Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cheers For 49ers' Harbaugh; Jeers For Jets' Ryan, Steelers' Tomlin

Cheer: Jim Harbaugh. Not into his pomposity. But the coach of the San Francisco 49ers sure can make the tough call. He could easily have stuck with Alex Smith. The quarterback shot the Niners so close to an NFL title last season. And had them rushing to one this fall. Yet Harbaugh benched him in favor of Colin Kaepernick. Hard enough to spell the Dutch name. But to spell a former No. 1 draft choice and leave your prospects to a near rookie? Takes balls. Footballs. Also takes brains. Harbaugh is right. The Flying Dutchman is exactly what Frisco needs to zip past the Giants, Falcons and Pats to the championship. Will be the Niners’ first since the 1994 season. All because the coach went callin’ on Colin.

Jeer: Coaches who lack the Harbaugh backbone. Namely Rex Ryan, who wrecks the Jets. And Mike Tomlin, who’s been out of it with the Steelers. Ryan sticks with Mark Sanchez. That’s the safe nonmove. Sanchez shot Ryan to two straight conference title games, so the coach sticks with him at quarterback. While the Jets dive toward the Hudson. Would take Ryan’s considerable gut to eject Off The Mark and put Tim Tebow in the pilot’s seat. Rex evidently listens to Tebow naysayers wallowing in his style rather than his stellar record and feels frozen. Ryan simply can’t shift. Until he’s pushed out the door at season’s end.

As for Tomlin, he sees Ben Roethlisberger go down and shoehorns in Charlie Batch. This was the safe decision. Batch had won a few for Pittsburgh. But he’s old. Played in Detroit so long ago, probably replaced Bobby Lane. Harbaugh would’ve pulled the trigger with Brian Hoyer, the young gun who backed up Tom Brady in New England the past three years. Better yet, he’s the son of Ed Hoyer, a buddy of mine from our Heidelberg High School days in the 1970s. Tomlin is no Harbaugh. Went with Batch. And lost against lowly Cleveland. Time for some Steel in that back, Mike.

Cheer: The Knicks. This is my old flame, back when they lit up in the NBA in the early 1970s. They even kept me warm during a Boy Scout camporee in Germany while winning their first world trophy. Because of the time difference, I stayed up till dawn in my pup tent yelling for Clyde Frazier and Dick Barnett to beat the Lakers. Ultimately they did, in seven games. Now they’re back, in the thick of NBA Eastern Conference contention.

Jeer: The Knicks. For letting Jeremy Lin go. His exciting brand of basketball was THE reason I watched New York do in Dallas last season. These days the guard plays in Houston. The NBA had a sweet star in the Big Apple. Now he’s gone to Texas, as the old book title went. David Stern, the commish whose name means Star, should’ve shone during the summer and kept Lin in Madison Square Garden. As it is, Lin’s a Rocket man lost on the regular fan. 

Cheer: The Mets’ cap logo. The same NY design as that of baseball's old New York Giants. Now if only my team could win like today’s Giants, who wear their orange and black in San Francisco while reigning as champions for the second time in three years. The Mets stole half the Giant hue, orange, and half that of the Dodgers, blue, when they filled New York’s National League void in 1962. Yet the Mets couldn’t duplicate the winning of the Giants and Dodgers, who after moving to the West Coast tied atop the NL 50 years ago. The Mets still can’t keep pace, finishing 24 games out of first this year. At least they look good with their hat, which I loyally wear every day.

Jeer: Altered uniforms in the National Football League. Especially the Steeler ones. You catch the striped, prison garb of a few weeks ago? More asinine than the pink shoes every team wears in October. Bring back Johnny Unitas, black hightops, horseshoe on the helmet, done. Thing of beauty.

Cheer: Fight songs that nobody knows, namely those of the Universities of Illinois and Maryland.

Jeer: Pedestrian college tunes that run ad nauseam only because Texas and Southern Cal win on the football field.  

Cheer: TV theme songs that rock. Particularly for the NFL on Fox, college basketball on ESPN, pro hoops on ABC. Too bad the NBA left NBC, home of the hoppingest number of all time.

Jeer: The CBS ditty for pro football. Doesn't have it.

Cheer: Johnny Football. The coolest nickname in sports since White Shoes for old Houston Oiler receiver Billy Johnson. As for this Texas A&M quarterback, this is all anyone calls Johnny Manziel, especially since he pronounces his surname all wrong: Manzell. This week when college football passes America’s top trophy his way, he can go by Johnny Heisman.

Jeer: Fake names. They’re Ron Artest and Chad Johnson. Cut the clown tags. Metta What? Cinco Who? Play ball, not gall.

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

America Sprints With Walker On ObamaTax And Spending

Walker, Wisconsin Ranger. 

America's hero rides with the win.

First he hangs up on lefty's recall.

Now he's telling ObamaTax (a cool tag originated by whiz Jessica Chasmar) to stick it after the Supreme Court took the Marxist medical pill.

No way his state is going to sick bay as the Dems throw up the biggest levy in history.

Scott Walker knows the right way. The governor galloped against union robbery, and the country rallied behind his alarm.

Now the jig's up. Citizens know exactly where their taxes go — to government pensions — and are starting to stop this nauseous spending. 

Natch, this sanity appeals only to conservatives. 

Liberals hate it. Spending for them is like a cruise buffet. Constant gorging. Try to stop it, and a big, fat riot ensues. 

Hence the Wisconsin eruption when Walker said: Government  employees should contribute some to their retirement.

In other words: Enow felicity.

For that radical proposition, the goons for greed went ment.

And did what they're expert at — shovel millions down a rat hole — while trying to fire the governor.

So what's lefty left with? Ad hominem, no doubt. Walker is an idiot. Righty is on a union witch hunt (we can only wish). Romney's army is deaf to the common man.

It's all SOP — standard operating procedure.

Liberals are nothing if not masochistic. Even pinkos at private firms vote to pay higher taxes so gov types can haul in $150,000 a year in salary and benefits.

Other liberal laughers:

1. Liberals hate themselves so much, they don't want to call themselves that. They prefer progressives, even with regressive ideas.

2. They're not pro abortion. They're pro choice, but God forbid if your choice is to cut gov funding for Planned Parentless.

3. They don't call 'em bisexual. Their term is transgender.

4. It's not spending. It's investing.

5. Terrorists? Never. They're militants.

6. The Muslim massacre of 9/11? Hardly. 'Twas a nondenominational event.

7.  American exceptionalism? Too embarrassing to express.

8. Don't dare say Indians. They're Native Americans, as opposed to every other American born here.

9. They love to say give back, as if society provided those riches in the first place. News:  Philanthropists don't give back. They give.

10. They don't blame Obummer's socialism for FDR Depression II. With them, the buck stops at Bush.

They're here all week. 

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Oh Bummer In Obama

ObamaCare could get whacked by the gavel this week.

As if that jars Obummer.

He'll simply ignore the court ruling.

Just like he dismissed Congress by hitting America with Obamnesty.

Law and order? More like flaw and border.

If you're bound to vote Democrat, don't bother recrossing to Mexico. Even if you're an illegal alien or something from "Aliens."

Hand it to Obummer. He led with his gut, not his behind.

You know he hungers to crash open our Southern flank.

Just like he yearns to ditch traditional marriage.

And choke industry through his fellow zealots at the EPA: Every Pinko Apply.

With this dictate, the Red House made Congress forceless.

So? That's what Barry wants with all his transformations. Ignore the pesky Constitution with his Dem Dozen:

1. Strip America's boundary. Obummer ticket to young illegals is still too confining. What of the 6 billion other people seeking U.S. entry? Let 'em all in.

2. Knock knock. With such a packed country, what to do about housing? Home owners, open your doors. Plenty of room in there for the huddled masses.

