Sorry about this year-end summary being a little late, I had some business to attend to over in the Middle East. Should widen the list of possible candidates for 2021…
So that was 2019. Ole took the wheel and drove his team straight into mid-table, Jezza took the wheel and drove his party straight into irrelevancy and the director of Cats…. christ knows what he did. It was a classic year in deadpooling as well,with the DDP’s very own bridesmaid finally catching the bouquet.
Firstly, however, some of the deaths we didn’t get a chance to cover in full in 2019. John Cain was a veteran Australian politician, and if there’s one thing DDPers know it’s that Australian politicians are QO gold. He was premier of Victoria between 1982 and 1990, a rare Labor leader in a region that was traditionally Liberal. What with it being the 1980s, his reign was typified by the relaxation of trade laws – although he also found time to legalise nude beaches in the region. He was 88 at death and a unique hit for Dick Smith’s OzEDeath List.
Jerry Herman was one of Broadway’s most celebrated composers and lyricists, as well as a living record of the realities of being gay in America during the 20th century. His two biggest hits were “Hello Dolly”, which he wrote for Carol Channing and rode to 10 Tony wins, and “La Cage Aux Folles”, which was an instant sensation and one of the most successful musicals in history. One of the songs from the latter, “I Am What I Am”, has become a de rigeur soundtrack selection for any movie featuring a homosexual since. Herman himself was diagnosed with HIV at the height of the Aids panic, but thanks to advances in medication was able to live a full life up until the age of 88. His passing scored points for four outfits.
And last one out the door in 2019 was Marion Gibbons/Marion Chesney/MC Beaton/insert another 50 pen names. Glaswegian born, Gibbons worked as a theatre critic until her writing career picked up in her mid-40s. Chesney was the name she wrote bodice-ripping romance works under, with tiles like The Taming of Annabelle and Lady Margery’s Intrigue. Under the name Beaton, she wrote off-beat detective novels, two of which found their way to TV series-dom: Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin. A final Agatha Raisin book, Hot to Trot, will be published in 2020. Gibbons won’t be around to sign copies, however, as she died aged 83. in eternum+’s Wrinkly Dicks’s rounded the year off with a unique joker hit.
But let’s pay our respects to 2019’s champion. Two-time podiumist Thomas Jefferson Survives finally took home the big one this year, with a masterful performance predicated on an early 2010s-style prodigious use of unique hits. No DDP champions since 2014 had scored with a unique hit, but TJS managed two this year alone: local radio DJ Helen Legh and nutball home improvement show host Suzanne Whang.
Their captain Fernando Ricksen obliged in September, joining other top 40 picks in the 20 like Andrew Fairlie, Tim Conway and Johnny Clegg. Up-and-coming (well, he isn’t anymore) electro-indie musician Billy Clayton was canny spot few other contenders went for, and cult civil servant pick Sutopo Purwo Nugroho dispelled any QO fears by romping home to obituaries in all major broadsheets as soon as he died. The bones of the side will surely be picked over by lesser teams in future years (I’m sure we’ll see Ronald J Shurer and Rachel Zoll on a bunch of 2020 also-rans), but it was a great performance by arguably the best team not to have claimed a title so far. The start of a dynasty?
In second place, rousing into action in the final months of the year, was 2018 winner Pity Da Foolz, in their last campaign before a deadpooling sabattical. Completing the medal spots was Once You Go Black, with the best performance by a rookie outfit since 2011.
On the theme team front, the all-female stylings of P@F #metoo stopped Heef’s Politics XX from making it two on the bounce by just one point. They were also the first team (one of three, in fairness) to score deadpool points on a player born in the 2000s. We are all approaching death.
The drop 40 only saw 12 graduates this year, but we did see the #1 pick (Leah Bracknell) buy the farm. A total of 251 hits altogether makes it the third bloodiest year on record, although it was looking like a record-breaker before the grim reaper put his feet up in early autumn. There’s always next year…
And that’s a next year where you’ll have a different gamerunner. I, SpadeCooley, have marginally enjoyed every moment of the past two years administering the DerbyDeadPool, but I am passing over to more organised hands now. Things will go a little quiet on the front page for a week or so while we get everything organised, but rest assured the new team are going to be coming out all guns blazing or something. But I did my finest, man. I tried. Play me out, Jerry….