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(Tastefully) Constructing A Dead Pool For 2006

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(Before reading this post, keep in mind that nobody likes it when people die, but death is a part of life and this is strictly for fun. I admit to freely using people’s ultimate demise as if they were part of some game, but if you may be offended, I understand and would not recommend further reading.)

Another year, another practice dead pool.

[ADBLOCKHERE]I participated in the ’04 Lee Atwater Invitational, but only got Ronald Reagon correct. I forget who my practice team was this year, but I’m pretty sure I had Richard Pryor croaking. So again — probably just one person out of 10.

This year in the Lee Atwater, as 6 of the 10 most selected celebrities died: Pope John Paul II (1), Chief Justice William Rehnquist (3), boxer Max Schmeling (4), Scotty from Star Trek James Doohan (7), civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks (9) and Green Acres co-star Eddie Albert (10).

Looking toward the next year, there are several viable candidates. Hmmm. Maybe that’s not the right word to use in this context.

So what’s the best way to get a list of ten celebrities who will most likely not see 2007?

We can go back to that Lee Atwater Invitational list of the people most picked in ’05 who lived:

  1. Lady Bird Johnson
  2. Brooke Astor
  3. Ronnie Biggs
  4. Gerald Ford
  5. Augusto Pinochet
  6. Al Lewis
  7. Elizabeth Taylor
  8. Billy Graham
  9. Kirk Douglas
  10. Dick Clark

So, how are these ten folks doing?

Lady Bird has had deteriorating health in recent years, but no more than the next 93-year-old.

Brooke Astor is 103. As Gonzo Marx may put it, “nuff said?”

Ronnie Biggs, a British prisoner famous (not to me) for the Great Train Robbery, has contracted MRSA, which I heard is some kind of bad virus. He’s 80 years old. Sounds like a good bet to me.

Gerald Ford’s hospitalization this month made headlines and people are likely to say he won’t live through the year. Especially if he’s eaten by wolves.

Former Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet, who turned 90 in November, is no known strikes against him other than being 90 and a former dictator widely accused of human rights violations. But for some odd reason, those dictators know how to stay fit.

Al Lewis, known best as Grandpa Munster, is 95 years old. Anybody who played the grandfather of a family of monsters 40 years ago is — to say the least — due.

Liz Taylor is also reported to be not doing so not — and perhaps will be cremated and scattered in a vat of Passion perfume.

Rev. Dr. Graham was also in the news for his final crusade in New York City. The 87-year-old is yet another sexy pick for ’06.

Kirk Douglas, Michael’s dad, had a stroke about ten years ago but the 89-year-old hasn’t made much noise recently. The grim reaper may soon be asking which one of you is Spartacus.

Dick Clark has made a second career out of looking like a 30-year-old for 30 years. But after his stroke, he’s back in the saddle for this year’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, perhaps going out in a blaze of glory. Much like Rev. Graham.

Beyond Stiffs.com’s popular ten, Dead or Alive? is a handy reference for people who thought people were already dead, and has a section of celebrities who are over 85 and still alive and kickin’. Or at least alive and movin’. Astor is mentioned as the oldest celebrity, at 103. Not a bad pick. It’s like taking a high-percentage shot in basketball — you can’t go wrong.

Some other options

With the John Paul II finally passing away, his successor, Benedict XVI, is no rising young star. But at 78 and with access to some of the best medical treatment in the world, he’s got several good years in him.

Mark Felt was finally revealed as Deep Throat this year, and perhaps the 92-year-old did so because he knew he would not be around much longer. But I’m hesitant to predict a Nixon-Felt reunion in ’06.

Jimmy Carter and George Bush Sr. are both 81 years old, but both in relatively goot health. And while an assassination attempt of George W. Bush is very unlikely, it probably wouldn’t shock anybody given his — “popularity.”

Also, if they can confirm this year Osama bin Laden is dead, it would count. But I’m not getting my hopes up. But if we play the terrorism card, we might as well go with the one who seems who is closer to his enemy — al-Zarqawi.

I can go on and on analyzing this, but at some point it’s all based on hunches, so I’ll take a few smart picks and mix in a bunch of elderly celebrities, just like throwing stuff at a wall and hope that something sticks.

So here’s my list, not necessarily in order of confidence. But it could be.

  1. Ronnie Biggs (80 years old)
  2. Brooke Astor (103)
  3. Gerald Ford (92)
  4. Muhammad Ali (63), the greatest boxer of all time (at one time)
  5. Billy Graham (87)
  6. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (39)
  7. Kirk Douglas (89)
  8. Byron Nelson (93), golfer
  9. Oral Roberts (87), that one evangelist dude
  10. Courtney Love (41), who comedian Geoffrey Ross said looks worse than Kurt Cobain.

As always, remember the spirit of of dead pooling: hope for the best, pray for the families if you’re right, and if you kill the people on your list, that’s considered cheating.

