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Okay. Let’s try something new. Something that’ll hopefully not play into the hands of research-happy deadpooling grandees. Something that weeds out both the obvious and the obscure. So, first things first, you pick 5 names. I’d suggest a couple of subs as well in case of death or any of the rules (I’ll get to those) being broken before the start. Quite simply, first to a full house of deads is the winner. If more than one person gets across the line at the same time, the winner will be the team with the lowest average age of death. If the average ages of death are identical to the day, the world implodes and our lives will end All normal so far, right? But there are a fair few rules with which to comply, the reason being that this is meant to be a pool of punts (note please, name), rather than no-brainers. Not a single dead cert or “Whooooooo?” in sight. Deaths that’ll make us exclaim “Bloody hell!”, rather than mutter “About time”. Think David Hasselhoff rather than David Gulpilil. Now pay attention, you punts. Health Rules: These are, of course, to the best of public knowledge at the start time. They must have been born between 1931 and 2002. If they have cancer, the year of birth limit rises to 1961 and it can’t be terminal or any higher than Stage 3. If this is unknown, it's not allowed. Also, no more than one of these per team please. If they have Dementia of any kind, or Parkinson’s, the year of birth limit rises to 1951 and it must not have been diagnosed any more than 3 years ago. If it’s unknown when roughly they were diagnosed, it’s not allowed. Also, no more than one of these per team please. They must not have MND, ALS, COPD or any other degenerative illness I’ve not mentioned that will ultimately cause their death. Don't even question it. They must not have had a stroke, heart attack/failure or multiple organ failure in the last 5 years. I'll accept people with slightly dicky tickers who haven't had a heart attack/failure. They must not have been given a limited time to live, unless it was only by a charlatan clairvoyant. They must not have been sentenced to death. They must not be a missing person. They must be a fucking human, obviously. If it only becomes public knowledge after the start date that your pick contravened any of these health rules, you’re a lucky sod. But if I find any evidence of their illness from before the start date, I'll be on you like a puma. And finally, if you dare submit a single Famous For Being Ill pick (which of course would grossly contravene at least one of these rules), not only will you be instantly banned from entering this pool but I will dedicate the rest of my life to persecuting you mercilessly in what will be one of the most poisonous vendettas of all time. Fame Rules: These are the four criteria for fame, but your pick does not need to comply with all of these: They’ve had any article written about them within the last 12 months. Not fussy where, and it can be anything, even something as menial as being snapped taking the bins out à la Alex Trebek (though he’s not allowed, for obvious reasons). They’ve appeared in the world of film, TV, music, radio, sport, politics, podcasts, YouTube or their own published content within the last 18 months. They’ve more than 200k followers on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. They’ve more than 1,000 words in their Wikipedia UK article. As I say, not all of these have to be complied with, but… If none of these criteria are met, your pick is not allowed. If 1 or 2 of them are met, I will choose 4 other posters (of a varied demographic) to PM and ask if they know who the pick is. If there’s more than one ‘no’ (including from me), your pick is not allowed. I won’t publicly name said posters I consult, and neither will I reveal to them who picked each name. If 3 or all 4 of the criteria are met, happy days, and thank you for making things a bit easier. Obit Rules: Qualifying Obits are pretty much a cut/paste from the DDP, with the exception of BBC regional news (must be national or world) and The S*n (I’m boycotting the cunts and I make no apology for that). If they obit after the start date but died before it, tough shit mate. A sub of yours comes into play. And Finally... Each name can only be picked by up to 3 people; this is on a first-come-first-served basis. Submit your team via PM to me. Don't post it here. As soon as I’ve approved it, I’ll let you know, and I'll update the master list. I reserve the right to ask you to prove compliance to any of the above rules before I allow it. Any rejected names (and names that’ve been picked 3 times) will be posted below. Remember, the rules apply right up to the start date, midnight GMT on Friday 1st January 2021. ALL of the above is in aid of getting big name picks that perhaps are often left out of existing pools because they're seen as being too likely to survive. I don’t expect this to be the most fast-paced of deadpools as, if this works how I intend, each and every death will be at least fairly surprising. With this in mind, I’ll make the whole exercise worthwhile and, much like how our highly regarded member for Maryport does with his pools, I have a charity pot. 15 quid will go to the winner’s established charity or JustGiving page of choice. Additionally, in another desperate effort to try and encourage big name picks that aren’t obviously at death’s door, whoever submits my personal favourite team earns their choice of aforementioned good cause a fiver on Christmas Day. Even if you don’t get a single hit, you’ve made a difference. Don't agree with who I pick? Sue me. Entries open immediately. The entry deadline is 00:00GMT, Friday 25th December 2020. Start time is 00:00GMT, Friday 1st January 2021. Now go on, fuck off and pick some people we’ve all heard of. Best of luck!