Franco Zeffirelli and Gloria Vanderbilt!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 18, 2019 by joecetta

A pair of Death Pool staples, director Franco Zeffirelli and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt take their combined nearly two and a half decades of game appearances to the great beyond this week, at ages 96 and 95, respectively! Zeffirelli is probably best remembered for his Shakespearean films The Taming of the Shrew with Burton/Taylor, the Mel Gibson Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet in 1968, still the last Shakespeare adaptation to be nominated for Best Picture. He also cranked out a few religious pictures (Brother Sun, Sister Moon, the TV miniseries Jesus of Nazareth) but that doesn’t make up for a few ugly allegations emerging later in his life, I tell you what! Vanderbilt is probably best known now as the mother of CNN’s Anderson Cooper, but being a Vanderbilt she was tied up in a lot of society page hullabaloo over the years, dating all the way back to the her custody trial in the 1930s. She was married to a disparate group of geniuses and madmen – from acclaimed director Sidney Lumet and Fantasia conductor Leopold Stokowski to reputed mobster Pat DiCicco, the possible murderer of original Three Stooges co-star Ted Healy. Hell, he was also married to Marx Brothers co-star Thelma Todd, who died under very suspicious circumstances in 1934. So…Gloria Vanderbilt, everybody!

While Zeffirelli took a roundabout trip through the pool, getting drafted every year by a bunch of teams, Vanderbilt’s tour was much less chaotic. Franco spent five of the first six years with Sarah between ’07 and ’12, with a one year stop off with Adam, before two years on the commissioner’s team, two more with Adam, and one each with the Buonins, Steve, and ultimately Dondos here in ’19. Dondos retakes the lead, six days after the great Mike Walsh reached the mountaintop. Sean joined the pool in 2009 and prompted picked up Vanderbilt, who resided there ever since, making her as tenured on his team as anyone, obviously. No stranger to team consistency, Sean’s other 2009 draftees still continually on his team include Danica Patrick, John Madden, Mikhail Gorbachev, Prince Philip, and Scott Baio (with one year elsewhere)! Well done, folks!


Sylvia Miles!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 13, 2019 by joecetta

Academy Award nominee Sylvia Miles is attending the big wrap party of life today, at the age of 94! Miles acting career didn’t come together until the 1960s, appearing on television and Broadway, before securing her most famous roles – Oscar nominated for 1969 Best Picture winner Midnight Cowboy and the 1975 Robert Mitchum/Philip Marlowe mystery adaptation Farewell, My Lovely. She also popped up in such varied fare over the years as The Naked City, She-Devil, both Wall Street movies, Car 54, Where Are You?, and the bizarre, largely forgotten carjacking caper Zero to Sixty, in which the actress who played Violet in Willy Wonka tries to seduce the actor who played the Old Man in A Christmas Story. Gross!

And Sam celebrated her birthday by pulling down 16 points for Miles, moving up a spot in the Wright and to eighth overall in the standings! Well done! And happy birthday!

Bushwick Bill!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 11, 2019 by joecetta

Geto Boys rapper Bushwick Bill was finally stopped this week, at the age of 52! The Jamaican born dwarf singer rose to prominence in the late ’80s with the Texas rap outfit, starting as a dancer before moving behind the mic – but come on, the most memorable occurrence in Bill’s life was forever captured as the cover of the Boys 1991 album We Can’t Be Stopped. The cover photo – which is kinda gross, so I’m not gonna include it here – depicts Bill in the hospital directly after shooting himself in the eye during an argument with his girlfriend, with his bandmates conveniently alongside his gurney, all looking rap cover tough. It’s plenty weird, but it is the direct reason he’s been in the Death Pool game as long as he has.

Nine years, to be exact! He bounced between the commissioner’s team (from 2011-2013, plus an additional year in 2016) and today’s recipient, the new pool leader, Captain America himself, Mike Walsh! 58 big points launch Walsh to his first ever pool lead of any sort, despite only having three deaths here in ’19. He’s not going to compete in sheer volume, it looks like, so can Walsh maintain this blistering per death average (currently the second best ever in a single year, with a minimum of three deaths) and be in the gold medal conversation come December? We’ll see! Well done, Mike Walsh!

