Monthly Archives: November 2012

This Week In Sports

Oh, you want to know what happened this week in sports? Why don’t you let me tell you…

  • The San Antonio Spurs rested their “Big Three” in a closely contested loss to the defending champions, the Miami Heat last night and sparked a controversy between the Spurs and NBA Commissioner David Stern. Since nobody knew who these players were, the Miami Heat Public Address Announcer had to make up names during the pre-game introductions.  He came up with crazy names like: Tiago Splitter (the bad guy from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies), Boris Diaw (Russian Bad Guy in every movie featuring Russian bad guys), Matt Bonner (hehehe…Oh wait, no, not boner…Nevermind), Patty Mills (The name of the Leprechaun from Lucky Charms), and my personal favorite — Nando de Colo (Just a great name.).  Breaking News:  That was actually the San Antonio Spurs starting line up.
  • The Atlanta Falcons defeated the New Orleans Saints last night 23-13 and ended Drew Brees touchdown passing record in consecutive games at 54.  The Falcons ended other famous streaks of Drew Brees, such as: Throwing as many interceptions as his team has wins (5), most awful commercials that Drew Brees has been in in a loss, Most consecutive days where you ask yourself, “What the hell is on Drew Brees’ face?  Is it a birthmark or a scar?  OR did he get some crazy disease like ring worm on his face?  I hope it’s the latter”.
  • On his Facebook, Rolando McClain said “Officially no longer an Oakland Raider…Looking forward to playing for an actual team”.  Fans were actually more angry that McClain Instagrammed the picture of his status update and then tweeted his Instagram picture.  Due to McClain’s terrible social networking he was suspended two games by the Raiders and lost over 200,000 followers.
  • David Wright signed the largest contract in New York Mets history – an 8-year, $140 million contract. Not to be outdone, the New York Yankees decided to sign Rolando McClain (10-year $100 million), Angus T. Jones (Whatever he makes on Two and a Half Men plus one dollar and the copyright to the word “Filth”, and Lindsay Lohan (Whatever bottle of alcohol she wants whenever she wants it a.k.a. always).
  • Rajon Rondo was ejected and later suspended two games by the NBA for pushing Kris Humphries and tackling him into the stands after an altercation.  After Kim Kardashian saw the push, she quickly ended her relationship with Kanye West to start dating Rajon Rondo.  This just in:  They have officially gotten married…And now they are divorced.
  • On Thanksgiving, Ndamakong Suh’s foot collided with force against the groin region of Texans QB Matt Schaub.  Suh’s thinking may have been a little flawed, overheard by NFL Films microphones, Suh said “I thought if I kicked him hard enough he wouldn’t have testicles anymore and you have to have testicles to play in the NFL! Right?…RIGHT?!”

– Lance Cartelli

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Who Should the 49ers Start at Quarterback?

Who Would You Start?

We have been hearing it all week – “Who will be the starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers?”, “Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick?”, “Is there a quarterback controversy in San Francisco?”, “SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH THE 49ers?” — Okay, Maybe not that far, but still – that is the buzz around the league and the talk of the town on ESPN and NFL Network.  It sure is a nice problem to have for Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers: Two starting quarterbacks that are playing lights out and the one that just got “benched” due to medical issues took that team to the NFC Championship last year and was an overtime away from advancing to the Super Bowl. The solution to the biggest question in San Francisco is actually really easy to answer.

There is no quarterback controversy.  The Colin Kaepernick era has begun in Northern California.

Yes, there is an argument for both quarterbacks.  Really sound arguments for both Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick.

If you’re an old school guy, like Trent Dilfer who is against the switch at QB, then your argument is: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Alex Smith is 20-5-1 in his last 26 games as a starter under Jim Harbaugh.  He completed 70% of his passes this year (leads the league), he’s third in the NFL in passer rating, and led this team to the #2 seed in the NFC.  Smith knows the offense, doesn’t make mistakes, and will rely on his running game and defense to stay in games and make plays when they are needed to be made (New Orleans).

