Welcome Back

Football has officially started and we all know that means that the sporting world outside of football doesn’t really exist.  At least not until after the Super Bowl.

I had some hope of UCLA being sneakily good this year but all hopes went out the window when they lost to Cincinnati at home in the opener.  A road contest at Oklahoma this weekend will not be pretty.  I guess I will pin my hopes on Oregon or Stanford because I am not rooting for that other LA school and Washington already lost to Auburn so they are done.

The NFL sucks, but I still don’t hate it as much as these so called “Make America Great Again” excuses for human beings.  Without getting too much in to politics, I really respect Nike for what they have done for Colin Kaepernick and I really hope to see him continue to be a steady role model for many at risk youth. That’s all for football.  I’m already in NBA mode.

We are officially 41 days from the start of the NBA season and for the first time in about 6 years I have some faith in the Lakers.  I really am tired of all the Lebron jokes at this point and I am still coming to terms with his being on the Lakers, but I really do think that this team has a lot of potential.  They are young and explosive at almost every position and then they brought in the best player on the planet.  Last I checked Lebron makes his teammates into title contending talent.  And with this group of kids who clearly want nothing more than to win, I expect a really solid year from them. My predictions for the season will come later on, but I have my eyes set on a few major accomplishments this season.

Golf’s a sport…. Isn’t that cool?

On the beer front.  It’s my favorite time of year for beer as all the Oktoberfest styles start coming out and I realize once again that a well done Marzen may just be my favorite beer style.  Malt matters most in these styles and somehow I forget that I love malty beverages until fall comes back around.  OH well.  Ein Prosit!!

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The Mid-Summer Blues

Okay… It’s not really mid-summer, but you know what I mean.  There is just not a whole hell of a lot happening in the sporting world at the moment.  I’ve basically lost all hope in the Angels doing anything productive this season other than wasting another Mike Trout prime year.  The good news is he is still the best player in the game and seems to really love Anaheim.  The bad news is it doesn’t matter how much you love a city if they can’t build a team around you and the Angels haven’t done that yet.  Injuries aside, the Halos are struggling for mediocrity yet again and their doesn’t appear to be much help on the way.  I’m really hoping we find a way to win games and Trout decides to re-up that contract past the 2020 season.  I don’t want to have to root for him in another teams jersey.

The NBA is a constant revolving door of nothingness right now.  After all the Kawhi, Lebron and… Carmelo Anthony?… where they gonna end up drama went by the way side, there has been absolutely no noise to speak about.  And that is probably a good thing.  Everything went a little haywire during July.

The Zion Williamson hype train was in full effect in Canada as he got to suit up for the Dukies against a bunch of what amounts to D-III guys.  To say that he looked better than anyone else may be a stretch (RJ Barrett was pretty special too), but he clearly is going to be a human highlight reel this year.  Don’t be surprised to see him lead the country in rebounds.  If he wants to.  If he has the desire to be great and somehow, someway finds a reliable jumper.  He will be special.  Right now he is just so much more athletic and physically gifted than everybody, and that includes all his Duke teammates.  He is NBA ready right now, but that year in Durham will be something to behold.  And I hate Duke!

Beer time!  The wife and I got to enjoy a wonderful Sunday frolicking through the Upland Brewing Block Party.  It wasn’t overwhelmed with beer, but for a first attempt at this I think they found a great model.  7 or 8 beers on tap, by themselves and the other local breweries made for a great atmosphere.  The best booth was the humane society who was out adopting puppies, although I hope next year they bring more because Phil and Lil got adopted out almost immediately.  Best beer of the day other than the ones we sampled in Upland’s Sour heaven, the Wood Shop, goes to Function brewing’s play on their flagship IPA Tangent.  This version was a jalapeño and pineapple iteration and let me tell you it was divine.  Great balance and superb flavor that was not overwhelming on the spicy side like a lot of the hot pepper beers tend to be.

Next beer event for us will be Upland’s Oktoberfest the first weekend in September.  Really looking forward to that one. Bring out the Lederhosen!

 

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2 Times in 3 days

I’m back again…. Weird right?

I’ve come to talk to you all about the most boring week in American sports… Yes, it’s MLB All-Star week.  Which means 2 things… The only major sporting event going on right now is the Home run derby tonight and the All-Star game tomorrow.  And then guess what?  2 more days without a major sporting event after that.  THE WORST DAYS OF THE YEAR!

Anyways, what else is going on… Anything?

I did thoroughly enjoy the World Cup this year and I look forward to 2022 and the return, hopefully, of the US to the tournament.  France deserved the win.  Kylian Mbappe is destined to be the best player in the world in a few years and he proved it in this tournament.  At 18 years old no less.  Pure talent radiating from that kid.

The British Open golf tournament starts this week… I think?  Who you got winning?  I think if I had to go top 10 in the world+Tiger vs. the field.  I got the field.  Carnoustie is a beast and for whatever reason the British Open breeds random open champs.  I am going with Rickie Fowler.  Mostly because I am a fan, but really because I think he needs to win to validate his status in the game.  And that motivation will help him this weekend.

