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Exclamation TDL XXVII: CROSSOVER PART II - THE RESULTS

J
TDL XXVII: CROSSOVER PART II

CHAMPviaDQ

KINGPIN vs Klunderbunker vs sharkboy22
Which match should have main evented TLC 2014?


*Klunderbunker no showed*

Spoiler for Debates:
sharkboy22

In an era that’s often dubbed “The John Cena Show”, having the recent TLC PPV conclude with Ambrose and Wyatt felt like a breath of fresh air. However, despite the usual LOLCENAWINS ending, John Cena and Seth Rollins should have main evented TLC 2014.

Cena and Rollins’ match had more purpose and backstory. The whole point of their match was to build for the WWE title match at the Royal Rumble. Furthermore, this is a rivalry that has been brewing since September when Rollins had cost Cena the title against Lesnar at Night of Champions. The heat between the two picked up even more during the Authority Angle, especially the night after Survivor Series when Cena was given the power to bring back the Authority. A tables match between the two, where Cena’s title shot was on the line, only seemed fitting. Rollins could cost Cena his title shot as a form of retribution for not bringing back the Authority and Cena benefitted from it by simply getting the opportunity to kick Rollins’ ass as payback for his little stunt at Night of Champions. Needless to say it also makes sense for the mere fact that it’s the business model of the babyface in peril pro wrestling shtick.

Ambrose/Wyatt started their programme at Hell In A Cell where Wyatt had cost Ambrose his match against Rollins. The following month, at Survivor Series, the two were put in a match that only served as filler to set up the TLC match at the PPV. A main event spot is not warranted for a midcard feud such as this one, especially when a much bigger angle is taking place. Also, it’s not like Wyatt had cost Ambrose something as important as the WWE title. These two were simply put in a feud because creative needed something for them to do. The main event of the last show of the year is not the place for it.

One can argue that, on a show titled Tables, Ladders and Chairs it would only make sense for the TLC match to main event. But this hasn’t stopped WWE in the years past, so why should it now? The 2010 event concluded with a chairs the match and 2012 with a ladder. So it’s not exactly tradition. Whichever match is the most important, regardless of its stipulation, should close the show. That’s why the chairs match closed the 2010. That’s why the ladder match closed 2012. In 2010, Cena’s career was on the line. In 2012, Ziggler’s MITB briefcase was up for grabs. At the recent event, it was Cena’s title shot against Lesnar. All three of these matches had one thing in common: CONSEQUENCE. Because of this consequence, they were much easier for the audience to get invested in. More reason to have it close the last show of the year, especially when it sets the course of action for the last few weeks of the year and the new year.

Of course, when discussing how to close a show, you have to take into consideration the actual finish of the match. It’s the last and only thing the fans are going to remember when they reflect on the show. It’s what stays with them long after they leave the show. The finish to the Cena/Rollins is leaps and bounds ahead of Ambrose/Wyatt in terms of closing the last show of the year

Despite the typical bullshit shenanigans and run-ins (and Cena overcomes the odds) ending, it made for an exciting match given the high stakes. It had audience at the edge of their seat. Ambrose/Wyatt on the other hand was just flat. It could be argued that it made the storyline more compelling for the future or that it was just a cool way to end the match and continue the feud. But not on the LAST PPV OF THE YEAR. There needs to be a genuine closure. The match that had that was Cena/Rollins. Cena won, Cena gets his title shot at Lesnar. End of.

Even though Wyatt won the match, there was no real ending. The match and the feud continues- as evident by their upcoming Ambulance match on RAW. There was only a winner because they had to be one, it did not really matter who won. That’s because there wasn’t any consequence. Also, if this match was important that it just had to main event the last PPV of the year, then why the heck is the re-match is taking place on RAW? Yes, Cena and Rollins have had a match on RAW since, but it was to further the authority angle. If Ambrose/Wyatt mattered so much, wouldn’t it make more sense to book the ambulance match at the Rumble, which is only two weeks away from the Ambulance match? More proof that this is just the typical thrown-together midcard feud that ends on RAW. And more reason why Cena/Rollins should have main evented TLC. It at least led to something.

If this were a May or June PPV, by all means, Ambrose/Wyatt would have been a nifty main event finish and all. It’s more forgivable and excusable. Midcard guys get a chance to shine in the main event and the finish ensures that the feud continues (and hopefully ends on a PPV). But with the attraction that is Brock Lesnar returning to defend the title that hasn’t been defended since September, the last PPV needed to end with something to build for the match, not a puzzling silence. Ambrose/Wyatt would have much better served mid-way into the show. Cena/Rollins was the match with the most build, had greater repercussions, and for what it’s worth, the better finish. Therefore, it should have main evented.


KINGPIN

Which match should have main evented TLC 2014?

Simply put, PPV main events should consider the following three factors:

PRESENTATION OF LEGITIMACY:

The name of the game for WWE is presentation; passing off "fake fighting" as a legitimate sport where matches, championships, and other accolades are won based off of talent and determination. Regardless of how many people have caught onto the act nowadays, WWE still adheres to the practice of kayfabe and can only remain successful in this practice as long as hierarchy of importance is established; the big dogs(main eventers) eat and the little dogs(practically everyone else) either jerk the curtain or try to shine in the mid card.

Therefore, when it comes to the main events of PPV's, it should come as no surprise to fans of the product, or even critics looking on from an outsider perspective, that the most pushed, the most marketed, and the most popular stars on the roster should be mainstays in the main event. On the current roster, John Cena, a man that’s been pushed as a main eventer since 2005 and has since, held 15 world titles to his name, Randy Orton, the first WWEWHC Champion and a 12 time world champion at that, Daniel Bryan, one of WWE’s most beloved stars in recent history[1][2] if crowd reaction is to be relied on, would probably fit the bill of the kind of stars that the WWE would feature in their main events on a regular basis because the practice of presentation has been able to build them up as credible, world class athletes.

MATCH QUALITY:

When I refer to match quality, I’m not necessarily talking about which matches will score the highest number of stars on the Meltzer scale but matches that get the crowd invested. The beauty about this particular constant is that it doesn’t matter how high[3][4] or low[5][6] a crowd pleasing match on the card is or who’s involved so long as it keeps the fans on the edge of their seat. So even if a main eventer isn’t involved in a PPV main event, one could argue that as long as the bookers know that the non-main event talent will tear the house down, a match riddled with excellent psychology and crowd pandering spots deserves a main event spot as much as subpar match with the most pushed stars and if the name of the game is sending the crowd home happy, match quality shouldn’t be overlooked. Although it’s not possible to predict just how much the audience will positively or negatively view a match, it’s not outside the realm of possibility to listen to how the crowds usually react to certain wrestler’s performances and decide that they can get the fans behind them again on a bigger stage.

RELEVANCE TO THE PRODUCT:

More often than not, PPV main events have stakes involved that can change the landscape of the product in a significant way. Usually, this is in the form of a world championship match but sometimes, even more ramifications come into play. Take the Wrestlemania 17 main event for instance. The Rock vs. Steve Austin not only saw the crowning of a new WWF Champion but it featured Austin turning heel and aligning with his on-screen bitter enemy, Mr. McMahon, something that viewers of the Attitude Era would have most likely never seen coming. Adding another dimension to one of the WWE’s most popular wrestlers should have and did take precedent over every other match on the card and rightfully so. Keep in mind this also kept the crowd hyped up[7](match quality) and featured the two most popular wrestlers in the world at that time(presentation of legitimacy).

So with those three factors considered, the match that should’ve main evented TLCS should NOT have been Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose. Instead, I felt that the rightful main event should’ve been between John Cena and Seth Rollins. Why?

Right off the bat, the John Cena and Seth Rollins match features the WWE’s biggest star in John Cena, which plays up the legitimacy factor I talked about earlier. Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose, while popular in their own right, aren’t quite as popular as John Cena is. But would it necessarily be harmful for two upstarts to main event over a long time veteran? Absolutely not. In fact, in a way, giving blank slates the opportunity to become long time main eventers concedes to legitimacy in the long run by giving the company more options for main events, which in turn keeps the product from getting stale. However, the ramifications of the John Cena and Seth Rollins match far outweigh the ramifications of the Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose match…

When looking at the outcome of the Cena/Rollins match and the Wyatt/Ambrose match, it’s clear which takes precedence over the other in terms of significance. Although it can be disputed that the TLC match was superior, it was simply another chapter added to the Wyatt and Ambrose feud that started after Hell in a Cell. Apparently, that wasn’t even good enough for WWE to have either man show up the following RAW. Meanwhile, not only did Cena’s win mean that Brock Lesnar’s next match was brought into focus but it also saw the return of Roman Reigns, another popular star in his own right, getting into a feud with the Big Show. So in short:

Bray v. Ambrose = another match concluded in their feud
Rollins v. Cena = Lesnar’s next match being solidified and Roman Reigns’ return

Now, when it pertains to match quality, honestly, it could go either way to be honest. The ending of both matches, in particular, seemed to be met with the same reception[8][9] so it's safe to say that both matches left the same impression on the fans but in terms of relevance and legitimacy, Cena v. Rollins was the better choice and should've main evented TLCS.


SOURCES:
[1]
1:57 - 4:44(crowd reaction)
[2]
2:02 - 2:53(crowd reaction)
[3]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x13e15m_the-rock-vs-john-cena-wrestlemania-28-full-match_sport 23:33 - 23:45, 34:51 - 35:05, 38:43 - 39:20, 42:00 - 42:15, 46:09 - 47:07, 47:56 - 48:20, 50:15 - 50:40, 51:29 - 52:03 (crowd reactions) ;main event of Wrestlemania 28
[4]
9:18 - 9:40 10:57 - 11:10, 12:35 - 12:55, 14:56 - 15:15, 17:48 - 17:53, 23:55 - 24:19, 25:36 - 25:46, 29:29 - 30:05, 30:46 - 31:30, 34:15 - 34:34, 38:51 - 39:23, 41:33 - 42:00(crowd reactions) ;main event of MITB 2011
[5]
6:28 - 6:36, 6:54 -7:00, 13:38 - 14:13(crowd reactions); midcard match @ Battleground 2013
[6]
5:46 - 6:00, 17:43 - 17:48, 18:56 - 19:23, 22:03 - 22:17(crowd reactions); opening match @ Royal Rumble 2014
[7]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x17ea80_wwe-wrestlemania-17-the-rock-vs-stone-cold-steve-austin_sport 8:09 - 8:30, 12:15 - 12:37, 15:43 - 15:50, 16:15 - 16:25, 18:28 - 18:43, 21:40 - 21:52, 23:27 - 24:30, 30:28 - 31:08, 31:37 - 31:48
[8] http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2c...-12-2014_sport ending to Cena/Rollins match(crowd reaction) 34:12 - 36:20
[9] http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2c...-12-2014_sport ending to Ambrose/Wyatt match(crowd reaction) 55:11 - 57:28


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
sharkboy22 - I thought this took a while to get going but it was good once it did. It isn't until the 4th paragraph that I feel you make a really relevant point. Everything before that feels kinda descriptive. Counter against the TLC gimmick main eventing is good with good practice of finding evidence to support your argument. "It had audience at the edge of their seat." could do with some linked in evidence though. Not really sure of the last PPV of the year significance but the closure/consequence point was good. Good or bad match Cena/Rollins was a significant one (or was at the time) whereas Wyatt/Ambrose was just a match that they had which put neither over truly. Cena and Rollins did also have plenty of TV matches after which weakens your next point despite you trying to save it by saying they were to further the angle. You do well arguing that Cena/Rollins was more important and therefore should have gone on last. It is a good argument after all. However, I felt this was your debate rather than an argument in your debate. There were other factors you could have considered that you missed such as crowd reaction. Arguing that Cena winning with a Reigns run in leaves the crowd much more hyped than Bray winning is a good argument for your stance as you should want to send fans away happy and hyped. You also mostly neglect the idea of presenting Ambrose and Wyatt as top guys by having them main event. Just try to cover a bit more ground. I thought this was possible in this debate too. Your 2nd and 3rd paragraphs were mostly descriptive and used up too many words for mostly description that didn't really argue for your stance. Keep the descriptive stuff brief as it's the arguments that will win you the debate not that.

KINGPIN - First of I really liked this, "Simply put, PPV main events should consider the following three factors:". Criteria for making a selection is great. However, you spent way too long arguing for your criteria and not enough arguing for your actual pick. Good strategy but the implementation was off. By the time you've explained your criteria you're over halfway through your debate and you're left too short on the more important part of your debate which is actually arguing for one over the other. Definitely don't ditch the criteria but make it a lot briefer. Just a sentence or two explaining why they matter is enough because you went to spend most of your debate arguing the question given rather than the question of what factors should decide which match main events a PPV. In more concise form though this is great practice. The other thing you do really well which is also great debating practice is providing evidence (and sources) to back your point up. Onto the actual arguments for your stance though. I thought the legitimacy one was weak because you don't really use that factor to decide that Cena/Rollins should main event. Yes Cena is the biggest star but if you give Wyatt and Ambrose his spot doesn't that make them look like bigger stars? Relevance argument was good though but did suffer from being too brief as a result of you using too much of your word count up explaining your criteria. sharkboy22 made this point better because he could go into more depth. You did however bring up Reigns which he didn't though and this was good. I thought you could have mentioned the importance of sending the crowd home hyped/happy too which would have supported your stance and probably fit in as a better factor than legitimacy. I guess you meant for match quality to cover this a bit but it kinda covers the pace and significance of the match more than the finish and outcome in how you worded your explanation. Relating it back to your argument for this factor I definitely think arguing for how each match would have ended the show in terms of crowd emotion would have been better. Try to end on a proper conclusion too rather than ending on an actual argument. For a first debate this has some great debating practices with the use of a criteria and the great use of sources. Absolutely don't take the criticism here as need to stop using them. Using a good criteria as a base for your argument will win you many debates and move you up the card very quickly. Just don't do it at the expense of your actual arguments. If you had a better allocation of your word count then you probably would have won this debate (or at least my vote in it).

Winner - sharkboy22


WOOLCOCK
sharkboy22:

I thought this was good overall and made a number of logical and well argued points for its stance. I liked the theme of consequence being key in your choice, and thought you alluded well to how the result of Cena/Rollins had ramifications that shaped the beginning of 2015, namely building to Lesnar's first defence of the WWE title in nearly four months.

I liked how you dismissed the argument a TLC PPV had to conclude with a TLC match, based on WWE not adhering to that rule since the inception of the PPV. Again I thought you made a reasonable argument that both times non TLC matches closed the show it was due to the importance of said matches, and thought you applied that criteria well in arguing Cena/Rollins was worthy of closing the show.

The argument regarding the finish was fine and a good way to approach how WWE views sending home its audience happy. I thought you could have touched on how after numerous fuck finishes to PPVs in 2014, that closing the show on a positive/definitive note would have been wise, but that's a minor quibble. I liked how you focused on how the finish to Ambrose/Wyatt left people perplexed and confused, whereas Cena/Rollins had a clear ending that left a good % of the audience happy and built logically to Lesnar/Cena. Further focusing on how Ambrose/Wyatt was blown off on a random Raw, rather than at the Rumble was a fine closing argument that tied into how Cena/Rolins had more purpose and consequence in its build and finish.

Your conclusion was fine and a nice overview of your main arguments. In future I'd say to have done away with the 'Ambrose/Wyatt would have been fine in May' argument. Don't entertain me with the idea Ambrose/Wyatt was worthy of closing a show after you earlier told me it lacked the purpose and consequence of Cena/Rollins. When you're arguing against it it's best to ensure you don't praise it/argue for it in another setting, just focus on raising the points you previously made and not giving me reason to believe Wyatt/Ambrose had a purpose closing a show.

KINGPIN:

Ok, this has clear fundamental issues in structuring a debate.

1) You don't tell me your stance until the sixth paragraph, after which you've wasted over half your word count without saying anything of direct relevance to the question. Your 'criteria' shouldn't be focused on this much. All it is is descriptive writing laying the foundations for your choice. The problem is your actual arguments are horribly narrow because you've spent most of your debate introducing your criteria. But is is your arguments which win you debates. Furthermore, Criteria A and Criteria B seem to counter one another since you're saying you don't need a recognised main event star if the crowd know the match will be great.

2) Your criteria should have been brief, outlining the 3 aspects and then introducing your arguments and relating them back to your criteria. As it is 8/10s of your debate is entirely irrelevant to the question asked, and your eventual arguments are far too brief and undeveloped to be as persuasive as your opponent's.

3) When constructing a debate, you need to ensure you don't waste your word count by waffling on descriptively about things which don't correlate to your question. It's no good defining 'legitimacy' to me when you're not at the same time arguing why this applies to Cena/Rollins, or why it's important. You even have match quality as a counter to legitimacy which weakens that argument. If Wyatt/Ambrose was thought to be a better match why doesn't that count for more? You don't do a good enough job arguing that because you've left yourself no room to expand on your argument or outline your point of view.


Winner - sharkboy22

BkB Hulk
sharkboy22:
This is a pretty strong showing. I like that you acknowledged Cena winning to close a PPV was the norm, but that it should STILL close makes it seems like it’s of greater reason.

What you did really well was compare the two and illustrate that the importance of Ambrose/Wyatt paled in comparison to Cena/Rollins. You could have perhaps done so even more by pointing out that Ambrose/Wyatt was a heavily SmackDown-based feud, while Rollins is WWE’s next big thing seemingly. Even without that, the comparison between the feuds gave you a strong point.

Even better was the way you brushed away the gimmicks of the matches and actually pointed out prior examples that still say that Cena/Rollins should have main evented. The use of the consequences of past matches made the consequences of Cena/Rollins seem more important.

The point about closure wasn’t so strong, as there really wasn’t any closure on Cena/Rollins, and nor would there really have expected to have been when this was written. So long as Rollins holds MITB and Cena is involved in the title scene, there’s never really going to be closure, even if Rollins weren’t included in the WWE Title match.

Most important was that you continued to point out how one match meant something, while the other didn’t. This was your main argument, and you utilised it well throughout.

KINGPIN:
You used a lot of words to set the scene for this one, and when you immediately blow off a third of that as unimportant in this argument (presentation of legitimacy in this case) as unimportant then it doesn’t do much for your argument. The match quality also seemed to largely overlap with the previous point, as it was really all about the most pushed, popular stars.

Really, you only argued significantly for the significance of the match in the debate, so a lot of the other stuff turns into fluff. I feel like you did a lot before you got to the answer, and as a result, while the writing was good, the actual argument was weak.

Winner: sharkboy22


Winner via Unanimous Decision - sharkboy22

Keepin It Stylish vs A-C-P vs JamesK vs JamesCurtis24

The finish to Ambrose vs Wyatt at TLC 2014, the worst finish to a WWE PPV match in 2014?


*JamesCurtis24 no showed*

Spoiler for Debates:
A-C-P

The finish to Ambrose vs Wyatt at TLC 2014, the worst finish to a WWE PPV match in 2014?

Well, there are plenty of options to pick from for worst finish to a PPV match in the WWE in 2014, but I have to agree that the finish to Ambrose vs Wyatt was the worst. For a minute I forgot I was watching the WWE and though I was watching a Looney Tunes, Wile E Coyote cartoon, what is not what I want to be confusing my WWE PPVs for. Also the ending to the match did not benefiting anyone or anything; Dean Ambrose was made to look like a fool, make Wyatt look weak, and did nothing to really further or end the feud.

I know the WWE is trying to be kid and family friendly, but even with that being said turning one of your PPV main event matches into a cartoon is to much for me. I also do not see how turning your PPV into a cartoon is going to help gain new viewers or maintain network subscriptions.

The ending to this match made Dean Ambrose look like a complete fool. What made it worse was when the cord stopped him the first time when he tried to hit Wyatt with the TV, but then Dean just tries again like everything will be ok with it the next try? I understand that the WWE is trying to build this "lunatic or crazy" character with Ambrose, but crazy does not mean he has to be a complete idiot to.

On the other side of the coin, the person who actually won the match, Wyatt, does not get any benefit from winning the match. Wyatt a heel character that they are trying to build back up, and now after the Ambrose vs Wyatt Survivor Series match, can now only beat Ambrose if Dean gets himself DQ'd or if Ambrose does something else stupid and costs himself the match. It further weakened Wyatt's character as a man who talks a big game but can't back it up physically.

To me a match ending in a feud should do one of two things; either give a reason, that people care about, to continue the feud, or give the feud a satisfying ending. This match did neither of those things, in my mind. Granted the feud itself from the beginning has felt lacking in a "real reason" for Wyatt and Ambrose to be feuding, but how did the outcome of this match make people want to see anymore of this feud; to see how Ambrose will make a fool of himself next, or how Wyatt will eek out a win over Ambrose next, I doubt it. Or, if this was supposed to be the match to end the feud, what kind of ending or closure did it provide for the fans who were actually invested in it.

Now I said at the beginning of my debate that there were plenty of options to pick as the worst ending to a PPV match, and there were. The list starts right at the beginning of 2014, with the Royal Rumble match, but what made that match bad was the fact who won and the fact that Daniel Bryan was not in the match more so than just how the match ended. Plus, that match pretty much led to Wrestlemania season going the way it did, and that was actually a good thing in my book. Another contender to the worst finish to a PPV match, for me, was Brock ending The Streak, but again to me that was more about the result of the match and what it led to going forward after the match, than how the match itself ended, and the immediate effect on either performer. Also, the ending was the start of a story to make Lesnar look like an unstoppable beast. One other major contender for the worst finish to a 2014 PPV match is the Night of Champions title match between Lesnar and Cena w/ the Rollins attempted MITB cash-in. The biggest problem I had with the ending of this match is how it almost undid all the storytelling ending the streak and squashing Cena at Summerslam to make Brock look an unstoppable monster the WWE had done up to that point. The one thing this ending has over the Wyatt vs Ambrose match though was at least the ending had a positive effect on Cena and making him look stronger and recovering from the squash at Summerslam, putting aside my personal feelings about making Cena look stronger.

In conclusion, the reason I chose Wyatt vs Ambrose as the worst ending to a PPV match in 2014 over the other "contenders" I mentioned is because, looking at the question from the standpoint of only taking into consideration the actual way the match ended and the immediate effect on the characters or feud involved, it was the worst in my opinion. The ending of the match made Ambrose look like an idiot to the audience, made the Wyatt character look weak, and did nothing to further their feud. On the other hand, in all of the options I had for worst ending of a match either was beneficial to one or more of the superstars involved and/or furthered or started a feud, so as dumb or bad as the match endings were, at least they still served a positive purpose in some way.

JamesK

The finish to Ambrose vs Wyatt at TLC 2014, the worst finish to a WWE PPV match in 2014?


I believe that the answer to this question is that the finish of the Ambrose vs.. Wyatt match was the absolute worst of all the match finishes this year.Despite the fact that there are two other strong candidates for the worst finish to a WWE PPV,Bray Wyatt winning the Extreme Rules Cage match against Cena after a kid with a distorted voice singing shocked and distracted Cena giving Bray the win or the finish to the match at the Hell in a Cell between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose when a hologram distracted Ambrose giving the chance to Bray Wyatt to attack Ambrose and costing him the win,none of them didn't damage the image and the characters of the participants as much as the finish to the TLC match.

First,let's examine what the match and mostly the finish did for Bray Wyatt's character.Bray as we all know portrays a Cult Leader Monster who doesn't care for wins or loses and his goal is to destroy his opponents physically and mentally.So after his return at the Hell in a Cell PPV and after his DQ win at the Survivor Series PPV,in which got destroyed by Dean Ambrose,he was going into TLC to take his revenge and finish his victim called Dean Ambrose.

So in a 27 minute match were Bray Wyatt,the monster heel who should demolish his opponents,was getting beat for the most of the match he gets the win essentially after the babyface slips to a banana peel.This finish wipes out the credibility of Bray's character to the viewers eyes.It shows that Bray Wyatt is not the valid thread and the monster that he tells us that he is because he basically got a lucky win against a guy who was kicking his ass but he is not clever enough to unplug a TV monitor before hitting his opponent.This match and finish when you come right down to it tell to the viewers of the program that there in no reason to take seriously Bray's threats in the future.

On the other hand,no matter how much this finish damaged Bray's image it can't be compared to the destruction it did to Ambrose's image.Dean Ambrose has everything WWE could possibly want in a main-event star. He has the look,the charisma,the ring and promo skills but he has been treated horrendously the booking of his character from the moment he started his solo career.

So after his feud with Rollins,in which he had a 0-6 record,he started a new feud against Bray Wyatt after being stunned by a hologram and getting attacked by him.So fast forward to the TLC match after beating Bray for the whole match and while Bray is down he sees the TV-monitor that he found under the ring and he decides to "kill" Bray with it. And here is where the fun part starts and that's in my opinion the beginning of the end of Dean's character credibility . He takes the monitor to his hands and starts running towards Bray but the chord is too short but he doesn't stop him trying for the second time with more force causing the monitor blowing up to his face and losing after getting hit with the Sister Abigail.

Let's break down the finish and why it did so damage to his character.If you watch again the finish in his first try everyone in the crowd starts laughing.So it is natural that most of them immediately think that Dean portrays an idiot who can't even see that the chord of that thing is too short.So after falling the first time Dean decides that he should try again and NOT unplug the chord and the TV-Monitor blew up. Now the crowd thinks that Dean is not only an idiot but that he is a complete moron who can't even take a simple logic decision that a 5-year old could have thought. There is no way that anyone can take Dean Ambrose seriously after this finish.It will be hard for them to make Ambrose to look like a main eventer at the eyes of the casual viewer. After that finish Ambrose got demoted to another mid card geek that can't win a match to save his life.

In conclusion,i don't think that anybody took this match and this ending seriously.The finish put no one over and told to the crowd that this was a match between a lucky liar who can't back up his threats and an idiot crazy guy who doesn't think at all.So i think it's totally fair to call the finish of this match the worst finish of any PPV match in 2014.

Keepin It Stylish

Bray Wyatt has been involved in a couple of awful finishes, but the TLC finish was not his worst. At Extreme Rules 2014, he was saved by a small singing child with a voice changer. To emphasize the mediocrity of both finishes, we must break down both matches.

Building The Backstory to Extreme Rules 2014


How the match itself plays out is important, but the backstory adds to or subtracts even more power from the finish. Bray is coming off of a Wrestlemania 30 loss to Cena and he's lost a ton of momentum, as this was his first time being pinned clean. He was supposed to be the man to finally bring the monster out of Cena and he failed. To prove that monster still exists, Bray makes it his mission to redeem himself at Extreme Rules. He needs to look strong here to remain a viable threat for Cena, and in the eyes of the WWE Universe.

Extreme Rules 2014


Bray spent most of this match on the mat, getting beaten up by Cena, while his family prevented Cena from escaping at least 7 times. There was even a point where Rowan had to climb the cage and lift Cena back into the ring with his neck. Harper spent a lot of time in the ring trying to thwart Cena and also failed. After numerous failed attempts by the entire Wyatt Family, Cena crawls to the cage door, the lights go off, and a child using a voice changer appears and sings "He's got the whole world... in his hands." Cena looks like he saw a ghost, he turns around, gets hit with Sister Abigail, and Wyatt walks out of the cage. So to recap: the main purpose of the cage was negated by several interference attempts, Cena disposed of the entire Wyatt Family by himself on multiple occasions, and he felt more threatened by a small child than a group of adult wrestlers. Saying Bray looked weak would be an understatement. He looked helpless. He felt like the child here.

Building The Backstory to TLC 2014


After their Survivor Series match which was pretty much an advertisement for TLC, Bray cuts promos saying he and Dean belong in hell together and that he's the controller of demons. Dean responds by saying Bray is trying to pick apart his brain and he's failing. In this match, Dean needs to show that he is not phased by Wyatt's antics, and Wyatt needs to look dominant to assert the notion that he's in control of Dean's demons.

TLC 2014


Bray also spent most of this match getting beaten up by Ambrose. Ambrose dragged him all over the arena, used his entire offensive arsenal, guillotined his throat on a steel chair, and elbow dropped him through 3 tables. At the end of the match, Ambrose pulled a television monitor from under the ring (why was that even there?) and started checking himself out before attempting to bash Wyatt in the head with it while it was still plugged in. He then gets hit with a Sister Abigail after a long and awkward 30 second sell job. Not only does this make Ambrose look like an idiot, but it makes him look weak because he used his entire offensive arsenal just to lose to Bray's finisher.

