MoveMent vs RealManRegal vs STEVIE SWAG Which member of The Shield has improved the most since their main roster debut?
Spoiler for Debates:
Which member of The Shield has improved the most since their main roster debut?
Between Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose all 3 undoubtedly have a big future in the WWE. The Shield debuted in November of 2012, so we’re working with a little less than 2 years of material here to find out who’s the most improved. And the results are….
That’s right there’s no “Most improved” here because between all 3 men there have been little to any improvement to these guys in terms of actual skill. Well is that a knock on Reigns? On Rollins? On Ambrose? Is two years not enough time for improvements to manifest? Let’s take a look at each one individually.
First with Ambrose, when The Shield first debuted and for a significant time in their stable Ambrose could have been looked to as the leader of The Shield. He took command of many of the promos and when it was time for The Shield to obtain Gold, Ambrose was the one to win the Single Title in the United States Championship whereas Rollins and Reigns were tag champions. Seeing that Ambrose could be perceived as the leader you would imagine he was the most talented out of the 3 and while this is debatable. I don’t think there’s a doubt that he’s just as great now as he was in his debut. The real difference now and his debut is that his character has evolved, not his overall talent. Ambrose in the beginning not only showed the same skilled delivery in his promos then as he does now but there was always a “crazy” edge to Ambrose in the way he delivered his promos. His wrestling style is also largely the same. He’s certainly a brawler but nowhere near limited to it. During Shield tag matches and now during his single run he largely favors jumping on someone and throwing furies of punches rather than be an “Undertaker” type brawler. And he’s always been able to deliver expert matches in his debut in both single and tag team matches which is largely why The Shield were so praised. So it’s not a knock on Ambrose to say he hasn’t improved because there aren’t many improvements needed.
Similar words can be voiced on Rollins. Rollins has consistently been a high flyer (But not limited to it) wrestler along with being a skilled mic worker. While he wasn’t looked to as the leader of The Shield you would see him on the mic about as much as Ambrose and performing just as well. During the tail end of The Shield’s run he became “The glue” of The Shield which was able to help fuel his heel turn. This, like Ambrose is a character evolution where as his skills has always been there since we’ve seen him on the Main Roster. His wrestling style hasn’t changed other than some heel tactics thrown in to help his character and obviously his promo material has changed being a heel but when hasn’t he been able to deliver what he’s been given? So, just like Ambrose saying that Rollins has not improved is not a knock on the talent of Rollins but a compliment to how good and consistent he is.
That leaves us with one more member, Roman Reigns.
Out of the three Shield members, Reigns is undoubtedly the one member who needed and still needs improvement today. Just look at The Shield from their debut till they disbanded. Reigns was obviously the most protected because of how green he is in both the ring and on the mic. During Shield promo’s he was largely limited to one liners, sometimes only saying “Believe in The Shield”. During matches he was regulated as the muscle of the team where his involvement was limited unless he was overpowering someone. It wasn’t until this year where Reigns began to get a bigger role in The Shield. His one liner promo’s started to get a little longer, he was (kayfabe) asserting himself to be the leader of The Shield and it looked like WWE were ready to give him the keys. Except WWE made a big mistake, which was also a great decision in breaking up The Shield.
It was a great decision because now you have Rollins as one of the biggest heels in the business, Dean has become a fan favorite with a gimmick that everyone is excited for because he’s always ready for a brawl. Where the big mistake came was that they waited too late to try and give Reigns a bigger role in the Shield, he had no time to improve and ready himself for a single run. Now that he’s a single competitor we’re watching him by himself try to adjust to being able to deliver promos which have ranged from extremely green to mildly entertaining. His ring work reflects his promos as he’s clearly not ready to work some of these longer PPV type matches but thanks to his own little equivalent to a “5 moves of doom” Reigns can deliver somewhat of an entertaining RAW matches where they aren’t as long and don’t require the ring psychology that more drawn out match requires.
So, again. For the third time. This isn’t really a knock on Reigns, but unlike the other two he is the one that actually needs improvement. WWE just went about it wrong to help Reigns improve. But he is young and only months into being all on his own so I’m sure he’ll improve and he obviously has “the look” to compensate till then. But as of now, there is no “Most Improved” Shield member.
Any discussion of the former members of The Shield is usually a heated one, particularly when comparisons are being made; so before I demonstrate why Roman Reigns is clearly the most improved since their main event debut, let's first establish what this debate is not about:
- This is not about who is the best in-ring technician or who is best on the mic. We're not debating who is the best wrestler.
- This is not about who has had the best booking or kayfabe achievements.
- This is not about whether you agree or disagree with WWE's creative direction or their overall strategy.
What this debate is about is who has improved the most in the period since November 18th 2012 until today.
When we're talking about improvement, we're primarily looking at:
- In ring performance
- On mic performance
- Audience appeal
At no point am I going to try to claim that Reigns is better than the other two when it comes to the above criteria because that's simply not the case; Reigns is the most improved because he had the most room to improve.
At the time of their debut, Rollins and Ambrose were already experienced, well travelled wrestlers, who were fairly well polished by the time their debut came around. In contrast, Reigns was still as green as grass.
In essence, Reigns has gone from 0-60, while Ambrose and Rollins were already cruising at 30.
Let's consider their pre-callup careers of all three former Shield members:
Seth Rollins had been wrestling around the world for 10 years prior to being called up to the main roster; showing up in NWA, TNA and making a name for himself in Ring of Honor. His indie career was such that he almost turned down a move to WWE development; however only months after doing so he became the first FCW champion, a title he'd win a couple of times until FCW rebranded to NXT, where once again Rollins became the inaugural champ.
At the time of his callup Seth Rollins was experienced, well rounded and polished wrestler.
Dean Ambrose had also been wrestling for 10 years before debuting with The Shield, plying his trade in places like CZW, Dragon Gate USA as well as having a cup of coffee in ROH. When he turned up in FCW in 2011 he was immediately thrust into the main event scene against none other than Seth Rollins.
Had it not been for Mick Foley being told to never wrestle again by doctors then we would have seen Ambrose several months earlier so his debut with The Shield was long overdue.
At the time of his callup Dean Ambrose was an experienced, well rounded and polished wrestler.
Roman Reigns first laced up his boots only 2 years prior to his main roster debut; going straight into the WWE developmental system and spending his first couple of years mainly in tag team competition as ‘Leakee'. His repackaging as "Roman Reigns" came a mere 13 days before his main roster debut meaning not only was he still green, he was also just a couple of weeks into a new character.
At the time of his callup, Roman Reigns was inexperienced, unproven and an extremely green wrestler.
Two years on and the post-debut careers of the former stablemates have been markedly similar; all three men:
- have effectively adapted their work style to "The WWE Way"
- are comfortably positioned in or around the main event scene;
- are significantly over with fans
Not only has Reigns been able to get to a place where he's on par with his more seasoned ex-compatriots; he's managing to edge them out, slotting into the main event scene and looking credible while doing it. However unlike Ambrose and Rollins, he got to that point from what was essentially "square one" while the other two were already halfway there when they debuted.
I'm not alone in seeing Reigns' improvement; whether you put stock in such rankings or not - the fact that Roman Reigns was runner up for PWI Most Improved 2013, voted Most Improved 2013 by Wrestling Observer as well as Most Improved 2014 by Busted Open Nation shows that I'm not the only one to have taken notice of how much he has progressed.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating for Roman Reigns as the best member to come out of the Shield or as my favourite wrestler in WWE, because he's not; and I agree with much of the criticism levied against him:
- Even though I think it's unfair to knock Roman's "4 moves of doom" since it's largely WWE themselves who restrict movesets in order to make their product more universally accessible; there's no denying that he is limited in the ring and is still green.
- Regardless of whether he has "The Look", he wouldn't be my pick to be the next face of the WWE (and I actually don't think things will work out on that front and fully expect a Reigns heel turn a la Rocky Maivia to The Rock)
- He's not yet a totally polished wrestler, and owes a lot to being heavily protected from day one by Rollins and Ambrose, who were able to mask and make up for his weaknesses
However it's in that final criticism where the real crux of my argument for Reigns as "most improved" lies. The very fact Ambrose and Rollins were able to not only protect a greenhorn like Reigns but to also help him get to where he is now is a clear sign that they were already accomplished wrestlers at the time of their call-up - something which has not changed; and the fact Reigns is now able to hold his own in the ring and on the mic - in the main event scene no less - without their "protection" is a marker of just how much he has improved by comparison.
With their days as the Hounds of Justice long gone, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns have come a long way. While the three men started in black vests and served justice wherever necessary (and not necessary), now, while one hides in the back of cabs and as JBL says, 'belongs in a straightjacket', the other one sold out bought in into his evolution, and the other one is about to begin his own Game of Thrones, and possibly become the new king. And through this journey of theirs, they've arguably become three of the top stars of today. The question is though, during this journey of theirs, who has improved the most?
Imo, ROMAN REIGNS.
Originally Posted by REIGN-REIGN-GO-AWAY
Lolwut? I'd take Ambrose and Rollins over that untalented hack any day
Well, I can see where you're coming from (the wrestling section obviously lolol), but lets have a look at the question again.
Which member of The Shield has improved the most since their main roster debut?
That's right, improved.
Originally Posted by Google
make or become better.
While Ambrose wasn't expected to bounce back the way he did in such a short period time, since off screen, it was the other two guys who the machine had big plans for while everyone expected Ambrose to get lost in the shuffle, and on screen, he was the one who was booked as the relatively weaker member in the last few months of the Shield, he still fucking did. He went from being the weak link of the Shield in the latter part of their run to closing this week's Raw alongside John Cena, so he's been doing something right.
And Rollins, while many predicted him to end up as a upper-midcarder at best during the early months, it was his flashy, yet technically sound in-ring style that won people over during the latter part of his Shield run, and he's never looked back since, so much so that he is pretty much guaranteed with a run with the big gold now, as he's the current Mr. MITB.
But the thing is, Ambrose was always a great promo and he always had that crazy wild brawler type in-ring style. Yes, with this new persona of his, he's the one guy who's been least reliant on his past as a Shield member in order to get over. But that persona that we're talking about, you can say he pretty much just switched back to his old Jon Moxley persona from his days in the indies.
And as far as Rollins goes, although he's got this whole chickenshit heel character that's been working pretty well for him right now, what really got him there today are his in-ring skills. But the thing is, his mat skills were just as good back then as they are today.
So both Ambrose and Rollins barely count as 'improved' performers, because they've been doing what they're doing right now years before they even debuted in the E.
While Seth was dominating ROH and Ambrose was showcasing some EXPLICIT MOX VIOLENCE down in CZW, Reigns wasn't even in the wrestling biz. Yet today, he is getting just as big, or an even better push than the other two. You might argue its because of the look, and yes, while that is partly the reason, there is still more to the guy than just that.
Like Paul Heyman said, 'No one is more coachable than Roman Reigns, and he picks it up like that'. No wonder he's improved as much as he has.
Lets talk about his in-ring skills. Is there room for improvement when it comes to his wrestling skills? Certainly. But has he improved as a worker when you compare his current work to his work from two years ago? Absolutely. Although he has a limited set of moves (which is why he is often criticised, but its usually the machine that limits their top stars' movesets for various reasons, so you can't really blame Reigns for that and in no way does it affect the fact that he has improved), what's more important is that over the years, he has developed his signature moves, like the running dropkick on the mat, the Superman Punch and the Spear, which can get the crowd on their feet. May it be the posterboy from the 80s, Hogan, or may it be Cena from today, the faces of the company are never expected to put on pure technical marvels in the ring, but work more of a powerhouse style with exciting moves and involve the crowd (YOUUUUU~!, YOU CAN'T SEE ME!, OOOOAAAAARGHHH!, for instance), and Reigns, who is supposed to be the next face of the company, is doing exactly that. So I guess we can say he's improving in the departments where he's really supposed to.
Mic skills. Again, while there is room for improvement, he certainly has improved over the course of years, and that's what the question is about. Like I said before, Dean was always that good on the mic, so it doesn't really count as improvement, but one might argue that Seth's gotten better on the mic too. Well maybe a bit, but there's a reason why Seth has gone from being the #2 promo guy of the Shield to being hidden behind Trips, Randy, and maybe even Kane as part of the Authority, while Reigns has gone from being the guy who'd just say 'BELIEVE THAT!', to cutting decent solo promos almost every week.
You can't really measure improvement in terms of charisma or presence since those are things you're either born with or you're not, something Reigns is thankfully born with, so there's that.
So yeah, while who the best really is amongst Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns would be certainly up for debate, there's no doubt that Reigns is the most improved amongst the three since their debut.
Seabs MoveMent - Yeah this was a real swing and a miss of a debate. I can't decide if your approach was just lazy or just silly but either way it was a big flop. The idea that all three guys are literally EXACTLY the same now that they were when they debuted nearly two years ago now is just odd as well as being extremely difficult to prove. Even if you want to argue that all three are pretty similar in the ring and on the mic there's still so many other metrics to measure improvement by such as popularity. Reigns is undisputedly more popular now than when he debuted which just goes to show how naive if anything your stance was. You say that Ambrose has primarily evolved his character but you could even argue that is an improvement in his character work. This point is even stronger with Rollins who has nearly always been a babyface but not a great heel and now he's developed his character and promo work to be an effective heel. Yeah, swing and a miss.
RealManRegal - I liked this a lot. So much so that my only real complaint with this debate is that I thought it needed to be heavier on actual content for your argument. In terms of setting up and explaining the parameters of your debate this was fantastic. Great stuff eliminating what the debate isn't asking and then defining your criteria for most improved. Ideally you would have referred back to this criteria better when explaining your pick. Your explanation for Reigns being your pick is good although I felt you sort of forgot about your 3 criteria for picking a most improved. Great job defining them but don't just leave them there, it's important to refer back to them in your argument if they are your reasoning. This line - "In essence, Reigns has gone from 0-60, while Ambrose and Rollins were already cruising at 30." - I would have reworded as it makes it seem like Reigns has stormed past Rollins and Ambrose if he's at 60 now and they're still at 30. I got the meaning behind it though. The historical background on all three was well done although I would have gone a more effective route and shown where they stood in regards to your criteria. Cite the great matches Ambrose and Rollins had pre-debut whereas Reigns wasn't exactly producing much in the ring to get people talking and how when they debuted Rollins and Ambrose already had a fair following whereas Reigns was very much an unknown entity compared to now where Reigns is almost as over as the other two now. What you had was good but you could have done more with it for me. Also not sure if two ROH dark matches really counts as a cup of tea there for Ambrose. I probably would have left the last 3 bullet points out too as I don't really think they added much to this particular topic. Just use your criteria a bit more to explain the reasoning for picking Reigns and get some more content in that area and this is great.
STEVEN BARATHEON - This basically takes the same approach that RealManRegal did but to weaker execution. One of the most critical differences was that RealManRegal defined the parameters of the question better and more importantly what criteria he's using to establish which is the most improved. Now he could have used that criteria better but with a question like this it's a pretty important part of the debate to establish what constitutes being "most improved". Once you do that you can then show why your pick is the right pick according to this criteria and it helps to block out some potential counters too. Without it I could be left thinking well why doesn't this factor count towards most improved and it gives you debate better clarity in the direction it's taking. Make sure you define the criteria for your selection next time as it will help your debate a lot. The dictionary definition is fine although I'm not sure how essential it was and you used up some needless words with the copy and paste job on it. Ok it means make or become better but at what? This is where using your own definition works better and why defining what they're getting better as is needed. FYI don't just state your criteria as if they're fact either. Try and give a brief explanation why this criteria is the one that should be used. I thought the two paragraphs after the definition were a bit too describing context-y. We know where they are now. 1000 words is a stretch for this topic so make sure you're using them all to present reasons for your pick or against the other picks rather than using two paragraphs on needlessly long description. Overall your dismissal of Rollins and Ambrose is a tad weak. However, your argument for Reigns is very good and the peak of your debate doing a great job of showing how he's improved and in what areas. Both you and RealManRegal could have improved their debates however by referencing actual promos and matches to support their claims regarding individual improvements. For example don't just say that Rollins and Ambrose were capable of producing what they produce now beforehand, actually link the reader to some of their matches, ideally from FCW to show it in a somewhat related WWE environment.
1st = RealManRegal
2nd = STEVEN BARATHEON
3rd = MoveMent
The Lady Killer
MoveMent = Well, this isn't off to a good start. You can't make a convincing debate within the confines of how TDL works (aka choosing the best answer to the topic and driving it home) by not taking a stance. The rest of your debate is dedicated to describing how each of the Shield members have or have not evolved in skill/character/etc. Not much to say here. You explicitly say you don't have an answer to the question.
RealManRegal = This is what I'm talking about. Given the vague nature of the question, you broke it down beautifully by saying what the debate is NOT about, and then following it up by saying what the debate IS about. You then brilliantly state how Reigns is the obvious choice not because he is the best, but because he had the most room to improve. Great stuff. Couldn't have said it better myself. The next bit about the pre-main roster careers of each of the 3 members was perfect. I'm a sucker for continuity and repetition in debates, and you drove this home perfectly by repeating "At the time of his callup xxx was an experienced, well rounded and polished wrestler" for both Rollins and Ambrose. This set aside Reigns brilliantly, emphasizing your point that Rollins and Ambrose were "already cruising at 30." The concluding paragraphs were just the icing on the cake. You really drove home the fact that Rollins are Ambrose aren't smart choices because they were already halfway to where they currently stand, whereas Reigns was effectively starting from scratch, given the criteria you stated at the outset. You also astutely used the common criticisms of Reigns are firepower to support your stance - no easy feat. This is one of the better debates I've read in recent memory, and will certainly prove to be tough to beat in this three-way.
STEVEN BARATHEON = This is also very, very good. You take a similar approach to that of RealManRegal, and do a great job driving home the fact that Ambrose/Rollins were already very good at their craft, whereas Reigns was basically starting from scratch. I love the comparisons you make to Hogan and Cena in the "4 moves of doom" section, and I legit LOL'd at the "YOUUU~!, YOU CAN'T SEE ME~!, OOOAARGGGHHH~!" line. I like how you specify that Reigns is improving in the areas he's supposed to improve in given his status as a surefire main eventer/top face of the company. Heyman quote was a nice touch as well. It's a shame that RealManRegal's debate exists because this debate would likely win most matches. A terrific effort of which you should be quite proud.
1st = RealManRegal
2nd = STEVEN BARATHEON
3rd = MoveMent
I'm going to be up front and say that I disliked the approach taken here. It takes a very fine, nuanced approach to pull off the "non-answer answer" to a debate question, and I believe this fell short.
With each individual, you mention how they have evolved - as characters, in terms of responsibility, etc - which denotes that there must be some sort of upward or downward movement (ie: IMPROVEMENT or a step back). You note how Rollins and Ambrose's characters have evolved. Even if movesets / mic work is SIMILAR, there have still been ways that each has fleshed out his character, and I think you miss that here.
Then there is Reigns, who the other two debaters did a wonderful job in establishing that he was greener than goose shit a couple years back and is now a competent character both on the mic and in the ring. No one is saying that means he's The Rock or Eddie Guerrero, but he has definitely IMPROVED, which is the crux of the question. In light of their arguments, yours simply doesn't stand up.
RealManRegal and STEVEN BARATHEON
These were very similar in that they chose the same guy, and made very similar arguments, in that Reigns had room to grow moreso than the other guys, and has realized some of that potential. However, I think that the approach taken by RealManRegal ever so slightly tilts things into his favour.
Whereas STEVEN BARATHEON acknowledged Rollins' chickenshit character being played well and kind of gives props to the current evolution of Ambrose / Rollins, RealManRegal merely says that they came into the WWE polished and well-rounded. This was an effective approach, especially when RealManRegal makes them seem at comparative levels NOW and vastly unequal before. It's a neat trick.
Otherwise, these were both strong entries with very little to nitpick.
RealManRegal is my winner. STEVEN BARATHEON as the runner up, and MoveMent brings up the rear.
Winner via Unanimous Decision - RealManRegal (+5 Points)
2nd Place = STEVEN BARATHEON (+2 Points)
3rd Place = MoveMent (-1 Point)
Smitty vs WOOLCOCK vs ZOMBO Should WWE do a PPV in the UK?
Spoiler for Debates:
Should WWE do a PPV in the UK?
Capitalise on your unsaturated biggest non-domestic market? Yep.
Raise the significance of an established PPV? Uh huh
Raise intrigue and media attention which you sorely require? You don’t say
Yes, WWE should absolutely consider a UK PPV in the foreseeable future. Firstly, PPVs have been presented from England in the past, so this would not be a ground-breaking occurrence. A UK PPV has tremendous incentives that WWE has a precedent of recognising as valuable and worthy of incurring the additional expense that stems from producing a PPV overseas. It has been done before and now more than ever, the company can only benefit from repeating history.
WWE’s European fanbase are historically fanatical and valued by the company, hence the gruelling European Tour WWE embarks upon every year. Unlike the domestic audience, WWE’s European market retains consistent demand because of WWE’s sparse live presence. It is naive to view a UK PPV as an event that would only interest those who reside within the UK, rather it would be an event that would undoubtedly interest WWE’s widespread following throughout Europe. If tens of thousands of Europeans willingly make the arduous journey to Wrestlemania every year to experience WWE live in person, it is only feasible to assume a PPV closer to home would attract substantially more interest.
For this to work, it has to be done correctly. A UK PPV is special because it hasn’t been done in 11 years. Demand exists because the consumers are not over-saturated with the product. WWE live events are special by design because fans are not accustomed to them on a weekly basis. Demand undoubtedly exists, but why limit yourself by producing a B PPV in England, when you could achieve significantly more profitable returns by promoting Summerslam from England?
Summerslam has historical significance and is continually marketed by WWE as one of its three most celebrated PPVs. It has an immediate rapport and intrigue with the fanbase, shared only by The Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. WWE has also made no secret of attempting to restore Summerslam’s reputation and market it as ‘The Biggest Party of the Summer’. Clever marketing ploys will only get you so far, but running Summerslam in the UK immediately raises the significance and elevates interest in the event, which WWE has been sorely attempting for numerous years.
Furthermore, running a summer event is imperative as the major sporting stadiums in England would not be hosting competitive fixtures, and could feasibly be negotiated as the venue. WWE have proven they can draw significant attendances in Manchester and London for bog standard TV tapings, so overlooking the potential in running a larger venue for a more historical and commercially branded event would be incredibly dense.
WWE Network – The Game Changer
The biggest indicator of why WWE can reap the rewards from running a PPV in England is quite simple, the WWE Network has eliminated one of the primary arguments for why overseas PPVs were considered counter-productive.
UK based tapings are recorded and run on a tape delay in America, thus in the internet age, spoilers are far more readily accessible and consequently taped shows often draw poorer ratings as fans can predetermine whether the show is worth their investment. Critics argued the same extended to running a PPV overseas, as WWE would either have to tape the show in advance to air primetime on tape delay in America, or run the PPV live and disrupt their domestic audience by having the PPV air live on a Sunday afternoon. The risks were considered too averse when WWE relied on PPV as their main source of revenue.
