Sunday, December 11, 2011

Albert Pujols Joins Shaq, Kobe, Tebow In Scoring For The Ages

Suddenly 2012 screams Angel scarlet. After 2011's Cardinal red.

Who maintains the color for the new year?

Albert Pujols.

The superstud turned from Redbird to Halo at the drop of a $25 million annual check.

So now Sir Albert plays first base for Los Angeles. Baseball mania is back in the Land of Disney. Ten years after the Angels won their only world title, they're ready to ride Pujols to the peak again.

So watch Angel Stadium sell out nightly in 2012. That's the one downside. No more easy tickets.

The upside? Homers into the rocks. Winning. Hysteria. Locked in to the key to it all: Albert Pujols.

So here we are in December 2011, celebrating a dandy dozen of years for And counting.

So many games. Athletes. Championships.

What was the site’s first full year of 2000 like again?

Shaq and Kobe’s Lakers won the first of three straight NBA titles.

Derek Jeter and Mo Rivera’ Yankees captured their third straight World Series.

Three horses — Fusaichi Pegasus, Red Bullet, Commendable — won each of the Triple Crown races.

Really doesn’t seem that long ago. Who's been keeping us mesmerized all this time?

2000. Shaq. This was really his one megayear. MVP of the regular season and NBA Finals. And a Blazer-banishing dunk for highlight heaven.

2001. Andre Agassi. He was perpetual youth. Won the Aussie Open again. Simply the biggest reason to watch tennis at this point.

2002. Troy Glaus. Classic power in a classic World Series. When the seven games and Frisco were done, Glaus and the Angels were giants of baseball.

2003. Eric Gagne. He was on the greatest relief-pitcher run in baseball history. When he came on, the Dodger scoreboard flashed his goggled face and Game Over. Because it was.

2004. Roger Federer. The Swiss Swatter couldn't miss. Certainly not in the U.S. Open, his ultimate display of tennis brilliance.

2005. Kim Clijsters. The Belgian Belter had shown grand tennis for years, but never at a Slam. Until now. In the U.S. Open she bounced back against Maria Sharapova in the semis and polished off Mary Pierce in the title match.

2006. Manny Pacquiao. I'm married to a Filipina, so when the Filipino Fist fights, Saturday turns into PacMan Partytime, decked with serious grub from the Philippines. And at middecade, Manny was in the thick of his title bulge.

2007. Tom Brady. He beat 'em all. Even the Giants, who would avenge that game and turn his Pats' perfection into 18-1 by the end of the Super Bowl. Still, when Brady passed this season, you had to catches his act.

2008. Brett Favre. Finally my Jets had a Dude at quarterback. He was the talk of the country after his marathon exit from Green Bay. And staying with that color, he had New York soaring into contention — until a dud landing.

2009. Kobe. Now he had his own championship with the Lakers. Shed of Shaq and sharing the ball with Pau Gasol, Bryant blew by Orlando in the NBA Finals.

2010. Aaron Rodgers. His wizardry with Green Bay sent every other NFL team Packing. And let every radio host forget Favre.

2011. Tim Tebow. Name one other Bronco. Thank you. Denver is so close to a Mile High because of the Florida lefty. Every week he runs and guns the orange and blue to nut-cuttin triumphs. Like on Dec. 4 in Minnesota. As I sat at the sports book in Primm Valley, between L.A. and Vegas, multiple screens offered NFL games. I felt myself glued to one quarterback: Tebow. His direction past the Vikings was worth the hypnotism.

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mike Napoli, David Freese, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, the unbeaten Green Bay Packers


That's exactly what Los Angeles Angel loyalists were screaming while watching the World Series.

And they didn't need Halloween to scare them into that rage.

All they had to see was Mike Napoli in his Texas Ranger costume. The same Napoli who slugged and squatted as a rock of an L.A. catcher for five stout seasons starting in 2006.

Why the Angels let the Italian Ignition go after three straight years of at least 20 homers is harrowing to Orange Countiers batty over baseball. Then to see him land in hated Texas, carrying the Rangers thisclose to their first title?

It's simply all trick and no treat.