Conclusion


The Extreme Rules finish was far worse because Bray came off looking weaker in victory than he did in defeat at Wrestlemania. Cena had a 1 vs. 3 No DQ handicap match won several times and just got freaked out by a child with a voice changer. The TLC finish made Ambrose look stupid, and it again did nothing for Bray in victory, but it didn't damage their characters to the extent that the Extreme Rules finish did to Bray.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
BkB Hulk
A-C-P:
The cartoony reference and belittling of the finish as ‘kid friendly’ type rubbish did a good job burying the finish early, and set a good scene for your debate. I’m not so sure about the reference to subscriptions, because it just seems thrown in there without rhyme or reason. I guess it could be used as a point, but you’ve kind of just attached it onto the end of a paragraph.

The breaking down of the characters of both men and how it hurts them was good, but I also liked how you looked at how the ending doesn’t actually further anything. That’s a key point that others really haven’t covered as much.

The comparison paragraph was a bit awkward. It seems like you were arguing against your own suggestions that you were throwing up when, really, a debate is arguing against the viewpoint of others. I think it’s maybe better to say ‘others may say, but…’ instead of acknowledging them as your own suggestions.

My other issue with that paragraph was it was just a bit clunky. You’re just kind of listing stuff off, and it doesn’t really flow. I think this could be fixed with a proofread to fix it up and make it a bit more exciting to read.

The reasoning in that paragraph was good though, and it fed into your conclusion well. I think you’ve covered the territory pretty well and given a convincing case.

JamesK:
The first thing that grabbed me with this was the banana peel analogy. It just fits so perfectly because of how cartoony the ending to the match was, and I think it set a nice tone for the debate.

What you did really well was pull apart the finish and examine just how damaging it was to both men character-wise. I actually think you did this really, really well, especially in pointing out that the crowd laughed at Ambrose and he thus looks like a moron.

Where you fall down a bit is you don’t say why it’s any worse than any other finishes, because you’re always going to have comparison points. Despite that, you’ve argued well for this finish being awful.

Keepin It Stylish:
That you’ve taken an opposing side makes this interesting. I think you’ve approached this well in that you set out an analysis of both, but I think you’d have been better served to actually make a comparison between the two before the last couple of sentences. For most of your debate, it’s unclear which is actually worse, and really, you could make an argument for either.

You’ve acknowledged both as being stupid and damaging, but you’ve not really debated much. I think it’s well written, and was probably the most entertaining of the three debates as a piece of writing, but I don’t think it was the best debate. I do think, even if you don’t get my vote in this match, that you probably will in the future because I enjoyed your writing.

Winner: A-C-P

Seabs
A-C-P - For me the biggest flaw of this debate was your inability to show that the finish you picked was worse than alternative choices. You do a pretty good job explaining why the Ambrose/Wyatt finish was bad though and I liked how you looked at it from the POV of both wrestlers and showing how it hurt even the winner as well as the loser who looked like a goof helped you here. The topic requires you to compare finishes though and not just say why that specific finish was bad. I thought how you handled the 2nd half of the topic was weak though. When you're comparing two options you really need to actually compare. What you did was say why one was bad and then just say the others weren't as bad. Why weren't they as bad? I never really knew why you thought your pick was worse than these other finishes you mention. You dismiss two of them as being more about the result too but isn't that the finish? If not then you need to tell me why. For example you could say both had bad outcomes but this one had a bad route to getting to a bad outcome whereas the others had a decent route to a bad outcome. You did this better with Cena/Lesnar II though saying that at least some good came from that finish. This part let you down because it read very unconvincingly. Also you missed a big finish in Cena/Wyatt at Extreme Rules. Half good and half weak. Try to improve on the comparisons of picks by doing it directly. In other debates establishing a criteria of sorts will help you do this. For example state what makes a good finish and have a 3 point plan for instance. Then apply that criteria to each finish and that will help you to compare picks. Well A did 2/3 bad but B did 3/3 bad whereas C only did 1/3 bad so B was the worst based on my criteria for a good finish. Approaching the question like that will help you and judges always love good criteria in establishing what makes something good or bad.

JamesK - Ok I'm not gonna lie the punctuation and lack of spaces is very off putting. The odd one fine but there's so many of them here that it really disrupts your debate and doesn't make it the most pleasant read for me as the judge/reader. Just a simple proof read should eliminate mistakes like "valid thread". Tough read aside your argument for it being a bad finish is good but how does this debate argue that it was the WORST finish when it doesn't compare it to other finishes? You just argue it was a bad finish which doesn't answer the question.

Keepin It Stylish - Fancy colours can only mean one person right? This is well written but I don't think you answer the question very well. For starters coming in over 300 words short of the max word count is a big hindrance and it was odd here because you needed so much more. Only looking at 2 options is a bit of an issue but especially when you over 1/4 of your word count left. Your actual direct comparison of the two finishes is so thin and like you had something ready but rushed it in 5 minutes just to finish it and have something. I think you're too descriptive in saying what the finishes themselves were. Again this is a bigger issue with such a short debate. You do a decent job saying why each finish is bad but it really lacks the depth required, as does the comparison of the two. See what I said to A-C-P about using a set of criteria to improve your comparisons. This read like a pretty lazy debate with the depth needed to really analyse why one was worse than the other sadly missing.

A-C-P wins due to the other 2 essentially eliminating themselves.

Winner - A-C-P

RealManRegal
A-C-P

Take a little more care with proof-reading your debates, there are some sloppy mistakes and poor use of English throughout.

Every entry in this debate seemed to focus mostly on how the match finish affected the performers involved, which I thought was a bit disappointing since it's so subjective and difficult to contextualise. This entry at least went a little bit beyond this in parts, touching on things like target audience, network subs, the purpose of a match finish in the context of a feud etc. Expanding on these and providing more analysis and fact than opinions would have strengthened this entry greatly.

I'm glad that at least one of you actually used a good chunk of your debate to discuss other options for worst finish, and I thought your choices here were good; however your arguments against them fall flat for me. I don't think that the disastrous Rumble finish is cancelled out by what it eventually led to, and if we're judging finishes by their longer term effects then again it's surely too soon to judge the Wyatt/Ambrose TLC finish.

Tightening up your arguments, structuring your debate better and being more careful with typos and spelling will serve you well in future debates.

JamesK

I like that you firmly state your position right at the start, but see my feedback for A-C-P on why I feel judging a match finish primarily on the "damage" it does to the participants is flimsy criteria. When you're dealing with a topic that invites open comparison you need to do a better job at dismissing the alternatives. For this topic, you need to convince me that the TLC finish was worse than any other PPV match finish in 2014, and you can't do that by glibly tossing aside other options.

The rest of this entry is mostly a rambling recap with tonnes of conjecture about what the audience as a whole thinks or thought of certain aspects of the finish. This is purely opinion-based and does nothing for your debate. I disagree with you stating that Wyatt should be destroying opponents - this wouldn't be a big deal if you weren't using "credibility" as the basis for your argument. I did like the "slip on a banana peel" line as it points towards the absurdity of the finish - you could have zeroed in on the ‘cartoonishness' a bit more and analysed why a finish of that nature was especially detrimental to this match. Just going a bit further than "it made Wyatt look weak and Ambrose look stupid" could have put you ahead of the other entries.

Everything goes off the rails a bit towards the end - which is ironic given the topic - take it easy on the stereotypical "IWC" melodrama - "Ambrose got demoted to another mid card geek that can't win a match to save his life" is a bit much considering were only a few weeks out from the match.

Again like A-C-P this entry would have benefited from a bit of proof-reading as it's sloppily written in parts.

Keepin It Stylish

I have to be honest, the first thing I did with your debate is check the word count to make sure it was over the minimum. Sure, quality is more important than quantity - but overall this entry just felt a little anemic.

Your whole entry reads like you're answering a slightly different question to the one posed. In fact nothing you've written indicates that you've understood the topic. You've argued for which was the worst of 2 Wyatt match finishes; not whether the Wyatt/Ambrose TLC finish was worse than every other PPV match in 2014.

Too much of your debate is spent summarising events, with the occasional opinion thrown in; very little is offered by way of actual analysis or convincing arguments for why these finishes are the two worst of all WWE PPV matches in 2014; what's worse, you don't even compare the two matches you've spent the whole debate summarising! Instead you pull out a comparison to the Cena/Wyatt Mania match - the only time in this entry that the match is even mentioned - in order to support your very weak argument.

As a closing note, you really need to lay off the "signature formatting". It took me 30 seconds to find out who wrote this debate (I waited til I was done judging to check). Seabs told you to stop perma-bolding your entries; why you've chosen to replace this with coloured section headings is beyond me. Plain formatting is not the enemy.

The Decision

I felt the criteria all 3 debaters used for judging match finishes was weak, and there was nowhere near enough comparison to other options. Comparison-based topics require you to make substantive comparisons rather than just focus on your pick - it's as important, if not more so, to convince readers of your dismissal for other options than it is to convince them of the validity of your choice.

Overall the interpretation of the question and the understanding of what were the key aspects of the topic were lacking across the board; however A-C-P was the only one who went a bit further in the right direction than the others.

Winner:A-C-P


Winner via Unanimous Decision - A-C-P

BkB Hulk vs RR
Lazar Markovic's red card vs Basel. The correct decision?


Spoiler for Debates:
BkB Hulk
Quote:
Lazar Markovic's red card vs Basel. The correct decision?
Lazar Markovic looked bemused. His opponent went down like he had been shot from what appeared the slightest touch. A slight touch from a slight winger. Anfield was stunned. No one watching live could have possibly expected a red card to be produced. Was it the correct decision? Absolutely. Referee Bjorn Kuipers got it dead right.

‘A player is guilty of violent conduct if he uses excessive force or brutality against an opponent when not challenging for the ball.’(1)

‘Using or involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.’(2)

The first quote is the FIFA guidelines on what exactly ‘violent conduct’ – the reason for Markovic’s sending off – is. The second is a definition of ‘violent’ from the Oxford Dictionary.

The first appears questionable. It isn’t though. It’s not even the slightest bit questionable. The main point of dispute that will be raised by those that disagree with the decision is that Markovic didn’t use excessive force. As I said before, it appeared the slightest touch. However, the slightest touch in this case is also excessive force. No force at all was necessary. There was never any need to touch the face. Anything above no force or above not attempting to strike the opposition player in the face is too much, and thus Markovic’s actions immediately qualify as violent conduct by FIFA’s standards.

Breaking it down even further and going by the Oxford Dictionary’s standards, it’s indisputable that Markovic intended to damage Behrang Safari. A look back at the incident(3) clearly displays this.

Firstly, it can be seen that Markovic knows exactly where Safari is. He turns his head and looks right at the defender. He actually looks right at him just moments before he hits him. He genuinely can’t not know where his opponent is without being blind. Secondly, there can be no doubt that Markovic intended to hit his opponent in the face. We’ve already established that he knows where his opponent is. He knows his opponent’s face goes on the front of his head. And he intentionally hits the front of the opponent’s head. That constitutes violent conduct.

The human movement experts of Youtube have declared in the comments that Markovic was just trying to fend Safari off as dribbling players do several times a match, and that his opponent was closer than expected. Not only is this incorrect because Markovic, again as established, knows both where his opponent is and where the face goes, but his arm is at full extension when he makes contact. His elbow is not bent. This means that he has reached as far back as he knows his opponent is and struck him. He knows exactly what he’s doing and where he’s reaching.

The human movement experts of Youtube should also know that to raise your arm that high involves greater effort and muscle use. This is why our arms usually hang down by our sides. This means that Markovic clearly meant to raise his arms that high in order to strike Safari, and made the effort to do so. He made the effort to strike the face.

The contact may have been minimal, but the video clearly shows it was there. Contact was made. The video won’t stop showing it. Was the reaction of Safari ridiculous? Of course. There is no way that the blow warranted such a reaction. That doesn’t make the sending off wrong though. It doesn’t make the blow any more impactful, but it also doesn’t make it any less impactful. It’s still a red card offence, and should be judged as such, regardless of how Safari reacts. Put it this way – if your player gets wiped out and rolls a few times in the box, you still want the penalty given, irrespective of how many ridiculous rolls he takes.

Rather than looking at Safari, it is Markovic that should be examined. He may be a slight winger, but he has a very recent history of suspension for violent conduct. The Serb spent the first two games of Liverpool’s Champions League campaign suspended for an offence during Benfica’s semi-final victory over Juventus – an offence committed whilst not even on the pitch.

Even if Safari is in fault in some kind of way for overreacting, and even if the contact was minimal, it is the intent that is important. FIFA have made a point of this in recent years, and several incidents where contact hasn’t even been made have resulted in suspensions. Vincent Kompany’s tackle in the 2012 Community Shield(4) resulted in a red card – and he didn’t even make contact with Nani. A report from the Daily Mail followed, stating that any two-footed tackles – with contact or not – would result in red cards(5).

On top of that, hands raised to the face are generally considering by the football community to be a red card these days. It was only a couple of weeks ago that Raheem Sterling was generally thought to be lucky to not be sent off after raising his hands to the face of Federico Fernandez, and he certainly made less impactful contact than Markovic did. What makes Markovic’s incident any different, aside from it being worse in terms of intent and timing?

By the wording of the laws, Markovic should have been sent off. By the definition of the words, Markovic should have been sent off. By recent precedents, Markovic should have been sent off. Don’t believe me? By the opinion of recently retired referee Graham Poll(6), and thus a man who is up on the rules, Markovic should have been sent off.

That the sending off came as a surprise shouldn’t make any difference, nor should Behrang Safari’s reaction. Markovic committed a violent conduct offence and thus HAD to be sent off. Bjorn Kuipers got it correct. Lazar Markovic is the one who got it wrong.



(1) http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/afde...unduct_557.pdf
(2) http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/de...nglish/violent
(3)
(4)
(5) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/foo...red-cards.html
(6) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/foo...ty-appeal.html

RugbyRat
Bjorn Kuipers was absolutely right to give Lazar Markovic a red card. Markovic deserves no sympathy for such a dumb act either. Before I go into why young Lazar was rightfully sent off, I'm going to go along the Rafael Benitez/Tyson Kidd route and look at the FACTS.

The FIFA Rule Book of 2014/15 which the referee was following states that violent conduct is a RED CARD OFFENCE.

WHAT IS VIOLENT CONDUCT?????

Quote:
The Oxford Dictionary

Violence - Behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage or kill someone or something.

Conduct - The manner in which a person behaves, especially in a certain place or situation.
Using this definition WE CAN CLEARLY see that Lazar Markovic was rightfully sent off, as he knowingly committed a physical act of aggression on Behrang Safari. Markovic even looked back at the opposition player before maliciously putting a hand in his face. This left the referee no other option than to give Markovic a red card. Any other sanction would show a flagrant disregard for the FIFA regulations.

It's also worth noting that had this act occurred outside of Anfield that Markovic could have been charged for Common Assault. Due to the fact that he was in fact BREAKING THE LAW, it is mandatory that he should be sent off the pitch. Another concern for Kuipers should have been that if Markovic was willing to behave this aggressively is that he may repeat a more serious offence. Despite the fact he was only 20 years old, Lazar Markovic had been playing professional football for over three years, including nearly twenty appearances for Serbia and playing in the youth ranks for one of the best teams in his league for a further five. To conclude, do you think that it is correct for a man who had just committed a crime (and is for all intents and purposes a criminal) to stay on the pitch?

Quote:
Stevie G

But, but Safari were a propa fookin' pussy like. He'd never get away with somet' like that in the Premier Lea.... I mean the Major League Soccer.
To a certain extent, Gerrard does have a point that Safari may have been keen to go down on the man (just like Lady Seabridge). However, the fall only happened once the initial foul had occurred, so whatever behaviour Safari displayed after the initial offence has taken place does not change the course of sanction for Markovic.

It wouldn't have been completely beyond the realms of possibility for the referee to simply ignore the hand by Markovic and book Safari for what he may have felt to have been simulation, however Behrang Safari claimed that he was bleeding from the mouth as a result of the incident. As unlikely as this perhaps might sound, his mouth was never checked by the referee for blood so it is impossible to categorically state that Safari was feigning an injury.

Quote:
Silly Scouser

Yeah, but players have got away with less for malicious tackles that could have ended careers.
Football is a very physical game and as a result, injuries will occur in contact situations. Tackles will be made which appear slightly reckless, however criteria such as "malice" and "intent" are very subjective and open to discussion. People getting kicked is due to the fact that football is a semi-contact sport, and the only way to dispossess an opponent for an outfielder is using their feet. When both the dribbler and tackler are travelling at pace, the probability of accidents happening is something which cannot be avoided. This makes it difficult to determine challenges which are clumsy and challenges intended to harm a player. In addition, referees are able to book and send off players whom they feel have gone into the tackle situation with excessive force, for serious foul play. Physicality has always been a part of football, which means that there will be occasions when players may be kicked by accident, especially when players on running at full speed. On the flip side, there are no instances where it is possible to condone a player aggressively putting their hands in another players face, as young Lazar did to Safari.

Quote:
Loony Liverpudlian

The red card ruined the game, the referee should have just ignored it or booked Markovic.
The referee couldn't have ignored the offence, when a player is suffering from a head or facial injury for a countless number of medical reasons, the game MUST be stopped. It is not simply just up to the referee's discretion. Given that the Kuipers correctly stopped play, he had three courses of action.

A) DROP BALL - No sanction to either player

B) FREE KICK TO LIVERPOOL - Safari booked for simulation

C) FREE KICK TO BASEL - Markovic sent off

If the referee selects Option A, it requires him to accept that Markovic's hand to Safari's face was accidental, which clearly wasn't the case, given that in the foul we clearly saw Markovic look back before putting his hand in the opposing player's face.

If the referee selects Option B, it requires him to be categorically certain that Safari was faking the injury, which he couldn't be certain of, given that his mouth wasn't checked for blood.

Option C is the only option the referee is left with. As for the red card spoiling the game, is that not Markovic's fault for committing the offence as opposed to Kuipers for simply imposing the necessary punishment for it?

To summarise Lazar Markovic behaviour was quite frankly inexcusable and something which is unacceptable in the modern game. To commit such a brainless offence on such a big stage is criminal.

SOURCES

Official FIFA Rule Book for 2014/15. The regulations for violent conduct and serious foul play are on page 41.

http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/foot...en_neutral.pdf

Definition of Violent Conduct

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/de...glish/violence

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/de...nglish/conduct

Behrang Safari talking about his bloodied mouth in an interview

http://www.espn.co.uk/football/sport/story/378153.html

Laws on Common Assault

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/o...he_person/#a03

Lazar Markovic's playing information

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazar_Markovic

The video of the incident, for reference



Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
BkB Hulk - Hey Bulk I love making you bury Liverpool players with these topics . This was good even if it dragged a bit by the end. The breakdown of why it's violent conduct is good. RR actually linked to the official FIFA rulebook so you could have bettered it by taking the actual rule from there and applying it to the foul. "He knows his opponent’s face goes on the front of his head." floored me. As you got to the 2nd half I felt it started to drag a little and it felt as though you were repeating points but worded differently, almost like you ran out of arguments but wanted to add the extra words. The intent part and reference to Kompany's red was good though. I would have filled this part up more with references to similar incidents to show what precedence has been set. Is a hand in the face usually a red card and cite those incidents. Overall this was strong if probably better suited for an 800 word debate.

RugbyRat - Ok first off you reference the rulebook and then really waste a great resource in your debate not quoting what the actual rule is and what referees are instructed to do in such cases. That would have given your debate such a good base to work off by then just applying the scenario to the rules. Not sure on an Oxford Dictionary definition when you have the FIFA rulebook sourced which is a much better source for what violent conduct is in the context of a football game. That dictionary definition is really in a different context. You then say "Any other sanction would show a flagrant disregard for the FIFA regulations." but what actually are these regulations? I thought "It's also worth noting that had this act occurred outside of Anfield that Markovic could have been charged for Common Assault. Due to the fact that he was in fact BREAKING THE LAW" read like a parody of your debate at first. I don't know it just read really silly and going even beyond hyperbole. "Despite the fact he was only 20 years old, Lazar Markovic had been playing professional football for over three years, including nearly twenty appearances for Serbia and playing in the youth ranks for one of the best teams in his league for a further five." - I don't what this had to do with anything personally. I guess you're going for he should know better but what does that have to do with the ref's decision? Doesn't matter if he 9, 20 or 25 the rules are the same. The whole Markovic committed a crime and is a criminal thing just seems really bad to me reading it and hurts the credibility of your debate that you're writing in this way. 1st counter is good. I don't know what the point of the bleeding stuff is. All you need to do is say how obvious it is that there is some contact and that the reaction after is really irrelevant if he mils it or not. Once the hand touches the face the foul is committed and that's what the ref has to decide warrants a red or not. 2nd counter is good and you don't write in an almost parody form which is even better. Your argument that Markovic's hand wasn't accidental is good although would have benefited from a bit more depth to it. Option B I didn't get. "requires him to be categorically certain that Safari was faking the injury, which he couldn't be certain of, given that his mouth wasn't checked for blood." - why does blood = contact? I can hit you in the face without drawing blood. Lines like this just seem silly and are hurting your debate for me. I'd read what I said to BkB Hulk too about citing past incidents that are similar and showing what precedence has been set.

BkB Hulk has a safer debate and thus a more solid all round debate which is why he gets my vote. RugbyRat has some good arguments in there but the silly stuff is off putting. I don't know if you were going for too much style or too much comedy or what but it failed for me.

Winner - BkB Hulk

Joel
Before I judge this debate, I will state that I am still unsure whether the referee was correct or not with the decision he made, so my stance in this will be decided by the strongest debate.

BkB Hulk
As we all know (and you have noted in this debate), Markovic did not connect with the Safari very hard at all, so if you think the referee had to send him off, then have to try to prove that Markovic's intent was to strike Safari in the face (which is an automatic red card) and I believe in this debate you have gave it a good go to prove that was his intention. You used the YouTube video well to show that he does have a look back at Safari to see exactly where he is. Looking at the video you can say a player of his pace should have known that Safari wasn't really going to catch him in that position, so there was no need for him to try to shield away from him, which you have said that you do not believe that he was intending to do so. The angle of his arm probably does confirm this (a good point you have noted) - if you try to shield away, your arm doesn't go straight up in the fashion as Markovic's (maybe you could have shown a video of players normal shielding stance to strengthen this?) I see where you are coming from with the example of contact not having to be strong in order for someone to get sent off, because there was intent, but I don't think Kompany's challenge was a good way to back this up. He didn't intend to do damage to Nani, he just went into a tackle with very poor technique, which may often occur in a fiery derby. So the point is correct, but the example used was not so strong in my opinion. I don't think you needed to add the Sterling/Fernandez fracas into this debate. It's bit of a different situation to the Markovic case, as Sterling and Fernandez's intentions were clear as day, while here you are trying to prove that Markovic's intention was strike Safari. To conclude; I think you did fairly well to prove that Markovic's intention was to strike Safari in the face, however, I think you could have used a better example to show that intent is what matters and could have done with less things that weren't really relevant. It was a good attempt.

RugbyRat
As I said at the start, whatever stance you take, for the debate to hold up you're going to have to convince me that Markovic’s slap was either intentional or it was an accident. I don't think that this debate gives enough proof that Markovic deliberately struck Safari. I appreciate that you highlight that he looks back and it is very important, but that alone doesn't prove that he deliberately struck the opposing player. I mean he could have been looking back to see is the guy was close enough, to throw out a hand top keep him away, but it accidently struck his face. I hate referring to another debate until I get to the decision part of this process, but BkB Hulk tries to at least prove that Markovic wasn't trying to shield the ball. What I do like a lot about this debate is how you responded to the quotes, especially the one from 'Silly Scouser'. A lot of people have used what he said as an excuse, but it is silly, because as you say it's a contact sport when it comes to tackling, but not when it comes to slapping someone in the face. Some tackles go wrong and they are too punished, but the majority that go wrong still does not have the same intent as the slap, even if they make stronger contact. Also, good and well thought out explanation on why the referee could not have ignored the incident and the available actions he could take. Overall, I think this debate was presented very well and had some solid points, but it doesn't convince me that Markovic's intent was to hit Safari, which is the main point in deciding whether the ref took the right action or not.

Verdict: Hard one for me. Kind of wish you could put them together and then it would make a complete debate and then everybody wins. Alas, I should go with the one who convinced me the most that it was Markovic’s intention to strike Safari, which then gave the referee no choice but to send him off, and that is BkB Hulk.

Andre
BkB Hulk

The writing in this first debate is elegant, to the point and persuasive. You made a similar start to RugbyRat, although I felt that by actually citing FIFA’s ruling on this matter you had an instant advantage. Your definition for what excessive force entails within this context was also a masterful move, making a debatable swipe seem a completely vicious action. That was excellent persuasive writing on your part.

You also made a greater effort to finely break down exactly what Markovic did, which suggests that his behaviour was definitely intentional due to his exact arm movements, beyond the simple “he looked back” that your opponent gave which doesn’t counter the point about shielding that you conquered.

The point about Safari’s reaction being inconsequential to the matter was also well made and superior to your opponent’s attempts to cover this area. However, your piece about Markovic’s past history in terms of poor conduct wasn’t really relevant to the debate, seeing as this was based on one isolated decision which shouldn’t be affected by past histories.

The comparisons to the Sterling and Kompany situations also strengthened your stance in a way that was relevant while also being slightly left field thinking.

The only other weakness was the bit about Graham Poll, because a lot of present and former referees are wheeled out to defend under pressure refs in the media. Sometimes this is a damage limitation exercise and the arguments made by these refs can be a bit flimsy. It doesn’t hurt your argument, but it doesn’t do loads to strengthen it either.

Overall this was a very good debate, with logical arguments and a credible persuasive writing style which maintained a constant and efficient flow. The points were varied, while the flaws were few and far between.

RugbyRat

I’m going to give you some props for your clear passion concerning this matter which emanates through your debate. I also thought it was brave of you to try and be creative with your format, even if some of the jokes did fall flat and seem a bit out of place.

You made a good start by pointing out that Markovic broke FIFA’s rules, although BkB Hulk went one better by citing the actual ruling. You also similarly gave a decent enough explanation for violent conduct. The difference between you and your opponent is that he went into further detail by explaining exactly how this applied, whilst also countering potential arguments concerning the possibility that Markovic just looked back in an effort to be aware of his surroundings so he could shield the ball. These are the subtle yet very influential differences between an okay debate and a very good one.

I thought the point about common assault was decent, but it lacked a lot of power without the breakdown that BkB Hulk had to show that it was an obvious intentional act. Without proving the ‘Actus Reus’, aka the guilty state of mind, it’s impossible to determine this as common assault . So if you had implemented something similar to Bulk’s breakdown with this on top then that would have took you a long way. The point about the ref possibly having concern over whether Markovic would become violent again is irrelevant because if his behaviour has been deemed worthy of a red card offence then he should be sent off regardless of what the ref thinks of the player's potential stability following such a situation.

The point about Safari’s reaction having no bearing on the incident was straight to the point and well made. The point about him claiming that he was bleeding from the mouth is useless without actual evidence and doesn’t really further your argument in any way. You even wrote “as unlikely as this may sound”, which isn’t particularly persuasive either.

The point about rough tackling not always being a clear cut violent/non-violent category is where your debate peaked. It was easily the best explanation that you gave, while it was also something that BkB Hulk might have benefitted from. It wasn’t a major argument that would win you the debate by itself, but as a side point it’s a very good addition to have.

However, you really lost me with the first part about ruining the game. First of all, having a stoppage due to an injury is unlikely to be seen by most as something that would ruin a game. Even if it was, it has nothing to do with the actual topic of discussion which is the red card. The other point about ruining the game with the sending off was fine but didn’t really further your argument about whether the red card was legally the correct decision or not.

Vote

There was a clear winner in this. While RugbyRat showed greater creativity by suggesting lots of different arguments, the quality in execution was often lacking while many of the points were far from relevant to the actual topic. BkB Hulk made four or five really strong points which went into great detail, all of which were on point and suitable within the demands of this debate.

BkB Hulk wins the vote.


Winner via Unanimous Decision - BkB Hulk


Jack Thwagger vs samizayn vs Callisto
Should it be legal for people to to walk around nude in public?


Spoiler for Debates:
Jack Thwagger
When one decides to tackle the implications of nudity in public, we must endeavor on the implications not just in a social sense, but the biological and health concerns associated with bare genitalia. It’s worth noting and accenting that the essence of one being content with nudity, either their own is others, does not nullify that legalization of exposing oneself to others is still cause for a concern and ultimately we must decide that it should not be unconditionally legal.

