The Masters, The Joy of Manscaping and a Fire at Trump Tower – 10 Thoughts From the Week of April 2nd to April 8th

  1. 24-Hour News Cycle – Last week, I started talking about the 24-hour news cycle and my lack of concern of things that disappeared all too quickly from the cycle and my mind. I was particularly thinking about Puerto Rico and Syria. However, things have heated up in Syria and I saw some buzz on my Twitter timeline about Puerto Rico. I want to write something about the 24-hour news cycle.
  2. NBA Playoff Picture – Eastern Conference – With only a few days left in the season, the best matchup of the first round appears to be Sixers vs. Bucks. Giannis against Ben Simmons seems like a nice fit for prime time. The rest of the matchups just don’t seem all that compelling. Raptor vs. Wizards would be a good match-up if the Wizards could play up to their talent. It is just hard to believe they could put together for more than one game.
  3. Brandin Cooks Trade – The Patriots once again made a first round trade. The weird thing is that they gave away Brandin Cooks, not because he is not a good receiver, but because he is expensive. Now the Rams appear to have won the offseason two weeks before the draft. It seems like the Patriots cannot pay anyone more money than Brady or Gronk. Not that Cooks is worth more than those guys, it is just what the market bears.
  4. NFL Mock Draft – Here’s my weekly update of the Top 10.
    1. CLE – Sam Darnold -QB
    2. NYG – Bradley Chubb – DE
    3. NYJ – Josh Allen
    4. BUF – Josh Rosen
    5. DEN – Saquan Barkley
    6. IND – Quenten Nelson
    7. TB – Derwin James
    8. ARI – Baker Mayfield
    9. SF – Denzel Ward
    10. OAK – Roquan Smith
  5. The Masters – I was excited about last week’s Masters event; especially with Tiger as the favorite. I really need Tiger to make a comeback. He doesn’t need to comeback and break Nicklaus’ record. He simply needs to win another major or two and show that he still has that magic on the golf course. Jake Reed fought off the world and he won the Masters in a definitive way.
  6. NCAA Tournament – Villanova has won its second championship in the last three years. They were so much better than everyone else in college basketball. They are quietly becoming a blue blood in college basketball. They are making a bigger impact than Gonzaga.
  7. Comparisons of President Trump to King David – I read an article that was a response to evangelicals comparison of President Trump to King David. It is funny how people make an excuse for such an unexcusable person.
  8. Fire at Trump Tower – There was a fire at Trump Tower in New York with one fatality. In a move of no class, the President raced to Twitter to talk about how well built the building was. No mention of any condolences for the person who lost their life in the fire.
  9. Manscaping Can Make You Happy – I read another article about the path to joy can be as simple as a little manscaping. I experience a certain amount of joy when I get a haircut. I am not sure if I feel the same way after a manscaping session.
  10. How to Talk to Your Kids About Porn – I listened to a great podcast about talking to your kids about porn. Good stuff! Every dad should listen to it.

Wine Tasting, LiAngelo Ball and Citizen Trump – 10 Thoughts from the Week of March 26th to April 1st.

I took a road trip from So-Cal to Nor-Cal this weekend. I spent a lot of time in the car which influenced my 10 thoughts this week.

  1. I went wine tasting while I was in Nor-Cal and it was disturbing to me. I paid $70 to do some wine tasting at a place recommended by a friend. I thought $70 would get me a lot of wine. Instead, I got lectured on the process of making California sparkling wine for 45 minutes before I got to taste a drop of wine. I was pissed that it took 45 minutes to taste the wine. I didn’t come wine tasting to learn about the winemaking process; that is why it is called “wine tasting”.  Then I only got to taste 5 wines. I felt shorted for paying $70. For $70, I expected to at least question whether I should be driving after the tasting. Looking back on things, I paid for a “cave tour” which I guess should be viewed as different than wine tasting. I once did “barrel tasting” and that is when I drank so much wine I could taste it anymore. You have to pay attention to what you get into.
  2. The Final Four: Michigan and Villanova are meeting today in the national championship game. Michigan ended the very impressive run of Loyola Chicago. I was worried for a moment that Loyola was going to make it to the championship game before they collapsed and had six straight turnovers. Kansas balled out; but they still could not keep with Villanova and the record-breaking three-pointers. Michigan plays hella-defense but Villanova is on another level.
  3. LiAngelo Ball entered the NBA draft this week. The only way he gets drafted is if the Lakers do his family a favor.
  4. I have been thinking about the 24-hour news cycle a lot the last couple of weeks. One of the things that amazes me about the cycle is how quickly people forget about some things that at the time seem pretty unforgettable. I am pretty convicted about how easily I forget unforgettable stuff. I forget about hurricanes and scandals and other soul-scarring events.
  5. The NFL has finally changed the catch-rule which should kill the controversies of the last couple of years.
  6. NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Update: As I said last week, the Raptors and the Bucks don’t seem like much of a series unless Eric Bledsoe gets a jump shot. I want the Bucks to make the playoffs though. It would be a tragedy not to have Giannis in the playoffs. I am not sure what will happen to the Celtics. I could see them beating Miami and I could see Old Man Wade ending them with his playoff experience. The Cavaliers and the Wizards are the most appealing match-up of the first round. The Wizards talked a lot about the Cavs ducking them last season. I know how good Lebron is in the playoffs, but the rest of his team is not good on defense and I cannot see them getting back to the Finals without someone teaching Jordan Clarkson how to play defense.
  7. NBA Western Conference Playoff Update: All the matchups in the Western Conference are intriguing. I feel the same way about the Rockets and the Pelicans that I do about the Raptors and Bucks. It is just good to have Anthony Davis in the playoffs. The Jazz will give the Warriors trouble if they are not 100%. Portland and Thunder are going to war in the first round. I am scared of the Spurs with or without Kawhi. They work that Spurs winning voodoo all over the place.
  8. NFL Mock Draft Top Ten: Some changes from last week’s Top 10.
    1. CLE – Sam Darnold
    2. NYG – Bradley Chubb
    3. NYJ – Josh Allen
    4. BUF – Josh Rosen
    5. DEN – Saquon Barkley
    6. IND – Minkah Fitzpatrick
    7. TB – Derwin James
    8. ARI – Baker Mayfield
    9. SF – Denzel Ward
    10. OAK – Roquan Smith
  9. Steven Spielberg doesn’t think that Netflix movies should not be eligible for the Oscars. It feels like the old man doesn’t want new and unique ideas on his lawn.
  10. During my road trip, my wife watched Citizen Trump in the car. I got to listen to a couple of episodes and all I could think is that we elected a guy who does not care about anything but himself as President of the United States of America. What struck me was Trump probably ran for president because Obama torched him back in the day.