Missouri's party. 'Twas terrific enough that my Tigers hoed A&M on Saturday.

How about Mizzou's David Freese the night before? The frat boy battered another Texas version, those Rangers, in Game 7 of the World Series. He won it for his hometown St. Louis Cardinals and collected the Series MVP trophy.

And did anyone else notice Deep Freese is the spitting' image of Wayne Gretzky?

Star power. Tim Tebow just has it. Which is why he fills TV and radio sports shows.

A winner. Great looking. Cool communicator. Tebow has the package. His latest exclamation point came in Miami, where he quarterbacked the Denver Broncos to that miraculous comeback.

Another Heisman quarterback with a national championship is Cam Newton. Talk about the face of the NFL. Gotta be the handsomest dude in the arena.

When he has the Carolina Panthers on the upswing along with Denver, it'll be Cam-Tim Time something fierce.

Who else has it? Manny Pacquiao for sure. He embodies boxing.

Kobe Bryant. Champion on the basketball court. Plus all style and syntax.

LeBron James. A magnet for cheers and jeers. Hasn't won a thing, but draws interest like no one else in sports.

Sidney Crosby. The only hockey player regular fans can pronounce.

Alex Rodriguez. Won that elusive crown in 2009. Throw in his muscular numbers and sexing dates, and he lives up to his A Rod title.

Derek Jeter. Another Yankee, only this one with five titles and cleats on the ground. Really the biggest hero of the current crop.

Among former athletes? Muhammad Ali, Joe Namath, Mike Tyson, Reggie Jackson, Pete Rose, O.J. Simpson.

They're Packin'. Seven down, 12 to go. That's the map as the Green Bay Packers roll toward a perfect season.

They sweep those last dozen, and they’re the first undefeated champions since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Can Green Bay do it? You bet. Look at its schedule. Filled with Bears, Lions, Vikings and other ne’er-do-wells: Chiefs, Raiders, Bucs.

The only ambush could come at Diego on Nov. 6.

I say they do it. The 19-0 Packers of 2011. Nice ring.

Then again. If the Packers take an 18-0 record into the Super Bowl, they'll try to avoid the crackup of four years ago. You might recall the New England Patriots took that haughty mark into the NFL final, only to cash against the New York Giants.

Who would be waiting to ruin Green Bay's sweep? Maybe the Pittsburgh Steelers. They're the same AFC bunch that gave the Pack a run for the Bowl money last winter.

Will Pittsburgh double up this time — avenging last season's loss and ruining Green Bay's golden day?

One Steeler zealot yells yes. His name is Derrick Jones, the biggest black-and-gold backer in California. He's also my old Boy Scout buddy, and when he says Scout's honor his boys will win it all, I gotta honor that.

Plus, he was planning to have me over for the Steeler-Pat game. Plenty of reason to root for Derrick's home team.

From Newton to Newt. That's Newt Gingrich, who makes up for his nonathletic look with champion discourse. The man can hit points like Kobe at the buzzer.

Because of that brilliance, I'm pulling for Newt this election season. As vice president.

Why not prez? The answer hit me the other night while watching him speak in Iowa. He's too serious. Call him the Pouty Professor. He delivers his message with all the joy of Mudville after Casey's strikeout.

For all the details we want our president to retain, we also demand zest. Think Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan. They gave 'em hell. Newt gives us, well, paragraphs without bold and ital. 

Rather Herman Cain for the top spot. He raises Cain like the Herminator he is. With a laugh.

And he's right on the issues. Like fellow Georgian Gingrich.

Cain-Newt. Now that's a championship ticket.

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Barack's Blame Game: From Bush To Lincoln To Washington

With Barack blaming Bush for everything — joblessness, hopelessness, Loch Ness — we're here to help.

Word to the Red House: W wasn't the only prez leaving a mess for our saintly Obummer. Let's run down the crises and culprits.

Teen pregnancy? All Zipper Clinton's fault.

High cholesterol? Blame Bush Sr. and his pork rinds.

50% divorce rate? You know, Reagan was the first to split — way before he met Nancy.

We're soft? Carter started it in his cardigan.

We're tripping? Watch Ford clips.

No draft? Nail Nixon for his all-volunteer force.

Pet mistreatment? LBJ should never have yanked his beagle up by the ears.

Can't befriend Cuba? JFK could've talked sweet to Castro.

Highways full of potholes? Ike should've built 'em better.

Foul language in the discourse? Rewind to Give 'Em Hell Harry.

Pinko Cabinet can't right the economy? Hey, just following the FDR model.

Stock market not cooperating? You should've seen Hoover.

Cool approach not working? Simply in step with Coolidge.

Solyndra about to boil over? Nothing like Harding's Teapot Dome.

Taxes too high? Wilson started it.

Americans too fat? Trash Taft.

America a bully? That's all on TR's pulpit and big stick.

Quick wars a pain? Remember McKinley and the Maine.

Campaigning a chronic annoyance? Cleveland won, lost, won. Talk about a broken record.

Zero feats if commiecare and dudd-frank die? So what did Ben Harrison do?

Too many scams? Nothing like Chester Arthur, who wanted to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.

Waste in civil service? James Garfield paid the highest price in that arena.

Southern states not into lefty? Hayes had to cause that.

Righty expected more experience? U.S. Grant set too high a standard.

Congress a drag? Exactly; look how it nearly booted Andrew Johnson.

Housing teetering? Thank Lincoln and his Homestead Act.

Presidential rating lousy? Can't undercut James Buchanan.

Democrats thinking of nominating someone else? Franklin Pierce set that low standard.

People won't remember this administration? Do you recall Millard Fillmore? Didn't think so.

Mexico still bummed we took its land? All goes back to Zachary Taylor.

California a debt-full anchor ? James Polk should never have conquered it.

Overpopulation scary? Check out John Tyler and his 15 children.

One term and done? At least that's more than William Henry Harrison's one month.

Won't drill enough for our oil? What, and Martin Van Buren did?

Down on the Fed? We could always return to Andy Jackson's bank paranoia.

Not into Hussein as a middle name? Sure beats Quincy.

Western Hemisphere centric? Put that one on Monroe.

Oval Office feeling the heat? Nothing like Madison and his burning mansion.

Hurricanes in the Gulf? Slam Jefferson for buying the whole territory.

Too many lawyers around here? John Adams set the trend.

Too much of this America First stuff? Can't live up to George Washington, first in everything.

There you have it. Forty-plus reasons to lay off Prez 44.

If these don't convince you, his beloved White Sux have a managing opening just waiting for Oblamer right now.

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fun Stuff Comes In Threes

Thoughts of trios while waiting to tutor my favorite Kuwaiti student.

Top helmets: Mizzou, Jets, Colts.

Snappiest baseball cap logos: Mets' NY, Nats’ W, Giants' SF.

Sharpest NBA uniforms: Warriors, Knicks, Sixers — all circa 1968.

DVR magnets: "Suits," "Fairly Legal," "White Collar."

Screen dudes: Sean Connery in "Dr. No," Robert De Niro in "Ronin," Gabriel Macht in "Suits."

Sexiest TV hosts: Julie Banderas of Fox News, Andrea Tantaros of Fox News, Kimberly Guilfoyle of Fox News. Think I like my namesake network?

Automatic reads: Ann Coulter, Charles Krauthammer, Lee Child.

Leaders with pop: Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich.

Best chance to beat obummer: Palin, Cain, Mitt Romney.

Cars I’d love to buy right now: Aston Martin, Tesla, Maserati.

On the way to watching 50 times: "From Russia With Love," "The Family Man," "The Bourne Supermacy."

Before I die: Iran comes to its senses, Korea unites, we recognize Cuba.

Hottest politicians: Palin, Kristi Noem, Michele Bachmann.

Dem faces: Bev Perdue, Janet Napolitano, Deb Schultz.

Days I treasure: boating to Corregidor, sailing in Miami, marrying my lovely Filipino wife, Maria, in the Catholic Church.

White lefty cares nothing about: deficits, border security, Christianity.

Delish: lasagna, filet mignon, picadillo.

Turn ’em up: the Beatles, Doors, Zeppelin.

Tune out: Sting, the Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Top TV channels: Fox News, USA, HGTV.