Peggy Stewart and Frank Lucas!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2019 by joecetta

Two people who doubtfully ever shared seats at a dinner party, genteel B movie actress Peggy Stewart and Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas nonetheless are moseying on to the great beyond together this week, at the ages of 95 and 88, respectively! Stewart’s lengthy movie career included tons of work in westerns alongside the likes of Gene Autry and Hugh O’Brien, but she is probably better recognized by the modern audience for roles on Seinfeld, Community, My Name is Earl, and as Pam’s Mee-Maw on The Office. Kingpin Lucas trafficked mad heroin into the country in the ’60s and ’70s to great personal financial benefit, but unsurprisingly was rewarded with a decade and a half stint in the pokey for his entrepreneurial spirit. He was the subject of the solid Denzel Washington biopic American Gangster in 2007 and famously attended the 1971 Ali/Frazier showdown at Madison Square Garden in a thoroughly fabulous chinchilla coat and hat.

God damn!

Kristin’s hot streak continues, piling up her third death in two weeks with Stewart to close the top five gap even further. And Dondos finally nabs their eighth death, jumping up to second overall only one point off the lead with journeyman Lucas in his tenth year of drafting. While Stewart spent all eight of her years with Kristin, Lucas started with Sean from 2010 to 2012, before a year with the Skeides, two with Mike Walsh, stints with Sarah in ’16 and ’18, and the Gardons in ’17 before joining Dondos this year. Well done!


Claus von Bulow!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2019 by joecetta

Left, with Dershowitz

Exonerated-ish criminal Claus von Bulow died free from the shackles of justice last week, at the age of 92! As famously recounted in the Oscar winning film Reversal of Fortune, Claus was convicted of attempting to murder his wife Sunny in 1979 and in 1980 (!), as she languished in a coma for decades (and finally cashed out on the commissioner’s team way back in 2008), before being acquitted through some tricky lawyer-ing upon retrial. Hey, I’m not saying he did it and got away with it, but there are a lot of spurious details in this story. It’s a pretty interesting legal odyssey, led by famed celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz and a team that included former disgraced New York governor Eliot Spitzer and CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer. Weird! But also, check out Jeremy Irons award-winning portrayal back in 1990! Solid!

Fun fact – the always classy Norman Mailer attended a pseudo victory party at von Bulow’s home after his acquittal and purportedly left in a huff after coming to the conclusion that Claus may not have actually committed the crime. Ah, good ol’ Norman!

Additional fun fact – Norman’s son Stephen later appeared in Reversal of Fortune, playing Dershowitz’s son Elon. Huh!

And Kristin M. jumps into the top five overall with 18 points on 12 Year draftee Claus, while extending her lead in the Crystal! Claus’s journey through the pool has been a lengthy one – like his wife, starting on the commissioner’s team back in ’08, where he resided until 2014 with a quick sojourn to Sarah’s squad in 2010, then joining Adam for a year in ’15 before finding his final landing with Kristin the following year.

Bart Starr!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 28, 2019 by joecetta

Hall of Famer Bart Starr hoisted his final championship trophy this week, at the age of 85! MVP of the first two Super Bowls, Starr is the only quarterback to lead professional football teams to three straight championship victories, including the NFL League title in 1965. He played his entire sixteen year career with Green Bay, winning five titles in total and the league MVP award in 1966, and was inducted into the HoF in 1977. He later coached the Packers for nine seasons (five of which he general managed), during which they only managed to make the playoffs in the strike shortened 1982 campaign. This was the franchise’s only playoff appearance between 1973 and 1992, so that’s something!

And the Gardons terrific early run continues as they jump to the top of the Delver and third overall with the 25 points on Starr! Well done!

Herman Wouk!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 17, 2019 by joecetta

I know I literally just posted about what a big deal losing our second 13x Draftee of the week was, and how we only had 54 remaining folks in this group, but that number just got decreased by one with the breaking news of 103-year-old author Herman Wouk penning his last sprawling epic! Besides his extraordinary long life and the number of times he wound up on Death Pool teams, Wouk is probably best known for his 1951 Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Caine Mutiny, turned into a very successful stage play two years later (as The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial). He published numerous fiction and non-fiction works, straight up to his 100th birthday, most notably the sweeping WWII novels later made into popular television miniseries The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. 

And it’s only seven points awarded, as amazingly I.M. Pei isn’t the lowest scoring new member of the roll call today, with the Buonins the beneficiary of Wouk’s long tenure among the living. Wouk didn’t bounce around quite as much as his fellow 13-timer, but he did see action on a few different squads: starting with the commissioner from ’07 to ’09, Sarah in ’10 and ’11, and Adam from ’12 to ’16, before finding his way to the reformed Buonin team. Nice job!