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Dead Pool '98: James Collier

Every year I've crunched the numbers. Studied the stratagems of past winners. Conducted exhaustive psychological profiles of network executives. There is no man more prepared than I for the Dead Pool, and yet each and every year I lose.

But I've finally figured it out. The Dead Pool is culturally biased against African Americans. Yes, that's it. Not once in its seven-year history has a black person won the pool. Coincidence, you say? I was the only black person who entered and I made some lousy choices, you say? That's what The Man would have you believe. But I tell you, my friends, this contest is framed that so a that a white man and only a white man can win that tasty prime rib. My proof? Look at this excerpt from this year's rules:

"Them that's got the most points is the winner, Hoss."

Nothing insidious, you say? Let me make you aware. Don't you think it's a bit much to expect a urban black male from New York City to understand "Cowpoke?" Or to expect me to understand the sly reference in "Hoss" to the Caucasoid-cowboy classic TV show Bonanza? While my white colleagues here were watching reruns of the adventures of Ben, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe and that symbol of white imperialism, the Ponderosa Ranch, I was watching Sanford and Son. Should I be penalized for that? And it was only under threat of boycott from the NAACP and the Urban League that the other vidiots even decided to include the WB and UPN as "real" networks in this year's pool. And my repeated pleas to Philip Michaels to translate the rules to the patois of my people was met with stony silence. That, my, friends is the very definition of cultural bias.

"But James," you might point out, "a woman won the contest last time." No, my friends, a white woman from Texas won the contest. The White Man only let her win to throw me off his scent.

You might be thinking I sound crazy. Well they called me crazy when I said they put chemicals in Church's Fried Chicken that made black men sterile. But since I stopped eating there, my sperm count has gone up-- way up.

So in defiance of The White Man and the obstacles he places in front of me, I will not relent. I will still enter the Dead Pool. So here are my picks:

3. The Secret Lives of Men. Mr. Carey, meet the show that will lose 40 percent of your lead-in. Can anyone say Who's Line Is It Anyway?

2. DiResta. Cop turned comedian John Diresta stars in this lame offering from UPN. Hey John, don't quit your day job!... Whoops.

1. The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfieffer. Top sign that this show ain't gonna last? Robert Guillaume held a press conference saying he's offended.

There you go. And if I don't win this year, you all know the truth -- it was that damned Kenneth Starr.


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