With Alex Smith, the 49ers floor is higher, but the ceiling is also lower.  For Harbaugh to make this move he realized that the Alex Smith 49ers have reached that ceiling.  Could they win the Super Bowl with Alex as the QB?  Possibly.  But a lot would have to go right for that to happen.  Harbaugh also sees the New York Giants — the 49ers Kryptonite – – looming for a potential rematch in the playoffs.

Now for the Kaepernick enthusiasts out there  — Captain Kap of the Starship 49ers — he’s a playmaker that offers unreal athleticism that allows him to avoid sacks and run the ball, a gunslinger mentality to throw deep and take chances that Alex just doesn’t take, and the two things that have surprised me the most: his unreal accuracy and knowledge of the offense.  Just a couple months ago, during the Preseason Kaepernick looked improved, but nowhere near where he is today.  Harbaugh may have resurrected the career of Alex Smith, but he also traded up in the 2nd round last year to take Kaepernick.  Never underestimate a handpicked player by a Head Coach.  This is his guy.  His floor is lower than Alex Smith’s, but his ceiling is through the roof.  Will there be growing pains?  Most likely.  Does he offer the 49ers the best chance to win?  Yes.  Once again, the Giants are lurking out there, and Kaepernick brings a new dynamic to this offense that could lead this team past their biggest enemy.

In the NFC Championship game last year against the Giants most people remember Kyle Williams two fumbles, but they do not remember that the only offense the 49ers had was from Frank Gore and Vernon Davis.  The wide receivers caught one pass for three yards, and Alex did not play well.  In the back of Harbaugh’s mind he knows that he needed more big plays out of this offense, and Kaepernick is a playmaker.

For as much as Alex Smith has resurrected his career as “The Phoenix” of the 49ers, he still has history against him.  Those first six years, with six different offensive coordinators, when San Francisco were the cellar dwellers of the NFC.  In the NFL, perception is reality and the perception is that Alex, for as good as he has become, just cannot overcome certain physical traits that limit him and that Kaepernick happens to possess.

Harbaugh said that he will announce his starter against the St. Louis Rams on Wednesday, he will come up with some kind of saying where they will have two starters because Alex Smith is still the starting QB, but Kaepernick is not a backup.  It takes a lot of, ahem, fortitude for Harbaugh to make such a drastic change, but he has all the confidence in the world with this quarterback, this coaching staff, and this team.  Behind the sayings, the smoke-and-mirrors, there is the future and present of the 49ers.  The Colin Kaepernick era.

– Lance Cartelli.

Ryan Pedersen: 4th and 29. Chargers Lose Again. Playoff Hopes Vanish

This season won’t just be remembered for the Chargers record in the end. It won’t be totally remembered for the 24-0 meltdown on Monday Night. One play has ultimately sunk any playoff hopes for San Diego. Chargers fell to the Baltimore Ravens 16-13 in overtime Sunday. History has repeated itself from 2011 when the Chargers also lost 16-13 at home to Denver in OT.

4th and 29 before time expired in the 4th Quarter, the Ravens backs against the wall and they fought back on a check down to Ray Rice, the Ravens came through on the longest 4th down play conversion since 2001. Once again, the Chargers fail to close a lead and fail to overcome adversity. The Bolts on defense somewhat dominated the Ravens in the first half but so did the Ravens D other than a TD to Malcom Floyd. The Ravens pretty much handed the Chargers a win and in typical fashion — they choked. At this rate, I think Charger fans would take being mediocre again.

Next week expect an even bigger blackout at the Q, the Chargers were about 9,000 short vs. Baltimore. Not sure how much Bengal fans travel but maybe the Chargers can offer a group package to the “Who Dey” Nation if you want to see the game locally Sunday, that or KFMB can buy about 10,000 tickets. Besides, who wants to watch this on tv anyway? Once again, Chargers just need to find a way to win one freaking game to have any respect at all. But keep your heads up Chargers fans; just five more games until Norv Turner is fired.

Game Ball: Ravens Offense- 4th and 29 and converted. What in the Freddie Mitchell is going here!?  

Honorary Mention: Kendall Reyes, Corey Liuget (I can’t give all kudos to just the Ravens)

Dolt of the Game: Chargers O-Line. Commitment to sacks. 

