Monday, May 08, 2006

Dead Pool

Show of hands, who here knows what a “Dead Pool” is? Good, because you’re about to get a chance to review my Dead Pool draft picks.

[By the way, this is the surest sign of a problem gambler. Betting on other people dying is a major karmic red flag.]

Some basic rules: The person had to be famous BEFORE the circumstances that caused their death. Deaths must be before 11/15/06. You can’t have a hand in their death [I supposed this is to prevent someone from gunning someone down to collect the $150+ prize]. Points are compiled in two categories: total deaths and age-related bonus points of 100 minus the age at death, so picking a young soon-to-be-corpse is worth more than a 99-year old codger. Money is 75% to the points leader, 25% to the death leader. Total pool is over $200.

Anyway, I had a mid-round position in the serpentine draft that spanned a week on the WhatIfSports message boards. I was a late addition to the draft, replacing an owner who bailed, but I was willing to put up the $10 entry fee for a chance at fame and glory. My basic strategy was to pick a lot of relatively young, fat drug users or cancer victims and to avoid the obvious 80+ year olds who might die, but not accumulate many points.

Round 1 – Bobcat Goldthwaite – Stand-up comedians have a notoriously short lifespan, and drug-abusing comedians that have lost a lot of weight are always a reasonably safe pick. Side note, Earl Woods went third in the draft, generating all sorts of Olajuwon, Bowie, Jordan references. Earl didn’t even live through the fourth round. The top two picks? Amy Fisher (just busted for drugs) and Tammy Faye Bakker (circling the drain) Other notable picks: Sean Preston Spears (going for the elusive 100-pt bingo), Osama Bin Laden, Michael J. Fox. Best pick: Earl Woods.

Round 2 – John Goodman – Fat guys who weigh over three bills are also pretty safe picks, especially when they haven’t been seen acting recently, a possible sign of health issues. Other notable picks: Lindsay Lohan, Estelle Getty, Ricky Williams. Best pick: Ibrahim Al-Jafaari, anyone even near Iraq is a good pick, especially a politician.

Round 3 – Kate Moss – I really like this pick. Tons of upside here. Young, drug-addicted, bulimic, dangerous lifestyle. Everything points to upside here. Other notable picks: Charlton Heston, Jack Kevorkian, John Daly. Best pick: Verne Troyer, an inspired pick given that “little people” typically don’t live long [sorry, Iggy].

Round 4 (two picks) – Louie Anderson, George Carlin – Back to the drug-addicted comedian route. Anderson gets bonus points for obesity and depression, Carlin is in his sixties and must be getting ready to find that spotlight in the sky. You start to see theme picks here with Golden Girls (Bea Arthur and Betty White) and fat coaches (Charlie Weis and Rick Majerus). Best pick: Steven Hawking, amazingly only 64 years old and not likely to be brilliant much longer.

Round 5 – Andy Rooney, John Forsythe – Departed from the basic strategy to get two dusty old television veterans. I didn’t even know John Forsythe was still alive until my wife watched the Dynasty reunion show and I saw the rapidly declining Forsythe. He can barely stand up, let alone make it to November. Ditto for the cantankerous Rooney. Best pick: Keith Richards, who had fallen but had gotten up at the time of the draft. Reports were that the head wound wasn’t serious, so he dropped to the fifth round. Subsequent reports have him in surgery, making this pick like a Willis McGahee pick.

Round 6 – Mike Metzger, Doyle Brunson – This was two days before Metzger’s jump at Caesar’s Palace. I figured I had a chance at a 70-pt bingo if he went Evel on me, but essentially ended up wasting the pick. Other than Stuey Ungar, no legend of poker have died recently. Dolly seemed the obvious pick to break that trend. Best pick: Gary Busey, a drug-abusing motorcycle rider who doesn’t always wear a helmet? Sign me up.

Round 7 – Superstar Billy Graham, Bobby the Brain – Ahhh, my wrassling theme picks. Wrestlers don’t live long. While it was tempting to go more mainstream with my wrestling picks (Jesse the Body, Hulk Hogan, etc.), I went for the old Kayfabers with known tumor issues. Best pick: Arthur Lee, recently diagnosed with acute leukemia to add to his list of drug use, prison time, and rock star status. Will be a first round pick if he survives until December.

Round 8 (three picks) - Angela Landsbury, Dick van Dyke, Jerry van Dyke – Not picks I’m proud of. I dithered between the van Dyke brothers (both of whom are old and worth relatively few points) and the Olsen twins (one of whom is young and a bulimic drug abuser). Oh well. Best pick: David Blaine, I considered him, but didn’t go with my gut. Now, rumor has it that his body is breaking down from literally living in a fish bowl.

Round 9 – Montel Williams, Naomi Judd, Wilfredo Benitez – Three strong picks, cancer survivors’ bodies typically break down more frequently and more catastrophically. Benitez has similar symptoms to Muhammad Ali, but is much younger and living in Latin America, hardly the best place to get healthier. Best picks: Fats Domino, reportedly very sick, and Suge Knight, always a potential drive-by victim. I had both guys on my radar, but had them snaked out from under me.

Round 10 – Zeljko Rebraca, Bobby Hamilton, Marco Andretti – In order, irregular heartbeat and freakishly tall, cancer surviving NASCAR driver, and Indy rookie. Indy qualifying always has horrifying crashes and rookie drivers are typically involved. Rebraca was found by Google-ing “irregular heartbeat NBA”.

I’m not entirely thrilled with all of my selections. I had done research on several people prior to the draft and didn’t pick them soon enough. My favorite pick by far is Kate Moss. My missed pick is Suge Knight. He's just about due to be capped. As with most drafts, once the Dead Pool season begins, we’ll have some surprises and some “sleepers”. Get it? “Sleepers”?! Oh god, I kill myself.


At 1:32 PM, Blogger Felicia :) said...

Dangit, I am no where in that list!

I have so many things going for me, I deserve a spot.

1) Cancer in inbred family
2) Had huge lymph node in armpit (not cancer), but brother did have it in nodes (Hodgkins)
3) Breast cancer so rancid had to have bi-lateral mastectomy
4) Health so poor chemo could not be completed without huge risk of death
5) Mom smoked while pregnant and growing up. Pleurisy, pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis several times
6) Diabetes

If I'm not the walking dead, who is? If I don't die of lung cancer soon, no one will. I wouldn't even give odds on my chances. I'd have to get good odds to even take the bet!

At 10:07 PM, Blogger shag773 said...

If your goiing with the wrestling theme, I would have gone Jimmy Snuka. He still drinks like a fish and had a huge coke problem. He did an appearance at this sports bar around here a couple years ago. He showed up 6 hours late, then hung out and drank. He got drunk with the bar owner and gave him a snuka splash of the bar. If he lasts the year I'll be shocked.


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