3. Campus rush. College too expensive? Not anymore. Free tuition, a gift of the taxpayer.

4. Free grub. Food stamps aren't doing the job. Time for food ramps  right into HomeTown Buffet. And don't charge admission.

5. Joyless ride. Memo to energy companies: Gas up all the cars with rocket-high bills for all those car clingers. And do it without drilling for oil.

6. Better red than shed. Jack the debt limit to $50 trillion. If that bleeds the printing presses, good.

7. This works. Now we have enough dough for 100% employment  in government jobs doing nothing at $150,000 per year.

8. Class drivefare. Can it be that some steer Mercedes while others are stuck with lousy Civics? Just isn't right. Time for a Benz in every garage.

9. Click. Evidently not everyone has a MacBook Pro. Easy to solve that. Give 'em out.

10. Cut the cherry tree crap. George Washington stood for too much America. Schools better get with the program. Namely Marx. Easy enough since that's what they're teaching now.

11. Turn out the lights. The party's over, South Korea. Not the Communist Party. With our troops out of there, better get used to the North.

12. Fold it. Enough of that arrogant "Star-Spangled Banner." Strike up the band with an anthem in keeping with our borderless land: "We Are the World."

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pacquiao Robbed By A Saturday Night Special

Pacman won the fight.


Only, the judges gave the belt to a guy so battered, he rolled out of the arena in a wheelchair.

Reminds me of the coolest headline in sports history: Harvard beats Yale 29-29.

As with that 1968 Crimson rush to a tie, Manny Pacquiao was so impressive Saturday night, only one result was possible: He won.


After Pacman pounded Tim Bradley through 12 rounds, the decision came in:

Judge 1 voted for Pacquiao. Duh.

Judge 2 voted for Bradley. OK, a numbnuts.

Judge 3 voted for Bradley.

The guy posing as a heavy bag all night had hit the jackpot at the MGM Grand.

The Pacman fight party that my Filipino wife and I joined did a massive imitation of "The Scream." Jaws dropped. Sound stopped.

Then came the TV outrage.

From Jim Lampley and his HBO team.

From Bob Arum, the Pacman promoter.

From Freddie Roach, the Pacman trainer.

From the fans flowing from the Vegas arena like bettors stung by the biggest robbery since Solyndra.

Even Bradley sounded stunned. Or at least like a realist, that he beat odds that only rollers at the craps table could appreciate.

Funny, only the man with the ugly goatee and snappy record   now down to 54-4-2 with this first setback in seven years   bobbed from the hysteria.

The lone thing that hurt him was his chin-straining smile. He knew he had turned the Californian's bald top into a bobble head.

He also knew this: A November rematch with the 29-0 Palm Springs muscleman has the weight of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

You can't buy this pub.

If Pacquiao had pulled the proper votes, the boxing world would be yawning like a wife in bed with her longstanding husband.

Now we're engaged.

Filipino TV spent half an hour whining about the bout this morning.

We did the same over BLTs at the breakfast table.

Then we finally awoke. November suddenly has more substance than Romney-Obama. Bring on Pacman-Bradley II.

This Shock on the Strip makes all sorts of sense. And a pile of cents.

Saturday's steal does bring back memories of other shaky decisions.

Sugar Ray Leonard over Marvelous Marvin Hagler, who dominated the 1987 fight.

Felix Trinidad over Oscar De La Hoya, who clobbered the Puerto Rican in 1999.

Any Olympic figure skating final in the Cold War, when communists won automatically.

All sure safer than a hot war. This is just sports, after all.

And we have six months to sweat another showdown: the Filipino Fist vs. Desert Storm.


Bucky Fox is an author and editor on Southern California.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

D-Day Through The Decades

June 6, 2012   68 years after D-Day, when a wave of heroes stormed Normandy on the way to nailing the Nazis. 

