THE O.B.E. MAIL BAG
This portion of the O.B.E is dedicated to those of you who
are among the living. During the course of the year, feel free to e-mail
the O.B.E. with thoughts, opinions, and general fun stuff.
This page reads from the top down. Wanna go directly to
the most recent postings? Just press this thingy
SIX FEET UNDER:
Just checking on you guys. By this time last year you had made two new post in the news...
We're here. Typing, looking up, updating. It's a comin'
WHY SO SERIOUSLY DEAD?:
Any word on when the 2009 entries will be put up?
We're hoping by Sunday (1/11/09)
END GAME: ZERO-NINE:
With just one day left before the site rollover, I couldnt help but notice a few errors in the 2008 dead folks list.
Boris Efimov is listed as dead on 10/1/08, that in itself is correct, but he is listed between November and December deaths.
Second, Isaac Hayes kicked the bucket on August 10th, not August 15th.
Now this next one amused me,
Estelle Getty is said to be 100 at the time of her death on the list. I know she was old but she wasn't THAT old guys. Interestingly, she was listed at the correct age of 84 on prior screenings of the list. Maybe you were trying to see if people would catch it.
Well played guys, well played.
Once the site rolls over, you probably wont hear from me again until just after Christmas. So enjoy everything between now and then, and the best of luck.
Thanks for your edits. We do plenty of cutting and pasting of HTML to update the page. Couple that with plenty of beer and things can sometimes get messy. We'll fix these.
THE "EX" FILES:
Very happy to be participating again this year, after a couple of year hiatus.
Read with interest, and total agreement, your revised rules regarding "WHAT CONSTITUTES A CELEBRITY?"
However, I was a little bit stunned by at least one name you ranked as "Probably Not" on your "DO YOU THINK THESE FOLKS WILL BE CONSIDERED FAMOUS NEXT YEAR?" list. While I could probably argue with some of the likely sports exclusions, I understand sports aren't really your (body)bag so that's cool. But for 2 guys with a self-proclaimed "fascination with popular culture" to say that Leroy Neiman probabaly won't be considered famous??? He certainly passes the Google test, and with that big, bushy handlebar mustache, I can't believe he wouldn't have "face recognition" for one of you guys... didn't either of you see "Rocky 3"? :-)
Anyway... not looking to scold, but just suggest you be careful before giving somebody the Boot (Hill). Let the croaking begin.
I SEE DEAD PEOPLE:
I am voting my favorite obit of the year 2008. There were many clever ones, but Paul Newman's failure to resuscitate was hilarious!
We just re-read some of them ourselves. Granted, that one was pretty funny but we really liked the Boris Efimov, Levi Stubbs, Jerry Reed, Eddy Arnold, William F. Buckley, and Health Ledger ones too.
Then there was the Earl Butz hiny humor. We love hiny humor.
And frankly, the Tony Snow line was song parody genius!
I SEE DEAD PEOPLE:
May be a repeat, but Cloris isn't dead as far as I can find. Typo on the list?
Thanks, know you've been working (hick-up inserted here) hard.
We know. Fixed.
The new list is not up yet. Confused!!
It most certainly is up. Try refreshing when you get to the page.
Hey, guys! First, thanks for all the work you did making our lists public for the coming year. Some of us really enjoy this, and we appreciate the amount of time it took to put it all together! My son-in-law is sending a donation to cover our family's participation.
Okay, now to the nitty-gritty: I'm not contesting any of your decisions!!! I just have a couple of questions.
1. My list on the website has George Soros listed twice.
2. You have George Chakiris down as the person from Route 66, when it was George MAHARIS who was on that show. George Chakiris won the Oscar and the Golden Globe in 1961 for Best Supporting Actor in West Side Story.
3. George Maharis, who was also on my original list and is the one who WAS on Route 66, isn't on it anymore.
4. I see that you removed George Blanda as not a celebrity, even though when you Google his name, he's all over the place! And I also read that he was spoofed on an episode of Happy Days - Richie Cunningham and the gang from the 1950s were watching a football game where Blanda didn't do very well, and they predicted an early end to his career - but at the time the episode aired in the '70s, he was still playing! -- But I won't contest your choice to remove him; you are, after all, THE guys. :(
But - if you could please put George Maharis on my list in place of the 2nd George Soros, then all will be well in the world - or20at least as well as it can be in the light of poor George Blanda's unfortunate non-celebrity standing. - sigh -
Really sorry about that. One gets a little bleary eyed entering all these names. Once mistake and the next thing ya know your entering descriptions for one Celeb under another. We're fixing this right now.
Thanks, guys. And honest, I'm very understanding about this. I can only imagine how difficult this process is, but that's the price that very creative, intelligent people pay. :) No worries.
THE FIFTH SEASON:
Just a mild form of protest for knocking out one of my entries as a non-celebrity. I had Johnny Pesky on my list and he was ruled out. Okay, he's well known in Red Sox Nation and among baseball fans who know a few things about the history of the game. Heck, the right field foul pole at Fenway Park is named for him. I can accept the argument that he's well known among a narrow subset of the population, and that won't cut it.
But to look over the entries you accepted and see that Bobby Doerr accepted when Pesky was not floored me. I will concede that Doerr has better credentials on paper, but other than being known as the oldest living player in the Baseball Hall of Fame, he's a footnote in history. It pains me to say that because I've been a Red Sox fan for 35 years, but I guarantee you'd get a better percentage of fans recognizing Johnny Pesky by sight than Bobby Doerr by name.
All that being said, I think the new rules are a substantial improvement and I appreciate the time and effort you put into this. Though I will suggest if "Twilight Zone" wins the site should be renamed for him.
In truth, "The Guys" would like to have knocked out both Pesky and Doerr. As we have (ad nauseum) told entrants, sports is not our bag... but in our book, neither fits the bill as a true celeb. We gave the nod to Doerr because (like you said) on paper, he has the better pedigree. 9x All Star selection (vs. Pesky's 1x) and Hall of Fame status. Therefore we bent on Doerr. In the future it is our hopes that neither would be entered nor allowed.
THE FIFTH SEASON:
Kapish. Now if only Tim McCarver would kick it....
THE BABY CRUSHERS:
I was just reading the mail bag and took note of the email about the funniest obit from 2008. That made me think that maybe you guys can implement a funniest obit thing. Just for fun. Ask people to email you guys when they read a real funny obit that they enjoy. Then at the end of the year, you could list the enjoyable obits list ranking. Maybe even start a page that keeps track of each years best obit.
What do you beer drinking, death watching guys think?
This is a perfect topic for you Death Watchers to be kibitzing about on the NEW, FANTASTIC, FUN FILLED,
Marjorie Lord, Frances Bay & Beverly Cleary, but NOT Budd Schulberg, Academy Award Winner for On The Waterfront?
BRING OUT Y'ER DEAD:
MORRIS THE CAT'S 9 (+4) LIVES (+4):
I tried your game for the first time this year, because it looked like a well-run, logical pool. Now I think I was wrong.
I see by the 2009 entries that you've posted that you denied a number of people's tries as ***Non-Celebrities***, including FOUR from my list. I have trouble with you deciding that most of my four are not celebrities.
Dominick Dunne is a best-selling author, well-read columnist in newspapers and magazines, with a name that is recognizable and KNOWN and a face that has been all over television ... how could he not make the grade?
Do you have something against foreign (non-U.S.) picks? You should say so in your rules.
Patriarch Pavle? Alright, I won't put up a big fight on him. Those who follow Serbia would disagree, but...
Bobby Robson? One of the biggest names in international soccer. Proven champion.
King Sihanouk? Who are you to say anyone who is royalty, from any country, isn't famous enough. Norodom Sihanouk is a king, for Chrissakes, and he's been a king for a long, long time.
Your decisions on these have me scratching my head.
Yeah... well AB, here's the deal... they are not celebrities in our book... famous perhaps, but not celebrities. If you read our rules carefully and watched the mail bag throughout the year you'd probably understand it a bit better. But fame a celebrity are two very different things in our book. A celebrity is a widely-recognized or notable person who commands a high degree of public and media attention. None of the four names mentioned below have the amount of fame that pushes them to celebrity status. Sorry, but that's the way it is. Go out on the streets and ask 10 random people who these names are, and you'll be hard pressed to get even close to a majority of folks to know who the heck they are. No, we are Ameri-centric... but in our book, celebrity has no borders. Even though we do not usually have long protracted discussions regarding entries, we'll entertain your submissions:
Dominik Dunne - c'mon here... celebrity?! No way... On the fringes at best... but as an author; not a celeb, as a producer; not a celeb; as a TV host not a celeb - the sum total; not a celeb. The people he hobnobbed with, wrote about and did TV exposes on; mostly all celebs. Get it?
Patriarch Pavle - In short, he ain't no Pope... most folks don't even know there is a Serbian Orthodox Church, let alone its Patriarchate. Celebrity... ummmm, no. Kapish?
Bobby Robson -Ok... we grant you that this is not our game, but seriously... you live in Forrest Hills, right? Go out on the street a take a poll... ask 10... hell ask 100, let us know how many know him. As you know, since we have it all over the site and in our rules, that we are two guys from NJ... and we said that we are basing our judgment on our frames-of-reference and we say that sports is not our strong suit. There are plenty of Hall-of-famers that are not celebs... you rolled the dice and came up snake-eyes on this one.