From a social standpoint, especially in the West, the human genitalia is nearly exclusively sexual in its depiction via media, unless it is clinical. As a result of such normalization that nudity = sexual proposition or expression, we must confront the truth that the general public would find issue to being somewhat forced into viewing the sexual organs of a stranger, hence indecent exposure currently being a legal offense. One can argue the perspective that it is their body and they should be able to present it as they see fit. However, this mindset ignores the implications of a nude body towards other individuals let it be due to the other person’s conservative views or a phobia they may have, it’s worth noting the tension that nudity may cause. A comparison we could bring up in this scenario is that of television and nudity and the fact that we can turn a channel at the exposure of a body and thus knowingly providing consent if we choose not to, but it is nearly inconceivable and impossible for one to gain consent from the general public as a whole to be content with bare bodies. When we couple this with the present legal systems of the United States allowing some shape or form of toplessness for women in addition to men as well as movements such as Topfreedom rallying for the upper body nudity to be readily accepted. All this is on top of the fact only three states (Utah, Indiana, and Tennessee) deem females being topless as illegal along with countries like Canada and Sweden with topless freedom leads one to believe that truly, there is already laws protecting one’s ability, regardless of gender, to express bareness in public and/or efforts to achieve and maintain those rights are underway. A viable solution that would leave parties satisfied is the implication of facilities, such as designated private beaches and clubs, which allow total nudeness. If a greater number of such establishments were normalized and regulated into culture and society as a whole, we can allow a place in which the tensions associated with exposing oneself to non-consenting individuals is a nonfactor (as well as the risks of a exhibitionists seeking to harass others being rightfully punished instead of protected by the law being extinguished) and that those who wish to parade in their birthday suits can do as such without the risk of ridicule, assault, or judgment. By analyzing Western social norms, particularly the United States, we see that legalization of full nudity is perhaps too brash for the general public, but this leaves us biological and health concerns that still need to be properly addressed.

In order to address the purely physical implications of genitals freely exposed in public, we must think of day to day activities. Sitting on a park bench, bumping or rubbing against someone in public, laying your hand on your lap, riding a subway, grocery shopping, and any other plethora of normal acts now become riskier to one’s health. Both the urethra opening and vaginal canal become ways in which one can be more directly infected by bacterial diseases. For example, the CDC defines one of the ways we can contract MRSA (a form of staph infection) is via contact with unclean surfaces—instead of one getting MRSA on their inner thigh or the back of their leg, by being nude they run the risk of contracting it directly on genitalia which can lead to a more complex infection and painful infection as well as more direct route to one’s bloodstream (which, in extreme cases, can lead to organ failure). In addition, direct exposure to day to day bacteria, viruses, and contaminants via our sexual organs can increase the risks of any number of health concerns from UTIs to pneumonia to HIV or even just wounds. If we take the other perspective, one can unknowingly spread pubic lice, HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, and any other known diseases via menstrual blood, seminal fluids/discharge, and vaginal secretions/discharge by carrying out our public lives nude. When one thinks of how detrimental contracting any slew of STDs or exposing themselves to common viruses and bacteria in a more direct manner could be, it would be wiser to opt to express our comfort or like of our bodies either via topless or with body modifications and flattering, minimal clothing.

Idealistically, those wishing to bare themselves to the world would like to on the premise of them owning their bodies, but social constructs of modernized society considering nudity as taboo and the health risks associated with public genital contact poses one to promote a petri dish of contaminates to be exposed to themselves and others makes the legalization of public nudity rather illogical. One would need to be nude for the sake of body modifications, medical procedures, and cleanliness rituals and sexual endeavors in private locations, all of which that are legal under present laws in modernized countries. By attempting to embellish and allow unfiltered public nudity, we run the risk of offending social order and providing an easier leeway for rapid disease transmission. Because of this reasoning, one must find it crucial that public nudity not become a legal practice.


Sources:

Topless Legality - http://gotopless.org/topless-laws
MRSA transmission - http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/mrsa/
MRSA causing organ failure - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9546132
STD transmission - http://www.cdc.gov/std/

samizayn
It’s worth reminding everyone that the initial reaction to a topic like this is not to be dismissed. Many of our reactions to odd things do tend to be exaggeratedly knee jerk, reminiscent of a petulant child refusing to sample escargot because eating snails is just icky and weird. With thought and seasoning, after all, those snails become a gourmet delicacy in many parts of France, so it goes to follow that with similar open mindedness we might also find great things can come from other strange, even repulsive ideas.

We might even. But the principle unfortunately won’t ever extend itself to public nudity, and we would do well not to forget the fact. A number of reasons present themselves in this case, but by far the most important one, as well as also the most easily forgettable, would be hygiene. Clothes protect us from, amongst other things, other people’s gross smelly bits. They provide a barrier, however miniscule, from the crotch areas and armpits and other sweat-collecting crevices of the human body that are better off without direct or indirect contact to others. Coming into contact with objects both living and inanimate is a fact of life these days, and while our hands can carry their own fair share of germs, the rest of the body becomes a completely different ballpark of microbes and fungi capable of spreading a worrying array of communicable diseases. Legal public nudity would only mean more fun times using store counters and ATM machines where the previous guy has just rested his herpes-riddled dick and balls. Or better yet, crowded public transportation with your arm unfortunately pinned to some guy’s herpes-riddled dick and balls, which always makes for great news when dealing with a disease transmitted via direct skin contact of any kind. It’s optimistic to wish for people in their circumstance to be considerate, and probably foolishly so considering a stand of public nudity would be taken purely for personal convenience.

That, mind, is the only kind of person that would take advantage of this new-found legalisation. The rest of humankind value clothing not just as a practical means of keeping warm and broadcasting personality, but a statement and respect of the dignity that makes people people. The very attractive looking model that should on paper be most eager to flaunt their naked body remains clothed because privacy, while a superfluous and artificial human construction, is one of the things that lets him keep to himself physically as well as mentally. Reputation, a similar imaginary human construction, is what allows the businessman to conduct himself with pride. It is the people that have a sense of these concepts that we value the most, and in turn, the people that we trust the most that most value these concepts. That is no accident, but representative of the admiration we have for the brain that evolved a mind and its ability to construe the idea of self that led us to rise above existence as primal beings.

Still though, legal public nudity becomes palatable when we consider its regulation. If it really is only the scabby individuals that use this to aid their sexual assault and chicanery, it would seem a lot easier if we simply banned those people in particular from being naked in public. While this kind of prevention is ideal, it could never be effective, not least because the criteria for this kind of selective ban would be too objective to ever successfully enforce. Not to mention it could only ever be enforced after the fact, ie once your favourite hobo from down the street has already finished rubbing ass juice on every bench, handrail and surface in the general immediate area.

Health risk and sullying of the principles championed by civilised society aside, what exactly do we stand to gain by legalising public nudity? The convenience of a misguided few maybe. Possibly less body-shaming, possibly more. Never anything concrete enough to be of actual benefit to society, and so much to be of detriment to it. In other words, a pointless logistical nightmare that would bring around far more headaches than it's worth.

Callisto
Nudity is a divisive, polarizing topic. Public debates are electric, ferocious, and emotionally charged on all sides of the spectrum, and in many circumstances, nudity manifests in a strong cultural taboo. Nudity in any public context is hard for most to digest, simply because the nude form is so glaring, so demanding, even fascinating to some. The act isn't necessarily sexual in nature, but longstanding norms—chiefly shaped by religion—has created a deep aversion to its suggestive nature, and we react with disgust, shame, and discomfort. This begs the question: should it be legal for people to to walk around nude in public? The answer to that question is a firm yes.

It's important to first understand the historical basis of the nudity taboo. Christianity, being the most obvious agent, has long been the most significant platform for moral legislation on nudity in Western civilization. Nudity was illegal in English common law, and, in many circumstances, the act is classified as a misdemeanor in modern American indeceny law. Yet, even as contemporary attitudes evolve thanks to the growing prevalence of public nude events (such as clothing-optional bike rides) and depictions of nudity in entertainment media, many jurisdictions still impose rigid policies that either closely regulate or prohibit public nudity altogether. Joel Feinberg's "offensive principle" argues that an act need only offend onlookers, rather than just be "objectively harmful", to warrant prohibition. This is not unlike obnoxious burping or swearing in theory, but the nudity taboo is quite unique as there lie a "state of unstable equilibrium" resulting from "unresolved conflict between instinctual desires and cultural taboos".

Illustrating Feinberg's theory rather seamlessly is San Francisco's recently approved citywide public nudity ban. A concerted effort by Scott Wiener to implement an ordinance started in 2011, in response to growing pressure from residents and business owners of the Castro district. Nudist activists swiftly united in vehement opposition, urging such a ban would encroach on civil liberties. The ban, however, was approved on November 20, 2012 to a 6-5 majority vote; it became effective into law several months later in February. US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi even remarked in one Huffington Post interview, "Enough with the public nudity. Please. We have out standards."


Nudity can be a powerful weapon for protestors. This photograph sees two women protesting as part of PETA's "Go Vegan" campaign.

But do public bans on nudity actually infringe on civil liberties? What legitimate functions, if any, could public nudity serve as? There is at least one critical function to nudity, which is in fact permissible by way of freedom of expression.

Nudity is an effective tool and, increasingly, is becoming a preferred method of protest. Highly publicized nude protests include 2007's infamous global warming protest on top of Switzerland's Aletsch glacier and the 2008 Summer Olympic protests in San Francisco. Organizations such as Act Up and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are well known for coordinating graphic, vivid protests to advance their causes. Social gatherings that permit public nudity, such as the World Naked Bike Ride and San Francisco's annual gay pride festival (to name a few), may also inspire political protest. And it's certainly easy to realize why individuals and groups decide to utilize such a spectacle to their advantage. Nudity is noticeable, blunt, and assertive. It is dramatic. It demands the attention of public media and intents to force audience to directly confront the issue at hand. And at its most basic level, nude protests jumpstart thought-provoking discussion on topics of public interest.

The taboo of public nudity is likely to remain fairly potent for generations to come. However, as nude protests and other aspects of public nudity become more accepted practices, these cultural taboos will weaken, perhaps evaporate, and possibly lead to full legalization of public nudity.

References

1.http://www.slate.com/articles/news_a...nd_taboos.html
2.http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/11/21...dity.html?_r=0
3.http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/2677948


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Anark
Jack Thwagger
You got to grips with the subject in a way which Callisto singularly failed to do, and that samizayn only nearly did. You definitely need a little practice with regards formatting your debate though, so some time spent reading debates by the likes of TLK, Seabs, Andre and co will do you the world of good.

One big gripe I have is that your second paragraph is ridiculously huge. There was so much information in it that it really needed to be split up into multiple paragraphs. Not only is it easier on the eyes, it makes it much easier for the judges to digest your arguments as you make them, rather than just piling loads of stuff on all in one go and hoping for the best.

Your writing style is very good and has a lot of potential, though some of your sentences were incredibly wordy. I like an occasional wordy sentence myself, but you must be careful that you’re not labouring the same point too much within them. If you can learn some style tips with regards to formatting your debate, and be more aware of when you're being unnecessarily wordy by repeating or parroting similar sentiments too close together, I could see you making a serious impact in the future.

Sack the all italics though.

samizayn
This was alright. I feel a bit disappointed by it though as your writing craft and grasp of the stance showed that you could have made this a much more interesting match than it ended up. But Jack Thwagger expanded on your similar arguments in far more convincing ways; for the perfect example read your contrasting methods of tackling the hygiene issue. Jack Thwagger also exhibited a much deeper understanding of the question.

We might even. Some of your sentences ended in odd ways which left me wondering if you had made a typo or I just hadn’t understood what you meant. We might even. I will say in your favour that your prose read very well and I was entertained all the way through, which is an important factor as well I think. If you had matched Jack Thwagger for argument analysis and points made, then a more entertaining method of describing the same arguments might be what clinched it for you.

You just fell a little short, which you really didn’t have to considering your word count. You had hundreds of words left to expand on your arguments or make additional ones. I’m disappointed in you, samizayn, as you clearly had a lot of potential in this match.


Callisto
Technically, as a debate and/or a persuasive piece of writing, this was terrible. The only actual arguments you made in favour of your stance was a throwaway line about freedom of expression and a vague offering about the value of nude protests. Neglecting the fact that nude protests would lose 99% of their shock value if public nudity was legal, you can’t hang a debate off of one point when just the more obvious counter arguments number more than that alone.

Your intro mentions several things which technically argue for the opposite stance (cultural taboo, hard for most to digest, nude form glaring and demanding, deep aversion, causes reactions of disgust, shame, discomfort etc) but then you never go on to explain why those things you mentioned are either wrong or don’t count.

Your second paragraph gives me a brief history of why nudity is taboo, but that’s it. Again, there is nothing here actually arguing for your stance in any way and the historical context you provide doesn’t lay the foundation for any of your follow up arguments (such that they were). The third paragraph at least passes within the vicinity of a supporting argument in the part about the San Franciscan nudist activists and their claims of civil liberty infringements, but even then the paragraph ends with a statement in defence of the law banning public nudity.

The section after the picture begins to argue your case. Hallelujah. The nude protest point you make though is a little redundant as nude protests have an impact exactly because they are out of the ordinary. They gain mass media coverage because they are taboo. If public nudity was legal and therefore commonplace, nude protests would lose their impact. People would have to start organising bad cardigan protests or something.

It’s a bit of a shame really, as you write well enough and really should have been able to put a better argument together than this. Why not go into the freedom of expression thing in more detail rather than just nude protests? Why not examine why the Biblical history of nude shaming is no longer relevant in the modern age? Why not mention that some summers are really fucking hot and clothes are a pain in the arse? Why not discuss attitudes more and explain that it is people’s warped opinion of nudity that needs to change? There’s loads of stuff for this stance to talk about, and you practically ignored the whole lot of it.

VERDICT: The winner is Jack Thwagger. samizayn could have been a contender, but was outshined by the detail and analysis that Jack Thwagger showed. I can only assume Callisto texted their debate to Seabs as it was definitely phoned in.

1st = Jack Thwagger
2nd = samizayn
3rd = Callisto


ZOMBO
Jack Thwagger

Before I get into the crux of your argument, I just want to offer advice regarding formatting. There isn't anything wrong with the entry, per se, but separating some of the massive walls of text into smaller, more easily digestable bits makes life easier on the reader. This can be applied to numerous sentences too, which often run-on too long and end up not saying what I think you're trying to say.

As for the content, good work identifying your stance in the opening. Your first argument is okay, attempting to counter the notion that people should be free NOT to wear clothes against the rights of those who don't WANT to see people naked. Essentially it becomes one group's rights vs the others, seems to be your point. It's not a bulletproof rebuttal but it's good to see you acknowledge the other side and try to shut it down.

The health stance is your strongest argument, and I felt you really hammered it home nicely. Excellent work highlighting some of the bad shit that can happen and making it seem super easy to happen. A solid conclusion as well. Overally, this was a decent entry.

samizayn

Your stance is clear, but it's not the strongest in terms of how you present it in your language early on. However, I thought the personality expressed throughout the debate (ie: "herpes-riddled dick and balls") brought some humour WHILE providing meaningful arguments in favour of your answer. Really enjoyed the writing here.

You acknowledge the opposing side of the debate briefly as well, and try to present the ones who wish to have public nudity legalized as ones who are "misguided". The argument you make in favour of clothing as a statement that helps "make people people" gave me a chuckle, as it's a seemingly ironic statement. It is a little dangerous to ascribe your viewpoints to "the rest of humankind" without some sort of citation / research to back it up, though, especially when a chunk of the world still gets by without clothing. Be careful with vast statements like that which cause you to overreach your bounds.

Overall, once the debate gets rolling you do a good job of defending your side while attempting to snuff out the counter-argument.

Callisto

Good work identifying your stance immediately. And overall, this is a very well-composed, well-researched debate. However, I feel that it's biggest failing is it's failure to address the full scope of the question, particularly with respect to the counter-argument.

There are two main counters which go completely unaddressed. Your approach centers around the taboos of public nudity and the civil liberties of people who desire to express themselves / be nude in public generally. It doesn't take into account the rights of those in public who DON'T want to be exposed to this.

The second counter is the health argument, which was a strong point of Jack Thwagger and samizayn. If you provided research showing that transmission of these diseases would be nearly impossible or at least minimal, then you'd have been able to refute the opposition and make a VERY strong argument in your favour. As it is, though, those are the big holes in what is - like I said - a very well-written yet one-sided entry.

THE DECISION

Each debate has its flaws, but they all make very good points for their respective cases as well. Ultimately, I feel that samizayn was the cleanest entry that did the most in both making and refuting the necessary points on this topic.

1st = samizayn
2nd = Jack Thwagger
3rd = Callisto


Bearodactyl
Jack Thwagger

Wow, that was actually a bit overwhelming to read. Long sentences, lots of comma’s stringing them together, no spaces, just text. Bit of a turnoff to read, tbh.
I’ve read the second paragraph three times now, and I’m still not fully sure what you argued. I know there was a part in there about sending them to camps, but I’m sure that wasn’t meant THAT way.
The medical part I just continuously found myself wondering if at any point you were going into the counter of “the right to jeopardize one’s own health as they see fit” (remember: legalized nudity isn’t forced nudity, so it would be people’s own choice to risk their health) but you didn’t.
The concluding section for some part leans on social order but I’m not sure you’ve convinced me that offending it would necessarily be a bad thing. The Rapid disease transmission I can partially agree on (I’m going to refrain from pointing out every medical point I’d like to make here because this was never supposed to be a medical science debate), but I feel like there were more readily available routes to take that argument (even one as basic as focusing on increased healthcare cost).
All in all not terrible, but not very good either.

samizayn

I like the intro. It’s a solid point, yet still hasn’t cleared up what stance you’re taking. I guess it becomes clear with the first line of the second paragraph, but I usually prefer a bit more clear chosing of sides. Minor detail though. Truly nitpicking.
Again I won’t bother boring with medical details, but the overlapping theme of “could be potentially nasty” is quite clear. This is a well rounded paragraph, although you do like to say “herpes riddled dick and balls” a lot. But point well made.
The next two paragraphs go on somewhat of a tangent for a bit. Explaining how few people would actually use it only pays off as a point if you finish your point (in this case “it’s not a rule we’re all dying to see happen, infact probably rather the opposite, and there’s no clear reason why anyone should be burdened by having to wear clothes so there’s no point”), and the regulation bit seems to be in there just as comedic interlude and is purely hypothetical, and doesn’t really drive the central part home (it feels tacked on).
I do really like your conclusion, just wish there was more of it, and less of the previous two paragraphs.

Callisto

Third debate and finally we have an opposing voice. Goody.

Admittedly, you craft a well rounded and flowing debate. Out of the three, I like the way you wrote this up the most.
However, ignoring the “everyday” use and possible issues that could result from legalising nudity and focusing almost solely on naked protests seems like a rather glaring omission. I would’ve suggested that perhaps mentioning the possible ramifactions of legalisation, then comparing them to the alternative, could’ve helped out here.
Now looking at your entire debate, your approach has left you open to a lot of counters. A LOT of counters.

Final Ruling:

This is kind of a toughy in the sense that none of them made their debate even remotely rebuttal-proof, and as it stands I don’t really feel convinced either way. After some internal debate I felt like the only way to reward someone with victory is to look at strengths instead of comparing flaws, and out of the three the third debate had the clearest strength in the way it was written (it stood out as being the best read out of the three).

The Winner is Callisto

1st = Callisto
2nd = samizayn
3rd = Jack Thwagger


Winner via Points Decision - samizayn

The Acquired Taste vs SPCDRI vs Rigby vs AwSmash
Just because it's legal does that make something right?


Spoiler for Debates:
SPCDRI
No. For many reasons, things are not moral simply because they are legal.

Even If you believe in objective morality (things are either moral or immoral independent of human judgment as morality) or subjective morality (morality is dependent upon human interpretation, culture and circumstance), that laws may be worthy or repeal or modification.

Moral objectivists believe in a transcendent means to morality of that there is a way to objectively categorize moral action. For instance, religious people will contend that the moral standards come from God and work diligently to uphold them. To take an example, for these people something like slavery or military conscription (the draft) may always be wrong. An argument formulated for this would be something like…

Premise 1: If God exists, then objective morality (morals provided by God) exist
Premise 2: God exists
Conclusion: Objective morality exists.

If a law goes against objective morality, these people would oppose it.

This need not be religious. Philosopher Immanuel Kant said there are “Categorical Imperatives” in which people should always do the things which work out for the greater good of society. He formulated it thusly: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” For this reason, people may oppose laws that must not always be done for the best of society. Kant also formulated this as “Treat people always as ends in and of themselves, and not means.” This goes against a morality which argues that people could work immoral things to work a moral benefit, a sentiment commonly expressed as “the ends justify the means.” For Kant and people who hold his beliefs, something like torture is always wrong and laws that permit torture must always be opposed for they cannot be universally willed nor do they treat people as ends, they treat people as means to something, like information or consolidation of power.

Subjective morality notes that human morality and society evolves. Laws do not float down from Heaven, they come from within people. Through reasoning, people decide to amend or repeal damaging laws. One clear cut example of this is rejection of slavery. Rejection of then legal slavery is proof that something is not moral simply because it is a law. Laws may have no moral value and are tools to make a healthy society. Harmful laws are amended or replaced in the same way a car engine that is no longer working (slavery, prohibition, the draft, child labor), would be repaired or replaced.

John Rawls’ Social Contract Theory is a fine way to think about law. Laws come about because we are all a part of a social contract. The best way to formulate laws is to imagine that you do not know your circumstances of birth and this way will ensure a fair creation of law. Things such as slavery, child labor and the draft would not happen because people would imagine themselves to be potential child laborers, slaves or military draftees and not create these laws.

Laws are oftentimes changed by people with powerful messages of justice. For instance, the women’s suffrage movement headed by people like Susan B. Anthony, the Civil Rights Movement headed by people like Martin Luther King Jr., and the movement to get India’s independence from UK rule by Mahatma Gandhi, are all such instances of unjust laws being repealed by peaceful protest and action. One contention is that people seeking to change laws would be in themselves menacing and dangerous, but this need not be the case as the 3 peaceful changes to laws noted above demonstrate.

Powerful examples against the inherent goodness of laws are tyrannical governments like Nazi Germany. Under Nazi Law, people had to turn in Jews and other people the Nazi regime hated. Following “the law” would get innocents tortured and brutally killed. People such as Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg heroically defied Nazi law to save more than 100,000 lives.

Laws may be struck down as against a larger set of laws. For instance, in the United States there is a greater set of laws called The United States Constitution and the Supreme Court is used to decide if laws are legal and constitutional or illegal and unconstitutional. By the reasoning that laws are in and of themselves moral, every action of the Supreme Court and similar systems could be seen as immoral, but this is not the case in reality.

No matter if you are an objectivist or a subjectivist, laws are not always moral and may be fought.

Links to Read About Terms and Sources
Moral Objectivism/Moral Absolutism
http://www.philosophybasics.com/bran...bsolutism.html
Subjective Morality/Moral Relativism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_relativism
Immanuel Kant and Categorical Imperativism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categorical_imperative
John Rawls and Social Contract Theory
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rawls
John Rawls’ A Theory Of Justice describing Social Contract Theory and Justice as Fairness
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Theory_of_Justice
Raoul Wallengburg and Oskar Schindler
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raoul_Wallenberg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oskar_Schindler
Peaceful Movements To Change Laws
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolitionism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_suffrage
The U.S. Anti-War and Anti-Draft Movement During the Vietnam War
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposit...he_Vietnam_War
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African...954%E2%80%9368)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_...dence_movement

The Acquired Taste
Quote:
"Everybody thinks their ideas are right. That why the people you call terrorists call themselves freedom fighters. The fundamentalists think they're right, the capitalists think they're right, the communists think they're right. And no one will ever convince anyone of anything . . . ideas don't determine [what's] right. Power determines [what's] right." - Jonathan Irons(1)
The power that determines what's right in civilization is the law, therefore what's legal is what's right. Don't believe me? Go to any public place and tell me what you see...people? In this case you see more than just people. You see people following the law. Everyone. It's because it's the dogma of what's right. It may change from time to time and place to place but people follow it regardless. Yes they can say "just because it's legal it DOESN'T make something right", but no matter how passionately it's expressed, it's only an idea...


THAT ISN'T TO SAY IDEAS CAN'T HAVE POWER...

Ideas have power when the actions and words fueled by them cause change to what's legal. People condemn the law for allowing discrimination against African-Americans, discrimination against women and dictatorships to occur in the past. However they're forgetting it was only AFTER a myriad of human rights activists fought for their ideas, that they were then legitimized into law and became "right", but not a moment before.

  • African-Americans had people like Martin Luther King Jr. who led movements like the Montgomery Bus Boycott(2). The Boycott facilitated the U.S. District Court ruling on Browder v. Gayle (desegregation of buses)(3). His ideas had POWER.

  • Women had people like Susan B. Anthony who led the NAWSA(4). This organization was instrumental in approving the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution a.k.a the Susan B. Anthony Amendment (giving women the right to vote)(5). Her ideas had POWER.

  • Democracy had people like Gandhi who was in the frontlines for the Indian independence movement(6). As a result, the Indian Independence Act of 1947 (separation of India and Pakistan from British India) was passed(7). His ideas had POWER.

These people gave power to their ideas by making them FACT and PRINTING THEM INTO LEGISLATION. This is how to prove ideas are right. The abolished laws aren't "right" now but in their time they were because the law is FACTUAL doctrine. NOBODY CAN REFUTE FACTS, even if FACTS CAN CHANGE. People can be self-righteous, holier-than-thou and "PC" all they want but until their ideas cause change in the law, THEY AREN'T FACT.


LEGAL ACTIVITIES...

Chris McDonald, Ph.D, an ethics consultant(8), wrote a blog called "What’s Legal Isn’t Always Ethical"(9). He explains that lying, adultery and "so on" are legal but are "generally recognized" and "widely thought of" as wrong. But the problem with that is the law being "right" is the only thing that's universally recognized and thought of as legitimate FACT. So it's a shame that someone with McDonald's eminence is misleading people.

Anything that's legal but seems unsavoury being wrong are TRUTHS. Now don't confuse truths with FACTS. Truths are ideas that are believed by many people but they're unproven. Facts are known and proven. They're proven with such things like the law. For example, it's known to prove the facts about a person's innocence or guilt.
Quote:
"But what if somebody is wrongly sentenced?"
The law isn't responsible, human error is.

Examples:

  • The lawyer's misinterpretation of evidence.

  • The jury's verdict.

  • The judge's sentence.

The law is always right. It's people that are wrong. They're the ones who sentence innocent men to jail. It's not like the law agrees with this. But then they have the nerve to say certain things are legal but wrong. What makes them right? Passion? What if I say everything that's legal is right? Who's correct? Me. The law (FACT) endorses me. I'm not saying people's ideas (OPINIONS) don't have merit, but when it comes to FACT, legislation > passion.


LAWS, LAWS EVERYWHERE...

A Westerner and a Muslim walk into a bar. After boozing it up, the following conversation ensues...
Quote:
WESTERNER: Oi brah! Why do your women have to wear those cloaks?

MUSLIM: You mean burkas? Well reasons include having general modesty...

WESTERNER: Nah fuck that. It's not right. Women should be able dress freely.

MUSLIM: Well it's not right for women to be able to dress like whores.

BARTENDER: Okay boys, let's settle this. What does the law in your respective country say?

WESTERNER: Women can dress freely.

MUSLIM: Women are expected to wear the burka.

BARTENDER: So you both think the other is wrong?

WESTERNER & MUSLIM: Yes.

BARTENDER: But you both accept that the law is right?

WESTERNER & MUSLIM: Yes.
The Westerner and Muslim eventually accept the other lives by a different code.

The point is everyone has differing opinions on what's right but the only common denominator in the world is the law. No matter if it's in the West, the Middle East or anywhere else in the world, it's the only objective viewpoint and it's regarded as such. People may not like how certain things are legal elsewhere, but chances are somebody else does. So when two people have a difference of opinion concerning what's right, what's happens? The custody of a child is always a hot debate in society...They go see people like Judge Judy, King Solomon or they call the cops. They refer to AUTHORITIES OF THE LAW.


RESPECT THE AUTHORITAH...

