Derby Dead Pool

The online competition to guess which famous people won't make it to the end of the current year. If they're elderly, ill, or just live a high-risk lifestyle, stick 'em in your team, and for each one whose death you correctly predict, you'll score points. DDP was dreamt up in Derby, England (hence the name...) by Big-Iain back in 1996, then was run from 2003 to 2007 by Siegfried Baboon and Rude Kid. From 2008 to 2009, it was run by Octopus of Odstock, and from 2010 The Man in Black...

Latest Stiffs: 4th May 2015 by The Man in Black

ThE King is dead

Just a couple of weeks after the death of Percy Sledge, another soul star from the 60s whose most famous song was revived two decades later has passed away.
Ben E. King was a member of doo-wop group The Drifters before having a solo career. In 1961, King enjoyed his finest moment with 'Stand By Me', which he co-wrote with the legendary songwriters Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. A Top 10 hit in the US, it was only a modest hit in the UK. That was until 1987, when it was re-released thanks the success of a film with the same title and reached number 1. King died aged 76 and was a hit for two teams.
Jean Nidetch was inspired by her success at losing weight with her group of friends (She went from 214lbs to 142lbs) she formed her own company, Weight Watchers, in 1963. It proved such a success, that she was bought out by the Heinz company in 1978 for $71m. Nidetch was 91 and a hit for two teams.
Verne Gagne was a big name in American wrestling. He won the World Heavyweight champion 16 times and entered the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006. He died aged 89 with wrestling theme team Pencil Neck Geeks getting joker points.

[Scorecard] (King) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] = 7pts
[Scorecard] (Nidetch) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts
[Scorecard] (Gagne) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 6pts [Joker] (1 team) = 12pts

The Derby Dead...

It seems strangely ironic that in the 20th year of the Derby Dead Pool, a key hit for this year would be someone from Derby. Colin Bloomfield was a football commentator and presenter for BBC Radio Derby. He had battle skin cancer for many years and was diagnosed as terminally ill in 2014.He was 33 Pretty much all the teams you would consider as contenders had him in their teams, including the leader Thomas Jefferson Survives, who get an 11th hit before the end of April. Can he keep this pace up?
Mustachioed footballer Chris Turner played for, managed and and even owned Peterborough United. He died aged 64 after a long fight with dementia, with his wife blaming his constant heading of the ball as a central defender. Football theme team Sudden Death snatch the points.
Actress Jayne Meadows Had a successful partnership on and off the screen with the legendary US TV host Steve Allen. Their marraige lasted from 1954 until Allen's death in 2000. Meadows followed suit aged 96 with both teams who picked her getting off the mark.
Sticking with US TV, producer/director Richard L. Bare, who died at the end of March aged 101, is credited with discovering 2014 graduate James Garner for TV hit 'Maverick' as wel as directing popular US shows 'Green Acres' and 'The Twilight Zone'. Yahoo UK chip in with an obit which will gladden the hearts of the trio of teams that picked him.

[Scorecard] (Bloomfield) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (28 teams) = 10pts [Joker] (6 teams) = 20pts
[Scorecard] (Turner) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 11pts
[Scorecard] (Meadows) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (2 teams) = 5pts [Joker] (1 team) = 10pts
[Scorecard] (Bare) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 4pts

Abrams cadaver

M. H. Abrams was one of America's foremost literary critics. In 1962, he founded the Norton Anthology which celebrated English literature. He was 101 and a hit for 5 teams.
Cardinal Francis George was a somewhat conservative Archbishop of Chicago from 1997 until his enforced retirement in 2014. George was 78 with serveral big hitters picking him including triple champion The Living End who move up to 4th.
The final hit is from way back in January, but is only been firmly established now. Adam Yahie Gadahn was born Adam Pearlman before converting to Islam and going to Pakistan, where he became a leading Al-Qaida propagandist and the first American citizen to be charged with treason since World War II. He was killed in Drone strike aged 36. Two teams get a welcome bonus.

