Today's Spotlight section of theRocky Mountain News
included a regular feature -- one of David Letterman's signature top-ten lists. In this instance, the topic was "Top 10 Signs You Watched Too Much College Football," and the final item read, "In bed, your wife says, 'Get a Trojan' -- and you come back with USC kicker Mario Danelo."
Funny stuff -- unless, that is, you'd heard that Danelo (pictured) was found dead over the weekend. As noted in this Associated Press article, Danelo's body was discovered over a hundred feet down a cliff near a lighthouse in San Pedro, a community not far from the University of Southern California's Los Angeles location. In early reports, police said there were no signs of foul play, suggesting either an accident or suicide.
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The mistake wasn't Letterman's. The top-ten roster in question ran as part of the January 3 edition of his weeknight program, The Late Show, days before Danelo's death. Apparently, the person in charge of collecting this material for the Rocky isn't a sports fan, or he didn't bother to check the week-old copy for potential problems. Like, for example, a punchline about a guy who'd died in the interim.
Mere months ago, the Rocky committed a very similar gaffe. As noted in this More Messages blog item from August, the tabloid published a scouting report about the Horizon High School Hawks football team that read in part, "The Hawks need to find a quarterback, but the go-to guy in the backfield will be running back Devon Knight, who also was a first-team all-league defensive back." Turns out, though, that Knight died the previous April in a car crash immediately following the school's prom -- a tragedy the Rocky had covered extensively.
No doubt the Rocky braintrust hopes this trend ends with Danelo, who, unfortunately, is no longer alive and kicking. -- Michael Roberts