The law is power and fact. Two things which are undebatable when it comes to determining what's right. From Miami to Ibiza and everywhere else, communities look to the law as a beacon of good. "Just because it's legal it DOESN'T make something right" is solely a subjective statement and while it's reasonable, it's not fact. Disagreements with the law should be addressed through the correct pathways and if it's reasonable enough, it will lead to a rectification because...
Quote:
"The law is reason free from passion." - Aristotle(10)
Meaning, it doesn't cater to ideas. It's caters to what's right for humankind.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

Spoiler for references:
1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 'DLC' INTEL Recordings of Jonathan Irons (Kevin Spacey) -
(5:55) - (6:30)

2. Montgomery Bus Boycott - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montgomery_Bus_Boycott

3. Browder v. Gayle: Case history - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browder...e#Case_history

4. National American Woman Suffrage Association: Presidents of the NAWSA - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa...s_of_the_NAWSA

5. Susan B. Anthony: Death and legacy - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_B...ath_and_legacy

6. Indian independence movement: Gandhi arrives in India - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_...rives_in_India

7. Indian independence movement: Independence and partition of India - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_...ition_of_India

8. About Chris MacDonald, Ph.D.: More about me - http://chrismacdonald.ca/

9. What’s Legal Isn’t Always Ethical - http://businessethicsblog.com/2011/1...lways-ethical/

10. Aristotle: Politics (Book III, 1287.a32 Variant) - http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Aristotle#Politics


Rigby
I Thought The Law (And The Law's Wrong)


Discussions of morality have been fostered by humanity for millennia; the need for a "right" and "wrong" was born from a need for order and civility among developing cultures. The more scarce the resources such as food, the more that culture emphasized honor through strong work in the field or as a hunter, and shamed theft and cheating others.

Originally reinforced through short stories and myths, civilization found itself needing a more structured approach to enforcing these moral standards, and an organized law soon came about. As covered by today's debate, one of the most widely contended aspects of morality and the law was whether the law itself was a worthwhile source to derive a sense of "right". It's thoroughly demonstrable that what is "right" is incongruous with simply what is "legal".

--

For the purpose of this debate, "right" represents the concepts of morality, specifically the approach to determining the appropriate course of action in a given circumstance. "Ethics" and "morality" will be interchangeable for all intents and purposes. On the other hand, what's "legal" will be based upon criminal law in "First World" nations (although it'll cross-apply to other forms of law) and may be referred to as "the law".

--

So what exactly are morals and how do they relate to laws?

Morals are how we justify our actions in a situation based on adopted value systems. Someone who values honesty will not lie over trivial matters, for instance. Values are the lens through which we evaluate the worth and consequences of all of our actions.

Which values are held, and how they are prioritized vary from person-to-person; therefore,there are no objective or universal values. Morals seek to both celebrate "right" actions, and shame "wrong" actions, with consistent implications upon the worth of our actions.

--

In contrast, the law is a (theoretically) universal set of standards for impermissible behavior. There's no consequences for "right" behavior under the laws, only repercussions for violating the rules. While a code of conduct of this nature can be essential to any balanced and developed moral code, it alone imparts no values for individual consideration.

An intrinsic relationship between the law and morality is highlighted in the debate question through the phrase "just legal." There's no such thing as "just legal" in the law, as there needs to be a preexisting moral dilemma, and a subsequent accepted standard, from which the law can be derived. The belief that all life has potential and a right to an opportunity to fulfill that potential leads to the formation and enforcement of homicide and manslaughter laws, even in cases that lack ill-intent. Those laws don't exist in a vacuum free from their moral justification. This casts reasonable doubt upon the questions initial postulation of whether something can be "just legal", before we even begin to consider if that by extension makes it right.

There's an arbitrary and inconsistent nature to the law that cannot be overlooked. In a nation such as the United States, every town, city, county, and state has their own set of rules and laws governed by various jurisdictions. The tricky consequence of this is that what's held to be incontrovertibly wrong in point A can be wholly appropriate in point B, even if the distance between the two is a mere 5 meters apart. While morals must consider context, it's never in an entirely arbitrary fashion such as this, where ingesting marijuana in Colorado is considered A-OK, but venturing barely across the state line into Kansas to ingest the substance makes you a criminal facing a year in jail and a hefty fine.

Perhaps the most dubious nature of the law, as aforementioned, is that it contains no device to evaluate unique legal actions. Suppose you want a car, and while the law says you can't steal that car, you still need to determine an appropriate line of behavior to obtain this car. As far as the law is concerned, you can go do hard labor, dig ditches, milk cows, or pick crops to accumulate the funds, or you can become a porn star, suck a million cocks on camera, and get paid for your legal work, and it'd be equally honorable and appropriate under the law (depending on the jurisdiction, of course).

There is no such thing as honor or humility in the eyes of the law, only the permissible and the criminal, and thus, the law fails to evaluate and differentiate between legal acts, nor does it consider their unique consequences. Neither action is more justified than the other.

--

However, this isn't merely about individual circumstances, this is about the incongruity of concepts.

--

In fact, it'd be intellectually dishonest to namedrop any specific "egregious, yet legal" occurrence (i.e. Holocaust) as if it's an objective violation of morality to prove the law's moral failings, since morality is individually subjected to the biases, values, and circumstances of its holder. Ethics necessitates agency, and a moral divorced of its agent is only as valuable as the next agent deems it.

To the wife of a German soldier in wartime, why should her value of self-preservation of her family be sacrificed for an act of treason in a futile attempt to protect strangers from an insurmountable oppressive entity? Consider that question sadistic or selfish, but even the selfish sadists have their own morality, and that scenario would fail to meet their threshold of a justified action.

--

Instead, let's piece them together, and finalize why they cannot fit:

Morals need values, the law offers and requires none. Morals need to evaluate and differentiate between all potential outcomes, the law appreciates all "legal" actions with the same worth. Morals are subjective and individualized, the law is objective and universal. Morals operate within the individual, the law operates within the jurisdiction. The fundamental disparities are too great for the two to be grafted upon one another; they might accent one another, but the law cannot serve morality's purpose.

AwSmash
Just because it's legal does that make something right?
Did John Terry break any laws when he shagged his teammate’s missus?
Does the medical system break any laws when it denies a desperate patient lifesaving treatment due to finances or a lack of?
Are advertising campaigns generally breaking any laws when they exaggerate to arguably deceive their target audience?

Notice a pattern? The answer to all is ‘no’, which also raises another question – are the above ethical? To most people, the answer would again be ‘no’; however, that’s where the crux of this topic lies – to most people, the answer would be ‘no’. This completely changes the question, as ethics can be both a personal and societal matter and that will be explored later on; however, we must first define the topic at hand.

By ‘right’ the question assumedly means moral or ethical – i.e. behavioural matters that are deemed to be socially acceptable. Therefore the topic is questioning whether adhering to a country and/or community’s laws automatically makes one’s behaviour morally acceptable.

Now, let’s explore the idea of differences in ethics through the eye of an individual versus through the eyes of a culture as prior mentioned. There are also professional ethics (e.g. in a business), but for the sake of staying below the word count, these will fall under personal.

Ethics: Personal vs. Societal
Throughout the world there are various views and ideas shared by mass amounts of people – religious or cultural beliefs for example. Often these views conflict with one another and that, as raised before is crucial in this debate. People throughout the world differentiate in opinions on such matters as abortion, political systems or religion, so how can it be expected that people will share a collective view on what is right and wrong?

Your view on your country’s involvement in war will likely be different to the elderly veteran living down the road. Your view on teenage pregnancy will likely be different to a sixteen year old ecstatic to be having a child. Matters as minuscule (in the grand scheme of things) as to whether a Mexican man should receive the $500 000 he won on a misprinted lottery ticket* cause great debate, so it is blatantly ignorant to believe society will be ever able to mutually agree on what is ethical and what is not.

So, what is it that forms the boundary that segregates socially unacceptable behavior from ethical conduct? Ah yes, our old pal the justice system.

…And Justice For All(?)
If you were to go to a university campus featuring the brightest minds of the modern world and yell out the words cannabis and legalization, you would likely receive quizzical stares; however, if you were to do so on the internet, you would draw the attention of the greatest philosophers of this generation. Let’s face it, laws and the justice system often come under fire nowadays, with the fiercest shots often fired by internet users. Let’s have a glance at some comments on a DailyMail news article about arrests regarding the use of cannabis at Yellwostone National Park**, shall we?

Quote:
“Oh COME ON Rangers, loosen up a bit, smoke one of those joints yourself. It's far less dangerous and damaging than alcohol.”
Food for thought, American government. While there are relevant studies out there to provide evidence for this comment, there are also many that contradict it. Without links to any relevant studies, this comment is useless.

Quote:
Thank god the government makes sure nobody can enjoy Yellowstone after smoking a joint, just imagine the chaos by allowing such freedom, just can't have it.
Boo. No freedom. Boo. That’s all I got out of this. I love my joints, so let’s make sarcastic comments aimed at a well-known law.

I’d like it to be known that I am not against the legalization of the possession of cannabis; however, these comments are a fine example of the internet fire laws often come under. Since the inception of the internet, I feel it’s valid to say that the question asked by this debate has likely gained more momentum. The fact that your average Joe can just complain online, because the coppers shut down their good time is a primary area that this question stems from. No, the justice system is not perfect – anywhere, but it works a lot more than legalizing something because Tom, Dick or Harry enjoy it.

Until everyone can collectively dictate what is right and what is strong, we will simply have to adhere to the justice system. Despite all the heated comments we see directed at it from internet users whose IQ is among the best 83% in the world; it still best sets the parameters for what is ethical and what is not. People may not like it, but that is personal opinion.

NOTE: In a business or facility (i.e.) in which a set of rules are agreed upon by occupants, legal may not equal right. This debate focused purely on general circumstances.


*http://q13fox.com/2015/01/05/man-tol...isprint-video/
**http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/tr...ises-drug.html


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
ZOMBO
I'm keeping my remarks relatively limited on this, as I'm substituting in at the last minute and want to help facilitate quicker results. I do want to say that these are all tremendously written in terms of the reasoning behind your arguments, the creative approach, and the actual written word (both in structure and ability). Four STRONG debates like this raise hope for the Social Division. Please don't be offended when I focus a lot on the negatives, since I'm just trying to show the things that distinguished each entry from the others.

SPCDRI

This was a solid approach, although I thought it spent a little too much time delving into the differing views of morality. I understand you wanted to establish what "right" was, but I felt that other debates did this in a more simplistic yet still effective manner.

The entry really picked up momentum when you began looking at law as well, applying it to your earlier part. All good examples provided too, just wish they were a little more expansive to further hammer home your point. Overall, this was a solid entry.

The Acquired Taste

An interesting, unique slant on the question, and not one I expected. And I think you did a reasonable enough job trying to convince me of your point.

However, there were still too many holes in your theory, one of which is significant. When the group in power / dictating laws are evil and the laws enacted further propagate evil actions, then how can you argue that the law is still "right"? Are laws that enable slavery, or horribly prejudices against a group of people (think Jews in Nazi Germany) "right"?

Really, I just felt a disconnect being the point you were trying to make and the way you went about trying to prove it. Still, this was a considerable effort given the style of writing being fairly convincing in its own right.

Rigby

I felt this had a lot of what was good in SPCDRI's, but in a clearer and more concise manner. You cover the expansive ground of morality rather quickly, and then dive into the application of law's relationship to morals.

The arbitrary and inconsistent nature to law section was my favourite, and summed up my contention with The Acquired Taste in better words than I could find. This debate used the word count excellently, and really hammered home its points throughout. Very well done.

AwSmash

This debate was also very good. Competent points throughout. However, I found from a personal standpoint that when you wavered into the internet commenter issue, it kind of lost momentum.

Aside from that section not really doing anything for me, I can't take a lot away from this debate. Good work.

THE DECISION

I felt that the most complete, rounded answer to the question asked could be found in Rigby. So, that's my pick.

RAB
SPCDRI

Introduction was short, simple and to the point. I like that.

I’m not sure if the next bit even makes sense… taking out the parenthesis it reads “Even If you believe in objective morality or subjective morality, that laws may be worthy or repeal or modification.” I’m sorry if I’m being a bit too harsh, but WHAT?

“Moral objectivists believe in a transcendent means to morality of that there is a way to objectively categorize moral action… PARKLIFE.” I’m just kidding but I think you may be going a tad over the top with your use of relatively fancy language throughout this entire debate, it’s been incredibly hard for me to wrap my head around and it’s not very ‘to the point’. It feels like the sophistication and ‘smart’ tone of this debate is forced and I feel this ruins the debate because it’s genuinely hurting my head trying to get through it.

The arguments in this debate are all valid but most of them up until the one about John Rawls’ Social Contract Theory are so overly sophisticated that it makes it an absolute pain to read and try to comprehend.

I’m new as a judge so perhaps I’m not as good at picking out things to critique as other judges will be but I’ll tell you this: I know when arguments are effective and I know when I see a debate which ties in tone, arguments and formatting to create a persuasive piece of writing. This is not one of these.

It genuinely gave me a headache. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea I get that but if I could give some advice it’d be to calm down with the use of language and make everything a tad simpler for the sake of effectiveness.

The Acquired Taste

The introduction was good in the sense that it sets the rest of the debate up although I do disagree with some of the ideas expressed I can’t fault you for this.

“Yes they can say “just because it’s legal it DOESN’T make something right”, but no matter how passionately it’s expressed, it’s only an idea…” I’m so glad you went on to address the fact that ideas can have power after this because if you didn’t then you’d have shot yourself right in the foot, because there is no power without original ideas.

You did a good job of showing how ideas have power with a good use of examples, but I’m not exactly sure you’ve grasped the correct meaning of ‘right’… You’ve made it clear that you believe that legal = right but you’ve really left a massive gap with regards to morals… what about, for example, abortion? It’s legal in most places, but it’s also TECHNICALLY killing someone and removing them of any rights they could have had… is that right, just because it’s legal?

“But the problem with that is the law being “right” is the only thing that’s universally recognised and thought of as legitimate FACT.” Is this true? I’m 100% sure you could go to any country in the world and find a group of people who think that laws should be changed… there’s millions, if not hundreds of millions in America alone that would like to change Marijuana laws, for example. You’re making good points but I think there’s so much more you’d need to do in order to safeguard yourself from counterattacks.

You say “The law is always right. It’s people that are wrong.”… In the next paragraph you show an example of two different people who follow different laws which contradict each other. Which law is wrong then? If they’re contradictive of each other then they can’t both be right. You didn’t specifically state that “the law, in its respective country, is always right”, which means that you were open again to criticism.

I would disagree again with you on saying that the law caters to what’s right for humankind as there’s so many laws that people desperately want changed that haven’t been changed and there’s no way of telling that they will be changed, but you did finish strong. I’d say you could have finished more to the point though, as it was a tad longwinded.

Overall this debate was good but there was a lot of room for counterattacks.

Rigby

When I first read this one through I immediately thought it was the winner.

I liked the introduction, it was very well worded and it had a good flow, and you also introduced your stance at the beginning.

Defining what ‘right’ means is something which all the other debates (except AwSmash, who still didn’t define it, rather assume that it meant one of two things) failed to do which gives you a much clearer path to victory with your debate. I like that a lot.

I really liked the fact that you highlighted morals are different from laws in the sense that morals vary from person-to-person and laws, for the most part, are universal.

The whole point surrounding the “just legal” thing is good, although I feel like you could have clarified that the “pre-existing moral dilemma” isn’t necessarily one which is viewed by the majority as a moral dilemma. The rest of this section is solid though.

I really liked the fact that you stated it was about the incongruity of concepts and I felt that you did a good job of tying them together.

I felt this was a very good debate. Very well done.

AwSmash

Initial thoughts are that you’ve made a good start. You set quite a good chatty tone and I hope you manage to continue this tone whilst conveying good arguments.

I’m glad you brought ethics into it again, as I mentioned, I felt this is something which I felt SPCDRI and The Acquired Taste failed to do effectively.

I liked that you defined ‘right’ but I feel that Rigby did a better job due to concretely pinning a definition on it rather than using flimsy language like “assumedly”. Still, SPCDRI and The Acquired Taste failed to do so.

I don’t like that you’ve stated that there are other ethics you’re not going to explore. Regardless of whether it’s because of the word count, I wouldn’t mention something which could be important and then explain that you’re not even going to look at it.

I like the entire personal vs societal thing as it’s something I think is important in this question. The points you made were good too. It was a good way of showing that there are people who are bound to find things that other people might find ethical unethical, or vice-versa.

I think the entire point about cannabis was used in a way that it was regarding a question about something illegal being “wrong”, if you get me, not something legal being right… I think you could definitely have used it in a better way. I see your point but I don’t really see the relevance to this specific question.
I think you could definitely have had a better conclusion which was more to the point.

Generally this was good but there were quite a few gaps.

VERDICT:

Overall I think it was probably between Rigby and AwSmash.

The winner is Rigby because it was the debate which persuaded me more than AwSmash and didn’t have as many spaces for counterattacks as The Acquired Taste and was just generally better than SPCDRI.

WOOLCOCK
SPCDRI:

I thought this started well but suffered from a disjointed closing stretch where you seemed to throw out final arguments that occurred to you without really expanding on them to make them persuasive. I liked the general argument that laws can be opposed/repealed, and the focus of laws to be universal was a nice way to introduce this argument. I felt the second half of your debate was lacking though, with your arguments becoming brief and descriptive and struggling to build on your initial promising argument of subjective morality. It really did read almost as if you threw in the final couple of paragraphs to come near the word count, rather than constructing them to strengthen your debate.




The Acquired Taste:

This was an interesting counter to SPCDRI, mainly because you argue that laws being repealed do not necessarily make them wrong. I thought you could have elaborated/been clearer in your interpretation of this, because the gist I got was that laws that previously advocated slavery cannot necessarily be seen as 'wrong' now due to hindsight. Obviously our morals conflict with slavery but this is because of education and people fighting to oppose this act. At the time it was an active law people did not have the cultural understanding of human rights that we possess today. Like I said though, I thought you were a bit murky at times with your explanation of it which needs to be corrected since debates should always be telling me the stance, rather than having me try to interpret the meaning behind the arguments. Still, I thought SPCDRI's universal law theory and its implications offered a counter to your concluding argument that laws can be challenged, but can't be considered wrong. I thought SPCDRI raised a valid theory that a person challenges/disputes a law purposefully because they oppose it morally and thus cannot consider it right. I didn't feel your earlier arguments offered enough conviction and persuasive language to convince me enough of your stance, and this counter further weakened your overall argument to me.



Rigby:

I'll keep this brief but I really liked this. I felt you surpassed SPCDRI's take on the question by breaking down what is 'right' as a matter of ethics and elaborating on why the law is universal in its scope whereas morals are more personal and cultural. I felt you broke down quite well how values are intrinsic and that the law varies in its scope, the difference in jurisdiction on weed being a good example. The sociological considerations were well argued and I felt you offered a suitable theory for how a law in of itself cannot always be right.




AwSmash:

Like The Acquired Taste I thought this suffered in the second half of the debate through disjointed arguments and almost a personal focus on the marajuana aspect from the question at hand. I also felt you were a bit muddled in presenting your stance in addressing the question. So much of your debate focused on society struggling to collectively identify universal morals, that I felt you would argue laws cannot intrinsically all be right because society would always differ on morals and what is right to others may be thoroughly opposed by others. Instead, you sort of state near the end that society seemingly cannot settle on what is universally right and wrong, and that therefore the law is the best option. The clear problem to me here though is if you openly argue society struggles to define truly right from wrong, then how can you assert law by definition is always right? If society cannot universally agree on right from wrong, then arguably laws in of themselves cannot be universally accepted by society as right by default. Like The Acquired Taste, your elaboration in constructing your argument felt a bit subdued and lacking, and your second half in particular felt quite disjointed and straying directly from the question at hand.


Winner - Rigby


Winner via Unanimous Decision - Rigby

RealManRegal vs CGS
Should AJ Styles stop using the Styles Clash after recent events in 2014?


Spoiler for Debates:
CGS

Should AJ Styles stop using the styles clash after recent events in 2014?


Roderick Strong: Broken Neck
Lionheart (Aka Adrien McCallum): Broken Neck
Yoshi Tatsu: Broken Neck

Three separate superstars, three separate incidents, and three broken necks. One constant: AJ Styles and his signature finisher the styles Clash. Hell let’s throw Satoshi Kojima into the mix too as a potential neck break. So four incidents in the space of one year, enough reason to call for AJ to stop using the move, right?

Wrong

Wait…what? But people are getting injured badly

First thing is first, it’s good to note that the question doesn’t actually ask if the move should be banned. But rather if AJ himself needs to stop using it. Despite this my answer still remains the same and here’s why.

Firstly, every single wrestling move in the world carries some degree of danger and risk; superstars have been hit with the hardest chair shots, dropped off 20 foot ladders, fallen through multiple tables and just plain been struck right in the face with the stiffest possible shots in the world……and walked out the ring perfectly fine. I mean remember when Mercury got hit with a ladder in the face? [1] He was lucky to walk out with just a slight broken nose.

And yet look at Bruno Sammartino, he was out for 8 weeks after a botched bodyslam broke his neck, What about Bret Hart? He got seriously concussed and was forced to retire by a mule kick to the head from Goldberg…I mean basic moves, nothing fancy, nothing amazing, Just your run of the mill moves that have been around for decades and are still around today despite causing serious harm…and yet I don’t remember being saying Goldberg should stop kicking people in the head…do you?

But 3 major neck injuries in one year? Surely this isn’t a coincidence?

But then, would people still be crying out for him to abandon the move if say all 3 of these major injuries were spread out over the last decade rather than the last year? Say he injured a guy in 2004, then in 2010 and maybe one last month. Would there still be guys like Lionheart out there writing him to ask him to abandon the move? [2]

What about other guys who have used this move such as Col.DeBeers, DDP, Michelle McCool and Cesaro (each with slight variations). It’s a move that’s been around for decades and decades and even with all the issues is still used today safely on many guys carrying a very low injury to execution rate. Hell AJ has used it since the Kojima incident with no issues.

Even when you look at lionheart’s message (Footnote 2) he even mentioned that the move itself isn’t dangerous and on paper is very safe and basic to execute. Making it hard to place 100% of the blame on whatever happened on AJ. But then how can these guys protect themselves more? Easy by just speaking up.

So what, both guys just need to just communicate more and all will be good?

While it’s not just black and white as that, yes more communication could go a long way in rectifying the recent issues. Just look at the facts, AJ was in TNA for over a decade and barely any issues arise from his finisher. Which may have been down to many reasons
  • Higher communication levels (less communication barriers compared to Japan)
  • Similar trainers within the company
  • More experienced guys who have also taken the move meaning more advice available for those who need it

Amongst potentially other reasons. Going back into the indy’s and in particular going to NJPW, you begin to lose of all this. Most wrestlers will tell you that it’s a natural instinct to tuck your head in during most moves, the styles clash however forces you to do the opposite and so without the proper training and advice it can be hard for many inexperienced wrestlers or those not used to dealing with the styles clash to take the move comfortably.

Naturally people may use this as an excuse and say “well if there is communication issues then he should just stop using it”, however no one can force another superstar into doing a move they don’t feel comfortable with, the scripts are set but before the match both guys have the opportunity to sit down and iron out any particular spots, moves or moments that they want or do not want to do or don’t feel comfortable enough to protect themselves from. Communication is a huge part of a wrestling match after all. Hell maybe some extra communication could have been the big difference between a broken neck and a couple of bruises in the morning. Who knows?

So careers could be on the line and we just have to accept that?

The unfortunate and extremely harsh truth is yes…yes we do. Botches and injuries are a way of life in the wrestling world and every single wrestler knows this from day one. People get hurt, bones get broken, and unfortunately shit literally does just happen. If we begin placing restrictions on what moves superstars should and shouldn’t use every time a superstar breaks a neck, tears a muscle or suffers a major concussion we would be sitting around watching chokeholds and Irish whips for 20 mins straight.

Fact is while the Styles Clash may be seen as the latest evil in the wrestling world, this “trend” of injuries can easily be classed of as nothing more than a series of accidents caused by a either a lack of experience or a lack of communication. As mentioned the wrestling world is littered with stories of awful injuries and simple moves that unfortunately just went wrong. This is no different. The styles clash itself is not any more dangerous or threatening to a superstar’s career than say a body slam or a clothsline if both guys play their roles perfectly and thus AJ should be allowed to carry on using the move.

Footnotes

[1]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN81rkaVhU4
[2]http://www.prowrestling.com/lionheart-aj-styles-stop-using-styles-clash/


RealManRegal

Jan. 4th, 2014: Roderick Strong suffers a serious neck injury due to a botched Styles Clash.
Feb. 28th, 2014: 'Lionheart' suffers a broken neck due to a botched Styles Clash.
Nov 8th, 2014: Yoshitatsu suffers a broken neck due to a botched Styles Clash.
Nov 29th, 2014: Satoshi Kojima lands badly on his neck due to a botched Styles Clash, inexplicably walking away without injury.

4 notable botches in 12 months, resulting in 2 broken necks and one further neck injury. Surely it's time for AJ Styles to stop using the Styles Clash?

Let me preface my answer by making 2 assertions:

AJ Styles isn't to blame.

AJ has been performing the move safely for over a decade, with very few exceptions (i.e. Kazarian, Corey Graves). He's well known enough for other workers to be familiar with his finisher, and if they're not certain on how to use it then there's opportunity to discuss or rehearse beforehand.

With the exception of the most recent botch with Kojima, all previous bad botches have been as a result of the opponent tucking their chin - something which you would do for a back bump, not a front bump - which subsequently results in them landing on their head; or in other works - they took the bump incorrectly and in doing so endangered themselves.

The Styles Clash isn't a dangerous move.

Considering the anatomy of the move, it's hard to argue for it being intrinsically more dangerous than the various different drivers, bombs or even slams. It's a faceplant, where the recipient typically drops from less than waist-height, and the move (or variations of it) has been performed without issue by DDP, Michelle McCool and Cesaro.

It could be argued that the Styles Clash is an 'atypical', unusual bump to take, and maybe this causes confusion and leads to the counter-intuitive tucking of the chin we've seen in almost all the bad botches; however enough people of varying experience levels have taken it safely to rule out the move itself being inherently dangerous.

However with all of that being said, I firmly believe that AJ Styles should stop using the Styles Clash.

Who's to blame for the injuries does not matter.

Whether the move is dangerous does not matter.

All that matters is that within a 12 month period, in a choreographed entertainment performance, the same manoeuvre from the same man has led to 2 broken necks, 1 neck injury and 1 lucky escape.

We're not talking about hypothetical dangers of the move, or the kayfabe injuries it's causing - the curtain is drawn back on this one - real shit is happening.

However for some, AJ Styles eliminating his finishing move from his repertoire is too steep a price to pay in order to prevent more broken necks; so let's play sociopathic devil's advocate and take the actual people whose necks are being broken out of the equation, because "LOL, Indie Guys, amirite?"...

AJ is risking his own career too

It's fair to assume there's already an air of caution surrounding Styles right now - with another botched Styles Clash, another broken neck, that caution then evolves into AJ becoming radioactive.

At best he'll be labelled a sloppy worker, at worst a dangerous one. whom promoters will be less inclined to work with, or risk putting their high-end talent in the ring with.

Some finishers are too iconic to replace - this isn't one of them

The Styles Clash isn't unique, innovative or truly iconic; very little is lost from the "value" of Styles as a performer if he were to phase the move out.

It wouldn't be the first time a top star changed or stopped using a finisher - the "Walls of Jericho" transitioned to a simple Boston Crab, and in doing so made way for a new finisher in the form of the Codebreaker. Big Show has added and removed numerous finishers over the years (Hands up who remembers the Alleyoop and the Final Cut?)

Furthermore considering his career renaissance in NJPW, taking the Styles Clash out of his repertoire may actually be a blessing...

The move doesn't fit with the style of NJPW

The Styles Clash looks weak, particularly in contrast with NJPW's "strong style".

A different finisher would fit the "new, improved" Styles we're seeing; and from a creative perspective it would make sense, as his replacement as leader of the Bullet Club, to further his occasional use of Prince Devitt's 'Bloody Sunday' finisher and utilise that in place of the Styles Clash.

Considering that Devitt likely won't be using 'Bloody Sunday' in WWE owing to them typically avoiding driver-based moves; then it's also a subversive way of helping to mark NJPW out from the softer, tamer WWE as they try to enter the western market; essentially saying "Here's the move that WWE won't let Devitt use".

Eliminating the move opens up creative opportunities

NJPW were already touting the Styles Clash as a neck-breaking move at Wrestle Kingdom 9; so if AJ makes the decision to stop using the move, the groundwork is set for an angle to explain this. The most obvious of which would be kayfabe banning as a result of a worked injury angle or a match stipulation.

Stopping using the move regularly doesn't eliminate the option of pulling it out of the hat for 'special occasions', with trusted opponents on exceptionally rare circumstances for high-impact angles.