Keep it G,

Ryan Pedersen

Ryan Pedersen: Slim and None, Chargers Lose Five of Six; Swept by Denver

By now in this part of the season, teams are starting to pull away and we are finding out who the contenders and pretenders are. Chargers lost their fifth of sixth game Sunday in Denver 30-23. Chargers flat out need a miracle to make the playoffs at this rate with Denver pulling to a three game lead in the AFC West. Now, you have a Ravens team coming into the Q who are looking to push their lead in the AFC North (By the way, Ed Reed will play thanks to the reduced suspension to just a fine. Season just gets better and better.)

Chargers O-line continues to be a turnstile for Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, who were chomping at the bit to face an easy Jeromey Clary and struggling rookie Mike Harris. The Chargers were out-matched, out-played and out-coached yet again. At this rate you can forget about playoff talk, just talk about who the heck can the Chargers beat? Carolina? Pittsburgh? Who knows?

Chargers fans I’m sure have started a countdown to the day Norv and A.J. get fired. It’s not an encouraging sign when your owner leaves the field with two minutes to play when they’re only down by six and Philip Rivers hands the ball to the ref with ten seconds to play in the 4th Quarter. But for now it’s probably a good idea to just stay with the program until the end, although it’s not good for ticket sales that Turner is still the coach with four more home games left.  It has been announced that the Chargers did not sell out the game verse the Ravens and will not be seen locally.

Game Ball: WR Danario Alexander: 2 TD’s, 96 yards. Alexander is finding a rhythm with Rivers (WR Robert Meachem has had a year to find a rhythm.)

Honorable Mentions: Eric Weddle, Kendall Reyes and Donald Butler. All have had a great season despite the losing.

Dolt of the Game: Chargers offense. Ryan Mathews is slowly becoming a bust. The O-Line needs a huge facelift and the WR core is average with an aging Tight End.

Gee Golly,

Ryan Pedersen

What Happens if Kaepernick, 49ers Plays Well? LIKE REALLY WELL?

He was selected in the 2nd round (36th overall) by the San Francisco 49ers just a year ago, thought to be the next starting quarterback for the Niners coming off a 6-10 season with a new Head Coach in place who wanted his own guy.  But then something happened – Jim Harbaugh, Alex Smith and the 49ers kept winning.  They were the surprise team in 2011, going 13-3 and were an overtime away from advancing to the Super Bowl.  There was always the question creeping around the corner though, when will it be Colin Kaepernick’s time?  Well that time is now.

Kaepernick has been getting increasing playing time this year, seeing his most extensive time in games against the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and last week against the St. Louis Rams, when he took over for concussed Alex Smith, and Kaepernick looked good.  He brought his team back from a deficit to take the lead and eventually tie.  But the question is, what if Kaepernick looks good? Like REALLY GOOD, in his first start?

Alex Smith is currently having his best season ever.  He ranks third in the NFL in passer rating and yard per pass, but (as designed by the offense) he is only 29th in passing yards.  The 49ers are a grind it out, run the ball, let the defense win you games kind of offense and Smith isn’t asked to do too much.  But an offense ran by a player like Colin Kaepernick could potentially take this offense to a whole new level.  He’s got a Laser Rocket Arm, and runs in the 4.4’s.  We’ve seen glimpses while he’s in.

Now tonight, Kaepernick gets his first start of his career, and it’s against arguably the best defense in the NFL, who cause turnovers at an alarming rate.  No doubt that Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, Brian Urlacher and company are licking their chops to force Kaepernick into uncomfortable situations where they can take advantage of his lack of experience and cause turnovers to win this game.

But what if he wins? If Kaepernick goes for 300 yards, 3 TDs, and say 70 yards rushing (highly doubtful)?  What happens when Alex Smith is healthy?  It could be a full on quarterback controversy with a team that is leading their division, and could potentially own the #2 spot in the highly competitive NFC.