Among the American stars was Creighton Abrams, whose tanks rolled through France toward Germany years before he commanded the Vietnam drawdown. It's a story Scott Smith captures solidly for Investor's Business Daily and for which I had the honor to edit. 

Abrams was the kind of soldier President Reagan lauded in his "Boys of Pointe du Hoc" speech on D-Day's 40th anniversary. I watched in awe as Reagan delivered Peggy Noonan's line on that Hoc cliff after Secret Service agents cleared the Pointe for the president's chopper landing. They did it smoothly, even making Walter Cronkite traipse through airport machines. 

Twenty-eight years after that 1984 R-Day   Reagan Day    I recall it as one of the grandest of my life. It felt so special when I related it to my Dad, Charles Dickens Fox, himself a Bronze Star recipient from the WWII European front. He loved reliving history, as when we hit Bastogne, Belgium, ground zero of the Battle of the Bulge, and drove to Luxembourg's cemetery, the resting spot of Gen. George Patton, who died in Heidelberg so sadly after a paralyzing car crash just months beyond his Hitler-crushing triumph. 

So now D-Day 2012. This time the crisis is personal. My wife, Maria, is having heart surgery. I'm at the hospital awaiting good news. And thinking of good times. 
One of the finest involves another top soldier and great American: Bob Wicker (swinging above at his favorite venue, the golf course). 

Bob was my sports editor at Stars & Stripes in Germany in the 1980s and '90s. Before that he was a GI with the sweetest job of all time: S&S reporter in Paris. 
Now he lives near Reno, Nev., and I hope to see him in Vegas at a Stripes reunion in the fall. 

Bob is pillar. He was a rock of a newspaperman, solidified with creativity and integrity. Think NCIS' Gibbs with a laugh. Or new TV badass Longmire without a gun.
Now Bob is a semiretired husband (to a champion wife, Kathy) and father (to a titlist son, Thomas) whom all of his old sportswriters    Bob Dillier, Tim Boivin, Rob Staggenborg, Tom Saunders, Rusty Bryan, Klint Johnson, Ben Abrams   revere to this day. 

Cool thoughts on D-Day, which lives forever. And now that my wife is safely out of surgery, it's even more reason for me to celebrate.

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tim Tebow's Jets Set To Take Off

New York Jet fans should be on Cloud 15.

Tim Tebow has flown into town with that number on his jersey and another digit in his sights: 1.

By the time he parks his left, bulging arm behind center, he'll be quarterbacking the Jets to heights they haven't seen since January 1969.

That would be on top of the Super Bowl.


He might even do it in white cleats to go with the white duds and green trim of the Jets' greatest pilot, Joe Namath.

Did someone mention Mark Sanchez? Sure, he passed the Jets to AFC finals in his first two seasons. But that's as far as he's going.

You knew he reached his limit in that Steeler curtain call of January 2011. When Pittsburgh's pass blockers were done grounding Sanchez, the old Trojan made USC stand for under size child.

So he has the style that scouts, hence the talk-radio pack, hence brain-dead fans think is so crucial. Wow, he has the footwork that Tebow doesn't! As my word whiz sister Debbie says, if they want footwork, hire Fred Astaire.

No, I want a champion. So bring it on, Tebow. Back up Sanchez for a while and win at once, the way you did as a freshman at national champion Florida in 2006.

Then grip the team with the vigor of 2008 when you inspired the Gators to another national title.

What was that about the Steelers? Ah yes, the team Tebow trashed in this past season's NFL playoffs. This was no child facing Pittsburgh. This was a Denver Dude who rode the Broncos to victory.

And what of the Broncos? They gave up on 24-year-young Tebow to make way for 36-year-old Peyton Manning.

He of the four neck surgeries and multiple playoff chokes.

Looks like Denver landed the wrong Manning. Eli's two titles double his brother's.

As it is, Eli is the Giant of New York. But look out.

Tebow Time is coming.

