NY Yankee Great & Hall of Famer Yogi Berra Has Passed Away at Age 90 … Rest in Peace

“It ain’t over till it’s over.” (Yogi Berra)

I am a lifetime Boston Red Sox fan and for most of my life the New York Yankees have been the bane of my existence, but it is with much love, respect and sorrow I say that Yogi Berra has passed away.

Sadly, one of the greatest and most beloved New York Yankees of all times has passed away, Yogi Berra is dead at age of 90. His skill on the field as a catcher was certain and the man was a winner in all things on and off the baseball diamond. The man behind the mask and known to so many for his Yogisms will be sorely missed.  He was born Lawrence Peter Berra was born on May 12, 1925, in the Italian enclave of St. Louis known as the Hill, and grew up to be one of the greatest, most unique and lovable Yankee icons of all time.  Maybe greater than all his World Series wins, too numerous All-star appearances, 3 MVP’s, Yogi Berra served two-years in the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving as a gunner’s mate in the D-Day invasion, and had already played three seasons for the Yankees.

Yogi is the last of the all time greats, they just don’t make them like this anymore.

Yogi Berra

Click here or on pic for video via ESPN (Pic -

Yogi Berra, one of baseball’s greatest catchers and characters, who as a player was a mainstay of 10 Yankee championship teams and as a manager led both the Yankees and Mets to the World Series — but who may be more widely known as an ungainly but lovable cultural figure, inspiring a cartoon character and issuing a seemingly limitless supply of unwittingly witty epigrams known as Yogi-isms — died on Tuesday. He was 90.

His death was reported by the Yankees and by the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J. Before moving to an assisted living facility in nearby West Caldwell, in 2012, Berra had lived for many years in neighboring Montclair.

In 1949, early in Berra’s Yankee career, his manager assessed him this way in an interview in The Sporting News: “Mr. Berra,” Casey Stengel said, “is a very strange fellow of very remarkable abilities.”

And so he was, and so he proved to be. Universally known simply as Yogi, probably the second most recognizable nickname in sports — even Yogi was not the Babe — Berra was not exactly an unlikely hero, but he was often portrayed as one: an All-Star for 15 consecutive seasons whose skills were routinely underestimated; a well-built, appealingly open-faced man whose physical appearance was often belittled; and a prolific winner — not to mention a successful leader — whose intellect was a target of humor if not outright derision.

Yogi Berra Highlights

Except for maybe Babe Ruth, Lou Gerig and Joe Dimaggio, Yogi may just be the greatest Yankee of all time and certainly belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of Yankee players.

Beyond the historic moments and individual accomplishments, what most distinguished Berra’s career was how often he won. From 1946 to 1985, as a player, coach and manager, Berra appeared in a remarkable 21 World Series. Playing on powerful Yankee teams with teammates like Rizzuto and Joe DiMaggio early on and then Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle, Berra starred on World Series winners in 1947, ’49, ’50, ’51, ’52, ’53, ’56 and ’58. He was a backup player on the championship teams of 1961 and ’62. (He also played on World Series losers in 1955, ’57, ’60 and ’63.) All told, his Yankee teams won the American League pennant 14 out of 17 years. He still holds Series records for games played, plate appearances, hits and doubles.

No other player has been a champion so often.

Perhaps what made Yogi Berra stand out to me as the greatest Yankee was his sense of humor, unique style and accessibility. I have used “Yogi-isms” many times wen writing and in my everyday life in and out of work. My favorite is probably, ” It’s like deja vu all over again.” Of course followed by a close second and third of, “It ain’t over `till it’s over” and “I really didn’t say everything I said.”

If you ever get a chance, go to the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center.

Fantastic Obit at the NY Times.

65 Year Anniversary of D-Day – Yogi Berra Feature

Posted September 23, 2015 by
Deceased, MLB, Obituary, You Tube - VIDEO | one comment

Best-Selling British Author Jackie Collins Dies at 77 of Breast Cancer

Jackie Collins, the best selling British book author who had sold more that 500 million copies has passed away at age 77.   Collins died of breast cancer on Saturday in Los Angeles, California. She is survived by her daughters Tracy, Tiffany and Rory and her older sister, Dynasty actress Joan Collins. Jackie Collins was diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer in 2009; however, she kept it private and only confided with immediate family. People did an interview with Collins on September 14, which would be her final one. Jackie Collins stated in the interview, she had no regrets about the decision to keep her cancer journey private and as Frank Sinatra would say, “I did it my way”.