[Scorecard] (Abrams) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (5 teams) = 4pts
[Scorecard] (George) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (9 teams) = 4pts
[Scorecard] (Gadahn) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unnatural] (2 teams) = 10pts
Latest Stiffs:18th April 2015 by The Man in Black
[Picture of Percy Sledge]

Pointing Percy at the mausoleum

No mercy for Percy

Soul singer Percy Sledge has died after a battle with liver cancer. Sledge enjoyed a massive international hit in 1966 with the ballad 'When A Man Loves A Woman', which became a hit again in the 1980s in the UK and was later covered successfully by mullet-haired Michael Bolton. Sledge was 74 and a hit for several big teams, including Thomas Jefferson Survives and reigning champion David Quantick's Showbiz Pals, who have had a good April so far, as we'll see...

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (14 teams) = 7pts

You stinking Grass...

One of post-war Germany's pre-eminent writers GŁnter Grass has died aged 87. Grass came to prominence in 1959 with the publication of 'The Tin Drum', a picaresque tale which tracked the rise and fall of the Nazis through the eyes of a boy who never grew up. The book was later made into an acclaimed 1979 film. Grass was a cultural icon of the left in Germany but blotted his copybook in 2006 when he admitted in his memoirs that he joined the Waffen-SS during World War II. 16 Is The Number continues his fine debut season in the Theme Team League with another unique hit.

[Scorecard] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] + [Unlucky Thirteen] = 12pts

Carroll service cancelled

Northern Ireland's Ronnie Carroll competed for the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in consecutive years (1962-3), coming 4th on both occasions. He later dabbled in politics, albeit as something of a maverick. He once attempted to become the first candidate to get zero votes in an election, but ended up with 29. He died aged 80 and was a hit for 2 theme teams, with ...and Its Goodnight From Him getting their fourth ron-er one of the year and with it, the leadership of the TTL...
Jin Youzhi was the youngest brother of China's last emperor, Puyi, who was deposed in 1912. Jin never got a taste of imperial splendor as he was born six years after the event. But he remained respected by later Chinese governments, including the Communists. He died aged 96. The Daily Mail once more provide the obit, with the obscurity-heavy theme team Not Gone Yet, But Still Forgotten grabbing all the points.
Judith Malina was a German-born actress who set up the politically radical the Living Theater with her husband Julien Beck in the 1960s. She later appeared in Hollywood films 'Dog Day Afternoon' and 'The Addams Family' as Grandma Addams. She was 88 and a unique hit for 2016? - No Thank You! I'll Leave Before.

[Scorecard] (Carroll) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unlucky Thirteen] (2 teams) = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Youzhi) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 8pts
[Scorecard] (Malina) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts

When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease...

Lost among the avalanche of hits is a key sporting one and one with a bit contention attached to it...
Richie Benaud carved out a successful career as an international cricketer, captaining Australia (never losing a series) and becoming the first man to claim 200 wickets (as a spin bowler) and score 2000 runs at the same time. But he'll be forever known for his languid TV commentary, becoming a firm favourite with both British and Australian audiences. He was also a key figure in setting up World Series Cricket with his friend, the tycoon Kerry Packer in the 1970s, which changed the face of cricket. Benaud has been bowled out for 84. 13 teams (including your host) add a few more runs to their score.
The fate of college basketball player Lauren (not to be confused with the one off of the Fugees) Hill has been one that inspired some debate among deadpoolers on the old argument on what counts as a hit and whether such choices go against the "spirit" of the game. In technical terms, Hill is indeed a hit, passing away aged just 19 after her battle with a rare brain cancer and her attempts to play college basketball capturing enough of the public imagination to engender a legitimate obit. It's all a question of whether conscience overcomes the need for points and 19 teams have decided on the latter option. The teams that chose Hill include DDP leader Thomas Jefferson Survives who along with the Sledge pick, puts them in a position to threaten the all-time points and hits record, garnering 77 points and 10 hits with over seven months of the season to go...

[Scorecard] (Benaud) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (13 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Hill) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (19 teams) = 12pts [Joker](6 teams) = 24pts

The book closes on Ion

Another hit gathered by TJS is that of Ion Trewin, literary director of the Man Booker Prize, awarded every year in Britain for the best novel of the year. Trewin was literary editor of the Times from 1972-79 and was a renknowned political biographer. He died aged 71, with 4 other contenders shrewdly picking him.
Satirist Stan Freberg released a series of comedy albums but made his most striking impact in the world of radio commericals, his funny jingles proving highly influential in the use of humour in advertising.
Freberg was 88 and a unique hit for I Hear Voices.
Another familiar voice of sorts was that of actor James Best. Best was best known for playing the bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in the highly popular TV series 'The Dukes of Hazzard', which saw his character, wing-man to "Boss" Hogg continually thwarted by those "good ol' boys" Bo and Luke Duke, as ever accompanied by his bassett hound Flash. The series ran from 1979 to 1985. Best was 88 was a hit for 3 teams who at a guess are unlikely to fit into a pair of Daisy Dukes, yuck, yuck yuck!

[Scorecard] (Trewin) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (5 teams) = 7pts
[Scorecard] (Freberg) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 9pts
[Scorecard] (Best) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 6pts

The penny drops for Coyne

And so we reach the DDP equivalent of the last game on 'Match of the Day', with a trio of oddities...
Tyneside-born Tom Coyne became a familiar face for midlands television, hosting the BBC's 'Midlands Today' as well being the co-host of the first edition of 'Top Gear' in 1977, with Angela Rippon, a time when a female host strangely was not quite such an issue as it is today in this ridiculous era of gender politics (time to get off the soapbox, TMIB!). Coyne died aged 84 after a long illness. Curiously, it's his previous employer, ITV which come up with the obit. Suitably, midlands-based theme team M6 Toll(ed) get a unique joker. One for the yam-yams...
In my last update (which seems like a decade ago) I mentioned the relative endurance of the previous holder of the title of the World's Oldest Person and how often some title holders don't last that long. Well that has come to pass, as no sooner had Gertrude Weaver assumed the mantle of premier oldie, she then promptly passes way aged 116, just five days after suceeding Misawo Okawa! Three teams, two of them jokers, take the points.
The final hit in this marathon update is that of Prince Kardam of Turnovo, heir to the Bulgarian throne, albeit one abolished by the Communists in 1946. Kardam died aged 52 after five years in a coma, following a car accident a couple of years earlier. 2013 TTL champion (now under a new name, and theme) Blue in Blood and in the Face get a unique hit...

[Scorecard] (Coyne) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] + [Joker] = 18pts
[Scorecard] (Weaver) [Points] [Points] [Points] (3 teams) = 3pts [Joker](2 teams) = 6pts
[Scorecard] (Kardam) [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] [Points] + [Unique] = 12pts

List of the Lost - Latest Entrants

Peter Howell

List of the Missed - Latest Entrants

Elmer Lach, Roberto Tucci, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, Roy Mason, Bonnie Suchet, Arthur Brittenden, Daniel Walker, Giovanni Canestri

Player of the Month - March

Deathray's Kevorkian Clinic - 31 points

Latest News

Blues legend B.B. King has been admitted into hospice care. They'll have to prize his guitar from his cold, dead hands though. Hillary Clinton announces her intention to run for President of the USA. If she succeeds, she will be the first woman to hold the office...
The Theme Team League is updated for April with a change in the leadership...

Message to all current competitors: There will be no more regular emails except in certain circumstances, such as rules and invitation to next year's competition.

Further Information
Derby Dead Pool is hosted by The Man In Black with contributions from Big-Iain, Rude Kid, Siegfried Baboon, Octopus of Odstock, WEP 2.0 - World's Eternity Prophet Reloaded, The Grey Horde, Thomas Jefferson Survives, Bibliogryphon, David Quantick's Showbiz Pals, Dickie's Gone the Way of the Dinosaurs & The End Of The World As We Know It

[DDP 2015]