Bruno Sammartino!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 18, 2018 by joecetta

And the suplexes just keep on coming this week, as legendary wrestler Bruno Sammartino bearhugged his last today, at the age of 82! One of the most popular wrestlers of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, Bruno Leopoldo Francesco Sammartino was still squared-circling it up when I was kid, mixing it up at Wrestlemania I and subsequent years in the WWF while in his fifties. He famously held the WWWF Heavyweight Championship for the longest single stretch in the company’s history, seven and a half years from 1963 to 1971, and for the most total time, adding another three and a half year run as champ from ’73 to ’77. I had his rubber action figure back in the day! Maybe I can find a picture…

Probably still residing in some Scranton attic!

And with this, the commish is finally on the board here in ’18. As four-time defending champion, I was starting to get a little worried that my team was totally washed up, having gone all out here in the middle part of the decade, but these 28 points finally put me in this year’s contest. That only leaves three teams without deaths – Jeff, Nick M. and Ryan – parity being the name of the game here in 2018 so far.

Replacement pick is due by next Wednesday!

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Barbara Bush!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 18, 2018 by joecetta

Former First Lady Barbara Bush is bound for immortality in College Station, TX today, wrapping up her days at the age of 92! Bush joined a list previously occupied by only Abigail Adams as wife and mother to presidents, with 41 and 43 serving from ’89-’93 and ’01 to ’09, respectively. She also served as Second Lady from ’81 to ’89 during H.W.’s tenure as Vice President under Reagan. An extraordinarily friendly figure, it is posited in her biography that she was a more popular First Lady than predecessor Nancy or successor Hillary, mainly due to her position of not taking risky stances on issues. This is certainly up for debate, as Nancy and Hillary were undoubtedly more loved by their supporters, and probably more hated by their detractors, than Barbara, who people largely never got a feel for. So…maybe this is the way to handle it, if your aim is to be a comforting, stable figure in as frequently a chaotic place as the White House.

I can 100% guarantee that I’ll visit her grave someday, at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station. Mark it down!

And Munchak finally cashes out on nine-year team member Barbara, 18 points propelling him over 100 in consecutive years for the first time ever, and secure him his best year total since 2015, here in April. Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Wednesday!

Vic Bubas!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2018 by joecetta

Former Duke basketball coach Vic Bubas cut down the nets for the last time this week, at the age of 91! Bubas led the Blue Devils to three Final Fours in the 1960’s, amassing 213 career wins, just shy of the school record at the time. But he and Eddie Cameron would both lose any claim to the Duke basketball record books when Coach K blew past them decades later. Bubas was later named Vice-President of Duke University, and was inducted to the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007. Good game, coach!

And Bats picks up a fourth death this year, jumping to third overall in the process! Good game, Bats!

Replacement pick is due by next Tuesday!

Harry Anderson

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2018 by joecetta

I’m not sure if I first saw Harry Anderson on Cheers, in his handful of appearances as the slick con man Harry the Hat, or if it was as Mel Torme obsessed judge Harold T. Stone on Night Court, or it even might’ve been his stand-up magic act on Saturday Night Live, when they still brought on acts to fill out the bill in the early ’80s. But I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know who he was. And so even for someone whose stock-in-trade is celebrity death, this is tough one. I mean, who appeared to be having a better time acting than Harry Anderson? Even those random Night Courts where Dan is having an existential crisis and Harry has to talk him through it, there was a certain infectious joy in his performance. I mean, watch this clip from SNL back in ’82. It’s all props and sleight-of-hand, but in a routine that could come off as hacky, he breezily delivers the jokes and the magic. And it was this attitude that served him and all of us well in the decades to come.

I will admit, I’ve never seen an episode of Dave’s World, but it was on a long time, so I imagine it’s decent? But after years of never seeming to find it anywhere, Night Court airs on some goofy channel we started getting in Chicago recently called Laff. Is this everywhere? If so, make a note of it!

(These past few days have seen the director of Amadeus, the star of Night Court, and the most memorable part of Stanley Kubrick’s last great movie leave us, so let’s have that be it for April, huh? Also, this collection of folks reminds me that I use some variation of the phrase “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know his name” somewhat often, and don’t tend to give credit for its origin. So, thanks, Salieri.)

(Also, judging by the traffic we had here at superfantasydeathpool yesterday, it looks like a lot of people checked to see if Harry was on a team – he was never drafted, in any pool. And that, more than any metrix we have here, shows that this happened far too soon.)

