, but right now the front office appears to be in denial more than anything.

Finally, a monumental episode 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 that is the case.  My mind is blown.  As I suspected, Rick survived getting impaled, but to my surprise, he didn’t die although he’ll be off the show!  The irony is however, he spent the whole episode searching for his family only to be taken away on a helicopter by trash lady, and never get reunited with those people who he fought so hard to find.   Typical TWD trying to screw with your emotions.  I’m changing my Facebook relationship status with AMC to “it’s complicated”.  They are also going to screw with you further with three AMC Walking Dead movies that Rick Grimes will star in.  Guess all you “Richonne” fans will also have to deal with the fact there won’t be a “Richonne Baby”.  Does this mean that trash lady is off the show too? It remains to be seen.  I have to give the writers credit though for using transforming Baby Judith into the new Carl, and carrying on the Grimes legacy.  I can get with this idea along with “Mamachone” and “Grandma Carol”.  I still have some skepticism, but I’m willing to give this re-invention a chance.