Big Van Vader!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 20, 2018 by joecetta

It’s time! It’s time! It’s Vader Time! Wrestler Big Van Vader landed his final Vader Bomb this week, at the age of 63! As a standout offensive lineman for the Univerity of Colorado, then Leon White was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, and even played in Super Bowl XIV, before his career was cut short by injuries. But football’s loss was wrestling’s gain, as he would go on to create the massive persona of Big Van Vader, first in the New Japan Pro Wrestling league, and later transitioning into WCW (where he was a multiple-time heavyweight champion) and the WWF (where he had the above/awesome entrance video). For a guy who was allegedly 6’4″ and went 400+ pounds, he was a mighty nimble and athletic grappler, featuring more aerial moves than you’d expect from a dude his size. In addition to the aforementioned Vader Bomb, he also did a Vadersault, which was a pretty unmodified moonsault, but still wildly impressive. 

And Munchak’s epic comeback season rolls on, snagging 47 big points on his six-time team member Vader, giving him a bunch of breathing room in second and slowly closing the gap on Sarah. This marks the first time Munchak has scored at least six deaths in consecutive years, amazingly, considering his track record as a former champion and all-around Death Pool legend. Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Wednesday!

 

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Matt Murphy and Martin Bregman!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 18, 2018 by joecetta

Aykroyd, Belushi, Aretha, and Matt

Blues musician Matt Murphy and film producer Martin Bregman saw the end credits roll this weekend, at the ages of 88 and 92, respectively! Matt “Guitar” Murphy had a lengthy career in various bands and sitting in on albums for the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Ike Turner, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Guy before joining what would probably be his best remembered gig – playing guitar in the Blues Brothers band, first on Saturday Night Live and tours, then in the 1980 film, and the subsequent, bizarrely titled sequel Blues Brothers 2000, released in 1998. Bregman produced a few dozen films and TV shows in his day, including Serpico, Scarface, Betsy’s Wedding, Carlito’s Way, and The Bone Collector, and picked up an Oscar nomination for producing 1975 Best Picture nominee Dog Day Afternoon, in one of the most heated Best Picture contests ever, against the likes of Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, Spielberg’s Jaws, Altman’s Nashville, and the eventual winner, Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 

Beard Pacino is the rare variant form of Pacino

Kristin M. and Dondos keep pace and tighten up those medal standings, with now only 17 points separating the 2 through 5 positions! Kristin’s sixth death and Dondos’ eighth extend their division leads, and put them in second and (tied for) third in total deaths on the year. Nicely done!

Replacement picks due by next Monday!

Red Schoendienst and Eunice Gayson!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 11, 2018 by joecetta

Baseball player/coach Red Schoendienst and actress Eunice Gayson had their final hits this week, at the ages of 95 and 90, respectively! A 10-time All-Star, Schoendienst was the last living member of the Cardinals 1946 World Series winning squad, but this was merely the beginning for someone who would spend a ridiculous 76 years in the game, as a player or coach. 76 years on the job! 72 in the bigs, and 67 with the Cardinals organization, managing them to a title in 1967. In all, he nabbed five rings, had his #2 retired by the Cards, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. Good game, Red! Gayson is best known for her role as Sylvia Trench in the first two James Bond films, Dr. No and From Russia With Love, making her the first official Bond girl. Trench was supposed to be a recurring character in the series, like M or Moneypenny, but only got through the first pair of movies before getting the axe. Still – she appears in quite possibly the most famous, most iconic scene in the series, and therefore one of the all-time greats in movie history:

Dondos quietly continues to pile of the numbers here in ’18, getting a 7th death (second only to Sarah’s 10), and cracking the century mark here in their first year of joint pool existence (between them, Kristen and Kevin had ten triple-digit seasons in the past), moving them into the top five. Mike M. finally grabs a second death this year with the 20 points on Gayson – his increasing totals over the past few seasons point to this start being more an abberation than a trend, so look out – this guy has piled up points in bunches in the past. Well done, folks!

Replacement picks due by next Monday!

Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain

Posted in Uncategorized on June 8, 2018 by joecetta

I know I have a relatively light take on some pretty heavy stuff in this space much of the time, but it occurs to me more often than I admit that our whole enterprise could be interpreted as reveling in the misery of others, instead of a general celebration of someone’s life, as it’s intended. This particularly dark week for celebrities is specifically tricky to handle. Even though the game aspect of this undertaking didn’t factor in, I thought it might be odd to not comment on it at all. I’d just like to join the chorus of voices saying hey, try to be nice to each other. We don’t know what awful issues people are grappling with day-to-day, and we mostly have a tendency to jump to the worst conclusions about everyone, especially nowadays on the vast awfulness that often is the internet. So maybe try to give the benefit of the doubt to folks, maybe try to keep in perspective what truly matters and what you can let slide, and then just maybe someone’s daily struggle will be a little easier. Maybe? It’s the least we can do, but maybe it could make a difference. You never know.

Jerry Maren!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 6, 2018 by joecetta

Leonard, Jerry, Julius, and Arthur

Actor Jerry Maren welcomed you to Munchkinland for the last time last week, at the age of 98! Maren was the last surviving cast member of the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, portraying the green clad member of the Lollipop Guild. Perhaps less interesting to most, but not to this guy, is that Maren also appears to be the last surviving cast member of the later, lesser Marx Brothers effort At the Circus, which is still eminently watchable no matter what anyone tells you. Sure, it’s the like ninth best Groucho-Chico-Harpo-and-sometimes-Zeppo film, depending on your opinion of Go West, but it does feature the all-time classic “Lydia the Tattooed Lady,” which gives it the nod over movies like The Big Store and Room Service, anyway. But I digress! Maren has a few dozen credits to his name, including popping up on episodes of The Odd Couple, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and Seinfeld!

Okay, okay, he was also in The Wizard of Oz

Maren spent all five of his Death Pool seasons with Capone, who nabs the 12 points today on his third death! This jumps him to tenth overall in what’s a relatively slow start for Capone, given his solid track record in recent years. Don’t let this guy get warmed up! Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Wednesday!

Robert Mandan, William Edward Phipps, and Dwight Clark!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 5, 2018 by joecetta

Actors Robert Mandan and William Edward Phipps and football player Dwight Clark created some separation in the standings here today, at the ages of 86, 96, and 61, respectively! Mandan (who died back in April, but word has just gotten around) is best remembered for his role as the philandering Chester Tate on Soap, but appeared on numerous shows in the ’70, ’80s, and ’90s, including opposite his Soap spouse Katherine Helmond on a few episodes of Who’s the Boss? Phipps most famously was the speaking voice of Prince Charming in Disney’s 1950 animated Cinderella, but also popped up in a bunch of westerns and science-fiction yarns of the day, including War of the Worlds, Cat-Women on the Moon, and Fort Algiers. 49ers tight end Clark won two Super Bowl rings catching passes from Joe Montana in the early ’80s, and was a two-time pro bowler, leading the league in receptions in 1982, but he will forever be remembered for being on the receiving end of “The Catch,” which won the Niners the NFC Championship Game to go to their first Super Bowl in January of ’82. The team retired his #87 in 1988.

Mandan represents Kristin’s fourth death in 28 days, and fifth overall, which move her to fourth place, only prevented from the bronze medal position by the Buonins, who leap into third with the 49 big points for Clark, only a handful of points out of second! But it’s also Sarah nabbing a ridiculous tenth death in just over five months on Phipps, extending her lead even farther, and continuing her on course to rampaging victory. And yet! There are nearly seven full months left to play, and if she can pile up these sort of numbers in only five, who’s to say someone else can’t as well! Chins up, folks! Well done, teams!

The Catch

Replacement picks due by next Tuesday!

Dick Tuck, Dick Quax, and Wang Da-hong!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 30, 2018 by joecetta

Were we an immature, scatalogical publication, I believe much hay could be made out of the fact that on the same day, Monday, May 28th, this trio – political consultant and prankster Dick Tuck, Olympian Dick Quax, and Taiwanese architect Wang Da-hong – came to their respective aged ends. It often occurs to me to throw posts up for undrafted people with hilarious names, but they’re more common than you’d imagine, and I spend enough time on the regular maintenance of this pool to heap more unpaid work on the old plate. Nonetheless, the happy symmetry of these monikers forced my hand, and so, here we are!

I’m immediately sorry about stooping to this level. But at least the odds are pretty heavy against it happening again, right?