Far-out feats: Michael Phelps’ eight golds, Steffi Graf’s Golden Slam, UCLA’s 88-game winning streak.

Break up: ESPNESPNESPN. Enough with the monopoly.

YouTube bookmarks: George Harrison's "What Is Life," Erroll Garner's "The Man I Love," Peter Nero’s "It’s Alright With Me."

Who watches: MSNBC, CBS News, PBS.

Cities calling me: Heidelberg, Paris, London.

Greatest Americans in my lifetime: Eisenhower, MacArthur, Neil Armstrong.

Tech that works: iPhone, iPad, DVR.

Actresses who have it: Meghan Markle of "Suits," Sarah Shahi of "Fairly Legal,"  Piper Perabo of "Covert Affairs."

I could listen for hours: Gingrich, Pat Buchanan, Jedediah Bila of The Daily Caller.

Top structures: Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg's Old Bridge, Heidelberg's Red Ox.

Dialed in: Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham.

Studs: Manny Pacquiao, Aaron Rodgers, Kobe.

Electric events: heavyweight title fight, Olympic track 400-meter relay, Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

Movie villains to vilify: the Joker in "The Dark Knight," Oddjob in "Goldfinger," the scum Hans Landa in "Inglourious Basterds."

Books atop the stack: "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar" by Simon Montefiore, “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” by John le Carre, “Before the Fall” by William Safire.

If I had an iPod: Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone," Tom Petty's "Free Falling," the Doors’ "L.A. Woman."

Super screen lines: James Bond: “That's a Smith & Wesson, and you've had your six.” T.E. Lawrence: “No prisoners!” Charlie Harper: “My weirdness bar for chicks is pretty high, but you are clearing it in street shoes.”

My zippiest interviewees: Pete Rose, coach George Allen, Roger Goodell years before he was NFL commish.

Speeches for the ages: Nixon’s 1968 nomination acceptance, W after 9/11 at the National Cathedral, Reagan's Pointe du Hoc classic in 1984.

People I miss on radio: Tammy Bruce, who only podcasts; Lisa Ann Walter, whose weekend gig on KFI in Los Angeles is tough to catch; Larry Elder, who's back on KABC in L.A., but during work hours.

Love: jogging, tennis, the library.

And the library is where I'm heading to tutor that Kuwaiti Kid.

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mizzou, Chris Christie, Jets, Newt, Palin

You’ve never heard of Henry Josey. If you know that surname at all, it’s from “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” the 1976 Clint Eastwood classic.

Time for a remake: The Tiger Henry Josey. Wearing cleats for spurs, he galloped 263 yards Saturday in Missouri’s mashing of Western Illinois. In one half. No wonder he sat out the last 30 minutes. My Tigers were on the way to a 69-0 rout. And up next is No. 1 Oklahoma. In Norman.

Saddle up again, Josey. Only this time we'll need you for all four quarters. Hope you have another Wales of a game.

Big Jersey Boy. Chris Christie better run. Not for president. For his health. If he keeps gaining weight, he'll gain a new name: Chris Crisco.

Did you see him this summer beside obummer overseeing the New Jersey flooding? The governor looked like an inner tube against the President's Council on Physical Fitness.

Right there, Christie would get punctured in a medical debate. Imagine him taking the wise stand and stressing personal responsibility: "Lose the pounds, America. Quit sowing out and start jogging — right past the hospital." If the Jersey boss made that case, he'd sound like a fat stand-up.

So no, 2012 is out for Christie's presidential ambitions. Get fit first. Then fight in 2016 — if lefty's still in the red house.

Dang Green.
The Jets have that winning color: 2-0 and cruising toward what could be their first Super Bowl triumph in 43 seasons. Mark Sanchez does look like the Sanchize. Only here's the problem for us Jet ments. No matter how strong his arm is, he still stands 6-2. That made him a twerp against the towering Steel Curtain in last January's AFC final. As long as defensive linemen resemble Wilt the Stilt, our New York boys are facing a slam dunk at crunch time.

