This Day in Death

9.6.12: NFL Team Owner Art Modell – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:40 am September 7, 2012

Ha! That dog’s wearing pants!!


As I’ve said before, we don’t do sports posts too often around here because if I really felt the need to see a bunch of angry rich white guys tell a bunch of black guys what to do I’ll just rewatch “Roots.” But it’s Friday and I don’t feel like looking for anything else today so we’re doing this thing on Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell anyway. You should be lucky I’m even bothering to put up original content; Normally by this point in the week I’m just copying and pasting bits from David Niven’s autobiography and passing them off as my own.

Anyway, Modell was a once-popular and hugely influential team owner who became a pariah to the great (?) state (??) of Ohio when he moved the Browns to Baltimore. My broheims down at Buffalo Wild Wings insist it’s a fascinating story. But I don’t care about any of that so I’m just going to skim this issue of “Cat Fancy” while you read a boring ass block quote.

For 31 years, from 1962 to 1993, he represented National Football League owners in negotiations with television networks that generated $8.4 billion for the league and gave fans at home a coast-to-coast succession of games, turning Sunday afternoons, Monday nights and eventually Sunday nights into lost weekends for the most ardent fans. An innovative, relentless promoter, Mr. Modell even toyed with Friday night football.

Let’s skip ahead to what would be the 35-minute mark if this were an episode of “Behind the Music.” God, I wish this were an episode of “Behind the Music.”

But all that came crashing down in 1995 when Mr. Modell announced that, having lost $21 million in the previous two seasons, he would move the Browns to Baltimore for 1996.

Wounded Cleveland shrieked betrayal. There were street protests, an avalanche of hate mail and death threats against Mr. Modell. Sportswriters reviled him. At the final home game, beer bottles and seats torn from their moorings rained down on the field.

GRRRRR FOOTBAAALL!!! Oh, Cleveland! You truly are Ohio’s Detroit. I dunno, guys… maybe hang your city’s financial future on something other than the stability of roving bands of ‘roided up living Nike billboards and their vamprific handlers. Didn’t you guys used to have a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, or have the rat kings pretty much laid their claim by now?

Alright, well, I’m done here for the week. The only thing I’ve got left in the tank is “Fart Modell.” Yup. You stayed til the end for a flatulence joke. Go ahead and ruminate on that until my new shipment of snark arrives for Monday.


Source: The NY Times

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9.2.12: Starship Guitarist Mark Abrahamian – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:31 am September 6, 2012

Pictured: Former Massachusetts’s 10th congressional district representative Bill Delahunt. Oh wait, sorry, no. This is the guy who spent the last twelve years of his life playing the solo to “We Built this City” and bagging tons of 50-year old groupie strange. I mix those two guys up every single time.


Mark Abrahamian, guitarist for the rock band Starship, died on Sunday after collapsing after a performance in Nebraska. The medical gestapo would have you believe he died of a heart attack, but it was really probably from rockin’ too hard. Starship, of course, is not to be confused with Jefferson Starship, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship – The Next Generation, the board game Battleship, the film “Starman,” or the guitar that turns into a spaceship on those Boston album covers. Cosmic.

Let’s see how TMZ screws this up.

Abrahamian has been on tour with Starship starring Mickey Thomas since 2000. He has also played with the likes of Survivor, Toto, Loverboy and ACDC.

Except, as the comments insist and further research seems to confirm, Abrahamian never played with AC/DC. Jesus, TMZ, first you get your facts wrong and then you forget to represent the lightning bolt in the logo. THE LIGHTNING BOLT IS EVERYTHING, YOU CLASSLESS FUCKS. GOD, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND MY SPIRIT OF YOUTHFUL REBELLION!

In fairness to TMZ (which is by a country mile the most gracious gesture I’ll ever extend to those short-bussers), it’s kinda hard to tell most of these bands apart. If you’re not hip to how 80s rock worked, it’s simple: You’d get your union card and show up to the Iowa county fair and play with whomever turned up on stage. One night you’re the guitarist for Cinderella, the next night you’re drumming for Ratt. Most of the time you wouldn’t even know what band you were in unless you read the t-shirts of the burnouts in the front row. If someone at the union hall really hated you you’d probably find yourself on Stryper duty for the better part of a European tour.

As an aside, “We Built this City” was once ranked as the worst song of all time. And once again, “I Wanna Sex You Up” gets snubbed. This stuff is all politics, you know.


Source: TMZ

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9.2.12: Unification Church Founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:24 am September 5, 2012

As a general rule I have a very hard time understanding concepts that can’t be related via cartoon.


Sun Myung Moon, controversial founder of the Unification Church, is dead today. Okay, “controversial” might be underselling it a little, and “church” is pretty much just a flat-out lie. Hell, I’m not wild about that “of” in there, either. Ugh. It’s really getting hard to stay this cynical about everything. Much like Moon, I’m just a simple man trying to do God’s work here. Well, God or some other kind of deity. That part wasn’t really clear to me at the time, and I admit I wasn’t paying as much attention as I could have been. In hindsight I probably should’ve asked some more questions about that. Point is, I made a deal. Moving on.

Moon, four-time winner for most “That Shit Cray,” became a lightning rod for scandal over the course of his life and career for administering mass weddings, having ties to the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, tax evasion, purchasing political influence, brainwashing his followers, illegally generating income and for just doing general culty things. And, of course, there was the time when he straight up donned a crown and declared himself the messiah at an American banquet:

One of the more bizarre moments in Mr. Moon’s later years came on March 23, 2004, at what was described as a peace awards banquet, held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington. Members of Congress were among the guests. At one point Representative Danny K. Davis, an Illinois Democrat, wearing white gloves, carried in on a pillow one of two gold crowns that were placed on Mr. Moon and his wife.

At the banquet, Mr. Moon said emperors, kings and presidents had “declared to all heaven and earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity’s savior, messiah, returning lord and true parent.”

Wow. That is some heavy crazy right there. Dan Brown just wrote three awful novels based on that block quote. Marshall Applewhite probably told this guy to dial it down a touch. He should’ve at least worn a funny hat or something to lighten the mood. Or hand puppets! Who wouldn’t join a cult with hand puppets? Nobody ever listens to my ideas.

Source: New York Times

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9.3.12: Michael Clarke Duncan – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:59 am September 4, 2012

My biggest regret is that we never got to witness a cage match between Duncan and Aaron Neville for title of Most Gigantic Black Guy with a Surprisingly Tender Personality. I don’t have a lot of regrets.


Actor and sentient mountain of flesh Michael Clark Duncan died yesterday at the age of 54, the result of a heart attack he suffered in July. Nonetheless, his heart will be repurposed in 2013 as a cost-efficient replacement for the Hoover Dam’s hydropower plant generators. The guy was big as shit, if hyperbole and repetition hasn’t made that clear yet.

Duncan seemed like a good guy, and I’m not just saying that because I legitimately fear his ghost returning to beat me up in my sleep if I say otherwise, but I have to admit I was never terribly impressed by his range as an actor. Did you ever notice that he played a large black man in, like, every movie he was in? I mean, come on, shake it up a bit. Daniel Day Lewis once underwent extensive surgery that enabled him to spend months as an eight-year old Hispanic girl, all as preparation for a non-speaking background role in one scene of “Rain Man.” He won every single Oscar that year, including the shitty ones for sound mixing that they don’t air.

However, if there’s a silver lining here it’s that I get to add to my collection of insincere tweets from celebrities:

His co-star Mercedes Masohn tweeted: “Today is a sad day. Michael Clark Duncan passed away this morning. Known for his moving performance in The Green Mile. RIP MCD. You’ll b missed.”

Interesting creative decisions here. She’s got the “b” instead of “be,” but opted to spell “you’ll” correctly. All in all a pretty lopsided effort. Honestly, I expected more from a woman named after a luxury automobile.

One of his co-stars in [“In the Hive”] was Vivica A. Fox.

“My heart is shocked and saddened!! RIP Micheal Clark Duncan. U were the most gentle giant and the most gracious of a man! U wont b 4gotten! ” she tweeted.

Annnnd Fox shows us how it’s done. Really well-crafted delivery here. You’ve got the poor syntax with that whole “most gracious of a man” wreck, total lack of apostrophes, not one but THREE instances of a single letter standing in for a not much longer word, and even the controversial use of a number replacing a series of letters. That last move can come off a little showy, but she makes it work. Was mentioning her own heart tastelessly ironic or just borderline retarded? We’ll be debating it for ages, which is the hallmark of great art. Mmm! I will be kissing my fingers to this one for the rest of the week.

I kinda think it would be a good idea if, when an actor tries to buy a computer or a smart phone, we just sell them a Lite-Brite instead. Most would never be able to tell the difference anyway and then they wouldn’t be out there roaming the internet unsupervised, substituting numbers for letters and posting videos about how hard their unbelievably amazing lives are. Sigh. Seeing that video just makes me regret not saving the money I made during my tenure in Menudo. Turns out it doesn’t matter how young your spirit is, they kick you out at 20 anyway.

Source: CNN

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9.1.12: Songwriter Hal David – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 11:08 am September 3, 2012

Before you ask: Fuck yes he did.

Songwriter Hal David died this weekend, and as usual I’ll be giving you my largely ignorant Cliff’s Notes about who he was because you’re not motivated enough to look it up yourself. And I respect that.

David’s gentle pop sensibilities were representative of an era when people preferred songs about where raindrops may be falling in re: one’s head, or whether or not there is always something there to remind you (there is). His greatest successes came as a result of the many hits he wrote for Dionne Warwick with fellow composer Burt Bacharach. David was, of course, the sexy one. Together the duo conquered the charts with “Walk on By,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Anyone Who Had a Heart” and oh so many other songs that undid all the hard work He-Man and the Masters of the Universe put into me.

 The sophistication of Mr. David and Mr. Bacharach’s songs was a ticket beyond the Top 40 for them. They often wrote for the movies, and four of their songs were nominated for Academy Awards: “What’s New, Pussycat?,” “Alfie,” “The Look of Love” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” the last of which brought them their only Oscar, in 1970.

David also scored a major hit with “What the World Needs Now is Love,” which contains a surprising amount of neo-Nazi propaganda. You have to read between the lines a little but once you notice it it’s in damn near every line. I would say he was overdoing it a bit, but then again I’m not a hit songwriter.

Source: New York Times

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