My thinking is that Jim Harbaugh is linked to Alex Smith at least until the end of the year.  Smith newly signed a 3-year deal with the 49ers, but they can cut their losses at the end of the year.  Alex Smith gives the 49ers their best chance of winning now.  He’s safe, efficient, trusts his defense, and Harbaugh believes that can win this team a Championship.  But if Kaepernick absolutely kills it then he may have no choice but to go with the ‘hot hand’ and the potential.

This is the biggest game of the year for the 49ers that will no doubt have huge implications on the NFC playoff picture.  With a win the 49ers own the #2 spot in the NFC, with a loss they fall back to #4 and the Seattle Seahawks lurking right behind them, and they Niners still have to travel to Seattle in a couple weeks.  A huge game for the 49ers that could potentially mean a first-round bye or a lot harder road in the NFC.  Will Colin Kaepernick reach his potential and grab the starting job away from Alex Smith tonight?  We will see on Monday Night Football.

This Week in Sports

What Happened in Sports This Past Week? Well Let Me Tell You…

– After the Los Angeles Lakers fired Mike Brown, they moved quickly to hire Mike D’Antoni to a three year deal.  Previous fans of teams coached by Mike D’Antoni famously removed the “D” from his name, for his lack of coaching on the defensive end.  Don’t worry Laker fans — Mike ‘Antoni will coach Wight Howar and the rest of the Lakers in Hollywoo to eliver a ecisive NBA Championship.

– The Knicks came back in the 4th quarter to defeat the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday to remain undefeated at 6-0. After not resigning Jeremy Lin, the Knicks have been playing the best defense in the NBA.  Said star Forward Carmelo Anthony, “Once Coach ‘Antoni resigned, we realized there was 26 letters in the alphabet, so from now on you can call me D’Carmelo D’Anthony…It’s been a pleasure playing for the D’New D’York D’Knicks in D’Madison D’Square D’Garden”.  I think he’s getting carried away after finding out that “D” is an actual letter.

– The Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays consummated a blockbuster deal that allowed the Marlins to dump over $180 million in contracts. After the trade, there was a huge public uproar over the deal that decimated the Marlins roster…oh wait, there wasn’t?  People in Miami didn’t even know the Marlins were a team? Oh, well in that case…Go Heat?  Oh..Miami residents didn’t know that the Heat season started either?  They must still be at the beach or watching the new season of Dexter.

– As many as four Quarterbacks suffered concussions this past week in the NFL, including Mike Vick and Jay Cutler, who will not be able to play this week.  The only fans really disappointed by this outcome are the Fantasy Football Owners who had circled this date on their calendar because their Defenses was going against Vick and Cutler.

-The San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams tied 24-24 for the first tie game in the NFL since 2008.  Once the clock hit 0:00 in overtime and the teams and fans started to exit, a fan came running onto the field with a microphone yelling, “WHERE IS EVERYONE GOING?  THE GAME ISN’T OVER! FOOTBALL CAN’T END IN A TIE!”  It was actually Donovan McNabb who had been admitted to an insane asylum after having a mental breakdown over his last tie four years ago.

– The #1 team in the Nation, Alabama, was upset by Texas A&M on Saturday. Texas A&M was led to victory by Freshman phenom quarterback “Johnny Football”.  Wow, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Football, got really lucky that they named him that and he played Football.  It would’ve been really awkward if Johnny Football played Cricket or Bat-mitten.  Crisis Averted!

– Miguel Cabrera won the AL MVP after receiving 22 of 27 first place votes to defeat Rookie of the Year Mike Trout.  Cabrera won in large part due to becoming the first hitter since 1978 to win the Triple Crown.  At his press conference to accept the MVP, Cabrera wore three crowns and said, “As King of the American League and Ruler of the three realms of Batting Average, Runs Batted In and Home Runs, I demand that you all bow to me at once!”.  After slamming his mace into the ground, National League MVP Buster Posey busted the door down and stabbed Cabrera with the World Series Trophy.  It was a bloody day for the King of the American League, but the rightful heir to the Realms stood over the bloody corpse of the Triple Crown Winner and showed his supremacy.

– Lance Cartelli

49ers Tie? What Does That Even Mean? How Am I Supposed to Feel?

