Could there be two LA teams in Super Bowl LIII?

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The two teams representing Los Angeles, the Rams and now the Chargers, could make an all-L.A. Super Bowl this year for the first time in NFL history.

The Rams and Chargers are both the most dangerous and talented teams in the NFL.

Starting with the red-hot Chargers, and their Sergeant General Phillip Rivers, who is displaying some of the best quarterback play in his career. Rivers threw for over 4,308 yards and 32 touchdowns in another impressive season, and hopes to keep the momentum going in the playoffs.

The Chargers have a tough Divisional Round matchup against the New England Patriots this Sunday, In Foxborough. To make matters worse, Rivers is 0-7 against QB Tom Brady and his Patriots in the playoffs.

It is hard to count out the Patriots in the playoffs, but I think the Chargers have more firepower to deal with New England.

Chargers’ Head Coach Anthony Lynn will make sure to utilize Melvin Gordon, and the running game to keep a well-balanced attack against the Patriots’ defense. Rivers will be up to the challenge, knowing that, he will need to play smart football in a very hostile environment.

Since the start of the season, the Rams have always been the team to beat, and now they are here postseason. Jared Goff and teammate Todd Gurley certainly have matured, along with their Head Coach Sean McVay.

Goff, and his team are favored against the Dallas Cowboys this Saturday, but could be an interesting matchup based on the opponent’s skilled defense. The Rams will certainly have to do more than just simply pound the rock in order to score on Dallas.

While I think Dallas defense is dominant, I think the Ram’s offensive will be too much for the Cowboys to deal with.

There is a great chance that both of these LA teams advance in the next round, and even after that…which means Super Bowl LIII.

Photo by Jeffrey Beall [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

The 2018 LA Beer Fest was a success 

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This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2018 LA Beer Festival, it was my first, and certainly won’t be my last.

I finally was able to take a Saturday off work, and join the renown beer event in Downtown Los Angeles. The LA Beer Fest featured over 80 breweries and 200 beers for everyone to enjoy!

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Summer’s away, but it’s Fall today with Space Ways 

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Summer has officially come to a close, but doesn’t mean IPA season is necessarily over. Modern Times Brewing has released their new Hazy Nelson IPA called “Space Ways”, a perfect, soothing beer for the Fall transition.

Modern Times has released quite a few different IPA’s this past summer: everything from the dank mosaic, to juicy, tropical flavors, and a new haze with Nelson hops. The Orderville, Critical Band, and Space Ways are definitely one of my favorite pale ales from this brewery that really emulates these characteristics.

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My first LAFC game will be one to remember 

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It was an incredible ambiance at the Banc of California Stadium on Sunday night, thousands wearing the black and gold, LAFC really felt like the heart of Los Angeles.

I was blessed to see a great game by the LAFC, defeating the Colorado Rapids 2-0. The home team dominated the game, controlling possession all game long and creating the most chances on goal.

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Why a Rockets’ series loss might be a concern for the Western Conference

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With a surprising Game 2 loss at home to the Utah Jazz, all eyes remain on James Harden and the Houston Rockets to avoid another disappointing second-round playoff exit. The NBA’s best regular season team is not only in jeopardy of living up to expectations, but also falling short to the highly anticipated Rockets–Warriors showdown.

The Rockets’ incredible 29-2 stretch left the league in complete awe, and thinking this team could really give the defending champs a run for their money.

There still had been trepidation however with Rockets’ success during the regular season, for they still have to prove themselves in the playoffs. With momentum swinging back to Utah in Game 3, Harden and his team is yet again surrounded with uncertainty.

The future 2018 MVP and his teammate Chris Paul, has to carry Houston in order to win these next two games on the road. Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, will be completely chaotic this weekend – hoping to boost their Jazz to another playoff upset.

A loss this series could be a tale of two different halves for Harden, Paul, and this Rockets team overall. Another early playoff exit could really insinuate a dark cloud over the legacy of these superstars.

Like Harden, Paul too has dealt with his fair share criticism based on his early round exits in the playoffs. This series will not only be huge for them to live up to expectations, but also to improve their playoff pandemonium.

NBA fans need Houston to win this series because they are the best chance against Golden State, not Utah. Though they did not play like it in Game 2, the Jazz are truly the underdogs in this series.

If the Rockets fall short once again, which Western Conference team can actually challenge the Warriors in the near future?

This thought is scary if you look at the state of NBA’s Western Conference. There is beginning to be a lack of parody in the west actually, rather than the east, for the first time in years.

Big questions remain for some of the “premier” teams in the west like: The Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs, and now the Houston Rockets.

The Carmelo Anthony/Paul George experiment in OKC looks like it just will be a one-season trial, after the way things played out in the first round. The Thunder have a lot of questions to address this offseason and
it starts with George.

Rumors of Paul George leaving to join the Los Angeles Lakers is one of the league’s best kept secrets, as he has been open about his love for L.A. for quit some time now. With Anthony’s lackluster performance this season, and especially with a quick playoff exit, George is very likely to leave the Thunder coming this offseason.