However, The Network changed all of that.
WWE has now abandoned PPV as a primary source of revenue, drastically cheapening the price of their ‘live specials’ to attract greater subscribers. Eyes on the product via subscriptions is now WWE’s primary financial model for the long term stability of the company, therefore the argument that a UK PPV is a buyrate cancer is invalid when WWE itself has readily abandoned traditional PPV as their means of distributing their product. Now more than ever, WWE sorely needs attention and focus on the product, they need intrigue and ways to continually appeal to their diverse and broad audience. A departure from the norm and decision to run a historic PPV overseas is EXACTLY what the company needs to raise immediate intrigue.
Furthermore, with the WWE Network set to launch in the UK and Europe in the coming days, a PPV in the UK allows the WWE to promote the Network via fan access events, a handy measure given the Network operates on renewing existing subscriptions on a six month basis. WWE are absolutely dependant on the Network’s success, therefore the opportunity to promote and raise awareness of how the Network can be accessed, whilst educating the fanbase on the content contained in the model is crucial. Not only would WWE be capitalising on an unsaturated yet rabid market, they would gain invaluable time to promote the model which may hold the key to their long-term financial stature as a company.
So in conclusion, WWE should absolutely run a PPV in the UK, however for WWE to maximise their return and do justice to the significance of staging an overseas PPV, Summerslam is the most viable PPV for all concerned. The demand from their European fanbase would be unprecedented, given the location would be infinitely more time and cost effective than Wrestlemania in America. The move would recapture and raise the image of Summerslam as a major attraction, which WWE has drastically embarked upon in recent years, and thereafter, the publicity and intrigue WWE would attract in undertaking this venture can only prosper their aspirations as a company, in a crucial time where fans as subscribers need to feel growth and consistency in the promotion. It is unequivocal, WWE absolutely should produce another PPV in the UK.
Should WWE do a PPV in the UK?
WWE has always considered themselves to be a global brand but with a strong International presence. However over the past 5 years the emphasis on International fans has plummeted and now International show attendance has reached an all-time low over the last 10 years and now it is clear that the European markets are playing second fiddle in terms of importance to the WWE. The majority of WWE fans are international buyers since there is a larger pool of potential consumers but WWE has decided to spend 90% of its touring time in the US? Its alienating a huge portion of its consumers and the numbers dropping is proof that WWE is paying the price for it. It took 6 months for WWE Network to reach its international buyers, why the WWE needs to basically spell out to its fans that they care more about US buyers than international ones is beyond me. it has been since 5 days after my birth since WWE has done a non-UK-exclusive PPV, 17 years is too long for horrible business practices to move on and that is why I think that Summerslam must move to Europe on a yearly basis, its just smart Business.
Point#1: Re-enforces the WWE as a "Global Brand"
WWE seems to view itself as a global brand without actions that prove to the fans that it is. A few TV tapings are nice, but imagine Summerslam. Think back to Summerslam 1992, 80,000 people in attendance to witness what was a great show with a main event close to home. However WWE has not done a big 4 PPV in the UK since this. However, what WWE doesn't realize is that just because a company has a global mind does not mean it’s not based in a certain country. At the moment the WWE is suffering internationally for live events. AS of July 31st. International attendance was on a steady decline while the USA markets were not only stagnant but increasing(Bleacher Report), so it’s a possibility that WWE’s lack of faith in UK shows have shown a decrease in fans interest to attend WWE shows. Simply put, if WWE wants to continue to view themselves as a global company they cannot continue to spend 90% of their touring time inside of the US.
Point #2: A big 4 PPV in the UK will have more attendance and therefore increases profits
I decided to crunch some numbers and determine the average amount of attendance in every summerslam in the US or Canada and compare it to the 1992 Summerslam in London.
Average attendance in the US/Canada: 18,272
Attendance in 1992 in London: 80,355
That is a 62,083 difference in attendance than the average attendance for all the other 26 Summerslams since 1988. Think about the profits in that! According to Forbes Magazine, the average Summerslam 2014 price was 206 dollars. Now, when you multiply 206 times 62.083, you get 12.789 million. WWE could be increasing live event revenue by a whopping 11.5 percent for just Summerslam in the UK a year (F4Wonline). Also, this is excluding that now the new Wembly stadium has a much larger capacity then the old Wembly, so these numbers could be even higher when you consider it can hold 90,000 for Football and wrestling capacity would be much higher. All in all it would be economically a good choice to hold Summerslam in London annually, its supply and demand, due to the wide range of shows available in the US, demand is low, when you go to a place that currently only gets a handful of shows a year and factor in that its Summerslam, the demand is huge and you sell out a 90,000-100,000 seat stadium.
Point#3: Since Buy rates are virtually nonexistent, the time change argument doesn't work
People in the UK watch the monthly WWE PPV from 1-4 AM, and numbers still are strong, WM 28 had roughly 500,000 international buyers. However, with the WWE network if people are going to subscribe to the network anyway then whether they watch the PPV live doesn't really matter in the first place. Even so, a live UK show would not cause most Americans to be alienated from watching Summerslam in the first place. Say the show started at 8 PM GMT, that’s 3 PM EST and 12 PM PST. The Majority of WWE fans will be available to watch the PPV that Sunday afternoon. Also, more young children will be able to watch the show live because it doesn’t end too late. Causing a spike in the under 18 demographic that WWE yearns for so badly. Because people have the network, they can watch the show later and it will feel normal. Say some guy in California works and can’t get home until 7 PM after the show is over. He can watch the show on demand and it’s like he’s watching Summerslam like he normally would. Because of the network, WWE does not have to worry about time change affecting buy rates because buy rates don’t matter and if you cannot watch the PPV live, you can watch it later for no extra cost or hassle.
In conclusion, there’s not a whole lot of reasons for the WWE and for fans to NOT want a UK PPV, especially a big one such as Summerslam. Its economically beneficial to the WWE, it makes the company look more globally unified, and with the WWE network, once the show starts, you can start the show at your time no matter where in the world you are spoiler free. Also, UK shows are simply more fun to watch, the crowd is electric and Enthusiastic. Can you imagine Wade Barrett winning the WWE title with 100,000 loyal British fans cheering him on? It brings you back to that classic Summerslam 1992 Main event 22 years ago, and who wouldn’t want to relive that?
ZOMBO WWE should, without reservation, hold a PPV event in the UK. Considering the timing in WWE's modern day technological landscape, this idea is perfect in that it would be memorable for the viewers at home, create a second HUGE event besides WrestleMania, open future opportunities in other countries, and bolster WWE’s fiscal bottom line.
BIG FIGHT FEEL!
Rawstlemania. You know, the night after Wrestlemania? The night that’s been made memorable for the last three year’s running? The birth of Yes chants. Lesnar returning.(1) Ziggler’s cash-in.(2) It’s always an electric crowd for an entire show, and that crowd is filled with scarves and flags carrying the logos of various European football clubs and signs bearing the names of English towns and cities. The chanting and involvement makes the show can’t-miss, and not just for the major moments listed above that would’ve got a reaction anyways.
That level of intensity persists throughout the whole show! The primarily non-North American crowd has set and maintained the tone with their vocal antics during Zack Ryder matches,(3) popping for Wade Barrett(4) and Fandangoing the night away.(5) It is THAT intensity which pulls viewers from home into the action and keeps them glued to the screen, creating unforgettable moments in time. And these Raw shows mentioned above took place within regular arenas, and not the usual monstrous arenas where WrestleMania itself takes place...
BIG NIGHT FEEL!
The size and scale of the arena could really be anything they choose, and it’d fill up. The attendance for SummerSlam at Wembley Stadium in 1992 was the third highest in WWE history, superseded only by WM3 and WM29.(6) That’s a lot of dollars in terms of ticket sales, not to mention special-event merchandise sold within the arena to the enormous herd of fans. We’ll get more into the effect of ticket sales and PPV revenue a little bit later on, but keep this in mind moving forward. They could have an event “week” as well, like they do in each WrestleMania city, making a few bucks here and there as well. The big issue is whether or not the numbers will back this up.
THE NUMBERS GAME
Ultimately, WWE is a global BUSINESS, where everything is driven by money. Perhaps the biggest issue raised when discussing the prospect of a PPV overseas is that the American audience isn’t going to buy the show with an afternoon run-time, or that the internet will ruin any attempt to air it on tape delay. But if North Americans can watch football games that begin at 1pm/10am on Sundays, depending on time zone, is a 3pm/12pm start time REALLY that burdensome for something you want to watch? However, even if we assume the worst and determine that Yes, there will be a hit in PPV purchases, that doesn’t negate the fact that a UK PPV would STILL be a financial success for WWE. We should look at WWE’s revenue numbers to see how big of an impact there would TRULY be.
With the advent of the WWE Network, PPV buyrates have plummeted accordingly. It makes sense, as people with the Network won’t shell out money to purchase the PPV directly.
Spoiler for PPV Buys:
The average buys for a PPV so far in 2014 is somewhere between 250,000 and 300,000. The big hit in quarter 2 can be explained from the Network going live before Wrestlemania. With PPV numbers down so significantly already, how much could WWE actually lose? As it turns out, whatever small amount is lost should be more than offset based on the live event revenue, which frequently outpaces PPV revenue anyways.
Spoiler for WWE Metric Schedules:
As you can see, regular ticket revenue outpaces PPV revenue as it is. Now, double or triple the attendance capacity for one of your major events, and those ticket revenue numbers look even sweeter. I draw the reader’s eye the SUBSTANTIAL increase in PPV sales in Quarter 2 for every year. Quarter 2 is when WrestleMania occurs. I now ask the reader to recall the discussion earlier about the hordes of fans filling a large venue and the economic impact. Clearly, a major event that draws a major crowd does some major boosting to WWE’s pockets. A PPV back at Wembley or another high-capacity arena would have this WrestleMania effect on the final revenue numbers.
CATERING TO THE AUDIENCE
Obviously, writing the feuds leading to any event in the UK would require some special attention to the reactions received by various Superstars on the roster. We all remember Bulldog pinning Bret, and the fan euphoria afterwards. The current roster has a guy like Barrett, who receives a bunch of “home” support, who would do well in a showcase match. There’s also the guys who are beloved for busting their asses on the indy or WWE scene for years who get great reactions overseas. Bryan. Ziggler. Rollins. Cesaro. Ambrose. Neville. Zayn. Presumably Devitt and KENTA waiting in the wings. That’s a roster that has the RESPECT of these fans, and guarantees a promising reaction if booked right.
FUTURE GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES
Lastly, the fact that with Network numbers rising (and thus, PPV buys becoming less important), an event such as this would open up the possibility of PPVs in OTHER international markets. This could create a bidding war to host a PPV elsewhere in future years. This CREATES an entirely new demand market that WWE could tap into once a year? Every three years? Either way, a massive event touching excited and wide-reaching aspects of your fanbase with guaranteed income can only be a positive, and fits perfectly with WWE’s marketing slogan as a global enterprise.
Hosting a PPV in the UK is an ideal option given WWE’s current roster, financial numbers, and the fanbase located there. At worst, you get a huge venue jam-packed with rabid fans buying merchandise, chanting all night, creating a must-see event with memorable moments for WWE fans, injecting profit into the company, and opening up future business opportunities. WWE would be foolish not to do it.
Seabs WOOLCOCK - I don't have much to actually fault with what you have in this debate but more to do with what you don't have in it. I think you missed out on a few arguments that your opponents used which were more convincing arguments than you had. Overall while this is a strong debate I wasn't super convinced that this was an essential move that WWE HAD to make but more "yeah that would be nice for them to do and it would probably work". Logistics part was good and the point about a UK PPV attracting European fans outside the UK was well made. I thought you missed a chance to really bolster the point about a European crowd though with the almost famous atmosphere they bring to Wrestlemania now and how the crowd alone could make the PPV seem bigger and possibly more memorable than a regular US crowd. Likewise with the demand argument, you make it well but it could be more convincing. For example, cite how TNA draw much better and more receptive crowds over here than in the US so imagine what WWE could do. Personally I felt you spent too much time arguing for Summerslam being the PPV when it wasn't a necessity to the answering the question. The point about the stadiums being free in the summer was very smart though. You could also have pointed out that the weather would be more suited to an outdoor stadium show in the summer too. The network point I felt was your weakest. I wasn't really convinced that the change in distribution of these PPVs made a big difference to this topic. Maybe finding another point to make about how the risk has lessened. Possibly because subscribers are locked in to a six month contract for the network (you can actually cancel but still) the risk of any potential loss of potential PPV buys is weakened. This was maybe the point you were going for but the implementation of it in the debate needed to be more convincing. The European promotion for the network was a good point though. Really though this debate is full of "good points" but needed more GREAT points to win this debate.
Smitty - Your intro is full of comments that I'm really not sure about. First of you say that "now International show attendance has reached an all-time low over the last 10 years" but you don't direct me to a source to prove that. You have a list at the bottom and you link me to some of them in your debate but really if you say something like this then you need a source to prove it and if you have it then you need to direct me too it rather than expecting me to find it myself from an unorganised list of links. Look at how I use links to sources in my debate and copy that for example or use TLK's method of hyper linking the text to the source. Then you say "The majority of WWE fans are international buyers since there is a larger pool of potential consumers" but I'm pretty sure this isn't true because domestic buyrates usually eclipse international buyrates for PPVs. If your statement is true then you needed to show the opposite of what I said with sources. Larger potential audience doesn't mean a larger actual audience. Then you say that WWE taking longer to release the network internationally showed a lack of care for international consumers but you don't factor in why it was later internationally because of existing TV contracts for example here in the UK. Just be careful with the statements that you make that they're a) correct and b) proven in your debate. Personally I'd delete the "Point #" from your debate as that's some extra words you could reuse and just bold the part after. The formatting will help the presentation of your debate too. I felt you needed to convince me more why Point #1 was important. Why is it important that WWE does more shows internationally? They do TV tapings abroad and run house shows worldwide. Why is more needed? Also I thought you referencing that "International attendance was on a steady decline while the USA markets were not only stagnant but increasing" was an own goal on your end because that actually made me think a UK PPV would be a lesser idea. It's especially poor placed given your next point. The attendance comparison figures were a little iffy because you're not taking them into context. For example, nearly every arena WWE runs PPV other than Wrestlemania has a much smaller capacity than Wembley so it's not really a fair comparison. Also what is the time period for the average attendance? The point itself is strong that WWE can runner a bigger venue and feasible draw a much bigger crowd but the way you executed this in your debate was poor. With the time difference argument I think the counter is more it wouldn't air live at primetime viewing in the US rather than you wouldn't be able to watch it live at a convenient time. There's also no guarantee it would actually air live and not on delay. Here I think you needed to show me that US fans watching it live isn't the be all and end all and watching on delay isn't a major issue. I don't know if this is the case but maybe if the network allows you to watch the PPVs whenever you want on delay after they air then the option is there for fans to watch them live or on delay to their own convenience. I don't know if WWE actually do this but by owning the distribution channel they definitely have the freedom to make this possible now. The direction you were trying to take this was good but the execution was lacking due to flimsy comments.
ZOMBO - The first two points are really well made. Only issue is you say because WWE drew a huge UK crowd in 1992 they can now. Comparisons that far apart in time are iffy. They would draw that sort of crowd but your reasoning for it was weak. Like I said to WOOLCOCK, the TNA comparison may have been better or citing the numbers that come all the way over to the US for Wrestlemania. Not going to repeat what I said to Smitty regarding the time zone point as it applies the same here imo. The second direction you take this point is brilliant though and shows why the benefits outweigh the potential risks which is the best way to argue anything. The live event revenue argument and source was money (pardon the pun). This is that GREAT point that I felt WOOLCOCK was lacking. The catering to the audience part was weak though imo. I think it would be a good point if WWE had a major UK star they were ready to give that defining main event win too but they don't. Then you cite a bunch of guys who I feel the same point would apply to in New York and Chicago. Last point gets back on track with another GREAT point though.
1st = ZOMBO
2nd = WOOLCOCK
3rd = Smitty
The Lady Killer
WOOLCOK = Pretty flawless opening. I liked the link of Europeans making the annual trek to WM to the interest in having an event closer to home. You also make some good points in the Summerslam PPV, but you don't confront the "Why not WM/RR?" question. If you're going to pinpoint a specific PPV to hold overseas, you have my interest, but you also need to make a case for why you are choosing that PPV over the others. You set yourself up for more work than you need to - almost a debate within a debate - when you single-out SS. You do mention that WWE has been trying to raise the prestige of SS, so that's good at least.
The Network section was really great, imo. Your reasoning and justification for your stance was obvious and expertly stated. This debate was overall extremely solid, though I would've liked a little more devotion to counterarguments. You started to touch upon it by mentioning the cost of holding an event overseas early on, but never circled back around. Great job, though.
Smitty = This was pretty good as well, but I felt the first and second points were a tad contradictory. The first point - WWE not devoting enough attention to their UK market - is contradicted by the second point - WWE should hold SummerSlam in the UK. You state that attendance overseas has been on a decline, yet assume that attendance would be great if the WWE held a PPV there. You continue to reference SS 1992, which was held during a much different - and much more popular - era of pro wrestling. It's unsafe to assume that attendance would be that big overseas right after stating that attendance has been on the decline. Is it fair to say that attendance is declining overseas because WWE has been "neglecting" their overseas market? UK fans remain some of the most fervent and dedicated fans, so I'm seeing a bit of a disconnect with these two points. The third point, however, is on point and in line with the same point made in Debate A. Little to no acknowledgement of counterpoints, however.
ZOMBO = Great intro, and I like the continuity of the titles of your sections. The "Fight" section was good in that it gave examples of how enjoyable the night-after Mania shows usually are, but I think an even better example would've been Raws that are themselves held in the UK. Same result, more powerful piece of support for your stance. The "Night" section was also good, but struggled against the same pitfalls found in a similar point made by Smitty. The '92 Wembley comparison is a stretch in that pro wrestling is in a completely different era - not that Wembley couldn't sell out again given the right amount of marketing, but I'd like to see a bit of empirical support for this otherwise blind assumption. You also make the same Network correlation that the other two debates did. I like that you went one step further to provide some numbers to support your stance. I think you missed a HUGE opportunity that you barely touched the surface of with the "Catering to the Audience" section. If you combine your "Fight" section with the "Audience" section, you have another MEGA point - the reactions common from these audiences can MAKE a superstar. Bryan is the obvious example of this. I like the following section about further opportunities. Again, however, almost no mention of counterarguments from any of these debates leaves me scratching my head a bit. I felt this and WOOLCOCK were super close, as both made a lot of the same points. I felt ZOMBO took it one step further by mentioning other opportunities and providing some quantitative support for the Network bit - providing separation from the other debates.
1st = ZOMBO
2nd = WOOLCOCK
3rd = Smitty
BkB Hulk WOOLCOCK:
I thought this was good, but not without weaknesses.
Generally, your arguments are strong. They’re all logical and explained. I feel like you didn’t quite keep them watertight though, and as a result, the questions that oppose your arguments remain.
This is especially true for your argument re The Network. While it’s true that WWE now aren’t reliant on PPV buys, they ARE reliant on PPVs being a major drawcard for The Network, and thus some of the same issues to do with spoilers remain. While you could have said this would be okay because it would attract more European subscribers, you’ve already noted the fanatical nature of the Europeans who are thus likely to purchase The Network regardless.
The other issue I have is that, while SummerSlam is a great idea for the history, you haven’t actually provided venue numbers, and thus it doesn’t show if it’s a more profitable exercise. Is it greater numbers wise for WWE to fly across the pond and then sell out a larger arena (than what?) than to stay at home? I’m not convinced, and I feel evidence was needed here to explain why that was so.
Those negatives aside, your arguments are quite good, and the SummerSlam argument itself because of the history is great. There are questions raised by some of your statements though.
I love the global brand argument. It’s a really clever way to justify it, and it’s also an argument that doesn’t immediately spring to mind.
Your second argument isn’t necessary true, because all you’ve calculated is money made, while ignoring money spent. While specifically referring to Wembley shows you could get a great attendance, how costly is it for WWE to have a show across the world? I’d imagine it costs a fair bit, thus they only go to England twice a year.
The buy rates argument gets the same criticism from me as the first debate, but I thought you did a better job addressing some of why it was okay. The addressing of the time difference actually being favourable for the kiddies is a great point, and the time difference itself was explained well.
I think you needed to give this another read, because it’s poorly written in parts. There are some sentences that run on too long, and some that aren’t complete sentences. The arguments, however, were good.
I think where you’ve covered your opponents is your opening couple of points. Both weren’t talked about in the other debates to some degree. The first one is really clever, although I feel like you could have extended it to the next night’s RAW as a benefit too. The second, while similar to the others, includes merch sales. Smart.
Again, expense was ignored, but I’m sounding like a broken record. Your super fun graphs showcase evidence better than either of the previous debates, and your last couple of points are also fantastic too.
Not a whole lot of constructive criticism here, but I just thought this was a really good debate.
Winner via Unanimous Decision - ZOMBO (+5 Points)
2nd Place = WOOLCOCK (+2 Points)
3rd Place = Smitty (-1 Point)
DDMac vs i$e vs AwSmash Which is the more important aspect to a modern day music act, how they sound on a record or how they look on stage/in a video/etc?
*DDMac dropped out*
Spoiler for Debates:
A ‘song’ written in a London apartment in 1978, before being released in 1980 conveyed a statement of stark similarities to the query this debate is exploring. This abomination of a tune proposed to unfortunate listeners that video had in fact killed the radio star. Looking past my disdain of said song, it must be stated that following the introduction of MTV one year later, the statement it suggested DID…
NOT become true – and that’s because, that statement has always been true. Ultimately, the way a music act looks on stage or in a video is more important than the way the act sounds on a record.
As the years have gone by and the times have a changed, more and more things seemingly revolutionize the music industry. Music shows, mp3 players and similar devices etc. yet, the overall image of a music act has remained constantly more significant than the way it sounds. In fact, as technology has continued to become more prevalent in a person’s leisure, the importance of the look of a music act has arguably increased.
In years gone by, you would calculate the success of an artist through comparing their record sales to others. When the top selling artists of all time are taken into consideration, one thing becomes blindingly obvious. That one thing is that the vast majority of highly successful artists have a distinctive personality. When you search look at the 7 artists that have sold 250 million+ records, you’ll find a list that includes Elton John, Madonna, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. Quite frankly, it would be ignorant to suggest that these artist’s sound that was the predominant factor in them reaching their success. Further evidence can be found in the 7 artists that have sold 200-250 million records. These 7 names include Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, AC/DC and ABBA. These eight artists are certainly considered great, but generally not greatest of all-time great, yet they have sold incredibly well. This is quite simply because they have a personality - a look that appeals to the buyer’s eye.
Looking at this topic from the modern perspective as it asks though, today’s technology in iPods, iPads, Galaxies, Tablets and all that jazz has seen record sales as a whole plummet. Record sales in the US in 2013 were down to 289.4 million from the 2007 total of 500.5 million.  This massive drop can be chiefly correlated to the new-age technology as mentioned before. Therefore to analyse the success of an artist in today’s day and age, the amount of times a song is downloaded best dictates its success.
So let’s have a look at some of the artists that have had a work of theirs included in the top 10 most downloaded iTunes songs . Robin Thicke with his distinctive ‘Blurred Lines’ music video, in which he utilized nudity to stir the pot tops the list. It was by being controversial in the creation of the video that he was therefore able to get people talking, which would see the song reach such lofty heights.
As we make our way down the list, we will find Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’. Accompanying this song was an artistic music video that is just as recognizable as the song itself. The outlandish music video again played a vital role in this song being successful. In Gotye’s case, the music video was not controversial, but it was interesting and clearly caught millions of buyer’s eyes. In fact, it is not completely unjustifiable to state the video could have been to a completely different tune, but still been massively successful. It would be ludicrous to state that this song would have been nearly as successful without its music video though.
With these two songs, the music video played an immense role in seeing them reach successes. If these two songs were not played behind a screen, they would not nearly have been have sold so well, but that is nothing new, as evidenced by the artists who have had great success determined by the records they’ve sold, as referenced before. In the past, contemporary and future music industries look had, has and will have more importance than sound.
Still a sceptic? Well, a recent study conducted by Harvard graduate Chia-Jung Tsay  undertaken to answer this very argument only furthers my case. Tsay had participants judge the winner of a classical music competition by listening to audio recordings of the contestants and by watching silent footage of their performances. This being a classical music competition, the participants in this study should generally have been able to find the correct winner by listening to a audio of their performance, right? Wrong. The study saw partakers better able to judge the winner or this music competition via the silent video footage of contestants’ performances.
Tsay stated “What this suggests is that there may be a way that visual information is prioritized over information from other modalities.” and that is the crux of this topic. Essentially this is saying that when your eyes see something appealing or intriguing in a music act, such as the naked models used by Robin Thicke, or Elton John in general, you are more likely to enjoy the accompanying piece of music than if a song were played to a blank screen. In some cases your brain will deceive you to believe a piece of music is greater than you should find it, simply because your eyes are drawn to the person performing it or the video complementing it.
Whether an artist wishes to admit it or not, the name of the game in the music industry - in any industry is to sell. Whether that be records or downloads, an artist who sells well is more accomplished that one that does not. A successful artist DOES NOT need to sound good, but DOES need a look that will prompt people to listen to them. It’s called show business for a reason.
Which is the more important aspect to a modern day music act, how they sound on a record or how they look on stage/in a video/etc?
In order to offer an answer of at least vague conviction to a question like this, we must first make some determinations on what we deem ‘important’ to a modern act and what the desired outcome is if we assume them as strands of a methodology. This exercise is, of course, a bona fide fools errand — you only have to consider the myriad of motivations that drive an art form as vast as music to reach such a conclusion, but let’s use financial gain as our key metric and mega-bucks musicians as our first control group.
To begin, let’s take money and sales out of the equation. Yeah, I know, removing the two main elements of achieving financial gain may seem backwards, but understand that it is the origin, not the result, that we are interested in. For the avoidance of doubt, I am talking big-hitters here — Rihanna, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Eminem etc — so let’s remove the vacuum of current success and examine their histories.
Rihanna grew up listening to reggae and Madonna, suffering through the substance abuse of her father, singing from the age of seven and getting a deal based on a low-fi tape recording of cover songs that she auditioned for the then Def Jam president Jay-Z. Beyoncé struggled for years with money and the inter-band politics of Destiny’s Child before they made it big. Her father, who was then also the bands’ manager, quit his job to focus on her career, but his income plummeted and the relationship with his wife briefly ended. Lawsuits followed, as did turbulence created by constant lineup changes and critical reception.
Lady Gaga was a school outcast who wrote piano ballads in her early teens before getting involved in amateur dramatics, acting, and the written analysis of art, politics and social issues. She fronted several small bands and played basement shows in and around the New York club scene, becoming increasingly enveloped in experimental sub-cultures of fashion, go-go dance and burlesque. She was signed and quickly dropped in a matter of months, yet she persevered to become a ghostwriter for some of the biggest names in pop. Her individual music career only flourished through happenstance and her drive to express her Mercury-esque falsetto and Bowie-inspired avant-garde stage persona.
Eminem confounded the expectations of a predominantly black, lower-class Detroit neighbourhood by establishing a hip-hop style built on unique rhyming patterns and experimental cadence, born from his interest in comics and poetry. He was bullied, worked 60 hour weeks to support his daughter, suffered through the suicide of the friend who introduced him into the culture, battled the paranoid and erratic behaviour of his mother, was lost to drugs to depression for a while, and was initially ignored by the rap community. It wasn’t until he reinvented himself as dark alter-ego Slim Shady that Dr Dre was given a demo CD that would eventually launch his career.
Case in point: these artists have backstories that are not rooted in financial gain. And, despite their success stemming from demo CDs and a fulfilment of the marketing machines’ demands, it’s the force of personality matters most often, and — for modern pop musicians at least — how they sound on a record and how they look on stage are two sides of the same coin, currency that only becomes relevant after someone decides to give a shit. At that point, mutual exclusivity is an impossibility.
So, it’s reasonable to suggest that it’s having a platform to express which is the most important aspect of a modern musical act, and that recorded output and stage presence/ability to make a good video are merely factors which aid longevity and generate interest. Frankly, that has never changed. Whichever motivation we attribute to a given artist, a cool video, explosive live sets and quality records are all means to an end and all important to a degree.
But hang on — we’ve only talked pop acts thus far (mainly because the question at hand does not specify), so let’s ask the same question of, I don’t know, a DIY hardcore band from Georgia. What is most important to them? Once more, it depends on which metric you want to measure, but from my experience of interviewing bands like this, having sub-standard recorded output is a death knell. So, ask yourself — or them — what is most important, and you’ll usually get the same square root as a pop star: a platform to express.
Look around, and you’ll find plenty of examples of artists that are successful by their own definitions, and they usually don’t involve money and can’t all be boiled down to Reason A or Reason B. Some don’t tour, some tour extensively. Some are weird, lonely guys that excel on record, like Aphex Twin, and some are born to troll YouTube like Miley Cyrus. Some make videos for expression, some for hits, some to meet obligations. It dawns on me that I have spent much of my time here discussing the flaws of the question itself rather than giving a definitive answer to a debate, and that is deliberate. I’ve been involved in music for too long to willingly suggest otherwise. If you want me to pick one, then ask me what metric you’re measuring ‘important’ by and I’ll give you a different answer every time.
Spoiler for Judging Cards:
I don’t have a lot to complain about here.
Nice idea to get started with a relevant lyric from a well-known (I think it’s still well know?) 80s song. I’m not sure getting started with some historical figures and musicians was the way to go considering we are talking about MODERN music. These words probably would have been better served further supporting music videos or physical appearance or what not of CURRENT artists. The Harvard Case study was particularly interesting to me and I will probably do some further reading on that if I remember.
I’m glad your debate “evolved” the same way the music industry has evolved. Going from record sales to the now, seemingly more important, downloads. I liked the Goyte example, that one is sound. I probably wouldn’t have gone with Robin Thicke since he has his name (father) going for him as well. Probably would have went with Lady GaGa or someone like that, Miley too but she has her name going for her as well. Not a huge deal, his video certainly does cell but so does his name, which one more, I’m not in a position to say.
Overall, well done. You pretty much covered what I would have expected when considering the topic. Music videos, who gets the most downloads etc. You surprised me with the case study so good on ya there. Think you could have done a bit more than you did if you better used your word count on modern examples but ya.
This debate is interesting.
I like that you went against the grain, not that it ins necessarily to your benefit here but who doesn’t like something unexpected or out of the ordinary. Other than that, this is really hard to judge because you didn’t pick one side or the other and then support that said side. I think the big thing for me here is looking at your argument and how whether you convinced me that neither alone are more important. I think the big argument that you made is that BEING GIVEN A PLATFORM in which to show people what you do is most important but I think the big argument is you aren’t going to keep said platform unless you a) are a good musician or b) have a good stage presense/image/etc.
I will start by saying this was really hard for me since i$e really didn’t answer the question asked and it’s hard to measure one debate that chose one of the 2 sides vs. a debate that chose to go rogue so to speak. I think AwSmash is fairly convincing. I think you could have been definitely more convincing but it’s a good effort none the less. i$e, I don’t think you did enough to allow going away from the choices was a good approach. I think your argument is strongly refutable as is. I do agree however with your last sentence as the question really doesn’t identify what criteria goes into “important”. You gotta work with what you got though. I’m going with AwSmash here. You went the safe approach and I think it paid off. i$e took the gamble and it just didn’t work as well as it could have imo.
The Lady Killer
AwSmash = I felt this started off strongly with the clever correlation of the topic to "Video Killed the Radio Star." After that, however, it hit a bit of a lull. You named some of the most successful music acts, and all but assumed that they were only successful because they had personalities/a good look. This is largely opinionative, as most of these artists are highly regarded as some of the most talented musicians of all time. Celine Dion, in particular, isn't known for her personality - she's widely regarded as one of the best female vocalists of all time. I have a problem with this, especially since her music videos aren't attributed to her commercial success. That's just one example. The topic also states "modern day music act," which I felt needed clarification, as most of the acts you listed as successful date all the way back to the 60s. The Thicke/Gotye connection makes more sense if "modern day" means current.
You turn the corner a bit in the second half of your debate, even if it's due to an external quote/study aka words that aren't your own. The classical music experiment is in fact interesting, and I see where you were going with the Robin Thicke/Gotye angle, but people downloading a song on iTunes is giving them the audio version of a song in which you claim owes its success to the visual version. I'm struggling to make the same connection as you. Overall a well-written debate, but it definitely had holes.
i$e = Well, this was different. Expertly written, and very intriguing. Unfortunately, due to how TDL works, it has to be judged on how convincing it answers the topic in either a pro or con stance. Despite the brilliance showcased in breaking down/analyzing the question at hand, this debate doesn't take a stance and places equal importance in a vague vacuum. Debaters should take note of this style, though, as the writing/tone itself was very convincing, but the content was not. Obviously, as stated in the conclusion, this was deliberately done. For the sake of judging, however, I must side with who answered the question to the fullest.
1st = AwSmash
2nd = i$e
Seabs AwSmash - Strong debate. Your arguments are pretty tight and the whole convincing. I would have forced home harder your definition of important relevant to this question. You used record sales as your main metric of success (which is fine btw) but a sentence or two just clarifying your definition/interpretation of your wording of the question would have added to your debate. I liked the use of a more modern metric to further drive your point home too and the research study reference was great support for your argument too. In terms of the question you answer this is very strong but ultimately I feel this debate is decided on the different approaches to the question and who manipulates the wording of the question best.
i$e - Obviously that last sentence comes from your approach to the wording of the topic. Important is indeed the word in the question which is vague if you will and very open to interpretation of how you define important in the context of the topic. I did actually have the topic worded to a finer context but changed it back to this to make it more interesting in how you each interpreted it to hopefully create more contrasting debates. It definitely did that at least. I thought your analysis of the wording of the question was first class. What's important to Rihanna is undoubtedly different to what is important to my brother's band playing local gigs in front of barely anyone. Normally I'd advise debaters from essentially not actually answering the question presented but if you are then this is how you do it by breaking down the question and manipulating it in this manner to show that the question CAN'T be answered with a simple answer as the answer varies depending on the many ways you can interpret the question rather than just choosing to take a non-answer route without being able to effectively argue why this route is better than taking a more conventional one like AwSmash did. That was the difference in this one for me, i$e broke the question down better and argued why it had to be answered in the way that he did. I don't think there was anything wrong either with how AwSmash answered it because he chose a metric of important and then argued with it. That's fine. i$e's approach was just better while still giving an example of an answer with his self-define context for the question. AwSmash did something similar in that respect but fell short of really explaining why and missing out on i$e's debate winning point that the metrics of success aren't a constant for every artist in the industry.
Winner - i$e
Winner via Split Decision - AwSmash (+5 Points)
2nd Place = i$e (+2 Points)
3rd Place = DDMac (-5 Points)
Aidan vs Andre vs LUCK Are sports players' high wages justified?
Spoiler for Debates:
Andre Sports players' high wages are absolutely justified, especially when the journey of justification starts before they sign a first pro contract and continues after they retire.
Top sports players sacrifice their adolescent years to earn a top wage. David Beckham had regular week long trials away from London with Manchester United from the age of 12 to 16; meaning routine long return trips and spells away from his home and family. Lionel Messi left Argentina for Spain at the age of 13 to join Barcelona. Tiger Woods entered serious golf competitions from the age of five. Lewis Hamilton won Cadet Class Championships at 8. Such single minded focus and sacrifice justifies financially luxurious rewards, especially when the success rates for young aspiring sports players are so low. 90% of Premier League academy players fail to play for the first team; Liverpool youth coach Mike Yates suggests that 98% fail to become long term professionals. The NCAA also provided these statistics:
To maintain consistently high modern standards in top level sports there needs to be strong competition for contracts, with high wages being a MAJOR factor in motivating young athletes. Combined with the law of scarcity, this justifies high wages. Most people have the potential to work for the Police, but few have the required genetic make up to potentially become pro athletes:
Despite this, there is widespread criticism of sports wages because they far outstrip those of public sector workers such as Soldiers and Policemen, the irony being that European sports stars generally pay the highest rate of 40-50% tax on all wages, money which funds these types of services. Similar applies to US sports stars that pay 39.5%, funding Federal Defense and National Welfare. Less money would go to public services without sports stars’ high wages.
These players provide worldwide entertainment which draws this money from live events, sports subscription channels, merchandise sales and ad revenue. Premier League clubs were predicted to generate combined revenues of £3 billion in 2013/2014, with player wages estimated at £2 billion before tax. The NFL generates around $9 billion per annum, yet each team is given a salary cap of £123 million, totalling a maximum potential of less than $4 billion before tax. Caps are in place for major American sports to prevent overspending, while FFP was introduced to European soccer for the same reasons. The higher paid players also justify their wages with extra image related fees, boosting sales for major companies; Ronaldo’s £14 million a year deal with billion dollar company Nike a prime example. Players earn a proportionately fair share of money that they generate for various industries.
Many suggest ticket prices are “unaffordable” in sports leagues such as NFL, arguing high wages are to blame for attendance drops, yet predictably ignore the MASSIVELY increased availability of more convenient viewing options which sway casual franchise fans, such as Direct TV’s subscription ‘Sunday Ticket’ and free US network coverage. However, the total attendance for the 13/14 Premier League season was the highest since 1950 (old first division), despite sky high prices, the difference being that total UK broadcasted games only increased by a meagre 16 from 2004-2014, with ALL 154 TV games on paid subscription sports channels.
A criticism of TV money increasing wages was the creation of supposedly unfair playing fields. However, Liverpool dominated England in the 80’s before football wages rocketed in the 90’s due to Sky Sports. Real Madrid dominated Spanish football from1960-1989, winning 60% of La Liga titles. 2014 also proved that financially weak champions still exist via Atletico Madrid, while in American sports underdog teams sometimes win through the playoff system. Regardless, TV money has led to sports gaining greater coverage across the globe, a massive plus for fans worldwide.
Despite this popularity, the merits of sports players are often unfavourably compared to workers in health care. However, sports improve mental health by allowing hundreds of millions of fans to venture into escapism from real life stresses. ‘The Mental Health Foundation’ have even stated that qualities such as “escape”, “anticipation”, “basking in reflected glory”, “catharsis”, and “identity” help to alleviate fans from the rigours of modern life.
Conversely, modern players are expected to tolerate unparalleled pressure at work from thousands of fans in attendance, whether it’s ” banter” abuse from opposition fans, or booing from “supporters” for a few human errors. This can even become physical; Toronto Maple Leafs’ fans have been known to throw waffles at their own team during disappointing matches. These are also forms of release (literally with waffles) for fans that let out their pent up frustrations. Ridiculously high expectations warrant high wages.
Similar applies to media behaviour. Mass propaganda was created against David Beckham after his red card at the 1998 World Cup, leading to DEATH THREATS from football fans. Lebron James was recently unnecessarily humiliated in the American press over rumours of a hair transplant. These outlets clearly make a lot of money from covering sport players in this manner; despite the questionable nature of their moral codes and the impact this has on the individuals, often unrealistically building them up as legends and role models just to tear them apart for the sake of selling stories. Regular incomes wouldn’t justify this.
Playing careers can also be short. The average NFL player’s career lasts 3.3 years with the average overall wage around $2 million before tax; a short time to make serious money, especially when concussions and severe injuries can cause depression and disability, limiting potential success in other careers. The average top level soccer players’ career lasts longer at around eight years, yet their chances of developing severe clinical depression increases by 40% upon retirement. Players help to alleviate fans’ depression and anxieties, yet make themselves far more prone.
Those who make colossal sacrifices, take high risks, suffer severe stress, provide major entertainment and relief while contributing towards huge industries deserve gigantic financial rewards. Sports players’ high wages are fully justified from every angle.
Spoiler for references:
Statistics for percentage of prem academy players who make the first team:
Athletes absolutely deserve their wages. Out of the countless millions that try to become a professional athlete, only 400-1000 get an opportunity annually in each league.
What it takes
-Countless hours of practice from a very young age. It’s often said that it takes 10000 hours to be great at something, now try to imagine how many hours it takes to be the top 1% in the world at something.
-Putting the sport before everything else in life, including education and other opportunities. Not to mention you’re already expected to be a model citizen by the time you’re in highschool with no room for error.
-Once you’ve actually made it you must now fight for the opportunity of starts and minutes against your own teammates.
That’s what it takes to just to become an exceptional player, now you must go through all the trial and tribulations of earning a lucrative contract. You essentially have to be 1% of the 1% in your league to get the best contracts while avoiding injuries. In sports such as the NHL, NBA, and NFL, that utilize a salary cap, that limits how much the team has to pay each player and can make this difficult. That means you're once again competing with your teammates, this time for money, which can be hard to do when you're expected to make individual sacrifices for team success. In the NBA players are expected to even take less money than the max in order to give teams flexibility and are often criticized if they don’t. Even the best player in the world, Lebron James, was told to take a pay cut in order to give his former team more options in free agency, even though he is already vastly underpaid due to the salary cap and max contracts.
The Money Players Generate
How can you justify Lebron or any other top athlete being underpaid even with their absurd wages? Well let’s take a look at each league’s revenue.
NBA: The Bucks had the lowest income in 2013 with a mere net revenue of 109 million, which doesn’t include the money from sponsorships and income they get outside of the league. Highest, Knicks: 287 million.
NFL: The owners are expected to earn just north of 9 billion this year.. It’s absolutely outrageous that these owners have to pay these guys millions of dollars to play a “child’s game”, right? NFL players also have the lowest average salary in the top 4 American sports.
NHL: Lowest team, Blue Jackets: 69 million; highest, Maple Leafs: 142 million.
EPL: broke 3 billion for 2013-2014, which is a record.
Let me be absolutely clear: this amount of revenue is IMPOSSIBLE without the players. Why do people watch games? THE PLAYERS. Why do they spend a lot of money to go to games? THE PLAYERS. Why do people buy team merchandise? THE PLAYERS.
All this money is generated BY the players FOR the owners. And guess what? The highest average contract in sports is 4.5 million in the NBA, which only has 15 player rosters. Players in just about every sport are making their team more than 100 million in revenue and yet their average contracts are 4.5 million or less.
Remember that bit about James being underpaid at 22 million a year?
“…the Cavaliers had all but sold out of season tickets less than eight hours after LeBron James announced he would come back…”
The amount of money he brings to a team is undeniable as well as the entire city whose businesses benefit during game days.
Players often have short careers because it’s hard to be that 1% of the 1% and generally 10 years+ in a sport is a good, long career. So in that short timespan they must successfully make their entire life’s fortune and learn to save it. Unfortunately many players don’t learn this due to the poor education they received in school/college while focusing solely on getting into their sport, so bankruptcies are common:
“78% of NFL players, 60% of NBA players and a very large percentage of MLB players file bankruptcy within five years of retirement.”
Is it because they didn’t make enough? In some cases, only the top talents get the top contracts and long careers, while the mid-tier suffer with short careers and much smaller earnings. This is especially true in the NFL where contracts aren’t fully guaranteed. This hurts as players get older and fail to get their full contracts:
And while these players are simply playing “kid sports” they are still putting their bodies and future health on the line. In particular, the contact sports have life damaging consequences:
“Nearly three in 10 former NFL players will develop at least moderate neurocognitive problems…players between 60-64 are as much as 35 times the rate of the general population…”
In the NHL:
“Researchers found that 323 concussions or suspected concussions occurred over the three seasons they examined… approximately one-half of the entire league loses playing time during each regular season…”
If your job entails the potential risk of brain damage and loss of basic function then you should absolutely be getting paid a lifetime’s worth. It isn’t uncommon for any athlete that had a long career to suffer from mobility issues as they get older due to all the injuries as well as wear and tear they suffered throughout their careers.
Ask yourself this: if you were working a job where you generate massive amounts of money for your company, would you not expect to be paid accordingly? If you generate millions, the very least you expect 100k a year; these guys generate BILLIONS and yet the average salary is less than 4.5 million. 4.5 million is 0.0045% of a billion. Not only are players’ wages justified, a lot of players are underpaid compared to their actual value.
There are many things to consider when looking at paying these entertainers. You have to look at the career length they have. You have to look at the expenses after the sport. You have to look at the economics of sport. You have to look at everything the athletes do. Simply put, there’s a lot that go into this.
Believe it or not, the average career length for an athlete isn’t that long. For many of these players that have spent 20+ years training to play in the big leagues, the average playing career for an NFL players is 3.5 years, the average MLB career is 5.6 years, the average NBA career is 4.8 years, and the average NHL career is 5.5 years.(1) Here’s a pretty chart for the average salary per year for players:
You know what this tells me, taking the average NFL Salary with Career, you get $7 Million for their career. Meaning unless they get anything more than a slightly better than minimum wage job, they have $7 Million to support their family for the rest of their life, which is a pretty long time if they are forcibly retired by 25 (this doesn’t even include taxes which complicates things greatly since they are now in a much higher tax bracket). Now I’m sure we can point out the guys like Floyd Mayweather, Peyton Manning, and other athletes that play a long time and make a lot of money, but remember, they are the best and the peak. There are many on the other end of the spectrum too. Those guys may be set, but the lower guys may not be. Lowering the pay on the top guys lowers the pay for the bottom guys too, hurting them much worse than taking a few million from the best. There’s also life after the sport too.