King Sihanouk - Royalty does not a celebrity make... famous yes... but if you think that all Royals are celebrities... no way. You need to wrap your brain around the celebrity vs famous line of thinking. Was King Sihanouk ever spoofed on Family Guy or The Simpsons? Nope. Did he ever bang Paris Hilton in the back of a limo? Nope. Did he do a great Yogi Bear impersonation? Well, maybe... but I think you see our point.
In short... we have been running this thing for over 10 years now... we have literally had thousands of names entered many year after year. We believe that we have a pretty good grasp on the concept. And our rules were very long and pointed on this matter.
We are sorry you have regrets now that you entered. But you have to look at it from our point of view and where the roots of the OBE lay.
MORRIS THE CAT'S 9 (+4) LIVES (+4):
Thank you for replying.
By your logic, there are a number of names listed on your STATS page that fail to pass the “CELEBRITY” test: Dolores Hope? Susan Atkins? Miep Gies? Alan Arbus? Oscar Niemeyer? Michael Foot? Terry Jones? So many more. Go ask 100 people in your neighborhood about them, and see what you get.
I have been playing in these games for a number of years - - my winner's check for over $2000 should be arriving this week from the 2008 Cash4Cadavers contest - - and all I'll say is: Way too much subjectiveness in how you determine who’s in and who’s rejected, on fame vs. celebrity, and not a good enough explanation in your RULES for players to try to figure it all out.
Should Dominick Dunne die this year, just watch the obituary coverage that follows. He IS a celebrity, by your logic or anyone else's logic, and you flat-out blew that call.
I’ll shut up now. I still think I have a chance at being near the top of your standings, and it only cost me 5 bucks for this year of occasional entertainment when I check out your site. But I’ll probably be one and done in O.B.E.
We gotta hand it to you. Of all the "complaining" emails we've received, yours was the most rational, fair, and to the point. To be honest, we went back and forth on the Dunne pick quite a bit in 2009 (you weren't the only one with Dunne). Also, note that plenty of the folks we let on lists were ONLY let on because of the fact that we had posted them as "Probably" last year. Many of them (including some you mention) we will never allow on lists again.
If you've followed our pool for any period of time, you know that the page, the pool, and the Guys are less about the competition of the Death Watch and more about the humor of the page, the pop culture commentary, and the interaction with the Death Watchers. The pool part is fun but it's also a vehicle for other things.
We've always held that the picks should be readily recognizable, BIG names (and we're not arguing Dunne here, just making a general comment). Of course, this is very hard to objectively enforce. For years, we simply used an AP obit. as the factor. With this criterion, The Death Watch reached a point where, frankly, we were going to quit because it just wasn't fun anymore. Thing is, we love doing it. So......we decided to force the game to where we wanted it to be. We fully recognized this would sit well with some and not with others. We risked it.
Again, to be honest, we've not been in love with the results of either of our attempts at righting the Death Watch (2008 and 2009). We're hoping we can do better in 2010. We'll be posting a rather lengthy list of folks we believe are celebs. If you pick from the list, a guaranteed yes. If not, you assume all risk. This approach will also serve to let the entire playing public how we're viewing celebrity.
In closing, thank you for playing the Death Watch. We really appreciate our fans/players. If you're miffed about your picks, sorry, hopefully this response sheds some light on things.
Fine, you shamed me into donating to this year's pool (well that's a lie since I'm a sucker and give every year) BUT... the PayPal "Donate" button on the home page isn't working (goes to some BS PayPal message insinuating you messed up - nice).
Since you changed your e-mail address (though oddly, sent this last update from the Verizon one...), I don't know which to send the lettuce to.
Anyway, just fix the damn Donate button, already. Geez, you guys make it hard for a fella to give you cash money.
The donate button works. Trust us. It's crappy internet explorer's security settings that messes things up. Works like a charm with Mozilla. Anyway, donation can also go to email@example.com on PayPal. Thanks for thinking of us.
Ah well, the button's still not working for me (and I'm using Firefox 3 - I'm no IE slave). It's a weird error (see below) since it's coming from PayPal and doesn't seem related to browser security settings. Eh, who can be bothered right? Regardless I've sent the cheese using your e-mail address. Thanks anyhow, and for running this thing for yet another season.
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SLIM WHITMAN: Why is he listed as "DEAD" on the list; I've heard no news report confirming that...
Just an error. Fixed! Thanks for the heads up.
DR. VON FOCH:
Ironically, I figured my list would have been pretty kosher with you guys this year. The only two folks I didn't see listed on the stats page were Claudio Abbado and Dame Maggie Smith. Would they have counted?
In short, yes and no. Abbado ain't no Arthur Fiedler (and not just because he's alive).
