Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Cleaning out the Inbox:Passings

   It's been a while since I have worked on a tribute post for recent persons of note that have passed on, so with the Browns on a bye week, it's a good time to work on one.

Goodbye to Angelo Mosca at the age of 84.

Mosca, who was known as "King Kong" in his pro wrestling days, was a Canadian Football Hall of Famer, winning five Grey Cups and named to the CFL All-Pro team on seven different occasions.

Mosca's #68 was retired by the team that he spent of his career with, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and was only the second player ever to have his number retired by the team.

Mosca was a huge star in Canada as a wrestler and wrestled in most of the American territories as a heel, although he usually was not the top heel in the territory.

Mosca did come through the WWF as the monthly foil for champion Bob Backlund before his most memorable moment in the company against Pat Patterson when Mosca attacked Patterson, serving as a television commentator, with a steel water pitcher and leading to a program between the two.

Goodbye to Kal Rudman at the age of 91.

Rudman, a long-time giant in the music business in Philadelphia, was known as the most influential music industry member in that city and as the person that advised Bruce Springsteen on how to make his music more popular with women in the late seventies.

However, to me, Rudman was famous for his monthly commentary on the WWF house shows from the Philadelphia Spectrum for some of the campiest and unintentionally funny commentaries one could find in an industry filled with such commentators.

Watching Rudman on these shows (and the occasional Capital Centre USA Network) is hilarious and the surprise that Rudman's fawning over Magnificent Muraco ( a heel) at a time when announcers NEVER did that makes me wonder how did this stuff make the air?

Goodbye to Bob Neumeier at the age of 70.

Neumeier, a longtime Boston area sports commentator, was best remembered outside of the New England area for his work on thoroughbred racing broadcasts for both ESPN and NBC as an on-air handicapping expert.

I always found Neumeier not only an excellent handicapper but an engaging and witty broadcaster that brought a lot to the broadcasts that he worked.

Goodbye to Bob Ferry at the age of 84.

Ferry played for three teams in a ten-year playing career before a seventeen-year run as the general manager for the Baltimore/Washington Bullets that saw the Bullets win their only NBA title in 1978.

It was Ferry that drafted Wes Unseld first overall in 1969 and Ferry was responsible for adding Elvin Hayes for Jack Marin in one of the more lopsided trades in NBA history but his most underrated move in the Bullets title win was signing small forward Bob Dandridge as a free agent from the Bucks before the championship season.
Dandridge gave the Bullets the small forward scoring threat that allowed Washington to use Elvin Hayes at power forward where his quickness was an advantage against slower players.

Ferry was also the father of former Cavalier Danny Ferry, which led me in a roundabout way to meeting Ferry,

Ferry had been fired as the GM of the Bullets but he was attending Danny's first game at the Capital Centre with the Cavaliers with the Ferry family.

Cherie, a three-year-old Ryan decked out in his Cavaliers uniform, and I was waiting in line for the doors to open when a lady walked over and swooned over Ryan and his uniform.

She turned out to be Danny's mom (and Bob's wife) and called Bob Ferry over to look at Ryan and his uniform, so I was then able to talk basketball with Bob Ferry for a few minutes or so until the fans were allowed to enter the arena.

Goodbye to Mark Roth at the age of 70.

The three-time PBA bowler of the year in the late 1970s when the PBA still had a large weekend presence on network television and was known for his distinctive delivery of the ball that "cranked" more power than the other players on the tour.

Roth won eight tournaments in 1978 to set a still-standing PBA record, was the first bowler to convert the feared Seven-Ten split in a televised match in 1980, and still is the only righthanded bowler to manage that feat on television as the three times that it has been accomplished since have been all by southpaw bowlers.

Goodbye to Blackjack Lanza at the age of 88.

Lanza spent most of his career wrestling in the AWA but his wrestling career is remembered by many of outside of the Midwest as the founding member of the original Blackjacks, Lanza's team with the late Blackjack Mulligan.

The Blackjacks did have one run in the WWF in 1975-76 with Lanza and Mulligan winning the WWF tag team championship and did travel for short terms in other areas although they remained based in the AWA.

Lanza retired from active wrestling in 1985 but didn't leave the business as he would work as a road agent/producer for years before his health began to fail around 2010.

Lanza and Mulligan as the Blackjacks were inducted into the WWF hall of fame in 2016. 

No comments: