Here we go again. Yes, it's that time of year when you look around your house for the list you started months ago and you can't find it, so you do another one and you leave off the one guy who will, for sure ... well, you know how that sentence ends. Yes, it's that time of year when you take someone off your list after having him on it for seven years and ... well, you know how that sentence ends, too. It does seem like everyone died already, but there are some malingerers. (Think Zsa Zsa.) There's even a little life yet in alt.obituaries. So let's get our lists in before the end of the year. Many of the rules are the same. Some are different. There are plans afoot for some innovations.
For us, this deadpool is a labor of love. But let me be clear: It is a labor. So listen to me and don't complain. Follow the instructions, which are VERY SIMPLE, and we'll be good.
What's the SAME?
Pick 40 people you think will die in 2013. Obit-worthy people. Really obit-worthy. Not blog-, Facebook-, Twitter-, Tumblr-, whatever-worthy. New York Times, Washington Post, CBS, Daily Telegraph, CNN, that kind of obit-worthy.
Put those 40 lost souls in alphabetical order — but, first, check your spelling. Get the spelling of your terrorist's name from Wikipedia, which will be the default spelling source. (The form and the spelling should come from the HEADLINE of the Wikipedia entry. We are going to standardize on that. If your pick doesn't have a Wikipedia entry, you might consider whether your pick is famous enough to be on your list. Even Brad has a Wikipedia entry, for Christ's sake.)
Make a numbered list of your picks from 1 to 40. Last name first, in CAPS. Then the first name, in lower case. Then put something in parentheses that tell us who they are — and take as few words as possible, because whatever you write has to fit into an Excel cell. Those little cells are tiny, so be succinct.
Example of a properly prepared pick:
1. BUSH, George (Dubya, the son, not the father)
Please, we beg you: Consider fame carefully before you send in your list. If you go to that website with all the dying people, make sure they're truly famous before you include them. If you get wind of the Assistant Bursar of the University of Phoenix Online having terminal cancer with two weeks to live, get over it. Move on. Think bigger. Local coaches, state senators, clubhouse personnel (even if they get a warm tribute in the Daily News) we'd like to avoid. We can't deny you if they get a good obituary, but we can hate you. Spouses and children of the famous are not eligible. They must have their own fame — which is a gray area, of course. If you're unsure, send it in and we'll let the Rules Committee decide.
Someone is not famous for the manner in which they die. They must have achieved prior fame. For example, a blogger sharing intimate details of terminal illness is ineligible — unless the blogger is Lindsay Lohan.
People on death row are eligible if they a) die from a cause other than execution, or b) their level of celebrity is such that their passing would have been newsworthy even before their crime and/or conviction, or c) their crime or some element of their trial, conviction or incarceration is newsworthy enough that they have wide name recognition. Saddam Hussein was a valid pick under "b," Bundy and McVeigh under "c." Ordinary murderers are unacceptable, in every sense.
If you pick someone who went missing in a previous year but whose remains were found this year, that pick is not valid unless the medical examiner determines the person lived into this year. So you'd be insane to pick someone like this. Just saying.
No attachments! No spreadsheets! Repeat: No attachments and no spreadsheets!!! Put your list in the body of the email. Copy your list there and paste it in AS TEXT if you have to. (Pasting it in as a doc simply attaches the doc to the email, and we don't want that.) As Bill says:
I can't believe that every fucking year, this has to be explained to the best and brightest deadpool players in the world. You've read over and over No Attachments. I want to explain what that means. That means NO FUCKING ATTACHMENTS. No spreadsheets, no Microsoft Word and no Google docs. Put it all in the body of your email. I know some of you think you're the exception to the rule. You're not. I know that some of you think it's cute to give us a fucked-up submission. It's not fucking cute. I also know that some of you are just too fucking stupid to know what "alphabetize" means. So let me give you a little example. We'll take the name Bob Bowers and then the name Bob Burns. Bob Bowers comes before the name Bob Burns because O comes before U. Now I also realize that some of you are completely confused because the capital letter would be B. For those of you who are confused by this, dial 911.
Write the subject heading as follows: PLAYER NAME'S 2013 Deadpool List. (Do I have to tell you not to write PLAYER NAME? Probably. Also, if you're changing your player name from the one you used last year, please let us know.)
Send your list to <aodeadpool at gmail.com> by December 31, 2011 at 7 p.m. EST. Someone (probably Amelia) will respond to your list to tell you that you did a fine job, or that you're an idiot because Herbert Hoover is already dead, or that you have to replace the infant child of the reality housewife. We will let you know if you did everything right. (We will notify you about an unsatisfactory pick before the game begins. If we don't, then it's okay. We won't cry foul after the year begins. And be nice. After all, you are ruining our New Year's Eve.)
Only one list per email address.
Scoring hasn't changed. Go here to see how we score this thing.
We will no longer be accepting any "-est" people — not the oldest, not the tallest, not the dumbest. Be original.
Updates may or may not happen. It was really hard keeping up this year and, as you can see, we haven't. When updates do happen, they will be one or two beautiful paragraphs. If you want to write an update and go on forever, feel free. But we will be keeping it short (or, if they're real boring, not at all) so that we can keep up. If you get a solo on someone, please write the update. You can use the theme "Why I Picked This Person," if you like.
And the INNOVATIONS?
Look for a blog-like object on our website. So we can say shit, and you can say shit, and we can have up-to-the-moment shit. Won't that be swell? Be patient. The three of us are a total of about 200 years old, so this stuff doesn't come naturally.
Again, I can't say it enough: Please follow the rules. I beg you. The game is free. You have a chance to win a great bottle of soda. Any questions, write NOT to me, NOT to Bill, NOT to Brad, but to the mailbox <aodeadpool at gmail.com>.
— Amelia, Bill & Brad