Ralphie May!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 7, 2017 by joecetta

Stand-up comic Ralphie May delivered his last zinger yesterday, at the age of 45! May toiled at the comedy game for a long time – as a teenager once opening for Sam Kinison, after which he devoted himself to the profession – before breaking through to national fame on the first season of NBC’s competitive reality show Last Comic Standing in 2003, coming in second. He put out a number of Comedy Central and Netflix specials since, many corresponding with later released albums, including Girth of a Nation, Unruly, Too Big to Ignore, and Imperfectly Yours.

And a very close contest at the top now has another entrant! Mike M., on the strength of 65 big points from May, vaults into fourth overall, and to the top of a very competitive Holloway division! And look at that leaderboard! The entire top five separated by only 48 points! Every death is proving to be a major one in this sort of year! Very exciting stuff! Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Saturday!

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Terry Downes!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2017 by joecetta

Former British middleweight champion Terry Downes went to the scorecards for the last time today, at the age of 81! Downes quick six year career featured 49 fights, 35 wins, and ten months holding down the middleweight title from 1961 to ’62. He defeated future middleweight champ Joey Giardello in 1960, and long past it former champ Sugar Ray Robinson in ’62 – making him the second fighter to defeat Sugar Ray to die in the last three weeks, after Jake LaMotta. Both outlived Ray by some 28 years. Downes later life saw him pop up acting in minor roles, most memorably as the hunchback Koukol in Roman Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killers and appearing in Dudley Moore and Peter Cook’s brilliant sketch comedy series Not Only…But Also.

And the Skeides pick up their second of the year, their first since February’s murder of Kim Jong-nam! (Whoa, that looks way too excited) This more than doubles their total from last year and gives them their best year since their rookie 2012 campaign, moving them up to 11th overall (they have not finished higher than 18th in the past four years). Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Friday!

Jalal Talabani!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 3, 2017 by joecetta

Former Iraqi president Jalal Talabani died of natural causes (not the most common thing for Iraqi leaders) today, at the age of 83! Talabani was the first leader elected following the 24 year reign of Saddam Hussein and multiple wars with Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, and Poland, among others, so relatively speaking, Talabani came in at a pretty good time in Iraq history. Was it a particularly fun nine year period that Talabani presided over? Hell no, it’s still Iraq, and that place remains the pits, but at least your Norman Schwarzkopfs and your Arthur Kents weren’t camped on the doorstep waiting for the bloody overthrow every minute of the day. So, congrats, Mr. Talabani!

Sam scores with her five year team member Talabani, these 27 points pulling her out of the basement of the Wright! Typically an avenger of terrorists, Nazis, and evil-doers, this is the rare time an Iraqi on Sam’s team wasn’t a mass murderer! Nice job!

Replacement pick due by next Tuesday!

Monty Hall!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 2, 2017 by joecetta

A landmark Death Pool event! Longtime Let’s Make a Deal host and DP legend Monty Hall chose door number three this weekend, at the age of 96! One of the most famous game show hosts ever, Hall navigated contestants through the diabolical machinations of Let’s Make a Deal for nearly 25 years, a program so insidious yet simple in design that the philosophical/mathematical logic puzzle “The Monty Hall problem” sprung from its run. Hall’s wife of 70 years, Marilyn, passed away four months ago – their daughter Joanna (Gleason) has won numerous theater awards, including a Tony for the original production of Into the Woods, and appeared as Dirk Diggler’s mother in 1997’s seminal porn epic Boogie Nights! Huh!

What makes Monty Hall such an interesting Death Pool figure is his position as the second person to survive ten years on the same team, while being the first to do this having not participated in every year of the pool. Undrafted in 2007 (as a mere 86 year old), Hall joined Munchak’s squad in ’08, where he would remain to the present day. Only Sarah’s Ten Year Man Gene Wilder lasted as long on the same team before cashing out. A bunch of people are set to join this active list next year, but as of now, the only 10+ year members of one team remaining are the notorious ODH, Olivia de Havilland (11 years, Sarah), Fats Domino (11, Joe), Joyce Randolph (10, Joe), and Stephen Hawking (10, Sam). To Monty!

“There’s a ground! There’s a ground, Monty!” (I admit I’m going pretty deep catalog here)

Replacement pick due by next Monday!

Hugh Hefner and Anne Jeffreys!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2017 by joecetta

For good or ill, Hugh Hefner should be credited as one of the creators of modern society. He forever manipulated our perceptions of each other and ourselves by taking low grade smut and putting it in the mainstream, influencing everything from advertising to psychoanalysis, body issues to Girls Gone Wild, Snapchat filters to evaluating the First Lady’s ankles. Like Steve Jobs, Pete Rozelle, Mark Zuckerberg, Norman Lear, Ronald Reagan, Jefferson Davis, and Osama bin Laden, Hefner’s direct impact on our modern world can barely be measured, as we cannot possibly step back far enough to grasp its scope.

I would also like to add, maybe due to my decade plus involvement in this pool, but Hefner was one of the few celebrities I was generally convinced would live forever, along with Keith Richards, Jack Nicholson, Olivia de Havilland, Bill Murray, Lindsay Lohan, and Bill “Spaceman” Lee (by way of engineering another list of names). It just didn’t seem possible he could die, given the aura surrounding his exploits. And if polled, I believe the populace would either vote that Hefner lived the greatest life imaginable, was humanity’s finest example of magnanimity, or he was sort of a creep. I thought he had a pretty funny cameo in History of the World Part I, that’s as far as I’m willing to go.

Per his advance plans, Hefner will be buried in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery mausoleum, next to Marilyn Monroe.

Not to be minimized (but I only discovered this after writing the above), but actress Anne Jeffreys, to my knowledge, managed to go her whole life without appearing nude in a magazine, running it up to 94! The second big screen Tess Trueheart we lost this year (R.I.P. Glenne Headly!), Jeffreys appeared in two of the 1940’s Dick Tracy features and a number of other pictures before transitioning almost exclusively to television, appearing as a regular on Topper, General Hospital, and Falcon Crest. 

Eleven Year Man Hef bounced around six teams in the first six years of the pool, going from Brandon to Angie to Sean to Sam to Capone before landing with Jeff in 2012 and finding that forever home. These 19 points make Jeff the sixth person improving year over year this session, firmly getting him in the running for Most Improved while moving him to 11th overall. Kevin picked up his second death in two weeks with Jeffreys, extending his Delver lead and moving him to sixth overall. Nice job, guys!

Replacement picks due by next Thursday!

Red Miller!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27, 2017 by joecetta

Hot on the heels of finally getting the pool updated, and the hits just keep on coming. Former NFL coach Red Miller lost his final coin toss today at the age of 89! Miller is best remembered for leading Denver to their first Super Bowl, taking the Orange Crush Broncos to XII in January 1978, losing to Tom Landry’s Cowboys. They would make playoff appearances the following two seasons, and was fired after an 8-8 campaign in 1980. Huh! And somehow Marvin Lewis has coached the Bengals for 15 years going 0-7 in the playoffs! Football! I can’t explain it!

And Sarah extends her lead with 21 points for Miller, re-tying Kristin M. for total deaths in ’17 with 11! We are days away from moving into the fourth quarter of the year, and it is still a ridiculously close contest! Exciting stuff, Year Eleven!

Replacement pick due by next Wednesday!

Harry Dean Stanton, Bobby the Brain Heenan, Jake LaMotta, and Joe McDade!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27, 2017 by joecetta

Oof! Sorry folks! Been slow going getting caught up on this, so it’s going to be a short one today, despite the huge slate of film, sports, and  NEPA politics stars joining the epic rolls of the deceased this past two weeks. Twin Peaks, The Godfather Part II, Alien, The Green Mile, Big Love actor and WWII veteran Harry Dean Stanton kicked this off way back on the 15th, followed by arguably the greatest heel manager in the history of professional wrestling Bobby the Brain Heenan two days later. On the 19th, Eleven Year Man, the Raging Bull himself, former Middleweight Champion Jake LaMotta didn’t get knocked down by Sugar Ray Robinson in any of their six fights, but did finally get TKO’d by the reaper. If you haven’t seen it, go watch the movie, it’s good, and tell Sarah, because she doesn’t believe me, I don’t know why. Finally, three days ago, Scranton legend and longtime Republican congressman Joe McDade pushed through his final bill. He somehow managed to hang onto the 10th district for 36 years in heavily democratic Scranton, and got many a building and park named after him in the process.

The big beneficiary this is Capone, picking up his 9th and 10th of the year with Stanton and LaMotta, jumping him into fifth overall, while Kevin scored the biggest tally on Heenan, 38 points extending his Delver lead. Kosmala cashed out the local legend for his second death this year. Well done, guys!

Replacement picks due by next Wednesday!