Code Green. Here we go again with darts at Sarah Palin's intellect. Now even Ann Coulter — the coolest columnist on the planet — has to join the lazy crowd laughing at Palin's brain. Yes, too bad the governor doesn't sink to the brilliance of pinkos swindled by weather justice — to the tune of half a billion tax dollars in the Solyndra scandal. Ride above it all, Sarah, right into the White House in January 2013.

MVM. That's Most Valuable Man for Kirk Gibson. He's the only dude in an Arizona Diamondback uniform you recognize. And he's the manager. The players? Faceless. All he's done is lead them to the brink of the National League West title. Everyone figured the San Francisco Giants would ride herd in the West like they did on way to last year's world championship. Only Gibson is whipping his Backs to the playoffs instead. Kirk has that clutch fiber, as he showed something fierce in the 1984 and 1988 World Series.

Wake up. The sharpest presidential candidate in the race right now? Newt Gingrich. The man soars with sagacity. While the other Republicans waste time in the debates grumbling among themselves, Gingrich presses the crucial point — beat Obama — in presidential prose. Newt probably can't overcome Clinton's 1995 demonization of him. But if Palin or Romney deftly puts Gingrich on the ticket, you can only imagine how Newt would handle Joe Biden in the veep debate. As Pat Buchanan put in when pondering a one-on-one against Dan Quayle, it would be child abuse.

Click. The best TV show in 2011? "Suits." The USA lawyer drama rocks with Gabriel Macht, Patrick Adams and the marvy Meghan Markle. Just maddening that it won't return till next summer.

Darn that W. George Bush must be a winning issue for obummer. Hence the 44th prez's stuck needle in W's record. Unemployment is a replay of 1938? Blame Bush. We can't finish off the Taliban? Bush's fault. The White Sox suck? Damn that Ranger fan.

Since that tack works so well, obummer should go back longer. Preteen sex is rampant? Slam Clinton. Highways are rotting? Implicate Ike. Obesity out of hand? Trash Taft. Hurricanes in the Gulf? Hit Jefferson.

See how easy that is? The buck simply bypasses this Oval Office.

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tot Mom Means Dead Mom

Here's what the Disney Jury did last week: legalized murder.

Didn't matter that Casey The Bat killed her precious tot, Caylee.

Which, when you see madmom's celebrating the death for a month, really was a delayed abortion.

No, didn't matter at all. Because the juvenile jurors bought Joan Baez's song and dance and wouldn't send tot mom — Nancy Grace's winner of a moniker — to the gallows.

You know what tot means in German (as my sharp sister Debbie reminds me)? Dead.

That's what Caylee — who would be 5 if her scum mom hadn't suffocated her in 2008 — is.

That's what her madmom should be.

Except in our fantasy court system, she isn't. She's out of jail this week.

The brain-dead ruling is so depressing, you wonder why we even have the Sixth Commandment.

Or why madmom had the baby at all. Kill her before the birth, call it abortion and enjoy the Florida sun.

Regardless, madmom is getting away with the murder of the century.

As for Baez and his Team Lie, I have a terrific surrogate mother for your kids: Casey The Bat.

Tell it like it is. Let's quit this pretense of choice vs. life. It's pro abortion vs. anti-abortion. Period.

Can't we face the literal? Evidently no, if you listen to people debate this issue.

Another tiresome matter. If lez is so hot to call a partner a wife, do it. Quit waiting for mommy government to stamp its approval.

Marriage shouldn't rely on some bureaucrat's OK. If a dude wants to make another hairy bear his lifelong link, call him husband and leave me alone.

A bummer. Wake up, Republicans. Avoid meeting with the red house. All it can lead to are jacked taxes and spending. Want to bludgeon this budget? Refuse a ceiling hike. So when obummer calls, don't answer.

Obomber. My new name for the generals' boss. Amazing how he's qilling qaida with a fury. Kudos to the Nobel War Prize champ.

Who's the dope? Anyone who buys into this medical marijuana line. Medical my ass. Both are full of crap. Tokers are so obsessed with legalizing dope, they'll blow however much smoke it takes to brainwash us. "Marijuana turns you off? How about the medical variety?"

Let's see through the fog. Smoke a joint to make you feel good. Smoke a joint to make you well. If you can cut the difference, you're my PR man.