The only real argument against AJ eliminating the Styles Clash is that it deprives him of one of his signatures; however not only is that an extremely small price to pay to avoid the risk of far worse consequences should another botch happen, it may actually be a blessing in disguise that will help further his career in NJPW.

Aiding his own career by reducing the risk of ending others? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
CGS - First things first Roderick didn't break his neck. First part is iffy and has too many holes in your argument for me. If you argue against your arguments yourself then you should expose a lot of these issues. Comparing the Styles Clash to big TLC spots is odd because one happens in nearly every match and one happens like once a year. Then you compare the topic to botches off mule kicks and bodyslams and it doesn't hold up for me because how often does a bodyslam get botched or cause an injury? Very rarely so it's different to this move which has caused this many injuries last year and could have caused more. The decade spread point doesn't really work for me either because that's not the case. The fact that the percentage of times the move is done to times it causes injury is a decent point but you don't use it to counter the opposing stance. I don't think "so without the proper training and advice it can be hard for many inexperienced wrestlers or those not used to dealing with the styles clash to take the move comfortably" works either because the 4 wrestlers you referenced taking the bump wrong have all been wrestling for at least a decade. Also I think your communication point is flawed. All 3 guys have said they know how to take the bump but when it came to the actual bump they just did something else. Communication pre-match isn't really the issue. You needed something to show that communication was part of the issue and that this suggestion would help ease the problem. Penultimate paragraph again I don't feel addresses the specific context. You never really address the fact that one move by one person has been botched in such a bad way in just one year. This debate feels like it's arguing like it's only one case when in reality it's many more in a short span of time. As far as direct counters to that and the idea that AJ would be just fine dropping it and using another move you're left pretty empty.

RealManRegal - Normally I'd rag you for stating your stance so far into your debate but it was fine here. I liked how you essentially agreed with a lot of the basis for the opposing stance but then argued regardless he should still stop using it. Ballsy but it worked and made your stance a lot stronger imo. "choreographed entertainment performance" was an awesome choice of wording. "whom promoters will be less inclined to work with, or risk putting their high-end talent in the ring with." was probably too much of a stretch given AJ is getting booked everywhere right now and he has his reputation pretty much made already. Just wording it as it being a needless and avoidable tarnish on his reputation with fans would probably have been better. The arguments that AJ can afford to drop the move was good. You're very good at showing the downside from one option is much worse than the downside of the alternative. I would have added that AJ is so talented that he can easily add a new finisher than looks even better. The New Japan style point was alright but when it hasn't been an issue for him I think that weakens the argument but I still get what you're saying and it's still valid, just not the strongest point you make. The booking part I really liked. Once you outlaw something as being dangerous it moves into great heel shtick territory. I assume you watched Wrestle Kingdom by the comment so using the crowd reaction when AJ set up for the Styles Clash off the top rope would have been good support for arguing that it he left it alone for a while and then suddenly used it'd be over big. I think you flirt with the wording of the question here too. It says stop but I guess it doesn't say stop forever permanently. You yourself pointing this out would have been good though. Good debate that worked very well against CGS'.

Winner - RealManRegal

Andre
CGS

The point about how any innocuous move can lead to a severe injury was good, although you should have used better examples. The fact that the Styles clash has caused a bunch of severe injuries in such a short space of time suggests that it isn’t really comparable to a one off stiff Goldberg kick or botched body slam. Really to have strengthened this point you needed to make a comparison with a technically safe looking move that has caused a bunch of injuries, which would obviously not include something like the piledriver. It wouldn’t be the easiest concept to research but it’s something that would have helped you a lot.

The idea that there would have been fewer outcries if the injuries had been spread out over a longer time period is reasonable. However, the comparison to other wrestlers using the move is pointless because the debate concerns AJ using the move. What if those guys are safer with the move and take fewer liberties with their opponents who might be inexperienced? It just doesn’t work as an angle in this debate without going that bit deeper with the comparison.

I get the point that the wrestlers who are uncomfortable or unsure how to take the move could speak up, but surely AJ should have taken the majority of the responsibility, especially after the first incident? That leaves me in doubt as to whether Styles should perform the move, because if he can’t take responsibility via strong communication to ensure it never happened again after the second incident, then when would he ever? Another issue is that he could end up communicating as much as possible, but the injuries could still happen due to his opponents’ potential ineptitude. Then what? To get your way through that you would have to make a really good argument to convince me that Styles should be more selective with his bookings rather than sacrificing the move, but then that would have to be an A* level argument to negotiate all the potential counters to that. As your opponent argued, AJ could potentially be one more botched Styles’ Clash away from ruining his reputation in the business, so is it really worth continuing with the move considering the last criticism I made? This may all sound harsh, but really it’s more that this is a very difficult stance to argue for, unfortunately for you.

I think you were on the verge of one of the potential money arguments for this side of the argument when you skirted around the point about wrestlers not having to take moves they don’t want to take. You should have convincingly argued that AJ should explicitly ask his opponents if they want to take the move or not, hence putting the responsibility on their shoulders, then he wouldn’t suffer any heat if an accident happened again. This could have also been supported by arguing that AJ could make a public statement (possibly a letter to Lionheart, with a tone unlike the unsympathetic comments he made on Talk Is Jericho) in which he says that he takes some responsibility for the injuries that have occurred, but he will continue to use the move in future, unless his opponents refuse to do so after he asks them if they will take it. Something like this would have been a good persuasive tactic, because a lot of the bad feeling from this saga is due to how nonchalant AJ has been about it, therefore a PR stunt like that could have cooled down the situation a lot. Obviously you would have had to break down the question for this to work, arguing that this would mean merely reducing the use of the move rather than stopping.

I think your penultimate paragraph is good and captures the feeling that this side of the argument really should evoke, but to have made it brilliant you needed to link it back your point about innocuous injuries, which obviously needed a better comparative example as I said before.

Other than the issues within your actual arguments, you also left yourself exposed to a lot of the counters that RealManRegal made. Look at the arguments he makes about how the Styles' Clash isn’t that important a move to AJ (I think this could have been countered with a good argument) and how the move doesn’t necessarily fit in with NJPW’s style (could have been countered by making the point that a move like this makes AJ stand out as a special attraction, or even that it’s a great way for him to maintain heat). RealManRegal also came up with a few creative ideas that argued how stopping the use of the Styles' Clash could create some money angles, which showed that your debate was a tad narrow compared to his in overall outlook.

This wasn’t a bad debate considering how tricky this side of the argument is to negotiate. I certainly commend you for taking the brave approach, whilst your passion did come through quite well at times.



RealManRegal

Your into is good, laying out the scenario and your stance very well, although stating that AJ Styles isn’t to blame seems a tad biased and takes responsibility away from the person who should have made a greater effort to prevent what occurred after the first neck break (read debate A’s feedback if you’re really bothered to find out more details on this). Fortunately for you this doesn’t really affect your argument because you’re not arguing that Styles shouldn’t stop the move while your opponent is, but I just wanted to point this out because against an opponent who argues the same side to a similar standard something like this could be a costly error.

I was wondering why on Earth you were arguing that the move wasn’t dangerous considering your stance, until I read on and realised you were taking a different approach that went beyond the basic idea of whether the move was dangerous or not. This was a smart way of accentuating the idea that AJ hasn’t performed the move sloppily in general, so therefore it would be unfair of him to tarnish his own legacy by continuing with the Styles’ Clash when another wrestler’s incompetence could ruin his legacy. That’s an excellent angle to use, although a minor criticism would link back to the idea that Styles could be partially responsible for what has happened previously due to a lack of communication, so maybe his reputation does deserve to be smudged just a tad? I think this sentiment is made more prominent due to the fact that you were quite hyperbolic in the way that you exonerated Styles from taking any blame.

The argument about the finisher not being iconic is good and would probably only be completely defeated by a top class argument (guess you could argue that the controversy has made the move iconic in its own way!). The explanation for how other superstars have changed their signature moves was a decent piece of support work for this. Maybe a comparison to a star much greater than Jericho or Big Show would strengthen this, seeing as how AJ has been given a major push in NJPW that neither of the aforementioned wrestlers really gained at a similar stage in their careers, although that’s a minor quibble.

I thought you made a good argument about the move not really fitting NJPW’s style, but the obvious counter is that this is something that would heighten the idea that AJ is a special attraction, while it would also fit in with the Bullet Club heel tactics of being disrespectful Westerners who don’t care for the ways and traditions of the organisation. Your opponent didn’t counter this so you’re safe, but it’s definitely an area that you left exposed. However, I do like the idea about NJPW being marketed as a clear alternative to WWE in the Western market, so the point about the use of the Bloody Sunday partially made up for the previous weakness.

I also like the potential creative angles that you suggest as a benefit to AJ stopping the move (or NJPW kayfabe banning it), although this does leave a potential counter in the sense that the loss of the finisher could kill some of AJ’s appeal as a heel. I would have liked you to make a brief but obvious argument that AJ could replace this appeal in a number of ways, whilst giving examples.


THE VOTE

This was a fun little match regardless of some of the shortcomings. Yay for taking opposition stances! While both of these debaters left themselves open to quite a few potential counters, only one was really able to exploit the weaknesses within the other. CGS took the harder side and seemingly struggled due to all the difficult intricacies of the matter, while RealManRegal took the easier side and did enough to make a convincing argument overall. CGS was also quite narrow in comparison to RealManRegal which covered a multitude of different ideas.

RealManRegal wins the vote.

ZOMBO
CGS

Your arguments that injuries can happen at any time in wrestling is a valid one, however I think the execution of it is a little sloppy in terms of your examples. High spots are just that for a reason - to be used in big-money matches. Basic moves being botched are just accidents.

A finisher is a signature move to be used in EACH AJ match, big or small, and carries a significant risk each time, much more than the average bodyslam or kick. Although you state in your conclusion again that it's not any more dangerous than a bodyslam or a clothesline, it really, really IS more dangerous. You bring this up yourself by citing Lionheart's letter in that to take the move goes against all of your basic training and instinct, and the result can be devastating.

The point about communication as a way to stem some of the issues surrounding the move is a good one to make.

It's an okay debate, but I feel that there are still too many holes left open to poke at.

RealManRegal

Funny how you guys both started almost identically. The setup was very good too, in that it seemed like you were taking the opposing side and accepting it. Then saying that even if you accept these points, it's still wrong.

In doing that, you steer the focus of the discussion on the benefits of eliminating the move, and each point is very well done. It just feels like this debate contains a lot more depth than CGS in terms of its analysis. The flow of the debate is a very natural progression as well - really great writing here.

My favourite and least favourite point is the eliminating the move due to a kayfabe angle, and then turning it into a special occasion finisher (like Kobashi's Burning Hammer). However, this kind of goes against the question, which says he stops using the move. Period. I mean, I love the idea in general, but it is counter-intuitive to the hardline stance requiring him to stop using it.

THE DECISION

Although there is a bit of a flaw towards the end of RealManRegal, I still feel that the arguments made throughout the remainder of the debate are stronger than CGS' argument. RealManRegal is my pick.


Winner via Unanimous Decision - RealManRegal

Rush vs «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO» vs The Acquired Taste vs GitRekt
Agree or Disagree? The current UFC judging criteria is a hindrance to the sport and needs immediate changes.


Spoiler for Debates:
The Acquired Taste
To figure out if the judging criteria is a hindrance to the sport and needs immediate changes, let's look at the three most important viewpoints in the sport first.

  • The fans.

  • The fighters.

  • The company.

Without any of these, there's no sport. So to neglect one of them with judging decisions is a hindrance...wait. Judging DECISIONS. Meaning it's the actual judges that deserve scrutiny and not the criteria. They're the ones who actually decide who wins. That being said, the current UFC judging criteria ISN'T a hindrance to the sport and DOESN'T need immediate changes. The criteria(1) is a reasonable one as it takes into account everything that can be thought of when trying to judge a fight:
Quote:
C. Judges shall evaluate . . . effective striking, effective grappling, control of the ring/fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defense.
The criteria then proceeds to explain each aspect descriptively as possible so that potential judges don't get confused. They still do however. Example: Machida vs Rua I(2)
Quote:
D. Evaluations shall be made IN THE ORDER in which the techniques appear in (C.) above, giving the most weight in scoring to EFFECTIVE STRIKING . . .
A number of MMA journalists and a FightMetric (a respected MMA evaluation system) analysis indicates Rua better achieved this criteria than Machida(3). But who did the judges choose? Machida. To further illustrate the decision being human error, one of the judges: Nelson Hamilton, expressed regret in his decision(4):
Quote:
"Hamilton was one of the three judges who controversially scored that fight 48-47 in favor of Machida. Yet after watching tape of the fight, Hamilton now believes Rua was the winner."
The UFC acknowledged the decision was wrong and gave Rua a rematch to rectify this.


SYSTEM OF SCORING FIGHTS
Quote:
B. . . . Under the 10-Point Must Scoring System, 10 points must be awarded to the winner of the round and 9 points OR LESS must be awarded to the loser. . .
The 10-Point Must System...is a must. Can you imagine judges scoring a round 3-2 or 37-8? Absolutely absurd. The 10-Point Must System makes the judging of a fight logical. A fighter wins a round, they get a full 10 points. Not too crazy eh? But then crazily, this system becomes the scapegoat for judges who don't score the way that they should. Example: Sanchez vs Kampmann.(5)

Kampmann clearly took the first round. Great techinical striking, stuffed every takedown. However Sanchez ended up edging the last two rounds no debating and ended up with the win. It was a controversial decision but the argument isn't who won what rounds. It's the judging of the first round. The judges failed to give Kampmann a 10-8 or 10-7 which would have been more suitable.

Remember judges can give "9 points OR LESS". However the judges screwed up, and the fans ended the show with boos.


THE FANS

Here's the process of a fan when a fight is announced - they witness the build-up to it, then they pay to experience an emotional payoff whether through PPV or getting tickets. The payoff is in the fight itself but it's also in the decision. Fans want to feel fulfilled after they have paid their hard earned money. So when a decision like the Sanchez-Kampmann decision occurs do they feel fulfilled? Nope. They feel cheated which leaves a little bit of a sour taste in their mouth when it comes to the sport. At the beginning of the Sanchez-Kampmann fight they crowd were cheering Sanchez and booing Kampmann but by the end the roles were reversed. When fans boo a crowd favorite like Sanchez it's not for fun like they do with Jon Jones, it's out of displeasure.

However, fans shouldn't blame the facts on how to judge a fight. The fault lies with the judges who interpret the facts incorrectly.


THE FIGHTERS

For fighters, the process to get to a winning decision is hard. They have to go through weeks of training camp, a draining weight cut and then of course the actual fight. So of they if go into that fight and do everything right...then they lose the decision, it's frustrating. Some decisions they may be able to brush off, but when they compete for a title and that happens it's monumentally more demoralizing. Examples: Diaz vs Condit(6) and St-Pierre vs Hendricks. Hendricks mopped GSP's face all over the Octagon. Don't believe me...

Spoiler for GSP:

"Oh I'm sure Hendricks' is worse..."

Spoiler for Hendricks:

Hendricks one won that fight regardless of what a decision says. But let's look at some stats anyway. FightMetric scores effectiveness of each fighter and here: http://blog.fightmetric.com/2013/11/...medium=twitter. They score effectiveness 364-315 and a 48-47 decision to Hendricks. Nevertheless, GSP walked out with the belt thanks to the judges. Decisions like these are aggravating fighters like Hendricks and Diaz who also lost a questionable decision after controlling the Octagon and being the aggressor the whole fight. Diaz was so displeased with it that he announced retirement.(7) Call it being a crybaby, call it justified, fighters don't like to be screwed.

But other championship fights don't have questionable decisions. Examples: Weidman-Machida and Jones-Cormier.

What's different is the judges for each fight and their competency.


THE COMPANY

What's good for the fans and what's good for the fighters goes hand in hand with what's good for the company because UFC is a business. When their buyers and their contractors are happy it's a smooth transaction all around. But when the judges interfere with that it reflects bad on the company and they lose the trust to be properly compensate all parties involved. Not the company's fault but nevertheless...

Yes something is hindering the sport and it's the judges' decisions. Not the criteria. So if it doesn't need to be changed at all, "immediately" is out of the question. Even if change is needed, the correct change takes time. Rome wasn't built in a day. "Immediately" rules out any time taken for said change.
_____________________________________________

Spoiler for references:
[SIZE="1"]1. UNIFIED RULES AND OTHER
MMA REGULATIONS: 14. Judging - http://www.ufc.com/discover/sport/rules-and-regulations

2. UFC 104: Lyoto Machida vs Shogun Rua - http://vimeo.com/11567390

3. Lyoto Machida: Light Heavyweight Championship - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyoto_M...t_Championship

4. Judge Changes Mind, Says Shogun Won That Fight - http://www.mmaconvert.com/2009/12/28...on-that-fight/

5. UFC on Versus 3: Diego Sanchez vs Martin Kampmann - http://truba.com/video/269210/

6. UFC 143: Carlos Condit vs Nick Diaz -

7. Nick Diaz: 'I'm Outta This S**t', Retires From MMA After UFC 143 Loss To Carlos Condit - http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2012/2/5/...loss-to-carlos


«OOOOOLADIPOOOOO»
If you were to ask any relatively knowledgeable fan of Mixed Martial Arts what the biggest downfall of the sport is, besides fight-derailing injuries, many would say that it is the current judging system. After watching countless fighters be robbed by the judges of their seemingly evident victories, it is obvious that the neither the criteria in which judges make their decisions, nor the system in which these decisions are rendered, are reasonably applicable to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.

The '10-point must system,' the current judging structure that the UFC and most other MMA promotions use, is highly flawed.

Let me first explain the system: After every round of a fight, the judge must decide who won that round, with the round winner scoring 10 points, and the round loser scoring 9 or fewer (though the loser receiving 8 or fewer points is increasingly rare). So, if Fighter A wins all three rounds over Fighter B, then Fighter A finishes with a score of 30-27. But, there's an issue here: There are three judges. So, while Fighter A may clearly win on one judge's score sheet, that same fighter may be the loser on another judge's score sheet. How could this be possible? How could one fighter win in the eyes of one judge, and lose in the eyes of another?

Ambiguity. In MMA, everything is left open to interpretation. The Judges make their decision on who wins each round based on opinion, not fact.

Professional boxing uses the same 10-point must scoring system, but to a more successful and definite degree. While some rounds are still often scored based at the discretion of the judges, there is also a degree of definition that is found within professional boxing's judging under the 10-point must system, which is absent in regards to MMA. In Boxing, for each knockdown in a round, a judge MUST deduct a point from the fighter who was knocked down. This is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact. There is nothing comparable to this in Mixed Martial Arts; there are no criteria that states what a knockdown is worth, nor a takedown, nor submission attempts, nor anything else. This is where the issue with the 10-point must system lies.

Case in point: Diego Sanchez

There have certainly been controversial judging decisions in the history of the UFC, but one of the more recent ones that sticks out like a sore thumb is Diego Sanchez vs. Ross Pearson at UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Khabilov in June of this past year. Ross Pearson, arguably one of the UFC's finest boxers, dominated Diego Sanchez for three consecutive rounds in the Co-Main Event, out-striking Diego 55-33, while landing at a higher rate and with more power, according to Fight Metric. Here is a link to the fight so you can watch it yourself, if you feel obligated (It's only ~15 minutes not including introductions): Utter domination.

But, oh, wait...Pearson didn't win the fight. Sanchez did.

Let's take a look at the judges' score cards:
Spoiler for Score Cards:


So, the Blue judge (Marcos Rosales) believed that Ross Pearson won every round of the fight, leaving him with a score of 30-27 Pearson. But wait, what the fuck? The Red judge (Chris Tellez) scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Diego Sanchez? He believes Diego won TWO rounds? How?

DON'T TELL ME IT GETS WORSE...

The White judge (Jeff Collins) believed that Diego Sanchez won EVERY FUCKING ROUND and gave him a score of 30-27?



How the fuck is it even possible for someone to believe that Diego Sanchez won a SINGLE round in that fight, let alone all three? How the fuck is it possible for one judge to give EVERY ROUND to the deserved winner, Ross Pearson, and another judge to do the EXACT OPPOSITE?

But wait, there's more! Diego Sanchez lives and trains in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the prestigious Jackson-Winklejohn gym alongside other greats such as Light-Heavyweight Champion, best fighter in the world, and coke-fiend Jon Jones, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, Carlos Condit, Alistair Overeem, and many more.

So what, though?

THIS FIGHT TOOK PLACE IN ALBUQUERQUE, MOTHERFUCKIN' NEW MEXICO.

So not only is this judging system flawed from an ambiguous standpoint, but the judges can often bring their own bias into their judging!

-----

Allow me to have UFC President Dana White sum up this fight:

"It was horrible. In the second round, Diego got dropped and one judge still gave him that round. Insanity, man. Pearson got robbed. Pearson won that fight clearly. He easily won that fight. We have to treat Pearson like he won and give him that next level fight."

"The thing about our sport is there's never any of that hometown advantage bulls---. Yeah, more people are going to be cheering for you than the other guy, but it's not like the judges are all from that town. Usually, athletic commissions pull the best from around the country. Whoever gave that fight all three rounds to Sanchez should never judge a fight again."


-----

There was a massive uproar about this decision, and there's many more like it. It's just patently obvious that there is an issue with the way that MMA is judged. I don't have the answers,
, but a solution needs to be created. How many more bullshit decisions does a fighter have to lose in order for anyone to truly take action and change something? Who knows?

Perhaps, at the end of the day, the only reason we care about this sport is for the spectacle. We love seeing them '
'. We get hyped as they
. Who cares who wins?

Honestly, though, I don't expect anything to change. MMA is so new in comparison to other sports, and while it's grown leaps and bounds over its short history, I don't see such a major change like a completely overhauled scoring system on the horizon.

Rush
Agree or Disagree? The current UFC judging criteria is a hindrance to the sport and needs immediate changes.

The current judging criteria used in the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts is currently used in the UFC. It is a 10 point must system where one fighter will receive a minimum score of 10 in a round, not including fouls. It is by far the best system used in MMA and is absolutely not a hindrance, nor does it need immediate changes.

To directly quote the Unified Rules, judges shall evaluate mixed martial arts techniques, such as effective striking, effective grappling, control of the ring/fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defence. Judges shall use a sliding scale and recognize the length of time the fighters are either standing or on the ground, as follows:
If the mixed martial artists spent a majority of a round on the canvas, then:

• Effective grappling is weighed first; and
• Effective striking is then weighed

If the mixed martial artists spent a majority of a round standing, then:

• Effective striking is weighed first; and
• Effective grappling is then weighed
All of this stuff is pretty basic. You judge a fight based on strikes, grappling, control, aggressiveness, defence and it is weighted by the amount of time you spend in a position in each round. This is pretty similar in every variant of judging that has existed in MMA. The criteria is very good, and encompasses every aspect of a mixed martial arts fight.

There has always been debate about the appropriateness of using a judging system that was primarily invented for boxing but I feel that the criteria adequately includes the varying aspects of an MMA fight and indeed most of the criticism is against the judges and not the rules on which the fight is being judged. Now it is hard to score fights live and that is made especially difficult when each of the 3 judges are watching the fight from different areas of the cage. This creates problems when assessing whether a punch has landed at all, or whether the fighter has moved his head back and defended effectively. This is an area of MMA judging that I would very much like to see improved but it has absolutely zero to do with the criteria that the judges are using to score a bout.

When judging a fight the most common score given is 10-9. This can create some problems for fans of the sport. A common criticism of this system is when for example; in a 3 round fight, fighter A wins round 1 and 2 which are close, fighter B wins round 3 convincingly. Fighter A would still win the fight judging by a 10 point must system 29-28. There are a lot of fights where a particular round can go either way. 10-10 is a scoreline that should be used far more often, and likewise a 10-8 round should be used more often. The current criteria allows for these scores to happen but the current interpretation of the rules leads to many judges picking just 10-9 rounds even when some 10-10 rounds are definitely warranted. A recent example of not picking 10-10 rounds that has caused debate was in the Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson light heavyweight title fight back at UFC 165. The first 2 rounds were very, very close with both fighters having similar effectiveness in all areas of the fight. 3rd round was won by Gustafsson, 4th and 5th rounds were won by Jones. This created a massive amount of debate following the fight which was scored 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 to Jones. Some people had Jones way ahead, some people had Gustafsson ahead and as usual the judging criteria was criticised. If 10-10 rounds were more commonplace then it would affect both fans and fighters coming into the final rounds. A fighter who thinks he’s ahead might fight a bit harder if he’s thinking that a 10-10 round could have been scored and fans who argue about rounds until they’re blue in the face can appreciate a 10-10 round when it truly has been very close. The only issue with more 10-10 rounds is that it could create complacency amongst judges who use 10-10 as a cop out to avoid judging correctly.

Again though, this is an issue surrounding the implementation of the criteria and not the criteria itself. The criteria works well. It encompasses every aspect of a mixed martial arts fight. The only issue around judging is the people who apply the rules. The current system is absolutely not a hindrance, nor does it need immediate changes.

GitRekt

I agree that the current UFC judging criteria is a hindrance to the sport and needs to be changed. We've seen countless fights awarded to fighters that clearly lost a fight, but won because of the technicalities of a flawed scoring system. The system as a whole isn't 100% terrible, but there is obvious room for improvement. The first major issue is that the system was brought over from a different sport (boxing) which has many more rounds than a UFC fight has. The ten point system in a UFC fight consisting of mostly 3, and sometimes 5 rounds often leads to massive controversies as any fan can attest to. The biggest problem is that it's tricky to score points per round, and we don't see enough rounds won by multiple points. Judges almost always score a round 10-9, regardless of whether or not it was very, very close or if a fighter clearly won the round, but didn’t nearly finish his opponent. There is no accountability in the UFC with the judges which is another huge problem. I understand that scoring rounds isn’t an easy job, deciding how much a takedown is worth compared to a flurry of punches landed is up for debate, but it’s not an excuse. Overall there needs to be change, and the fact that it hasn’t happened yet is an embarrassment to the UFC.
The 10 point system has been debated, and mostly hated by UFC fans for a long time. In a boxing match that consists of 11 rounds, having the 10 points system actually makes sense. They have 11 rounds to work with, and while the judges might get a round wrong sometimes, there are 11 rounds, so that mistake will not impact things nearly as much as in the UFC. The UFC has 3 rounds in most cases, and 1 slip up from a judge seriously jeopardises the decision of the bout. MMA is not boxing, so the same formula for scoring a fight is not needed. An even bigger issue regarding the judging system is that almost every round won by a fighter is 10-9. Even if the round was clearly a draw, in almost every case the majority of judges will decide by the most narrow of margins who won the razor close round instead of scoring the round a draw. Meanwhile the next round a fighter could control his opponent for the entire 5 minute round, score a few take downs, land some significant strikes, not give up anything on defense at all and that will in almost every case be a 10-9 round as well. This is a massive problem considering every non title or main event bout is only 3 rounds. When the majority of fighters only have 3 rounds to work with, literally every aspect of the scoring matters, as nearly half of the fights in the UFC are put in the hands of the judges (46% from 2007-2013). We've seen countless contests where fighter A clearly wins round 1, rounds 2 and 3 are dead even with fighter B getting the split decision victory. I understand scoring isn't easy, but I want to see the guy that won the fight win the fight. Human error is to be expected sometimes, but we should at least give the judges a system that actually fits for the UFC and the sport of MMA. A lot of people look at PRIDE’s system as the superior. I would have to agree.

A big problem a lot of fighters have isn’t entirely with the scoring system but with the judges themselves. The judges that work for the state commission that are making these decisions have no accountability. The decisions they make have no impact on whether or not they will be rewarded or punished. Judges cards should be reviewed by the UFC, and if they mess up multiple times they should simply not be allowed to judge events. This isn’t the case at all, as these judges don’t even have to answer to anyone. It’s just another issue that makes the situation worse overall. There should be a stronger relationship between the two sides. Tensions rose last summer when Dana White pulled a judge from a UFC event. White apologized and admitted he made a mistake, but you can’t really blame him, as he has been frustrated for years over judging in the promotion that really could have been prevented over the years. It’s not just Dana that has an issue, it’s the fan base, the fighters, the writers, you name it. This many people cannot be wrong. There is a serious problem and lack of communications.


In conclusion, when half of your fights end up going to a decision, it would probably be a good thing if A) the system made sense for the sport, and B) You had the best possible people scoring the fight. The fact is that the UFC has neither. It’s a dilemma the promotion has had since its existence. It’s why us fans cringe when the final round ends and we know that the right fighter might not win. For those that say you never leave a fight in the hands of the judges, I say it’s easy for you to say. I also say the current system is broken and needs fixing.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Hollywood Hanoi
The Acquired Taste:

Well damn this one sets the standard right away. The strength of this debate is the masterful manipulation of the wording of the question, shifting the hindrance from the criteria to the ones who are failing to implement it correctly was a canny move. Backed up well with examples, the impact of bad decisions from various viewpoints while always going back to the central point that’s it’s the fault of the judges rather than the criteria. I liked the little bit of the 10 point must too, it was brief but gets in a counter for arguments I expect to come up in the other debates.


Round 1 is in the books, Joe, and it’s a huge round for The Acquired Taste.

«OOOOOLADIPOOOOO»:

To be honest this was the type of stance I was expecting to see 4 times with this debate and Id hoped theyd be handled this well, a systematic comprehensive breakdown of all the inconsistencies and ambiguities involved in judging fights. The problems with the 10 point must system were handled better than The Acquired Taste, especially the section driven home by “ There is nothing comparable to this in Mixed Martial Arts; there are no criteria that states what a knockdown is worth, nor a takedown, nor submission attempts, nor anything else”
Sanchez v Pearson was the obvious reference to make and i thought you maybe spent a little too much on it but it works in driving home the point that what possible criteria could be twisted to make Diego the victor. Bonus points for the Bang Bro reference.

Oooooh, he HURT him! we got ourselves a DEBATE, Mike

Rush:

This was a fine debate which came from the same basic stance as The Acquired Taste putting the hindrance on the implementation of the criteria rather than the criteria itself. The ideas were all good but I felt they weren’t quite carried out as authoritatively as The Acquired Taste handled them. I felt the whole section on 10-10s/Jones v Gus got a little messy, might have spent too much time here when you could’ve got an easier example to explain it and doesn’t take into account the problems with the system pointed out in «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO»'s. Anyway not a bad debate just unlucky to be trumped in its key points by The Acquired Taste.

TDL 27 is brought to you by Corn Nuts and Harley Davidson, the only motorcycles worthy of being in The Debate League

GitRekt:

Well dang, another good one, that oddly takes salient points also seen in The Acquired Taste and «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO»'s debates, the problems within the system and the judges themselves, you tied these points together which was smart as the others had used them to argue slightly different stances. Because its closest to «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO» I will put it against that in an eliminator and I think «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO» just about edged it on breaking down its points clear and use of examples. Don’t really have any issues with this debate just felt B pushed the same points home with a little more force.

And they go the distance, lets go to the judges scorecard for the decision

Result – 30-27 Pendred

Ok I enjoyed reading these but it comes down to The Acquired Taste and «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO» for me, both very good debates but for answering the question asked and arguing its stance with style, its close but I gotta award the contest to The Acquired Taste

1st = The Acquired Taste
2nd = «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO»
3rd = GitRekt
4th = Rush


RAB
Note to participants: I had judged some of this but I’m running out of time and it’s my understanding that I’m one of the last judges to get my shit in so the feedback for these debates will be relatively concise in the interest of speeding up the process. If you want further feedback then feel free to PM me.

The Acquired Taste –

I like the general formatting of this debate and it was very easy to read and comprehend. Thanks for that.

I felt you did well to explain that you didn’t think it was the judging criteria which was to blame, but instead the actual judges.

I like the paragraph about the system of scoring points. Bringing the fact that the 10-points must is part of the judging criteria then showing that a judge did not use this criteria is a good way of proving your point that it’s the judges that deserve the criticism.

The paragraph about the fans was good and I agree that it should be the way the criteria is misinterpreted by the judges as opposed to the actual criteria itself.

I think in the fighters paragraph you could go a longer way to show that this is why it’s the judges not the criteria, not just why something is a hindrance.

Overall a decent debate.

«OOOOOLADIPOOOOO» –

Interesting. Attacking the 10-point must system when The Acquired Taste has said it is important to the fairness of UFC.

I like that you brought ambiguity and opinion into the equation, something The Acquired Taste failed to do. The Acquired Taste suggested that judges can be scoring fights WRONGLY but didn’t entertain the fact that everything is open to judges interpretation, regardless of whether he thinks it’s right or wrong.

I like the comparison to boxing, and I like the point that there’s a greater degree of definition within boxing. I also like how you brought up that there’s situations which result in a boxer being deducted a point indefinitely.

The fact that you’ve brought opinion into it means that your next points are very effective. The fact that judges can have opinion means that there can be discrepancies between judges’ decisions, which, in MMA, can be damning to fighters. The fact that opinion can be influenced by out-of-fight factors, like location (like you brought up) is also a very good argument in your favour.

Bringing the fact that UFC president agrees that the judging for that fight was shambolic was good.

Overall this was a very good debate.

Rush –

More conflicting stances, very good.

I really don’t have much criticism for this debate, as I thought it was very well written and a very good persuasive piece. It states that the criteria is not a problem but instead the judges are, and defends the 10 point must system much like The Acquired Taste did, only I think Rush has done a better job of it.

GitRekt –

Christ. I like this one as well. I liked that you spoke about how it’s hard to actually score points using the 10-point must system in UFC. I liked the point about the way that it’s taken from boxing yet it suits boxing because there’s typically more rounds in a fight, and sometimes judges DO get things wrong, so it gives more room for not fucking the entire fight up.

I liked the point about judges not being held to account for their responses to matches, and I think that this is a key issue when it comes to UFC judging.

Overall I really liked this piece and the only criticism I’d have would be the formatting.

VERDICT:

For me, Rush and GitRekt were both the ones that stood out to me as the most persuasive. I enjoyed reading those two the most out of the four. I think GitRekt just edges the victory in this one though.

1st = GitRekt
2nd = Rush
3rd = «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO»
4th = The Acquired Taste


Aid
Ok. To keep this short and sweet, I honestly thought this was a two debate match. Rush and GitRekt really seemed to lack in comparison. It's not that they were bad, it's just they couldn't keep up with the first two. The biggest thing to me that made them fall behind was the lack of real examples. GitRekt talks about Dana pulling a judge, but doesn't go into detail about what happened or why. He just said tensions boiled over. Rush was a little bit better and went into the Jon Jones fight, but I feel the debate was too, I guess, explanatory. It was too much explaining the system and not enough arguing for the change if you catch my drift. Like it felt more like an essay telling me about judging.

So with The Acquired Taste and «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO» left, it got a little more challenging. I felt you guys were very similar and had a lot of similar points. You both even use Diego Sanchez winning as a point. So it came down to who was more convincing for me. That's where «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO» had it for me. Lines like
Quote:
"How the fuck is it even possible for someone to believe that Diego Sanchez won a SINGLE round in that fight, let alone all three? How the fuck is it possible for one judge to give EVERY ROUND to the deserved winner, Ross Pearson, and another judge to do the EXACT OPPOSITE?"
and
Quote:
So not only is this judging system flawed from an ambiguous standpoint, but the judges can often bring their own bias into their judging!
truly helped to convince me. The passion and the rage made me really question the current judging. Plus I really loved the Dana quote at the end. So while The Acquired Taste did nothing wrong, I felt «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO» was more passionate and convincing. Both excellent though. I'd love to see a rematch.

Winner: «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO»


1st = «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO»
2nd = The Acquired Taste
3rd = Rush
4th = GitRekt


Winner via Points Decision - «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO»

TDL Crossover Special Attraction Debate Part V
Seabs vs Baxter

Should WWE move Wrestlemania from the network and back to being exclusively on PPV?


Spoiler for Debates:
Baxter

What is Wrestlemania? A fucking humongous draw.
What do the WWE desperately need? WWE Network subscribers.

What's the best way for the WWE to get more Network subscribers (or at least maintain their current numbers) come Wrestlemania season?

Well instead of using their biggest drawing event of the year to entice people to sign up to the Network, they should choose to royally piss off their entire customer base by telling them that to see Wrestlemania they've got to fork over $60 (in addition to the $9.99 they’re already giving the WWE every month), despite one of the main selling points of the Network being that all PPV’s are included in the 9.99 price and them heavily advertising this fact for months! (/sarcasm)

In case that wasn't clear enough:- the WWE should absolutely not move Wrestlemania back to being PPV exclusive.

FACT 1 - WRESTLEMANIA DRAWS

Spoiler for Some numbers:

Wrestlemania has HUGE drawing power; from 2010-2013, on average this one show accounted for almost thirty percent of WWE’s annual PPV buys. Wrestlemania is as good a selling point as the WWE has in their arsenal to get people to subscribe to the Network.

FACT 2 - THE WWE NEED A SUCCESSFUL NETWORK

The importance of the WWE’s income from PPV events cannot be understated; this revenue stream accounted for almost 16% of WWE’s revenue during 2013. This is around $80m solely from PPV sales, which if these estimates are to be believed is enough money to pay the wages of their entire main roster for almost 2 years. That is A LOT of money.

However, the WWE has completely killed off this PPV business with the launch of the Network. Worldwide buys for events have fallen by as much as 60%. Numerous PPV providers have chosen to drop WWE events from their schedules. People have now become accustomed to paying a modest $9.99 per event rather than the hefty price tag of $44.99.

The implications of all this? Network failure is not an option. The WWE reverting to their old PPV model is completely impractical; hence they need the Network to succeed to subsidise the loss of PPV revenue. How will the Network succeed? By getting good levels of subscribers. How do you get subscribers? By giving people an incentive to sign up to the Network.

PUTTING THE FACTS TOGETHER

By having Wrestlemania on the Newtork, the WWE are keeping the Network STRONG, which is absolutely critical. It really is as simple as that. By moving the event to PPV they're not only missing as good a chance as they have to draw all important subscribers in, but also run the very real risk of losing a good number of their current subscribers due to broken promises.

Quote:
If people will buy Wrestlemania regardless of price, they're missing out on money by not having it on PPV
THE POTENTIAL INCREASE IN REVENUE JUST ISN'T WORTH IT

Scenario: The WWE shift Wrestlemania back to PPV and buys aren't any different from the pre-Network days (and they don’t lose any Network subscribers). This equals a figure of around 1 million people buying Wrestlemania with circa 650k of those being North American. At $60/£20 a pop this works out around $50m gross in Wrestlemania PPV sales. WWE are estimated to retain around 45% percent of the money they make from PPV exclusive events (which isn’t a problem for events on their Network), so this is around $22m net revenue. Add on $9.99 from 750k Network subscribers for the rest of the year and their total annual 'PPV revenue' is about $111m. Keeping things as will see them make around $90m from Network subscriptions plus any actual Wrestlemania PPV buys, which going by this year’s event will be around 400k people (300k being North American). Overall this comes out at around $100m ‘PPV revenue’ for the year.

This means that the absolute best case scenario of Wrestlemania moving back to being PPV exclusive is an extra $10m a year. For a company that had revenue of over $500m in 2013, this is peanuts and amounts to about a 1.7% increase. Is this really worth them risking the future of their Network for? Absolutely not.

The numbers in the calculations are obviously not going to be 100% accurate, but the point stands regardless of the exact values; devaluing the Network, just because they might get a tiny increase in revenue from Wrestlemania PPV buys, is such horrible, short term thinking from the WWE. They certainly aren't going to GAIN subscribers by moving Wrestlemania off the Network, or get the same PPV buys for the event that they previously did by putting the price up to $60, so why risk pissing the Network subscribers off when they need them so badly? All for the sake of such a relatively small amount of money? It's utterly absurd.

Quote:
Having Wrestlemania on the Network like the B and C level PPV's will ‘devalue’ the event
Why IS Wrestlemania so prestigious? Simple: it’s because the WWE make such a big deal out of it. You won't see Undertaker wrestling at any PPV other than Wrestlemania. You won't see Brock Lesnar, The Rock, John Cena, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan and The Undertaker all wrestling on the same card unless the occasion is Wrestlemania. You won't see so much effort put into the design of the stage as is done for Wrestlemania. Provided the WWE continue to put effort into making Wrestlemania matter, it won't be devalued as an event, regardless of what medium it’s being shown through.

The whole thing is a complete non-argument. By moving Wresltemania off the Network the WWE are creating ridiculous marginal situations for themselves and taking stupid risks that could jeopardise their future of the company, all for the sake of a potential 1% increase in revenue. It’s just laughable.

There is absolutely no reasonable justification for the WWE choosing to move Wrestlemania from their Network back to being exclusively on PPV.

Spoiler for Some sources and stuff:


Seabs

Should WWE move Wrestlemania from the network and back to being exclusively on PPV?


Moving Wrestlemania* back to being exclusively on PPV makes so much business sense even if Wrestlemania month bombs in terms of network subscriptions and PPV buyrates. The fact that WWE will produce extranomically more revenue from the move is indisputable. Even when considering the long-term effects of this move the outcome remains the same. NOT moving Wrestlemania back to being exclusively on PPV would a massive blunder.

Let's get the number crunching out of the way first to spell out the obvious, Wrestlemania creates more revenue being exclusively on PPV.

Take the average of the last 10 Wrestlemania PPV buyrates pre-network era and you get 1,027,700 buys1. Fair to say this is a likely prediction? Just to be safe let's take the lowest of these figures at 885,000 buys1. Then times it by the $69.95 WWE charged for Wrestlemania 29 in HD2. No? Ok then let's use the old price of $54.95 (those were the days). 885,000 buys at an average of $54.95 (higher HD cost offsets lower international costs) creates $48,630,750 off revenue off PPV buys. Obviously WWE don't keep all of this for themselves. Off 2012's PPVs, WWE reported $82,000,000 in PPV revenue3. Combining the buyrates for all of 2012's PPVs gives you a grand total of 3,779,0004 at let's say an average of $49.99 (lower cost for SD feed offset by higher cost for Wrestlemania) and you get $188,912,210. If you then divide that by WWE's reported share of $82 million then you see that WWE keeps around 43.4% of PPV revenue. So 43.4% of $48,630,750 (the predicted WM 31 revenue) leaves WWE with $21,105,745.50 of revenue if Wrestlemania only creates 885,000 buys at the reduced price of $54.95. Now let's compare it to what WWE would make through the network.

The last reported subscription figure was 731,0005. It's a fair assumption to say that this figure will rise come Wrestlemania 31. Let's say somehow they get to their target of 1 million subscribers. Times it by $9.99 and assume WWE keeps 100% of the revenue for themselves. That's $9,990,000 of revenue. Not even half of the revenue they'd earn themselves off PPV with what would be called a below expectations figure most likely. Wrestlemania 30 wasn't exclusively on the network though and WWE still earned extra revenue from PPV buys. The Wrestlemania 30 PPV buyrate was 690,0006. Now it won't be that high for 31 with network subscriptions increasing (by over 300,000 according to our generous figures) and many people buying 30 on PPV that had the network given the lack of trust in the stream at the time. Let's say then that 300,000 drops off that PPV buyrate (it's probably more given that Summerslam's PPV buyrate in 2014 basically halved from 296,000 to 147,0007, 8). An extra 390,000 buys at $54.95 creates $21,430,500 of which WWE gets $9,300,837**. Add that to the $9,990,000 from network subscriptions and you have $19,290,837 of revenue for WWE.

Even using a likely best case scenario for the network and worst case scenario for PPV buys (that also assumes ZERO network subscriptions for that month), WWE still make more revenue for themselves by moving Wrestlemania 31 back to being exclusively on PPV.
FACT: WWE MAKE MORE REVENUE OFF WRESTLEMANIA BEING EXCLUSIVELY ON PPV.


However, this decision isn't all about which option generates more revenue for WWE.

If Wrestlemania isn't available on the network then subscriptions for that month will decrease. Key word is decrease, NOT disappear. WWE will still be earning their $9.99's off the network from subscribers who maintain their subscription for that month to get the archive footage and those who just simply forget/can't be arsed to cancel for just one month. The notion that the monthly PPV is the ONLY reason to buy the network is propostorus.

Plus WWE could quite easily maintain the majority of subscriptions ON TOP OF the Wrestlemania PPV revenue by ensuring the network still has plenty of original content. Do an NXT Live Special that month, make the Hall of Fame and the Wrestlemania pre-show exclusive to the network, put a load of exclusive Wrestlemania footage up. Worst case scenario they can always just tape a Live King of the Ring type special for a match at Wrestlemania.

Then there's the supposed loss of good will that this move would sacrifice. WWE haven't promoted the network as including Wrestlemania 31 yet (they never said every Wrestlemania, just 30) so by making the switch they wouldn't be promising something they don't deliver on. Even if they did it wouldn't really matter since the six-month-commitment is scrapped5 meaning fans can just cancel their subscription for that month and renew again the following month.

If someone is subscribing just to get Wrestlemania for $9.99 then they're not becoming a regular subscriber anyway. And let's face it, pretty much everyone interested in the network knows what they're getting now with the amount of free trials they've offered. Wrestlemania is no longer a unique chance for new subscribers to use the network for a month and decide if they want to repurchase.

But there's also the feasibility issue. Or isn't to be more precise. That's the beauty of owning your own distribution model, you make all the calls yourself.

Finally, it's also important to clarify that Wrestlemania 31 can still be added to the network at a later date. The questions asks if the PPV should be moved to being exclusively on PPV but this obviously doesn't mean forever because then WWE wouldn't be allowed a Wrestlemania DVD release which is a rather silly assumption.

To conclude, Wrestlemania should definitely be moved from the network to being exclusively live on PPV. The financial gains are just far too great to do otherwise and doing so in no way sabotages the future of the network or even short-term network subscriptions. Given WWE are currently resorting to staff cuts to manage the network's high start-up costs, turning away such a drastic revenue gain from Wrestlemania would be financial suicide.

References:
* Focus on 31 because duh common sense and inability to see as far into the future as 32 and beyond.
** Still using the "WWE keeps around 43.4% of PPV revenue" figure.
[1] http://www.2xzone.com/wwe/buyrates.shtml#.VLGDuns2WSo
[2] http://www.wrestleview.com/wwe-news/...a-29-this-year
[3] http://augustafreepress.com/business...wwe-network-2/
[4] Wikipedia Pages for each 2012 PPV
[5] http://variety.com/2014/digital/news...nt-1201343211/
[6] http://whatculture.com/wwe/wwe-annou...30-buyrate.php
[7] http://www.cagesideseats.com/2014/9/...s-brock-lesnar
[8] http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/V...l#.VLGHGHs2WSq (if you can access)


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Andre
Baxter

I love your intro. It’s short, snappy, straight to the point and passionate, immediately grabbing my attention. Despite using an entertaining sarcastic tone, your stance was very clear while the literary vehicle you used to do make it really drives the point home. Meanwhile, “despite one of the main selling points of the Network being that all PPV’s are included in the 9.99 price and them heavily advertising this fact for months!” counters Seabs' argument that WWE haven’t advertised Mania 31 as being on the network YET. The stuff about destroying customer rapport with this move is also strong. This was a great start.

I thought you made a decent point about Mania being a good tool to bring in network subs, but really it didn’t go deep enough. Seabs made arguments for the network having already offered multiple free trials, meaning that most people already know what the network has to offer and that mania is unlikely to bring in anyone new to the party. Seabs also pointed out that mania as a selling point isn’t that great a business model, seeing as there’s no long term commitment involved and subscribers can cancel with more ease now. So from that perspective is it really worth losing millions of dollars? Even if a small percentage of total revenue, it’s a lot of money and WWE is a business first and foremost.

The line “the WWE has completely killed off this PPV business” is factually incorrect, even if it’s just clumsy wording with “completely” which should be “largely”. However, “People have now become accustomed to paying a modest $9.99 per event rather than the hefty price tag of $44.99” is a good point to make, although again I think you could go deeper by making a convincing explanation for how the price change perception might put some people off from going back to the much larger price. I find it hard to believe that of all shows WrestleMania is the one where loyal fans would just sit it out due to a one off exclusive price shift, especially when they’ve proven they’re willing to pay for an official net stream instead of finding an illegal stream.

“Add on $9.99 from 750k Network subscribers for the rest of the year…” seems like a dent in your argument. This suggests that a high number of people will sub to the network well after/before Mania season is on, during the Autumn/Early winter WWE run when cards and business are quite appropriately at their coldest point. With this logic, the network will have strong subs regardless of Mania being a draw, as Seabs alludes to. So why not try to make more money with Mania while there seems to be a reliable source of income via the network, regardless of the ‘the Grand Daddy of them all’s’ positioning? Remember, Seabs points out that sub cancellations are very flexible and there’s no long term sub requirement. So it’s not as if the current long term subs are based on Mania, but all the other special events, plus the other content that Seabs pointed out.

The section about Mania not being devalued as a network event is strong, with great arguments concerning how the show is special regardless of where it’s available or how the price is cheapened. In fact most of your closing statements are strong, until the closing line of “There is absolutely no reasonable justification for the WWE choosing to move Wrestlemania”, which is a tad hyperbolic and unconvincing, especially when you already showed how WWE can make more money via having Mania exclusively on pay per view.

Overall this was a decent debate which had lots of good ideas, although most could have been strengthened. There were also a few CGS style typos in this btw. It’s not a big issue that will win or lose you a match, but it needed to be pointed out. Really, the success of this debate hinged on the idea that WWE could piss off network subscribers who have explicitly been told time and again that ALL monthly ‘special events’ will be on the network. With similarly convincing arguments in other areas, especially as counters to Seabs' business arguments, I think you would have won this with ease, but you left yourself too open, allowing Seabs to counter quite a few times.


Seabs

The first paragraph is a good start that highlights your main agenda, aka losing business. However, the mathematics information dump was just a bit too heavy to be placed within your writing. It’s a tedious bore to read and kills the momentum of your debate. Ideally you should have cut that out, put it in your footnotes (wouldn’t have to be anywhere near as wordy in the footnotes either, like in a research paper for maths) and made the point that WWE are likely to make x overall amount with a Mania pay per view exclusive plus network subs, compared to x amount overall with Mania network availability. They’re the only numbers that I care about within the context of your debate. The how and why we get to those numbers is good as a theoretical source to back up your point, but not a very good way to use your limited words. Ideally you would wow me with your actual arguments, then I would check your workings in the footnotes and be super impressed after being convinced by the multitude of flowing examples you gave to support your stance. I think Baxter shows a better example of how to present this part within the actual debate, although your workings are obviously far more detailed.

‘FACT: WWE MAKE MORE REVENUE OFF WRESTLEMANIA BEING EXCLUSIVELY ON PPV’ is really where the debate properly kicks into gear for me. You made good points about how WWE’s network business model allows subscribers the flexibility to essentially start and stop when they want (a bit like WWE’s booking really), while there will always be a core number of subscribers due to the vast amount of content offered by the service. You could have strengthened this by pointing out the decent number of signed up subs last Autumn when WWE is typically in its worst run of the year product and business wise.

The next paragraph is where you really gain an advantage on your opponent. By pointing out all of the extra network exclusive events that WWE could have during March/April time is smart, while the creation of new network exclusive once a year events for that period of time is a good piece of outside the box thinking.

However, you then slipped up with your wonky argument about how “WWE haven't promoted the network as including Wrestlemania 31 yet”. The problem with this is that the Network site even states “Subscribe to WWE Network and get every pay-per-view for $9.99 a month”. That’s every pay per view, not all of them apart from WrestleMania. This promotional point has even been hammered home by the three awful drones that are supposed to commentate every Monday on Raw. Baxter made the point that false advertising in this bait and switch style could be a major problem, explaining how it could disillusion the current network subscribers who WWE are already looking to rely on as a consistent long term source of revenue. So that gave me doubts concerning your stance.

You recovered quite a bit by suggesting that Mania isn’t really a useful way to hook in new network subs, pointing out that WWE have offered multiple free network trials. This countered Baxter in the process, who suggested that Mania was the key to bringing in new network subscribers.

However, I found “Finally, it's also important to clarify that Wrestlemania 31 can still be added to the network at a later date” a tad iffy. I get what you’re saying about the actual live event being the main issue, but the topic title doesn’t actually say “live”. The point about DVD sales was also a good idea, but then the title says “back to being exclusively on PPV”, with “back” implying that it was “exclusive” before when DVD sales were also made, so suggesting the DVD loophole doesn’t really work properly here. With this in mind, the event’s availability is either exclusive to pay per view (and DVD/Blu-ray), or it's available on ppv and the network (and DVD/Blu-ray). This was a bit too muddled and could have been a big problem if countered by your opponent to suit his own stance in some way. Luckily for you that didn’t happen.




VOTING TIME LADIES AND GENTS

While neither of these debates were mind blowing pieces of work due to the abundance of flaws and errors within each, the fact that you took opposition sides and countered each other in areas which were largely exposed made this a really fun match to judge. Baxter absolutely caned Seabs with the point about pissing off network subscribers, who have been brainwashed via Mygul Goal into believing that EVERY event is on the network. In fact it was probably the best argument made in the whole match. However, Seabs was more consistent with a series of counters that made the Mania exclusive pay per view seem like an essential business model that wouldn’t likely affect network subs in a great way. The bottom line to this debate is money, which is why Seabs made a better overall argument by showing how WWE can make more money through moving Mania to exclusive ppv (Even if it might get them some bad press. I think Baxter could have mentioned this too) while still having ways to maintain their core network audience, plus showing how the network sub population is unlikely to grow much more with or without Mania.

Seabs wins.

WOOLCOCK
Baxter:

I thought you did a great job initially by breaking down the context of the question and the risk WWE have taken by introducing The Network. The figures and claims of how PPV business has fallen were well supported, and it laid the foundations well for your argument that WWE needs to strengthen the network, as it is the long-term stability of the company.

The breakdown of figures I thought was super, and really countered your opponent's main argument that Wrestlemania on the network was less profitable than PPV. Obviously, your figures agree PPV would give them more money, but then you applied the annual figure to arrive at a modest annual increase, and then considered the revenue they amassed last year and it's just not worth $10m profit, when The Network is now the crux of their business to subsidise the loss of PPV revenue, which you elaborated on previously to document how important it was to WWE. This was all expertly done and the difference between the two debates.

You then follow up on that and consider the ramifications of moving Wrestlemania back to PPV, mainly that WWE won't gain subscribers from the move and obviously then run a risk trying to convince people to pay 6x as much as they would have done had it remained on the network. Either way, the network is weakened and ergo their key business model is damaged which impacts on revenue and their entire business.

The closing argument was nice and a fine brief point to address a further counter that Mania at $9.99 devalues the event. Obviously it wasn't your biggest point so you left yourself little to say but I thought you still were able to construct a logical counter that WWE still prioritises Mania above all other PPVs, in terms of the scope of the stage and effort put into elaborate entrances. This was good stuff.

Overall, the breakdown of the finances and how WWE achieves only a modest profit by moving Mania back to PPV, but in the process cuts off the hand they need to feed them after killing their PPV model was the difference between the two debates. You argued well for the short-term profit not being worth the greater long-term harm, and your opponent wasn't able to produce greater counter-arguments than you supplied. Overall a strong entry.

Seabs:

Biggest weakness for me is you dedicate a lot of time to your breakdown of the finances, and arrive at the same conclusion as your opponent: Wrestlemania is more profitable on PPV. Where your opponent succeeded however, was looking at annual profits between the two models, and arriving at the conclusion WWE would only recoup a modest profit annually by moving Wrestlemania back to PPV. Your opponent's overview of WWE finances thereafter indicated such a modest sum in the greater picture just wasn't worth the risk of damaging network subscriptions.

To address this counter, you needed to produce greater arguments that the network could survive without Mania. For me, you failed to achieve this. I thought the argument about adding original content was too hypothetical and hearsay to be entirely convincing, and you didn't satisfactorily argue with confidence this could believeably subsidise those who cancel their subscription in light of Wrestlemania moving back to PPV.

I also felt you downplayed the notion of people unsubscribing too much. It's not as simple as people cancelling for a month, and not worrying about. Your opponent laid out why WWE needs to load up the network to ensure continual subscriptions and ensure it doesn't fail. Removing their biggest drawing event of the year, where interest pre and post mania is at its annual highest hurts the network, and I never felt you were able to address how WWE could cope without Wrestlemania on the network. Your approach seemed to prioritise short-term profit, whereas your opponent outlined why short-term profit in the long run was a naive way to view the question. Your opponent's debate just appeared to have a broader focus and overview of how crucial the network is in offsetting the loss of PPV revenue, and their financial breakdown of the modest profit they would generate for me neutralised your key argument that short-term gain was too much to pass up.


