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

Got to thinking that you guys might not be as familiar with Father Ted Hesburgh as we are here in Notre Dame country, but he really has been a national figure for many decades. Got this from and wikipedia, but there are many other sources of information on him, too. But then I thought, The Guys know how to look people up. Just let them do their job.

But I couldn't help sending this once I'd found it!

PS - Made my donation online, so I hope you can excuse this obsession.

Born May 25, 1917
Syracuse, N.Y.
Ordained in 1943.
Has served four Popes.
Has held sixteen Presidential appointments.

Presidential Medal of Freedom (1964)
Sylvanus Thayer Award from the United States Military Academy(1980)
F. Sadlier Dinger Award by educational publisher William H. Sadlier, Inc. in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the ministry of religious education in America. (1982)
Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences (1984)
Congressional Gold Medal (1999)
NCAA Gerald R. Ford Award (2004) (inaugural recipient)

He holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for “Most Honorary Degrees”, having been awarded 150.

He's on the discussion list for 2012. Not sure what the outcome will be at this point.

Fair enough. Can't be easy, what you do. :)

RE: Harry Morgan Obit Typo.

Before you close up the old 2011 file, take note that the only famous boxer to die at age 67 last year was Joe Frazier. Harry was a bit older than that.

Noted and corrected.

Can I suggest a new rule?

"No pay, no play". If you submit $5.00 with your entry, you play for prize money. If you don't, you are playing for recognition and maybe free entry fees for a specified time period.

The problem there, Cecil Be, is that if one requires money (what the law calls "consideration") for a "game of chance"(which is what we're running) then one is, by definition, operating a gambling operation. That, Mr. Demised, can land one in a place where a large, unsavory fella plugs one up the .....

Well, you get the idea.

Hi guys!

I can handle your griping about things dealing with the List, and I can handle the begging for money, but what I can’t handle is that you don’t give a way for us to donate to the fund! Do you accept PayPal or what do you accept? This is very important for us send money.

If you’re going to complain, suggest a solution. It’s not that difficult.


We give TWO ways (one for each Guy). There is a PayPal Donate button right on the bottom of the home page. In addition, we provide a PO box address in the rules (and on the entry form) to which our "adoring" fans can send cash, checks or little trinkets (which some do send).

Finally, as if that's not enough, we solicit on street corners every Thursday and Friday in the warmer months.

Thanks for your help. I managed to find the donate button on the home page and was able to send a donation.

I admit that I’m not the most observant person, so please excuse my ignorance. My vision is not what it used to be. Aging sucks. Death sucks more. Just ask the people on the lists that die.

How warm does it have to be before you go out on the corner? Do you sing or play instruments?

That all depends how you define instruments.....

This pertains to 2009 & am just looking for a quick rational if you will. In your email attached, you make reference to "You too Maurice Sendak (What a great friggin' pick!)" for 2012.

Well I'd never heard of him so checked him out on Wikipedia & see that he is a writer of children's books, one of which was made into a movie & has won a few literary awards. Fair enough. However, in 2009, I selected Budd Schulberg (who died that year). My pick was disallowed as not being a celebrity.

If you check out Wikipedia you'll find Schulberg was a collaborator of F. Scott Fitzgerald, an Academy Award winning screenwriter for 1954's "On The Waterfront" starring Marlon Brando, was inducted into The Boxing Hall of Fame for his sports writing in 2002, and also testified as a friendly witness before the House Committee on Un-American Activates, which blacklisted many writers & actors. In other words, pretty well known figure in literary, film, & sports circles.


Love the pool.

Here's a time and name that all just comes from perspective. Any time a new pick comes across the desk here at the OBE that name goes on a list for discussion. No matter who; could be Maurice Sendak could be Brad Pitt. Then the guys caucus about each and every new entry. When we got to Maurice; both guys immediately said YES. No question about who he was, or what he did. So he did have the immediate name, face or character recognition that we seek for celebrity. With no question asked, we moved onto the next name.

Now we can't you why, per se; except that he's a celeb in our eyes. Sendak had much much more than the career highlight you mention. He also had a huge presence in our lives growing up in the New York area in the 70's. He was name that was forever tied to PBS and the Children's Television Workshop and I can remember way back to grade school when kids lined up in the library to get their mitts on Hector Protector and his other illustrated works. His illustrations were so apart of growing up in that place at that time, that there left no question; to us at least, and that was what mattered.

