Goodbye Captain Lou

Last week a pro wrestling icon passed away, “Captain” Lou Albano who was more known for rubber bands on his face, a stomach protruding with an open colorful shirt from Hawaii, and of course his way of words. Albano, a WWE Hall of Fame member was 76 years of age and died of natural causes at his home up in Carmel New York.

A moment of reflection from yours truly who had the pleasure of knowing Albano over the years from working in the pro wrestling industry.  As a young wrestling fan back in the 1960’s when the industry was less show and more wrestling, Albano was a showman and a part of the “Sicilian” tag team combination with the late Tony Altomore.

They would appear at Madison Square Garden at the once a month WWWF cards promoted by the late Vince McMahon Sr.  Albano and his partner were the so-called bad guys, the heels as they are commonly known in a pro wrestling ring. He was the leader with his partner and used every dirty tactic to get a win.

Except when Albano crossed paths with the legendary champion Bruno Sammartino, he could not go into his wrestling tights and grab the foreign object.. Instead it was the champion who would always come out victorious and use that object on Albano without consent of the referee, the third man in the ring who was always a part of the show.

Then there were the days when Albano would retire from the grappling part of the business and manage a record 17 tag team champions.  That became a part of the show now that is known as pro wrestling being all show.  Albano would tell stories like the best of them and made himself a national icon at one time making a brief run for President of the United States that got him exposure along with pop star Cyndi Lauper. “Often imitated and never duplicated,” he would say.   Got that right because there will never be another “Captain Lou” Albano.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: [email protected]

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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