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




DONNA:
what's the snail mail address for donations, please?

(i know, i asked for this last year but did not retain it. maybe i thought *i* wouldn't be here this year, but, i am & would like to donate. thanks in advance)

THE GUYS:
The Guys at the OBE
C/O
PO Box 343
Middlesex, NJ 08846

It's also on the web page (lots). ;-)



BECKEY:
So at the last minute, my son, daughter, and son-in-law decided to submit their lists again. Whew! We were together on New Year's Eve, and all 3 emailed their lists to you. My son's was at the very last minute, and his sister typed it for him and emailed it from her account. What I wanted to clarify was one of the guys on his list. Here's the info:

Underworld Symphony - John Williams was the first guy on his list, and I don't know if his sister had time to say why everyone on the list was famous, but they were all obvious, except maybe John Williams. He's a composer (Star Wars, Jaws, etc.) I'm sure you already knew that, but I'm the worrier in the family! :)

Now, with the list I sent you from myself, plus my cousin and my friend, on top of these 3, that makes 6 people in my corner of the world who entered for 2014, so I will send you a check for all of us.

THE GUYS:
Yes, we knew....



EXOENDO ZUZUBAR:
I have noticed that "!!! casket.." and "!! Maggot" are coming before "!!!!!!! exoendo zuzubar"

this does not make sense. if we are implying that an exclamation point comes before a romanized letter, then naturally !!! would come before "!! M" as ! ranks before a letter. you guys are tottallllly discombobulated.

And the brings us to another thing. It's been "exoendo zuzubar's" TRADEMARK for yearsss now to always have special characters before our name. STOP RIPPING US OFF PEOPLE! That is OUR invention. God, I understand so many people want to be like us, but there can be only one. sorry.

THE GUYS:


1) The Microsoft Office Suite, most notably ACCESS, which we use to run this little Death Watch, orders symbolic data from least to most. For example.. %, %%, %%%, %%%%, etc. So, your attempt to front load your moniker appear to have performed as well as you last few entries (ouch).

2) If you wish to file a Trademark infringement case, feel free to do so.

3) We can't speak for everybody, but we're familiar with at least two people who don't want to be like you (and that's not counting any offspring you might have).

EXOENDO ZUZUBAR:
I am suing. O_O



THE BABY CRUSHERS:
Grab the Beer!!!! The 2014 OBE is here!!!!

Over the years, I have noticed that you always have June Foray on your list. I have never put her on my list....until this year!!!!! Although June Foray is a sweet lady and has brought millions of people joy with her voice as Rocky the Flying Squirrel and I do not wish death on anyone(except my old upstairs neighbor, may he get run over by a subway train), I think this is the year for June Foray to join the Flying squirrels in the sky!!!!

THE GUYS:
As is often the case with this effort, we find ourselves placing people on our list that we really like/admire (ever hear of a guy named Sinatra?). We're not sure what that says about us but then again, we're not sure we are really all that concerned either.



BECKY:
I don't see my son's list - I think it was Underworld Symphony. We have witnesses that it was submitted about 10-15 minutes before midnight. I can have my daughter check the time stamp on her email. Was that the problem?

THE GUYS:
It's there. It is listed as "Underworld Symphony" in quotes (as it was written on the entry. Therefore, it appears near the top of the lists (third row, last position).

BECKY:
Oops, sorry about missing the list that had its title in quotes. Our family is allergic to titles in quotes, so my daughter must've been out of her mind when she sent it to you that way! :) Our bad. But thanks for clarifying that.



THE "EX" FILE (Regarding our initial 2014 launch):
Make that 14 knuckleheads... I see where team "I See Dead People" listed Joan Fontaine, who passed away 12/15, and team "2014 Reaper's Digest" listed Neil Armstrong, who died in 2012.

Considering the scope of the lists you guys have to process, and how quickly you got this out, I'm resisting the temptation to say 16 knuckleheads since your Stats page gives both of them a value of 1 point even though you tagged them as DEAD in the "Why..." column.

Even so, keep up the good work. :-)

THE GUYS:
Good eyes! We appreciate the feedback and will update the lists and stats shortly. It likely wasn't our fault, it was the beer.

THE "EX" FILE:
Make that 1 pick and 5 points each.