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About Suss

  • Webbie

    Woah some long shots there… I’ll bookmark your list and will keep an eye…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Yeah, but the long-shots are balanced out by Zarqawi who is either already dead or almost a sure thing.

    Dave

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    If one were to take the popular ten, here’s how one would have done in ’05 if they used the ten most used from ’04:

    Pope John Paul II
    Lady Bird Johnson
    Max Schmeling
    Ronnie Biggs
    Brooke Astor
    Eddie Albert
    Billy Graham
    Al Lewis
    Leon Askin
    Billy Preston

    So, 3/10. Sometimes you just have to shoot in the dark. I know Courtney Love is a longshot being only 41 but she’s withstood 500 years worth of chemicals.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Suss, you guys aren’t scoring the game properly and I have a good mind to report you to USDPA. The older someone is usually means they are closer to death, so age is a contributing factor into the scoring.

    If you pick anyone in their 90’s, you score 1 point; in their 80’s, you score two; and so on adding a point for each decade back. Nothing for anyone wished a Happy Birthday by Willard Scott.

    It makes for more intriguing lists because long shots are rewarded. Jack Osbourne is a much bolder choice than Ozzy, wouldn’t you agree. Someone willing to take a chance on a pick deserves some reward which is why Dakota Fanning scores 9 points over Mike Wallace who scores 2.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Here goes:

    * Jack Nicholson
    * Ted Kennedy
    * Tommy Lee Jones
    * Saddam Hussein
    * Jiang Zemin
    * The Dalai Lama
    * Ron Weasley
    * Mick Jagger
    * Ann Coulter
    * Dick Cheney

    Hmm – let’s see next year

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Saddam will be tied up in the courts too long for him to die this year. And I don’t think anyone will plot an assassination on him. Ramsey Clark, on the other hand …

    And El Bicho, you’ll never take me alive. See your ass in court.

  • http://freewayjam.blogspot.com uao

    1. Chuck Berry
    2. Robert Blake
    3. Kirk Douglas
    4. Phil Rizzuto
    5. Gerald Ford
    6. Walter Cronkite
    7. Jeff the Drunk (Howard Stern Show)
    8. Art Linkletter
    9. Jack Lalanne (admittedly, he looked fit and strong when I saw him on TV last year)
    10. Harry Morgan

    I was surprised to see the father of LSD, Albert Hoffman, still hanging on at 99.

  • Fatima

    1. David Duke
    2. David Hasselhoff
    3. Fat Albert
    4. Mary Kate and Ashley
    5. Dakota Fanning
    6. George Thorogood
    7. Ally Mcbeal
    8. Dylan Mulroney
    9. Dermot McDermott
    10. Rasputin

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Here’s my own list, in this horrible, amoral, and disgusting (but fun!) game:

    – Senator [D-WV] Robert Byrd (Democrat Senators running for re-election in battleground states seem to have this odd thing about dying right before the election…)

    – Gerald Ford (Former US President)

    – Mark Felt (aka, Deep Throat)

    – Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (terrorist asshole)

    – Kirk Douglas (legendary actor)

    – Chuck Berry (legendary singer)

    – Liz Taylor (legendary actress)

    – JD Salinger (legendary author)

    – Jesse Helms (former US Senator)

    – Evo Morales (newly-elected President of Bolivia)

  • http://freewayjam.blogspot.com uao

    I should warn you guys; on the original Death Pool site (which closed after 9/11), I made one pick one time: Norman Fell. On no other basis other than I wanted someone no one else had thought of, and he was getting up in years and starting to look frail.

    He was gone within a month.

    I still feel horrible about it, and Norman, if you can hear me, I just didn’t know my own strength…

    I never tried the macabre game of the dark humors again until last night…

    I hope it isn’t Chuck; Blake’s outlasted his purpose on this earth, though…

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joanie

    Al Lewis is still alive???

    Abe Vigoda should be on that list somewhere. Everyone thinks he’s dead, but he’s not. It’s quite possible that he’ll ever die.

  • gonzo marx

    Suss sez…
    *and if you kill the people on your list, that’s considered cheating.*

    fuck me gently with a chainsaw…you know how to take all the Fun out of things

    i guess i better not play then…

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Tough start for the year. Nobody had Sharon.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    ’06 kicks off with its first high profile casualty: Lou Rawls

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Yeah, but no one picked him, or Sharon

    Add Pat Robertson to my picks

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Ah ah ah. No addsies after January 1.

    Even though yours appears to be more of a hate list than a dead pool list. Still.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Played in a death pool a few years ago thinking it was harmless fun. Did really well. Frighteningly well. Since that point, my life has nosedived so precipitously that death quite literally would be an improvement. Instant karma got me and slapped me right in the face, so I would be remiss if I didn’t warn people to beware…

    NR Davis

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    The environment reflects our life condition, methinks.

    Hope things get better, Ms Davis

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Yeah but look at the bright side: you hid the gun so well everybody though Tupac was slain by a West coast rapper.

    Way to repra-zent.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Al “Grandpa Munster” Lewis passed away today (link)

    Point for me.