I feel safe in stating that, at this juncture, every denizen of Bulldog Nation is a fan of Mark Fox. Whether you were a Georgia Bulldogs basketball booster in the first place or have become more enthusiastic in your support of the sport as a result of the Hoop Hounds’ recent success, you doubtless have discovered that there is a lot to like about Coach Fox. Since there is little sense in comparing him to past Georgia basketball coaches---that would be to damn him with faint praise, indeed---the only other way to evaluate him is, of course, to compare him to other Foxes.
It is time, therefore, to decide . . .
Explanations for each of the options in the attached poll follow after the jump.
Mark: He has revived, and revived interest in, Georgia basketball, and he has done so methodically and incrementally over the course of a season and a half through recruiting, coaching, and building a program for the long haul. It took time for Bulldog fans to warm up to this approach, as we had become accustomed to NCAA Tourney appearances being accompanied by NCAA sanctions and whole recruiting classes failing to qualify, successful runs being followed by head coaches bolting for the Bluegrass State, and inexplicable and unsustainable bursts of success like going to the Final Four the year after Dominique left or winning the SEC Tournament after a tornado hit Atlanta.
Megan: The star of the "Transformers" movies was ranked in the top 20 of Maxim’s "Hot 100" for four years running from 2007 to 2010. Or so I hear. She also appeared on what Doug Gillett declared was "the hottest cover of any magazine ever published," so she’s got that going for her.
Matthew: He starred on "Lost," the show whose viewers are the only TV fans that "Star Trek" and "Twin Peaks" fans are allowed to mock and ridicule. Personally, I think he’s been headed downhill since "Party of Five."
Mulder: He believed the truth was out there, and he fought a massive government conspiracy designed to keep the American people in the dark while investigating mysterious phenomena. He also thought his little sister was kidnapped by aliens, and, honestly, the show explained that about five or six different ways, so, in the end, the whole thing never really added up, did it?
John: He parlayed a series of single-season stints at Western college football outposts which are now, but were not then, successful and well-known into a job as a position coach with the USFL’s Los Angeles Express. He used the ignominy of being an assistant on Mike Gottfried’s staff to springboard a sequence of jobs in the NFL. Most recently, he turned a 10-22 record in his last two seasons with the Carolina Panthers and a five-year stretch without a playoff win into a head coaching post with the Denver Broncos. Lane Kiffin marvels at this guy’s ability to fail upward.
Jamie: Granted, he spells it with a superfluous additional "x," but, hey, what did you expect from Willie "Steamin’" Beamon? He may not have made Howard Schnellenberger’s top 25, but, in this, the week of the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, it is appropriate to note that Jamie Foxx registered the promotion-of-interracial-harmony trifecta by starring in "In Living Color," playing Ray Charles in a movie, and being the namesake of the TV show that introduced Garcelle Beauvais to the world.
Redd: Like Jamie, he spelled his last name with an extra "x," and, as noted by Phil Hartman’s Frank Sinatra on "Saturday Night Live," he damaged his own career by "working blue." However, he gets points for starring in a situation comedy named in honor of the University of Georgia football stadium. Wait, what?
Lucius: He rescued Wayne Enterprises, manages the Wayne Foundation, serves as Bruce Wayne’s business manager, and makes it possible for Batman to utilize the gadgets that make up for his lack of super powers. He was played by Morgan Freeman in the Christopher Nolan films. In addition, since "Luke" is a diminutive form of "Lucius," his inclusion on this list means the Foxes under consideration include a Matthew, a Mark, a Luke, and a John.
Samantha: Before becoming a pop singer in the late ‘80s, she was one of Great Britain’s most beloved Page Three Girls. Or so I hear.
Jorja: She was a doctor on "ER," a Secret Service agent on "The West Wing," and a forensic scientist on the original "CSI." Also, her first name (phonetically, at least) is the same as the name of the Peach State, which is a plus, as long as she doesn’t appear in Sanford Stadium at halftime and lead a confusing rendition of the "spell ‘Georgia’" cheer.
Ginger: Once a successful pop star, she was washed up by the age of 26, until the "iCarly" gang revived her career by producing her performance at the Pop Music Awards of the song "My World," which later showed up as a karaoke standard on "Victorious." Man, I watch way too much Nickelodeon!
Michael J.: On the one hand, "Family Ties" anchored a stellar NBC Thursday night lineup in the 1980s. On the other hand, "Spin City" stole away a couple of actors from "Mad About You," thereby wounding a mainstay of a subsequent NBC Thursday night lineup. On the one hand, he gave us "Back to the Future" and "Teen Wolf." On the other hand, those films led to "Back to the Future, Part II," "Back to the Future, Part III," and "Teen Wolf, Too." Tough call.
Vivica A.: She played a stripper in "Independence Day," thus inspiring one of Darrell Hammond’s better "Saturday Night Live" bits, a movie review by Bill Clinton.
-y Brown: Reputed to be the meanest chick in town, she was brown sugar and spice, but, if you didn’t treat her nice, she would put you on ice, at least according to the movie poster. This was Pam Grier’s most famous role, with the arguable exceptions of Coffy and Jackie Brown, and, if you can tell the difference between those three roles, you need to give serious consideration to expanding your interests.
-xy Cleopatra: She was played by Beyonce Knowles in an Austin Powers movie. No other explanation is required, really.
News: It’s fair and balanced. Or so I hear.
Force Five: If Mia Wallace’s pilot from "Pulp Fiction" had been picked up by a network, Uma Thurman and four other sultry female assassins would have appeared on our television screens every week. I’m thinking this is a good thing.
And the Hedgehog: Archilochus’s dictum that the fox knows many little things but the hedgehog knows one big thing inspired Isaiah Berlin’s influential essay distinguishing history’s expositors of a single defining idea (like Plato, Hegel, and Nietzsche) from those with more varied viewpoints (like Aristotle, Shakespeare, and Joyce). This simple yet nuanced system of classification informed Berlin’s interpretation of Tolstoy, and has been cited routinely since its publication. Berlin’s notion is intellectually intriguing and informative, but I leave it to individual tastes to determine whether it is preferable to watching five guys battle five other guys over which of them is more adept at putting a ball in a hoop.
And the Grapes: It’s the Aesop fable that gave rise to the phrase "sour grapes." Yeah, if I couldn’t sell you on the hedgehog thing, there’s no way I’m going to convince you with this one, is there?
Crazy Like a: Surely I’m not the only one who remembers the 1980s TV series starring Jack Warden as gruff private eye Harry Fox, who solved crimes with the often unwitting aid of his lawyer son. Hang on, I’m checking . . . and it turns out I am. Nevermind.
Those are your options. I await your verdict in the poll below.