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:

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