Winner - Baxter

Bearodactyl
Baxter

I LOVE your opening segment. Already I’m completely sold, and you yet have to start giving actual factual arguments. Well done!
Fact 1 makes sense, but it also seems to open you up to the “that’s why you should milk it” rebuttal. Hope you manage to counter that later on.
Fact 2 I agree with fully. You then bring it together quite well.
The “why it’s not worth it” section is terribly convincing, easy to follow, and effectively counters my earlier problem. I can tell this debate will be extremely hard to beat.
The conclusion fits the tone of your entire debate, and really drives your point home. Well done.

Seabs

Oh wow, you chose the opposite stance. There’s a surprise! Will be interesting if you manage to turn me as as of right now I think your opinion is wrong but who knows?!
Quick first comment though, all the reds and blacks highlights are a bit distracting. A tad too much, imho.
Okay so a LOT of numbers (I prefered the more rounded off approach of debate A) shows a total increase of roughly 2 million bucks of revenue made. Unfortunately for you, Baxter already put those numbers in perspective, so I’m not convinced of such a small amount being a good reason to risk the good will and momentum of the Network.
The remainder of the debate goes into various reasons why it wouldn’t be a big deal, underselling it, giving alternatives. I’m having a hard time buying into them though. More exclusive specials? They should be doing that anyway to keep subscribers. “It’s only a few” .. the Network should be their main priority, you can’t shrug your main priority off. “Can be added at a later date” – again, it should be anyhow so how does that change anything? The point is quickly reached where I feel you continously undersell how pissed off many people would be, cancelling the network indefinitely, and as I feel that the Network is so very important for the WWE I have a hard time seeing past that. Which doesn’t bode well.

Final ruling:

I feel like one answer was clearly the right one after reading these two debates. Baxter effectively and convincingly argues a point I was probably already going to agree with in the first place while keeping the grander scheme of things in perspective. Seabs falls flat through lack of balanced narrative, opinions argued as fact, and fails to at any point convince me that it might be right.

The Winner is Baxter


Winner via Split Decision - Baxter

TDL Crossover Special Attraction Debate Part IV
RAB vs Curry vs Bearodactyl

You are an English Football Team at The Championship level or below and you have the option to sign Ched Evans who your manager feels would get into his team. Should you sign him or not?


Spoiler for Debates:
Bearodactyl

"The whole episode has divided the town and public opinion and there are no winners in all this - not least the reputation of our club and town." –Jim McMahon, leader of Oldham Council, January 8th 2015

As we ask ourselves if it would either be a good or a bad idea to sign Chedwyn Michael “Ched” Evans (a former Welsh International football player that is currently mostly known for being a convicted rapist) to an English Football Team at The Championship level or below, it’s the above quote from just two days ago that will eventually sway our opinion to a resounding “no”. But before we get there it’s time to look at this situation in all its complexity, and weigh the pros and cons of signing Evans with as much objectivity as we can muster, given the circumstances.

And what are those circumstances? For adequate understanding of this case, first we have to go back to 2011, to when this all started taking place.

During a night out on the town in May of said year, a buddy of Evans’s runs across a sloppy-drunk chick after bars have closed and they end up going to a hotelroom together (on her behest, as claimed in the buddy’s testimony), a room bought and paid for by Evans. Evans, made aware of this by text, shows up with yet another friend to see what’s up, and (again, as stated by the guys involved as the girl remembers very little from the entire night) gets invited to join in by the girl, which he immediately does. No claims of force or violence were made before or during this trial, and the intercourse was readily admitted by Evans from the get go. (1)
The “rape” part of this story is based on the girl’s level of intoxication; the jury that eventually calls Evans guilty of this crime states that based on description, the girl wasn’t suitably clearheaded to give consent at the time, and therefore Evans should’ve politely declined the invite to the bedroom.

Interestingly enough, the co-defendant that picked the girl up in the first place got acquitted by the same jury. Certainly a debatable ruling by the jury in question (infact I could likely use up my entire 1k wordcount on the outcome and correctness of the verdict alone), but that’s not the point here.

Nor does it matter if you, my esteemed reader, think that what Evans did does or does not constitute “rape”.

It doesn’t even matter if you or I believe in granting second chances in life (which, for the record, I do) to everyday people in general, and rapists in particular.

Whether he did something wrong or not, he was found guilty by a jury of his peers, he was sentenced to 5 years in prison and subsequently released after 2,5 years served. “Them’s the facts” so to speak. It’s what people remember, it’s what people think about when they hear the name “Ched Evans” and it’s what keeps provoking such a massive outcry whenever his potential future career in football has been up for discussion.

"I believe it would be wrong for Ched Evans to return to playing football for Oldham Athletic or any other club, as he has been convicted of rape, a violent crime for which he has neither apologized or acknowledged" –Debbie Abrahams, Member of Parliament Oldham East

The above quote, when read between the lines, is a clear example of the point made a wee minute ago. “Rape is a violent crime, therefore Ched Evans committed a violent crime, therefore he shouldn’t return to his job” makes no factual sense (for one there was nothing violent in Evans’ actions, even if you deem them worthy of being called rape) but it’s the simplest and most easily to follow train of thought, and it easily spreads like wildfire because of it.

After being released, Evans was linked to his former club Sheffield United, but almost immediately the public, supporters and non-supporters alike revolted at this decision, and a petition of over 165 thousand signatures was presented to the club, urging the powers that be to cut all ties with the player.

It was a signal that was MUCH too large to be ignored by the club, and thus Evans was forced to look elsewhere. And so he did, but unfortunately for him history kept repeating itself. Hartlepool, and quite recently Oldham, both flirted with the idea to sign Evans, with Oldham higher-ups even stating that it was almost a done deal. But then the public responded again. Sponsors left. Politicians and (local) celebrities complained. Petitions were signed. And eventually, the club backed out from signing Chad Evans. (2,3)

At this point it has become quite clear that in our current day and age, public perception’s impact both through changing of the times and growing influence by social media and the likes has certainly limited the chance for professional athletes to return to their sport of choice after a stint in the slammer. Lee Hughes, who spent several years in jail for negligent homicide in 2007 had his problems re-entering the workfield, but he was soon forgiven. Mike Tyson spent three years in jail for rape, but his star shone so bright that after returning he too quickly picked up where he left off. (4)

Ched Evans isn’t a Tyson level athlete. He got found guilty of one of the most hated type of crimes in the world, he never said he was sorry (because he claims he’s not guilty, but that’s neither here nor there), and the people have decided. He is a pariah, and those associated with him will suffer. It might not be just. It might not be fair. It IS, however, fact. Signing him could possibly be morally justified, but from a business and image standpoint it would likely end up a nightmare, and his professional record simply does not warrant taking such a big risk.

No. Do not sign.


References:

1 https://www.crimeline.info/case/r-v-...-chedwyn-evans
2 http://us.cnn.com/2015/01/08/footbal...ham/index.html
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ched_Evans
4 http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/05/fo...ham/index.html

Curry

Somewhere in England, on one of only three days of Summer, a young boy dribbles a football onto the grass of his local park. The boy (let's assume his name is Jimmy) wears his local team's strip with pride, stands by his team through thick and thin just like his Dad does and just like his Dad's Dad did. On the back of Jimmy's strip reads the name of his favourite player, his team's star striker and Jimmy's hero. It's the same name Jimmy sings out in the stands. It's the same name he screams in the park as he takes aim for the top corner. It's the name of a rapist.

There's something wrong with this picture. Young boy's like Jimmy shouldn't looking up to rapists, no fan should be cheering their name and no English club, Championship or lower, should make the mistake of signing Ched Evans.

I want to make something clear: Ched Evans is a rapist. No matter what actually happened on that night, no matter what you or I might believe happened on that night, Ched Evans was put on trial and was convicted of rape. The man who may once have been defined by his country or his profession is now defined in the minds of the English public by his crime.

This inescapable consequence of the verdict means that if a Championship or lower club signs Ched Evans, they will gain two things:

1) A striker they believe will improve their team

2) A reputation as “The team that signed a rapist”

As nice as a the benefit of new striker might be, it is massively outweighed by the cost of such a toxic reputation.

Who wants to play for the team that signed a rapist?

Who wants to support the team that signed a rapist?

Who wants to sponsor the team that signed a rapist?


I could fill this entire debate by asking which groups of people would want to be involved with a club with that reputation but quite simply: no one with any sense would want to be involved with them.

If the club wanted to bring in players, they might have to pay a premium to account for their damaged reputation. A premium they might be unable to afford since they're losing their sponsor due to the bad pr. A premium they might be unable to afford since protests and boycotts have driven ticket and merchandise revenue down.

This may seem like exaggeration but years of negative public opinion, the fires of which would no doubt be stoked by the British media's love of painting footballers in a negative light wherever possible, would be waiting for any club who made the mistake of signing Ched Evans. There is no club in the English league system whose reputation would not be hugely dented by signing Ched Evans.

Since his potential deals with Sheffield United and later Oldham fell through due to the pressures of this bad pr, Evans has blamed “mob rule” for his inability to find a club. He'll probably blame it again his next talks with a club break down. As well placed as his blame may be, it will accomplish nothing. The mob will continue to rule and continue to put pressure on any club that goes near Evans in any way they can.

Over the past few days, Oldham Athletic have; had one sponsor leave and another threaten to leave if Evans was signed, a board member's relative named and threatened with rape, threats made to fans, sponsors and staff and had their Chairman, Simon Corney, pushed to reconsider his position among calls for him to resign, with all of this occurring before Oldham had even signed Evans.

The furore over Evans' search for a club has reached such ridiculous levels that even mentioning briefly that he would be a good signing and one that a manager might want (as Hartlepool manager Ronnie Moore did) can result in public backlash. On December 20th 2014, Moore was asked about Evans following Hartlepool's match against Oxford. He said, as a manager of a struggling club would, “It's a possibility. If it could happen, I would want it to happen ”. While an answer like this could easily have been forgotten, it was blown massively out of proportion, prompting Hartlepool to make an official statement less than a day later using the phrase“The Club regrets any upset that may have been caused”. That's the level Evans' public approval has dropped to, a club feels the need to apologise for upsetting people by being linked to him for a single day.

Even if a club could somehow ignore the big groups (the 170000 people who petitioned Sheffield United not to sign Evans, the thousands of journalists waiting to pull in pageviews with every new development in his story and the ever-growing twitterverse an it's endless quest for social justice) they may find it harder to ignore the individuals, those who would be around Ched every day.

How would it impact the atmosphere of a dressing room if one or more of Ched Evans' new team-mates were friends with one of the 4.6% of women aged 16 or over in Britain who have been victims of rape? What if one of his team-mates close relatives was a rape victim? Or even one of his team-mates themselves? In a footballing world the interpersonal relationships of the player and the morale of the team as a whole play an important part in the success of the team, can any club risk confrontation by putting players for whom rape is a very personal issue in the same locker room as a convicted rapist?

This debate might seem rather one-dimensional but the issue has become one-dimensional: Is it worth it for a club to accept these costs purely to sign Ched Evans? No matter which club you fit into that question, the answer remains the same: No.

"Mob rule" blame: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30734906

Oldham saga: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/foo...am-latest.html

Hartlepool links: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/f...t-9938359.html

Petition: https://www.change.org/p/kevin-mccab...effield-united

4.6%: http://www.theguardian.com/news/data...istics-graphic

RAB

Alrighty, I am an English Football Team and I’m at the Championship Level or below (let’s say I’m in the Championship for the sake of the argument), and the manager of my team thinks that Ched Evans would get into the team. Do I sign him?

ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOT.

Ched Evans is being labelled across the UK as a “convicted rapist”. I use the term loosely because he hasn’t pleaded guilty ever, and still maintains that he is indeed innocent. Even with the leniency I am allowing with him being coined as a convicted rapist, it still is not enough for me to justify signing him for my football team. This is because it doesn’t MATTER what he says, because he is being showcased every hour of the day, be it in newspapers, magazines, on the TV or radio or on online websites as a CONVICTED RAPIST. Whether or not you agree with this (it’s legally correct) also matters not, because these are the words associated with Ched Evans and these are NEGATIVE. I would not bring a player with such negativity surrounding him to my club.

Unless the player was Messi… which it is not. This brings me to my next point: Ched Evans is not good enough to justify all the negative publicity surrounding him. I mean, yes, he had one DECENT season in 2011/12 where he scored 35 goals, but that was at the THIRD level of English football, and in this argument we’re talking about the level up from that. Ched Evans is a pretty good striker at this level, even the manager has said he thinks that Ched would get into the team, but he is simply not good enough to outweigh all the negative vibes surrounding him.

Still, even after the first two reasons I have given, your immediate reaction might be to claim that just because he’s a “convicted rapist” that doesn’t mean that he deserves to be ostracized from the working world, and you may even use arguments such as “if he worked in McDonalds he wouldn’t be banned from going back to work”. To these arguments I have a simple few words: IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN IT COMES TO FOOTBALL. As has already been seen with Sheffield United sponsors DBL logistics, the signing of Ched Evans leads to problems with sponsors. Sponsors do not wish to be associated with clubs which have bad reputations, which is what Ched Evans brings with him. This means that they will withdraw their sponsorship and go elsewhere, which brings us to…

THE ECONOMIC ARGUMENT

Yes. That’s right. The CRUX of why I would not sign Ched Evans lies in the financial books of my club. Ched Evans coming to my club means a number of things: sponsors withdrawing, season tickets not being renewed, less normal tickets being sold and merchandise figures dropping. These are all pretty major blows to my club, especially as we are in the championship. Yes, we would still have money from the limited TV deals we might have set up for us, but the loss of sponsors and tickets is absolutely massive. Assuming my Championship side is not owned by millionaires then I have to do whatever it takes for me not to lose any money, because money lost cannot be easily replenished without the big bucks incentives which Premiership sides have. A dip in revenues can have big repercussions for a football club. Regardless of whether the income is above or below average, players’ wages are still the same, the manager’s salary is still the same, the bills are still the same and all the staff working for the club still have to be paid the same amount of money. This makes it very easy for a club who are experiencing temporary financial troubles to slip into much deeper trouble, be it very seriously in the form of administration or liquidation, or slightly less seriously (for now) by building up a plethora of debts from loans. Administration and liquidation are two situations that a club should hope never to be in, and a massive amount of debt can be crippling to a club, I mean, take a look at Rangers. This is one of the major reasons that I would not sign Ched Evans to the club. It’s just not worth the risk. Sign yourself someone else at roughly the same skill ability and sit back relaxing knowing that your sponsorships and season tickets have not been placed into jeopardy.

ER… THE GOOD SIDE.

Eh… There’s not much to see here. The only upside to signing Ched Evans is that he might score a few goals and he’d possibly be cheaper to employ than another striker of the same skill level. But wait, there are plenty of Championship level strikers that are just as prolific as Ched Evans in front of goal, and considering they come with a 99.999999% less chance of causing a financial explosion at your club, they are clearly the better option in this case. CHED EVANS IS NOT AN OPTION. EVER.

TO RECAP…

Why NOT to sign Ched Evans:
• He has a notoriously large profile right now.
• This profile is horrible – he is being slated on every media form in the UK.
• His goal scoring ability is not amazing, so is not worth the hassle
• Could cause sponsors to pull out
• Could cause a drop in income due to lack of tickets sold etc
• COULD BURY THE CLUB FINANCIALLY

Why to sign Ched Evans:
• I’ll think about this, and if I think of something I’ll come back to you with it.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
Bearodactyl - Everything from " During a night out on the town" down to " and rapists in particular." I would have cut or at the very least drastically shortened because it was just description of the context and background which if you're going to include should be as concise as possible because none of that really assisted your stance. Whether it should be classed as rape or not is a different question and this wasn't the place to get into arguing that or even setting that question up. I'd suggest you read through this part of your debate and ask yourself how this answers the question and how this supports my stance and hopefully you'll see that the answer at best is very little. Even your wording here shows that it doesn't really matter when it comes to the question given when you say " but that’s not the point here.", " Nor does it matter if you, my esteemed reader, think that what Evans did does or does not constitute “rape”." and " Whether he did something wrong or not,". Honestly your debate is probably better if you start at "Whether he did something wrong or not,". Again you get back to the but it wasn't really rape or a violent crime bit and it's again a different question to what you should be focusing on. There's so many layers and arguments for this question that wasting so much of your word count is really killing you here. Then you get way too descriptive. From " After being released," to " And eventually, the club backed out from signing Chad Evans. (2,3)" is just telling me what has happened and doesn't link it into answering the question. Again, these are a lot of words to essentially be wasting. I'm near the end of your debate now and I feel as though I'm only really taking away one actual argument which is Ched Evans is known as the rapist. Even then you don't really establish the link between this and the negatives to the football club that would sign him. Next you compare to Hughes and Tyson but I'm not sure why because the contexts are different. Tyson was a much bigger star and a much better sportsmen and Hughes didn't have the media coverage that Evans does. At the end you say " but from a business and image standpoint it would likely end up a nightmare, and his professional record simply does not warrant taking such a big risk." which is the peak of your debate but it's too late because you don't expand on why both of these are the case. Pretty weak showing that never really zoned in on many actual reasons to not sign him.

Curry - LOVE your into. Great bit of writing and the punchline at the end worked a treat. The 3rd paragraph is exactly how Bearodactyl should have summarised the context, bluntly and concisely. For me I felt you spent too long on the public perception argument. A couple of the paragraphs on that could have been sacrificed to cover another layer of the topic. The Hartlepool paragraph for example was pretty long just to cover what the Oldham one already did. Now I'm reaching the end of your debate and it feels like you only have one main layer to your argument. Locker room argument is a good one but I felt you needed about 2 more of these to have a great debate here. Yes the crux of the debate may be one dimensional but that doesn't mean there aren't many other layers you could address to give you a better debate. Yeah the point you spent a lot of time on is the main one and the most important one but by the end of you making that point I was like ok I get it, what other arguments support your stance. If you are going to stick on just one layer then you almost need to peel it down into further layers which you didn't really do. One big omission here was the actual Football layer of the question. Is Ched Evans even that good of a Footballer to warrant the risk? Yeah people will be pissed and there will be repercussions for said club but are they worth the benefits they gain from signing Evans?

RAB - Ok I really like the writing style here writing this as if you are in fact running said Football Team and are addressing people directly. I liked you addressing Evans' actually quality as a player albeit briefly and not really with the depth to prove that his return wouldn't give the benefits needed to cancel out the downside of signing him. Basically you're looking at him needing to be the difference between you being in the Football League and getting promoted to the Premier League to even consider it being financially worthwhile so it would have been good if you showed that he isn't capable of doing this. The " “if he worked in McDonalds he wouldn’t be banned from going back to work” is good. The economic part really needed splitting into paragraphs because that truly was a wall of text that wasn't flattering to read. I thought you could have shown how Football League clubs largely struggle financially and a hit like the one you mention would have a big impact. Granted that would be tough though and isn't a major issue. Also when you said " Sign yourself someone else at roughly the same skill ability" I would have proven this statement by comparing Football League strikers with Ched Evans. Overall though this was real strong and gets my vote due to it covering more ground than Curry at a higher standard.

Winner - RAB

BkB Hulk
Bearodactyl:
Nice piece of writing. However, I’m not entirely convinced about it as a debate.

My main problem with this debate is you often seem to be siding with Evans when your final viewpoint is that you shouldn’t sign him. You actually sound like his lawyer more than anything early on.

You also spend less time acknowledging the negative outcomes of signing Evans than others do, and in a debate where you’re arguing that he shouldn’t be signed, this is a problem. It’s nicely written, but it doesn’t really address the question so much as give a background for mine.

Curry:
I thought you started off a little melodramatic with the opening paragraph. It was maybe a bit extreme, and went against what you argued later on that no fans would want to be associated with Evans (unless the dad in the opening is the world’s worst dad).

I think, if you ignore that part, you’ve got a really strong debate. You acknowledge the positive side of Evans, but completely demolish it too with your argument against his potential signing.

The three bolded questions stand out beautifully, and really sum up what the debate is all about. The furore surrounding Evans’ potential signing at clubs was good, especially the Hartlepool case, which shows how extreme it is when he wasn’t even close to signing there.

The argument I really liked was about his teammates and the rape statistics. While all will acknowledge negative PR and financial connotations, this was a great, poignant point to end it on.

RAB:
You don’t really need to use ‘convicted rapist’ loosely. He was convicted. It’s fact.

Right, that’s out of the way. You went hard in this, and your arguments were strong. I like that you actually drop a sponsor name with regards to Sheffield United, as it makes the point that much more impressive.

The financial argument was the obvious one, but it was good too. The emphasis on a Championship club being shaky financially was a good position to take. You mentioned it being ‘one of the major reasons’ though, which means there were more that you really haven’t mentioned.

What I found a bit weird about this debate is you offer leeway as to whether he’s actually a convicted rapist, but you only call him ‘decent’ for League One level for scoring 34 goals in a season. I feel like that kind of undermines your argument a bit, because you know that’s better than decent.

You also didn’t cover as much territory as the previous debater, who I thought probably did the financial stuff as much justice as you, along with some other things. You were convincing for the most part, but sometimes it felt like you went a bit overboard.

Winner: Curry

Baxter
I thought one thing that you all missed a trick on here was a real stab at the football side of this issue (because I definitely think there’s A LOT to be talked about there given his quite frankly superhuman performances in the 2011/12 season), and if any of you had really gone to town on that bit and actually shown how he isn’t good enough at Championship level, you probably would have won this comfortably. However, given the word count, the lack of in-depth information/stats available about Evans’ playing career and the way this question tends itself to the social side of things, this is more of a comment than a gripe, though, as you all (for the most part) tackled the social aspect of this well.

Bearodactyl

As a preface I’ll say that I thought this was a good effort, but the main issue I’ve got is that this it was just a bit too narrow and you used A LOT of words on basically nothing. It's not until virtually half way into this that you really start getting into your main points as to why he shouldn't be signed. Curry and RAB both managed to do in short-ish paragraphs what it took you almost half your debate to say in regards to how despite the facts of the case Ched Evans is still seen by everyone as a convicted rapist, which was important to do before you could launch into other arguments. This is OK I suppose if there’s not that much ground to cover and you’re able to really hammer home the reasons for choosing your stance in the second half of your debate, but when it comes a topic where there’s as much to discuss as there is in this one then you really need to use the word count well. Curry and RAB both covered a lot more ground than you (and did it very well), which hurt you here.

I like the quote to start. It’s recent, it’s relevant and from this point I’m already pretty sure of your stance. Solid stuff. You then follow this up with a good introduction to the question/Ched, and I begin to get excited as you finish by saying you’re going to weigh up the pros/cons of signing Ched. Really promising stuff so far.

The next bit is where this begins to fall down and basically where my main gripe with this debate lies. I really don’t think you needed to spend so long (a quarter of your debate!) discussing the facts of the case as it’s has been so widely publicised over the past few months/years that all the judges will surely be aware of what happened, and even if they aren’t then it’s up to them to find out. Like I can see why you did it because it is important stuff but it just feels like such a bad use of words considering the circumstances. A simple “despite the sketchy nature of his case, everyone views Ched as nothing more than a dirty convicted rapist” (or something to that effect, obviously padded out a bit as well) really would have sufficed here and you could have used the words saved to form another argument or two.

You then explain how despite the nature of his case the only thing the majority of people associate Evans with is ‘convicted rapist’ and this was done very well. For me this something that is an absolute must for any anti-Ched debate, as without it it’s tough to build towards the negative PR arguments. The quote to back this up was good stuff and strengthened your point.

You then bring up the media backlash/petition side of things which is pretty standard as far as an anti-Ched debate goes and although I thought you covered it well I didn’t feel like you really hammered the point home as well as Curry or RAB did. They both explained WHY all the petitions, celebrities speaking out, reputation hit etc. matter so much where as your bit on this felt a bit descriptive more than anything else.

Next paragraph is fine but the one thing I’ll say is that I’m not really sure why you brought Lee Hughes up and even admitted that he’s been able to get on with his career fine after an initial uproar as this just goes completely against your stance. What Hughes did is surely worse than what Evans did so does that mean that the Evans media circus will also go away like it did with Hughes? If you were going to bring Lee Hughes up (or more specifically how no-one cares about what he did anymore) think you really needed to counter the point and explain why this won’t be the case with Evans for this to actually add anything to your debate. Tyson comments are good though.

Ending paragraph is then good. Gets across the point really well that regardless of morals/whether he should be allowed to return, the situation has become too toxic and that is what is stopping someone taking a punt on him. You then finish on the note that his record doesn’t warrant signing him; I’ve already explained how I think everyone needed to discuss this more as it’s definitely not a black/white thing and there is a very good case to be made for him being a difference maker for someone in the Championship.

It definitely feels to me like I’ve sat here and done nothing but bash this debate and I’m sincerely sorry if that’s how it appears, because despite my somewhat harsh comments I do feel overall that this was a very sound effort at tackling a very tough question, unfortunately I think you just lacked the arguments, evidence and passion to be entirely convincing and truly trouble the others in this debate.

Pros
+ Very well written throughout
+ Excellent use of quotes
+ Good, solid, points made that are hard to dispute

Cons
- Think you misused a lot of words by spending so long recalling the facts of the case
- Perhaps a little bit narrow in your points and lacked the thoroughness and vigour of the other two debates
- Not sure mentioning Lee Hughes really helped you

Curry

Superb intro. Sets up your debate nicely and gets your point across well, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that anyone who ever liked football as a young lad can relate to that scenario and consequently it hits home on a pretty emotional level just why kids (and other people) idolising a convicted rapist like that is wrong. Really can’t emphasise enough how much I liked this bit.

You then explain how despite the facts of the case all people see Evans as is a filthy, dangerous, convicted rapist and like I said to the others this is pretty essential to do in any anti-Ched debate that brings the PR side of things into it. Solid stuff.

The next few bits asking the question ‘just who exactly wants to be involved with a convicted rapist?’ are good. Really good job explaining why the bad PR will affect clubs as well. (FWIW, although I don’t want to tar them all with the same brush and I’m not in any way insinuating that they all condone rape, footballers are hardly known for their high moral standards and I’m sure that if the right club came calling with the right amount of money they wouldn’t be too put off by the Ched saga). All fair comments in bit this though; I don’t think anyone could argue that a clubs reputation would take a MASSIVE hit if they were to actually take Ched on. The next few paragraphs explaining how relentless the ‘mob’ are and showing just how toxic the situation got for clubs who dared to go near him were excellent and strengthened your debate immensely.

The final proper paragraph was something only you touched upon and was a really, really, good point to make to make that scored you big points in this debate. 4.6% is a pretty big percentage, basic maths says that in a dressing room of 25 players there’s a good chance that at least one guy in there knows someone who’s been affected personally by rape, and like you said I can’t imagine they’d be looking to be best buds with Ched. Could maybe have added a few examples of dressing room splits that have negatively affected team performances but I’m nitpicking a bit here because this bit was good.

Then a simple conclusion in which you ask the question as to whether signing Ched would be worth it, and tbh you said up yourself the main issue I have with your debate; this was a bit one dimensional and I don't feel like this is a one dimensional issue. I think there is a very, very strong case to be made for Ched being a real difference maker for a team in the Championship and consequently carrying someone to promotion/saving them from relegation and gaining all the riches associated with that. Is the money they gain through that going to outweigh the money potentially lost from a few sponsors? Does the risk of him not being the player he was before 3 years in jail outweigh the risk of a team passing up an opportunity to sign a 30 goal a season striker? Will fans really care about Evans signing for them/people not liking the club if it means seeing their team improve immensely and possibly even go up a division? I'd have liked to have seen you answer some questions like these because like I said this is definitely not a one-dimensional issue.

Overall this was good though. Very emotional, got your points across well, and backed them up with solid evidence. Top stuff. Think the fact my comments about this are shorter than the others speaks volumes about how solid and consistent this was. My issues are more with what you didn't have rather than what you have.

Pros
+ Fantastic introduction
+ Point about a team mate knowing the 4.6% of women being affected by rape was very good
+ Powerful paragraphs about how Oldham/Hartlepool have suffered by daring to be linked with him
+ Very consistent throughout with very solid points made

Cons
- Perhaps a tad one dimensional and would maybe have liked to have seen you reference his fitba ability more

RAB

Wow. Didn’t think anyone could produce a more emotional debate than Curry but you managed it and then some! This was written with real a passion and in a contest to try and persuade someone of your stance having this sort of emotion in a debate helps you no end.

You get right into things, stating your stance in an emphatic manner and then going on to say that in the eyes of the law and the public he is nothing more than a convicted rapist; like I said to this others, it was important to do this imo and I’m glad you all did it. Great start here.