Life After The Sport
Sports takes a huge toll on the body. Many athletes will need a few surgeries after retirement. The average knee-replacement surgery for someone without insurance is between $35,000 and $40,000 (4). That’s not cheap for a guy living the next 60 years of his life on $7 Million. This doesn’t include follow-up exams, physical therapy, and any clean-up surgeries. This shit builds up man. And believe it or not, it’s much harder to get health insurance on certain body parts as a former athlete as those parts are more likely to get hurt. So the insurance, if able to be gotten, can be expensive too. Also remember that many of these athletes don’t have a fallback plan. For most of them, sports have been all they have known for all of their life. Not all the athletes are charismatic enough to transition into a media job. Not a lot of athletes are smart enough to transition to a professional business job. Not a lot of athletes are prepared for life after sport. ESPN’s 30 for 30, “Broke”, shows that 60 percent of former NBA players are broke within five years of retirement. By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress (2). Money management is a huge issue, and lowering the pay will hurt these guys more.
Supply & Demand bros. If people want the product, the price will go up. People are willing to pay for the price to watch games, go to games, buy jerseys, etc. Sports is a big business. The NFL is set to make over $9 billion in revenue this year (3). With the amount if money being made, how can you not pay the players, the guys that make the product what it is? It's absurd not to pay the players what they are worth. People argue that doctors and firefighters aren’t paid that much so athletes shouldn’t be paid that much either. So what if they aren't doctors or scientists. People pay for entertainment, and until people aren't willing to pay for it, the athletes deserve what they get.
Importance of Athletes
Let’s face it, whether they want to be or not, athletes are role models. Kids look up to the Jordan’s, Manning’s, and Beckham’s of the world. Many people get inspired by athletes and inspiration is not something which can be priced and stocked at Wal-Mart next to the Yoohoo. Some athletes inspire people for what they do on and off the field. While there are many other people and occupations that bring inspiration, athletes seem to do it more than any other job. Whether it's just inspiration to achieve or inspiration to become better at a sport, athletes do that. This level of inspiration is brought on a lot because of their celebrity status. The level of celebrity adds another difficulty to the life of the athlete. That’s 24/7 surveillance. One fuck-up can cost a player his job and get him blackballed from the sport, especially if it is caught on camera. Too much weed can get a player suspended for a year. These athletes have to be the best citizen ALL the time. Essentially, he/she has to be on their best behavior 24/7 365. That’s 8760 hours by the way. Not many careers can say they are on the clock for behavior every hour of their life.
You gotta pay the players man. These athletes aren’t overpaid at all. They have really short careers compared to normal citizens. They have a lot of extra costs after sport. They provide entertainment that we demand for. They are essentially on the clock more than the old WWF Hardcore Champions. Until sport dies, you gotta pay these players this much.
Ok first off I thought it was interesting that none of you defined a parameter for "high wages" and whether or not the question was worded to just include the very high end wages or the wages as more of a general oveview. You didn't have to but I thought it was something that you all could have done to define the question a bit better to your own debates.
Andre - I know this is Andre because he has the stats table which always stretches the page . The peak of this debate which I'd advise lesser debaters to take note off is how you can effectively cover as much ground as you do without your arguments feeling under developed. In terms of presenting so many arguments so concisely this was brilliant. And your arguments are obviously brilliant too. The peak is whenever you link the extraordinary nature of the wages to the extraordinary nature of the job. That's where the justification really lies imo. That and the link to the revenue the sports industry generates are the money arguments imo and you cover them really well. I'm not sure I really agree with their being a "required natural weight and height" for soccer players but that's not a knock against you debate but a mere pondering with the table you used. The tables are great btw and exactly the type of supporting evidence other debaters should be looking to use to prove their arguments they present. The tax point is brilliant too. My only fault of note with this would be the two paragraphs in the middle with no bolded phrase that I felt were less focused towards the question at hand. I felt although they were linked to the topic they steered a tad too much towards answering their own individual questions alongside the actual topic. For example I felt the link between the TV money creating unfair competition and the wages of the players themselves could have done with being a bit stronger. Other than that though this was brilliant.
Magic - Ok I'm gonna compare a lot of this with Andre's because I thought you both presented the same points in better ways than one another in different parts so I'm literally making my decision between you two as I write this up and hope that I find some light between the two debates as I write the feedback up. The "What it takes" part I thought Andre had the edge with due to giving examples which really put this point into a sense of clarity for the reader. You do a great job of explaining it but explaining with examples >>>. The industry revenues point you had the edge on with excellent detailing of the revenue the industry and the teams themselves make. The line after was money (pardon the pun) too by showing how essential the players themselves are to this revenue being generated. Next part is even more brilliance. The part in between the two quotes here is really high end stuff. Loved the point that the impact of a Lebron stretches outside the sports industry too. The point about the lack of education growing up because of the commitment needed to be a pro sports player was magnificent too and does a brilliant job detailing why sports players NEED to be paid so much because they give up so much at such an early age and are basically done around the age of 30 more often than not. After that for the vast majority of them people just forget about them and you rarely see the effect on sportsmen after retirement where most haven't developed the skills to earn money after their playing careers finish. The extremely high standard continues into the next part too with brilliant use of sources to detail the danger sports players go through and the lasting effect this has on them after they're removed from the spotlight. Conclusion is equally brilliant too and I loved the way you put the 4.5 million figure as a percentage which really drove him the relativeness of the two figures. Ok I think I've made my decision now...
Aidan - Ok my feedback for Magic probably reads as though I'm totally neglecting your debate from my decision making. I'm not. This is of a really high standard too. I just thought Andre and Magic's were of a REALLY high standard. As in two of the best debates TDL has had all year and you could probably include last year's debates and it'd still be right up there too. First off I'd point out the difference between the actual question and the question you start your debate off with. You pretty much answer the right question anyway but overpaid and high wages justified are different questions so be careful doing that. I really hope you used a pretty chart to disguise yourself as Aidan here (post edit: whoops ). Also LOL IPL. What I said at the start of this feedback about defining the parameters of the question applies most to this debate. There's nothing wrong with the approach you took but it removes the potential counter if an opponent effectively argues that the question should only consider the high end wages. If you spend just one sentence or two even explaining why you're looking at this context then it covers that ground. Fortunately neither Andre or Magic did this though but bare it in mind for the future. The career length part was done really well but I thought Andre and Magic just detailed the extent of the same argument just a little more convincingly, for example detailing the effects for sportsmen after they retire. The life after sport paragraph I thought covered this point better than Andre and Magic did though and was superbly done. I actually didn't realise you basically said what I did in Magic's feedback about this point so kudos. The detail on the costs of medical fees after retirement and then the difficulty in earning after retiring to pay these fees was expertly done and why I thought Andre and Magic covered the career length and sacrifices argument better than you. Contrastingly though you covered this point better than them for that same reason. The economics point was made better by Magic by presenting figures to put the point into better context and in turn be more convincing to the reader. That's what was missing for this point to compete better. More like what you did with the preceding argument about the medical fees. The final argument is again of a really high standard and makes me feel pretty bad that this debate ended up facing the other two debates because barring exceptional circumstances this should be a winning quality debate all day long. Sadly the debates you lost out to really were exceptional. Again my advice to be on their level with this point would be to use more examples to really clarify the point. For example cite an example when you say " One fuck-up can cost a player his job and get him blackballed from the sport, especially if it is caught on camera.". I thought this line was marvellous btw - " Many people get inspired by athletes and inspiration is not something which can be priced and stocked at Wal-Mart next to the Yoohoo.".
This was honestly one of the highest quality matches on any TDL show to date so congrats to all three of you for outstanding efforts. Decision is super tough but I think I've settled on Magic having the edge now. In the end I think Magic was a tad more convincing on the ground that he and Andre both covered and the extra ground Andre covered with them two paragraphs I noted weren't the exceptional quality required to nudge this one. Magic's started off a bit rocky but once he got past that first part it was an exceptional debate. Aidan really wasn't far behind at all and even had the edge over Andre and Magic in one aspect but ultimately fell short in comparison on the others. Hats off for a great read and an enjoyable if difficult judging process for this one.
1st = Magic
2nd = Andre
3rd = Aidan
Solid opening point, showing what it takes to become elite, and also highlighting how few actually do.
I'm a little less convinced by the argument about taxes. If the owner of a team did NOT pay these players major fees, then he would not have that expense. Therefore, the owner's net income would be higher by the equivalent amount, and HE would be taxed on it.
You get back on track with the idea of generating money for various industries, then veer off again with the discussion about TV money, that doesn't really properly dismiss the criticism of high ticket prices.
The mental health example is okay for your argument, as is the point about short playing careers. A solid entry, but I felt that there was more "just there" points than the depth provided by the other entries.
You highlight the amount of work that goes into making it to the professional level, which is well done.
The section about money the players generate is solid, although you skew the numbers in your favour (showing net revenue instead of income, which conceals the fact that many organizations operate at a loss and player wages are the largest aspect of that) in a way that could be considered sneaky. Still, the point rings true with your summary sentence.
I thought raising the LeBron contract and then shutting it down with the quote about the Cavs' season tickets was very well done. The injury risks / career length arguments were well done too. A great entry.
This was very similar to Debate B in that you touch on the career length, injuries and money made for organiztions.
You do go into areas such as post-sports career, and tie in the injury aspect, which was very neat. I felt that the athletes as role models (and being compensated just for being under the microscope) wasn't the strongest argument though, and left your debate on a bit of a down note right before the conclusion. Otherwise, this was a very strong entry.
I felt the clear winner in this contest is Magic. The other two are tricky, as each has its flaws. Ultimately, I feel that Aidan hits the mark more a tad more consistently than Andre, so I'll go with Aidan for second and Andre for third. Still, a very good match between you three.
The Lady Killer
These are all extremely good debates without many negatives to point out, so I have to nitpick to separate the three. Sucks that one of these has to earn negatives points for his team.
Andre = The opening has some holes imo. Many people start working/training/slaving away at a young age (kids in sweatshops earning a piece of bread and water) and stick with it for life. They don't earn anywhere near the type of wages that athletes make. Same can be said for the success rate. Standardized tests (bar exam, CPA exam, etc) to become a licensed professional in a particular field have fairly low pass rates, yet you can still earn a very good living in those fields without it. In sports, it's all or nothing. Why are pro athletes rewarded for hard work and difficult-to-achieve status so much more handsomely than other professionals in the workforce? The public sector argument was good, but when is enough enough? Less money would go toward those public sector services if athletes were paid less, but if that was what was the most important determining factor (to drive up public sector funding via athlete taxation), why wouldn't athletes get paid even more? Would the public sector really suffer if sports wages were cut? Who is to say that $1 million/year in wages for an athlete is enough, but $500K isn't? How is that wage structure established?
I think the next section was really strong - you begin to address the above question and put the wages into perspective by saying that they make proportionately the right amount of money given how much revenue they draw.
I feel you kinda revert back to the lack of definition/perspective of what constitutes a "normal" income or a "high wage." Sure, sports help mental health of fans, but how do you put a price tag on this luxury? Yes, athletes catch flack from media/fans and are put in dangerous situations, but so are cops/firemen/etc and they don't earn anywhere near what athletes do. There seems to be a disconnect. You did, however, touch upon a few really good counters throughout.
Magic = I like your opening - and feel it did a better job than Andre at putting how hard it is to become a top-tier athlete (even though the topic doesn't specify that the athlete doesn't need to be at the top). However - and I found the same pitfall in Andre's - don't forget that these players weren't forced into pursuing professional sports. Most of these athletes live for the sport and it's their dream to play professionally. I'd likely give up everything to become a pro basketball player if I had the chance.
The section about LeBron and revenue generation is good, but remember there's a difference between his wages and a role player's wages. Yes, LBJ brings in a ton of fans/$$$ - people do pay to see him play, buy his apparel, etc. In that case, his salary could very well be justified. However, I highly doubt that anyone pays the price of admission to see the 3rd string shooting guard ride the bench all night. Is his 6-figure salary still justified? He isn't really directly generating any revenue, but is still reaping the benefits of being a pro athlete.
The talk about short careers is fine since you mention they have to cram a lifetime of earnings into ~10 years, and you do mention the lesser-paid individuals. However, some still earn more in those 10 years than most people do working their entire lives. Also, if a career is cut short and they can't find a job due to lack of education, again, that was their choice. Same can be said of the risks involved - policemen and firefighters face risk everyday. Does that mean they should be paid higher wages than other professionals who don't endure risk?
I thought the conclusion was strong, and helped to put things into perspective. Again, though, you seemed limited in your point of view, focusing primarily on the top tier players. Not much attention paid to counters, too.
Aidan = Off to a good start by providing some key numbers to illustrate the brevity of most pro sports careers. Magic touched upon this, but I believe your debate did a better job of painting the picture. Paragraph after the chart basiscally sets you apart from the rest. This is what I was hoping the other two debates touched upon. You put into perspective that the top guys are set despite the possibility of a brief career, but the lower-end guys may not be. Very good. I do like the economics and importance sections. I thought those were well-written. You didn't touch upon many counters, but what you did touch upon was more convincing than the other two debates. Close between Magic and Andre, but I felt Aidan was the outright winner.
1st = Aidan
2nd = Andre
3rd = Magic
Winner via Split Decision - Magic (+5 Points)
2nd Place = Aidan (+2 Points)
3rd Place = Andre (-1 Point)
The Lady Killer vs Seabs vs Evolution Should WWE give wrestlers more time off over the course of a year?
*Evolution no showed*
Spoiler for Debates:
The Lady Killer Should WWE give wrestlers more time off over the course of a year?
Breaks are a common theme across busy agendas – 15-minute breaks at work, study breaks at the library, smoke breaks when blood pressure rises. Professional wrestlers possess perhaps the busiest agendas. They wrestle six nights a week in as many different cities, and fill in the gaps at the gym or on a plane en route to the next squared circle. Flawless logic would suggest that wrestlers, too, need breaks. Their bodies need time to recuperate from the rigors of the ring; their minds need time to regain the drive and focus needed to uphold the tradition of sports entertainment; their hearts need time apart from us to remember how much they love the business. And we need time apart from them.
There are three points of view on this topic, all of which undeniably support the need for WWE to grant wrestlers more time off over the course of a year.
Fans want continuous programming, and they can have it, but NOT at the expense of the entertainers. Consider this: Would you rather see Daniel Bryan perform 10 out of 12 months, or not at all? That’s the risk WWE tries to balance when demanding such intense schedules.
Don’t worry, fans. It’s not like your favorite superstars are disappearing. Watch the Network for $9.99/month. Meanwhile, WWE can run some updates about a written-off superstar or queue up some return hype videos. That video production team can work miracles. This isn’t “goodbye;” it’s “can’t wait to see you again!” Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
With the dawning of the “Reality Era,” WWE programming finds itself increasingly dependent on personalities rather than athleticism. Characters reign supreme over technical ability. For better or for worse, WWE protocol is more akin to a soap opera than to any professional sport. Therefore, the potential is there to make the in-ring demands far less grueling.
Originally Posted by selfish/greedy fan
INJURIES HAPPEN REGARDLESS~!
Do me a favor: Go outside and slam yourself on the concrete for a solid twenty minutes. Wake up tomorrow morning and slam yourself on the concrete for another twenty minutes. Wash, rinse, repeat. Let me know how you feel in a week.
The human body, while fascinating, can only handle so much wear and tear. Although WWE wrestlers are professionally trained athletes, they don’t enjoy the time off typically afforded to other professional athletes. Yes, accidents can and will happen regardless of receiving a bit of reprieve from in-ring duties, but the important thing to note is that granting the body some R&R helps immensely in mitigating the probability for potential. Just as you more likely to suffer a car accident when you’re fatigued/stressed/lacking focus, wrestlers are more likely to make potentially harmful mistakes in the ring under the same circumstances.
Long story short: Let’s try to avoid a Chris Benoit copycat.
SPORTS ENTERTAINER VIEWPOINT
When stars take time off, the door opens for others. Look at Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns (pre-injury). With Punk’s departure and Bryan being out with a neck injury (case in point), these guys have stepped up to fill the void. Cycling through the talent on a staggered time-off basis allows for a more balanced showcasing of the roster.
Originally Posted by insecure superstar
I FEAR I MIGHT LOSE MY SPOT~!
Even conceding the fact that most fans have a very short attention span, a wrestler will not be forgotten about during a sabbatical. If there’s one thing WWE does well, it’s keeping people (Brock Lesnar) relevant when they aren’t on TV. I repeat: The video production crew is extremely talented. Wrestlers' merchandise can still be pushed while they’re away. I mean, I still see Zack Ryder shit in the crowd and that guy has been all but ruled dead. Releasing new merch can also act as a catalyst to ignite excitement for an upcoming return. Given the hype around an impending return, a wrestler might even be more relevant than before they took time off (see: Triple H in 2002).
Perhaps most importantly, granting a wrestler time off can rejuvenate him and rekindle his desire and passion for the business. This will enable him to return more focused and dedicated than ever, which leads to increased safety and an overall greater standard of quality across the product. Win-win.
It’s possible that WWE might be reluctant to give their superstars (read: John Cena) time off in fear of losing money on declining merch sales (already touched upon above) and events where top guys (read: John Cena) aren’t advertised. Fortunately for WWE, this viewpoint is extremely narrow-minded. In the current Network atmosphere, PPV buyrates and house show attendance are becoming antiquated. Losing pocket change on house show gates is immaterial in comparison to the money lost due to injury.
Accrued paid time off is a common benefit for most employees. If adopted by WWE, there’s the added incentive of a highly-anticipated return potentially spiking interest/buyrates/revenue/ratings to offset any losses incurred during the break.
Although WWE may view the concept of time off as a short-term dilemma, it actually helps to resolve the going concern known as star power. When guys take time off, WWE’s hand is forced to fill the gaps with other talent. It’s not like fans are going to stop watching, or switch over to TNA. Vince has a stranglehold on the market, and fans will begin to migrate to “the next best thing” while their favorite star is at home resting. Soon enough, that “next best thing” will become “the new favorite.” What happened to the WWE landscape in 1995 when the roster was shit? New stars (HBK, Austin) were created, storylines were fresh and the product was successful. Why? Because the WWE HAD to.
If you think about it, WWE already grants wrestlers time off to shoot movies (typically for WWE films) without feeling burdened, so why not extend that luxury to the entire roster? WWE superstars are human beings, and they must remember that their health is most important. Concurrently, WWE must realize that happy/healthy talent = longer careers = more $$$. That’s an equation anyone can understand.
Should WWE Give Wrestlers More Time Off Over The Course Of A Year?
Ok definition time first. Time off = any time off seeing as currently WWE wrestlers are working every week of the year1. For the purposes of this debate, time off will refer to any period of at least a month voluntarily off the tour working live shows. Finally, the topic addresses not only the top WWE wrestlers but ANY WWE wrestlers.
"Everybody needs a break to relax and unwind."3
Now that's done let's get to the obvious part, the fact that OBVIOUSLY WWE wrestlers should be given more time off because right now they have NO time off other than when they're injured3. That's deemed unacceptable even for a regular desk job!
Fatigue is bad. It stops you performing to your best, increases the risk of accidents (especially relevant here) and even puts a strain on personal relationships2. So surely this is something WWE would want to avoid? After all, so many ex-wrestlers cite the good stepping away from the WWE tour did them. Ideals aren't always possible, however they are in this case.
"But it's just not feasible!"
WWE doesn't collapse without one of their top stars. Top stars in every era have been forced to take time away and WWE has always survived. Austin, Hunter, Cena and now Bryan. They all got injured for an extended period and WWE always survives.
WWE now can feasibly tell Cena to take 3 months off and successfully rely on the likes of Bryan, Brock, Hunter and imminently all three Shield guys to carry the show in his absence. Forcing a Cena to work the non-stop WWE schedule week-after-week year-after-year with the only break coming during rehab/layoff time from injuries isn't medically healthy even if they were in a position where business was so reliant on one entity. Business isn't like that though which makes the lack of annual time off even more of a case of negligence to protect the health of their employees. If chair shots to the head are banned to protect their health despite their supposed benefits then why is time off not given to do the same thing?
Good for the body....
Along with minimising fatigue, time off allows nagging injuries to properly heal and reduces the risk of causing long-term damage to their performers. After all, shouldn't WWE want to prolong Cena's career as long as they can? Constant bumping on a healed body is bad but the risks of long-term damage that shortens in-ring careers is obviously greater on a worn down body not given sufficient recuperation time. What's a couple of months off every year if it gets you an extra 5-10 years out of Cena's body?
....good for the product too.
With more TV than ever before the risk of over-exposure has never been greater. Giving fans a little time without their favourite stars can make them appreciate them more. After all, absence does make the heart grow fonder. Then when your favourite wrestler does return you can create iconic moments such as these4. Tell me you don't still get goosebumps watching them.
Take Cena's activity this year for example. Right after Summerslam was the PERFECT time for the good of the product for Cena to take some time off. Then a few months later he can make another iconic return and fans will be significantly more hyped for the Lesnar rematch. However, because of their reluctance to do without, even when it actually benefits their own storylines, they rushed into a rematch that had nowhere near the anticipation the rematch to THAT title change should've had. And now he's being shoehorned into the Rollins/Ambrose feud because they need to find a role for him somewhere. Sometimes no role for a brief period is better than being there for the sake of being there.
Sometimes wrestlers NEED to take some time off for the good of their on-screen characters such as when a wrestler who WWE are invested in is lacking momentum and needs time off rather than having their character devalued by again, using them for the sake of using them. Case in point: Bray Wyatt who would serve better from some time off and being built back up properly when the right babyfaces are available again for him rather than just hanging around losing momentum.
Time off doesn't have to mean out of sight either. You can still keep characters relevant while not on the tour. Just take one day to film some training skits and announcing Cena's intention to return when he feels he's fit and ready to beat Brock and air them sporadically throughout his time off.
Injury angles are great because they get heels over as dangerous villains who can get actual heat from gloating about robbing the fans of their favourite star and they garner sympathy for the babyface and huge anticipation for their return. We've literally just seen it with Rollins/Ambrose. In an era where both faces and heels struggle to get the modern audience genuinely invested in their characters, injury angles can be extremely useful in getting BOTH a heel and a face over at once. Yet, WWE's refusal to grant time off eliminates a key storytelling device.
The GEEKS are humans too!
Mid/undercard wrestlers need the time off too. Although less appreciated for it, they're still on the road taking bumps and risking injury week-after-week. How many of you have missed Fandango on Raw lately? He hasn't been on Raw for 2 months now yet WWE still have him on the tour working 2-3 shows a week5 despite possessing an abundance of talent between the main roster and developmental that can be rotated in and out as house show jobbers.
Be it a desk job or a sport, every other industry gets ample annual time off for a good reason. Because it's medically advised to avoid fatigue for our health as human beings. WWE wrestlers shouldn't be the exception who put their health at even greater risk then the profession already requires them to.