The San Francisco 49ers tied the St. Louis Rams 24-24 on Sunday for the first tie in the NFL since the Donovan McNabb game in 2008 (and yes, McNabb games can end in a tie). But the question is, how are you supposed to feel after a tie?  If you’re a Rams fan — is it a moral victory?  For 49ers fans — a loss that just doesn’t show up in the loss column, but something that makes your win/loss record look funny?  Are we supposed to feel happy? Sad? Indifferent?  Has Football finally converted to Soccer?** Do you feel like you just kissed your Sister? (I’m an only child, so I do not know that feel bro) For the 49ers, this game has longstanding repercussions and silver linings that will go beyond this game and could determine how far this team goes in the Playoffs.

**I even googled what an ‘aggregate” is and I still don’t get it…seriously Soccer how are you a sport?

I always want the bad news first. so let’s start there:

  • The Defense – The 49ers are supposed to have the best defense in the NFL.  A defense that imposes their will, stops the run, and limits the big play.  None of that happened on Sunday.  The Rams ran all over the 49ers with Steven Jackson running for over 100 yards, the 49ers gave up the big play as well.  On the first drive, they uncharacteristically gave up a 36 yard Touchdown to Brian Quick and almost gave up a game altering 80 yard pass play to Danny Amendola that got called back due to an illegal formation penalty.  In all the 49ers losses the defense has not been able to stop the run which is their bread and butter.
  • Home-Field Advantage.  Well Niner fans you don’t have to worry about head-to-head tiebreakers anymore.  With the tie, the 49ers now have to finish 1/2 game better than the Seahawks in the NFC West to win, and a 1/2 game better than the Bears, Falcons, Packers, Giants to insure a first round bye in the Playoffs.  A win on Sunday and a win on Monday versus the Chicago Bears would’ve been huge for home-field for the 49ers.

Now the Silver Linings for the 49ers:

  • Colin Kaepernick – The 49ers backup Quarterback saw his first extensive playing time since being drafted in the 2nd round last year.  He came into the game down by seven, and led this team to eventually take the lead.  After starting slow, Kaepernick finished the game 11/17 for 119 yards passing and 66 yards rushing with a touchdown.  Kaepernick takes a lot more chances than Alex Smith and clearly has the more talented arm, but he does not have the grasp of the offense like Smith.  Kaepernick will eventually be the starting Quarterback for this team, and Sunday’s game was encouraging for a team that may need him sooner rather than later.
  • Technically the 49ers didn’t lose.  San Francisco played one of their three worst games of the year, and the worst first quarter of the season coming off their bye week, but they didn’t get a loss that would’ve hurt their chances at winning the NFC West and getting home-field even more than a tie.  In a hard fought NFC West game against a rival, the Niners were down two touchdowns and came back despite playing terrible defense and having the backup Quarterback in, I will take that.  Plus if you have any friends that are fans of other teams you can always drop the line, “Technically we didn’t lose, so shut up!”.

Now that I’ve helped you handle that weird feeling of a tie, there has to be an alternative for the NFL to incorporate that ends the horrible tradition of teams making their records look weird, and having a decisive winner every week.

In a sport that is so under the microscope with injuries, there is absolutely no way that, if a game ends after five quarters you cannot play endlessly 6+ quarters, it just doesn’t make sense especially when you play the following week. So what are some alternatives?

  • 40 yard dash.  A 40 yard dash — everyone’s favorite event at the NFL Combine, especially if you’re a fanboy of those things like yours truly, but not from your fastest player, but from an offensive linemen that weights over 300 pounds?  What do you think? No, it’s entertaining (who doesn’t love watching fatties run?), but would never work.
  • Skills Competition.  A skills competition with the Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Running Backs and defensive skill players would be a fun alternative, but we couldn’t have that determine a game, especially if it’s make or break for the Playoffs.
  • Penalty Kicks.  If we are gonna have a game end in a tie, and kickers miss field goals for game winners like Sunday, why not have the kickers do Penalty Kicks like in real Soccer?  It could happen…

Although the San Francisco 49ers versus the St. Louis Rams game was entertaining, yet ultimately disappointing, I hope I helped you deal with your  latest confusion of feelings, since you were an adolescent, on how to feel after a tie game.  Whether you’re happy the 49ers didn’t lose, pissed off they didn’t cover the spread (I know I am!), or that it feels like you kissed your Sister, just know there is always next Monday in a huge game against the Bears, we can only hope there is a decisive winner in that game.