Milos Forman and R. Lee Ermey!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 16, 2018 by joecetta

Film and theater director Milos Forman and Marine/actor R. Lee Ermey called it a wrap this weekend, at the ages of 86 and 74, respectively! Forman was behind the camera for two legitimate masterpieces – Best Picture and Director Oscar winners 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and 1984’s Amadeus. These films bookended a four movie set nominated for 28 Oscars in total, winning 13, with only 1979’s Hair getting blanked on both counts. His other good-to-great efforts include Ragtime (wherein Norman Mailer gets shot in the head!), Man on the Moon, Taking Off (Grand Prix winner at Cannes), Valmont, and The People vs. Larry Flynt, the latter of which earned him a third Oscar nomination and a third Golden Globe. Ronald Lee Ermey’s years as a Marine served him well in a transition to acting, breaking out as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket – a role he was originally brought in to advise on, and proved so effective that he was cast in the part, earning a Golden Globe nomination. He followed this up with various authority figure parts in varied projects such as Mississippi Burning, The X-Files, Fletch Lives, Dead Man Walking, Seven, Leaving Las Vegas, The Simpsons, and as the voice of Sarge in all the Toy Story movies.

And two more are in the game! Mike Walsh didn’t wait 700+ days to get another score this time, cutting down the gap to a mere 147 with his first score of ’17, 36 points on Ermey! And as we always say – you never forget your first time, as Steve makes his entrance to the contest with 24 points for Milos, who had been drafted seven previous times, and never stayed with the same squad in consecutive years. His path ran from Adam in ’10 to Munchak in ’12, Sarah ’13, back in Munchak in ’14, the Gardons in ’15, back to Adam in ’16, and the Buonins in ’17 before finding his way to Steve’s team. Nice job, fellas!

Replacement picks due by next Monday!

Daniel Akaka and Yvonne Staples!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 11, 2018 by joecetta

I mean, he was, like, really Hawaiian

Former Hawaiian senator Daniel Akaka and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Yvonne Staples continued the big start for the Holloway this week, checking out at ages 93 and 80, respectively! The first Hawaiian with native ancestry to become senator, Akaka had previous served in the House for 13 years before being appointed to the Senate in 1990, and winning re-election three times before retiring. Yvonne was the third of Pops Staples’ four children to join the Staple Singers, along with brother Pervis and sisters Cleotha (d. 2013) and Mavis. Their ’70s hits include “I’ll Take You There,” “Respect Yourself,” and “Let’s Do It Again,” and were inducted into the Rock HOF in 1999, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, and will be inducted into the Gospel HOF next month.

L. to R. Pops, Cleotha, Yvonne, Mavis

And Rob finally gets on the board here in Year Twelve! 17 points for Akaka give the Holloway deaths for all teams – first division to reach that milestone this year! Concurrently, Holloway member Buonins nab their second of the year with Staples, cracking the top five overall! Well done!

Replacement picks due by next Wednesday!

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 2, 2018 by joecetta

Former first lady of South Africa, anti-apartheid activist, and quite possibly the most beloved world figure who was stridently pro-torture, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela gave up the fight today, at the age of 81! Look, South Africa in the second half of the 20th century was undoubtedly a living nightmare for everyone unfortunate enough to reside there, and I’m not going to judge people for what they did to combat the racist regime running that place. Still, Winnie made some choices. And maybe it was all to justify the ends, who’s to say, but man, her resume features pretty harsh crimes. Like, Nelson was convicted of some trumped up nonsense to overthrow the rotten government, but he didn’t do time for kidnapping, or was accused of masterminding murders, or intimidating witnesses, or gave speeches about how burning people alive was a solid course of action. Winnie was by all accounts pretty ruthless. But again, who am I to say what was right or wrong in the context of that time and place? Sure, strapping flaming tires around someone’s neck and letting them slowly roast until well overdone doesn’t sound like a sensible way to deal with pretty much anybody, but I don’t think sensible action springs from as lousy a place as South Africa in the 20th century. So…take the good with the bad?

And the Skeides notch their first score of 2018! 29 points on Winnie move them up to second in the Holloway. It’s been an odd run for the Skeides in their seven years of Death Pooling. Their rookie campaign of 2012 saw them hang up a dozen deaths and land in third overall, but since then they’ve only had eight deaths total over the last six years! That is some kind of sophomore, junior, senior, super senior, mail room clerk slump! Does Winnie usher in a new era for the team from the southern tier? We’ll see! Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Monday!