Budd had none of that, shall we say, je ne sais quoi, that Maurice had. Writers are a tough area. One either knows them or doesn't . But here's one for ya. We call this the Simpson's test: you know someone is a celeb if they are pariodied on the Simposon's. The Simpsons made allusion to Sendak's book in the season 17 episode "The Girl Who Slept Too Little". In the episode, the take on the book was titled The Land of Wild Beasts.

Budd was perhaps famous, but not a celeb; no way. We still stand by that. Hope this makes sense to you.

...In addition, Maurice Sendak's work "Where The Wild Things Area" is still read in elementary schools today, 40+ years after it was written. That means a very large number of kids every year hear and see this work, making it known across generations. My 12 year old knows this book (and not because of my wife or me, because of hearing/seeing it for several years in the lower grades). There are still, to this day, doll sets, pajama sets, etc. based on this book. The artwork in this book has been parodied and paid homage in several instances over the last 40+ years also. It is immediately recognizable.

Bottom line, the dude wrote a book that has become a cornerstone of youth (really young youth) culture. Not to mention his other works. That's all it takes in this case. We'd make the same type of argument for JD Salinger (though he's dead). Catcher in the Rye, seminal work securing his (JD'S) celebrity status. Where the Wild Things Are, seminal work securing Maurice's celebrity status.

In my opinion, as half of The Guys at the OBE, this one was an absolutely correct decision and, as the other Guy said, was made without hesitation. Maurice's name on a list this year was, as I stated in the OBE News email, a "great friggin' pick.

Appreciate the detailed response

Terry Pratchett, not a celebrity?

I know there is a no contesting policy, but seriously?

He's not even on my list but he is a HUGE name in fantasy writers (He'll probably reach Tolkien levels of legacy in the coming decades). His 39 entry discworld series has been going for over 30 years and got him knighted and whatnot. Please tell me hes only been DQ'd on grounds of assisted suicide.

It just feels...unfitting to simply chuck him on the not celebrity list, rather than DQ him under the assisted suicide clause. Angry nerds (There's an app idea) on the Internet tend to spread word rather quickly, and to not recognize Pratchett may bother a few of them.

I'm sure they would understand the reasoning later though, but it just feels weird. Oh well. Also, your 2012 picks aren't up :(

We'll do this backwards.

1) Our picks are up. The entire 2012 is now up.

2) Okay, using your logic, Piers Anthony is a Celebrity too. Not.

The use of the word "probably" in the "reaching Tolkien level" sentence, means he hasn't. The fact that his works may be somewhat well known, in and of itself, doesn't necessarily make him a celebrity. Also, if only "angry nerds" are going to notice, that's not much a case for celebrity either.

Here's the thing. We really only want entries with picks that have immediate name/face/character recognition to LOADS of people, including us. That's celebrity. For better or worse, celebrity has little to do with achievement. Unfortunately, lots of players enter other names. That leaves us, The Guys, to decide. We're not making the case that all our decisions are good. We're simply saying that if you opt to enter someone who isn't clearly a celebrity in the common understanding of the term (immediate name/face/character recognition to LOADS of people, including us), your pick is at our mercy and is subject to all our biases. Think about it. More (many, many, many more) people know Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and Snooki than know Terry Pratchett. That's not good but that's Celebrity.

Not recognizing Terry as a celebrity doesn't mean he's not well known or that his works aren't well liked (at least one of The Guys likes them just fine!). However, when we go tap 10 people on the shoulder tomorrow and say, "What do you think of Terry Pratchett?," we bet two or less of them will know who the hell he is (unless, of course, we're in the comic book shop).

I just found it kind of a shock. From my perspective I figured hes about on par with Ray Bradbury, who was let in and would likely get about as much name recognition from the everyday person. But, after all it is your list and not mine, and it is at your mercy. Thanks for taking the time to explain it though.

Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451. It's still taught in high schools across the country. Shoot, that lard ass Michael Moore parodied the name for one of his movies. Big difference in our mind.

Heh. I knew my nearly successful attempts to forget my high school experience would come back to bite me some day. At this point, I just read either of them for the heck of it. Clicking The Guys picks still gives a 2011 list though. My internet is probably just being lame though.

Try to Refresh.

