Martin Landau and Babe Parilli!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 17, 2017 by joecetta

Academy Award winner Martin Landau pulled the strings for the last time this weekend, at the age of 89! After a string of minor roles in the 1950s and 60s, including such classics as North by Northwest, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and Cleopatra, Landau broke out as the chameleon spy Rollin Hand on Mission: Impossible. The 70s and 80s were not as kind with the roles, appearing in mostly junk until he started racking up Oscar nominations for Tucker: The Man and His Dream in ’88, Crimes and Misdemeanors in ’89, and for his winning role as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood, even more impressive as a win given that it came in 1994, perhaps the greatest movie year ever (fight me!). He continued working straight through to the present day, appearing in everything from procedural TV (Without a Trace) to douchy TV comedy (Entourage) to TV movie spin-offs (The X-Files). Along the way, six Emmy nominations, three Golden Globe wins, a slew of critics awards (mostly for Ed Wood), and that Oscar.

Not to be outdone, former NFL/CFL/AFL quarterback Vito “Babe” Parilli (who, you guessed it, had mob ties) held down his last extra point for the kicker this weekend, at the age of 87! Parilli’s very long career included stints with the Packers, Jets, Raiders, Patriots, and Ottawa Roughriders, among others. A College Football Hall of Famer from his time with the Kentucky Wildcats, Parilli also won a Super Bowl as Namath’s backup in III, and was arguably the Patriots most successful quarterback in franchise history, up until eighteen years ago. Oh, and he was widely considered the best holder for kicks in his era, so that’s something.

Capone jumps back into the top five with his seven year team member Landau – himself an Eleven Year Man – cashing out for 21 points. Sarah inches closer to the top spot with the 23 on Parilli, pushing her over 200 for the record seventh straight year, and landing her only nine back of the Buonins! Wow! Well done, folks!

Replacement picks due by next Monday!

Smith Hart!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2017 by joecetta

Wrestler Smith Hart clotheslined his way to victory for the last time this weekend, at the age of 68! Son of squared circle legend Stu Hart and brother to Bret the Hitman and Owen, Smith’s in-ring career was mostly done for Stu’s Stampede Wrestling and the World Wrestling Council, even as his brothers achieved mass fame and success in the WWF/WWE. He’d make brief appearances on Vince McMahon’s promotion during the epic Bret v. Owen feud, and later during Bret v. Vince himself. He was the oldest of the dozen Hart children, and third of the eight brothers to pass away, following Dean in 1990 and Owen in 1999.

And Sarah’s big run here at the halfway point of the pool continues, the 42 points for Hart jumping her to second overall and to the top of the Wright! She’s racked up 83 points in ten days here, further narrowing this very tight contest! Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Wednesday!

Miriam Marx!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2017 by joecetta

Author Miriam Marx declared she must be going for the last time this week at the age of 90! Daughter of the world’s greatest comedian, Miriam had a brief career appearing on various television programs with Groucho in the 1950s, and later collected a book of his writings in Love Groucho: Letters From Groucho Marx to His Daughter Miriam. She participated in a number of documentaries about the Marx Brothers over the years, bringing some firsthand insight into the lives of Chico, Harpo, Groucho, Gummo, and Zeppo. Hail Freedonia!

And yes, the commissioner pulls down the points today, the 20 for Miriam giving me some breathing room in second on my sixth death of the year!

Replacement pick due by next Friday!

Mary Valastro and Gabe Pressman!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 25, 2017 by joecetta

Reality TV star Mary Valastro and man-on-the-scene newscaster Gabe Pressman both bid the Garden State adieu this weekend, at age 69 and 93, respectively!

Valastro was the mother of TLC’s Cake Boss Buddy, and appeared in many of the early episodes of the show, set and filmed in Carlo’s Bake Shop in that paradise by the water – Hoboken, NJ. Allegedly this show is still in production, and has racked up some 230 episodes, even if it’s gotten a touch infrequent in recent years. TLC, as I always like to mention, at one time stood for The Learning Channel. Never forget.

A hunk a hunk of burning journalism

Pressman’s 70+ year news career saw him starting out eleven miles from Carlo’s Bake Shop, just across the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers in Newark, writing for the Evening News. His break came a few years later, landing a gig on the WNBC radio network and quickly transitioning to television, where he would popularize live on-site coverage of major events, such as the sinking of the Andrea Doria, 9/11, the assassination of Malcolm X, the Democratic National Convention of ’68 in Chicago, and Woodstock – later appearing in the epic documentary of the concert directed by Michael Wadleigh.

And five-year team member Valastro ices Sarah’s cake today, to the tune of 41 big points, jamming her into fourth overall and further bunching up the standings! Spots two through five are now separated by only 20 points! Not to be outdone, Capone jumps to sixth with his sixth death for Pressman, just on the outside of the leaderboard! Nicely done, folks!

Replacement picks due by next Sunday!

Bill Dana and Venus Ramey!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 19, 2017 by joecetta

One team – both deaths! Comedian Bill Dana and former Miss America Venus Ramey took their final bows this weekend, both at the age of 92! Dana is probably best known for his long running, somewhat racist Hispanic caricature Jose Jimenez, appearing on variety shows and sitcoms throughout the 1950s and 60s peddling schtick, including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Danny Thomas Show, and Batman, among others. He also wrote for television, and made various non-Jimenez appearances after he felt the character was a touch insensitive, most notably appearing on a bunch of Golden Girls episodes as Sophia’s brother Angelo.

Venus Ramey was the first redhead Miss America in 1944, the second Miss District of Columbia to win the title, and had a few combat planes named in her honor in WWII, as apparently that was the thing to do during the big war, and the mark of gigantic success for the women back home. Way to go! She parlayed this honor (Miss America, not bombing Germans) into some political activism, running for a few offices and taking up some personal causes, with varying degrees of success.

And yes, Kristin M. scored both deaths, giving her three in five days going back to A.R. Gurney on the 13th! This gives her seven total, tying her with the Buonins for most in 2017, and propels her up to third overall. Nicely done!

Replacement picks due by next Monday!

Helmut Kohl and John G. Avildsen!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2017 by joecetta

Special Saturday edition! Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Oscar winning director John G. Avildsen beat the weekend traffic yesterday at ages 87 and 81, respectively! Kohl served as Chancellor of West Germany in the 1980s, and then in the big seat for the first eight years of the reunified country (a move he was largely credited with spearheading and guiding) beginning in 1990, overseeing the first democratic nationwide elections since the Nazis took power in 1933. His 16 total years as leader was the most since Otto von Bismarck in the late 1800s.

Avildsen won Best Director for the first Rocky in the hotly competitive 1976 Oscar season, over the likes of All the President’s Men’s Alan J. Pakula, Network’s Sidney Lumet, Face to Face’s Ingmar Bergman, and first woman director nominee Lina Wertmuller for Seven Beauties. His other films include such near-classics/solidly decent films as The Karate Kid (and II and III), Save the Tiger, Joe, Neighbors, and Rocky V. He was also interestingly fired as director in two other great 70s pictures – Serpico and Saturday Night Fever! Huh!

The Buonins keep their big roll going, picking up 23 points for Kohl, extending their overall points lead and giving them a full 7 to 5 edge in total deaths over five other teams! Kristen G. gets into that tie at 5 with 29 points for Avildsen, extending her lead in the Delver! Way to go, folks!

Replacement picks due by next Saturday!

A.R. Gurney!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 15, 2017 by joecetta

Playwright A.R. Gurney formulated his last domestic squabble this week, at the age of 86! Albert Ramsdell Gurney knocked out a few dozen plays in his time, including the hugely popular (with audiences and with small amateur companies) Love Letters, The Dining Room, The Cocktail Hour, The Guest Lecturer, and Sylvia (not to be confused with Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, which itself should not be confused with Alfred’s Hogan’s Goat. Get your theater straight, chumps!). While his plays won numerous production awards, Gurney has surprisingly few personal awards – if that’s your measure of anything. The Dining Room was a Pulitzer finalist once upon a time, and Love Letters is like the easiest play to stage in the history of drama, thus making it wildly prevalent on calendars and schedules across the country, so that’s something.

Actual Cetta artifact! I know it doesn’t look like much!

For my part, I was in a production of The Dining Room in college, playing various parts, as that’s how the play is constructed, and as I recall, it was fine by any honest measure. Were you there? Add your recollections of my greatness in the comments!

And Kristin M. has taken the Crystal lead and jumped to fourth overall with her fifth death, 24 points for Gurney pushing her over 100 for the second straight year! Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Thursday!