20th Anniversary Greatest Teams

Written in 2016 by msc (Pan Breed) and The Man in Black…

In 2016-17 I wrote a few things for the DDP website, as TMIB seemed keen on my taking over as co-host. However, as former champion and host Octopus of Odstock once inferred, running the DDP is no job for someone with a small wean. Which I can now attest to…

Anyhow, in 2016 we came up with an anniversary special “20 best DDP players” as a light hearted thing, and luckily nearly everyone took it in light hearted style! It follows below…

As a prelude to the 2017 competition, I’ve included this assessment of the DDP’s greatest ever teams that was made by Pan Breed – who came a very creditable 5th in 2016 – originally posted on the DeathList website a few months ago. Last year was of course the 20th anniversary and indeed this week marks the 20th anniversary of us crowning the first winner (Nick J). There have been over 1700 teams and over 11,000 celebs (or would-be celebs and quite frankly some we’ve never heard of) that have “took part” as it were in the Derby Dead Pool. I have made a few edits and additional notes and stats but other than that, it’s all Pan’s work! So without further ado:


  1. Impaled on the Antlers of Doom (’05-’11)

Years on DDP: 6
Best performance: =3rd (2009)
Total Points/Hits: 342/43
Hit rate (hits per year ave): 7.17

A contender for best team name of all time, Impaled is a former side which raked up 4 top ten places (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011), and was a miss on Swayze away from a title in 2009.

  1. Hoppo (’96-’00)

Years on DDP: 5
Best performance: 2nd (1997)
Total Points/Hits: 78/15
Hit rate: 3.00

Co-organiser of the original DDPs, Hoppo had four top ten places last century.

  1. One Foot in the Grave (’01-’09)

Years on DDP: 9
Best performance: 2nd (2003)
Total Points/Hits: 256/49
Hit rate: 5.44

A US team who predicted the Michael Foot pun a decade early, OFitG had three appearances in the top five before disappearing without trace a decade ago.

  1. Otis, You Want a Treat? (’02-’04)

Years on DDP: 3
Best performance: Champion (2003)
Total Points/Hits: 87/15
Hit rate: 5.00

Winner in 2003, and nearly repeated in 2004 only to be pipped at the post by the latest of late shows.

  1. Star Dust (’10-’16)

Years on DDP: 7
Best performance: 4th (2015)
Total Points/Hits: 439/48
Hit rate: 6.86

A modern team with two top five places in the last two years.

  1. Tonight Matthew, I’m Going to be Badly Torn-Boy (’08-’16)

Years on DDP: 4
Best performance: Champion (2009)
Total Points/Hits: 350/41
Hit rate: 10.25

Two top ten finishes and a title. (TMIB’s note: returned in 2016 after 6 years out and came a respectable 14th with 100 points. Who knows what he would have achieved had he competed more often…)

  1. Nick J (’96-’97)

Years on DDP: 2
Best performance: Champion (1996, 1997)
Total Points/Hits: 73/14
Hit rate: 7.00

Winner of the first two DDPs. (TMIB’s note: never competed again, retire at the top, I say!)

  1. Mr C (’99-’16)

Years on DDP: 18
Best performance: 2nd (1999)
Total Points/Hits: 484/79
Hit rate: 4.39

18 years in the competition, 79 hits overall, six top ten places and a runners up spot in 1999. Mr C is one of the most consistent DDPers in history to never win the title.

  1. Jesus Jones (’96-’14)

Years on DDP: 19
Best performance: 2nd (1996)
Total Points/Hits: 343/64
Hit rate: 3.37

The long running Father of the Hearse for many years, Jesus Jones had seven top ten places, and four podium places.

  1. Master Mind/Hidden Persuader/New Year and Drinks All Night (’07-’16)

Years on DDP: 10
Best performance: 2nd (2009)
Total Points/Hits: 706/91
Hit rate: 9.10

Came closest in 2009, matching the champion with all five of his final picks, Eunice Kennedy turning out to be pivotal in their race a whole six hits back in August. Has had 3 other top ten places. Another name change has him on 99 points this year, a title winning run any other year but this, where it’s good enough for 15th place in 2016.

  1. Thomas Jefferson Survives (’13-’16)

Years on DDP: 4
Best performance: 3rd (2015)
Total Points/Hits: 394/46
Hit rate: 11.50

One of the very best of recent years, 2016 was their 3rd top five placing in 4 years of competing. Unlucky to debut in the era of DQSP, but there’s a sense of a young Novak Djokovic about Tommy J – she’ll win the title one day, and when she does, she might not let go.

(2021 note – TJS won the title in 2019 and will replace msc as co-host for 2022!)

  1. JoeRam (’01-’16)

Years on DDP: 16
Best performance: Champion (2002)
Total Points/Hits: 507/83
Hit rate: 5.19

The 2002 champion was a top ten finisher on four occasions.

  1. STAB in the DARK (’05-’16)

Years on DDP: 12
Best performance: 2nd (2006, 2007)
Total Points/Hits: 676/86
Hit rate: 7.17

Twice runner up (2006 and 2007), the second time only losing out to an obscure unique joker nabbing an Independent QO. 4th on the all time Hits list, 3rd on the points list, and organiser of the Hartlepool Deadlypool. Gone off the boil in recent years due to some whim/old age picks not coming off, but certainly one of the best DDPers of all time, and arguably the finest to never win the title. (TMIB’s note: SitD’s stats-based approach was ahead of it’s time and arguably pre-figured the more “professional” approach from the leading teams in recent years…)

(Ali’s returned in the 2021 after 5 years absence from the DDP, to many peoples delight!)

  1. Big Iain (’96-’16)

Years on DDP: 13
Best performance: =3rd (2000)
Total Points/Hits: 170/37
Hit rate: 2.85

Founder of the DDP. The big man has seven top ten finishes, the equal most top ten finishes in DDP history. He came third in 2000. (TMIB’s note: returned to the fold in 2016, is back again in 2017 and had given this current incarnation of the DDP the thumbs up, which is nice!)

(2021 note – The Big Man has also given the 2020-21 Cmme his seal of approval, which was a nice thrill! All of us are here because of Big Iain.)

  1. They’re Dead, Y’Know! (’06-’15)

Years on DDP: 10
Best performance: 5th (2006)
Total Points/Hits: 453/60
Hit rate: 6.00

TMIB did get two top ten finishes in 2006 and 2008. However, he is about to become the longest serving host of the DDP so far, and is essentially DDP’s Tom Baker. Although – hopefully temporarily – retired, TDYK was no lean team, knocking up 60 hits in a decade. (TMIB’s note: “I could have been a contender!” Seriously though, it’s been a great honour being the host, better than if I ever won it…)

  1. Meet Your Maker (’05-’10)

Years on DDP: 6
Best performance: Champion (2006, 2007)
Total Points/Hits: 392/54
Hit rate: 9.00

Won the DDP twice in 2006 and 2007, had four top ten finishes, then disappeared. (TMIB’s note: DDP’s only known Canadian winner)

  1. Octopus of Odstock (04-’14)

Years on DDP: 11
Best performance: Champion (2010)
Total Points/Hits: 603/83
Hit rate: 7.55

Host, winner, leading tips pundit, OoO had five top ten finishes, three of them in the top five. He ran the DDP from 2008-2009, and helped to shape some of the modern rules (The Windsor Execution Rule, to give but one example…) Handing the reigns over to TMIB due to the birth of his daughter in early 2010, Odstock promptly won the title. He came very close to a second title in 2013 with some deft picks, but a few open goals missed led to one of the greatest come from behind wins in DDP history. More on that later. (TMIB’s note: after a few years away, the great man is back, albeit re-activated as a theme team…)

(OoO is now retired from deadpooling – though still the deadpool expert on motor racing and old footballers – but he changed the game forever in his short run as host, axing death row prisoners and banning children from being allowable picks. Yes, really…)

  1. Drunkasaskunk (’98-’16)

Years on DDP: 18
Best performance: Champion (1998, 1999)
Total Points/Hits: 672/88
Hit rate: 4.89

My fellow Glaswegian won the DDP twice in 1998 and 1999, and came within a QO of a third in 2002. In 2014, he nearly won the coveted third, and was tricky for DQSP up till the end. His finish in 1999, with unique picks on Desmond Llewellyn dying in a car crash and Curtis Mayfield dying of long term health issues in his 50s, both in the last 12 days of the year, might be the best DDP title coup de grace in history.

  1. David Quantick’s Showbiz Pals (’10-’16)

Years on DDP: 7
Best performance: Champion (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Total Points/Hits: 612/70
Hit rate: 10.00

It’s hard to believe now, but at one point, Spade was nearly 50 points behind OoO in the 2013 DDP. He had the misfortune of his joker not dying. He even publicly conceded the race in March 2013. What he then did have was hits, and hits and hits, and ten hits in the first half of the year added to five hits in the last four months to break a long standing record. He had actually finished top ten in 2012, so a title run wasn’t a huge surprise. He’s Roger Federering the DDP since, however, being the first to win four straight titles. Deft-picks, unique knowledge (are we sure he didn’t make up Andrew Millwall?), and the old “luck favours the brave” have made DQSP nearly unbeatable. Look at this year, where everyone has thrown their best bombs at Spade, and yet, who is still on top? It’ll take an atom bomb to dislodge him, and even then he might finish December 31st 2017 on top with a shrug and a “just a flesh wound” snark. (TMIB’s note: DQSP’s original team name was Fuck A 40oz, You’ll Be Dumping Out Whole Kegs Of Brew and he finished =217th in 2010. He changed the name to David Quantick’s Showbiz Pals after the broadcaster/writer kicked up a storm about the DDP on social media. He hasn’t looked back since!)

  1. The Living End (’06-’16)

Years on DDP: 11
Best performance: Champion (2008, 2011, 2012)
Total Points/Hits: 956/111
Hit rate: 10.09

It’s difficult to separate the top two these days, which is testament to DQSP, but The Living End just hangs onto his title as The Greatest. For now, anyway. His three titles were equalled last year, but DDT still has seven top ten finishes to his name and 111 hits to his name which is ridiculously ahead of anyone near. He leads the most points all time, and is winner of probably the only landslide victory in DDP history, the massacre of the innocent deadpoolers which was 2011. He is Sampras to Spade’s Federer, and while Federer over took the old master, and beat him in their 2001 face to face, we’ve not quite reached that yet. (TMIB’s note: Pan Breed originally wrote this a few months before the end of 2016 and in view of the result, I was tempted to make The Living End & DQSP joint #1. But looking at the stats and performance over the years – 3 wins, 1 runners-up, 3rd, =5th, =6th and the only team to regain the title, TLE is still the greatest!)

(TMIB’s note: Honourable mentions to: Deathlist.net, winners in 2004 and the reason why myself and a lot of us on here in the first place. Gray Panthers was the inaugural winner of the Theme Team League (The League Cup to the DDP’s Premier League) and posted two top 5 finishes as well as easily the most hits in the competition’s short history. Deceased Hose, Wormer, He’s A Dead Man! Niedermier Dead! Marmalard Dead!, The Misers, Going Underground, Poochie Died On The Way Back To His Home Planet, Ethnic Cleansing and the much missed The Waiting List – all fine consistant performers…)

(msc’s 2021 note – as it stands, Spade is back in the running for his 5th title, and by this point is clearly the greatest deadpooler in DDP history. But if Spade is Maradona, then The Living End is Pele, the man who forever changed how every other team looked at picking 20 doddery names each Christmas…

PS That “creditable 5th” in 2016 is yet to be bettered by Pan Breed!)