CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The 2007 'Dead Pool' is a list that contains the names of political figures and celebrities who are considered prospects to make their final exits throughout the year. The compiler's identity is a secret and the Ohio resident has an impressive track record -- he got Gerald Ford and James Brown in the final days of 2006. Why such a list? It is used at a certain establishment in Cincinnati where people pay $5, write five names of ''anyone famous" they expect to croak, and enter a betting pool by Feb. 1. The rules this year say: "Fidel Castro and Ariel Sharon are gimmes and cannot be picked due to their imminent demise."
[Just got the news that Italian producer Carlo Ponti passed away. He was 94 and the husband of Sophia Loren. His best-known movie probably is Dr. Zhivago from 1965.]
The one name never allowed on any lists is Joe Nuxhall, the ancient Cincinnati Reds radio announcer who grew up in Hamilton, Ohio and is much beloved. Another rule: "If you pick someone who is already dead, tough shit, you wasted a pick."
The game ends Dec. 31 and this is the list. I'll put the political names first.
1. Allen Greenspan. 2. Dick Cheney. 3. Janet Reno. 4. Jimmy Carter. 5. Nancy Reagan. 6. Robert Byrd. 7. Ted Kennedy. 8. Barbara Bush. 9. Osama bin Laden. 10. Margaret Thatcher.
And the others: Andy Griffith, Andy Rooney, Angela Lansbury, B.B. King, Bea Arthur, Billy Graham, Buddy Guy, Charlie Watts, Chuck Berry, Della Reese, Dick Van Dyke, Don Imus, Ed McMahon, Etta James, Even Knievel, George Jones, Hugh Heffner, Jack Lalane, Jack Nicholson, James Garner.
Jerry Lee Leiws, Jerry Lewis, Joan Rivers, Joe Paterno, John Prine, Keith Richards, Kenny Rogers, Kirk Douglas, Larry King, Lauren Bacall, Les Paul, Liz Taylor, Mary Tyler Moore, Michael J. Fox, Micky Rooney, Muhammad Ali, Neil Armstrong, Nick Nolte, Paul Harvey, Paul Newman, Peter Falk, Pope Benedict, Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Wagner, Sparky Anderson, The Amazing Kreskin, Tony Bennett, Tony Stewart, Uncle Al (local kids' TV guy from 1960s), Willard Scott, Willie Nelson, Dick Clark, Queen Elizabeth.
People who buy tickets in the "Dead Pool" are allowed to pick 4 of the 5 names off the list. Or they can take a chance and make independent guesses. "The list is just a bunch of suggestions," the rules say. "Name five cannot be on the 'The Dead List.' Come up with that name on your own. Just keep in mind they must be famous and not Joe Nuxhall."