Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Autumn Wind is a Raider

The Raiders.  Jesus Christ, the Raiders. Is it even possible at this point for a Raider fan to talk about the Raiders without a furrowed brow and their palms starting to sweat?  Now in year 11 of the rebuilding process, and the search for a replacement for Rich Gannon continues.  It's Terrelle Pryor's turn in the Raiders' revolving quarterback door, and at the very least he should be fun to watch.  His throwing style is pretty goddamn ugly, but it's not any worse-looking that Colin Kaepernick's.  Kaepernick just has the benefit of more athleticism, the best coach in the NFL, and the best all-around team in the league surrounding him, that's all. 

The O-Line can most generously be called a work-in-progress.  Pryor may have to run a lot just to keep from getting killed.  Hopefully he'll have a healthy Darren McFadden for at least 12 games to hand the ball off to.  Well, maybe 10 games--let's not get too pie-in-the-sky here.  Raider receivers dropped a shitload of passes last year, and the best of the bunch is now catching passes from the greatest mediocre quarterback of all time, Eli Manning, in New Jersey.  Darius Heyward-Bey took his speed to Indianapolis and has hitched his wagon to the Colts' Amish wunderkind Andrew Luck.  That leaves us with...who exactly?

Well, Rod Streater and Denarius Moore are still there.  As is Jacoby Ford.  Excuse me while I wait for my boner to go away.  David Ausberry, the less shitty of the two options at tight end, is already hurt and out for the Indy game.  That leaves us with Richard Gordon, who has 3 catches for 11 yards in his Raider career.  Fuck, how can you even catch a pass for less than 4 yards?!

The defense is kind of a mystery.  They really sucked last year, but Reggie McKenzie kind of cleaned house and brought in a bunch of new names.  They're still probably gonna suck, but the secondary looks a bit better with the addition of Porter, Jenkins and the return of Charles Woodson.  Obviously the more pressing concern is whether or not they can stop the run.  They gave up 39,000 yards on the ground last year...or at least it felt that way.  I'm not all that fearful of Ahmad Bradshaw in week 1, but facing Jamal Charles this year is gonna be a bitch.

Week one against the Colts, I'm surprisingly optimistic--in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.  The Colts eleven wins last year still strikes me as fluke-y, and I'm still not sold on Andrew Luck yet.  I think he'll be a good quarterback, but 23 passing TDs to 18 INTs isn't all that intimidating.  And weird shit happens in week one, he could have an off game.  McFadden could poke holes in Indy's porous defensive line.   Woodson could turn back the clock and return an interception for a touchdown.  Pryor could hail Mary with a couple of shitty Tebow-esque passes, and run for even more yardage.  Who knows.  If nothing else, a game against a godawful Jags team is just a week away. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

So It Begins...

Why the sports blog that no one will ever read?  Catharsis.  To be a sports fan in Los Angeles means being held down and pummeled with "news" and gossip about the Lakers pretty much non-stop.  Seriously, switch on sports talk radio here, no matter what time of year it is, and odds are they'll be talking about the Lakers.  Speculating about what Kobe had for breakfast, did it give him the shits, and how will that affect their chances of landing LeBron James in 2015.  Particularly ESPNLA.  God they're awful.  The Mason and Ireland-Max and Marcellus shows just kind of coalesce into one 6-hour long Lakers circle jerk.  The Kings are in the middle of their historic first EVER Stanley Cup championship run?  Doesn't matter, we're talkin' Lakers.  The Dodgers are in first place, having overcome a 9-game deficit in the standings and are headed back to the playoffs for the first time in 4 years?  Who cares, we're talkin' Lakers.  The Clippers?  Who's that?  LULZ!  UCLA football?  Call us back when you have 16 rings!

I'm not a Laker fan, but I don't really hate them either.  If anything I'm indifferent.  I do hate the local media's goddamn obsession with them though.  Never to be satiated.  The constant ballwashing when they win, the endless whining when they lose.  The Kobe era Lakers are like the Kardashians of sports teams, a constant shits show that just will not go away.  They're the west coast yin to the Yankees/Red Sox eastern yang. 

So here I am.  To spew my stupid thoughts and opinions about only the teams I care about:  the Dodgers, L.A. Kings, UCLA Bruins, Clippers, Raiders and Long Beach State 49ers.  Yes, if you like winning, odds are you're gonna wanna go somewhere else.  But if you like making if to the Final Four, only to lose in soul-crushing fashion to the same team in consecutive years.; if you're a fan of not making it to the World Series for 25 years, meanwhile watching the team you despise the absolute most in all of sports win the Commissioner's Trophy in the most exhilarating way possible...twice; if you've watched your team choke at the most critical times, while seeing smug assholes like Pete Carroll, Bill Belicheck, Kobe Bryant, Aarron Rodgers, Brian Wilson, Mike Kryzewski, Chris Pronger, Nick Saban and others win time after time after excruciating time; if you're used to having your heart ripped out through your butt by your favorite Los Angeles sports teams year after year, well then you're in luck, my friend!  Grab a beer and sit a spell, we'll talk about the 2012 Stanley Cup run and this year's UCLA baseball team...the first bright spots in nearly 20 years.