THE FLAT LINERS:
I am trying to make a donation using the paypal link on the home page, and I'm getting an error. I just thought I'd let you know in case the problem was on your end. I'll try again in a day or two, and if I don't have any luck I'll send it regular mail.
Yeah, this is frustrating. The link works for some and not others. We're not sure why that is. Anyway, you can go to paypal and donate using our original email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry for the headache but we thinks its a PayPal or browser setting thing.
TIME TO GO:
Just for fun, I'd like to know who failed to qualify as a celebrity in the 2008 and 2009 entries lists.
All in good TIME. All in good TIME.
WOW, my selections got distroyed this year.
You do not class baseball, football and race car drivers as Celebs????
I have heard of these people because I enjoy my sports. American sports and I am English.
Very disappointed. I was set to make my annual donation, but that will not happen due to you removing most of my enteries.
My better half (Gussethunters) will not donate either.
Making this no fun any more.
Your entry was "destroyed" because you failed to draw the line of distinction between fame and celebrity. You said it yourself; you have heard of these people because you enjoy your sports. But the people you chose are not the persons that transcended their respective areas to become true celebrities. If you read our rules carefully and watched the mail bag throughout the year you'd probably understand it a bit better. But fame and celebrity are two very different things in our book. A celebrity is a widely-recognized or notable person who commands a high degree of public and media attention. Not one of the names that were knocked out from your list have the amount of fame that pushes them to celebrity status. Even though we do not usually have long protracted discussions regarding entries we thought you deserved an answer to your email. Seriously, we have it all over the site and in our rules, that we are two guys from NJ... and we said that we are basing our judgment on our frames-of-reference and we say that sports is not our strong suit. We contend that there are plenty of Hall-of-famers that are not celebs... you rolled the dice and came up snake-eyes on this one. We will also contend that there are many Academy Award winners, Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, etc. that are not celebs as well. Understand where we are going with this? We have been trying to get back to the roots of the O.B.E. and this is yet another step toward that end. Even with this year's rules in place, The Guys had to look up over 200 names to make rulings... that is the very antithesis to the Pool... and hours wasted. Ideally, one would think that with running a CELEBRITY pool for over 10 years, and "vetting" literally thousands of names in that decade plus, people would get the idea better.
Caren Marsh-Doll - a blip on the Wizard of Oz trivia radar with 9 movies credited and a stand in for Dorothy Gale - ummmm... no celeb here, hell, one of The Guys has 16 movie credits to his name and stood in for Dudley Moore in in 1988. Celeb? Nope...
Ralph G. Kercheval - he is the oldest living NFL player... ummm, did you read the rules? No oldest living whatever... anything else the launch this guy to celeb status... nope!
Lonny Frey - "oldest living All-Star" and "last living player to play for all three New York baseball teams" see above... not even a Hall of Famer here...
Ira Hanford - "oldest Living Derby Jockey" - seriously, did you read the rules?
Mae Young - a celeb commands a high degree of public and media attention... Mae Young? Mae-be not? No, definitely not!
Danny Kladis - "oldest living Indy 500 starter" you really needed to read the rules. This guy participated in 1 World Championship... weeeeeeeeee.....
Mick McManus - Kidding right? You mean the guy that works for Uxbridge based Anixter Wire and Cable distribution in public relations, or the English Pro-Wrestler? Oh wait, he's both. Celebrity... no way...
Now look at your other entries and tell us that these folks are on the same level of celebrity status of them. Sorry.
If you'd like to see what other players might have to say on the subject, you may want to waltz over to the O.B.E. forum and create a thread on the topic. It can be found at http://flymetothetomb.freeforums.org
We understand your view and understand your decision on not donating this year.... now we are all disappointed.
well, mae young is on tv every other week, but it makes no difference to you. take the morning stiffies off as it looks stupid and i will not donate any more. you need to understand that some of these people are well known, maybe not all.
you are playing god with this and i have no intention of making my yearly donations, how ever small.
Need to specify if you guys do not know who these people are, they will be removed.
Many more sites that do this sort of pool, so I will just go there next year.
keep up the good work.
We're pretty bummed about your response to this. It's a humorous internet death pool. That's all it is. Perspective.
Yes, it is supposed to be fun, but it isnot anymore. Just remove it, and we will be done.
I STILL MISS DEAN MARTIN:
Well done fellows. I must defend you on the Blanda/Pesky cuts. While I believe Blanda has elite status in the pro-football arena, Blanda's celebrity status at my house or amongst the legions of NFL fans is not the criteria for this pool. You guys made it clear in your rules that standards would be set to your knowledge, and even gave us insight as to your interests, with a caveat on sports. Thus, we were on notice. That said, let me enlighten you (not argue with you on your ruling) about Leroy Nieman. Granted, he's a famous sports artist, and sports is not your forte. He is, however, the guy who has for 50 years done the little black/white "Femlin" cartoon on the Playboy Party Jokes page - you know, the playful and cheerful black-haired gal who would be sitting in a martini glass with her legs sticking up. Obviously, you did not recognize the name, but one glance at a Playboy, I'm guessing you'll recognize the work. Sometimes, research on these things can be painstaking, and we appreciate you doing it.