I'm all for legalizing drugs. Let's just take a deep breath and exhale the truth.

On a light conclusion. Suits. The best show on TV. Stars Gabriel Macht and Patrick Adams playing lawyers you cheer. What a concept.

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The P's: Pacquiao, Pawlenty, Palin

Free at last.

Another master's semester at Cal State Fullerton, another three months of TV fasting.

Now with the books finally gone and the 52-inch flat screen back on — where the hell are the Lakers?

They did what in the playoffs? Lost to whom?

You telling me L.A. blew a shot at Phil's fourth threepeat, Kobe's Jordan-tying sixth title? To Dallost? The same Mats on whom the Lakers wiped their Nikes the past five years?

Does any tradition live? Well, yes. My DVR caught enough of it.

The knockout. Don't say it didn't come in the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley bout. I mean, did you see her ringside? Check the photo above. That's Bella Gonzalez, Sugar Shane's sweet girlfriend. Talk about aptly named. Bella, beautiful. She's so hot, she makes Kobe's bride — Vanessa, the previous scorch queen — look like Rocky Road.

No wonder Mosley revved in reverse all night. No way he was going down for the count and risking losing Bella.

OK, so no official KO at the MGM. PacMan simply pounded Mosley to a pulp fiction. The Pomona Pretender took such a beating, his brown mug turned red.

Mitch the Pitch. Best line of the baseball season, and it's only May: "Anything going this far oughta have a flight attendant on it." So said Mitch Williams in marvel of a Mike Stanton homer for the Florida Marlins. Such Wild Thing comments make MLB Network worth a nightly watch.

Good 'N' Pawlenty. As debates went, the GOP session in South Carolina last month had all the tension of arts and crafts at the library. Still, Herman Cain nailed the one-liners, hooking viewers. And Rick Santorum gattling-gunned us awake.

For heft, give me Tim Pawlenty. He has the stature — 6 feet 3 — and issue grasp to make for a solid standard-bearer. And thank God he said sorry for his cap-and-tax brainwashing way back when. Without that mea culpa, he was global meltdown.

Think. If McCain had picked him for veep in '08 — and he was thisclose to doing that — Pawlenty would be a nationhold name. As it is, Minnesota knows him after eight years as governor. And not many others. I asked a college conservative about him recently and drew a blank face.

Then again, Iowans have to know him. That could be Pawlenty enough.

All in for Palin. What makes Sarah even more appealing than Pawlenty is the heat. I'm fired up over her energy — especially during her drill on oil independence.

She said the other night, "I have that fire in my belly." You can only imagine the comedy routines: "I'd like to give her some fire in the belly." Can't avoid that. Sarah's simply sizzling.

And what the heck. Obummer's gonna win anway, so let's have a ball of a campaign. With Palin-Bachmann in overdrive, we're looking at a helluva '12.

Book it. The neatest mystery author bar none? Lawrence Block. His Keller assassin novels hit the bull's-eye.

Not to jinx them. But have you noticed my Mets? Didn't think so. Crept up to .500 from baseball's dead-last abyss. And with players you wouldn't know if they walked through the door: Ike Davis, Justin Turner, Josh Thole.

Not Agee. A Gee. He's Dillon Gee, to be exact. The Met righty upped his record to 3-0 by swatting the Nats the other day.

Harkens back to a similar name Tommie Agee, who caught everything in center field while the Mets grabbed the 1969 championship.

Speaking of good times. Just heard that my sweet, brilliant sister Deb doesn't have cancer after a doctor-visiting scare. Yes!

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Michele Bachmann In Overdrive

Michele Bachmann. With one l. And two n's. Spell her right, because she's right on the issues   so much so, we're looking at a President Bachmann on Jan. 20, 2013. Hope she remembers me after her swearing-in. We met a couple of years ago at my newspaper's office, and I've been swooning since.

The Mess. You might know them as the Mets, short for Metropolitans, New York's National League baseball contingent. Once we called them the Amazins, although the only amazing feat with 2011's version was first place in the first week. Sad to say, my faves are headed for last place in the last week.