Collins, who sat down with PEOPLE on Sept. 14 at her Beverly Hills home for what would be her last interview, had no regrets about the decision to keep her cancer journey private while she embraced a very full life until her very last days. “Looking back, I’m not sorry about anything I did,” she said during the far-ranging interview that saw her spirited, warm and utterly at peace.

“I did it my way, as Frank Sinatra would say. I’ve written five books since the diagnosis, I’ve lived my life, I’ve travelled all over the world, I have not turned down book tours and no one has ever known until now when I feel as though I should come out with it,” said Collins, whose treatments over the years included a lumpectomy, radiation and various drug courses and combinations.

Jackie Collins_RIP

Pic: Jackie Collins.com

Jackie Collins, the best-selling British author who took readers into the glamorous and often steamy world of Hollywood, died of breast cancer on Saturday in Los Angeles. She was 77.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the death of our beautiful, dynamic and one of a kind mother, Jackie Collins, who died of breast cancer today,” her family said in a statement posted to Collins’ Facebook page. People first reported the news of her death.

“She lived a wonderfully full life and was adored by her family, friends and the millions of readers who she has been entertaining for over 4 decades,” the statement continued. “She was a true inspiration, a trail blazer for women in fiction and a creative force. She will live on through her characters but we already miss her beyond words.”

From Facebook – Family Statement:

It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the death of our beautiful, dynamic and one of a kind mother, Jackie Collins, who died of breast cancer today. She lived a wonderfully full life and was adored by her family, friends and the millions of readers who she has been entertaining for over four decades. She was a true inspiration, a trail blazer for women in fiction and a creative force. She will live on through her characters but we already miss her beyond words.

Posted September 20, 2015 by
Cancer, Deceased, Obituary | no comments

Famed Master of Horror Films Wes Craven Has Died at Age 76


If its a horror movie that made you lose sleep, or be afraid to be in a home alone or have to check the closet, beneath the bed or under the stairs, then most likely you had just seen a horror movie made by Wes Craven. Wes (Wesley) Earl Craven, the master of the horror film genre died on Sunday after his battle with brain cancer at the age of 76. Craven is survived by his third wife, Iya Labunka, also his sister Carol, son Jonathan, daughter Jessica, grandchildren Miles, Max and Myra-Jean and stepdaughter Nina.

Craven is the man who wrote and directed such horror classics as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Freddie Kruger, The Hills Have Eyes, The People Under the Stairs and directed the Scream movies. Then there was his first movie, The Last House on the Left, which may have been his most disturbing of all. Why that film was suggested as a date movie is a an entire story for another day. Wes Craven truly pushed the limits of the horror film genre to the disturbing and yet had it not been for Craven, so many other classic cult horror flicks may not been possible.

Wes Craven

Rest in Peace

Wes Craven, the famed maestro of horror known for the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream franchises, died Sunday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 76.

Craven, whose iconic Freddy Krueger character horrified viewers for years, died at his home in Los Angeles, his family announced. Survivors include his wife, producer and former Disney Studios vice president Iya Labunka.

Craven was a longtime summer resident of Martha’s Vineyard, where he moved permanently three years ago before returning to L.A. for work and health reasons.
Craven claimed to have gotten the idea for Elm Street from living next to a cemetery on a street of that name in the suburbs of Cleveland. The five Nightmare on Elm Street films were released from 1984-89 and drew big crowds.

Similarly, Craven’s Scream series was a box-office sensation. In those scare-’em-ups, he spoofed the teen horror genre and frequently referenced other horror movies.

Craven’s first feature film was The Last House on the Left, which he wrote, directed and edited in 1972. A rape-revenge movie, it appalled some viewers but generated big box office. Next came another film he wrote and helmed, The Hills Have Eyes (1977).

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare trailer (1994)

Wes Craven reinvented horror three times: cinema looks scary without him.

Wesley Earl Craven was born Aug. 2, 1939 in Cleveland. His father died when he was 5. Raised in a strict Baptist household, he graduated from Wheaton College with degrees in English and psychology, then earned a master’s in philosophy and writing from Johns Hopkins.

If you can judge a film-maker’s influence by how many copycats they inspire, then Wes Craven has to be seen as one of the most influential. Three times he changed his mind about what horror movies should be, and three times we were promptly flooded with all manner of dodgy knock-offs.

And yet The Last House on the Left captured the public mood. It was released into a world reeling from the Manson murders, Vietnam, Altamont and Nixon, and it hit all its marks perfectly. The fact that it was made for less than $90,000, which gave it a rough-and-ready vérité look that just made the horrors seem more real, only magnified its impact. Without The Last House on the Left, there’d be no Texas Chainsaw Massacre, no I Spit on Your Grave, no Halloween. Its advertising campaign (“It’s only a movie, it’s only a movie”) handed more power to marketers and films as varied as Fargo and Paranormal Activity owe a lot to its “The following is based on a true story” misdirect.

Posted August 31, 2015 by
Celebrity, Deceased, Media, Obituary | no comments

Beau Biden, the Son of Vice President’s Son, Dies at Age 46 of Brain Cancer

Beau Biden,  the son of Vice President Biden and former state attorney general of Delaware, died Saturday after battling brain cancer at the age of 46. He is survived by his wife, Hallie, and two children. Joseph Robinette “Beau” Biden III had battled brain cancer for several years and underwent surgery in Houston in 2013 and then followed a normal course of radiation and chemotherapy. In 2010,  Biden, suffered a mild stroke. Biden had been given a clean bill of health in 2013; however, Beau had a recurrence this spring in 2015 and began an aggressive treatment and was admitted to Walter Reed this month. Sadly, he has lost his battle with this insidious disease.

Beau Biden

Beau Biden, a major in the Delaware Army National Guard’s Judge Advocate General Corps, became one of his state’s most popular public figures and had been considered the front-runner for the 2016 race to become the state’s next governor, but in August 2013 he was admitted to one of the world’s most renowned cancer treatment centers, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, to begin his fight with the disease.

Beau Biden became a national political star in 2008 after delivering a stirring introduction of his father at the Democratic National Convention in Denver the night Joe Biden accepted the nomination for vice president. A little more than a month later, Beau Biden deployed to Iraq and served there for one year — except for a trip home in January 2009 to see his father take the oath of office as vice president.

Beau Biden was awarded the Bronze Star.

A statement from Vice President Joe Biden announcing the death of his son Beau Biden:

It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life.

The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us—especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter.

Beau’s life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo. A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star. As Delaware’s Attorney General, he fought for the powerless and made it his mission to protect children from abuse.

More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother. His absolute honor made him a role model for our family. Beau embodied my father’s saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did.

In the words of the Biden family: Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known.

Joe_Beau Biden

Joe & Beau Biden – Our condolences to the Biden family

On a personal note, I had a sister that passed away far too young from brain cancer and my prayers go out to the Biden family that they find peace. Also, I am no fan of the political policies, beliefs an agenda of Vice President Joe Biden and Lord only knows we make fun of him because he gives us so much material to do so, but today my heart goes out to this man as no one person should ever have to experience the death and pain that this man has suffered.  In December 1972, Joe Biden received a phone that his wife, Neilia, and three children had been in a horrible car crash on the way home from purchasing the family Christmas tree. His wife and daughter had died, and his two sons, Beau and Hunter, were critically injured. Now tragically, VP Biden has lost Beau to cancer. Our condolences go out to the Biden family.

His wife, Neilia, and three children had been in a horrible car crash on the way home from purchasing the family Christmas tree. His wife and daughter had died, and his two sons, Beau and Hunter, were clinging to life. Having just turned 30, Joe Biden raced home to Wilmington and considered never taking the oath of office.

Through the support of other senators, Biden agreed to be sworn in the next month at the hospital bedside of Beau and Hunter. Eventually venturing to Washington, Biden decided that he would take the train every morning from Wilmington and return every night.

“As a single parent, he decided to be there to put us to bed, to be there when we woke from a bad dream, to make us breakfast, so he’d travel to and from Washington, four hours a day,” Beau Biden told the Denver crowd on Aug. 27, 2008, in the speech that introduced the world to a story that his father had told many times.

Grace Lee Whitney, Better Known as Yeoman Janice Rand on Star Trek Has Died at 85, Rest in Peace

One of my childhood crushes has passed away, Rest in Peace Yeoman Janice Rand …

Actress Grace Lee Whitney, better known as  Yeoman Janice Rand of Star Trek fame, has passed away at the age of 85. She  died at her home on May 1st in Coarsegold, California.  Whitney played the short skirted Star Trek officer on the original Star Trek, who had a crush on James T. Kirk; however, was unceremoniously let go after only 8 episodes.  She was born Mary Ann Chase in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1930. She was adopted by the Whitney family, and as a teenager, began her career in entertainment as a singer and dancer. Whitney was a recovering alcoholic and drug addict and had reportedly spent the last 35 years of her life helping others with addiction problems, including volunteering at women’s correctional facilities.

Grace Lee Whitney

April 1, 1930 – May 1, 2015, Rest in Peace

Later, Grace Lee Whitney returned for the movie franchise starting with 1979’s “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” with a promotion to chief petty officer, then in “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock,” “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and she was finally promoted to lieutenant in 1991’s “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”

An actress who appeared in just eight episodes of the original “Star Trek” — but made harrowing allegations in a memoir of sexual assault during her tenure — has died at 85.

Grace Lee Whitney — better known as Captain Kirk’s sometime love interest, Yeoman Janice Rand — died of natural causes at her home in California, her son Jonathan Dweck told the Associated Press.

“Over time, she became appreciative of her short time on ‘Star Trek’ because she developed meaningful relationships with the fans, Leonard Nimoy and other cast members,” Dweck said.

In a 1998 book, Whitney said she had high hopes for the show. Born Mary Ann Chase in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1930, as NBC reported, she was raised by adoptive parents and in the middle of a divorce when she landed her part on a show she called her “Higher Power.”

Still, Whitney continued to appear on television, and returned as Rand in the first “Star Trek” film, later reprising her role in some of the sequels and TV series. She cited Nimoy as a crucial force in helping restart her career.

“The one person who really reached out to me after I was written out of ‘Star Trek’ was Leonard Nimoy,” she wrote. ” He was the only one who really knew how much I was hurting.”

Star Trek Season 1 – Episode 12, Miri

RIP Grace Lee Whitney, Star Trek’s Yeoman Janice Rand.

In her later years, Whitney worked as an advocate for people struggling with substance abuse. She credited her own recovery in some part to the Star Trek fans who supported her:

“When I told the fans I was an alcoholic, they all applauded. When I told them I had given myself to a higher power, they cheered again,” Ms. Whitney told The Bee’s Rick Bentley in 2013. “I’m in a great place because I’ve gone full circle.

Outside of Star Trek, the Ann Arbor, MI. native was in the Broadway musical Top Banana, and appeared in the 1954 movie version of the show. Her TV career included roles on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, The Real McCoys, The Outer Limits, Batman, and Bewitched. She also served as the inspiration for the Chicken of the Sea mermaid.

Legendary R&B Singer Percy Sledge Dies at Age 74

We have lost another music great …

Legendary R&B singer Percy Sledge has passed away at the age of 74 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Percy Sledge is most known for his 1966 hit, ‘When a Man Loves a Woman,’ that topped the R&B and Billboard pop charts, where  it spent 13 weeks in 1966, peaking at No. 1. Amazingly he never received a dime of song writing or air play royalties for the song.  Although it was reported that the singer had died of natural causes; however, he was in hospice care for cancer. His family released the following statement through his manager, Mark Lyman, Percy Sledge died at his home after a yearlong struggle with cancer. The cause of death was liver failure. Percy was married twice and is survived by his second wife, Rosa Sledge, whom he married in 1980, and his 12 children, two of whom became singers.

One of the best songs ever, ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’

Percy Sledge, the R&B belter whose biggest hit, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” became a cornerstone of soul music, died Tuesday. He was 73.

Sledge died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said Stephanie Price of the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office. Sledge died of natural causes, said East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark. He had been in hospice care for cancer, Clark added.

In a career that started in the 1960s, Sledge had a number of hits, including “Take Time to Know Her,” “Warm and Tender Love” and “It Tears Me Up” among them.

But his first and biggest hit, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” towered over them all.

NY Times Obit – Single Session Launched Percy Sledge, No. 1 Hit, and a Sound.

Sledge, who died Tuesday, grew up singing in nearby cotton fields of northwest Alabama and never had been in a studio before that day. He didn’t even know how to work a microphone during that first session, Johnson said.

Johnson had to twirl the volume dials on the recording machine just to keep Sledge’s untrained voice at the correct levels during the session, but it worked. The track would become a No. 1 hit in 1966 and establish Sledge as a rhythm-and-blues singer of the first order.

“It gave us chills,” Johnson said.

Afterward, Sledge became a star and helped his native northwest Alabama establish itself as a recording Mecca that drew Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Allman Brothers, Bob Seger and other top-shelf stars of the 1960s and ’70s in search of the “Muscle Shoals Sound.”

Johnson, now 72, said it all began when Sledge sang “When a Man Loves a Woman,” with its haunting lyrics and his mournful, blue-eyed style.

“Everything lined up for this,” said Johnson, who played rhythm guitar for the great Muscle Shoals studio group called “The Swampers.”

Posted April 15, 2015 by
Deceased, Music, Obituary | no comments

Actor Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek’s’ Mr. Spock Dead at Age 83 …”Live Long and Prosper” … REST IN PEACE

Live long and prosper … Actor Leonard Nimoy has passed away at the age of 83 … Rest in eternal peace.

Leonard Nimoy, the actor that will forever be known for his role as Mr. Spock, the half human, half Vulcan first officer of the Starship USS Enterprise has died at age 83. Nimoy died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles, California. According to his wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed Nimoy’s death and said it was a result of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD. The actor tweeted on Jan. 14, 2014, that he had lung disease.  Nimoy had just recently been hospitalized.  Sadly, he has passed.

As Captain James T. Kirk, William Shatner, stated at the conclusion of Star Trek – The Wrath of Khan when he emotionally eulogized Mr. Spock, “Of my friend I can only say this, of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human”.

Leonard nimoy

 Leonard Nimoy, 1931–2015, Rest in Peace

Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mr. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

Yet he also acknowledged ambivalence about being tethered to the character, expressing it most plainly in the titles of two autobiographies: “I Am Not Spock,” published in 1977, and “I Am Spock,” published in 1995.

In the first, he wrote, “In Spock, I finally found the best of both worlds: to be widely accepted in public approval and yet be able to continue to play the insulated alien through the Vulcan character.”

“Star Trek,” which had its premiere on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966, made Mr. Nimoy a star. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the franchise, called him “the conscience of ‘Star Trek’ ” — an often earnest, sometimes campy show that employed the distant future (as well as some primitive special effects by today’s standards) to take on social issues of the 1960s.

On a personal note, although I am not a Trekky, but I loved the original Star Trek series.  Which is quite sad, because now with Leonard Nimoy’s passing, he has joined fellow Star Trek actors DeForest Kelley (Dr. “Bone” Mcoy) and  James Doohan, (Scotty) in heaven.

Variety – Obit:

Leonard Simon Nimoy was born in Boston; his parents were Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine, and the language at home was Yiddish. He developed an interest in acting at an early age, first appearing on stage at 8 in a production of “Hansel and Gretel.” He took drama classes for a while at Boston College, and after leaving home to pursue his career in Hollywood, he landed his first lead role in the 1952 film “Kid Monk Baroni.”

After serving in the Army from 1953-55, he appeared in small roles in a few films, but mostly found roles in TV series, appearing in episodes of “Dragnet,” “Sea Hunt,” “Bonanza,” “Wagon Train,” “Rawhide,” “The Twilight Zone,” “The Untouchables,” “The Outer Limits,” “The Virginian,” “Get Smart” and “Gunsmoke” before rising to fame in “Star Trek.”

Most recently, he recurred on Fox sci-fi series “Fringe” as maniacal, genius professor William Bell, and he voiced Spock for a 2012 episode of “The Big Bang Theory.”

In addition to his work on “In Search Of…,” Nimoy lent his resonant, intelligent voice to a variety of films, TV projects and documentaries, including A&E docu series “Ancient Mysteries.”

The two videos from the Star Trek movie,  The Wrath of Khan now take even more importance that Leonard Nimoy has now passed. Who could forget in 1982 when Mr. Spock died saving the USS Enterprise and its crew, “The needs of the many, out way the needs of the few. Or the One”.

Mr. Spock Funeral scene from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan movie

Captain Kirk, William Shatner, delivers an emotional eulogy for his friend Spock … “Of my friend I can only say this, of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human”.

Former University of North Carolina Tar Heels Head Men’s Basketball Coach Dean Smith Died Saturday Night in Chapel Hill, NC at Age 83 (VIDEO Tribute to Coach Smith)(Update: Michael Jordan, “”He was My Mentor, my Teacher, my Cecond Father.”"


Dean Smith, the former legendary head men’s basketball coach at the University of North Carolina died Saturday night at the age of 83. Dean Smith passed away “peacefully” at his home in Chapel Hill surrounded by his wife and five children. Smith’s family said in the statement, “We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as arrangements are made available to the public. Thank you.” It is just amazing how many people’s lives this man touched, how innovative he was within the game and just how many of the greatest players this man coached in his career. Dean Smith was a phenomenal coach, a tremendous competitor and a humble man of such incredible character. College basketball has lost a legend.

Dean Smith, Rest in Peace

Dean Smith

North Carolina Tar Heals

Former University of North Carolina head men’s basketball coach Dean Smith died Saturday night in Chapel Hill, according to the university. He was 83 years old.

“Coach Dean Smith passed away peacefully the evening of February 7 at his home in Chapel Hill, and surrounded by his wife and five children,” the Smith family said in a statement. “We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as arrangements are made available to the public. Thank you.”

Smith was the head coach of the Tar Heels from 1961 to 1997, retiring as the winningest coach in college basketball. He led the Tar Heels to national championships in 1982 (VIDEO – UNC vs. Georgetown) and 1993 (VIDEO – NC vs. Michigan) , to 13 ACC Tournament titles, 11 Final Fours, and an NIT championship, and directed the United States Olympic Team to a gold medal at the 1976 Summer Games.

Dean Smith2

Click HERE or on pic to watch VIDEO

ESPN – Dean Smith dies at age of 83.

Dean Smith taught team work, he taught that no one person was bigger than the team. Sounds profound and easy, right? But try doing it when you have the likes of James Worthy, James Perkins, Michael Jordan and a who’s who of Carolina Blue greats. I can remember the joke of the time when Michael Jordan was at Chapel Hill, of Dean Smith’s coaching career: Who  was the only person ever to hold Michael Jordan under 20 points a game. Of course the answer is, Dean Smith. Some would use this as a punch line or something to hold against Smith, I, personally think it is the sign of remarkable character and coaching. The reason was because team meant more than an individual. Passing the ball and playing defense was just as important as scoring. As Smith once told Jordan during his freshman year at UNC, if you cannot pass the ball, you cannot play. Try attempting to do that in today’s college game. Maybe that is what is wrong with college basketball today.

Smith coached the Tar Heels from 1961 to 1997, going 879-254 and retiring as the winningest coach (VIDEO) in college basketball history. North Carolina won NCAA championships in 1982 and 1993 and reached the Final Four 11 times under Smith.

“It’s such a great loss for North Carolina — our state, the University, of course the Tar Heel basketball program, but really the entire basketball world,” said current Tar Heels coach Roy Williams, who spent 10 years as an assistant under Smith. “We lost one of our greatest ambassadors for college basketball for the way in which a program should be run. We lost a man of the highest integrity who did so many things off the court to help make the world a better place to live in.

“He set the standard for loyalty and concern for every one of his players, not just the games won or lost.”

Smith coached Hall of Fame players Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Bob McAdoo and Billy Cunningham, won 13 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament titles and coached the U.S. Olympic team to the gold medal in 1976.

“He was the greatest there ever was on the court but far, far better off the court with people,” Williams said. “His concern for people will be the legacy I will remember most.

 Coach Dean Smith Tribute Video

VIDEO – Go Heels.com

UPDATE I: Friends, players and colleagues mourn the loss of former UNC coach Dean Smith.

Following the announcement of his passing, several of his former players, friends, colleagues and even current players weighed in with their support and memories of the great coach.

UPDATE II: Reaction to the passing of former North Carolina head coach Dean Smith.

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams released a statement on the passing of Smith.

“It’s such a great loss for North Carolina – our state, the University, of course the Tar Heel basketball program, but really the entire basketball world. We lost one of our greatest ambassadors for college basketball for the way in which a program should be run. We lost a man of the highest integrity who did so many things off the court to help make the world a better place to live in.

“He set the standard for loyalty and concern for every one of his players, not just the games won or lost.

“He was the greatest there ever was on the court but far, far better off the court with people. His concern for people will be the legacy I will remember most.

“He was a mentor to so many people; he was my mentor. He gave me a chance but, more importantly, he shared with me his knowledge, which is the greatest gift you can give someone.

“I’m 64 years old and everything I do with our basketball program and the way I deal with the University is driven by my desire to make Coach Smith proud. When I came back to Carolina, the driving force was to make him proud and I still think that today.

“I’d like to say on behalf of all our players and coaches, past and present, that Dean Smith was the perfect picture of what a college basketball coach should have been. We love him and we will miss him.”

Dean Smith – Sports Century

UPDATE III: North Carolina coaching icon Dean Smith passes away at 83If there’s a Mount Rushmore of basketball, Dean Smith is on it.”

In recent years, Smith had rarely made public appearances as he battled a progressive neurocognitive disorder that affected his memory. The last time fans saw him in the building that bears his name was during a reunion for the program’s 100th anniversary in 2010. Three years earlier, UNC alum Michael Jordan memorably kissed Smith’s head during a celebration of the school’s 1957 and 1982 national championships.

“Dean Smith is one of the great coaches in the history of sport, not just basketball,” ESPN analyst and Duke alum Jay Bilas told The Fayetteville Observer recently. “I think his legacy goes beyond just the wins and losses. He built the program there and a culture. There’s only been a few programs that have been in that rarefied air, and he set a standard that few have been able to reach, not just on the floor, with basketball, but he showed such a social conscience when it wasn’t easy to do so.

“That’s why his legacy is doing the right thing and standing for something, both in basketball and outside of that. If there’s a Mount Rushmore of basketball, Dean Smith is on it.”

UPDATE IV: Michael Jordan Comments on the death of Dea Smith … He was ‘second father’ to me.

“He was more than a coach,” Jordan said in a statement. “He was my mentor, my teacher, my second father.”

Twitter_MJ_Dean Smith

Twitter – @SpearsNBAYahoo

ESPN Sports Anchor Stuart Scott Has Died Age 49 after Battle with Cancer … However, He Will Always Be “As Cool as the Other Side of the Pillow”

It is a sad day in sports today, ESPN’s Stuart Scott has passed away at the age of 49 …

The longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott died Sunday morning after an extended battle with cancer, he was just 49 years old. Scott joined the ESPN in 1993 as the network was ramping up to launch ESPN2. That was just the launching bad for Scott as he steadily grew into one of ESPN’s most well-known, well liked and respected personalities … “Boo-Yah.” I remember the founding of ESPN in 1978, let along the launch of ESPN2 and let me just say Stuart Scott brought an energy and a fun and off the wall perspective to the broadcast that you truly looked forward to watching it. It is not very often that sports highlights were must-see TV, but that is the talent that this man had. Stuart Scott did the best thing that any sports anchor could do, he provided us with an escape from the real world and made sports fun. He talked about the games, plays and highlights like we would with our friends. God bless you Stuart Scott, our prayers go out to your family and friends … thank you … rest in peace.


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Stuart Scoot was first diagnoses with a rare form of cancer in November 2007. He took the vile disease publicly as he allowed us to share in his battle. So many of us either have been in Scott’s shoes or know some one personally who is. Stuart Scott helped us all deal with cancer in our own lives as he battled his. Scott was a beacon of light and remained so positive in his fight against cancer. One of the greatest lessons Stuart showed us all was to not let cancer paralyze you. He lived his life to the end on his terms and that meant being an ESPN sports anchor and commentator to the best of his ability. Please watch the VIDEO below of Scott’s moving speech, it is one of the best ever. For 7 years Scott battled cancer and kept the attitude that “fighting was winning, not quitting, not saying I have cancer, I can t do anything. ” Scott maintained the only way you lose against cancer is to not fight it and to just lay down and have a pity party for yourself.

His personality was infectious … Rest is peace Stuart Scott, you will forever be “as cool as the other side of the pillow.”

To all who have cancer, have known those who have cancer or currently know some one who is battling cancer, we need to remember the words that  Stuart Scott said during his speech after receiving the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYS on July 16, 2014. Please make sure to watch his acceptance speech below.

“When you die, it does not mean you lose to cancer. You beat cancer in how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live. So live, live, fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and have some body else fight for you. That’s also very important. I can’t do this “don’t give up thing” by myself. I got thousands of people on Twitter and on the streets who encourage me.”

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Stuart Scott, a longtime anchor at ESPN, died Sunday morning at the age of 49.

Among the features of the new ESPN studio in Bristol is a wall of catchphrases made famous by on-air talent over the years. An amazing nine of them belong to one man — from his signature “Boo-Yah!” to “As cool as the other side of the pillow” to “He must be the bus driver cuz he was takin’ him to school.”

That man is Stuart Scott, and his contributions to the sports lexicon are writ large. But they are only one aspect of his legacy. When he passed away, he left behind so much more. He inspired his colleagues with his sheer talent, his work ethic and his devotion to his daughters, Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15. He defied convention and criticism to help bring this network into a new century. He spoke to the very athletes he was talking about with a flair and a style that ESPN president John Skipper says, “changed everything.”

“He didn’t just push the envelope,” says sports radio host and former ESPN anchor Dan Patrick. “He bulldozed it.”

Stuart Scott was honored for his fight against cancer at the 2014 ESPY Awards, where he became the latest recipient of the Jimmy V ESPY Award for Perseverance. The award named for college basketball coach Jim Valvano, whose life was also taken by cancer in 1993, and who gave probably one of the greatest speeches in sports history that speaks to one’s everyday life, “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up”.

Stuart Scott’s Moving ESPYS Speech, 

UPDATE I: Remembering Stuart Scott:

Steve Levy, who came to ESPN shortly before Stuart in August 1993 and served as his co-host for the first “SportsCenter” from the new studio last June, put it this way: “I think the audience recognized that when Stuart was on, there was going to be something special. And to his credit, he brought something special every night he was on.”

Tributes to Scott on Twitter, #BooYah

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Remembering Stuart Scott’s first set at ESPN … muted colors in 1D!!!

He made us laugh … ESPN commercial with Stuart Scott and Maria Sharapova … “Can I get that can back?” Priceless!!!

UPDATE II: ESPN Colleagues Remember Stuart Scott. (VIDEO)

Chris Berman, Rich Eisen, Dan Patrick and Gus Ramsey look back on their time working with Stuart Scott

Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo Dead at Age 82

Former Empire state governor Mario Cuomo dead at 82 …

Mario Cuomo, the former governor of New York from 1983 through 1994 has passed away at the age of 82 from heart failure. Cuomo passed away at 5:15 pm of heart failure, surrounded by family in his Manhattan apartment as his son, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was in Buffalo delivering his second inaugural address of the day. Mario Cuomo was most known for his July 1984 keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention where he offered a rebuttal of President Ronald Reagan’s vision of America as a “shining city on a hill.” They have been spewing division for quite some time.

Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, the liberal son of Italian immigrants and a gifted orator whose talents brought him national stature, died Thursday. He was 82.

Cuomo died in New York of natural causes due to heart failure shortly after his eldest son, Andrew, was sworn in for a second term as New York governor, the office his father had previously held for eleven years. The elder Cuomo had been hospitalized in November for a heart condition, the day after his son won re-election.

“He is in the heart and mind of every person who is here,” Andrew Cuomo said in his inaugural address Thursday. “He is here and he is here, and his inspiration and his legacy and his experience is what has brought this state to this point. So let’s give him a round of applause.”

In a statement, President Barack Obama called Cuomo “a determined champion of progressive values, and an unflinching voice for tolerance, inclusiveness, fairness, dignity, and opportunity.

NY Daily News – Obit.

Mario Matthew Cuomo was born June 15, 1932, in Queens, the third and final child of immigrants from a small village near Naples, Italy. His parents, Andrea and Immaculata Cuomo, owned a grocery store in South Jamaica during the Depression.

Cuomo became a product of the borough’s Catholic schools and a strong athlete: He excelled in baseball and basketball.

A center fielder, Cuomo signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization when he was 19. He was hitting .244 with one homer in 81 games in the Georgia-Florida League when he was beaned by a fastball. He was blinded for a week and never played professionally again.

He went home and attended St. John’s University and then its law school, where he tied for first in his graduating class. In 1952 he married St. John’s student Matilda Raffa, a union that lasted 62 years until his death.

Bill and Hillary Clinton ‘terribly saddened’ by Cuomo’s death.

Hmm, you mean they don’t consider him a “Mafioso” anymore?

“It was Mario Cuomo’s great gift and our good fortune that he was both a sterling orator and a passionate public servant,” they said. “His life was a blessing.”

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