10 Thoughts for the week of March 19-25

  1. March For Our Lives –  Gun control may not happen overnight, but I believe this is the beginning of something. Even polls on Fox News are favorable to make some changes.
  2. The Final Four – So excited about the Final Four. Loyola Chicago is taking the tournament by storm. Villanova is the best team left; but anything else can happen. I have to confess, I am so glad that Duke is done for the season.
  3. Stephon Clark Shooting – Makes me afraid to be around police with my phone in my hand. Dude was shot twenty times in his own backyard.
  4. NFL Free Agency – Eric Reid says he hasn’t found a team yet because he was taking a knee next to Kaepernick. He doesn’t realize that Earl Thomas may be traded and Tyrann Mathieu is looking for a team. There is also Kenny Vicarrio.
  5. My NFL Mock Draft – Top Ten Picks
    1. Cleveland – Sam Darnold
    2. NY Giants – Nick Chubb
    3. NY Jets – Josh Rosen
    4. Cleveland – Quenten Nelson
    5. Denver – Josh Rosen
    6. Indianapolis – Minkah Fitzpatrick
    7. Tampa Bay – Derwin James
    8. Arizona – Josh Allen
    9. San Francisco – Denzel Ward
    10. Oakland – Roquan Smith
  6. Russell Westbrook is almost averaging a triple-double.
  7. NBA Playoff Western Conference Thoughts – Melo is shooting the Thunder out of the playoffs.  I have watched Melo lose two games for the Thunder. As close as the standings are in the West, they need those wins. The Spurs are back. Even without Kawhi, they are ballin out and made sure they made it to the playoffs. I love James Harden, but, sometimes I hate watching him play. He looks like all he is trying to do is catch fouls. I find myself screaming “just ball out!”.
  8. NBA Playoff Eastern Conference Thoughts – Eric Bledsoe cannot shoot and it is hurting the Bucks. Really impressed with the Wizards and think they are going to take off when John Wall comes back. Not sure about the Celtics now that Kyrie is out of six weeks.
  9. Rookie of the Year –  This year’s race for Rookie of the Year is going to be the closest I can remember. I could give it to either guy right now.
  10. The Shape of Water – I finally saw The Shape of Water and I could see why it won Best Picture. The story is good and the visuals were artsy. I enjoyed it, but I am not sure I will be talking about it in five years.

10 Thoughts on Week 5 NFL Games:

  • Aaron Rodgers beats the Cowboys again.
  • The Giants are done. They are 0-5. They have no receivers. OBJ is done for the rest of the season. They play Denver this week and Seattle next week. They are looking at at least 0-7. They should tank for Sam Darnold.
  • The Raiders are in a tailspin. They have no Derrek Carr. Marshawn Lynch is not what he was billed to be. The defense is worse than anyone expected. They have lost three in a row and they made Baltimore look like the best offense in the NFL.
  • Ben Rothlesberger threw five interceptions including two pick-sixes. Pittsburgh has the talent to turn things around. I just don’t know if they have discipline and mental toughness to play ball.
  • Super Cam Newton is back. For the second week in a row, Cam was the best player on the field. If he keeps this up, Carolina is very dangerous.
  • The Chiefs are going to challenge for 16-0 as long as everyone stays healthy. No one can stop their offense and their defense is above average. Alex Smith is playing like an MVP and Kareem Hunt is leading the league in rushing by a 143 yards.
  • DeShaun Watson threw five touchdowns. He continues to rise to the occasion. While the Texans did not beat the Chiefs, they put up a big fight and  showed they can play with the best team in the NFL.
  • Mike Pence’s political stunt ruined Peyton Manning’s statue ceremony in Indianapolis. I hope Trump’s golf-buddy gives him an ear-full.
  • The Rams are not legit yet. They had a chance against the Seahawks; but they had five turnovers and didn’t look like the league’s best offense.
  • The Buccaneers should have beaten the Patriots if they had a mediocre kicker. Doug Martin’s return makes them a legit team. The Buccaneers defensive line put a beating on Tom Brady.