Libya. Bet you never thought we'd relive the Marines' Hymn's coolest line  "To the shores of Tripoli." Let's hope this Obama War Prize entry doesn't so escalate. After these ment Muslim massacres in Afghanistan all over a burned book let's go the Pat Buchanan route: Get out.

Buttler. Yes, add that t to the Indiana college. It was all behind in the title-game loss for a basketball team that shot like the Dogs they are. And too bad. America had to be rooting for this little university to school the Huskies of UConns.

Run, fat folks, run. That's exactly my solution to America's fake medical problem. Here's another one: Quit that fifth trip to the buffet trough. The only presidential contender who had the guts to share such truth was Mike Huckabee a couple of years ago. He's bulked up since, so never mind.

Lakers land. Right on their third straight bull's-eye. This time they'll do it by beating the Chicago Bulls. And what a way for Phil Jackson to end the greatest coaching run in history. Six championships with the Bulls, six with the Lakers with a farewell shot vs. his old team in the NBA Finals.

Walker, Wisconsin Ranger. When the Republicans run the table in 2012 cashing in with the House, Senate and White House they'll thank the governor who stood tall in the Wisconsin winter of 2011: Scott Walker. His face-off with unions woke Americans to the budget-busting scam: jack taxes so government employees could rake in triple the salaries and benefits of civilian workers. What's really stunning is these labor-group goons haven't gunned down the Ranger.

Better make other plans. Because the NFL and NBA will sit out next season. Guaranteed. Whenever leagues bog down in labor strife, no Hail Mary, no half-court bucket can win it for the fans. For reference, check 1981, 1982, 1987, 1994, 1998, 2004.

Happy days. We're in the middle of them. For all our grousing, come on. This is the greatest country, and we should constantly celebrate that. Just got into a terrific book "Young Stalin" by Simon Montefiore, and the grime and crime that stuck to the future Soviet slaughterer should wake any American to this reality: We have it good, baby.

Bucky Fox is an editor and author in Southern California.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sex And The Sound Of Music

When did the 1965 Best Picture Oscar champ turn up The Sound of Sex? Right after intermission in the gazebo.

Julie Andrews’ Maria, a millimeter from Christopher Plummer’s Georg: “The Reverend Mother always says: 'When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.' "

At this point of near kissing, the only thing Georg wants to open is the back of Maria’s flimsy dress.

So he says with a smirk: “What else does the Reverend Mother say?”

Welcome to the salty side, exactly what Plummer demanded upon taking the Capt. von Trapp role. The Canadian wasn’t about to sing through a saccharin script, so Ernie Lehman pulled back on the spoonful of sugar, not to mention the crisp apple strudels.

Lehman was probably the most valuable contributor to the smash musical whom nobody remembers. We know all about Andrews, Plummer and Rodgers & Hammerstein, the duo who wrote the classics: My Favorite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Edelweis, Sixteen Going on Seventeen. And my favorite, The Lonely Goatherd, which my niece Kristina Dazo sings with merry zest.

Lehman? He wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 film North by Northwest. Half a decade later he further proved his brilliance by adding such edge to this love story amid the Alps.

Watch The Sound of Music for the 50th time, and you hear that the thrills are alive. Georg wants to take Maria right there in the hut. Maria, breathy and eye-rolling, wouldn’t resist if the cameras were turned off. So all that tension is worth the price of the DVD – until the Nazis take the fun off the screen. Thanks to Lehman’s lines, Maria and Georg do the love dance. Even when they seem to be sparring. And it’s funny stuff.

Maria: “When we enter the abbey, our worldly clothes go to the poor.”

Georg, inspecting her outfit fit for the anschluss: “What about this one?”

Maria: “The poor didn't want it.”

Moments later, they’re at it again at the dinner table.

Georg: “You intend leading us through this rare and wonderful new world . . . of indigestion?”

Georg again, whistling Maria into marching his way: “Is it also possible you remember the first rule in this house is discipline? Then I trust that before I return . . . you'll have acquired some?”

Really, Georg is the one who needs a whuppin, and Maria delivers.

Maria: “You've got to hear! You're never home!”

Georg: “I don't want to hear more!”

Maria: “I know you don't, but you've got to!”

