Top of the Morning

It’s a beautiful Friday morning.  I am still in recovery mode following my appendectomy and waiting for the day when things return to normal.  Until then, at least I have time to write some things down.

Did anyone see that Pacers/Cavs game last night.  The Cavs looked like a first round exit was coming the way they played that first half.  Down 25 at the half and giving up 72 points to a Pacer team that seemed to be brimming with confidence.  It was quite the show.  Then Lebron became the driving force to one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history.   They basically shed that entire lead in the 3rd quarter alone.  The defense looked championship quality, but that was the issue.  Why did it take so long for them to finally show up and play some D?  Tons of concerns still with the Cavs, but now they can relax a little up 3-0 on Indy.

Milwaukee made Toronto look like an 8th grade pick up game team.  It was embarrassing for everyone I’m sure.  But, the Barney intro that was played during the Raptors player announcements was at least comical.  Expect Toronto to bounce back in Game 4, but I think ultimately the Greek Freak and his band of misfits moves on in 6.

Memphis grinded out a win in the way that only Memphis knows how.  Foul fest and all, the game was actually quite entertaining.  Every call against Memphis was like watching the jury at a major trial (see coach Fizdale’s comments post game 2).  Anyways, the Spurs gave them one game, but that’s all for Memphis.  Even with Vince Carter and his somehow incomprehensible explosiveness can’t take down the fighting Pops.

In beer news, I still don’t know how I want to handle the Beer aspect of this blog. I may go any number of directions with this.  Brewery of the Week?  Beer of the Day?  Upcoming beer events?   There are so many things that happen on a daily basis in the Socal beer world I will have to figure out how to handle it all.  In the meantime, enjoy your weekend.  Enjoy a nice beer and some hockey, baseball or basketball.  Cheers!

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Stir Crazy Thoughts

I have been confined to my home for over a week now recovering from an emergency appendectomy and I am starting to go a little crazy.  So…. I figured why not do some writing to make the next ten minutes go by in an instant.

In the last week Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA has made its way West.  I am beyond excited as I first tasted this beer a few years ago and fell in love.  Now that I can get it when I please, I will make sure to do just that.  If you haven’t had it yet, it is a big hoppy mess of a high ABU beer.  How high exactly?  How about 18%.  This beer will knock you on your butt after just one most likely, but it’s worth it for sure.  Go find it near you!

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On the sporting front… MLB is now in full swing (no pun intended), the NBA playoffs are off to an interesting start.  How are the Celtics down 2 games to the Bulls?  Yeah, nobody knows.  Hockey is marching it’s way through the first round about a month faster than the NBA, just like every year.   I don’t understand how the NBA makes the playoffs last 2 months when it could easily be done in one, but hey that’s how you make more money I guess.  GO DUCKS!!!

Somebody get me a beer, pronto!

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NBA Playoffs

After one game in each series let’s see where we are at in terms of most likely team to win each series.

#1 Golden State vs. #8 Portland

The Warriors are the best team in the NBA and let’s face it, Portland doesn’t really stand a chance in this series.  Game 1 did show that if Dame Lillard and CJ McCollum go off, they have a chance to win.  But, that chance is very low.  Still, Golden State for the sweep.

#2 San Antonio vs. #7 Memphis

The fighting Kawhi Leonard’s took care of business in game 1.  Memphis will need to play near perfect basketball in this series to even win one game.  I think they do it once and bow out in 5 games.

#3 Houston vs. #6 Oklahoma City

Russell Westbrook vs James Harden.  That matchup means very little, because Houston just has more talent and depth.  Westbrook may force his team to win to games out of pure force of will, but thats all.  Houston in 6.

#4 LAC vs. #5 Utah

The Jazz went into Staples to steal game one on ISO Joe’s runner in the lane.  They lost Gobert for at least a game or two, which hurts.  This LA team just can’t win in playoff time, but I see them sneaking away with a game 7 win here.  Utah still a year away.

Then there’s the Eastern Conference playoffs.  You know… the conference that allowed Lebron to reach 6 straight NBA Finals.  I don’t know how Cleveland gets bounced before the Finals again this year.  Even as the #2 seed and their vulnerable look against Indiana in game 1.  Lebron will get them to the Finals.  There comes a point where I just don’t even care what happens in the East.  I hope Chicago takes out Boston, because I am tired of the Boston underdog story as the #1 seed.  The Wizards and whoever wins that Toronto/Milwaukee series still don’t have the talent to contend in the East, even when the East is still a JV conference.  Cleveland walks into the Finals rested like usual against the worn out, battle tested Western Conference winners.

 

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Jackie Robinson Day

Today is Jackie Robinson day.  Celebrating one of the bravest athletes of all time as he was the first black major league baseball player.  On this day every year I get caught up thinking about Jackie Robinson.  A man who has meant so much to the game of baseball and to the world in general and I can’t help but wish that this day never was a thing.

Jackie Robinson should not have been the first MLB player who was black.  The mere fact that it took so long for this to happen is absolutely astonishing and it makes me realize that even now in the year 2017, there is far too much racial separation.  Jackie Robinson should be commended for the way he handled himself with grace in a time where he was constantly berated for being black.  From what I have read about the man, he was an outright gentleman and nothing but a decent human being who happened to be black.

With our current racially diverse and yet somehow completely backwards American culture, I wait for the day when a superstar athlete in any sport gets puts through the ringer like Robinson did.  It’s only a matter of time really.  Our “President” is not the most racially accepting person (See here, Trump says golf only for the rich elite).  How long is it until we are seeing more people pursuing racial segregation in sports?  Don’t even get me started on the White Basketball League (All-American Basketball Alliance).

It pains me to think that no matter how accepting people can be of other people, there is still so much hate in this world.  Honestly, it’s extremely depressing.  Every day I hope that somewhere, somehow people will get past the hate and the baffling prejudice against other human beings and just learn to accept those for being different.  Jackie Robinson, along with many other people, did not have to endure the type of aggressive acts of hate that they endured.  There are far too many Donald Trumps in this world and not nearly enough like Jackie Robinson.  Thank You Jackie.

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Vegas And Beer

I spent my weekend in Las Vegas seeing a concert and of course, drinking beer.  I had a lot of really good beer, but two really stood out for me.  One was Victory Brewing’s Sour Monkey.  Just a really good sour beer that isn’t too overwhelmingly sour.  Extremely drinking for the basic beer drinker to the craft beer connoisseur.  The other beer was from the Hofbrauhaus in Las Vegas.  I go to Vegas all the time and could not believe that I have never been to this place before.  It is an authentic German brewery and restaurant that really was an amazing experience.  I got their Original lager and it was spectacular and of course it was served in a liter glass which was awesome.  If you are ever in Vegas and want a new experience, definitely visit the Hofbrauhaus.

On the sports side of things.  Russell Westbrook is not human.  If he doesn’t win the MVP this year the sporting world may never be the same.  That 40 footer to win the game against Denver on Sunday was just flat out ridiculous.

A huge congratulations goes out to Sergio Garcia for his Masters title on Sunday.  The guy has been so close so many times and finally got that first major title.  We’ll see if that leads to more majors in the same way that Phil Mickelson broke the Major title drought and then went on to win 6 or 7.

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All Star Weekend

It’s NBA All-Star weekend and I’ve come to terms with the fact that I just don’t care about the game, or the weekend festivities, as much as I once did.  The joy that is supposed to be brought to the game just seems lacking the last couple of years and has made me enjoy it a little less each year.

One of the reasons the last couple years were so special was because of the resurgence of the dunk contest.  But, with no Zach Lavine out there to make Aaron Gordon work for a title, the favorite by a mile with be Gordon.  I’m not saying that the dunk contest still can’t be great, but it just doesn’t pack the same punch as it once did.  I think Derrick Jones will surprise some people with his freakish athleticism and if he isn’t too nervous, make at least one unreal attempt.

The next big issue is that Steph Curry is not in the 3-point contest and that makes me not want to tune into that at all either.

The All-Star game itself is at least good for one thing.  You see a ton of points and no matter what the score, the 4th quarter becomes an actual basketball game with the 10 best players in the world on the court, and there is no other place in the world that you get to see that happen.

I will probably watch the game and some of the Saturday night shenanigans, but I just don’t care as much as I did when I was 15 and went out at half time to practice the insane dunks I saw the night before or during the first half of the game.  The All-Star game is still great as a spectator sport, but no longer does it mean anything more than a pointless exhibition game.

UCLA takes the court against USC on Saturday night at 7 and you better believe I will be glued to the tv when that comes on.  I can’t take another loss in this game, so the Bruins better bring it.  Go Bruins!!!

 

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THE NCAA

Dear NCAA,

In what universe does it make sense to make a team that was 22-3, has a head to head win(on the road) against a team that was 19-5, and yet somehow is ranked lower than said 19-5 team?  I don’t understand this, but this is one of the many surprises I had with the first iteration of the NCAA top 16 teams.

This new format is going to be a weekly update of the top 16 teams and where they will land come tournament time and while I know that these are going to be rapidly changing over the next few weeks, I definitely had some major issues with this first poll.

UCLA was coming off a big home win over Oregon, who got a 2 seed by the way in this, and while they hit a rough patch in the middle of this conference slate they seemed to be destined for no worse than a 3 seed.  Yet, they are ranked as the second lowest 4 seed and are as of know going to be shipped out East.

Just a few of the teams that I don’t think should be ranked ahead of UCLA are, in no order, KENTUCKY (head to head wins, and a better record mean nothing to the committee, it’s Kentucky), West Virginia (who appears that they are about to get a huge road win at Kansas), Virginia (who won’t be ahead of UCLA “theoretically” after a loss to Virginia Tech this weekend), Florida (who’s lone big win this year is at home against Kentucky), and Butler (who has big wins, but bad losses), not to mention the slew of ACC teams that apparently get a bye into the top 2 seed lines, because they are in the ACC.

The other major injustice is Gonzaga, the lone unbeaten team in the country and somehow the lowest rated #1 seed.  In what universe, would you put an undefeated team with 2 wins over teams also in the top 4 seed lines, as well as 5 total victories against top 25 teams as the lowest rated #1?  I don’t understand you NCAA.  When are you going to get your life together, stop using so many drugs and actually get a grasp of what’s happening this basketball season.

In other news, my class is going amazingly well and I can’t wait to get out there and continue trying new and exciting beers.  Going to try and keep my adoring fans up to date, but I have been super lazy lately.  I promise to write more in the future.  Thank you!

Go Bruins!!

 

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