The next power team in the west, the Spurs, are about to be in serious rebuild. The once heavily contenders are now going to the be ones fighting for playoff position, specifically with their best player, Kawhi Leonard
leaving next season.

How will the Harden, Paul, and the Rockets handle adversity on the road against the Jazz?

Photo by Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (James Harden) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Double Filbert, double the trouble

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Transplants Brewing has released an imperial version of their chocolate hazelnut brown ale, called the “Double Filbert.” This double brown ale recollects the delicious, rich taste of the Filbert, enhancing its essence yet with a 10% ABV.

The Filbert is one of Transplants’ fan favorites, the mixture of the nutty and sweet chocolaty flavor makes it their signature brown ale.

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2018 NHL Playoffs: The LA-Vegas Rivalry is born 

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Thousands of towels being waved in unison like it was Heinz Field, followed by an extreme ‘Game of Thrones-like’ intro, The Golden Knights’ first playoff game at T-Mobile Arena had Vegas written all over it.

The Knights’ unique, medieval pregame show was only fitting for their first year as an NHL franchise, and playoff appearance. Sparked by a sell-out crowd and their Vegas-like antics, the Knights were off and running with a 1-0 lead within the first few minutes of the game.

The playoff atmosphere was immediately apparent after seeing these teams break out in numerous scrums in front of the net, fighting for any inch to separate each other in just a one-possession game. Whether it was Vegas’ lavish presentation or the aurora created by T-Mobile Arena, you could feel the sense of hate from the Los Angeles Kings.

Game 1 looks like not only the beginning of a great series, but also the start of a new rivalry in the NHL.

Even though the Kings’ Jonathan Quick missed a key save early in the game, still both of the goalkeepers starred in this series opener. The Knights’ Marc-Andre Fleury put a whopping 30 – save shutout against the Kings, while Quick locked it down after the first score.

Vegas’ boost for the Knights was something special; their home advantage this playoff series cannot be ignored.

The Knights grabbed the momentum right out of the arena completely, and it immediately took it with them the first wing, making a major contribution to their win. The Kings began to settle in though, after Vegas had cooled down throughout the second period – creating great opportunities to tie, or perhaps win the game.

Will the Knights be aggressive early again in game 2? I have a feeling this could be a hell of a series.

Photo by Michael Miller [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Raiders-to-Vegas idea: Breakthrough or Bust?

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The Raider’s legacy in Oakland may come to an end with a possible move to Las Vegas, rumors continue to circle Friday when New England Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft expressed support for team’s potential relocation to Vegas.

The capital of ‘Bright Lights’, Las Vegas is the next potential landing spot for the Raiders – amidst all of the distractions the city proposes and the fact that this will be the city’s first NFL level team.

Will this work?

With a city with so many things to do, it is easy to wonder how the Raiders can convince half of the party goers and alcoholics to sit down and each a game of football. Could Las Vegas really create a football culture, full of die hard fans and a community that has a passion for the game – rather than the type for just the scene, or being another indifferent, drunk referendum.

Oakland to Vegas would be a huge move in a cultural perspective, football town to party city, it would be a dramatic change; fans and Oakland supporters would agree that the
leave would be due to obvious financial reasons. Kraft had expressed his support for the Raiders-to-Vegas idea in an interview with USA Today Sports.

“I think it would be good for the NFL,” Kraft told the newspaper. “I’m looking at where we are today, and thinking of the last 10 to 15 years…we’re just living a different
world, technology wise. The risks in Vegas are no longer exclusive to Vegas.”

The Patriots owner reflected how different the exploration of the market is now compared to when he was in office back in 94’, and how the financial challenges of moving the team to Vegas wouldn’t be as crazy as it sounds.

In a town that established its own sense of football culture back in the 1980s, the black and silver have been widely known around Bay Area as the “baddest” team in the league, despite there huge decline the team’s success the past years. Rappers like Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Eazy-E helped trademark the team’s brand worldwide when the Raiders had moved to Los Angeles, the team’s colors, and image reflected a new era of pop culture.

The Raiders had established a hip-hop culture in sports, attracting many Hispanic and African Americans in a time when the rise of immigration, gang violence, and real estate
boom was quickly changing the city. The team had sort of blended the Los Angeles culture into there Oakland roots; when brought back to Oakland, the team had really established its own style and formed a sense of identity.

With NFL legends like Marcus Allen, Ken Stabler (The Snake), Bo Jackson, and even their iconic owner Al Davis, who has been the heart and soul for nearly four decades, it will be hard to notion a change with so much history in the city.

One can see why Oakland fans are in such an uproar, just seeing the reaction when the team had almost made a move back to Los Angeles again, one can imagine how irate Bay Area will become when the team goes to Vegas. In a cultural aspect, the team’s change
would be a dramatic one, and would have some kind of lingering affect on the personal – whether players and staff admit it or not.

Will the Sin City Raiders resonate with fans and Vegas residents?

There are many questions that will come into play, other than the obvious financial, business aspect of the team’s dramatic change.

Photo By: BrokenSphere (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons