This Day in Death

6.6.16: Kimbo Slice – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 1:40 pm June 13, 2016

KIMBO_SLICEGranted, he was pretty intimidating, but you could put that durag on Fred Savage and I’d be just as scared. Wait, no, that’s not true.

 

As I’ve had to (ironically, at this point) disclaim many times, we don’t do many sports posts around here. Nope, I’ve sat through Over the Top, both Major Leagues, and all of those Karate Kid movies, and the evidence is clear; Sports dramatically raise your risk of exposure to dated buttrock soundtracks. Talk to your doctor if you’ve experienced symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Loggins Disease, Hagar Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV), or Bononucleosis.

Nonetheless, today we’re talking about the death of Kevin Ferguson, aka Kimbo Slice, and not just because we share the same nickname. Of course, the difference is that he became known as “Slice” after leaving a large cut on an opponent’s face, whereas I got it because I once ate half the menu at the Cheesecake Factory to win a bet. The medics said I wouldn’t survive the night, although I think they underestimated just how high I’ve raised the tolerance threshold for abusing my body. It’s a special kind of discipline.

But back to people who aren’t me for a moment. Slice, a controversial figure in the worlds of MMA and boxing, died last week at the age of 42 due to heart failure resulting from a tumor on his liver. It’s a surprisingly early end to his life and career, but at least he’s in heaven punching angels now. Yeah, I feel I’ve pieced the jist of the Bible together pretty well over the years.

He played middle linebacker at Miami’s Palmetto High and showed the potential to play in college before Hurricane Andrew caused Palmetto High’s season to be cut short and his scholarship offers vanished. He flunked out of college at Bethune-Cookman University and was homeless for a brief time. He worked as a limo driver, strip-club bouncer and bodyguard before rising to fame through his viral street-fighting videos.

Ugh. Even for someone who lived as hard and fast as Slice did, 42 is still a depressingly young age to die. Life doesn’t even begin until 50, if the t-shirt section at Spencer Gifts is to be believed. As an athlete in your early 40s there are still so many ears left uncauliflowered, so many used mouthguards left to sell on eBay to recoup unsuccessful vanity record label losses, and at least one sad and misguided late-career comeback attempt. I was really looking forward to being let down by that in 10 years.

 

Sources: ESPN and Yell Magazine (header image)

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6.3.16: Muhammad Ali – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 3:40 pm June 6, 2016

SvA_fullAli and Superman, seen here settling a dispute over the most tasteful way to publicly wear too-short man trunks. I’m giving it to Ali on a technicality, since Supes is kinda cheating by wearing a unitard underneath. Show us them supergams or go back to Krypton, Kal-El!


As I’ve long since gotten sick of telling you people, I only do sports posts on this here laffy laff site when someone of great notability has passed. You see, most sports are simply too violent for me. I’m a humanitarian, and I can’t bring myself to witness people putting themselves through that kind of punishment for such trivial rewards as fame and fortune. Now watching street people fight each other for half of my Filet-O-Fish, well, that’s a beautiful display of survival skills. Maybe I’m just more interested in what really matters in this world.

Regardless of why your lapsed morals caused you to develop such an unquenchable bloodlust, you’ve no doubt marveled at the almost unbearably graphic facepunchery of storied boxman and civil rights activist Muhammad Ali. Unfortunately, Ali passed away over the weekend due to a respiratory illness brought on by Parkinson’s Disease. While the odds of him triumphantly punching his way out of the grave and challenging Death to a rematch are slim, I advise keeping an eye on it for a few days anyway, as that would be wicked metal.

Crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC, Ali was noted for his pre- and post-fight talk and bold fight predictions just as much as his boxing skills inside the ring.

But he was also a civil rights campaigner and poet who transcended the bounds of sport, race and nationality.

Asked how he would like to be remembered, he once said: “As a man who never sold out his people. But if that’s too much, then just a good boxer.

“I won’t even mind if you don’t mention how pretty I was.”

In his later years, Ali’s struggle with Parkinson’s stripped him of both his mobility and his characteristic speech. It’s like he made some bizarre Faustian deal where he got to be great at two things and then had those two things taken away from him. You know, I don’t get why the devil feels like he has to pull that sneaky shit every time. You’re already getting an eternal soul, why add insult to injury with the whole “ironic loophole” thing? Let some poor schmuck enjoy 70 or so years of having the girthiest dong without any weird unforeseen complications, and then you get to hold complete dominion over him for literally all of the remaining time in existence. It’s already a pretty lopsided deal, and you’re trying to sweeten the pot? Pettiness does not look good on you, Prince of Darkness.


Source: BBC

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4.20.14: Rubin “Hurricane” Carter – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 4:46 pm May 5, 2014

RUBIN_CARTERCarter, seen here being visited in prison by Bob Dylan. Man, 70s-era Dylan could’ve taught even Johnny Depp a thing or four about the accessory management game. For instance, if the flower in your Panama hat is a spring-bloomer you really should flip your top-most scarf in the same direction, but for summer and fall flowers (like, say, a Cottage Apricot Chrysanthemum, which is just lovely, by the way) you’re going to want to do a full-wrap with one of your mid-level scarves, which, obviously, should be a light cotton along the lines of a Roberto Cavalli triangle wrap. Anyway, #rockandroll, #prison, #hardguys.

 

As you all should be thoroughly aware of by now, I don’t bother following sports. That’s largely because ESPN is right next to Bravo on my cable box, making it a level 3 “accidental Andy Cohen viewing” threat. But prizefighter Rubin “Hurricane” Carter is dead, and I have a duty to keep writing this blog until someone calls me a genius and puts my face on a series of commemorative plates, so let’s just get on with it.

In 1967, Carter was convicted of murdering three people in a bar in New Jersey. The case became a tangled mess of racism, questionable legal and police procedures, media buffoonery, and bitchin’ protest songs. Amidst the confusion, Carter became a symbol of all that’s wrong with our legal system, and a painful reminder of how far we still have to go when it comes to healing our racial divides. After 19 years, his conviction was overturned and he would spend the rest of his life fighting for others whom he believed had been falsely imprisoned. It’s a harrowing story of prejudice, perseverance, and, ultimately, justice. Certainly something we should all take some time to reflect on, except that, yeah, he probably did kill those people after all. That kinda puts a heavy “do the ends justify the means?” stank on this story, which this blog is absolutely not up to the task of addressing. It’d be a lot easier on me if Carter had just slung worthless grills like George Foreman or something. I like him, you can tell he’s one of the good ones. I’m talking about boxers, not… you know. What? Oh whatever, fuck you guys. I can’t be racist, I had three Busta Rhymes albums in high school, so there.

BLOCK QUOTE SQUAD IS DANGEROUS!

His ordeal and its racial overtones were publicized in Dylan’s 1975 song “Hurricane,” several books and a 1999 film starring Denzel Washington, who received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal.

In a statement issued Sunday, Washington praised Carter’s “tireless fight to ensure justice for all.”

Point, Washington. Counterpoint:



HEART_CONDITION

You made this. This would not have existed without your active and willing participation, and a small handful of people ended up seeing it. Carter lost 19 years, those people lost 100 minutes each, adding up to somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 total hours, gone. You tell me, where’s their justice? So, you know, I guess there are two sides to every story, huh? Case dismissed!



Source: The Huffington Post

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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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5.27.12: Boxer Johnny Tapia – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:35 am May 29, 2012

Apparently Tapia got his tattoos done by the same guy who airbrushed the 1986 Ford Econoline that’s been illegally parked across the street from me for the past year and a half.

 

Five time boxing champion Johnny Tapia is dead today, which is really something you should’ve gleaned from the headline and picture up there. I dunno, maybe you have some kind of cognitive learning disorder or something. I’m not a neurologist, get off my case.

Johnny Tapia, the five-time boxing champion whose turbulent career was marked by cocaine addiction, alcohol, depression and run-ins with the law, was found dead Sunday at his Albuquerque home. He was 45.

Authorities were called to the house at about 7:45 p.m. on Sunday, spokesman Robert Gibbs said. The death didn’t appear to be suspicious, he said.

Or at least that’s what spokesman Robert Gibbs would prefer everyone believe. This guy really seems to have a keen interest in wrapping this case up nice and quiet, is all I’m saying.

In a 1990s-era feud with fellow Albuquerque boxer and former world champion Danny Romero, Tapia’s fans anointed him with the slang Spanish title of “Burque’s Best.”

But his life was also marked by tragedy. He was orphaned at 8, his mother stabbed 26 times with a screwdriver and left to die.

JESUS CHRIST, MAN. Did this just turn into the script for a Jason Statham movie somehow? I was all set to complain about how I was gonna keep this post short because my knee feels weird, but now I guess I’ll just spend a few hours looking in the mirror and calling myself a pussy. Which is really more of a weekend activity, so this has kinda screwed up my whole dayplanner.

 

Source: Sports Illustrated

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