The Lady Killer
I liked how to started with talking about how EVERYONE needs a break from his or her busy lives. Some time to unwind and rest. And with wrestling being extremely physically demanding, pro wrestlers need time off just as much as everyone else. From there, I think your approach is sound, focusing on the 3 viewpoints, fans, SPORTS ENTERTAINER as well as WWE. For fans, the big thing here to remember is that we are all selfish. If you ask a fan would you rather see Daniel Bryan for 10 of 12 months or not at all they’d chose neither, I want to see him ALL THE TIME. Still this is a strong point and really does ring true, work a wrestler too hard and their career while undoubtedly be shortened as well as an increased risk of injury that will keep them out a few, to several months or even a year or more. I think the big thing for fans too, they eat up the big returns, whether it be a 2 month or 12 month absence, they eat the shit up. Would have liked a bit more emphasis on that as I think the hardest sell here is making a convincing argument that time off is better for fans as everyone can look at the benefits to both wrestlers as well as potential long term benefits to WWE.
I like the point about WWE being forced to create new stars; this is something that can be good for EVERYONE as well, not just WWE. Increasing the credibility of wrestlers even for the short term can create long-term credibility even after they go back to the position they were in before. Credibility does not wear off instantly.
I think Chris Benoit was important to bring up as well and again, this is something that benefits EVERYONE. No one wants to hear about that and it’s certainly bad for current wrestlers as well as the reputation of the WWE.
Overall, strong points covering all viewpoints with all the major points I would expect here.
Good opening laying out the parameters. I particular liked the point about putting a strain on personal relationships. How many wrestlers leave WWE with horrible things to say? A LOT. It would certainly be in WWE’s best interest to keep this number to a minimum. And of course, some of these guys were just fired and of course they aren’t going to be happy about it but they could be doing things to lesson the blow. Once again, like The Lady Killer, the approach is sound and was a good read.
I really liked the point about Cena, what better actual example of there being a perfect time to give someone some time off? All he’s done since then is no sell Brock’s beating but coming back a week later perfectly fine, getting inserted into a rushed minimally built rematch (mainly due to Brock’s part time scheduling) and weasel has way into a storyline that was going strong without him. He could have easily just been at home the past 2 weeks since they clearly are putting the WWE championship to the backburner behind this Ambrose/Rollins turned Ambrose/Rollins/Cena saga. Also, I liked the point about the classic injury angle. Once again, something fans eat up and certainly a tool WWE could use when giving time off.
Beyond that you hit a good chunk of the points we’d expect, time to rest and head, prolong careers, etc.
Would have liked to see a few counters to those arguments that it’s not what FANS WANT etc. That’s what was really lacking here. Again, like I said above for The Lady Killer, I think Fans is the hardest one to defend here as fans are selfish and fans expect everything all the time from everyone.
Fuck, another debate from Seabs and TLK that are extremely similar. You guys need to stop doing these this or that debates because you always pick the same and it makes it very hard to judge . Again, by a hair, and I know I’m the deciding vote here, I need to go with The Lady Killer. I think what won this one for me was the WWE network plug. Kidding aside, I liked the Chris Benoit example, what more really needs to be said here? From there, I liked how you talked about how actual Wrestling isn’t as important as years past, allowing WWE to use wrestlers more sparingly. I also liked how you broke it down to explain why this shouldn’t be a big deal for fans. Like I’ve said, I think fans are the tough sell here as the benefits to WWE and the wrestlers themselves really are obvious. This one is by a hair again, just like your last debate. Congrats on the great debate guys.
The Lady Killer: I’m going to point out a few things I liked first. First off, I laughed at the whole: “Do me a favor: Go outside and slam yourself on the concrete for a solid twenty minutes. Wake up tomorrow morning and slam yourself on the concrete for another twenty minutes. Wash, rinse, repeat. Let me know how you feel in a week.” That was great. A little extreme, but it makes your point well. Second thing I really liked was: “That video production team can work miracles.” That is so true. I mean, WWE makes wrestling feel so much cooler and better with the videos before PPV matches. Like the build can absolutely suck, but the production team can nail the hype video and almost recover the heat. So that’s why I really like the mention of the video team. They can easily help keep a person on break over with their videos.
The next point I liked was the stars stepping up point. As mentioned, Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns all stepped up when Punk left and Bryan got injured. Rollins feels like a top heel to me right now and Ambrose feels like the number two face right now. It’s amazing how WWE can build stars when they have to but can’t do it when they already have their three guys. As you mentioned: “Cycling through the talent on a staggered time-off basis allows for a more balanced showcasing of the roster.” That can eventually build more stars and help WWE in the long run. Then you counter the argument about guys losing their spot by mentioning: “If there’s one thing WWE does well, it’s keeping people (Brock Lesnar) relevant when they aren’t on TV. I repeat: The video production crew is extremely talented.“ Once again you mention the video team and you have a good point with Lesnar. I guess my argument to this is that Lesnar isn’t just any star though. He’s a former Undisputed Champion that has defeated The Rock, Austin, Hogan, Cena, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Undertaker (at Mania), and is also a former UFC Champion as well as a freak of nature. It’d be really hard to screw that up. I guess I would have preferred a different example, like maybe the often injured Rey Mysterio returning with some popularity. I think the Zack Ryder example helps, but not the Lesnar example. Note, I do have to be pretty picky with this to find faults as these two debates are pretty flawless.
Going back to the beginning, I like the idea that everyone needs breaks. I would have loved to see you mention that almost every profession gets days off and sports even get off-seasons. You do a good job in mentioning just how busy wrestlers are. Now you do mention wrestlers and athletes later in the debate. “Although WWE wrestlers are professionally trained athletes, they don’t enjoy the time off typically afforded to other professional athletes.” I like how you do mention it. I think Seth Rollins said in an interview that wrestlers are professional athletes, they just don’t compete by winning, but by competing to put on the best performance. Jericho I think was the one that compared it to figure skating. So these guys believe they are athletes. So that’s why it’s good to compare them to athletes and how they don’t get nearly the same amount of time off.
Finally, I see you mentioned that WWE already gives some stars time off to film movies. I mean, it’s like that for some guys like the Miz who will be gone for 2 months, but what about Cena who may miss one or two Raws at most while filming? Just a thought. Your point still stands, just I don’t think it does for the top guys. Just pointing out another minor annoyance.
Anyway, good debate. I didn’t find a lot of flaws or questions.
I’m glad you gave me the definition of what you considered time to mean as you may have mentioned time about 24 times in the debate.
Obviously jesting here. It’s good to mention that you mean off house shows too. I think it may have been obvious, but it’s best to not let any doubt be had.
Anyway, this was a pretty nice point. “Fatigue is bad. It stops you performing to your best, increases the risk of accidents (especially relevant here) and even puts a strain on personal relationships2.” I thought that was interesting to mention how fatigue even puts strains on relationships. I know that from personal experience. Now’s not the time for that anecdote though.
The feasibility argument feels a little strange. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the “now” part in the sentence. Like it wasn’t feasible until now? I don’t think that’s what you meant, but it’s just throwing me off a bit. Like I was expecting a big argument for why it is now feasible. Anyway, I’m really just nitpicking to nitpick here.
“With more TV than ever before the risk of over-exposure has never been greater. Giving fans a little time without their favourite stars can make them appreciate them more.“ Ok, to put on my counter hat for a minute, wouldn’t sending some people on vacation force those not on vacation to be on TV more, thus over-exposing those guys? Just a thought. The absence argument is solid and since both of you used the same absence quote, it’s kind of funny.
The character momentum argument is solid too. I like the point you bring up that sometimes not being there at all is better than being somewhere unneeded. The Bray Wyatt example was good too. You also mention that time off doesn’t necessarily mean out of sight either. I think your opponent might have done a better job selling this point with his mentioning of how great the WWE production team is though.
The final GEEKS paragraph isn’t doing too much for me honestly. Like I get the point, but isn’t it obvious you are already talking about time off for everyone, not just Cena? Like, I feel it doesn’t add much to your argument other than pointing out Fandango is still working while not on TV. I think you would have been better off turning this into a point about WWE still having guys work 3+ times a week despite not being on TV. It’s whatever though.
Anyway, strong debate with little flaws. The only flaws were ones I really had to nitpick. So good job.
DECISION: Both of these were very similar. A lot of the points were similar and the writing was good on both. I think The Lady Killer wins this by the narrowest of margins though. My reason is that I feel some of his points like: “Would you rather see Daniel Bryan perform 10 out of 12 months, or not at all?” and the comparison to professional athletes really helped. I mean, you both compared it to other jobs, you both mentioned how time off helps the body, mind, and even the character on TV. So in the end, I got to give it to The Lady Killer because of the few small little points like I mentioned that helped to win his arguments over.
Winner: The Lady Killer
WOOLCOCK The Lady Killer:
This was a great read, though imo grew in stature after a tentative opening. I thought your first argument read well and was logical, but seemed a bit plain and understated. It's hard to explain, but whilst I could appreciate the focus of the argument I didn't find it to be overly persuasive beyond a basic level of empathy. I also felt your opponent strengthened their respective argument when they touched on the business implications of ensuring wrestlers be given time to recuperate, case in point prolonging Cena's career as well as the adage of affording other stars the chance to gain heat and focus. I just felt these respective considerations made for a more broader and tighter cohesive argument when weighing the two together. The 'insecure superstar' argument I liked in theory, but felt a couple of the examples were debatable. Lesnar is someone who is kept firmly in the spotlight and presented well when he's off screen, but this is owed in part to his presence and aura, and more specifically the money invested in him. I think it's debatable to argue someone of say Tyson Kidd's status could be kept 'relevant' if he took significant time off, given he is barely relevant now whilst working full time. Again, your opponent considered how ALL wrestlers should be eligible, and this stood out when re-reading this part of your argument. Your argument definitely applies to the likes of Lesnar and Cena who could feasibly take time off whilst still being presented as focal parts of the show in video packages, but the argument doesn't lend itself to say the same can be said for midcarders and those looking to progress, who are far more likely to work whilst hurt if they're in the midst of a push.
I also felt your opponent's similar argument that certain characters would benefit from not appearing, thus keeping mystique, rather than appearing in stagnant programs just for the sake of being on TV was more convincing than your respective argument that time off rejuvenates the wrestler and potentially improves motivation and subsequently performance. Your opponent's argument just felt more personal to the interests of WWE as a company and the wrestler himself.
Your final point however I felt was a good closing to your debate and would say this trumped your opponent's respective conclusion. You definitely left yourself more room than he did to elaborate and finalise your points in detail, and I thought you did a good job reverting to your earlier argument that giving time off to established acts in turn forces WWE to step outside the comfort zone and make other acts more prominent and thus potentially more successful for long-term prosperity.
Overall, this was superbly written and structured to ensure you expanded on your key arguments whilst ensuring very little words were wasted or arguments undeveloped. If anything, I just felt your opponent's similar arguments overall were tighter and more convincing, as well as having a couple of arguments you didn't mention that I felt were slightly stronger. Against 99% of other opponents, this would have been nye on unbeatable.
I'll keep it brief having alluded above to why I chose this entry over your opponent's. I think your debate benefitted immensely from considering all wrestlers and not merely the main event acts you imagine WWE would be more keen to preserve. I also thought your consideration of the question from a business/creative standpoint, rather than basic morality was inspired and generated your best arguments, namely that WWE can benefit from injury angles that preserve the health of stars whilst generating hot future programs, and further that certain talents benefit from being kept off TV rather than forced to become stagnant and directionless by being kept on TV with no clear direction. Your arguments just felt more rounded and succinctly tighter to consider as many intangibles as possible, both from a health and performance perspective, but also in how WWE as a business and entertainment program can benefit from the move.
Your conclusion felt a bit rushed and struggling to say everything it needed to before hitting the word count, but what came before it was of a high enough quality for this to be a minor quibble.
1st - Seabs
2nd - The Lady Killer
Winner via Split Decision - The Lady Killer (+5 Points)
2nd Place = Seabs (+2 Points)
3rd Place = Evolution (-5 Points)
RetepAdam. vs Anark vs BkB Hulk Should the Olympics enforce an age limit preventing Under 18's from competing?
Spoiler for Debates:
Citius – Altius – Fortius.
Translated from Latin, those words mean “Faster – Higher – Stronger,” and they have served as the official motto of the Olympic Games since 1924. In a sense, they also serve as the mission statement for the Olympics, challenging the best athletes in the world to soar to greater heights than anyone else has before.
The question has been posed as to whether the Olympics need to implement an age limit that would forbid athletes under the age of 18 to compete. The answer, as things often are, is more complex than a simple yes or no.
On the one hand, an overarching rule setting age restrictions on Olympic competition would fly in the face of all that the Olympics stand for. However, studies have shown that the day-to-day rigors of an Olympic training regimen for certain sports can create lifelong physical problems for young athletes. Taking into consideration both the spirit of competition that the Olympic Games embody and the role that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) must play in protecting its own competitors, it is clear that while an age limit should not exist across the board, it is extremely necessary in certain sports. As such, I posit that the Olympics should not impose a ban on under-18 athletes but rather should continue with its current system which allows the international governing bodies of individual sports to set the age guidelines for senior competition.
The argument in favor of allowing athletes of any given age to compete at the Olympics is simple. If the Olympics truly seek to crown the greatest athletes in the world, it cannot come with an asterisk. And as has been proven time and time again, the Olympic motto of “Faster – Higher – Stronger” does not always necessarily mean “Older.”
At the 2012 Summer Games, under-18 swimmers Missy Franklin, Ye Shiwen, Katie Ledecky and Rūta Meilutytė combined to win eight gold medals and set six world records. Ledecky, who owns three world records in the freestyle, and Meilutytė, who holds the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke marks, won’t even turn 18 until March of next year.
Some may worry about young athletes burning out after training so strenuously in their formative years. However, burnout can affect athletes of any age, and implementing age restrictions would not address the cause of burnout but would only prolong the training period for young athletes while minimizing the window in which they could actually get to see that training pay off. The fact of the matter is that some young athletes may turn out like Oksana Baiul, who won figure skating gold in 1996, only to see her life go off the rails afterwards. Others are more like Michael Phelps, who went home empty-handed as a 15-year-old competing at the 2000 Olympics and went on to do all right for himself. It’s difficult to know how a high-pressured, strictly regimented lifestyle will affect a person whether they’re 14 or 24.The IOC should not be held responsible for protecting its young competitors from the stresses and broken hearts that come as a part of striving to be the best in the world at anything.
In contact sports like hockey or basketball, the issue regulates itself. Few young players are physically mature enough to withstand frequent contact from adult opponents, so having young, underdeveloped athletes would be detrimental to a team's cause. Other sports like wrestling, powerlifting and rowing are difficult for young athletes to break into at a high level, as they are heavily reliant on strength, which increases into adulthood.
The IOC wants young athletes’ Olympic dreams to come true. IOC President Thomas Bach said so verbatim this past winter in Sochi. But when young gymnasts and figure skaters are destroying their own futures to live the Olympic dream, the IOC cannot in good conscience ask that its competitors be forced to make that sacrifice.
The situation mirrors why baseball has taken an adamant stance against steroids. Baseball’s steroid era may have revived the sport’s popularity, but if Major League Baseball had not taken stand against steroid use, it would have been sending a clear message that the league didn’t care about its players well-being – and that those who refused to poison their own bodies to get ahead would be left behind. The decision to risk one's future for present gains is one that no person should ever be forced to make, but least of all children, who may not be able to place the decision into proper context or - as sad as it may sound - may not even be allowed to make the decision for themselves.
For this same reason, the IOC has done the right thing in eschewing an across-the-board ban on athletes under the age of 18 in favor of allowing individual sports’ international governing bodies to dictate their own rules on age. And by enforcing age restrictions of 15 and 16, respectively, the International Skating Union and Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique have followed suit in ensuring the continued protection of the safety of its competitors, while still leaving the door open for phenomenal young athletes – whose bodies have matured enough to withstand the constant stress – to achieve Olympic greatness.
This debate is over before we even get into the ethics of under-18s competing at elite levels. Let me explain- wait! What’s that noise? SHIT!!!! Quick! Your boiler’s just burst and there’s steaming hot water pouring out everywhere!
You rush to the phone and see three cards pinned to the wall:
Bob O’Brush – Expert Painter & Decorator
Phyllis Willis – President of the Over-60s Knitting Club
Mike Spannerman – Expert Plumber
So, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters aren’t an option btw.
You’re calling Mike, because it’s a plumbing issue and he knows all about plumbing. Next time you need your walls painted, you’ll call Bob. Need a woollen reindeer-emblazoned sweater in time for Christmas? Phyllis is literally waiting by the phone.
Allowing the IOC to decide the age limits for the myriad of different sports involved is the equivalent of asking Bob and Phyllis to fix your burst pipes with a knitting needle and half a tub of off-white emulsion.
There are some sports people on the IOC. For example, the president is a former Olympic fencing champion. Among the four vice-presidents, there’s a former champion of the 400m; someone who once ‘participated’ in badminton competitions (I shit you not); another who rowed once or twice, maybe, who knows; while the fourth lists his sports practised as ‘skiing, tennis and golf’ – practised in between pitchers of Pimms and back rubs from the Country Club’s in-house Latino masseuse, one presumes.
The general members include a couple of champions plus a scattering of undistinguished ice hockey and/or basketball players from the 60s and an Irish black belt in judo. Some of them had no sporting career at all, though they appear well experienced in the art of administration and sitting on boards.
These are the people that this debate question proposes decide the age limit for ALL Olympic sports. That requires taking the current authority for this issue away from the individual International Federations (IFs), who are consisted of former competitors of their specific IF’s sport or at least people who have worked with their particular IF’s sport for most of their career. They know what they’re talking about, so they should decide.
Debate over then. But what about those ethic-thingymejigs?
It’s absolutely NOT the case that ALL under-18s lack the maturity to compete at elite levels. Should those with the maturity to deal with elite competition be denied the opportunity of a lifetime because some their own age lack the same maturity? How is a blanket ban justified when you consider the myriad of teenagers who are more than mentally capable of dealing with the pressure of competition? Behold.
Cristiano Ronaldo was playing football at the very top level at 17. Wayne Rooney was 16, and nobody can claim Rooney never had mature tastes. There have been three 17yr old male Grand Slam winners and there are female Grand Slam winners even younger, notably Martina Hingis at 15 and Serena Williams at 16.
The greatest Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, made his Olympic debut at the age of 15 (Sydney, 2000). He finished 5th, but then broke the 200m butterfly world record BEFORE he turned 16. His subsequent Olympic appearances are the stuff of legend. How could it possibly be fair to hold him back and refuse him entry to one of, but not all, the elite swimming contests? He was already competing in the World Aquatics Championships (where he broke that first WR at 15), so any Olympics that might have happened while he was 16 or 17 (in a different timeline obvs) would be incomplete without one of the top performers in the sport, regardless of his age.
It’s what the Olympics is meant to be: the best of the best on the grandest stage of all. It’s not meant to be the best of what’s left (restrictions may apply).
Can a blanket under-18 ban from the Olympics prevent coaching abuse? No. The Chinese are the best example, as they’re well known for their extreme coaching style (called “juguo tizhi”) which often crosses the line to abuse. Yes, children should be protected from it, absolutely, but they’re not exposed to it just because of one competition, even if it is the biggest. An under-18 ban from the Olympics won’t change an entire culture that is encouraged and engineered by its own government. It should also be noted that there are just as many, if not far more over-18s who suffer from this exact same extreme coaching style in China.
If any age had to be imposed, then it should be imposed across all of the elite level competitions, but as I already showed, there are often talented under-18s who deserve to compete at the highest level – often to the point where if they don’t compete, then any contest without them is tarnished. A more reasonable age minimum would be 16 anyway, as most teenagers have completed their basic education by that point, but are physically well on their way to being adults. Exceptions, however, should always be possible.
Sure, if the sport involves extreme stresses and strains which young bodies should not be exposed to (see weightlifting and gymnastics), then restrict the ages (which the IFs already do). But leave that to the experts, the IFs and the people who have actually experienced and studied those stresses and strains.
Who exactly is a one-time champion fencer, a medal-less Irish judo guy and quite possibly Phyllis from the Over 60s Knitting Club, to tell a 15yr old Michael Phelps that he cannot swim at the Olympics?
He IS the Olympics. It’s people like him that the event is all about. The Olympics is about the finest human specimens on earth attempting to attain levels of excellence that ordinary folks like us can only dream of. These people actually do it, and if they can actually do it at 15, 16 or 17, then they deserve the opportunity to do it on the biggest stage of them all.
Remember when the current individually set age limits(1) caused a problem? Nope? Oh good, me neither. Then why would we even consider changing it? It’s unnecessary and ridiculous. Not only does a changing of the age bring forth a number of questions as to what specific age to pick, but there are ethical issues, potential cost issues in organising such a needless vote, and even sporting issues that make it an absolute no.
Why suggest 18? Is it because it’s the most common voting age in the world? This is because people who are 18 are seen to have awareness about what policies need to be instituted in society(2) – this hardly seems necessary when jumping into sand. “Oh, I would throw this stick, but I don’t understand the geopolitical issues in Eastern Europe.”
It’s not even the consistent drinking age the world-round. America, the most prominent country in the world – and indeed an Olympic powerhouse – has set a legal drinking age of 21. If it’s a worry of maturity then how can the whole world settle at 18 when countries disagree over such things?
Looking beyond countries, research and child psychologists suggest that the brain doesn’t fully develop until 25(3). Does that mean we suddenly shouldn’t be allowing anyone under 25 to enter the Olympics because they aren’t fully emotionally mature? Should we still shift it to 18 because of the fallacy that people are suddenly mature when they’re 18?
Furthermore, if the brain’s maturity is the issue then you suddenly have the issue of whether to exclude men for longer than women due to research indicating that women utilise brain connections at an earlier age than men(4). Sure, there would be a furore over the discrimination, but if we’re shifting the age for any reason then this must be considered.
All of it should be considered. Or perhaps none of it should be, because none of this has ever been an issue. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the current system. In fact, the current system allows for a higher quality sport, and isn’t that what the Olympics are actually about?
We only need to look at the women’s gold medallists from the 2012 Olympics to see a change in age would damage the standard of gymnastics greatly.
That’s eight gold medalists – meaning they’re the best of the best in the sport – who would have been unable to compete at the 2012 Olympics with under 18s barred. What benefit does this bring? Have any had their lives impeded by succeeding at such a young age?
The fact is gymnasts peak earlier than others, and to limit their age – independent from the International Gymnastics Federation – would hurt the sport. The IGF understand their sport better than the International Olympic Committee as they’re dedicated to it every day, every year. The IOC would be out of their depth – as shown by the range of numbers that indicate maturity – if they chose to interfere. Fifteen-year-old swimming champion Katie Ledecky should be able to win a gold medal. Gabby Douglas should be able to win a gold medal.
While people may worry about the pressure of losing, winning and losing is not only a fact of life, but to get to the Olympics, people have to have won and lost in the first place. These athletes will have won and lost in junior competitions as they’ve developed their craft. By the time they get to the Olympics, there’s no reason for them to not be prepared to lose. So long as they’re not six, they’re probably going to be ready to react appropriately to it.
The media attention that follows with being an Olympic champion is perhaps a different matter, and Ian Thorpe brought this up in his interview with Sir Michael Parkinson. “Part of me didn't know if Australia wanted its champion to be gay”(13), Thorpe claimed. However, Thorpe also said that he had been on anti-depressants since he was 19 – above the suggested age limit – and that his sexuality had been question since he was 16 – before he became an Olympian.
He also spoke of denying the “accusation” of being gay and the reality that you HAD to do that when attending an all-boy school. While there is no doubt that being on the world stage so early was detrimental for Thorpe, his depression, he acknowledged, had a lot to do with his repression of his homosexuality. Not only did this all stem from the time before he became an Olympian, but Olympian or not, Thorpe was already known, and even if an Olympian for the first time after 18, he would have already denied his homosexuality by then. His depression was not the result of Olympics allowing under 18s to compete, but rather the problems that face society as a whole. Irrespective of age, Thorpe, unfortunately, would have suffered.
Thorpe specifically proves that the greatest of damage from fame was not caused by Olympic fame at a young age. Even if it would have been, 18 is perhaps not the age for maturity, as demonstrated by the differing opinions of countries, and indeed experts on emotional maturity. Finally, gymnasts and Katie Ledecky proved at the 2012 Olympics that the competition would be compromised by not allowing the best to enter. The Olympics are, after all, a celebration of sport, so to limit the entrants by age would make no sense. It certainly doesn’t make sense to limit it at over 18.
Seabs RetepAdam. - Tough stance to take but I thought you tackled it pretty well. The comparison of the success stories and the failure stories was well done to show that while the risk is there it's not overriding the opportunity for success or at significantly greater risk for U-18's. The burnout link was very effective in proving this argument. The however part I think could have been a tad clearer in the explanation. I get it bit I needed to re-read it a couple of times to be absolutely sure I got it. Sorry if the feedback seems short but I don't really have any faults to pick up with in this debate other than the slight clarity issue.
Anark - Basically the same approach as RetepAdam. with a different route of getting there. I thought the boiler intro was supeb in communicating your stance. I'm reading it back now and I can't believe I didn't pick up on "Mike Spannerman" on the previous reads. Like I said, this is pretty much the same stance taken but I felt you communicated it with more clarity which is really the deciding factor for me in this one. I also thought you communicated the superb U-18 athletes and abuse points better too. Again, same direction, just slightly better execution. So yeah basically I thought this just nudged ahead of RetepAdam.'s purely on more effective communication of the same points.
BkB Hulk - I thought you spent too long focusing on the 18 aspect of the question personally. This part was good no doubt about it but a tad too lopsided in relation to the rest of your debate imo where the stronger arguments were and needed the extra words that you used up discussing the age used in the question. The U18 athletes point is again well made although I thought both RetepAdam. and Anark had the slight edge in communicating it better. Again, it's a case of same point just made better/differently. I thought the nature of losing was a good addition unique to your debate though that you communicated very well. The Thorpe part probably didn't need two paragraphs. I thought just the first was fine and possibly at most a sentence or two from the second paragraph on that point. Eliminating the excess from this and the age part probably would have given you the extra words needed to compete closer with RetepAdam. and Anark on the points all three of you made in different ways. That's really what this debate came down to. Who could communicate essentially the same stance with the same main argument the best.
1st = Anark
2nd = RetepAdam.
3rd = BkB Hulk
I really like the quote and the intro. Generally I don’t like long explanations to get to the yes or no, but I think you did a decent job explaining why you chose no with the exception of individual sports.
Stats and facts. Oh man, I like it. The combined medal count for the under-18s is great. I like it. That and pointing out they still aren’t even 18 is a nice touch too. I like how you pointed out that it has happened previously too, like in 1996. I chuckled at the Micheal Phelps do alright for himself quip. It’s kind of funny in hindsight with his arrest, but I’ll let that slide. The point was about the medals and I think his rehab visit happened a few days ago. I think. I have no idea what day is what anymore as it is.
The big however is important for this topic. I like that you bring this up. The type of sport does matter. I like the baseball mention. Yeah. I’ve got nothing more to talk about. This is pretty solid debate.
Ok, so this wasn’t a bad debate. I enjoyed reading it. The start was interesting. The anecdote turned into an analogy was pretty strong. I can’t argue the points you bring up about a specialist being a specialist. It helped to make the case that the IOC shouldn’t decide, but the individual federations should. That’s good. So you answered the no rather well here.
However, where this debate lacked compared to Debate A, Debate A did a better job using examples of under-18 medal winners and did a better job covering the stress in my opinion. You mention Michael Phelps as your big example, but he didn’t win a medal at 15. Meanwhile there were some that did at that age as your opponent pointed out. So while I can’t fault you for your writing here, which was great, in the competion here, it was slightly outclassed. Other than that, I don’t have any real complaints here. This was good, but I don’t know if it was the best of the bunch here,
This was interesting. I liked the idea of comparing this to the legal drinking age. This was nice to point out that countries can’t even agree on maturity age. It’s also interesting to point out that the brain doesn’t develop until 25. So that’s a good point to bring up too. Should we wait until everyone is 25? Yeah, good point here.
Next you bring up some under 18 winners. Nice. Eight of them is quite a lot. Just from 2012, right? This was good to point out that gymnasts seem to peak sooner. Limiting them until 18 would hurt the sport. Not allowing the best to compete would hurt the sport. So good points here.
The next point about the Olympic fame is good too. It’s interesting to bring it up. I’m not quite sure if I like your choice of Thorpe as an example though. I mean, he said his issues didn’t stem from the olympics, but wouldn’t choosing someone who handled the fame at a young age better be a better example? I don’t know. I guess he makes your point. It just feels off to me.
Overall, you bring up some good points here and there aren’t a lot of flaws. Good job.
1st: RetepAdam.. No big flaws for me. The examples were on point and good arguments were made.
2nd: BkB Hulk. This was great. The only reason I am not awarding this one the win is because Debate A had a little bit more for the Under-18 winners and was a bit more convincing by showing it wasn’t just in 2012, but it’s been going on for a while.
3rd: Anark. Overall, this was good, but your opponents were just a bit stronger in the points about successful under-18 athletes.
The intro was done very well and your stance was well established to go along with what the Olympics is known to pride itself about.
The examples you used with former under 18 year old winners were well done and helped strengthen your argument.
The parallel between baseball’s steroid and the potential bodily damage that can happen to 18 and under athletes was another strong point in your argument.
This was very well written and the amount of sources used helped support your argument.
I don’t think you properly addressed the “potential emotional breakdown” argument very well, simply by saying it isn’t the IOC’s responsibility. I think sticking with the fact a breakdown can happen at any age would have been better than going with a copout response that it simply isn’t their concern.
Another strong opening that did a good job mixing humour in with a solid opening statement that there’s a reason we have specific branches for specific sports; trusting that they know how to regulate their own sports is better than having the IOC attempt to regulate every sport under the same guidelines. Bringing up the IOC’s lack of credentials was also don and with a convincing tone.
I think your pressure points were done better than RetepAdam.’s. You brought up past examples of former
Olympians, as well as other athletes, that have excelled at a young age and had no troubles with maturity. It really drove the point home that it’s ridiculous to try to say that all people under 18 are at the same maturity levels when that simply isn’t the case and that you shouldn’t ban superior Olympians based on this if they are indeed the best in the world.
The abuse paragraph was on point, showing that simply changing the age limit wouldn’t suddenly stop immoral and abusive actions taken to train athletes in countries like China.
The debate flowed really well and it was tied up nicely.
The conclusion was nice, but felt a bit too long since it was pretty much repeating past points in the debate. This is nit-picking btw, but’s it one of the only small faults I could fine.
Another good opening with a very strong tone, a good way to start your debate.
You made several good points towards the problem with setting the age to 18 and how being 18 suddenly means your mature enough for the Olympics.
Bringing up the differences worldwide in age restrictions also showed how it would be difficult for everyone to agree on what age the cut-off should be.
Again, like RetepAdam. and Anark, good use of examples of former under 18 gold medalists that shouldn’t be stopped from competing simply because of their age.
Thorpe’s situation showed that emotional breakdowns can occur at any age and that it isn’t based on maturity level in handling winning/losing, but rather the media and scrutiny that comes from things completely unrelated to the competitions. It also was a great concluding point to end your debate with.
I felt you focused too much on maturity and didn’t address other potential arguments in enough detail or at all. Your debate felt more narrowly focused than the other two debates, but it was another great entry and well written.
Let me just say that all debates were great, well written, and had similar arguments and points making it very hard to choice which was better. It really came down to nitpicking to find the winner.
Anark felt like the best from top to bottom to me and addressed the counter arguments in a more convincing manner, through the use of not only Olympic sports, but with other sports as well as many problems being left unsolved simply by placing an age restriction in all sports.
RetepAdam. is my second choice as it again seemed to address the potential counter arguments more thoroughly than BkB Hulk and used plenty of supporting evidence.
BkB Hulk was third.
Winner via Split Decision - Anark (+5 Points)
2nd Place = RetepAdam. (+2 Points)
3rd Place = BkB Hulk (-1 Point)
Pratchett vs Baxter vs Goku Are sports fans justified in booing at games if it means securing the exit of an under performing individual?
Spoiler for Debates:
Are sports fans justified in booing at games if it means securing the exit of an under performing individual?
If Socrates were alive today and was a fan of sports, he might see the theme and ask (in Ancient Greek, obviously), “How many of you consider yourselves sports fans? Loyal supporters of your local club, going to every game, buying the merchandise. But what exactly is it that makes you a fan of your particular team? Is it your proximity to where they play? Or that they wear your favourite colours? Maybe it’s the players at the club or the philosophy they preach. Or maybe it’s as simple as pride in history. Whatever the reason, you identify with them, feel genuinely entitled to support them. Certainly, you’re not one of the glory supporters that come around when everything is rosy and leave before the rain, not least like the bandwagon fans that shuffle from club to club, looking for the flavour of the year. You are a real fan.”
And like the forgotten child in a big family, like the everyday patriot in a free country, your opinions count. You applaud your team when they perform well, revel in their triumphs as if they were your own, even engage in light banter with your friendly rivals. Why then should they stop you from criticising them when they fail? After all, it’s your opinion that they value. When the patriarchs of your dysfunctional clan are oblivious to the triteness that seem obvious even to the fans, what other option is there? You jeer because they no longer give you enough reasons to cheer. After all, it is your triumphs these teams deny you, your glory.
Now, I’m not saying that conventional Greek pedagogy from the Iron Age is the best way to illustrate the mindset surrounding sports today, but this prevailing idea that publicly criticising your team makes you a bad fan is interesting in its presumption. It’s a lot like nationalism in a sense if I may draw a parallel. For when we’re speaking of it, what really is a club (as what would be a country)? It’s a conception and as a conception, we have to believe that it stands above simply the collection of people that constitute it. Blind anything is a dangerous feeling. The fact that there is pressure to support your club in times of crises is not a bad thing. But it is not a lack of investment that causes fans to act out against particular personnel at a club when they are in fact judged as performing well below their expected level. We raise our voices in defence of what we hold dear, and it is that mark of a desperate dearness that earns us that unpleasant label.
“If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything,” might respond the odd voice of present-day reason. Complaining about problems (little or big) has never been easier. And if we leave the games early, we can begin our terrorising of message boards that much sooner. In conferring with allies, we believe our voices heard and feel better. If it is so clear that sports are simply products in this day and age, we are allowed to be dissatisfied with it. Justified.
The examples I can draw can always be contrasted with others and made to look silly. There have been and will continue to be instances of misdirected antagonism towards a team. I’m not denying that. We will issue scapegoats for ourselves because we want the solution to every problem to be simple.
If I may digress for a moment, I’d like to illustrate a point. For myself as a Bayern Munich fan, one of the biggest downs in recent history was our home defeat in the Champions League final against Chelsea in 2012. If I were to ask you who the biggest blame fell upon for the result of that evening, what would your answer be? It probably wouldn’t be Toni Kroos. Kroos was blasted by the team’s fanbase (and these opinions were echoed by the board if rumours regarding Kroos’ eventual departure from the club are to be believed) for allegedly refusing to take a penalty kick, forcing the goalkeeper, Manuer Neuer to take his place. And what happened? Neuer scored. Practically, it changed nothing, but on principle, it’s a different story.
It hurts the image of a team when their own fans boo them. Leo Messi was booed in the Nou Camp last season by very real Barcelona fans. Supporters of the Indian Cricket team have thrown stones at their players on more than one occasion on home soil. Alas, such is the entitlement of sports fans. And in those contexts, you might think we’re a condemnable species. But unlike facts, all truths are relative (you may challenge me on semantics, but that’s another debate). Each individual case must be assessed and confronted separately. It’s not that we’re heartless. We bleed the same as you. But does that mean we have to shut our eyes when a top earner in our team continually disgraces the crest he wears? That we ought to suffer in silence when a manager obtusely drives our beloved club to the ground or an owner rebrands it? Are we bad fans for wanting better for our teams? Are we good fans if we simply adapt to become accommodative of mediocrity?
We’re just people who love sports. The closer we hold the triumphs of our teams, the harder the setbacks hit us. None of this is to say I condone booing your own team, but if a certain person from within is poisoning it, we do invariably, like the big brother, assume responsibility for the purge. Is it the most desirable quality you’d want in a fan? Probably not. But to claim it as unjustifiable equates to footballing fundamentalism.
Cheering your team is about support. And the occasional booing them? About standards.
Pratchett Are sports fans justified in booing at games if it means securing the exit of an under performing individual?
What causes a person, who has presumably gone to a sporting event to support their favorite team, to turn on that team and voice his or her displeasure ostensibly with the hope to force the removal of an individual player from the game? Maybe they can justify it to themselves by claiming that they are only booing the one person, not the entire team. Unfortunately this ignores the very concept of team sport dynamics, where the player in particular and his teammates are all “going to battle” together as one.
First let’s look at the fan who would choose to boo his home team. What would motivate a person to do such a thing to them? I suppose it is upsetting when the team you support is losing. And it certainly doesn’t help when one player in particular made a mistake (or more than one) that may have led to the unfortunate circumstance of the team being down. But I still think it is hard to justify throwing the entire team under the bus, which whether the fan believes it or not, is exactly what he is doing. The player’s teammates are going to be trying to cheer him on and encourage him to get past whatever troubles he is having. Do you think you, the fan, have more invested in the game being played than the players themselves? Players have to play, it is their job. Do you know who doesn’t have to show up at all the games? That’s right; it’s the fan who is continually disappointed by what they see. If you are that upset with what happens on the field or pitch, then write to management, complain in social media or just stop spending money on the team. Dragging the player and his teammates down is not going to be effective in changing what you see that is bothering you.
Players and coaches have openly commented on what booing does and how it does nothing to help the team as a whole. Sam Allardyce, the manager of the Premier League West Ham team commented in one game that "At half-time, the players were talking more about fans booing them than the game. I had to make sure they kept focused on the field.”*1 And this was a game where the home team won, just not as convincingly as some of the fans wanted them to. Herm Edwards, a former NFL head coach and now broadcaster has said, "When you boo someone, especially the home team, the other team is thinking, 'We've gotten in their heads'. That is now their motivation."*2 And when looking into chasing a player out of a game, how about chasing them out of a city? When Lebron James decided to leave Miami and return to Cleveland, he wrote a 12 paragraph explanation thanking the team owner, president and his teammates “for an amazing four years”. Do you know who he didn’t thank? The Heat’s fans, who booed the team mercilessly in the last two games of the 2014 NBA Finals.*3 I wonder if the Heat fans who are griping about him being gone now feel they were justified in what they did? I bet it felt good at the time, though.
And that is about all that booing the players is good for. A catharsis. The fans are making themselves feel better at the expense of the players they are claiming to support. If you are that emotionally involved in the success or failure of the team you are following, why would you, as a fan, engage in a behavior that makes the situation you are upset about worse? Maybe it is worth it to you that the player who you think has earned your vitriol gets taken out of the game. How can you be certain that anyone put in to replace him is going to do any better? They are not going to be “in the flow” of the game going in cold, as it were. And now you have also risked getting into the heads of his teammates, who may end up playing worse themselves. A coach or manager will be hard pressed to replace an entire team of underperforming individuals. I suspect it would be more worthwhile to cheer the team on and let them concentrate on playing to the best of their abilities as a team.
As much as many players claim otherwise, fans’ booing does affect them. Some are able to use it as motivation. But a lot of them get distracted by that, and as a result their play on the field can get worse. If a player on a team is underperforming, booing him is not the best way to motivate him to do better. Even if he does come out of that game in particular, eventually the team will have to play another game in their season. You would think as a fan that you would hope your players on your team improve and/or play well for those games as well as the one you may be in attendance for. But if you really don’t care, and just want to blow off some steam at a player who is bothering you THAT DAY, then I suggest fans like that are just being selfish, and hardly justified in taking out their frustrations on players who may be having a bad day, or are just overmatched by other players who are just better than they are. You will accomplish more by supporting your TEAM.
Baxter Are sports fans justified in booing at games if it means securing the exit of an under performing individual?
OF COURSE THEY AREN’T. Booing your own team under ANY circumstances is a truly despicable act and there is absolutely no scenario in which either the booing of an entire team or the singling out and booing of an underperforming individual at a game is justified, even if it means securing the exit of the aforementioned individual from their position.
For any sports personnel, being booed by your OWN fans is the ultimate humiliation, a signal that the people who are supposed to follow you through thick and thin and show you unconditional support are so fed-up with you and your performances that they feel the need to verbally abuse you in your place of work. This display of public humiliation is something that is proven to not just further demoralise and negatively affect the performance of the person at whom the jeers are aimed at, but also have a negative impact upon the rest of the team and create a volatile atmosphere that players and managers will struggle to thrive in.
The evidence backing up the point that boos DO affect performance is unquestionable, so is the act of booing to get one underperforming individual removed from their position REALLY reasonable justification for negatively affecting the morale and performance of an ENTIRE team? In a world where home advantage and great atmospheres like those to be found at the homes of Seattle Seahawks (once world record holders for loudest crowd noise at a sports stadium and subsequently the holders of the best home record in the NFL in 2013) and Stoke City (loudest home fans in the Premier League in their debut season and had the 7th best home record despite only finishing 12th) play such a huge part in positive performances, any sort of negative vibes from a team’s OWN fans are nothing but counter-productive and not conducive in the slightest to putting in good performances or helping the team to a win.
BUT WE PAY MONEY?!
Originally Posted by Stereotypical boo-boy
We pay absurd amounts of money to watch our team and in turn give these guys their wages! Without us they wouldn't be earning the money they do! That alone gives us justification to do whatever we want if this person is underperforming in their role!
Firstly, the notion that fans pay the wages of players is completely farcical; absurdly rich team owners and broadcasting companies like Sky Sports and Fox Sports who have billion dollar contracts in place with professional leagues see to that. Barring a worldwide boycott of all forms of live and televised sports featuring the majority of sports fans, players wouldn't be joining the dole queue anytime soon.
The notion that fans paying money gives them the right to do whatever they want is also a horrible, consumerist attitude that completely defies the point of somebody supporting a team to begin with. If all you want is success then why not just support whichever team happens to be doing the best at a particular moment in time? Why bother going to the effort of paying money to watch someone just to do something so counter productive? Booing at games is completely defies the whole point of being a fan and is not justifiable in any circumstances.
Originally Posted by Another boo-boy
But if we boo to get an underachieving individual removed from their position, this will cause an upturn in fortunes for the team and make things a lot more enjoyable for everyone involved? This of course justifies our booing!
We live in a very modern sports universe, where computer games like Football Manager and the 2K sports series’ allow masses of sports fans to live their dream and take control their favourite sports team, with this of course inevitably leading to some fans thinking that their success on a computer game or their armchair opinion on why a team/player is underperforming is the correct one or should be held in a higher regard than a vastly experienced manager or chairman; however as I’m sure Alan Curbishley will attest to, the fans do not always know best.
Who are these fans to decide that they know better than seasoned professionals or know better than people involved in a team everyday why somebody is underperforming? For all they know the person they are trying to remove could be in a similar place to the late Robert Enke or Jon Trott. Yes they’re extreme examples but they also show how the booing of a particular person can be so unfair and unjustified, especially when the fans are not always privy to all the reasons why somebody may be underperforming.
In summary, by booing at games to try and get somebody removed from their position you are:-
- Creating a volatile atmosphere that sportspeople struggle in
- Not doing anything conducive to other personnel on your team putting in a good performance
- Subscribing to a flawed, self-entitled viewpoint that you pay the wages of the person who is underachieving and therefore have the right to boo them
- Believing that you know better than trained, seasoned professionals
- Making horrible assumptions about why somebody is under performing
- And most of all not doing your role as a fan and SUPPORTING your club
HOW ON EARTH IS THIS JUSTIFIABLE?!
Spoiler for Judging Cards:
The Socrates anecdote and imagination quote was an interesting opening. I like it. I’m all for creative intros. It made me want to read more. So good job. Now I do have to say I think the metaphors went on a tad too long. I don’t think it was until the third paragraph where I saw something that started becoming persuasive. I don’t know. Judging by the strength of your opponents, every word may matter. Just be careful with that in the future.
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. Interesting, especially since we are on a message board that does that a lot. Now you have some good points in here, but I am going to have to compare this to your opponents now. You did a lot of right, but look at the other debates. They are filled with many angles, examples, quotes, and arguably a lot of persuasive writing. I think they just did a slightly better job. Did Kroos actually leave the team? Did the booing change things? Did he come back and play better? These are the questions I need answered. Just be sure to do this next time.
Overall, this is good, but just outclassed. Tighten up those examples and try to find a few more view points and I think you will nail this.
I really liked the quotes you used from Allardyce and Edwards. Both were fantastic and really made your case. I just wanted to get that out of the way. I also liked the intro saying that booing one person destroys the team perspective. Very good point to bring up. The next paragraph about the fans thinking they have more invested in the game than the players is great. Very nice writing and good points.
I’ve already mentioned the quotes from Allardyce and Edwards, but I just wanted to add that the LeBron’s letter point was fantastic. Very nice example. This has been a very great paragraph for your points too IMO. I mean, the Edwards point in particular is really cool about how it helps the opposing team more instead of motivating your team.
Overall, I don’t have anything else I think I need to point out. Very few complaints here. Actually, I don’t think I have any. Once again, I thought that middle paragraph was brilliant. Good job.
Truly despicable. That’s some strong language there. I like it. If you prove that it really is despicable, that really helps your point. I guess we’ll see. Now this next paragraph is solid, but it seems to be more about saying without showing. You feel me? It needs some specific examples. Now you fix this in the next paragraph, but just giving you a heads up. Show, don’t tell.
Now these examples are good. There are quite a few of them too. Just a small slip up I noticed, but I think you accidentally a word. “...by a 2011 that found…” I figure you mean study. Just be careful and be sure to proofread. Anyway, good use of examples here. I would have liked to have seen a few of them out of their source and directly quoted, but it’s better than nothing at all.
These next few points brought up are really good too. I’m trying to find something negative out of this, but I’m struggling. The consumerist attitude point is good. The home crowd advantage with the loudest fans point is solid too. The rest is great too. I thought the video game point was interesting too. Great angle to take. Finally, I really liked the ending. The passion, the begging the question. I love it. Nope. Scratch that. I. LOVE. IT. Great job.
1st: Baxter. Great. Fantastic. Loved the examples and viewpoints.
2nd: Pratchett. This was really good too. I just think it was barely beaten by the extra points of view brought by the winner and the few other examples. Keep it up though. This was great.
3rd: Goku. Good job. No big complaints other than that you may need to flesh out the examples a bit more.
BkB Hulk Goku:
I would have never thought to ask Socrates.
The debate was nice. I think that’s the right word to describe it, because it makes a good read. I feel like it has ignored the actual question though. You’ve said booing is appropriate for sports fans that are disappointed, but ignored the crux of the question. I think INDIVIDUAL is the key word. That’s the part you’ve ignored.
It’s an interesting piece that discusses philosophies, but it doesn’t quite answer the question, nor does it really justify when it is appropriate to boo. The question is whether you should in this specific example. I can’t really tell you what your answer is, and that’s a problem.
This was solid. All of your points are valid, and you also addressed the opposition viewpoint and dismissed it quite well by pointing it out as counterproductive, but also using the team as whole argument.
The examples were quite strong. While the Allardyce one isn’t ideal because no one man was being booed (although you could argue they were booing Allardyce, I suppose). The LeBron example seems similar, which means you could maybe have found better ones. At the same time, it does feed into your argument.
The ending was clever, particularly the emphasis on team. A good way to cap off your debate and essentially sum up what it was about with a single bolded word.
Mark Noble doesn’t get a run out in many debates, so I liked his appearance.
A reference to a study (I’m assuming that’s what the missing word was) is a great example to use alongside the word of professionals. The evidence provided for positive reactions bringing positive results is great too.
I think you argued against the opposition point of view quite well, even if I don’t really like the way you pointed them as childish. I guess booing is quite a childish thing to do, but it makes your argument in turn seem a bit childish and that’s not great for you.
The examples of players suffering mental issues probably tips this with me, as well as the vigour of the debate. While you formed a similar point of view as the previous debater, I think yours is a more engaging debate, and thus you’re my pick.
I really enjoyed reading this and I was genuinely disappointed when I finally decided that I can’t award it the win. The reason is that you focused entirely on general booing and barely touched the second part of the question regarding “if it means securing the exit of an under performing individual?” I thought you were going to go into it when you started talking about Toni Kroos, but then you just kinda waffled on a bit and mentioned a few more people who had been booed without going into detail about their situations. The question was indeed about booing, but the “if” in the question specifies a particular kind of booing, which you didn’t make any arguments for, only this line at the end: “…but if a certain person from within is poisoning it, we do invariably, like the big brother, assume responsibility for the purge.” Some more expansion on fans booing to get rid of a player rather than stuff about general team support etc would have put this massively in contention for the win.
This was very well written and I can’t criticise the writing craft in any way, but it’s not a winner in my eyes because the scope was just too narrow. You pretty much made one point – that booing a player is detrimental to the team as a whole – and you demonstrated the same point in a variety of ways. Now, while you absolutely explained this element better than when the same point was made in Baxter's debate, your opponent expanded his scope and explored other relevant avenues. As a piece of writing, it would be difficult to award you a loss, but as a debate, there just wasn’t enough arguments made to give you a win over Baxter.
I’m not entirely sure why, but I felt like this debate was being shouted at me from start to finish. There was an urgency and passion about it, and it read well enough all the way through. I think Goku was actually a better piece of writing, but you nailed the debate side of things by including a wider variety of reasons and arguing them each in turn. As I said before, Pratchett argued the point about booing being detrimental to a team better than you, but that’s possibly because he dedicated most of his debate to it. You also spent time focused on the second part of the question, which I believe to be vital to answering it correctly. This wasn’t just a question about booing, but specifically booing to secure the exit of an underperforming player. It wouldn’t have mattered if all three of you had ignored that bit, but the fact that you didn’t scored you points imo.
Winner via Unanimous Decision - Baxter (+5 Points)
2nd Place = Pratchett (+2 Points)
3rd Place = Goku (-1 Point)
SPCDRI vs RAB vs GothicBohemian Are humans capable of living peacefully without government?
Spoiler for Debates:
SPCDRI NO. HUMANS ARE INCAPABLE OF LIVING PEACEABLY WITHOUT GOVERNMENT.
1. The World Is Far Too Populous and Interconnected To Live Without Governments
There are more than 7 billion people on Earth today. To deal with all of these people, governments were formed to police, protect and organize. It is difficult to conceive what would take the place of current governments with a population this large. Perhaps it would be a rallied police or military force, which would lead to the unconscionable way of life of a military or police dictatorship. Even large multi-national corporations would be insufficient to fill the needs of 7 billion people and if they were to take over, would simply lead to governments not by and of the people but by and over corporations. This question must be answered by people who think that mankind can live peaceably without government: How can SEVEN BILLION people remain ungoverned?
2. The Threats Are Worse Than Ever And The Stakes Are Higher Than Ever Before
The state of weaponry and modern warfare has advanced tremendously in the past 200 years. Now it is fairly easy for people to get access to body armor, fully automatic weaponry and high explosives. Without a government with a major police force and military, people would be at the mercies of well-trained militaries and organized crime. Now that we are in the Atomic Age and the Computer Age, any group that got a hold of nuclear weaponry or hacked into enough infrastructures could take over nations. Governments are the only force capable of combating these fearsome threats. The world is not a peaceful place, as evidenced by the millions of crimes that occur every year even under competent governments with well-trained and armed police forces. Without them, the world would devolve into a bloodthirsty power struggle between privately armed groups and organized crime.
3. Strong Ideological Differences Ensure That The World Cannot Peaceably Exist Without Government
Without a strong government, coups and battles between strongly competing ideologies like capitalism and communism, democracy and dictatorship, would rage incessantly. One of the major things that prevent the world from existing peaceably without government is religious extremists. One look at an ISIS beheading video should be all you need to see that the world cannot live peaceably without government. In going with the first 2 points, the population increase and the easy access to weaponry that can threaten entire nations such as biological warfare agents, nuclear weaponry and cyber terrorism dominance, it would be very easy for a motivated group of terrorists to take control of countries and even entire regions. Terrorism necessitates a coordinated and potent government response with large and powerful militaries. The incompatibility of human thought with other human thought (for instance, non-Muslims and Muslims moderates and religious lunatics who crave bloodthirsty conquest in their jihads) means that the world can never be truly at peace. Since the world can never be politically or religiously in total harmony, governments are therefore needed to prevent political and religious extremists from seizing the reins of power
4. Natural Disasters Necessitate the Existence of Strong Governments to Keep The Peace
Look at how chaotic and anarchic natural disasters can cause people to become. In the United States, a nation with a competent and strong government and an immensely strong police and military force, something like Hurricane Katrina quickly devolved into panicked looting punctuated with gang rapes and murders. In any sort of natural disaster, crime would run rampant without government intervention keeping it from spiraling totally out of control. Natural disasters need not be confined to things such as hurricanes and earthquakes, however. Mother Nature can kill people in a myriad of horrifying fashions.
In 2014, Ebola is ravaging Africa with hundreds of thousands of cases said to be reported or covered up. Even with strong government intervention, people are predicting as many as 1.4 million people could be killed by this disease. Without governance, the death toll could be truly apocalyptic, wiping out entire countries and threatening the entire continent of Africa and with people with the disease violating quarantines, potentially the entire world. What is the response meant to be without coordinated and dedicated government intervention? What do the anarcho-peaceniks have to offer in the case of pandemic?
5. A Lack of Government Threatens The Most Vulnerable
The population increase now means that many people are unemployed and face severe difficulties in feeding, clothing and sheltering themselves. The unfortunates, tens of millions of them in the U.S. alone, would struggle to simply survive. Without quick, coordinated government response, natural disasters could threaten hundreds of millions of people with homelessness, disease, starvation and death. No agencies exist that can provide aid at home and abroad to these desperately vulnerable people.
GothicBohemian Can Humans Live Peacefully Without Government?
Before tackling the question at hand, two definitions are needed; what is peaceful life and what is government. A cursory glance at human civilization, from historical record to modern society, shows no evidence of any State sustained ‘peace’, as defined as an absence of conflict. Even in such rare instances where dissention is assumed non-disruptive within the immediate tribe, disagreement at the familial level and internal turmoil continue. We humans simply cannot come together in universal agreement without a percentage of us feeling unfairly coerced into conformity. For the sake of discussion – else this would be a single word debate – I propose to define peace as freedom to pursue enjoyment absent a constant fear of attack without recourse.
And what is government? Is it a Hobbesian covenant wherein we trade the right to all things in favour of laws and punishments defined by an authoritarian sovereign? A Confucian system of etiquette, static roles and leadership as the benevolent father providing security via force, provision of basic needs and virtuous guidance? Or perhaps there should be no national boundaries but rather Proudhon’s cooperative market trade between autonomous “free communes” with no mind to military or moral direction? Political philosophy has many schools of thought but, for simplicity, let’s condense them into two contrasting methodological approaches:
1. Individualists - The individual as politically and ethically sacrosanct 2. Holists - The individual as member of a group (family, community, tribe, state)
And two basic frameworks:
1. Political Rationalism - advocates logic and reason over cultural or personal prejudices (Rationalism is often criticized as proactively western) 2. Political Irrationalism - favours the wisdom of subculture, heritage and intuition
Admittedly, this is a crude outline, but it better serves the purposes of this debate than would an analysis of Conservatism versus Classical or Social Democratic Liberalism versus Socialism, Anarchy or any further philosophical division. For now, the commonalities they share are more important than the differences.
A government is, essentially, an agreed upon system of rules by which each citizen is free to play. The extent of these rules, the intent behind them and which rules we embrace or reject is what divides us politically and thus has no relevance to the debate question posed.
With definitions for peace and government in hand, the necessity of the latter to the former can be examined. This brings us back to the methodological individualists and holists; is humanity by nature solitary or social and does either inclination influence our need for consensual rules of behaviour?
Are we naturally peaceful, harmless and solitary, living by choice in isolation but with an innate sense of pity that saves us from a desire to commit harm, forced into social cooperation only as rising populations stress once-abundant resources? Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) believed us to be, and blamed society for instilling competition, without which we would have no need for law and punishment. As compelling an image this may be, it fails to fit into our biological reality. We are born into the family unit, or at least into the mother-child relationship, which is necessary for our survival during the early stages of development. Thus, our introduction to life centres on surrendering total trust to a more powerful individual protector or protective group.
So what motivates us to remain social once we are physically and intellectually mature? The Social Contract Theory, a cornerstone of western political philosophy, is an attempt to define both the implied contract of political and moral obligation to the State and why we choose to integrate into society. At the heart of most Social Contract theories is property; what constitutes it, how ownership is defined and the protection of individual ownership. If we assume humanity to be motivated by pleasure and pain, self-interest, greed and survival – as did Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and Hsün-tzu (ca. 312–230 BC) – then it follows reason that we would willingly choose to live under a system of law backed by state authorized force to protect ourselves and our accumulated property, however we define it, from each other rather than struggle in a world of unchecked chaos.
But what if we are not guided solely by self-interest? Is there any evidence that we are without the capacity to reason what is in our own best interests absent the threat of punishment? No, nor does it matter. Instead, we should ask are we able to apply reason to the exclusion of irrational behaviour?
David Gauthier (b.1932) thinks so. He describes us as each having access to our own share of abilities and provisions. While these may be unequal shares, we are each able to better our situation via agreements. Since we are rational beings, we respect our agreements without a need for outside reinforcement. Is he right? That’s unclear; his theory utilises The Prisoner’s Dilemma, wherein we act out of a combination of self-interest and distrust of everyone else. While self-constraint to maintain peace is possible in theory, it doesn’t account for the irrationality of human behaviour. We are not John Rawls’ (1921—2002) impartial observers; we act counter to our best interests when influenced by each other. Unless we remain isolated we cannot expect to be left untouched by the whims of our neighbours, and without security there is no peace of mind.
If living peacefully is pursuing happiness free of fear, and if government is a framework of rules that we choose to follow, and if we accept humans as naturally social beings, sharing resources, who are inherently self-preservationist and susceptible to influence yet rational, therefore fearful of the self-interested and irrational motives of others, then government in some form is essential to provide psychological comfort, without which there can be no peace.
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan. C.B Macpherson (Editor), London: Penguin Books, 1985
Plato, Republic, (Trans. G.M.A. Grube, Revised by C.D.C. Reeve) Hackett Publishing Company, 1992
David Gauthier , Morals by Agreement, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986
P -J Proudhon; Stewart Edwards; Paul Avrich Collection (Library of Congress), Selected writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Garden City, N.Y. : Anchor Books, 1969
Henry S. Richardson and Paul J. Weithman, eds., The Philosophy of Rawls (5 vols.), Garland, 1999
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discours sur l’origine et les fondments de l’inegalite (Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality), 1755.
John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought. Ed. Peter Laslett, CUP: Cambridge, 1997
John Rawls, Political Liberalism, Columbia University Press, 1993
RAB “Are humans capable of living peacefully without government?”
The relevant Oxford dictionary definition for ‘peaceful’ is “not involving war or violence”. Therefore, humans are absolutely NOT capable of living peacefully without government.
FIRST THING’S FIRST
Governments across the globe try and keep their people safe by enforcing laws which intend to prevent certain things from happening, for example: assault and murder. However, assault and murder, both terrible acts of violence, happen multiple times in each country every single day. If humans are incapable of being peaceful even when there are preventative measures, such as the consequence of jail time and in some countries, execution, in place to stop them, then it is nigh on impossible to even entertain the thought of humans being able to live peacefully in THIS way without government. Sometimes it is argued that people stop doing certain things when the things stop being illegal because they lose the ‘buzz’ from it, but this is not the case with violent acts. Violent acts don’t happen because it’s illegal to be violent, violent acts happen because human nature means that some humans react violently to some situations. You can take the government away, which also takes the laws away, but you can’t take away the reasons people get violent away. For example: a man finds his wife sleeping with another man, and, in anger, begins to beat the man. You can take the law which makes this beating illegal away, but it still doesn’t change human nature and emotion. The violence still happens, government or no government.
BUT WHAT ABOUT LESS FORMAL, ‘ETIQUETTE’ TYPE “LAWS”?
Ah, yes. You could argue that in a world without governments, humans would devise their own ‘social etiquettes’ which would mean that acts of violence and general acts breaching peace are frowned upon. Let’s face the facts here. Humans still KILL each other knowing that they could be sentenced to death as a result. They’re not going to stop killing or even attacking each other just because they’ll garner a few disapproving looks and a bad reputation within their respective community. It is because of this that it is absolutely conclusive that humans are NOT capable of living peacefully without governments.
I’ve already answered the question clearly because even if humans were able to adhere to the other part of the definition of peace: without war, then they’d still fall foul to the part which says they should be able to live without violence, but I shall run through the possibility of humans living without war in a world without governments for the sake of covering all bases.
Originally Posted by A.J.P Taylor
“No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic.”
This quote, by esteemed historian Alan John Percivale Taylor, explains perfectly why war would still occur even if no form of government existed. If we take the political “reasons” out of the equation (these political reasons are the ones given by governments and regimes who start wars) and scratch under the surface it will not take long to discover an underlying reason which is economic. I have reiterated this point because the economic reasons for war are usually things which would lead to the (usually) financial gain of the winning side.
This is nothing to do with the actual function of the government.
The only part the government has in this is voting (or in less democratic companies, simply declaring) to go to war. The rest, on the attacking side, is all about greed. Whether it’s about oil, land or general power it’s very rare to find a war where one side is attacking the other solely because of a political dispute. Because of this, it is possible to say that even if governments did not exist and political agendas did not exist as they currently do, there would still be war; because they are fought, somewhere down the line, for gain.
It is possible to argue that without governments there would be no need for war because it is governments that initiate war, but without governments, humanity would still use oil, land and people, so without governments humanity would still fight for oil, land and people.
AHH, BUT WHAT ABOUT ‘MORE PEACEFULLY’?
The only other argument left to argue is this, because no matter what, it is conclusive that it is quite literally impossible for humans to live peacefully without government.
You could indeed argue that without governments that humanity would be able to live more peacefully than they live with governments, but that isn’t what the question at hand is asking. The question asks if humans can live “peacefully”… not “peacefully to some extent” or “to a degree of peacefulness”. Until the day comes when humans no longer have anger, sadness, envy, greed, materialistic values and a number of other traits which contribute to violent crimes and acts of war then there will be no state of absolute peace in the world.
Let’s have a quick rundown of why humans are incapable of living peacefully without governments.
• Peace means without violence or war.
• Humans are already incapable of living peacefully even with governments (and the laws they enforce to try and keep the peace)
• Even certain death does not deter some humans from breaching the peace.
• War is waged, by the attacker, mainly for gain. The eradication of governments does not eradicate the greed of humankind.
• Eradication of governments also does not eradicate the need for humans to possess resources such as oil and land.
So there we have it.
Spoiler for Judging Cards:
I like the format here. Your overall five points seem really solid. I liked that you brought up the amount of people in the world. I’m questioning the choices made it the argument though. Mainly, isn’t a dictatorship technically a type of government? I mean, I get that it’s hard to find examples of governmentless areas, but I don’t think that helped. I guess it didn’t hurt. It feels kind of moot I guess. Your point about there being too many people rings true though. I just wish you had a tad better examples here.
This next point is really solid. Technology has certainly improved. It can be dangerous too. I have no issues with this paragraph. So good job. Point three is really good too. Pointing out different ideologies and even ISIS is good and current. It helps to mention hot topics like that as examples IMO. I really can’t find any faults with this paragraph either. It’s really good and does a great job proving the points you previously made too.
Point four is great too. A little thing I’m beginning to notice here is a lack of sources. I don’t think that’s too big a deal as I believe most of the stuff you are saying is true as I think I’ve read most of this stuff. However, sources will help solidify your point and prove that you are telling the truth. Try to make sure you add those next time, especially if you use some points that are more questionable. Like I would love to see the Ebola prediction source. That would really help IMO. Overall, the examples and writing in this point is fine, just cite please. Point five feels kind of light. I don’t know how else to explain it. Maybe it’s just missing something. I don’t know. I feel like it could have been looped in with points three and four as some of it felt like it should have belonged there.
Overall, solid debate. Not a lot wrong with it.
Ok, I’m not usually one to fuss too much about picking your choice at the beginning, but it kind of gave me a headache trying to figure out what you were saying at first. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just having issues. I see that you picked the no side, but it almost felt like pulling teeth to find it.
Now if this were a school textbook, I’d really like that one went out of your way and defined the types of government and stuff. However, as educational as it may be, it wasn’t very convincing towards any point. It feels kind of wasted. Really, I think you would have been a little better off just skipping to what government is and explaining why we can’t live without government. I dunno, maybe I’m just being picky to be picky.
Now you do have some good gems in here. I liked the point you made about us being born into dependency. That was strong and the mother/child relationship point really helped. The next point about Social Contract Theory was good too.
Once again though, I’m struggling to find you outright just answering the question. I honestly cannot tell if that last paragraph is grammatically correct or if it is just one long run-on sentence. Really, just come right out and say it if we can’t live without any form of government. No long if’s, and if’s, and then’s. It’s not very convincing if you have to put a bunch of provisions on it. I mean, you caan make it fancy if you want, but at the end of the day, you have to convince me that your point is right, and it’s hard to be convinced if there are a lot of requirements for your point to be right. Maybe the other judges like this. I just didn’t. Sorry.
Overall, I think you had some solid points with some real gems in here. My issue is that it didn’t feel all that convincing. It was a great essay though.
Defining your interpretation of the question and pointing out your stance. See, this is all you really need.
I like your point in the first paragraph. Humans aren’t violent to be illegal. They are violent because that’s who they are. I liked your example by saying that taking away the law won’t make someone kill a man for sleeping with his wife. Solid here.
I like how you re-added your stance here and essentially saying your debate could have ended here. The point that people will still kill even with the threat of a death penalty helps your point that no laws wouldn’t change a thing. I like it.
You were pretty convincing about the whole without peace argument. The war one is pretty good too. I like the quote and how you point out that it all comes down to greed. Really, your examples of land, oli, etc are really good here too. I like the line that you say even without politics and government, there’d still be war as people will fight for gain. Good stuff here.
Finally, I like the language choice here. “Quite literally impossible” is really strong. It gets right to the point as well. This final point about more peacefully is a good counter too. You’re right. That’s not what the question is asking. The summary here at the end is good too. I like the bullet points.
So there. I really can’t find anything wrong with this. Good job.
DECISION: All three debates were good. So here’s my choices for standings with the reasons:
1st: RAB. I had zero faults with this. There was a ton of convincing points and language and you answered the question perfectly.
2nd: SPCDRI. Very few faults here. The biggest reason I didn’t pick you to win overall is that I feel points 1 and 5 were a tad weak. If you would have combined 5 with the others and used a slightly better example for point 1, then I think you would have been the most convincing here.
3rd: GothicBohemian. It was a great essay, but I wasn’t very convinced. You’re writing is fantastic though. It just needs a little bit more persuasive language. That and try to get to the point a little quicker.
Your opening is solid, and tough to really pick apart. The rhetorical question at the end of it concludes your argument there emphatically.
Some of the statements in your second area are a little broad without any sort of links / references. Is it "easy" for me to get fully automatic weapons and explosives? I wouldn't know where to start... but if an article detailed how this is a real concern, then I could be swayed a little more.
I would've liked to see more focus on the Katrina aftermath that you raise in your fourth area. Basically, instances that show what humans are capable of in times of a perceived authority vaccuum. No one watching over us? INSTA-VIOLENCE! I thought this was a great example. The ebola example was also effective, showing the importance of governmental organization in handling this type of issue.
Overall, a solid debate. The biggest issue I have is its length, topping out at 794 words, which is well short of the 1000 word max and leaves your entry feeling not quite as complete as the other two.
I thought this was a truly unique approach in that you TRIED to make the question more difficult on yourself, and still refuted the notion that humans could live peacefully without government.
The debate gets a little long-winded at times, in terms of setting up your definition of government in particular. Ultimately, I think you get to the right spot, but it is indeed a trek to get there.
I enjoyed how you broke down both a self-interest and mutal agreement approach, ending up at the same answer as you posited above. An enjoyable debate to read.