I am going to be cracking my brewed beer here in a few days and I am more than excited about it.  It’s going to be an adventure to say the least.   Here’s hoping it is tasty and not undrinkable at the very least.  Cheers!

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The Bi-Monthly

My updates have been rather Bi-monthly of late, but I promise at some point I will start writing much more again….. It’s going got happen!

Anyways… What’s going on in the sports world.  Not a whole lot really.  I mean it’s been really boring, right?

Oh yeah, Lebron James joined the Lakers.  I guess that’s kinda big news.  At least for Laker fans like me…

I still don’t know how I feel about Lebron being a Laker.  I am glad that he is going to make them relevant again, but I am torn on him wearing the Purple & Gold.  I respect Lebron James a whole hell of a lot.  As a human being, activist, and basketball player he is world class.  That’s not where my problem with him resides.  He’s the enemy and he has been the enemy to all Laker fans since he came into the league.

I know the Lakers and Cavs/Heat teams led by Lebron never played in the Finals, but they were still rivals for all 15 years he has been in the league.  Without getting too much into it, I will cover more in my Kobe v Michael v Lebron debate, I am excited for the prospect of being relevant again.  The last 6 or 7 year have been absolutely brutal as a Laker fan and I’ll be interested to see how many Warrior fans jump back on the Laker bandwagon… Hint: It will be a lot.

Go Lakers

Anything else going on?

World Cup final tomorrow.  Currently watching the 3rd place game between Belgium and England.  I kind of had Belgium penciled into the final after the group stage.  Was surprised they lost to France in the Semis, but the attacking 3 (Giroud, Mbappe, Griezman)  from France have been deadly.  I expect them to put tons of pressure on Croatia early and often in the Final.  I am going with France to take down Croatia.  2-1.

I am going to try and catch some NBA summer league action this weekend, but who knows if that will happen.  I know the Lakers have been absolutely destroying teams and I think they need to realize that Josh Hart is clearly above playing in the summer league because he has been hands down the MVP so far.

No beer updates for now as I have decided to stop drinking for a bit.  That being said the beer that I have been brewing with the wife will be done on Wednesday and I will have to partake in that.  More to come on that.  So long for now!

 

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Free Agency

NBA Free Agency is set to begin on July 1st while I am sunbathing and drinking plenty of beer to celebrate my 30th birthday.  I really look forward to seeing what goes down over the next week, as the speculation is getting all kinds of ridiculous.

My two, three, maybe even four cents….

I see the Lakers ending up with 2 of the 3 names that are tied to them right now.  But, maybe not what everyone else thinks.  I see them landing a trade with San Antonio for the services of Kawhi Leonard and Lebron James signing as a free agent.  That leaves out Paul George who everyone thought would sign with the Lakers this offseason.  Oddly enough, I think George still could wind up not being with the Thunder either.

IF I am being honest with myself though, at the end of free agency I still think George is a Laker,  Leonard a Spur, and Lebron a Cav.  It’s just too much hearsay.  All the reports and leaks of information that are usually about 90% false.  It’s just all too much.

IF the Lakers want all three the first thing will be the Kawhi trade.  I would love to have Kawhi.  He is one of, if not THE best, two way player in the league (when/if healthy).  The price may be too much though.  If we want to make the trade happen at least 3 of the 4 young bucks who are really progressing are likely to be gone, along with a pick or two.  Kuzma, Randle, Ingram, and Ball all could be part of a trade.

Again… if I am being honest with myself if that trade were to happen I would want to keep Ingram.  He is exactly the type of player that makes teams better in the current NBA landscape.  Long and lengthy with range and defensive tenacity to guard all five positions if he gains a few pounds.

My opening day starting 5 for the lakers looks a lot like the starting 5…. wait it doesn’t look anything like anything we have seen before.  It’s all gonna happen.  You heard it here first.  Lonzo Ball… Paul George…. Kawhi Leonard… Lebron James and a player to be named later (go small with Josh Hart or go big with Thomas Bryant?) (or maybe a literal player to be named later because he’s not on the roster yet).  Okay I need to stop writing because I am breaking every writing rule known to man.

Go Lakers!  Don’t be the Payton/Malone Lakers!

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Slowly, But Surely

I am slowly going to be getting back into writing mode… hopefully.

I got 2 major things to discuss today.  The US Open golf tournament and the World Cup.

Let’s start with Golf.  I am currently watching the closing of the first round.  Fox is terrible with Golf coverage.  That much is abundantly clear about 2 minutes into watching.  Can I get some better commentators please.  Just borrow the ones from NBC or CBS pleeeeeeasssssssseeeeee!

On to the golf.  Holy COW this is a tough course.  And from the looks of it things could get much worse before they get better.  I just saw a graphic saying that the top 10 players in the world have combined to go +51 so far.  That’s what I would call not a good number.  Just 4 players so far under par and of those only Dustin Johnson has any real experience being near the lead of a Major.  I’d love a chance to go out there and see if I can break 130.  I’d say the chance of that happening <25%.  And that’s giving me the benefit of the doubt.

