This Day in Death

10.18.13: Coach Bum Phillips – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 12:00 am October 24, 2013

BUM_PHILLIPSPictured: Tasteful sophistication, Texas-style! I bet you anything he’s curing jerky under that hat.


You all should know by now that I don’t do many posts about sports. The main reason being that if I wanted to read about young men getting the hell beat out of them by entire swarms of pigpiling jocks I can refer back to my LiveJournal from 7th grade. Ha! Childhood trauma!

Point is, you’re gonna have a real hard time convincing me to give a wet one about sports. So, in order to keep myself amused while you read this block quote about former Oilers coach Bum Phillips’ death, I’m just gonna imagine what popular athletes would be named if they were depicted as loveable animal characters in a Saturday morning cartoon show. So far I’ve got Mike Bison, Donovan McCrabb, Patrick Earwig, Shrew Brees, and Tiger Woods. That last one was… less than imaginative.

Bum Phillips, the homespun Texan who was caricatured as a cowboy but possessed a keen football mind that built the Houston Oilers into one of the National Football League’s leading teams of the late 1970s, died Friday at his ranch in Goliad, Tex. He was 90.

God, it’s a good thing Phillips was from Texas or I’d have nothing to make fun of here. In fact, I’m kinda having the opposite problem: I’m not sure if I should mock the whole “Boss-Hog-crossed-with-a-gay-Eskimo” style he’s rocking in the banner there, or the fact that Texas has some of the worst literacy problems in the country, or that Texas gave up significant portions of their land in a desperate plea to be admitted into the U.S., or the fact that nobody in Texas will be able to respond to any of this because the only guy in the state who knows how to “do computers” keeps his Netscape Navigator locked firmly onto shady bestiality sites. In the end, the best course is probably just to- Oh! Kareem Abdul-Jaguar! This is a fun game.


Source: The NY Times

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9.1.13: Boxer Tommy Morrison – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:30 am September 6, 2013

TOMMY_MORRISONHOLY CAT BALLS WHAT THE SHIT IS HAPPENING HERE?! *That’s* boxing?! I always assumed it was, like, you know… aggressive hugging. Did… did they just knock each other’s facial features off? Is that how Foreman lost his hair?


As my regular readers (aka Viagra spambots) know, I don’t do sports posts too often. That’s mainly because it brings up too many painful memories of the scandal that ended my promising dressage career. In my defense, nowhere in the rulebook is it clearly stated that you’re *not* supposed to throw away your horse after each use.

Regardless, we’re covering the death of boxer Tommy Morrison today, and definitely not just because I got confused and thought Toni Morrison had died. Uh. That is to say, who’s Toni Morrison? If her work happens to be that of some master storyteller who illuminates the human condition with equal parts glorious wonder and devastating, jet black sorrow, all set against a backdrop of the tarnished American dream, well, that’s simply not something you’d ever find in my mancave, I can tell you that much. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s high time I tune my widescreen television unit to the ESPN. If I have to go one more minute without checking the score results of my favorite local sport groups I’m totally gonna spill my alcoholic beverage all over my sporting jersey blouse.

Morrison won his first 28 professional fights, beating faded champions such as Pinklon Thomas along the way. His career reached its apex in the summer of 1993 with the unanimous decision over Foreman, then in the midst of a comeback, to claim a vacant title.

Morrison claimed to be a grandnephew of John Wayne, which is how he got the nickname “The Duke.” If I were a boxer I’d probably go with a nickname that’s not so much intimidating as it is completely inexplicable, like “Ruby Sandwich” or “The Outdated Courtship Ritual” or something. That way, while my opponent is trying to figure out what my name might mean, I could throw some dirt in his eyes, which should cause enough chaos to allow me to steal some sweat towels and beat a hasty retreat. That’s why they call boxing “the Sweet Science.”


Source: ESPN

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4.16.13: “Voice of the NFL” Pat Summerall – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:23 am April 23, 2013

PAT_SUMMERALLSummerall, seen here with the shaved polar bear that FOX would sub in whenever John Madden was too hammered to wake up. Some people will tell you they can tell the difference between an authentic Madden broadcast and the ones the bear held down, but those people are probably just trying to impress you.


As I’ve copy and pasted to you many times before, we don’t do many sports posts around these parts. That shit is boring, and if I felt like memorizing a bunch of confusing rules just to get through my day I would’ve read those Megan’s Law forms the judge gave me. But the “voice of the NFL” Pat Summerall died last week, and we’re gonna cover it because I think talking about football might make me seem manlier. I’ve really gotta do something to balance out all of those Blossom repeats I’ve been watching on Oxygen lately.

George Allen “Pat” Summerall was born May 10, 1930, in Lake City, Fla., a rural area midway between Jacksonville and Tallahassee. He was an all-around athlete and attended the University of Arkansas on a basketball scholarship. Once there he became an all-Southwest Conference selection in basketball and football. He graduated with a degree in education and later earned a master’s degree in Russian history.

Wait, a football player with a master’s in Russian history? In the real world that’s like getting a PhD in Everything. What happened to the standard bullshit BA in Communications degree that every pro athlete usually gets? You don’t have to aim so high, it’s not like we expect much from you guys in that area. Charles Barkley only has an associates in Doritos, and I’m pretty sure he just made that field up. But studying Russian history probably involves actual work. Figuring out how to pronounce those backwards R’s, for one thing. That’s a semester right there.

Source: USA Today

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3.5.13: William Moody, aka Paul Bearer – DEAD!

Filed under: Uncategorized —James @ 10:28 pm March 7, 2013

PAUL_BEARERTim Burton’s WWE needs more Helena Bonham-Carter.


It’s time to spritz some Febreze onto your mourning singlet, because William “Paul Bearer” Moody, professional wrestling’s resident mortician and The Undertaker’s manager, is dead. Wait, why would you hire a mortician to manage your career? That seems like a conflict of interest. The late night talk show monologues would practically write themselves. I mean, I appreciate his wanting to keep a consistent theme going, but this just seems like a poorly executed professional decision from the normally thoughtful Undertaker. It’s like when I found out that Bret “Hitman” Hart wasn’t filing quarterly, despite the tax breaks he’d get as an independently contracted assassin. Jesus, man! You’re just causing undue tax season stress if you’re filing annually based on a 1099-MISC! The 1040-ES is made for you! Goddammit… It really hurts to find out your childhood heroes weren’t all they were cracked up to be.

“WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of William Moody, aka Paul Bearer,” the wrestling organization said on its website.

“Moody made his WWE debut in 1991 as the manager of The Undertaker and went on to become a memorable part of WWE over the course of the next 20 years,” the site said.

For his spooky character, Moody wore pasty makeup, carried an urn and spoke in a high-pitched wail. He made his last television appearance for WWE in April 2012, the organization said.

Alright, let’s stick our fists into the disgusting hopper that is the microblogosphere and see if we can pull out a new entry for our series of insincere tweets of mourning:

HOGAN_TWEETOkay, I’m prepared to assume that the lack of proper spacing after the commas is just general ignorance. He’s not a damn 4th grade English teacher, I’m letting that slide. Things don’t really get questionable until the end, when the Hulkster must’ve realized he was running dangerously short on characters and sure as shit wasn’t gonna burn *two* tweets on a guy he’s not entirely sure wasn’t just a ‘roid rage hallucination, so he just starts deleting words and punctuation altogether. What’s really interesting, though, is that he made sure to set two characters aside so that he could include his initials, despite the fact that his twitter handle is already @HulkHogan, the name on his profile is Hulk Hogan, and there’s a picture of Hulk Hogan staring right at you. Because there’s a time to grieve, and then there’s a time to grow your brand, brother.

Source: Yahoo!

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2.18.13: Lakers’ Owner Jerry Buss – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:10 am February 21, 2013

JERRY_BUSSPictured: Cocaine.


As I’ve tried to make clear to you guys on numerous occasions, I don’t do a lot of sports posts around here. Sorry, but if I wanted to watch a bunch of guys in matching uniforms march around in front of mindlessly adoring crowds I can Netflix Schindler’s List. But maybe that’s your thing; Sports/Nazism. Hey, I’m not here to judge. My function is merely to unfairly frame things so that others may more easily judge in the future. It’s noble, sure, but I wouldn’t exactly call myself a ‘hero,’ per se.

Anyway, if you really insist on talking about someone other than me, here’s a little something about Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss dying. Hey, did you know that Jay-Z owns barely a tenth of a percent of the Nets, even though he acts like he’s purchased the entire borough of Brooklyn? Basically, if Jay-Z’s money wasn’t involved with the Nets then Andray Blatche might have to switch to a slightly less absorbent sweatband.

The death of the Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss Monday at age 80 brought out all the usual remembrances, which included the proper credit for creating the Lakers phenomenon out of almost nothing, for spawning much of what we recognize as the modern N.B.A. out of so much magic dust. The tales of the man behind all that, though, were so colorful and so unlikely, it is worth taking a second to realize that if Jerry Buss had not been real, Hollywood would have had to make him up.

Look, you can dress it up all you want, but I still think it’s silly that they based an entire sport off of a Will Ferrell movie. If that’s gonna be the template I’d much rather they make a phoney sport out of that one he did about the rednecks who drive around in circles for no good reason and wear jumpsuits with corporate logos all over them like a bunch of shameless goddamn whores. Man, that shit would be hilarious to watch in real life!


Source: The New York Times

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11.24.12: Hector “Macho” Camacho – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:42 am November 28, 2012

Camacho, seen here arriving at his mother’s funeral… in style!


Well, I guess you can add “sitting in a car” to the list of shit that will get you killed in Puerto Rico, because that’s what took out famed boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho last week. Other recent entries include not holding an elevator door, failure to lock after popping, “talking some stuff,” wearing red, NOT wearing red, looking in the principal direction of a cholo located with 500 meters, and crying at the end of The Notebook. That’s… that’s a rough list.

Hector Camacho, a boxer known for his lightning-quick hands and flamboyant personality who emerged from a delinquent childhood in New York’s Spanish Harlem to become a world champion in three weight classes, died Saturday in San Juan, P.R., four days after after being shot while sitting in a parked car. He was 50.

His death was reported by Dr. Ernesto Torres, the director of the Centro Médico trauma center in Puerto Rico, who said Camacho had a heart attack and died a short time later after being taken off life support. He was declared brain dead on Thursday.

Oh! His last name rhymes with “macho!” Ha, I get that now. That’s pretty good.

As a teenager Camacho was a brawler, a serial shoplifter, an admitted drug user and a car thief, and he never put that part of his nature behind him. He was arrested numerous times on charges including domestic abuse, possession of a controlled substance, burglary and trying to take an M-16 rifle through customs. This year he turned himself in after a warrant charged him with beating one of his sons. A trial was pending at his death.

Eek. It’s like he was trying to undo all of the positive moral associations with the spitcurl that Superman worked so hard to establish. It’s a potent sociological trick, and the same reason that I wear a Hitler mustache while volunteering at the soup kitchen. Change is all about baby steps, you know.


Source: The New York Times

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11.8.12: Oldest Living Baseball Hall of Famer Lee MacPhail – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:07 pm November 12, 2012

Well, it’s no commemorative 9/11 coin advertised on Comedy Central at 3 am, but it’s still a pretty classy gesture, I guess.


As you all know, I don’t do many sports posts around here. I decided in 1996 that it was in my best interest to stay away from that whole arena after I lost $15,000 betting against the TuneSquad in Space Jam. My bookie kept telling me, “It’s just a movie, not an actual sporting event. The ending is predetermined, and they’re not gonna let the team with Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan lose.” What can I say; I really thought the Monstars were hungrier.

But today former president of the American League and oldest living baseball Hall of Famer Lee MacPhail is dead. Is “oldest living Hall of Famer” really much of an honor? It’s like being the fattest astronaut. Anway, I won’t lie about this: I was pretty disinterested until I got to the following.

Despite his placid demeanor, Lee MacPhail was probably best remembered for being at the center of a baseball storm: the pine-tar dispute of July 1983. In a game between the Yankees and the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium, an umpire disallowed a go-ahead home run by George Brett of the Royals with two outs in the ninth inning, ruling that Brett had too much pine tar on his bat.

“Too much pine tar on his bat” is the greatest euphemism for excessive masturbation that I’ve ever heard. After that the article really loses steam. I’ve always said that sports reporting needs to cater more to the mindset of prepubescent boys/pantsless bloggers and the fact that “excessive masturbation” is now logged into my search history just proves my point.


Source: The New York Times

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10.10.12: N.F.L. Lineman and Webster’s Dad Alex Karras – DEAD!

Filed under: Uncategorized —James @ 12:33 pm October 11, 2012

Fun fact: The script of every episode of “Webster” simply read “teach poignant lesson.” The decision to do so with a mustache was pure Karras, though.


If you’re a regular reader here at the TDiD, then first and foremost I’d like to sincerely apologize for all of the slurs against the Chinese. I honestly didn’t realize that we as a nation weren’t cool with that stuff anymore. But beyond that, it means you’re aware that I don’t do a lot of sports posts. The main reason being that if I wanted a hobby that lent itself to a “fantasy” component I would still be writing My Little Pony slash fiction.

But the death of former Detroit Lions linebacker turned actor Alex Karras is notable because 1.) it’s a good reminder that Detroit used to be a place that existed, and 2.) Karras also played the dad on 80s sitcom “Webster.” That’s right, “Webster.” The show that taught a generation of kids all sorts of useful life lessons but completely failed to address the scourge of the era that was my uncle getting drunk and taking a dump in my Castle Greyskull playset on Christmas morning. I know it’s a tough topic, but they could’ve done a two-parter or something.

Alex Karras, a fierce and relentless All-Pro lineman for the Detroit Lions whose irrepressible character frequently placed him at odds with football’s authorities but led to a second career as an actor on television and in the movies, died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 77.

Notably, Karras also played Mongo in “Blazing Saddles.” Between a respectably diverse acting career, his time with the NFL, and authoring a couple of books, Karras really showed an admirable willingness to embrace change and variety in the work that he did. By way of contrast, yesterday somebody put down the kickstand on my keyboard and I instantly burst into tears and took the rest of the week off.


Source: The New York Times

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9.18.12: NFL Films President Steve Sabol – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 4:25 pm September 19, 2012

Looks like you won for everything but modesty, S-bolz.

So the president of NFL Films Steve Sabol is dead today, but I’m practicing being coolly aloof to impress a girl I like. Whatever, let’s just go to the block quote, I guess.

In 1962, Steve’s father Ed made the winning bid to shoot the NFL championship game. The longtime amateur cinematographer called his son, then a football player at Colorado College. “I see from your grades that you’ve been doing nothing but playing football and watching movies,” the elder Sabol told his son. “But that makes you uniquely qualified for this new position I have in mind.”

Hey! That’s kinda like how I got this blogging job! Except that I was playing Tetris, and most of the movies I was watching were at least tangentially associated with Joanna Angel, but the meat and potatoes of our stories are shockingly similar. My dad even gave me the money for this site, although I told him it was gonna be about scriptural analysis and just haven’t answered his phone calls ever since. Sigh. Some days it doesn’t seem like Mitch Albom is *ever* gonna write that book about my life.

Within the next few years, the Sabols aligned their professional futures and creative passions with the league as the men behind NFL Films. And through the decades, every possible innovation in football film and video — nearly every possible innovation in sports film and video — came from their fertile minds. Without their vision and hard work, pro football would not be nearly as popular as it is today.

They brought quality narration to sports highlights with the great voices of John Facenda and Harry Kalas. They brought grand, sweeping orchestral music to the form with the great compositions of Sam Spence. They made us laugh at football with the Follies series, which debuted in the late 1960s and was always Films’ most popular product. They turned the Super Bowl into an international sensation with their yearly highlight packages, and elevated sports film to high art with countless documentaries and longer-form projects.

So… is it safe to say that the Sabols can be partially blamed for the transformation of sporting events into this weird quasi-religious cultural orgy of product endorsements and artificially drawn-out postgame programming, and are therefore the reason why we always had to rejoin The Cosby Mysteries when it was already in progress? The payoff at the end of the episode doesn’t have any impact if I didn’t get to see the set-up, dillweeds!

Source: Yahoo!

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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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