Thanks for the support! We hear ya in regard to Nieman... but we are still dubious as to the celeb moniker for this guy. He certainly ain't no Ted Geisel, ya know what we mean? While the Femlin is highly recognizable (and damn sexy too), to us Nieman isn't. It's here where many of our players have a hard time separating the work that made someone famous and the celeb status of the creator; and alas the frustration mounts. They can't understand that not every hall of famer, Royal, Nobel winner, Oscar recipient, etc. is a celeb. Seems to be a concept that they just can't wrap their brains around.
Even with the new rules and guidance through the year, we still had a couple of hundred entries that had to be discussed and researched. That after running this thing for over a decade and having a data base of every name ever submitted.
Thanks for your continued support...
And don't forget to join us at the new O.B.E Forums...
BRING OUT YER DEAD:
Woohoo - Is this the first for the year?
If you mean the first beer, you've GOT to be kidding.
THE BABY CRUSHERS:
As I recognize the passing of Ricardo Montalban, I am reminded of a little tidbit about his little buddy Herve Villaces(Spelling?), you know him, little Tatoo.
Q)What are Herve Viallaces favorite M&M's?
A) The PLAIN!!!!, Boss, The PLAIN!!!!!
Just my 2 cents – you have George Blanda on the “Not a Celebrity” list. I would have to disagree. He’s a top celebrity among athletes. When he goes, it will make the evening national news.
Yeah, well... see the thing is Dr. Dan... we want the "top celebrities" among celebrities. There are plenty of folks that are famous in their field, and still not celebrities. We are trying to make the distinction between celebrity and famous. There are tons of Academy Award winners, Nobel Laureates, Indy 500 winner, and yes, even Pro Football Hall of Famers. We are looking for the folks that somehow transcend their field. Like when Joe Nameth guested as himself on the Brady Bunch; that's when he sealed his celeb status... ya know what we mean? We don't deny Blanda's fame... but celeb status... nope... it's just not there. Was he ever center-square when Paul Lynde was out cruisin' Hollywood and Vine? Nope. Did he ever guest as sleuth-aid on Scooby-Doo? Nope. Was there ever a George Blanda Story on Lifetime? Again, no. Sure there was that half-assed Ralph Malph/Ritchie Cunningham exchange comment... but come on... celeb... not in our books. Sorry
THE BABY CRUSHERS:
The name Guy Hunt reminded me of a rather humorous joke.
Q - What is the difference between a daredevil show and the Radio City Rockettes.
A - Well, one of them is a cunning array of STUNTS!!!
So, uh, what's the daredevil show then?
THE BABY CRUSHERS:
Interesting that you say that Claudio Abbado is no Arthur Fielder, because I thought you have gone on record as saying that cricketers do not count as celebrities, and yet there he is, in all his cricketing glory.
You are correct, inasmuch as Abbado never was Wisden Cricketer of the Year...but really, you do need to be more consistent about these sorts of things.
Your guy-*Arthur Fielder* was the leading fast bowler in English cricket for the decade before World War I
Our guy-*Arthur Fiedler* was the long-time conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra
Except that you should go back and read your own e-mail page more carefully. I don't see anything about anyone named Arthur Fiedler. I'm looking again...hmmm...
In short, yes and no. Abbado ain't no Arthur Fielder (and not just because he's alive)."
Yep, there it is. What can I say? I never figured you for Kent supporters. You seem more Yorkshire men.
Our bad typo... see... too much beer... for chistsake by now you should know it's about what we mean... not what we write...However, you should have seen that first notation of your first link:
Not to be confused with the Boston conductor Arthur Fiedler.
Ok... back to the keg...
Who am I supposed to believe, you or Wikipedia? Besides, you WERE right...Claudio Abbado really was no Arthur Fielder. He can't bowl or bat worth a damn. Abbado does have almost 300 albums currently availble, however. His recordings with Rudolf Serkin of the Mozart Concerti are considered to be definitive by many.
Love the site and the idea. My only problem is I discovered it Apr. 27 and not Dec. 27 ! Anywho, after looking thru the site very carefully (and very envious of next year's entry) I am trying to determine how the scoring for dead celebrities is counted. I have read every section but am unable to find anywhere on how to determine the scoring. Of course I am sure the rules of scoring was listed but I must have glossed over it. If you could please tell me how the scoring goes it would be of great help!
Glad you like the site. Here's the scoring rules....
*10.0 _WINNING THE O.B.E._
The list with the most correct picks at the end of the 2009 season is the winner. The list with the second most correct picks will take second place. The list with the third most correct picks at the end of the 2009 season will take third place. The first place prize (assuming a single winner) will be $250. The prize for the second place winner (assuming a single winner) will be $70. The prize for third place winner (assuming a single winner) will be $30. In the event that more than one person wins a place, even after the tie breaking criteria are applied, the prize for that place will be evenly split among the winning entries.
11.0 _BREAKING TIES_
11.1 BREAKING TIES BY SCORE
In order to establish a tie breaking system, each dead celebrity pick will have associated with them a point value. In the event of two or more Death Watchers having the same number of correct picks at the end of the 2009 O.B.E., the sum of the points on each tieing list will be used to determine the score for that list. The highest score will take the winner's position with each lower score being eliminated from that winner's position. So, three lists with 8 deaths each (presuming 8 deaths is the highest number of correct picks for all entries) and scores of 16, 12, and 10 respectively would place as follows: First Place-8 deaths, 16 points and the remaining two players with 8 deaths listed being eliminated from first place. This process will be used to break ties in both (or either) first, second and/or third place positions as needed.
Because there is a second and third place winner, a tie breaker in the first place position will end up creating the second place winner (or winners in the event of a multiple way tie). The same holds true for third place. In the event of a tie breaker in the third place position, one or more poor chumps will be telling all their friends how they "almost won" the O.B.E. Please understand this criteria! It means that, although the number of deaths is the primary factor in determining winners, score may separate players with the same number of deaths into the placing positions, knocking other players with one death less out of the running.
So how the heck do the points get awarded? Well, each dead celebrity on one list and ONLY one list will be awarded 5 points. We will call these picks "Tad Szulcs." If a dead celebrity appears on two lists and ONLY two lists, the death of that celebrity will be valued at 4 points. We will call these picks "Double Whammies." Deaths listed on 3 or 4 lists are valued at 3 points each. We'll call these hits "Mortage à Trois." Hits that are on 5 or more lists get 1 point. We'll call these "patheticly easy picks."
/Remember, the primary factor in winning the O.B.E. is NOT score, it is the number of marked off picks you have at the conclusion of 2009. It is conceivable that a higher scoring list will have less deaths than a lower scoring list. The higher scoring list, in this case, will NOT beat the list with more deaths. _The number of marked off picks on a list is the key factor to winning. Score will only be used to break ties._/
11.2 WHEN THE SCORE SYSTEM STILL RESULTS IN TIES
In the event of a tie, even after the scoring system is applied, each tieing entry, for the position it ties, will evenly divide the prize for that postion. That means that, if enough entries tie for first, each winner might actually get less than one entry taking second. Tough turds.
11.3 AN ALL WAY TIE FOR LAST
In the unlikely event that not a single listed celebrity dies in the 2009 calendar year, no prize will be awarded, we'll keep the money, drink ourselves stupid, and start over next year. Don't count on this one happening.*
Is it wrong for me to like checking on this site every time a celebrity kicks off? I don't even remember how I found out about it but I never check it when anyone is around. Personally I think you guys are pretty hilarious. One thing I don't understand is how you come up with how many points a celebrity's death warrants. Is it based on the number of times they are selected on all the entries?
Dear Julie.... or perhaps we should call you Ghoulie...
It's not wrong... no... go ahead... indulge... in fact, you could always surf over to http://flymetothetomb.freeforums.org/ and join all the rest who share in your morbid fascination with the comings and going of the passing famous .
But as for being in the closet about it... we prefer screaming from the rooftops to all who will hear. Tell two friends and so on, and so on, and so on...
And to answer your last question, yes and no. Every death is counted and that is the primary factor. The secondary "points" as they are called are only used in the event of a tie-breaker. And yes, they are awarded based on the frequency of selection of that pick.
Now that that is done with, why not call your best two friends and tell them about your OBE hobby... c'mon give it a try...
That last obit on Carradine was a good one! Will there be an addendum, since, well . . . you know
Glad you liked it! No addenda however. We're not sure we know... If you mean the whole auto-erotic asphyxiation thing, we kinda figured that from the start. Kinda loopy if ya ask us. Look, we like the big O as much as the next guys, but strapping a belt (or in this case a curtain cord) around ones neck and trying to self asphyxiate to "heighten the experience" seems like something for which ya kinda deserve to croak.
Just wondering if you twitter
Sure do... as of 5 minutes ago...
Just wondering if you twitter
Cool. I’m following you now! By the way, you should follow Donnie Wahlberg also!!!
We just can't, in good conscience, do that.
LOL I guess you don’t love him and think him pretty as do
There ya go, jumping to conclusions....
Yes, we know, Farrah Fawcett! We'll get there soon.
Sounds like a new celebrity way of getting out of bankruptcy.
Mohamid Ali isn't in anyone's list. Wonder how he's got?
Of you are referring to the boxer, you are incorrect: the statistics page clearly states:
Muhammad Ali Boxer 11
Have another beer for us!
check.. one, two
It's EXO-ZUZU knocking on your door..
malden kicked it, and that's one more
Team EZ no doubt, the best of the crop
rhyming right now cause you know we're on top
and we'll keep climbing, and climbing
never intending to stop (ya hear?)
Years and years we'd be craftin' our list
making sure that no celeb was missed
in the end though we'd always be dissed...
None of them were going
the hearses weren't towing
their blood was always flowing..
And we had putnam, plot plot, and time to go
they were always around and were running the show
But there was one thing none ya'll didn't know
That being It's EZ's time to claim all the dough
So no more "wives of", "mothers of" or next of kin
fine with us, it's edward upward for the win
The "supercent's" though got us the most hate
It's real names only now, to predict the fate, (of)
We'll postulate, who is, who isn't,
man it's all a crying shame
but we get it guys, it's for the good of the game.
We've got to quit this thing.
Why didn't Gail Storm make the celebrity list?
3 stars on the Hollywood walk of fame. Radio, TV and
Movies. Just checking.
Well... we are not sure what you mean by celebrity list... Not one of our 150+ lists had her name on their lists. So that alone may say something. Was she a celebrity? Famous, yes... celebrity... not to sure on that one.
As we say... if you stopped 10 random people on the street and asked them if they knew who she was, we believe you'd be hard pressed to get a lot of name (or face recognition for that matter) on Ms. Storm.
Again, this goes to our fame vs. celebrity debate. Time is also a factor. If this were 1960 she'd probably make the cut; but true celebrities stand the test of time and have crossed that invisible line of mere fame to transcend into true pop-culture.
Not like Nickelodeon or TV Land is clamoring to pick up the right to My Little Margie anytime soon. Ya know?
THEY'RE GONNA FLAT LINE IN 09:
Saw you had Steve "Air" McNair listed on the updates you send out, but he isn't on the list of dead celebs yet. I'm hoping its because you don't consider him a "true celeb". Because if he counts then there are quite a few sports celebs that were on lists that you vetoed, that should count.
Easy Fella... we listed McNair on the update for informational reasons only. True celeb? Nope. Famous? Yep. Again, the fine line is the trick. Makes the play more interesting.
Now if McNair ever guested on Scooby Doo as the voice of one of the evil villains, or if there was ever an endorsement for depilatory cream for extra hairy (quarter) backs, then maybe we could have reconsidered.
But alas. Stevie never made the transcendence into pop culture which makes a true celeb.
THEY'RE GONNA FLAT LINE IN 09:
Thanks for the quick reply. I do think he endorsed Afro-Sheen and Miller-Lite, so shine your scalps and throw one back and toast him. Keep up the great work!!!!!
MORRIS THE CAT:
Two from my 2009 O.B.E. list you said were non-celebrities:
DOMINICK DUNNE (died yesterday, 8/26) On Google News ... 1,006 and growing. On Yahoo! News ... 419 and growing
BOBBY ROBSON (died July 31) On Google News ... 4,187. On Yahoo! News ... 1,563.
Did one of you die? Ted Kennedy isn’t scratched off the list yet. .
Sorry, we've been up in Massachusetts heckling at the services. We'll be back soon.
Great site - how does one enter your competition - I assume its for 2010 next round.
The new pool will open for entries on October 31 and must be in by Dec 31.
New information on the 2010 Watch will be posted on Oct. 31.
WHY SO SERIOUSLY DEAD?:
You mentioned in your stat column you'd be posting a celebrity database we could choose from; when will that be put up?
Somewhere around October 31, when we launch the 2010, we will post the magic list. (meaning we haven't worked on it yet.)
Will there be a 2010 contest? When will the entry blank be posted? Thanks! I love this sh*t!
Well dude... if you love sh*t this is the right place to be... The 2010 game will be posted on 10/31 (as always) and entries must be received by 12/31 at 11:59PM
In the meantime sign up for the bulletins and join the forum and have a gay old time... and we mean it... swish it up real good
A favorite watering hole has been operating a "dead pool" for some time. The only requirement for celebrity status is that the death gets mentioned on CNN. This has been quite successful and non-controversial.
I mention this because your list of nominees eliminated due to lack of celebrity seems to be a bit harsh and arbitrary.
You struck Ernie Harwell? Good grief!