Extra points:

Give it up: Republicans should back gay marriage. There. Said it. Tired of fighting this issue, even if I make total sense in saying government has no role in marriage and that if lez wants to get hitched, do it and quit waiting for a mommy gov pat on the head.

Meanwhile, gays are relentless on this matter. And as states vote to legalize guy-guy and gal-gal matrimony, the bandwagon is rolling. Better jump aboard.

If righty says I do, think of the positives.

1. A gang of gays could vote straight-ticket GOP. Makes sense. This is one rich constituency, thanks to no kids to shell out for. Gotta to be tired of tax-and-waste lefty and ready to rush to the Republican altar.

2. Trade the cost of more gov marriage certificates with the killing of two rat-role departments, Energy and Education. Win-win.

3. Finally we'd see an end to this boring marriage belligerence.

4. I could become a divorce lawyer and make a fortune.

Beatle mania:

Top 5 songs from the Fab Four that the "Yesterday"-brainwashed masses know nothing about:

"Hey Bulldog"

"I Don't Want to Spoil the Party"

"And Your Bird can Sing"

"Baby, You're a Rich Man"

"Mother Nature's Son"

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Super Bowl Recall: A Giant Of A Dad

My dad would be turning 100 on Feb. 4.

The name of my all-time hero was Charles Dickens Fox.

Terrific timing. Three days later, on Feb. 7, 2012, the author he was named after celebrates his 200th birthday.

Charles Dickens and Charles Dickens Fox. So the former wrote "A Christmas Carol" among his library of brilliance. But on the pedestal of my life, Charles D. Fox stands tallest. He was a fearless World War II and Korean War Army officer. He shone as a husband and father. And so what if he didn't produce "Great Expectations"; Dad wielded the cleverest fountain pen I ever saw in action.

Typical missives (his word) included:

Alas alack, anon and enow felicity from Shakespearean English.

Inconsistencies of opinion, due to a change of circumstance, are often justifiable, a variation of Daniel Webster's line.

Sydney, please draw my bath, from his WWII trans-Atlantic crossing.

Then there were Dad's names for me:

Buster, from Buster Brown.

Lefty, from Lefty Grove, joined the vernacular after finishing in the running for greatest righty pitcher in the Stars & Stripes baseball centennial poll in 1969.

Boy, because I was one.

Right this minute I'm watching highlights of the January 1972 Super Bowl, the one in which Dallas won its first title by manhandling Miami. And man, does that rewind our joy watching it together.

In those black-and-white days living in Germany, Americans had to find an Air Force base to catch big games on TV. So we traipsed (another Dad word) an hour north from Heidelberg to Frankfurt's Rhein-Main Air Base to see Tom Landry finally win the big one.

How we could've cheered together now. ESPN. NFL Network. MLB Network. The NBA all over the tube and Internet. Email. Texting. FaceTime.

Charlie Fox and I would be having a ball discoursing, especially now in the thick of Super Bowl week. Forty years after that Cowboy-Dolphin clash comes Giants-Pats. Dad was a New Yorker. He relished recalling the 1958 Greatest Game Ever Played, the one Johnny Unitas pulled out for the Baltimore Colts at Yankee Stadium.

Eleven years after that, Dad and I huddled near the radio as the Jets' Joe Namath returned football's crown to New York by stunning Unitas and the Colts.

Gotta believe that now Charlie Fox would be pulling for the Giants. He and I would be tackling the Eli-Brady rivalry, the parallels with the 2007 season, whether New York's D could pressure Brady the way it did in the Giants' upset four years ago.

I visualize us pulling for New York and wondering how the oddsmakers could make New England a three-point favorite.

Wish he'd be watching with me Sunday. Wish he were alive and not at Arlington National Cemetery, where we buried him in 1989.

As it is, old Heidelberg buddies Derrick and Warren Jones will be here for kickoff. We'll roar for the Giants and laugh up our growing-up days.

You can bet that a couple of times one name will bounce around the Bowl: Charles Dickens Fox.

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California: