Gino is Dead

inkyleg.JPGThe Wall Street Journal went looking for Gino today, that kitschy dancer that appears on the Celtic’s JumboTron when the game is in hand. Well, they found him, and the news isn’t great.

For the uninitiated: Gino appeared on an episode of American Bandstand back in 1977. The Celtics a few years ago came across the clip on YouTube. The whole clip is more than just Gino, but Gino, in his skin tight shirt, Frank Serpico beard, and feel-good moves, came to symbolize something rare in the bleak years before Kevin Garnett: a win. Of course, since then, Gino on the JumboTron is the 21st Century version of Red lighting the victory cigar.

The Celtics were interested in finding the dancer and making a documentary about him. But they won’t need to. Gino is dead, says the WSJ. It tracked down a woman dancing near him in the episode, one Terry Izen of East Highlands, California. “Oh my God, it’s Joe Massoni,” she told the WSJ. Massoni died in 1990 of pneumonia in Fontana, California. He was 34.

Long live Gino.