Yeah Chris... this is where we used to be... ours was not CNN it was the AP, but as for "quite successful and non-controversial" we disagree... frankly it sucked, especially for us. We are bent on differentiating between fame and celebrity, that where the problem (and the fun) reside. Frankly anyone can become famous for anything. Invent a cure; famous - Be a diplomat; famous - Be inducted into a hall of fame; famous. But ya know what? The are not all celebrities. A true celebrity has transcended his or her own field and has entered the ephemeral area of pop icon. Know what we mean? Lack of fame and lack of celebrity are two very different things. And part of our game (and the fun) is learning what that fine line of distinction is. The oldest man or woman is perhaps famous but hardly a celebrity. Kapish?
As for Harwell... the guy's just is not a celebrity... a celebrity in Michigan perhaps; but that is a huge distinction. he never entered the National consciousness that would have elevated him to celebrity status. Now is he went our and knocked up Lindsay Lohan that may have been different. But he didn't. In fact, he was number 16 on the list of top 50 Sportscasters of All Time... know who was number 15? Graham McNamee... who you ask... well we did too. He's a guy who died in 1942. I mean how long does sportscasting even go back.
By the way here a few of CNN's past obits that they reported:
Koko Taylor dies at 80
Widow of entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. dies
Former Ecuadorian president Cordero dies
Barack Obama's Beloved Grandmother Dies
Ike Pappas, Oswald Death Broadcaster, Dead at 75
So ya wee what we mean, right? I hope we have helped you understand a bit more about where our heads are at. We understand that our game is different. But a few years ago, we were getting lists with; Oldest WWII Marine; Oldest Woman in Europe; Last Surviving Whatever, etc. etc. It was no fun and not much of a challenge either. We like things hope they are... fun.
Did one of you die? Ted isn’t scratched off the list yet. . .
THEY'RE GONNA FLAT LINE IN '09:
Am contemplating my list for next year and because you are New Jersey/New York natives I was wondering about the possible status of NJ State Senator Diane Allen, she was a former news anchor in Philly, before going into politics. Will understand if you can't give me an answer, possible cheating, but was just seeking advice.
Vinnie, Vinnie, Vinnie... gee you waste no time do ya? We know that her aggressive form of cancer was just announced yesterday... but wow...
Listen pal, we can't give any definitive answers on matters of these sort, but I am sure that if you go through our criteria for celebs you should arrive at the answer... We'd suggest looking at the politicians and actors/actresses sections to see what's what.
If you believe that NJ State Senator Diane Allen transcends the pop-cultural line between fame and celebrity... then go for it... but if you don't or have a question about it... then there are still about a million or so names to choose from.
THE BABY CRUSHERS:
I was looking over the new accpeted celebrity list for 2010 and came across Van Johnson. According to Wikapedia, Van Johnson died in December of 2008. Maybe you guys could follow up on this.
Also.....Frank Cady is not on the accepted celebrity list and I was hoping he would be considered a celebrity. After all, He was Mr. Drucker in 3 TV shows including Green Acres.
Van Johnson? We don't see him there (anymore). As for Frank Cady...... You pick your names, you take your chances. We haven't listed every celebrity in the world on our list. Just enough to give y'all a feel for where we're coming from.
Claude Levi-Strauss has died and I have not rec'd credit.
Check again Martha My Dear. We updated early this morning.
WE CAN SEAT YOU NOW:
Thanks for the GREAT job you do with this contest. This is the third year I've entered and I really do enjoy it.
I have a request, and I understand if you can't help me out, but I have a list of 7 names that I really want to include on my list for next year, but they aren't on your pre-approved celebrity list. Could you give me a ruling on whether these people would be considered celebrities in 2010?
These names have been included in the past, and I really want to add them to my 2010 list, but I don't want to get the dreaded ***Non-Celebrity*** message. I've never had a name rejected, and if one of my picks is disqualified, then I can't feel vastly superior to those nimrods whose list consists largely of ***Non-Celebrity*** messages - and I do so love feeling vastly superior.
Anyway, the questionable picks are:
If you could give me an ruling on these names, I'd be very appreciative. But, as I said, I understand if you can't.
We're afraid the best we can do is tell you to look at the rules and come to a conclusion. As we tell all Death Watchers.....If you have doubts, there may be a reason. (MAY BE not IS)
THE FIFTH SEASON:
Well done! As a sports junkie I'm a wee bit disappointed since I'd probably grab a few from there normally, but I think you've made it very clear what "celebrity" means. A shame you had to go to that level of detail, but you did a great job of it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I was expecting something on Brittany, but......I am happy you didn't. I think she was something of an angel that you cannot make a comment on.
That or she was some strung-out starlet who tore her heart up with narcotics and threw a massive at 32. One or the other we suppose.
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