Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University where he pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeyes from 1971 through 1974. He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league umpire for seven seasons, working for the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA). He has written for numerous websites, and for the past fourteen years has served as columnist and photo editor for The Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press, in Lincoln Nebraska. His interests include history, support for amateur baseball, the outdoors, and he has a music degree from Ohio State University.


My personal list of terrible ads, questionable logic, and the enlightenment of at least one TV football commentator willing to tell the truth about what he witnessed at the Rose Bowl.

I think it was P.T. Barnum who once famously said, “There’s a fool born every minute.”  Or at least they say the old entertainment magnate said it.  But apparently he knew something, even way back then in the 19th century.

He would surely have said it yesterday, on New Year’s Day, had he watched and heard the pitch men on television, intent on selling to the gullible and unsuspecting…what can only be described as junk.

I know I’m not alone.  I know that many of you reading are laughing already (I hope you are), at the endless lineup of products like the Bavarian Edge knife sharpener.  Or better, the incredible space-age knife made of metals that have a razor edge and NEVER need sharpening!

Entertainer and 19th century pitch man P.T. Barnum is credited with having said, “There’s a fool born every minute.”

There was a wallet made from space-age plastic that’s light as a feather and holds all of your money, cards, and pictures – totally indestructible and NEVER wears out.  You never need to buy another wallet.  And best…you can actually charge your cell phone with it!

Even better, there was a charging device the size of a credit card with attachments to charge every device you own, including your car battery.  You never need to make another expensive service call again.  Just connect it to the positive and negative poles of your car’s battery and you’ll instantly be on the road again.  No more dirty, clunky, jumper cables!

And then there’s the Crank Chop, which with two pulls of a rope it chops, dices, and prepares everything from the perfect salad to the best guacamole you’ve ever tasted.

There were tactical sunglasses, scratch-proof, bendable, and of the highest optical quality imaginable, tested by and recommended by a former astronaut.  So, if it’s NASA approved it has to be a good thing for everyone, right?

And don’t forget the TAC-LIGHT lantern that’s indestructible (the last flashlight you’ll ever own, so now you’ve eliminated flashlights AND wallets from your future needs), that’s visible up to two miles away.  I was personally hoping for something that could be seen from outer space – that NASA would stand behind.  But the best part?  It’s carries Bell and Howell’s name on it, a company that’s been sold so many times no one actually knows where it is and who’s responsible.

Now, the amazing thing about every one of these products is…they’re each just $19.99, and if you order now they’ll send you a second one absolutely free.  Just pay a separate fee (for what, I don’t know).  But you have to order NOW!

P.T. Barnum has been dead since 1891, but yesterday the ground shook above his grave in Bridgeport, Connecticut, as the old showman who invented the traveling circus must have been roaring with laughter.  History has justified him, and it’s just his own bad luck he’s not here to cash in on the credit card battery charger.  NASA approved, of course!


And how about the Rose Bowl game?  If you actually watched you were treated to a sporting event that actually lived up to the incredible hype set forth by the network.  Unlike the the Crank Chopper, and Nugenix, Oklahoma and Georgia actually were as good as advertised.

And how refreshing was it to hear Kirk Herbstreit actually call out some of the misdeeds by players on the field, openly sharing missed tackles, missed assignments, and poor decision making?  And I say refreshing because most of us saw it for ourselves;  but it was just nice to hear some affirmation from an expert – someone with the temerity to tell the truth.

This kind of criticism, by the way, goes along with playing when responsibility is necessary, and expected.  I often hear from readers and school administrators who believe that sports needs to be a positive experience for the student athlete.  There’s no place, or need, for negativity anymore.  Everyone deserves to be liked and rewarded with a trophy at the end of the day.  If you drop a touchdown pass or miss a free throw that costs your team the game…it should be mentioned only with anonymity, as if there weren’t 2,000 others there who saw it in person, who then went home and conveniently forgot.

But not Herbstreit, who in the past has been so critical of Ohio State (where he quarterbacked the Buckeyes in the early 90s) that he was forced to move his residence out of state in 2011.  During Monday’s Rose Bowl he not only named names, he diagrammed it on the telestrator, so there was little question as to who was responsible for the bad plays, as well as the good.

And, isn’t it funny that no one ever complains about mentioning someone by name WHEN THEY DO HIT the free throws that win the game…or they do catch the winning touchdown pass?  Logically, it only seems fair.

In a world that now cries…that EVERYTHING has to be fair!