Of course it was the beer, I never assumed otherwise. More than happy to help, and everything else seemed to check out.

THE GUYS:
As an aside (and you'll get a bulletin on this shortly...)

It was actually only Fontaine. The Neil Armstrong pick should have been Neil Simon.

Regardless, we've fixed these errors. Thanks Again.



KYLE:
My list says Neil Simon, the site lists it as Armstrong, Both show up on the stats.

Just a heads up. Huzzah for promptness though!

THE GUYS:
We should dock you this pick on principle. You entered the pick as Neil "Armstrong" Simon (trying to be funny we suppose). Our database and beer blurred eyes did not find it funny, they found it Armstrong.

Anyway, we looked at your entry and your wording and intent are clear, we have corrected the issue.

KYLE:
Ah. Chalk it up to beer on my end as to why I found it funny at the time.

A wise man once said it is the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.



METSIE 62:
just wondering where team METSIE 62 is...was not in list

THE GUYS:
It's there Metsie 62. Count seven lists down. The quotation marks are what are throwing you off. If you write the quotation marks, we use them as some folks do so to move there lists up to the top.



BARB:
Hey guys Ė my brother isnít seeing his list on the entries posted. Iíve got the e-mail here that I sent for him in time before the deadline. (He was at my house for our New Yearís Eve shindig so I had to send it from my e-mail.) Can you post it in there with the rest, por favor?

BARB:
Hey Guys, I just saw itís in there, just at the top of the list because of the quotation marks. Doh! Sorry about that! *sheepishly getting back to my work*

THE GUYS:
No problem



PAUL:
Just a heads up that the email you sent out informing us that the entries were completed still has the old link to the website. It is not the 10x one.

THE GUYS:
The link is correct. www.flymetothetomb.com. That brings you to the .10x server. Its a redirect web address.

PAUL:
Ok it didn't work when I tried it some time ago. Thanks have a good day drinking a Kona pipeline porter. Know u guys like beer



THE SHISH-KA-ROBS:
Well, it's pretty obvious you guys are either not sports fans or have an aversion to sports. Very frustrating to list people known literally by tens of millions of people for the past 50 years and be told by a few people they are "not celebrities". I'm positive the Associated Press will be all over their demise when the inevitable occurs (as someone that's been in the news business for about 30 years, I'm rather confident in that statement).

I still enjoy your site and participating, but just had to express my frustration. If I were you, to be fair to those who may want to join in in the future, tell them in advance if there are areas of culture in which you either do not know or choose not to learn about. That way their future entries won't be handicapped such as mine.

THE GUYS:
Believe it or not, we do understand your frustration. We probably spend more time on the sports figures than on any other picks each and every year. We call numerous sports minded acquaintances to discuss these questionable entries. However, we never accept just "knowing the names" and the fact that a player/coach may have a "great record" as an indication of celebrity. What we typically look for are players/coaches who not only have accomplishments in the sport but who transcend the sport into other areas of popular culture. To us, it's those additional activities that make the player famous/infamous and thus a Celebrity.

You're correct in your assessment that neither of The Guys are significant sports fans, though we wouldn't say we have an aversion sports at all.

All that having been said, we did take a tiny bit of exception to this statement that you made, " If I were you, to be fair to those who may want to join in in the future, tell them in advance if there are areas of culture in which you either do not know or choose not to learn about." Here is a excerpt from The OBE rules that have been in place since we made the changes to "Celebrity" in 2009 for the 2010 game:

7.1.2 ABOUT THE GUYS' FRAMES OF REFERENCE...

...*Neither guy is big into professional sports but both keep up on the news in general including the big names in sports. ...

...ATHLETES: This category is probably the toughest for Death Watchers. Neither of The Guys is big into the sports world. Sure The Guys follow a bit of baseball and football. Certainly they know the BIG names. But folks, not every hall of famer is a celebrity. In fact, most are likely not celebrities. Reggie Jackson: Celebrity. Vida Blue: Sure. Bobby Orr: You betcha. Joe Namath: Absolutely (heck, based on Love Boat and Brady Bunch appearances alone!). You want to go for a lesser known great player. Go for it. Weíll probably knock it off the list. Fair? Not really. But thatís the way it is fanatics. ...

For even more insight into how we determine celebrity, check out the rest of 7.1.2 in the rules. We added this section precisely to "tell people in advance" where we are coming from. This information, coupled with our posting each year of those names picked and deemed ***Not a Celebrity***, sends a reasonable indication about our frame of reference. To further clarify our approach, all of our bulletins this year will have insights into our decision making process for celebrity. Finally, we actually publish a list of all the names in our database that we consider celebrities and post it all year long. We don't require that anyone pick from this list but we guarantee those picks will not be eliminated. That's some pretty big advanced notice.

Look, we know it stinks to have picks knocked off a list. We also know that it's irritating as hell to have to goofballs who run a Death Watch tell you that persons you firmly believe are celebrities are not celebrities. But at the end of the day we have to run this game in the manner we believe is best and most fun for the players and for us. We appreciate every player who joins and genuinely get a kick out of this silly thing we've built. We'd hate to see you or anyone else leave because of our decisions. However, there were a couple of years where we thought we'd quit running the pool because so called "celebrity" was all over the place and it simply was no fun for us. We'd rather upset a few players than go back to that.

Bottom line, Bud Grant isn't married to the Queen and Bob Cousy never played opposite Diana Rigg in the Avengers (come on, smile....).

We may not have provided a satisfactory answer to you but hopefully we've provided a thorough one.

P.S. You'll notice we were nice enough to not even point out the Ronnie Hawkins Requirement listed in 7.2 of the rules. Heck, we can't be all bad.

THE SHISH-KA-ROBS:
I thoroughly appreciate, and respect, the thorough response. :)

I also appreciate you pointing out to me the rule I honestly had forgotten about since seeing it years previously. In the end, this boils down to a case where those in charge have set the rules, and been open about them, regarding sports figures as celebrities, whereas I, obviously a sportswriter as well as lifelong sports fan, would consider greats of major sports easily to have attained celebrity status (Bob Cousy, for example, is a god in Boston as has been in the Basketball Hall of Fame for 42 years now). This is all merely subjective.

But lesson learned, and, in the future I will simply avoid sports altogether. Sadly, there are easily 14 names attainable to create an annual list without going in that general direction.

I applaud the work you do each late December/early January, and hope you at least spend August recuperating for the next round. And, by the way, did you ever offer your preference of beer for the late nights this time of year?

THE GUYS
Beer preference....Hmm...That depends on the Guy, the mood, the season, and the amount of money in the wallet. Innis and Gunn is pretty nice. That chocolate cherry bock in the Sam Adams holiday 12 pack was like drinking desert. That was kinda nice. Then there's those Belgian beers. Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale a very pleasant beverage. Oh, and then there's.....forget it, we could get lost in this.



SHAO IN CHINA:
any goods or business want buy from China please tell us We Can Accetp PayPal for payment

PayPal is safety Payment for both give win price for both to win market

waitting cooperation with you to win market together as like one team best regard

THE GUYS:
Running Death Watch make no goods, business or profit. Only make ha-ha for players. To win market or otherwise much famous people must croak. Waiting for these stupid emails to stop.



WHEN THE RIVER MEETS THE SEA:
I'm absolutely positive that it doesn't matter to you which donation gets credited to which list, but here's the breakdown of the $$$ I sent for my family and friends playing anyway - it helps my OCD a bit if I send you this. :)

When the River Meets the Sea
Women Live Longer Than Men
Alas, We Knew You Well
Underworld Symphony
Styx and Headstones
Taste the Happy, Michael

THE GUYS:
Actually, we track this right down to the list level. Of course, this change means we've got to redo the statistics and the donations page....That, of course, means we have to drink more beer. Thank you, we love you.

WHEN THE RIVER MEETS THE SEA:
LOL - You guys are a hoot. Sorry you have to re-do the stats, I really am!

But glad to give you an excuse to have beer. Any time.

THE GUYS:
So we're going through the process of updating based on the above and we see that we received donations directly from -Styx and Headstones
-Taste the Happy, Michael

Consequently, we're crediting the you with the balance.

Hope that is okay.

WHEN THE RIVER MEETS THE SEA:
Oh. I guess sometimes grown children do their own thing. :)



EXOENDO ZUZUBAR:
we are straight up winning this year. I can feel it. we have 3 terminals shared by a nominal amount of people. Which means true gains for us with each death. also your list seems to have improved dramatically given you share so many picks with us this time around.

just remember that when we are at the finish line that we called it back in january. And no, I have never called it before. It's happening. Prepare for the reckoning.

THE GUYS:
Hmmm....We vaguely recall hearing this before....



MORGUENOLIA BLOSSOM LEE:
I love you guys:

RUSSELL JOHNSON (1/16/2014)
The Professor. Age 89.
No pulse, no breath, no motor skills...

THE GUYS:
Thank you. That touched us in a way that might be illegal in some states.



SKIP:
Someone's gotta stand up for poor 'ol Norman.

Unless I'm totally missing something, the really old actor is Norman LLoyd, not Norman Llyod. Since he's turning 100 this year (well, we'll see), let's at least get his name right this year. He's been mis-spelled in the statistics and entries since 2010.

THE GUYS:
You know we drink when we do this right? It's been fixed.



BECKY:
I'm sure you saw this, but I hadn't until today, the last female munchkin died.

THE GUYS:
So we're at the coffee machine at work today and we reach into the box for a little breakfast snack. We were certain there was still one there and we wanted. Then we realized, the last munchkin was already gone.

BECKY:
You guys really do have an extra helping of funny inside your brains! :)



VALAR MORGHULIS:
Valar Morghulis here. I got Mickey Rooney and should be 2 hits 4 points, but I am still down on the scoreboard under 1 hit 3 points. Why?

VALAR MORGHULIS:
Valar Morghulis againÖ.I see now that I must have contacted you before you completed your update. Please disregard previous email.

THE GUYS:
No problem. Thanks for checking and for keeping us honest!



THE BABY CRUSHERS:
As we all know by now, Mickey Rooney died and I was thinking that he should only be worth 1/2 a death because he was so short! He was like 4 feet tall so that shouldn't count as a full death! Am I right??????

THE GUYS:
Using a similar logic, should we have awarded 1/4 death when Zsa Zsa lost the leg?

THE BABY CRUSHERS:
YES!!!!! Now you guys are thinking !!!!!



GARY:
Kind of strange the ladies seem not too want to buy the farm this year. Always look forward for your final tribute to our recently departed. Keep up the good work.

THE GUYS:
It is odd. We were thinking of retitling our Dead Now page "The Quiet Men (and the pretty silent lady too)" as that appears to be the case thus far.



SCOTT:
My first hit. And from what I hear, he may not be my last! Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76.

THE GUYS:
Page has been updated!



VALAR MORGHULIS:
When I entered back in December, you struck out three of my entries as not celebrities. I'll admit, two of them were iffy and I thought they might be downgraded, but I really thought Carla Laemmle was a definite celebrity. Just look at the obituary! Any chance you would reconsider?

THE GUYS:
We certainly saw that Carla died. We also saw where it was (and wasn't) covered in the press. We love the fact that you play the OBE. We love the fact that you will fight for your entries. However, there is no chance of us reconsidering.



ETERNITY TOURS:
Just returned from a visit with Francis Albert. Thought you might like to have a color photo for the website. Feel free to use any of these any way you see fit.



THE GUYS:
Seldom have we appreciated Watcher email the way we appreciated this! Thank you.



MVP:
In an obscure part of Florida, Hernando County, thereís the Ted Williams Museum. We went there several years ago and thereís a film they show, narrated by Ted, where he discusses the greatest hitters heís seen. Surprisingly, he said Tony Gwynn was the best hitter he ever saw. High praise.



X-RAY EXECUTIONERS:
That email you sent about the "doantions" had enough other spelling errors (we poll our firends) (ouch*) that I thought it was a phishing email... although all your emails are fishing for cash or beer, when you get right down to it. OK, I'll blame the spelling on the beer, of course, that's why you're refilling the frig! Working on my list, checking it twice... thanks for the "firendly" poke! Have a good Christmas!

THE GUYS:
Yup. We're all thumbs and no proof-reading over here at the OBE.



DOUG:
Giving out info is probably verboten but would Hockey Legend Gordie Howe pass muster as a celebrity?

THE GUYS:
We do not discuss such info in advance of the game.

DOUG:
I was afraid of that.



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