In re: to a response in the mailbag, you said:

"The problem there, Cecil Be, is that if one requires money (what the law calls "consideration") for a "game of chance"(which is what we're running) then one is, by definition, operating a gambling operation."

This couldn't be more false. The OBE is not a game of luck by any stretch of the imagination. Granted, there are a fair number of simpletons and mouth-breathers that play this game, and make terrible picks. But knowing the stats on illnesses, rate of death for various ages, etc, all goes into making this a game of skill. If one were to pack their list with 95+ year old celebs, one will likely clean up with a good 3-4 deaths each year. Obviously, variance has to be taken into account, but in the long run, the statistics don't lie.

It only seems like luck to the proles, because some of us more elite players just make it look that easy. There is a reason why exo/zuzu has 2 cashes in 3 years though, and numerous high finishes, and it's because we are the cream of the crop - what all others aspire to be.

We hope we cleared this up for you guys.

Well, you get the idea.

Dude, you an make any argument you want, however it remains a game of luck/chance. One car accident can change the outcome for the year (as can one Zsa Zsa Gabor).

Yes, if you pick a random 24 year old, it's largely a game of chance. If you fill up your lists with people 95 and above, you are consistently going to get around 3 or so deaths in the long run., as someone that is around Find someone that's terminal, and it's virtually a lock.

This is something that hasn't been emphasized enough. For simple mouth breathers, of course it's a game of luck. They have no idea what they are doing and they will choose lindsay lohan or something, even though the likelyhood of her dying in any given year is infinitesimally small. The picks of good players however, will routinely pay off in the end, more or less consistently.

Again, I understand where you are coming from. Players like ourselves make these things look easy :)

happy new year

Looks good! Being in the knucklehead group doesn't make me happy, but those are the rules! :)

Just please correct the spelling of Reverend (as in Theodore Hesburgh). :) Thanks! (And if he does die this year, you may be surprised to see the amount of news coverage he gets. But don't get me wrong. I respect your decisions. He who owns the game makes the rules!)

Anyway, thanks again for this little guilty pleasure that all of us share, and I can only imagine the wide variety of personality types there are who do this. It'd be fun to see a list of careers, jobs, job titles, whatever, that would (anonymously) show us who all enjoys this. But that's for another time, I'm sure.


And thank you for playing!

I find it humorous that Kyle wrote to point out a typo in Harry Morgan's O.B.E. Obit and he made a typo pointing out the typo. see this:

RE: Harry Morgan Obot Typo.

I guess he had 1 too many beers? huh?

On another note, I have been a member of the O.B.E. for several years and I have been close a few times but never won, or even collected 2nd or 3rd place winnings. This year I plan on changing that. 2012 is "THE YEAR OF THE BABY CRUSHERS"

I love the O.B.E. and thank you guys for putting in all the time and effort into thgis that you do. And I love your sense of humor too.

Baby Crushers, you made our day! Thank you!

As for Kyle, the typo was ours, not his. We're the kings of typos over here at OBE Central.

I have the site and would like include a link to your site with your permission.

By all means! We welcome it and appreciate your consideration!

Thanks. I didn't find your site in time to play last year but did get in a sheet this year. My website has just gone online and I will be adding content daily.

One request. Can you please list the site as http::// instead of

Both end up in the same place, but we use the former (mask address) as the proper name of the site. DEATH POOL JEFF:
Will do!

Risë Stevens - Opera singer

NOT A CELEBRITY?!!??!!?? Just because she doesn't play football, basketball, baseball or golf????? Really??? Just because she wasn't smokin' hot in a bathing suit? (How would you know -- ever seen her in one?) Really?????

Is Leontyne Price not a celebrity? Is Kathleen Battle not a celebrity? Is Placido Domingo not a celebrity? Are Maria Callas, Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavaratti not celebrities?

For over two decades (until 1961) Stevens was the Met's leading mezzo-soprano and the only mezzo to command the top billing (and commensurate fees) normally awarded only to star sopranos and tenors.

According to Wikipedia, Risë Stevens is not only an opera singer, but a FAMOUS opera singer:

"...Famous Opera Singers

Though opera patronage has decreased in the last century in favor of other arts and media (such as musicals, cinema, radio, television and recordings), mass media and the advent of recording have supported the popularity of many famous singers including Maria Callas, Enrico Caruso, Kirsten Flagstad, Mario Del Monaco, Risë Stevens, Alfredo Kraus, Franco Corelli, Montserrat Caballé, Joan Sutherland, Birgit Nilsson, Nellie Melba, Rosa Ponselle, Beniamino Gigli, Jussi Björling, Feodor Chaliapin, and "The Three Tenors" (Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, and José Carreras)."

