Jimmy Breslin!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 20, 2017 by joecetta

Man, the people of NYC really missed a big, wacky opportunity here!

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Jimmy Breslin beat his final deadline this weekend, at the age of 88! Breslin’s legendary status as a New York columnist was solidified through his years writing for The New York Daily News, The New York Herald Tribune  and Newsday, as well as his central role in the Son of Sam murders in 1977, being repeatedly contacted by the killer, David Berkowitz. Breslin famously ran for president of the New York City Council in partnership with Norman Mailer’s crackpot bid for mayor in 1969 – a fun, literary-based publicity stunt that would no doubt have succeeded today, given the current propensity for electing celebrities to office (they finished fourth in the Democratic primary). In addition to his newspaper columns, Breslin also authored a number of books, including the mob expose The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, which allegedly earned him a significant ass-whipping from mob figure Jimmy Burke, later portrayed by Robert DeNiro in Goodfellas!

And it’s the commissioner netting a second score of the year with my five-year team member Breslin, the 22 points moving me into fifth on the year!

Replacement pick is due by next Monday!

Chuck Berry!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2017 by joecetta

Rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry got his last call from cousin Marvin today, at the age of 90! One of the inaugural inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, Berry is frequently included in Greatest Rock Artists, Greatest Rock Performers, Greatest Guitarists, and Greatest Composers of Lewd Entendre Songs lists. “Johnny B. Goode” was named the Greatest Guitar Song of All-Time by Rolling Stone in 2004, a choice no doubt influenced by Marty McFly’s slaying of said number at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance in 1955. The 1950s also saw such Berry classics as “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Rock and Roll Music,” “No Particular Place to Go,” “You Never Can Tell,” “Memphis, Tennessee,” and “Sweet Little Sixteen.” His last #1 wouldn’t come until 1972, with that classic ode to the male war-hammer, “My Ding-a-Ling.” His is the only rock and roll song included on the Voyager Golden Record, sent into deep space for future alien ears! His house in St. Louis during the 1950’s is on the National Register of Historic Places! Chuck Berry, as much as anyone who has ever lived, was rock and roll.

Chuck is the third Eleven Year Man (have to come up with a more elegant name for these folks) to leave us this year, after Judge Wapner and Lou Duva. He bounced around five different teams in the first six years of the pool (Baxter, Munchak, Sean, Sam, and Bomba, in that order) before landing with the Gardons in 2013, his home ever since. These 20 points are the first tally of ’17 for the Gardons! 75% of the teams are now in the game! Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Saturday!

Derek Walcott!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 17, 2017 by joecetta

Nobel Prize winning poet and playwright Derek Walcott exited stanza left this St. Patrick’s Day, at the age of 87! A St. Lucia native, Walcott won an Obie award for Dream on Monkey Mountain as Best Foreign Play in 1971, but it was immediately after the publication of his epic poem Omeros in the early ’90s (and was named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review) that he received the Nobel, becoming only the second Caribbean writer to receive the honor. Epic poems and plays!? The dream!

And Sam is on the board for the first time here in Year Eleven! She pulls down the 23 points, after Walcott bounced between Team Adam and Team Kristin M. for the previous five years, and leaves only six people sans points here not even a quarter of the way through the contest. Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Friday!

Jack H. Harris!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2017 by joecetta

“It’s Blobberiffic!” – lazy critics everywhere

Film producer Jack H. Harris hurled low budget scares at your face for the last time this week, at the age of 98! Harris is best known for conceiving and producing the original Blob movie in 1958, as well as many of its sequels/spinoffs/reboots – Beware! The Blob, 1988’s The Blob, and of course, Blobermouth. He is also credited with less schlocky fare, including producing The Eyes of Laura Mars and John Carpenter’s Dark Star, but also even schlockier fare as well, such as 1973’s Schlock. He is the oldest person to be presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, awarded three years ago when he was 95! Way to go!

And Sarah gets her fourth of the year, giving her a little breathing room in second with the 12 Harris points. Nice job!

Replacement pick is due by next Wednesday!

Robert James Waller!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 10, 2017 by joecetta

Author and photographer Robert James Waller penned his last rural love story this week, at the age of 77! His 1992 novel The Bridges of Madison County is one of the best-selling books of all-time worldwide, with an estimated 50 million copies in print, and was made into an Oscar-nominated Clint Eastwood/Meryl Streep movie in 1995 and a Tony winning musical in 2014. This kicked off a string of similarly themed successful novels in the 1990s, including Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend (the 3rd best-selling book of 1993), Puerto Vallarta Squeeze, and the Madison County sequels A Thousand Country Roads and High Plains Tango. I have never read any of these books, but come on, I am hardly the target market.

And Jeff scores his first death of 2017, 33 points on Waller jumping him into the top five! Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Friday!

Lou Duva!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 8, 2017 by joecetta

Legendary boxing trainer and manager Lou Duva threw in the towel today, at the age of 94! Duva worked with numerous world champions across a variety of weight classes, including Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Pernell Whitaker, Hector Camacho, Fernando Vargas, Michael Moorer, Joey Giardello, and Vinny Pazienza, among others. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1998, but is yet to be granted the invite to the WWF/WWE Hall, despite appearing at Wrestlemania 2 alongside his cousin, Captain Lou Albano. Duva was also portrayed on the big screen by Buffalo Bill himself Ted Levine in last year’s Bleed For This, a movie virtually no one saw about Pazienza’s amazing comeback to boxing.

And Capone notches a fourth KO here in 2017, the 16 Duva points sliding him up to third overall in the standings! Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Wednesday!

Robert Osborne!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 6, 2017 by joecetta

Osborne during an appearance at the Music Box Theater in Chicago in 2011

Up next, a bit part actor becomes a beloved film critic and historian thanks to cable television and every man charm in Robert Osborne, tonight on Turner Classic Movies! Osborne had minor roles in the ’50s and ’60s, including the pilot for The Beverly Hillbillies, before transitioning to film journalism full-time. His work on The Hollywood Reporter lead to the presidency of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for a time, before joining The Movie Channel in 1984. This led directly to his hiring at TCM, introducing films and hosting The Essentials, among other programs, from 1994 to 2016.

And Kosmala is on the board here in year eleven! With a significantly depleted team, it’s going to be difficult to repeat last year’s huge numbers, but the skip is off to solid start with the 26 Osborne points, jumping him to the top of the Delver and sixth overall! Well done!

Replacement pick due by next Monday!