This was a solid debate, no real issues. You define your stance out of the gate, and answer the question in the first couple paragraphs. However, I felt that this was a much narrower view / direction on the topic than what we see in GothicBohemian's debate.
Seriously, I don't really have any critiques here aside from the fact that GothicBohemian seemed a little more thorough in covering the argument completely. The summary at the end was a nice way to review your points, and the closing line reminded me of a little someone I know. A solid entry.
GothicBohemian was the most thorough answer to the question, so it wins my vote. SPCDRI was the lightest in terms of content so, although it was very well done, it my pick for third. Second place goes to a very capable RAB.
I'm filling in for WOOLCOCK on this my feedback will be brief and focused on why you won/lost.
SPCDRI - I thought this was good but also fairly basic. Honestly it felt like a first draft of a debate which needed turning from expanded notes into a proper debate. Your points are solid but they lack any real persuasion. Remember you're trying to convince the reader that you're right and the choice of language is a key tool in doing this. Also I'm not keen on debates with no introduction or conclusion. You can maybe get away with just a statement of your stance for an intro but I think a conclusion is a necessity to summarise and wrap your debate up. Ending just at the end of a point feels sudden and pretty poorly planned. So yeah solid but needed that final bit of editing to make it into a strong debate rather than just a fundamentally solid debate.
GothicBohemian - This reads very much like an academic piece of work which is good to a certain extent but imo you'll face the difficulty of facing debates which make similar points but worded to be better suited to the target audience for these debates. I'm trying to word this cautiously because I don't want to read like I'm asking you to change your writing approach to these debates but maybe consider who your reading audience is a little more with your presentation of your points. If you write a debate with an idea of who will be reading it then it will help you imo. Other than that I don't have any other criticisms of this. Your approach to it defining the key terms in the debate and then building your arguments on that was very well done. If anything you maybe went too in depth on the first part because I felt you suffered a little by not being able to present as many points as RAB did.
RAB - Really strong debate. You basically take most of SPCDRI's approach but make it more convincing to your stance. What all three of you needed to do imo was show the difference that governments currently make and then argue your points that exist even with them in place and show how removing this element of the context will make things worse (or not improve). There's all this content regarding governments and humans living peacefully that has happened yet nobody really seemed to capitalise on that and were all more assuming the future with their arguments. Use the now to bolster your prediction too. I know this is aimed more at SPCDRI's debate but it's relevant to all, take the Ebola argument for example and show how Government intervention is minimising the negative effect of that and then show how by removing this things only get worse. Back to your debate RAB, structurally and language wise it's great. Arguments are tight too. I don't think the last point was needed as you even admit yourself it's not what the question asks. If it's not what the question asks then you don't need to devote them many words to it if any. Bullet point conclusion I thought worked well for you. This wins by being the most convincing debate in simple terms. GothicBohemian comes second because of the structure of her debate.
1st = RAB
2nd = GothicBohemian
3rd = SPCDRI
Winner via Split Decision - RAB (+5 Points)
2nd Place = GothicBohemian (+2 Points)
3rd Place = SPCDRI (-1 Point)
Rigby vs DestrosSecret vs Bearodactyl Should the artistic work of people later discovered to be paedophiles be forgotten forever or continued to be relatively celebrated on artistic merit?
Spoiler for Debates:
Art is the way humans express themselves, to connect with one another, to acknowledge the bonds of human nature that tie us together. Not all art is celebrated though; a work of art that reveals our most repulsive human traits is often rejected as an aspersion. However, there's another type of art that threatens our sense of humanity even more so: Exceptional works of art crafted by repulsive individuals.
Michael Jackson honed his craft for decades, achieving unparalleled universal acclaim for his highly expressive hit songs. Shown above, with the aptly titled "Human Nature", Jackson delves into that sense of wonder that drives our discovery and expression. The culmination is a break of silence filled by the raucous applause of the crowd, allowing the sea of humanity to provide the music. This track from Thriller, the best selling album of all times, showcases Jackson as a master of human expression.
This made it all the more disturbing when in 1993 he became accused of being a pedophile who sexually abused young boys. He was never formally charged and would later be acquitted when further charges were brought against him, but his name, and his art, are still tied to pedophilia. If this was true, and he was a pedophile, what should this mean for his art? Should it be forgotten forever? Eschewed from history like a page torn out of a book? That's an utterly ridiculous idea.
Intentionally omitting art from our consciousness because of objectionable traits of the artist undermines the core purpose of art.
Look at what in particular we're using as a sole criterion: Pedophilia. A pedophile is someone with the capacity to exhibit sexual attraction towards children young than approximately 13. Entirely involuntarily, most often non-exclusive, and not necessarily child abuse. This added dimension to a personality leaves it with a unique perspective of our humanity, for better or worse. The art that results from this new perspective can enhance our understanding of our own humanity and our understanding of pedophilia as a disorder. You cannot hope to enhance our understanding of our collective selves if you draw lines denying access to certain aspects of humanity. It's a fact that our humanity has the capacity for pedophilia; putting our fingers in our ears and refusing to acknowledge its existence won't cease it from existing.
Refusing to acknowledge the existence of these works of art will also hinder our understanding of historic artistic development. Having started as a soul singer for Motown Records, Jackson's career highlights all the trends from the '60s to the '80s in black pop music as he helped popularize and innovate it. "Thriller" legitimized the music video as an artform. "Smooth Criminal" made "moonwalking" a cultural mainstay to this day. He is integral to understanding pop music in these eras. The material is so omnipresent and ubiquitous with this period that this obfuscation of all of it would draw extra attention to Michael Jackson and his supposed pedophilia, defeating the purpose of obscuring it.
This censorship of Jackson's music would have to extend to other eras and genres, as many artists have borrowed, sampled, covered, collaborated, and so on with his material. Hip-hop would be devastated once Nas' classic Illmatic has the track "It Ain't Hard To Tell" stripped out of it in order to spite Jackson's supposed pedophilia. N.W.A.'s "100 Miles and Runnin", famous for including a diss of former N.W.A. member Ice Cube, would be another song compromised and lost forever. Kanye West's epic "Runaway" music video features a giant sculpture and numerous lyrics quoting or celebrating Michael Jackson, so you'd have to hide those too. Gorillaz referenced the "Thriller" dance in their music video for "Clint Eastwood", so that video couldn't be shown anymore either.
All-in-all, there are at least 876 songs that sample Michael Jackson that would also have to be torn out of history.
Michael Jackson is only one of many artists whose works would leave unimaginable gaps in the history of modern art and pop culture. The accomplishments of Roman Polanski (Chinatown), whose directing work has influenced the Coen brothers (Fargo), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), and Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street), would rob the developments of these other directors of context. Countless sports broadcasts would have to be edited to remove Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll" from the stadium, compromising the atmosphere of historical sporting events. Dozens of important and influential industrial and noise bands, from Whitehouse to Throbbing Gristle, won't be able to provide vital context for the UK counterculture of the '70s and '80s.
That's barely scratching the surface of the scope of what's being proposed here. Looking throughout history, numerous cultures employed pederasty as a cultural norm. Many men living in Japan from the 11th century to the 19th century engaged in pederasty; going through those periods, most of the art produced by men would have to be destroyed and forgotten. Any art by depicting these sexual relationships, including novels such as The Tale of Genji, one of the very first novels ever written, must be destroyed to be truly forgotten forever. The only remaining perspectives would be from women; Sociologists who ever hoped to understand these cultures would be shit outta luck.
Similar attempts to censor art due to the objectionable nature of the art of the artists has occurred in the past, we know how it will look in the future when others look back on a manufactured mystique caused by reckless censorship. The 1917 film Cleopatra is a prime example; with the film destroyed due to religious objection, all we have is ignorance in its void.
You don't have to enjoy or appreciate any of this art; you can even detest this art. But the second you begin obscuring art permanently, you're blinding us to the very thing that art is supposed to allow us to see clearly, our human nature.
To adequately answer the question of if the the artistic work of people later discovered to be paedophiles should be forgotten forever or continued to be relatively celebrated on artistic merit, one has to break it down into two seperate and essential parts:
1) Should the artistic work of people that have done something incredibly bad or wrong be ignored?
2) Does being a paedophile by definition make you fall into that category?
The first part of the main question I ask to answer the question that is clearly at the heart of this debate, the second to enable us to answer the question in its most literal sense.
Eventually, as I answer both these questions with a resounding “no”, you will join me in coming to the conclusion that despite their highly unpopular outlook on sexuality, the artwork of “outed” paedophiles should by and large be treated the same as the artwork of their non-paedophilic peers.
Does wrongdoing negate achievement?
Chris Benoit did something some might consider a bit of a no-no. You remember Benoit, right? One of only four men to have held the big gold belt in both WCW and WWE?
Well then maybe you started watching the WWE somewhere after 2007, when Benoit’s existence was erased from all WWE records after he was found to have murdered his wife and children, killing himself in the process. It would seem that Vince (McMahon) clearly feels that Benoit’s actions were so despicable that he should never be lauded, let alone mentioned, in the same breath as the WWE again.
The fact that this shunning of the Benoit persona is so universally ridiculed by wrestling fans across the globe, not to mention the fact that this is the one and only massive example of such a blatant attempt to forget something (or in this case someone) ever happening except for maybe the Armenian genocide (hell, are we even sure that REALLY happened?), and even though looking back there have been plenty of artists that because of their behaviour to some extent could’ve been treated somewhat the same but weren’t (Jimmy Page, Woody Allen come to mind), to me already says it all vis-à-vis the primary question being asked here and the general concensus on the matter.
More to the point however, when my esteemed opponents in this debate are sitting at home listening to their respective Justin Bieber CD’s, they’re not doing so because they think Bieber’s such a swell guy (at least I would hope not), they’re doing it because they have shit taste in music. They’re not listening to Chris Brown because they think hitting women is okay, and they’re definitely not bobbing their heads to Kanye because despite of his fame he’s just stayed so damn humble. You’re honouring/enjoying/respecting the work, not the person and certainly not all their lifechoices. It’s okay to say “that one guy really made a beautiful song/statue/diving headbutt and belongs in the historybooks.. but we should probably mention that he was a bit of a dick too”. This effectively answers our first question with a big, fat “no”.
Haven’t convinced you yet though? Well how about we turn things around in order to point out the folly of this train of thought? What if a really good person made a crappy piece of artwork? Ugliest painting in history. Would it ever get critical acclaim just because the painter happened to save someone from drowning one time, or was a really good father? No, right? Because their painting was still shit. Proving once and for all that art and artist are two seperate things entirely. Claiming otherwise is hypocrisy.1
Does being a paedophile make you a bad person?
So lets check out the specific topic of paedophilia to answer our secondary question. Paedophilia, in the ICD-10 (International statistical classification of diseases), is defined as a "disorder of adult personality and behaviour in which there is a sexual preference for children of prepubertal or early pubertal age”.2 It is a PSYCHIATRIC DISORDER, and thus hardly anyone’s fault. You don’t get hooked on childporn if you’re not already a paedophile. It’s not a choice to become one, nor can it realistically speaking be prevented.
Thus, being a paedophile in and of itself doesn’t make someone a bad person. You’re born with those urges, and much like being gay that’s hardly something you can easily run from. The big difference with homosexuality being that although there’s obviously no problem with two consenting male adults getting physical with eachother it’s never ok, not under any circumstances, to act on those sexual urges if you’re a paedophile. But (and this is a JLo-sized but) nowhere in the original statement does it imply that these paedophiles being discovered have ever or would ever act on their sexual urges. If they’ve always repressed these urges because they realise full well that acting on them isn’t a morally justifiable option, then why would we condemn them for it? It all comes down to an easily made mistake in interpretation: people read paedophile but think childmolester, even though those two terms aren’t interchangeable. 3
It’s natural to want to say “fuck em” to paedophilic artists out of some kind of gutfeeling. But although most if not all childmolesters are/think of themselves as paedophiles, not all paedophiles are actually childmolesters or even enable such behaviour through sharing of multimedia. A blanket ruling here is clearly in no way, shape or form warranted, as it would also negatively effect those that have always resisted their urges and fought with their nature because they knew it was the right thing to do.
Not to mention the fact that as I have proven earlier, art and artist are not the same and should therefore not be treated as such.
And if you think about it, is being forgotten really a bigger punishment than getting called out on your missteps every time your artistic work is being talked about?
Should the artistic work of people later discover to be paedophiles be forgotten forever or continued to be relatively celebrated on artistic merit?
Simply put, art is an achievement of society. We celebrate the arts as it is, in a way, a celebration of ourselves and what we have achieved as society, from the religious paintings of the renaissance to the post-modern art movement growing out of the age of information. Most of us a far away from the champagne and cocktail parties or blasting £45 million on a painting, but we all are aware of, what we consider 'good and bad' art, and it generally comes down to whether we can gauge its meaning. Indeed the main critic of the modern art movement is that it doesn't have an over arching philosophy that is relateble to the masses. What you will see, if you look back over the history of art, is that art movements tend to encompass regions and time periods with little overlap, with the exception of 'fringe art', as they are how we idolise certain historical frames. The question is that if we accept that mainstream art movements are a reflection of the society in which they develop, can we accept work of those how compete with the mainstream vision or outright break or work against the interests of that community.
We need to remove the label of paedophile for this argument as someone who is sexually attracted to prepubescent children, and take a much wider definition, as them being a group of people who actively break one of the fundamental rules of the society they identify with. The reason for doing this is so we can draw parallels with alternative 'degenerates' and their place in their respective art movements and the development of the fringe. It would be unfair, for example, to compare artists banned by the Nazi or Soviet states in the same light as paedophiles, but if discussing the properties they possess it allows us to delve into the role of the degenerate.
The nazi art movement took pains to unite itself with the Greek and Roman traditions as they we're seen as uncontaminated by the Jewish community. Jewish art was seen as at odds with the German nation as they believed it held the characteristics of an inferior race, characteristics that were ultimately decided by the upper end of the Nazi Society. The reason for bringing this up, is that its the strongest, and, if not, most blatant example, of art movements, by having a philosophy or being seen as a representative of a community, are hierarchical in nature where acceptance of art is based on preconceived notions. This is, essentially, where the idea of the 'struggling artist' comes from, artists who went against the grain, or where to forward thinking for their time were, and are, forgotten as they don't fit in with the overriding philosophy the movement is trying to progress. A great example being El Greco, who inspired the cubist movement, but was ridiculed in his own life time or Van Gogh who sold one painting in his life time. Later on, when the movement dies and others develop, these artists inspire new art movements when they can be adapted into new philosophies. The point in this line of argument is to show that art movements are hierarchical, and have a history of pushing those who challenge a set philosphy aside. Now Van Gogh and El Greco were later accepted into new movements as new artists became influenced by them.
Paedophiles, however, are degenerates who, hopefully, will never have a mainstream following and any accepting art movement will more than likely take a hit to its philosophical base if it was to accept that a paedophile could be a productive member of its group. In the past, many famous artists were degenerates and a lot suffered serious mental health issues, however, in today's world, with the expansion of information, the public is more aware of what a paedophile is and is much more likely to abandon a movement that is seen to harbour them. If art is a representative of a society, then those labelled degenerates have no place within the movement and in that case, its within the boundaries of the art scene to abandon 'degenerate' art in order to secure its place as the mainstream movement.
So does this mean paedophiles can't draw pretty pictures? No. Hitler painted, but is unlikely to be credited as an artist, not only because he was terrible, (Like 'Oh my God' bad http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...d-auction.html) but because there was a much more relatable facet of their life which took precedence over any pictures that he 'drew'. With the expansion of information, the characteristics possessed of the paedophile far outweigh any other talents that they may try and push into the mainstream, so its in the best interest of everyone, to push the degenerate away, into the realms of the 'fringe', and ignore any talents they may have to better allow art to serve as the reflection of the society it developed.
Spoiler for Judging Cards:
The Lady Killer
Rigby = I thought this was pretty well written. Michael Jackson being a microcosm of your argument was well-structured, though MJ was accused of child molestation, which Bearodactyl and DestrosSecret seemed to separate from the definition of paedophilia. All in all, your support was relevant and convincing. A good debate.
Bearodactyl = I thought this was very good. It had a lot of personality and I felt you did a superb job of breaking down the question and separating paedophilia (being akin to homosexuality) from child molestation. I also liked the Bieber/Kanye paragraph and the following paragraph when you turn that point on its head and ask if a shit work of art compiled by a good person should be revered as good. Nicely done here.
DestrosSecret = I wish you would've stated you stance right off the bat - do you ever actually directly state it? There were also a lot of spelling/grammar errors that took away from my reading experience. I think you focused a bit too much on one aspect of art (painting/drawing) and it made your debate seem narrow. I also think there could've been more attention paid to counterarguments.
Sorry if these comments seem rushed, but I know everyone is waiting on this last debate.
1st = Bearodactyl
2nd = Rigby
3rd = DestrosSecret
When I first started reading, I thought your use of Michael Jackson as your primary example was going to fall flat. I had all these thoughts about how the charges against him were dropped etc, but I couldn’t help but smile as you dealt with each of my doubts in turn. Your explanations of the various elements and effects of ignoring art by paedophiles just got stronger and stronger as the debate went on. Focusing on music really helped your stance and the way you approached the debate as it’s an art form that just cannot be ignored once it has already had its influence. I really enjoyed the parts about art representing our humanity and each piece of art contributing in its own way to our understanding of ourselves. The focus you put on the actual real time effect of ignoring/deleting/banning etc works of art by paedophiles was especially good too. Your referencing the historical art that would be affected by such as notion as presented in the debate question was also well on point.
All these things I mentioned above led to this debate blowing the others out of the water. I read them all through quickly when I first received them and went and posted that I thought this could be a MOTN contender, though in hindsight I think that was a hangover from reading just this debate. No criticisms whatsoever, and I liked your craft in the way you tied in the video at the beginning to your final line.
The part that says, “What if a really good person made a crappy piece of artwork? Ugliest painting in history. Would it ever get critical acclaim just because the painter happened to save someone from drowning one time, or was a really good father?” was a really good point that none of your opponents picked up on. It was a great way to flip the debate question on its head while remaining 100% relevant.
The bit where you state paedophilia to be a psychiatric disorder stumbled at first when you said it’s something they are born with, as I’m not sure that is true as it seems to be more nurture than nature. That’s a debate by itself I suppose, but it could have helped to link to a scientific journal or something that agreed with your statement. However, you rescued the section by drawing a comparison with those who have the urges but don’t act on them. The point about the difference between paedophiles and child molesters was excellent and added a lot of depth to your debate. This is a really good example of exploiting the wording of the debate question to your advantage.
I did think the first part of the debate, with the two-pronged question bit, was a tad unnecessary and didn’t really advance any of the points you went on to make. I get what you were trying to do, but it didn’t really deliver the impact I think you intended.
I found this a little confusing to be honest. For most of the debate, I thought you were arguing that art by paedophiles should continue to be celebrated on artistic merit, but then you finished on the opposite tack. I had to re-read a couple more times before I was sure of what stance you were actually taking. To be honest, I’m still not 100%.
You definitely had a good idea here by focusing on the art side of things and delving into its history, but the execution was a little sloppy in some places and all over the place in others. Your broadening of the question to incorporate all degenerates was excellent, but ultimately the debate as a whole didn’t read as a convincing piece of persuasive writing. I like the point about the art world at large having the right to shun degenerative art, but again I had to re-read several times to fully absorb what you were trying to say.
I get the impression this was written in a hurry without much editing, which is a shame because there is obviously a very intelligent mind behind the debate. It just needed a little more care and attention to align the thought processes and arguments more coherently.
BkB Hulk Rigby:
The point of understanding what is a possible human trait is a fascinating one, and I almost wish you delved into it further. In a way, I guess it’s hard to because you have so much more you want to cover, but it’s a really interesting topic in itself.
The dismissal of paedophilia as unimportant was a bit strange, but guess it’s taking advantage of the wording of the question.
The Jacko example is a good one to use because of the sheer scope of his influence, and you showed that here. While it’s not as thought provoking as the first point, it is obviously an issue that the question raises.
The final point is again a great one, and the closing line really sums up the best points of your argument well.
“Chris Benoit did something some might consider a bit of a no-no.”
I think this is a good debate, but it falls down a bit in comparison to the first. While I don’t mind the examples with regards to Bieber and Kanye, they aren’t really as appropriate as the examples used in the last debate. Granted, they get your point across that you’re not celebrating the person themselves but rather their art, but I also think you’ve been covered by examples that maybe worked better.
The same goes for your Benoit example. While it comes about as an example due to how you’ve set out your question, the examples in the previous debate really address the topic that bit better. That hurts you, because you’ve made similar arguments.
The debate itself is quite good, and I think you’ve done a good job of arguing it. I just think it’s been done better.
This reads like you’re arguing that the message behind the art is one of paedophilia, and I feel like examples in the previous pieces point out that is obviously not the case. The movement doesn’t need to be about paedophilia, and I think that’s a major stumbling block for you.
Your other problem is you haven’t covered a whole lot of ground, rather only arguing one point for your side of the debate. This puts you behind others, who have been a bit more succinct in putting their views across.
The counters in the other debates also negate your argument more so than you do the other side. While the examples you used were very interesting, and it was an interesting point of view, I don’t think it’s really competing with the others.
Location: Golfing with Stephen Hawking, he lied about his handicap. Didn't need a golf cart though, I just sat in his lap.
re: TDL XXIII: COUNTRY WARS - THE RESULTS (Seabs/TLK & Sports Wages Debate Posted)
Impressive outing by RealManRegal once again, firmly justifying the faith shown by Seabs. Very promising entry again and definitely the most improved debater in the Wrestling Division since the last awards imo.
Debate was below my highest level, but ZOMBO's was very very good and would have severly challenged my highest level. Glad he secured the elusive win after our two singles and tag debates, very good entry and no complaints with the result. Lack of counter-arguments I can understand. I got a bit muddled with the amount of avenues to explore that I never left myself enough room to satisfactorily elaborate and shut down counters, so I focused more on trying to tighten the pro arguments as best I could to compensate. ZOMBO's breakdown of the financial figures was a great way to say a lot without exerting many words, and definitely strengthened his overall argument.
Location: Everybody's talkin' at me, I can't hear a word they're sayin', Just drivin' around in Jon Voight's car...
re: TDL XXIII: COUNTRY WARS - THE RESULTS (Seabs/TLK & Sports Wages Debate Posted)
Humbled and happy to have gotten the monkey sheep off my back and FINALLY overcoming WOOLCOCK. It wasn't his BEST, but I think that all three of us put in respectable entries and I'm excited to come out with the win for my COUNTRY. #RotW
Hats off to SMITTY as well, as you hung in there against a couple of Wrestling Division champions and you did NOT look out of place whatsoever. A commendable performance from you.
Also, I had a feeling that RealManRegal was the one who took the Shield debate. Just an excellent entry from you, and STEVIE as well for that matter. Obviously, the judges were all on the same page reading that debate. Tremendous showing.