Incidentally, Risë Stevens DID appear in "Going My Way" with Bing Crosby and half a dozen tv movies.

My apologies, I did not realize it was the "Old Blue Eyes Celebrity (Jocks, Babes, Actors, Politicians, exclusive) Death Watch."

Risë Stevens, not a celebrity. Geesh.

Come now... it has nothing to do with football, basketball, baseball or golf... as for the bathing suit, well... she's no Montserrat Caballé. As for comparing her to Lyontyne, Katheleen, Placido and the rest... no comparison... none. Do you really believe that she is on the same level as the others you mention? Not even close. If you read our rules, we are looking for those that rise above fame and beyond. True celebrities. Look any two bit spear-carrier second from the left in Götterdämmerung will get an obit and a program mention, but they are not celebs. Risë never truly transcended her own area of fame to become part of the consciousness that belies that of true celebrity. How does she compare with the others you mention...

Leontyne: Presidential Medal of Freedom (1964), the Kennedy Center Honors (1980), the National Medal of Arts (1985), nineteen Grammy Awards (more than any other classical singer) and the first Opera Honors given by the National Endowment for the Arts. Plus the memorial concert at Carnegie Hall for the victims of the September 11 attacks. Also in March 2007, on BBC Music magazine's list of the "20 All-time Best Sopranos" she was on it... Risë , not so much.

Battle (besides her operatic achievement, crossed over with with vocalists Al Jarreau, Bobby McFerrin, Alicia Keys, and James Ingram, jazz saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., jazz pianists Cyrus Chestnut and Herbie Hancock. Battle also lent voice to the song "This Time" on Janet Jackson's album janet. and sang the title song, "Lovers", for the 2004 Chinese action movie, House of Flying Daggers. She also performs the music of Stevie Wonder. Plus the 5 Grammys, the Emmy and the NAACP Image award.

Do we really need to go on? Person, by person, we don't think so.

Yeah she is famous, yes we know who she is. But you know as well as we do that if you asked 10 random people on the street, you get a lot of "who's that?" for your responses. In fact, if you showed her name to 10 people, we bet fewer than 1 would even pronounce it correctly.

We are also laughing at the fact that you believe sports figures would have a better chance at getting in our good graces. We have always maintained that not everyone who has been voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame is a celeb; everyone that has won an Oscar is not a celeb; and now we'll say it; not every diva that has graced the boards of the Met is a celeb. The others you mentioned, absolutely, Stevens, no way.

Now you want the real kicker for you; true fact: one of us taught Opera Theatre for the School of Music at the University of Miami and even banged Bev Sills backstage at the City Center... ok, well, the second part may not be true, but, yeah, the first part is.

Fame is not always equal to celebrity. It has been our mantra for years now.

RIP ETTA JAMES - Did anyone NOT have her on their list?

82 lists did not have Etta listed.

It's been a few years since I entered the O.B.E. Celebrity Death Pool. I decided to check out the site to see how things are going.

Regarding your "Not A Celebrity" pics,

1. Bhumibol Adulyadej
This is the King of Thailand (since 1946), the Guinness World Record "longest serving monarch" at 66 years now.

2. David Stern
NBA Commissioner

3. Doris Lessing

4. Eric Cantor
House majority whip

5. Harold Camping
Prophet of Doom, err...Rapture

6. Ron Artest
Mr. Kim Kardashian

If that's not "celebrity," then I don't know what is.

I didn't have to Google any of the above names.

I could go on, but why? You should go back to "AP wire" obit=celebrity. Or have a death-pool vote of all registered entrants. While no one wants a system with a lot of un-famous niche picks winning, it's equally unfair when even "obvious" celebrities get excluded.

Numbers 1 and 3 were absolute NOs for us. We argued pro and con at length about the other ones. We understand your point but we continue to use IMMEDIATE name, face, or character recognition as our criteria. We also sometimes poll a group of folks (at random) with some names when we can't come to terms. Then we let the chips fall where they may. We review every single new name entered each and every year.

We'll never go back to the AP only rule. It made the game miserable for us and we almost shut the game down. Not happening.

We've actually thought about polling players, however, there are some very real issues with that. Time, built in bias (e.g. saying no t get the upper hand), etc.

In the end, we will probably stick with what we have. We're toying with a complete re-write of the rules for 2013. If that happens, you may see some changes (improvements?).

We're glad you came back to play but we're unhappy that you're disappointed. Hopefully, you can see past your frustration and continue to participate. If not however, we understand. Some Death Watchers are into the game for the pool aspect. We're into the game for the humor aspect. Consequently, we simply don't get as concerned with ***Not A Celebrity*** as others might.

All that having been said, we're only human. Some of the names you list below might pass muster in the future (depending on current events, etc) however, we believed none of them had reached the point of IMMEDIATE name, face, or character recognition as of 12/31/11. Maybe we were wrong on some. Regardless, that's how it ended up. The rules clearly state that if you pick names which aren't on our master list (click Jesus-Frank on the Main Page), you take a risk. They go on to explain many of our built in biases. That's the best we can do for now.

We really are glad to see you back. Hopefully you can stick it out in the future.

Just the short of donations required, I wouldn't mind playing, just because people like Etta James and Zsa Zsa Gabor get so much media coverage about being deathly ill...but we never know for sure (Zsa Zsa the zombie is still un-dead). So I might come back in 2013. I don't mind donating but the rules right now are arbitrary (i.e., the entrant cannot know in advance if their pick would be a celebrity or not).

That said...I don't see how a WWE wrestler that most people never heard of is a "celebrity". Your definition of "celebrity" seems based on being like Anna Nicole Smith (always seeking attention). Yet if you asked 10 people on the street who David Stern was, I'd bet 5 of 10 would know. Unless the entrant meant some obscure "David K. Stern" that no one ever heard of.

Time to End this E-Mail

several lucky bastards have Etta James on their deathwatch list, (not me of course). In case you haven't heard. "All I Could Do Was Cry" when I heard. Interesting fact: Her father was the legendary pool shark "Minnesota Fats" (Rudolf Wanderone).

I am a little frustrated that I had two people on my list that were not allowed this year. I don’t care at all about the money but I spent way too much time putting my list together. I understand you have a very hard job deciding who is a celebrity and who is not. I originally sent with list in with Dennis Fredtickson as you can below and then I realized he was deemed not a celebrity last year and you allowed me to change him. I am not here to argue with you about who is a celebrity and who is not but why can’t we (the players) ask you before we submit our lists if someone will be allowed or not? I am in a few other “death pools” and both of my picks you did not allow were allowed in other ones. This is so frustrating because now I have no chance to win this one. Any chance you will allow us to ask before we send out picks in?

Also, I don’t want to argue my picks but I was looking at who you deem as not a celebrity and there are two that I would be very upset about it, if I had them on my list.

Joe Buck???? He is FOX’s number one baseball and football announcer. He is the only announcer EVER to do both the World Series and the Super Bowl year after year.

Stephen Adler???? Not only was he in the biggest band of the 80’s but twice he was on a show called “Celebrity Rehab” That’s CEBEBRITY Rehab. If the show considers him one why don’t you?

Again I think it’s awesome you do this but it really disappointing when you lose people off your list.

We actually appreciate the frustration of Death Watchers who spend time and energy compiling lists only to have picks deemed ***Not a Celebrity***. Now, imagine the frustration of having to look-up and track the deaths of not just your two eliminated picks but the numerous others submitted. Frankly, it sucks the fun right out of the game for us. To let every player know if their picks are being eliminated and allowing them to replace such picks adds yet another layer of work to the Death Watch and, frankly, would be impractical since 85% or more of the lists come in on New Year's Eve. To allow players to ask in advance of list submission would also become laborious as we'd be flooded with requests. We've been pretty flexible with players in the past (if they request last minute changes). However, we don't discuss ***Not A Celebrity*** status in advance of the game as it wouldn't be fair to all the players (e.g. communicating decisions to all players and assuring they get the communication). In addition, it would result in The Guys being on the phone every night for a month or more arguing these things. We have jobs, families, and lives. We just can't do that.

We understand that one can argue for or against all our decisions. Believe us when we tell you, we spend hours arguing them ourselves. Hours! In the end, we think we've been reasonable with the overall approach to the Death Watch. We publish a rather large list of picks that we guarantee we will count (Click Jesus-Sinatra on the Main page). Everyone has the ability to pick from this list and have all their picks count. Any other pick is subject to our review (We allowed 56 new names to be added to the list this year). In the rules, we have tried to outline our biases so that one can sway their decisions accordingly. After that, it's a risk.

Regarding "Celebrity Rehab" and/or "Celebrity Weight Loss" etc... These shows scrape the bottom of the fame pool for folks to participate. Sure some are celebrities. Others are famous but not celebrities. Yet others are really neither. If you read the section of the rules regarding bands and band members, you'll see that Slash and Axel were the Celebs in Guns N' Roses. Come on, you've seen "Spinal Tap," right? The drummer? Really?

As for other pools...We know how other pools are doing things. We were there once. The game got to be such a drag for us, we almost shut it down.

As we've said before, we believe what makes our Death Watch a little different is that we are way more interested in the humor and the banter that the pool brings than the competition aspect of the pool itself. It's fun and funny to talk about dead Celebrities and how we, as a culture, deify some of these wack-jobs. We want to push the Death Watch to a point where lists have picks with IMMEDIATE name, face, and/or character recognition. Names we don't even need to Google (or if we do, as soon as we see the picture we say "Oh, yes!"). We're not even close to there yet. We know we allow folks that have that characteristic for us while recognizing that others may not share the recognition. We're trying though.

In the end, we want the OBE to be fun for all our Death Watchers (players and lurkers alike). We feel badly when a player indicates they are disappointed. However, we simply won't go back to where we were. It made the Death Watch unenjoyable for us. If we don't enjoy it, why would we run it?

Thanks so much for your response. It really tells me a lot about you guys that you took the time to compose that long email.

I can’t even imagine all you go through every year keeping this pool together.

While I disagree with some of the things you say in your email I respect what you do and how you do it.

Moving forward, I am going to only use people you have already approved.

Dick Tufeld, voice of the Lost in Space robot died Sunday night at home. Was 85 yrs old.

The guy was a Dick.

Just wanted to make sure you received the book (Celebrity Death Pools: the Definitive Guide to Starting, Running, and Winning Your Death Pool). Thanks for the support. If you liked the book, I'd love it if you could write a review at Amazon.

Got it. Read it. Liked it. Gave it to the Other Guy at the OBE to read.

Have been pushing it via our email messages to our players, our facebook pages, and in the mail bag.

Will make our way over to Amazon to give you a thumbs up too. Thanks for your effort. You did a nice job with the book!

Thank you so much for the nice review and for letting your players know about it! It was just a labor of love that I hope to break even on. Thanks again. Glad you enjoyed it.

Why no mention of Angelo Dundee, the "Greatest" trainer of all time. Besides training Ali, he also trained Sugar Ray Leonard. I could see not listing Cardinal Bevilaqua the former Archbishop of Philadelphia, But Angelo Dundee, paraphasing Bea Arthur God may get you for that one.


formerly Their Gonna Flatline in 09, now These Graves We will Delve in 2012

PS: Do you know how hard it is to find a word that rhymes with twelve?

We certainly know how far you stretched to rhyme twelve. As for Dundee, didn't he do something with crocodiles too? Wait, he put his shrimp in a Barbie, on a barbie, something like that....

It looks like you never cashed your $10 prize check. We sent it back on 1/14/12. Did you get it? Do you need us to resend?

hey, just haven't gotten to it yet. We received it. We will cash it in the next day or two.

Not trying to rush you. Just want to make sure we don't rip you off.
NOTE: The check was never cashed!

Apparently Thomas Kinkade stopped "painting the light" and entered the light.

Yitzak Shamir has passed away. Didn’t see the sight updated just in case you missed it. Score!

Don Grady (Robbie Douglas) passed away on June 27 at the age of 68. Thought you'd like to know.

We did know. But thank you none-the-less.

Kitty Wells' most famous song was "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels." Lends itself perfectly to a witty description of her on the occasion of her passing. I'll let you take it from there, if you've a mind to. (You guys need a hillbilly resource person you can call on when the need arises. :) )

I was just perusing the mail bag and saw an email that I sent earlier this year proclaiming that 2012 is "THE YEAR OF THE BABY CRUSHERS" .

Well.....Currently, I am 4 deaths behind the leader and we are just past the half way point of the year. I really expected this to be "THE YEAR OF THE BABY CRUSHERS".

Boy, was I wrong. Man, I thought I would be up at the top of the leader board. Oh well! I still may make a charge in the second half but it looks like 2013 will have to be "THE YEAR OF THE BABY CRUSHERS".

Disclaimer: No Babies have actually been crushed by the Baby Crushers. All Babies are well. The Baby Crushers do not condon the crushing of innocent babies.

Also, I wish everyone would stop going on and on about who is a celebrity and who isn't. You guys run the O.B.E. and you guys make the rules. End of story!!!!

I have a question for both of you:

When you guys where young, did your parents have to pay you to be good or were you good for nothing?

They paid us.

I'm putting together a list of comedians who might croak next year. A name for my list popped into my head, but I really don't know if I thought of it or if I read it on your website in years past. (Enjoy your youth while you have it!) :)

Silence of the Laughs - was that used before?

That little brain child is all yours Beckster.

Okay. Your enthusiasm is inspiring. :)

For better or worse I'll own it. Thanks for checking.

I have been following your site for several years and plan on participating this year (yes, with a donation) but I have a question about the rules.

You say in order for a celebrity to be deemed a celebrity their death must be reported by the AP...but don't you guys determine who is or is not a celebrity when the entry is received? With the said celebrities being alive??

So i'm confused. are they celebrities when alive but if AP doesn't report their death then they become non~celebrities?

O, and why is the King of Thailand not a celebrity? Just curious.

Assuming that the Mayans weren't right, looking forward to a deadly 2013... :)

The point here is that, even if we deem someone a celebrity. If they don't get an AP obit, they don't count.

Does that work in reverse as well? If you take someone off a list as the dreaded *not a celebrity* but the AP reports it does it go back on the list?


I have emailed you more in the last 10 years than I have emailed my mother!

Your mother ought to start a Death Pool then.

I am still not sure how you will break ties based on the following rule


In order to establish a tie breaking system, each dead celebrity pick will have a point value associated with them. In the event of two or more Death Watchers having the same number of correct picks at the end of an OBE game, the sum of the points on each tied 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.

For example, 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 first, second and/or third place positions as needed.

In your example, if 3 lists have 8 deaths(the highest number). And scores of 16, 12 and 10 respectively, then I feel, the team with 16 points wins first place, the team with 12 points gets second place and the team with 10 points gets 3rd place. This is the only way it can work. I don't know of you had this in mind but any team with fewer than 8 deaths(in this scenario) cannot be in any place higher than 4th place. If a team has 7 deaths, then there are three teams with more deaths and these three teams deserve 1st, 2nd and 3rd place as they all have 8 deaths.

A primary example is in golf where 3 players are tied for 2nd at 5 under par. They all split the total of 2nd prize through 4th prize. A player at 4 under par is officially in 5th place.

I hope you see my point and agree with me. It sounds to me that you are eliminating the two teams with 8 deaths but fewer than 16 points from a prize and then going to the next set of scores. This is 100% wrong. You can't have 8 deaths(in this scenario) and lose to a player with fewer deaths. Trust me on this!!!!!

We agree with you and that is exactly what the criteria is supposed to present.

That's what we mean when we state "THAT winners position." and "This process will be used to break ties in first, second, and/or third place.

So if the five top scores look like this

Frank - 8 deaths, 16 points
Sammy - 8 deaths, 14 points
Deano - 8 Deaths, 12 points
Peter - 7 Deaths, 20 points
Joey - 6 Deaths, 24 points

We apply the criteria to first place and Frank wins first. That leaves the following to be considered for second

Sammy - 8 deaths, 14 points
Deano - 8 Deaths, 12 points
Peter - 7 Deaths, 20 points
Joey - 6 Deaths, 24 points

We apply the criteria and Sammy wins THAT position. That leaves the following to be considered for third

Deano - 8 Deaths, 12 points
Peter - 7 Deaths, 20 points
Joey - 6 Deaths, 24 points

We apply the criteria and Deano wins third.

We're saying the same thing. It's just the manner in which we said it that might have been a bit confusing.

NOTE: Based on this email, we tightened up the language on the Rules Page to avoid any confusion.

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