– Lance Cartelli

Ryan Pedersen: Buccaneers Stop Rivers. Chargers fall to 4-5

Here we go again. Chargers go from a decent first half to blowing the second half to probably one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Chargers continue to struggle versus decent to elite teams. The Chargers fall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34-24 in front of a small crowd in Tampa.  The Bolts 4-5 record is very deserving. Out of the teams they have beaten, they have a combined record of just nine wins. Now the Bolts struggle from continuing the mediocrity train to just looking forward to being mediocre again.

If the Chargers do not beat Denver this weekend the Chargers will be behind Denver by four games with the head-to-head been swept, in that case the AFC West would be long gone and this isn’t the Jay Cutler Broncos of the past, the Broncos would roll to the AFC West title for the second year in a row. If that would the Chargers have a wild card shot? Doubtful. Their record versus out of division teams is terrible right now at just 1-5 and would pretty much have to win out to have a shot at a wildcard birth. But I digress, the Chargers just need A win and they can’t play Kansas City every week unfortunately.

Now the topic everyone’s been fired up about, and that’s Philip Rivers. Each year his QB rating has slowly declined with interceptions increasing. This year when games are down to the wire he hasn’t come through. Is it completely his fault? Well judging by the pick six Sunday it seems like it but when every game this season you have been running for your life, it’s hard to place the blame completely on him. To me. losing the rock at your line in Kris Dielman’s retirement badly hurt the Chargers this year, with no plan for whom to replace him, more so than losing Vincent Jackson but surely V.J. is thanking his agent for getting him away from the “Lord of No Rings”.

Game Ball: Danario Alexander- The Jared Gaither of 2012, but it might be too late.

Honorable mention: Tampa Bay- S.D. not the only ones having problems selling tickets.

Dolt of the Game: Philip Rivers- I’m sorry but you can’t do this.

– Ryan Pedersen

What Can Brown Do For You? Lakers Fire Mike Brown

Well, that was fast.  It only took one death stare and 5 games into the regular season for the Los Angeles Lakers to fire their Head Coach Mike Brown.  As you all know, the Lakers won the offseason with trades for perennial All-Stars Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.  They improved the depth on their bench with signings of Sixth Man Antawn Jamison and three-point specialist Jodie Meeks.  Installed the new “Princeton” offense, veering away from the Triangle Offense that has brought the Lakers six championships.  But winning the Offseason Championship doesn’t win you games, the Lakers and Mike Brown have gone 2-16 since the start of the Oklahoma City Thunder series in the Playoffs last year (including Preseason) and a change was made.

The Lakers have seen a team stacked with potential Hall-of-Famers fail before (2003-2004 Lakers when they brought on board Gary “The Glove” Payton and Karl “Mailman” Malone), so the Lakers Management (mainly the Buss’s) gave Brown the quick hook and are now in search of a coach that can lead this team to a Championship, not a promising start for the season that looked so bright just five games ago.  There will be a long line of coaches interested in the coveted Lakers coaching position, but who should take over?