And he does. As Maria muscles in, Georg weakens.

Maria: “If I could be of any help.”

Georg: “You have already. More than you know.”

They’re not the only ones who feel the heat. Also in the mix is Liesl, the captain’s ripe teen. When Dad pretends he doesn’t know his kids tried to rope Maria back into the fold, the daughter says, “Where do you think we were, Father?” The kid is plugged in.

As is Maria. She might be a nun candidate, but she’s also a fine babe — with a rich, castle-dwelling Georg (in the drop-dead-gorgeous shape of Plummer) in her sights.

If there’s any doubt, a steely-eyed Maria sheds it in this exchange:

Georg: “You are back to stay?”

Maria: “Only until arrangements can be made for another governess.”

Like hell. She’s just hours from steamrolling the competition, Baroness Schraeder, and feels it.

When Maria’s back in the abbey, it’s as a shuffling bride. No black outfit and stuck behind the gate — safe from prying priests — for her. It’s all white as she aims for the knight shining at the altar.

And no listening to the head nun on this night.

Bucky Fox is an author of baseball books and an editor in Southern California.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jets Devour The Brady Brunch

Something about New York puts the old before England, the y after Pats.

The Giants had that thing. Erased the un from unbeaten Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl.

The Jets have it right now. Mugged old England Sunday. And are on a flight pattern to Pittsburgh, then Dallas for the Feb. 6 Super Bowl.

I saw it coming. Got up Sunday with an awakening: The Jets are helmet and shoulder pads above Belichick's bunch.

Braylon Edwards. Santonio Holmes. Those are stratospheric receivers. Who catches for the Patsies? Crumpler, Gronkowski, Hernandez. Please.

We were brainwashed into idolizing old England because of three NFL titles in the first half of the 2000s. And Jet fans were led to fear the Belichicks after that 45-3 bombing 24 hours before Pearl Harbor Day.

Good for Rex Ryan that he told all to get a grip. He said the Jets had the talent to win in Foxsorrow. They had more: a superior roster. Mark Sanchez wasn't about to pass that up.

Pete Carroll didn't roll after all. I thought he would after Seattle's Saint slapping. Then came Chicago's wizard-ending blizzard. Carroll looked stone-cold out of his league.

As you recall, that's what the coach told Sanchez he would face if he left Southern Cal after his 2008 junior season. The QB simply took his cue and headed for millions. Now he's in a second straight AFC title match. And Carroll's in an off-season.

All it took was shedding those baby blues. As soon as LaDainian Tomlinson donned Jet green, he turned into a winner. No more sulking on Diego's bench during another playoff meltdown. Dude is rushing, catching and scoring like he knows what time it is: clutch.

Speaking of green. Amazing the Jets won with green pants Sunday. Always seemed like it took all whites to scrub the best into them. Like in Miami in January 1969. All whites all the way in the Super Bowl. Shocked the Baltimore Colts, thanks to a delta force D and Joe Namath. Now D and Sanchise spell title No. 2.

As for the Bowl. The Jets will have matching Supe colors in the form of Green Bay. Brother, did the Packers flex their stuff Saturday in Atlanta. Aaron Rodgers showed exactly why they were dying to see Brett Favre go in 2008. With Rodgers' receivers and that secondary, Bay is a beast.

The Brady hunch. You see teetering Tom and Jolly Rodgers, and the NFL horizon is clear. Your quarterback better move it or he's done.

Brady's stock sank vs. the Jet strafing. Much more of that, and he'll make way for the son of my old high school pal Axel Hoyer: Brian Hoyer.

I had Brady fifth on the all-time QB lists, but he's slipped to sixth behind John Elway. The guys on top are Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, Bart Starr and Terry Bradshaw.

Then there's Ben Roethlisberger. He could pass Brady if the Steelers win a third title under him. Will Big Ben pull that off this season? No.

The call. My Steeler zealot buddy Derrick Jones says his beloved will win 31-17 Sunday. Gotta break it to Derrick and the rest of Steeler Support.

With Rex Ryan calling the shots and cheering with his boys in the end zone after a limp that Deion Sanders hilariously imitates on NFL Network, the Jets win 24-21.

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California who runs