Aretha Franklin!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16, 2018 by joecetta

Aretha Franklin was drafted every year of the pool, understandably bouncing around in the early days due to her relatively young age, going from Munchak in ’07 to No-H in ’08, Sam in ’09, Gaz ’10, the commissioner ’11, and Jeff in ’12 before landing with the Gardons for the past six years, and cashing out today for 34 points! Well done!

Replacement pick in!


Found Death! Nick Drahos!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 15, 2018 by joecetta

Chronologically, the last death is still Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart day before yesterday, but it sure feels longer ago than that. This is now the ninth score since then, and who’s to say we’re done yet? Former All-American and Cornell great Nick Drahos disappeared in the cloud of dirt way back on May the 12th – same day as another missed death reported yesterday, Kristin M.’s Tessa Jowell, so maybe I was busy that day? I don’t know. Drahos was drafted by the then Cleveland Rams in 1941, and inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981.

Mike M. picks up his second 99-year-old former athlete found death from May with Drahos, following the 11 points he snagged for Chuck Stevens yesterday. Well done!

All of these found deaths now have us running ahead of 2016 and 2017 in totals – we didn’t get our 85th death until the 23rd in ’16 and the 28th last year! We’re still a few ticks back of the deadliest year on record, 2015, when we had #85 on July 18th. Stats!

Replacement pick due by next Wednesday!

Morgana King!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 15, 2018 by joecetta

Gianni Russo, Talia Shire, Morgana King, Marlon Brando, James Caan, Julie Gregg

Singer and Corleone matriarch Morgana King bid arrivederci this week as news finally trickled down about her March death, at the age of 87! This isn’t quite the same situation as the Found Deaths yesterday, as apparently word only broke on this yesterday when some family friend or other posted about her demise five months ago on Facebook. It may have destroyed democracy, but it sure helps in the death game! King had a lengthy singing career that included being nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy, and losing out to some flash in the pan Beatles group. Her brief film career included the whopper highlight of portraying Vito’s wife Carmela in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. 

And this now marks the commissioner’s actual first death of the year, coming a month before Bruno Sammartino’s last body slam in April. These 23 points bump me up a few spots in the overall, but it is looking more and more likely that my four-year run a top the standings will cease here in ’18. About time!

Replacement pick due by next Wednesday!

Reminder again – we’re gone from Friday the 17th through Sunday the 26th – there will be no updates or DP business conducted in this stretch, so if you have replacements get them in, and if you have deaths in the interim they won’t show up until after I’m back. Plan accordingly!

The Semi-Annual Found Deaths Post!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 14, 2018 by joecetta

191073-131-0D844C57To any newcomers, or folks barely paying attention, what happens is during the course of the year some celebrity deaths slip through the cracks. Either their deaths weren’t announced in a timely enough way for me to notice, or the people themselves were more obscure than normal, and I didn’t realize they were on a team. And so some re-checking is required a few times a year to make sure all points have been awarded that should be, and usually this means at least a few found past deaths. This year is no different, and in a lot of ways, actually worse!

So first off, there were nine deaths that I missed, and seven of them actually score points. Two were last year and are thus disqualified – Dondos had 98-year-old Congressman Larry Winn, who died on New Year’s Eve (so I suspect that was a timing thing) and Bats had boxer Rodrigo Valdez, who died last March. Sorry!

The other seven do make some waves in the standings, but they also probably put this pool away for good, if it wasn’t already. In a somewhat ridiculous turn of events, Sarah had three deaths between July 2nd and 9th – 69-year-old jazz pianist Henry Butler, 80-year-old politician and talk show host Barbara Carlson, and 99-year-old baron and politician Peter Carington – plus 95-year-old Marnie and The X-Files actress Louise Latham, who died back in February. Your math is correct – that’s another 97 points to Sarah, who now has already set the single season scoring record, and tied the single year deaths record, in extending her all-time lead in both areas.

But that’s not to say other interesting things didn’t happen elsewhere in the standings! The Buonins jump to third overall with their January (!) death of musician Mark E. Smith, good for 50 points, while Kristin M. vaults back into the top five with 40 points on British politician Tessa Jowell. Mike M. scored the other death – 99-year-old former big leaguer Chuck Stevens giving him a little breathing room in 7th.

Now, I went over the current teams I’d say fairly well, and these are what I found. There obviously could be more deaths that I’ve missed, and I’ll go through these again before the end of the year, but if you’d like you can also go through your team and see if I missed anyone that’s died. You might have points sitting out there that would jump you up in the standings! You might have bragging rights you don’t even know about! What a crime that would be!

If you ever find any deaths that haven’t been awarded – or if you run across any names on the list who have died and need to get removed – be sure to let me know! This is always a good idea, especially if you tend to draft obscure celebrities – keep some tabs on those folks, or they may take a lot of extra time to get awarded.


V.S. Naipaul and Jim the Anvil Neidhart!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 13, 2018 by joecetta

A Nobel Prize winning author and a two-time WWF Tag Team champion return the pool from a weekend of wild controversy, as V.S. Naipaul and Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart got suplexed by that great line editor in the sky this week, at ages 85 and 63, respectively! Booker and Nobel Prize winner Naipaul is probably best known for his novels A House for Mr. Biswas and In a Free State, among the dozens of books in his sixty-plus years writing. Neidhart is best remembered for his time partnering with Bret “the Hitman” Hart as part of the wildly successful Hart Foundation in the ’80s and early ’90s, and later in the New Foundation, formed with Bret’s brother Owen.

Kosmala finally ends the pool’s current longest streak without a death, at a comparatively light 166 days, with 25 points for Naipaul, while Munchak scores his second consecutive 63-year-old wrestler with Neidhart, giving him some breathing room in second, and beginning again the slow climb near the top. Despite some very quick research, I could not find Jim the Anvil Neidhart and Big Van Vader having ever faced each other, despite being the same age. Anyone want to take on this research task?

Replacement picks due by next Monday!

Note: I’m going to be completely out of touch from the 17th to the 26th, so if there are deaths or replacements made in this time, updates will be very slow or non-existent until I get back. Plan accordingly!

Jarrod Lyle!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 9, 2018 by joecetta

PGA tour golfer Jarrod Lyle sunk his last birdie yesterday, at the age of 36! Lyle’s professional career saw him win two tournaments in 2008 and compete in the U.S. Open and The Open Championship in the late ’00s. His health prevented a steady career, but he would make a series of comebacks through into the ’10s before retiring in 2014.

Now this one we’re going to have to talk through a bit. Just to preface – as I’ve stated before, I know the game aspect of this can get a bit ghoulish, but just so we’re completely above board, I’m going to discuss this death across some stark black-and-white facts, as we know them. Understand, I realize the general inappropriateness of this, but we have to talk about it now, while points are being awarded.

While no rule expressly states this (and I will be sure to remedy this in the future), a combination of existing rules can be interpreted to allow this death to pass. By all indications, Lyle died Wednesday night at 8:20 p.m. in Australia. It was announced in the morning on Thursday, again in Australia, referring to him having died the night before. The city he died in is 15 hours ahead of Chicago, meaning he died at something like 3:20 in the a.m. here. Sarah picked up Lyle at 4:57 pm on Tuesday, which means it was 7:57 a.m. in Australia, and Lyle was clearly still alive.

The combination of rules 6, 8, 10, and 11 most apply to this situation. The idea has always been that you cannot add/draft someone on the day they die and get points, but that concept has only been in consideration of the date here, where the pool is taking place, not in this time-jumping international scenario. Rule 8 states you cannot draft anyone who is brain dead, and while Lyle is purported to have slipped into a coma at some point on Wednesday, there is no speculation that he was brain dead. Rule 10 is the basic concept of replacement addition picks, and rule 11 is the catastrophic injury rule, which explicitly disincludes diagnoses of terminal diseases or other surprise announcements regarding general health, which this clearly falls into.

Rule 6 is worded that you shouldn’t draft anyone who is currently missing and presumed dead. This is really the trick to this death – the reason the same day idea exists is because for the most part announcements of deaths aren’t accompanied by times, so picking someone up the same day gets ruled out, as it’s possible the person could have died before they were taken. This is what we’re trying to avoid more than anything else. However, the two things aiding along this situation are that there is definitely a date change in America between the pick and the death, and that the death is time stamped in the announcement.

I know this one is a bit sticky, given all the extraordinary circumstances behind the speed with which this took place. It’s a judgment call, and I think it’s only fair to pass this one – same day here or same day overseas is narrow, but the original spirit of the rule holds up. One thing I want to make clear is that, while this is all pretty remarkable, it isn’t precedent setting. There will still be no argument for picking people up and having them die on the same calendar day, whether a time accompanies the announcement or not. It is not something I want to haggle over, and I’ll get this detailed out in the rules as soon as possible.

And so, after all that, Sarah scores her second death in two days on Lyle, extending her now tremendous lead, and setting a number of personal records in the process. Lyle is Sarah’s 100th death, becoming the first person to hit the century mark in the pool’s history, propelling her to her best year total ever, at 363, with still nearly five months left to play. It is the fifth best year total, after Adam’s record 442 from 2013, and my winning totals from 2017, ’15, and ’16, in order. Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Thursday!

Charlotte Rae, Paul Laxalt, and Stan Mikita!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 8, 2018 by joecetta

23-time draftees actress Charlotte Rae, Senator Paul Laxalt, and hockey great Stan Mikita helped August equal July’s death total already this week, leaving us at ages 92, 96, and 78, respectively! Rae’s lengthy career – including parts in Woody Allen’s Bananas and as Officer Leo Schnauser’s wife Sylvia on Car 54, Where Are You? – was capped in the ’80s by her role as Mrs. Garrett, first on Diff’rent Strokes and then The Facts of Life, for which she received an Emmy nomination. Laxalt served a term as Nevada’s governor before getting elected to the Senate, where he’d remain from ’74 through ’87. He made a quick, wildly unsuccessful stab at the presidency in ’88, before transitioning into chairing the campaigns of George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole. Mikita, of Wayne’s World fame, was one of the all-time greats in NHL and Blackhawks history, playing on the Stanley Cup winning 1961 team, and briefly holding a tie for the single-season scoring record. When he retired, he was the third leading scoring in NHL history, and entered the Hall of Fame in 1983.

Not a real place!

All three had spent time on Sarah’s teams over the years, but only Mikita was still on the leader’s squad, extending her formidable lead, while Capone manages to stay ahead of Dondos for third, both picking up points with 12 Year Woman Rae and Sen. Laxalt. The rich getting richer! Good job, folks!

Replacement picks due by next Wednesday!