I look forward to seeing what the weekend brings and if anyone can possibly finish under par.  My guess is Even par should win it and as day 1 nears it end, I would give a huge advantage to Dustin Johnson winning this.

Futbol time.  The one time when most Americans actually watch Soccer.  Sadly the US isn’t in the tournament, which means they won’t really care much.  As for me, I am so excited to catch some games.  While I think Germany wins it again just based on their talent and depth, I will be rooting for Iceland.  Luckily for Iceland they get a chance to prove something in the opener against Leo Messi and Argentina.  I think securing a point in that game and a win against either Croatia or Nigeria moves them through to the knockout stage.

The most interesting opening game will be between Germany and Mexico.  Both teams looking to prove something early on, but you know nerves will play a big role.  I expect a 1-1 tie in that game with Germany looking like they are just warming up.

My sleeper team is Colombia.  They have a great striker in James Rodriguez, but they are wildly inconsistent.  If they can string together a few good games, they could easily find themselves in the finals.  They have a ton of talent, but they don’t always get the effort.

In any case, I look forward to the next month or so of Futbol mania.  It’s always a blast to get sucked into the world of a sport you don’t always follow.

Lastly, the wife and I are currently cellaring some beer along with the beer that we brewed ourselves, that should be ready in a couple weeks.  I look forward to sharing more about the beers that we are currently cellaring and more about the brewing process using the PicoBrew that we used.  More to come.

 

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NBA Offseason

It’s officially time to start the NBA offseason…  The Golden State Warriors have completed a sweep of Cleveland and thrown us into what could be a very entertaining offseason.  As teams try to reach the stratosphere that the Warriors have created, let’s take a look at some potential moves that could change the landscape of the NBA for next season.

Lebron James is the first domino that needs to fall in order to have the desired effect of allowing teams to then look elsewhere when they don’t land him.  Cleveland basically assumes that he is gone.  Report after report of his interest in other teams can only mean that some of it is true.  I don’t know where Lebron eventually lands, but if he is smart and I can assume heading into his 16th season, he will make a move.  He can’t continue to play at the same level he has for the past 15 seasons if he has to carry the whole weight of a team on his shoulders.  My head says Philly is the obvious choice mostly because he gets to stay in the East where he can continue to make the finals without much resistance for the foreseeable future.   No other team in the East can handle a Lebron James led team with talent and depth. Lebron wants to win titles and he has the best chance to do that where he won’t have to go up against the Rockets, Warriors and Spurs early in the Playoffs.  I think the sleeper team is the Spurs.  A sign and trade for Kawhi Leonard would be interesting and may happen considering where the Spurs and Leonard are currently at emotionally.

Which brings me to Kawhi.  He is happy/unhappy in San Antonio.  Nobody outside of his camp and the Spurs organization has any real clue as to what happened this past season. I assure you that the Spurs are a playoff and title contending team with a healthy Kawhi. That organization puts a great team out there year in year out and that is not about to change any time soon.  Even if they unload Leonard and go full rebuild.  I don’t see Kawhi going anywhere, but I do see Miami as the sleeper pick to land some kind of trade.   Dragic or Whiteside, and say Justise Winslow or some other pieces would make San Antonio consider a move if the relationship can’t be mended.

Paul George will be a Laker.  He won’t second guess himself.  He won’t consider other options. As soon as he can sign a contract.  He will.

Demarcus Cousins may be the Lakers “back-up plan”.  I don’t know how I feel about adding a player coming off a major Achilles injury, but the talent is there if he is the same player. He and George together with the young Laker core (minus-Randle theoretically) would be a solid unit that could immediately climb into the contender category.

Chris Paul the so called “Point God”, oddly enough my least favorite nickname in the NBA, is bound to end up back in Houston despite some reports of a union with Lebron on the Lakers.  Take it from me Laker fans.  That would not lead to a title.  Adding Two aging superstars to a young talented core sounds like the makings of a failure season akin to the Karl Malone and Gary Payton experiment.  Let’s not do that.  I can’t take a year or two of the constant flopping and beyond ridiculous pseudo-tough guy persona of Chris Paul.  Don’t do that to us PLLLLLEEEEEEAAAAASSSSSEEEE!

Once the big names are off the board you will see teams start to fill out rosters with veteran talent that can help teams make the playoff push.  Some guys that are bound to be ring chasing this year include Vince Carter and Devin Harris.  Look out for those guys you don’t expect much from, but still find a way to have an impact on a title hopeful team like David West, Corey Brewer or Rudy Gay.

All in all it should be a great offseason.  I really can’t wait until the Free Agency period opens July 1st.  It should be a very speculative next few weeks, which honestly drives me nuts, but it’s funny to see all the reports and breaking news that turns out to be complete non-sense.

Happy Hunting

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