  •  Mike D’Antoni – The former Phoenix Sun and New York Knick Head Coach resigned from the Knicks last year and has been out of coaching since.  D’Antoni would bring instant offense to a team that is built to run up and down the court.  D’Antoni coached Lakers Point Guard Steve Nash during his MVP run and the offense would clearly run through him.  D’Antoni mainly focuses on offense and his prior teams have lacked on the defensive side of the ball, not good when you need to stop the Thunder, Spurs, Clippers, and potentially the Heat in the Playoffs.  Also, D’Antoni just underwent knee surgery that will keep him off his feet for the next six weeks, but that may not stop him from accepting the position if offered.  Verdict:  The Lakers would be one of the most fun teams to watch on offense, but would be maddening on defense and not a team that could compete with the more athletic teams defensively in the playoffs.
  • Brian Shaw – The former reserve Guard with the Championship Lakers in their first three-peat under Phil Jackson and former Assistant Coach with Jackson, Shaw is a player favorite with the LA Diva Kobe Bryant and would re-install the Triangle Offense that Phil employed.  Bryant was upset when Shaw wasn’t under consideration to take over for Phil Jackson after he retired, because the Buss family wanted to steer away from Jackson’s legacy and the Triangle Offense.  We saw how that worked out.  Verdict:  Would be a great fit for the Lakers, but the Buss family doesn’t seem to want to go back in that direction.
  • Jerry Sloan – The Hall-of-Fame Coach has been out of Basketball since resigning from the Utah Jazz in 2011.  Sloan would bring a gritty toughness that former Jazz teams always exhibited, and would run a deadly pick & roll with Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol.  Nash would be his John Stockton and Howard/Gasol would be his Karl Malone.  An extremely dangerous team on offense and Sloan would make sure the Defense is up to par as well.  Sloan has been out of coaching waiting for an opportunity like this and doesn’t want his storied career to end with a feud with Deron Williams and resigning from the Jazz. Verdict:  I think he would be the ideal coaching candidate to utilize the talents the Lakers have on offense and to take this Defense to the next level, will it happen?
  • Phil Jackson – You know he had to be brought up for consideration. You have to think the Lakers are faxing (do people still fax?) over a blank check for Phil to name his price to return to coaching Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.  He still has a great relationship with the players and a relationship (hehe) with Jeannie Buss.  The question is does Jackson still have the desire to coach, he’s already the greatest basketball coach of all-time, does he really want to come back?  Verdict:  I think if all other options are exhausted the Lakers would be willing to pay the man whatever he wants.  The only problem is the Buss family (again) wants to take this team in a new direction away from Jackson’s philosophy.

No matter who the Lakers choose to replace Mike Brown, it will be a daunting task that not every coach is up for.  The bright lights of Hollywood and Showtime, we know Phil Jackson could do it, but can any of the other coaches?  D’Antoni faded away in the spotlight with the New York Knicks, Brian Shaw has never been a Head Coach on such a big stage, and Sloan has been tucked away in Utah for over 20 years.  There are still 77 games to get this team right, but can they do it?

– Lance Cartelli

Ryan Pedersen: Chargers Defeat Chiefs; Get to .500

All week long there was speculation that Norv Turner’s job was at stake if the Chargers suffered another disappointing loss to the Chiefs. Instead, Norv Turner was actually smiling for once following a 31-13 win over the worst team in the league, the Kansas City Chiefs, completing a season sweep and improving the Chargers record to 3-1 in the AFC West.

Things weren’t looking too hot going into halftime only up by 4 on KC and a rumble of “boo’s” directed at Philip Rivers for yet another costly pick by Chiefs Safety Eric Berry. But instead of the Chiefs taking advantage of the momentum swing, they pretty much just handed the Bolts the game in the second half.

Now, what turned out to be a winnable schedule has now turned into a month long test for the Bolts with two tough road games against Tampa Bay (somewhere Vincent Jackson is hungry and will be ready to feast on this average Charger secondary) and a re-match of the Monday Night meltdown at Denver and ending the month with another tough test of the Baltimore Ravens at home. Now that everyone has put away the pitchforks for now on coach Turner I wouldn’t hold your breath. Tampa has been on a up swing and everyone’s fantasy teams that own Doug Martin hope for yet another huge day from the Boise State ”Muscle Hamster” (I heard he hates that nickname but first thing came to mind were those creepy car hamsters.)

Game Ball: Philip Rivers, nearly perfect on the night minus the INT

Honorary mention: SDSU for beating Boise St (Sorry Xander) only 4th loss since 2000 on the smurf turf.

Dolt of the game: Scott Pioli (Chiefs GM) yikes, from AFC West Champs in 2010 to 1-7 in 2012, who do they take with the first pick next year?

Gattaca!

Ryan Pedersen

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