You then have a brief-ish crack at the fitba side of this which was a good thing to do, but basically I just can’t agree with a lot of what you write here. 35 goals in a single season (which he missed a good chunk of due to injury/prison) is A LOT better than ‘decent’, and even in the Championship the year before he managed a pretty good tally of 9 goals in a truly dire Sheffield United side (despite consistently being played out of position by probably the worst manager in the clubs history). He also had a great spell with Norwich as a youngster, so I feel like there’s definitely a really convincing case to be made for him being good enough to make a difference for someone in the Championship. He was as every bit as good as (if not better than) Jordan Rhodes in the 2010/11 season and he (Rhodes) has been a HUGE player for Blackburn. If you were looking for an argument that he isn’t good enough then you could possibly have said about how he’s not kicked a ball for 3 years and hence there’s no guarantee he’ll still be at the same level he was prior to him going to jail. Just feel like some of the stuff you’ve written about his record is incorrect. You do redeem yourself near the end of this paragraph though by stating that the publicity outweighs his ability which considering how things bad have got in the media with him is a very fair comment to make, even if I would have liked more detail.

Next paragraph is good and sets up the crux of your debate very well. Not that it really mattered because nobody debated for Ched but if they had you’d have more than likely shut down the “he’s done his time etc. etc.” arguments with this paragraph as like you say the profession of pro fitba player carries a lot more responsibility than other professions. (fwiw I was originally going to criticise you here and say that if Ched was someone just working an average/low paid job then who’s to say that the company who took him on wouldn’t suffer a big loss of custom/sponsors/partnerships as well, but as I started typing it then hit me that I can’t really think of any ‘regular’ company that’s ever been affected too badly by something like this on this type of scale so that kind of proves your point!)

Then into the main bit of your debate which was (mostly) done well imo. To improve it and be truly convincing here though I’d have maybe liked to seen a little bit more evidence as to just how bad the financial situations can get because of a few lost sponsors etc. I appreciate it’s not a fantastic thing to happen but are clubs really going to be that badly affected by it? All commercial revenue typically accounts for about a third of a clubs overall revenue so a few lost low-profile sponsors isn’t always going to mean the end of the world, especially if Ched scores the goals that gets a team promotion/stops relegation and all the financial rewards associated with that. Likewise think you probably needed to show that signing Evans would indeed mean big fan boycotts and loss of ST sales because it’s not an entirely straightforward thing. A few online petitions that ANYONE in the world can sign multiple times doesn’t mean an awful lot when it comes to the proper fans of the club. I’d honestly estimate the split amongst Sheff United fans both at games and online is about 75/25 in favour of Ched and even then it’s a question of how many of the 25% against feel that strongly about it to stop attending altogether, that figure really isn’t very many imo.

Next bits in this are good. FWIW unless you’re this month’s Blackpool manager your Championship side will be owned by millionaires (if not billionaires), there’s as much money around at that level nowadays as there is in the bottom half of the Premiership. Fulham and Notts Forest are both pretty average Championship sides and between them spent £20m on two players in the summer. Great points about the short term cash flow aspect of it as that is definitely a huge problem for clubs nowadays.

You then finish with a paragraph about the (few) pros of signing him. Again to really convince me here I would have maybe liked to have seen you write some examples here of players who are banging in goals and available cheaply because I’m struggling to think of any. Only Jordan Rhodes has ever scored as many goals as Evans at League One level and he went to the Championship for a fee of about £8m. Assombolanga has a poorer record than Evans at League One level and also went to the Championship for silly money. Again like I said earlier if you wanted to bash his fitba ability I’d have probably gone down the “not kicked a ball for 3 years” path because there is definitely a very convincing case to be made for him being a difference maker in the Championship, but the fact no one debated in favour of Evans meant this wasn’t a massive issue for you.

And then a good conclusion that effectively summarises all your main points. Good stuff.

Overall I really liked this though. VERY passionate, flowed very well and made some excellent points. Was impressed by this, top stuff.

Pros
+ Written with real vigour and passion
+ Although I thought it could have been done better, you approached the fitba side more so than Curry, which did score you points here
+ Point about short term cash flow was very good and something that only you touched on
+ Used the allocated words very well

Cons
- Feel some of what you say about his playing record/money around at Championship level is slightly off
- Would have maybe liked to have seen a few more examples to back up some of your more disputable points

The Verdict

This is a really, really tough choice. Although all 3 efforts were good I think this ultimately it comes down to Curry and RAB and after flip flopping about 50 times I think I’ve settled on giving the win to Curry. I was originally going to give the win to RAB due to the fact their debate was more expansive, more passionate and imo did peak higher, but I just feel that there is too much fundamentally wrong with what they've written and not really enough evidence to back up some of their more disputable points, so in this case the more 'consistent' Curry wins out for me.


Winner via Split Decision - Curry

TDL Crossover Special Attraction Debate Part III
Headliner vs Aid

Will Anthony Davis become an NBA MVP in the next 3 seasons (including this season)?


Spoiler for Debates:
Aid

Gather around everyone. It’s time for a press conference.


Quote:
Who’s leading the NBA in blocks this season?
Anthony Davis

Quote:
Who’s the qualified leader in PER this season?
Anthony Davis

Quote:
Will Anthony Davis win the MVP in the next three years?
Not a chance in Hell.

Listen. Anthony Davis is great and he puts up STATS, but you know what. STATS don’t fucking matter. There is only one thing that truly matters most when determining MVP in the NBA: Team Standing. Anthony Davis will not win the MVP in three years if he remains in the same situation in New Orleans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
But wait, why does his team matter more than his very own stats?
Good question Chris. It’s simple. Look at the last twenty winners of the MVP:

Now tell me what you see. How many of those MVPs missed the playoffs? Zero. How many of those MVPs weren’t on a team that was at least 3rd in their conference. Zero[1]. How much of a chance does the New Orleans Pelicans have of being top three in the West in the next three years? Zero.

Let’s start with just this year. Anthony Davis is playing superbly. However, that doesn’t seem to be enough. Basketball Reference put together an algorithm to predict the 2015 MVP using statistics based on last year’s voting[2]. Notice someone missing from the top ten. Yeah, Davis isn’t there. There’s the sad reality, despite how good Davis is playing this year, there are other players making similar leaps too. Notably Steph Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Jimmy Butler, and Marc Gasol. There are just too many good players in the NBA. That’s not a problem at all if you are a hoops fan but that’s an astronomical problem if you have money riding on Davis winning the MVP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny
But what about next season? Or the season after?
Good catch Johnny. Let’s think this through. Right now there are 8 teams doing better than New Orleans in the West. That doesn’t include the Thunder or Lakers (a team notorious for attracting big name free agents). So in order for Davis to have a shot at the MVP, the Pelicans will have to overtake at least five of those teams. A lot can change in two years, but I don’t see OKC, San Antonio, LA, Memphis, Golden State, and Houston all falling. Even Dallas and Portland look to building strong foundations with younger players like Ellis and Lillard.The West is just too good. Hell, the Spurs at this point feels like a fucking hydra where you cut off one head and two more appear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg
Who cares about the other teams. Maybe New Orleans will just get better than the rest of them.
Unlikely Greg. Due to the Asik trade in the offseason, The Pelicans are unlikely to have their draft pick this year. It’s near impossible to add a key piece without a first rounder. They do have their 2016 pick, but a rookie from the middle of the first round in the last year of this question’s time frame is unlikely to make a key difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon
What about Free Agency?
Small markets don’t attract free agents Brandon. Who was New Orleans last big free agent signing? Eric Gordon? Yeah, New Orleans just isn’t a premium basketball destination for free agents. Players don’t want to go there unless they are paid premium penny. That isn’t possible for them if they want to keep Davis when his contract is up for extention. They are pretty much stuck with just trading for a big piece, and unfortunately, they just don’t have the assets to do that. If they did, they wouldn’t be an inconsistent team like they are now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom
Are the Pelicans that bad?
Indeed they are Dom. Besides Davis, most of them have appeared to have reach their potential. Holiday is a turnover heavy point guard that will never step up to that elite level. Asik is an offensively challenged center who is lucky to make a single jump shot a season. Evans is a positionless player who will never be more than an out of place gear in a machine. This team is peaked. Davis has to carry them in order for them to win. And by looking at his PER and Win Shares, he is doing that as much as physically possible and they still aren’t over .500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean
Maybe Davis will leave the Pelicans in the next two years?
The Magic 8 Ball says “no”, Sean. The Pelicans can offer Davis a five year designated contract. So far no one has ever turned it down. Not even Kyrie with the awful Cavs the last three years. Sure Davis can be the first to say no, but New Orleans has him under contract until the end of the 2016 season and then he would be a RFA if he doesn’t sign before then. New Orleans can then match any offer and you bet they will. They’d be stupid not to.He’s just too big of a star to let him walk after the first deal. So he’s definitely going to be on the team for the next three years unless he’s traded (but could end up like a Melo to Knicks situation in which a team is gutted to acquire Davis, resulting in the same hopeless situation he’s in now)..

Look. There’s no denying that Anthony Davis is a great player. There’s no denying that he’s a star. There’s no denying that Anthony Davis is the most valuable player on his team. However, that’s just not how the award works. Unless Anthony Davis leaves New Orleans or the Pelicans are moved to the East, Anthony Davis will not win the MVP.

No further questions.

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA_Most_Valuable_Player_Award
[2]http://www.basketball-reference.com/friv/mvp.cgi

Headliner

Quote:
Will Anthony Davis become an NBA MVP in the next 3 seasons (including this season)?
Maybe


Anthony Davis is soon to be 22 years old with tremendous upside. In his rookie season, he averaged 13.5 PPG, 8.2 REB and 1 AST with an average of 28 minutes of game play. Last season he averaged 20.8 PPG, 10 REB and 1.6 AST with an average of 35 minutes per game. Currently he’s averaging 24.1 PPG, 10.4 REB and 1.7 AST with close to 36 minutes per game. If you compare every season, especially last season to this season given the same minutes per game, you can see his incredible improvement, but you can also look into the future and see how scary Davis will become if he keeps improving at this rate. Once again, Davis is only 22 years old (will be). Most players hit their prime around 26. So Davis has years to improve is Basketball IQ, his mental toughness, strength, fundamentals, and various tangible and intangible components of the game. MVP in the next three seasons? Highly possible!


But


If you take a look at all of the previous MVP winners, all of them were on teams that were high seeded in the playoffs that year, and that team was a favorite to win the NBA Championship, or at least make it to the finals that year. They have never given the MVP award to a player who was on a team that barely made it in the playoffs and/or to a player on a team who is expected to get bounced out of the first round. This explains why Kobe didn’t get one single MVP award even though he was putting up crazy numbers during the post Shaq, pre-Gasol era of 2005-2007.

In 2005 Kobe put up 27.6 PPG, 5.9 REB, 6 AST and he wasn’t even in the top five for MVP voting. In 2006 Kobe put up 35.4 PPG, 5.3 REB, 4.5 AST and finished 4th in MVP voting. In 2007, Kobe put up 31.7 PPG, 5.7 REB, 5.4 AST and finished 3rd in MVP voting. It wasn’t until 2008 when Kobe’s team was a high seeded championship favorite did Kobe finally win the MVP.


Which means


Anthony Davis has a lot of work to do. If the playoffs started today, Anthony Davis team would not be in the playoffs, which means Anthony Davis would not be getting an MVP award. And even they made it in as a lower seed, they would expected to get washed by a superior team which once again means Davis would not get the MVP award.


No shit, but what does this mean!


Anthony Davis has to make his teammates better in order to make the team better; whether it’s through leadership development or his physical play on the court. It’s not just up to Davis though. It’s up to the coaches and management to build the proper talent around Davis that would allow him to flourish. If these things happen in the next three years and the team is a higher seed with high expectations, Davis will have a high chance of winning MVP. If not, then Davis will not win MVP.

The day that Davis does win the MVP does not simply mean that Davis’s team is finally a finals contender; it means management has finally put the right pieces together like a puzzle, and it means that Davis has finally grown into a leader of men that has the ability to positively influence the play of his teammates in order to reach the team goal of competing for a championship.


Even though the MVP award is an individual award, history has shown that this award is based off team performance. This makes sense because basketball is a team game.



References:
NBA.com
ESPN.com


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
Aid - This will be brief because it covers the whole scope of the topic with barely any room for critique or suggestions for improvement. Headliner raised a good point about Davis improving the quality of his teammates that you didn't mention but he didn't use it to argue against your stance or all that well so you're good. You also missed out on a new Coach pushing the Pelicans up to the level required but that's a pretty hypothetical argument based on it might or might not happen and wasn't a major miss. Plus you covered the lack of quality in the team that is unlikely to improve so I guess it would take one hell of a Coach being likely to Coach Davis and the Pelicans for this to be used against you. You didn't have a graph or chart here so that kinda sucked. All I'd be suggesting is more depth on parts but you're pretty much at the word count limit anyway. On the money debate covering all the ground you really needed too.

Headliner - Like Aid's this answers the question really well but here you suffer from a lack of depth and Aid covering some more ground as well as the ground you also covered just a bit better which is hardly surprising given the word count utilisation of both debates. Use of Kobe's non MVP winning stats was good. I would have compared them directly to Davis' to hammer your point home though that Davis' numbers are great but not revolutionary and not instant MVP winning numbers. I thought you missed an opportunity with the argument for future years. You say "If these things happen in the next three years and the team is a higher seed with high expectations, Davis will have a high chance of winning MVP." but then never analyse if they will actually happen or not which was strange. The idea of Davis improving not only his own game but also the game of his teammates was good and something Aid didn't mention so you had an opening here but you didn't take it. What you have is good but after the Kobe stats it just falls flat and overall lacks the depth to compete with a great opposing debate.

Aid wins not just by the greater depth but also via relative quality of arguments presented.

Winner - Aid

Magic
Aid:

Not much improvement required here, really loved your arguments and the format was unique. HOWEVER, you missed two crucial points: if the pelicans get a dynamic coach, they are very capable of shooting up the standings within 3 years and allowing Davis to win MVP. Second, the best players always get their MVP, I find it highly unlikely that the rest of the NBA will be able to deny Davis a MVP and stop him in games regardless of his supporting cast. Kobe got an 8th seed with a much worse supporting cast than Davis’s current cast so anything is possible. As for a third point, the Lakers have never attracted free agent stars and it’s ignorant to suggest the power structure of the west will stay as is when we’ve seen it change a lot in recent years.

Headliner: The arguments were sound, but nothing was ever really expanded on and it fell well short of 1000 words. It was good for a last second effort though, nothing to be ashamed of. Kobe won a MVP within 3 years of his best statistical season, 2006, post Shaq and Pre-Gasol, btw, so I’m not too sure if that supports your argument very well.

Decision: The clear winner is Aid.

JM
I’m going to keep this (relatively) brief since I’ve taken forever to do this. Aidan takes this one. I don’t necessarily agree with everything you said but the fact is you picked a side firmly and did your darndest to support it. Headiner, you kind of stayed on the fence. Sure you said it depends a whole lot on whether his team situation improves but I think predicting if his team situation will improve is a part of the question. I don’t think anyone doubts that Anthony Davis will have statistics worthy of being an MVP in the next 3 seasons; it’s whether he will have the team success required. I really enjoyed the format of Aidan’s debate. I’m not sure if that’s been done before, as I don’t always get around to reading each debate but it seemed pretty unique to me.


Winner via Unanimous Decision - Aid

TDL Crossover Special Attraction Debate Part II
Anark vs Magic

Which character has had the best journey from a viewer perspective since the pilot of Game of Thrones, Sansa Stark or Theon Greyjoy?


Spoiler for Debates:
Magic

Before discussing the two characters I’d like to discuss what makes a journey enjoyable. For a viewer to become entrenched in a character’s story and empathize with them we must first experience their life prior to their journey begins, their ultimate downfall, and then finally their road to redemption. The Game of Thrones is far from over story-wise, but we’ve already begun to see Sansa’s turnaround after we got to experience her maltreatment at the hands of the Lannisters and many others in King’s Landings where she acted as pawn to many of the more manipulative characters. Her transformation in terms of attitude, thinking, and from a pawn of the game to a player has been palpable. On the other hand, Theon’s torture has only just begun with no end in sight and Theon is still firmly in the downfall phase of his journey. So that makes this an easy question, Sansa’s journey is better from a viewer’s perspective due to the wholeness of it.

The most significant transformation Sansa has gone through thus far is her going from a dreamer with unrealistic ideals of monarchy life, to a pawn in the game of thrones and politics, to slowly becoming a player herself under the tutelage of Littlefinger. At the beginning of the story the audience was shown a girl of 13 that was very much like modern day teenagers: she valued looks and beauty over personality; she dreamed of a wonderful marriage to a powerful lord or king; and romanticized knights to the point of delusion. She even went as far as betraying her own blood sister for Joffrey, simply to stay in the good graces of the Queen. That betrayal would result in her first major consequence, as well as the beginning of her downfall, as the punishment was losing her Direwolf, which have shown to be highly important companions to the Starks throughout the series.

Meanwhile Theon was shown as a womanizing, arrogant bully that didn’t appear care about anyone but himself. Neither character had many redeeming qualities at this point nor did fans have much reason to show empathy for either character. However, while Sansa was on her way to King’s Landing, Theon stayed in Winterfell, showing another major difference between the two: Sansa travels around the entire Kingdom while Theon’s entire arc is mostly covered in the North and briefly in the Iron Islands. Sansa’s journey brought us many interesting characters, as well as highlighting their motivations and personalities, such as the Hound and his soft side for her, Cersei and her desires on being the Queen, her aunt’s lifelong lust for Littlefinger and Littlefinger and his lust for a Catelyn and then Sansa as well as his erratic play in the game. Theon’s journey has mostly on focused on Theon himself and then the sadistic nature Ramsey. Again, from a viewer’s perspective Theon’s journey pales in comparisons to Sansa’s as it fails to introduce and involve nearly as many interesting characters.

As far as plot goes, again Sansa wins. In Sansa’s downfall we see how she must endure emotional torture, while Theon’s is mostly done in physical form as Ramsey skins him, removes limbs, and even his manhood. While many people can relate to pain, more people are able to empathize with a young girl having to deal intense emotional trauma. Sansa was forced to watch her dad’s beheading, even worse it was her betrothed who ordered it, which marked the end of her dreams and fantasies as reality hit her. One could say that was when her childhood truly ended, something that many of us can relate to as our own childhood dreams are shattered by harsh realities, just not nearly as harsh as what Sansa was put through.

Meanwhile Theon betrayed the family that raised him, taking Winterfell while Robb and company were marching South, all in hopes of gaining his father’s approval. This eventually led to him meeting Ramsey and his personal breakdown in front of him, a major event in his arc, and then his torture. No doubt, a great moment and a defining moment for him, but it was a single moment nonetheless while Sansa has had plenty. Sansa’s first period caused her great grieve as she then attempted to hide as it marked her womanhood and meant she would potentially have to give Joffrey a heir. Then during the battle of blackwater she was forced to calm down and take care of the other women in the room she was hiding in as Cersei abandoned them while leaving with no hope. Even when she thought she was freed from Joffrey, when Margery was given his hand instead, she was then forced to marry Tyrion, a fate she considered just as bad after all her horrible experiences with the Lannisters. Finally, just before her turnaround, she was forced to flee from King’s Landing after Joffrey’s death as she could potentially be blamed.

As you can see, Sansa was a part of nearly every major event in the show thus far: Ned’s beheading, the battle of blackwater, and then Joffrey’s death. Nothing in Theon’s journey compares to those events nor were any of them remotely as captivating to the audience.

Finally in season 4, while Theon’s torture continued, we got to see Sansa slowly growing and learning from all her horrible experiences as she resided in the Vale. She’s able to keep her identity hidden as Littlefinger’s daughter, acts as somewhat of a mother figure to Robin, and even was able to fool the high lords of the Vale when defending Littlefinger. She had transformed from the little dreamer from the first season to a manipulative and cunning women in the last season, a remarkable metamorphosis.

Sansa’s journey beats Theon’s in every way: Sansa traveled around more of the Kingdom; Sansa interacted and introduced more characters, Sansa’s plot points were more interesting and crucial to the story, and Sansa’s transformation has covered all three stages while Theon’s is just beginning.

Anark

PROLOGUE


A lesser man might quibble and request the swapping out of Sansa for a character with a more dynamic story arc like Arya, but the similarities between Sansa and Theon’s journeys make them uniquely comparable among all the GoT characters. Both journeys involve aspirations rising and rising before being suddenly destroyed in, respectively, the cruelest manners possible, eventually resulting in identity changes.

One key difference is that Sansa’s journey since the pilot is superior to Theon’s journey from a viewer perspective, and by no small margin. In fact, we’re talking a Cersei’s cunt-sized margin.


SANSA


Note the crucial inclusion of ‘since the pilot’ in the question because Theon had zero character development during the entire first season, yet character development is exactly what a ‘journey’ is supposed to be. But for most of S1 Theon’s just the guy who smirks a lot while standing behind Robb Stark.

In contrast, Sansa’s journey begins in Episode 1 of S1. Straightaway we learn about her aspirations and witness the first steps of her doomed relationship with someone we were already beginning to suspect was a bit of a prick. Immediately, there was evident but as yet unknown peril for Sansa, and thus emotional investment for the viewer in this pretty young girl whose character arc would continue to be greatly enhanced by its association with the show’s greatest villain, Joffrey.

Contrast that again with Theon’s journey, when in Episode 2 of S2 it finally gets going with completely unknown characters (from a viewer perspective) in Asha and Balon Greyjoy. Viewers need time to emotionally invest in characters, and Sansa had a whole season of adventures before Theon’s journey even begins.


PENIS


To suggest that the more visually shocking and horrific elements of Theon’s travails could make viewers think his journey is the best implies the majority of viewers are sadists. A quick glance around at reality reveals this is not the case. Theon’s torture scenes were uncomfortable viewing at best, inspiring only feelings of revulsion. Sansa’s suffering inspired viewers to will her to survive and find a way to fight back and avenge her family. She was a pure victim, while Theon clearly brought his troubles on himself.

There’s also the interactions with other characters that add, subtract or do nothing in particular for the viewer’s enjoyment of a character’s story arc. Once Theon’s journey actually starts in S2, he interacts mostly with Asha, Balon, Ramsay and some minor characters from the Iron Islands and Winterfell. These aren’t terrible characters at all; some are very intriguing from a viewer perspective. But let’s see how they match up to the names Sansa mostly interacts with:

Arya
Cersei
Joffrey
Tyrion
Littlefinger

Sansa’s journey is intertwined with two of the most endearingly popular characters and two of the most influential players of the titular game of thrones. In Joffrey, she is the primary victim of the most universally despised character in the entirety of television.

There has never been a cleaner sweep.


SHALL WE GO?


From the perspective of a viewer, the enjoyment of each journey’s beginnings and middles clearly lean heavily in Sansa’s favour, and this trend continues with the journeys' ends, in terms of where each character is at the end of S4.

Theon is still fallen, a wreck of a man. His name is Reek, it rhymes with bleak; just like his outlook. Sansa though, holy shit. After being emotionally tortured, humiliated and abused since the end of S1, Sansa has finally started learning how to play the game, something viewers have been yearning for. Our last glimpse of her is striding confidently forward, embracing her new identity with a wickedly womanish smile. Gone was the daydreaming teenager; gone the suffering victim. She had grown physically and mentally. Her journey has stopped falling and begun to rise again, while Theon still flounders on the floor as Ramsay’s mutilated pet. He continues crawling through his tunnel of woe while Sansa has emerged from hers with a wicked glint in her eye and a sexy swagger in her step.



From a viewer's perspective, Sansa’s development from a victim of the game of thrones into a player of it has been far more emotionally fulfilling than Theon’s continued despair.


THE VIEWERS SEND THEIR REGARDS


It’s an easily provable fact that viewers like Sansa way more than Theon. Mashable.com used 386,364 GoT-tagged tweets to compile a GoT-character top ten, placing Sansa 7th while Theon didn’t make the cut. Fanpop.com’s public poll also had Sansa 7th and Theon nowhere near. Vulture.com compiled a list of the ‘most interesting’ GoT characters and placed Sansa 5th while Theon crawled in at 33. Rolling Stone magazine’s similar list for all GoT characters had Sansa in 4th place and Theon a distant 29th.

Moviepilot.com went a step further with their viewer polls, going as far as declaring Sansa to have THE most interesting of all GoT character arcs based on a poll they posted on numerous websites. According to them, Sansa always finished in the top three, often first, meaning that the aggregated results declared Sansa’s journey to be more interesting than even Daenerys or Tyrion’s.

Maybe it’s because Sansa is prettier than Theon. Maybe it’s because of her constant interactions with the most popular or influential characters. Maybe it’s because her plight and personality are far more relatable to real world people than Theon’s. Maybe it’s because her journey is more complete and emotionally fulfilling. Maybe it’s because Sophie Turner’s got to be 18 by now and surely we’ll get to see her tits soon. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that Theon never actually stood a chance in this debate once the viewers were consulted.

Book fanboys with penis-loss fetishes aside, there can be no doubt that Sansa has had the best journey since the pilot from a viewer perspective. And judging by where each character is when we last saw them in S4, her journey is only going to get more exciting. So brace yourselves…

Sansa is coming.

(giggity)



Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
Magic - Ok straight away you say that Sansa's is better because of the wholeness of her journey. Throughout this you kinda teeter with more = better when I think you would have been better arguing higher quality over more = better. Not that the wholeness of Sansa's journey isn't a valid argument but I thought arguing one is of higher quality would have made your debate more convincing. For example you say "Again, from a viewer’s perspective Theon’s journey pales in comparisons to Sansa’s as it fails to introduce and involve nearly as many interesting characters." but I don't think you really argue why more stuff and people happening around Sansa makes her journey better. You're just missing that part which outlines what best journey should be defined as. If you define it as most entertaining journey then you're better off here. The issue is can't someone isolated from the rest of the world have a more interesting journey in terms of character development and story arc than someone who is involved in many arcs and at the centre of everything. For example you could argue that Arya is similar to Theon in this case that she's largely been away from the main story since Season 1 but does that mean her journey has been worse than (pick a Lannister)? There's nothing overly wrong so much as it's something that I felt you could have made stronger. You never really nail on what "best journey from a viewer perspective" actually is but by doing that you would have closed some of these holes (minor gripes is probably a better wording actually). Your argument improves when you start talking about how Sansa's journey is more relatable. Again though defining that is important to the wording of the question would have helped your debate. It's good arguing that this is so but also remember to mention why this being so is important to defining the better journey from a viewer perspective. But great stuff remembering the viewer perspective part. I think you undersell Theon's story in terms of relating to viewers a bit though. Ok yes the Ramsey stuff isn't really relatable to viewers (hopefully anyway) but the story of him taking over Winterfell and the reasons he did that definitely are and were pretty powerful (or at least I thought the lost son wanting to do his Dad proud and doing evil things for the right reasons in his mind was good). Next paragraph does more = better in a more convincing way for me. Here you argue why more actually equals better rather than just stating it by showing all the different twists and turns in Sansa's journey. To take your conclusion I thought the first two points were decent but the last two were much more convincing.

Anark - First off I don't really like shortening Game of Thrones to GoT. You go with the more = better argument straight away too and again I think there's a better approach to the question then that. The question says best rather than longest or most detailed after all. For example Tywin was largely absent from Season 1 too but would you argue Jorah has had a better journey than him? Or maybe Margaery is a better example. Hopefully you get the point anyway despite the lack of a perfect example in my head right now. A better journey can happen in 3 seasons than can happen in 4. Just because one has lasted longer and got kickstarted longer ago doesn't instantly make it better. Here you don't really argue that one is actually better than the other. Also as I said to Magic I felt you missed a trick to really pull out in front here by not defining what "best journey from a viewer perspective" truly means and why. I got what you meant with "while Theon clearly brought his troubles on himself." but I don't think it was worded well given Sansa placed herself in Kings Landing with Joffrey through her fairytale obsession with being a Queen. No she doesn't deserve her journey but she did start it herself until she realised her fantasy wasn't the same as the reality. So far the same issues I had with Magic's debate are prevalent here so I won't repeat myself too much but again I don't think "interacted with other more interesting characters" is the strongest argument for which individual journey is better. Yes maybe that makes it more entertaining but better? Again this is where the defining of the question would help you. Cersei is at the centre of most of the big and most entertaining story arcs too but is her character journey better than characters like Theon and Arya who are more isolated away from the big happening so far? Next part I again feel is too much towards more/longer = better. I don't really feel like you're comparing the actual quality of both. Magic started off the same way but then got to where he was doing this better with his argument about how Sansa is easier for viewers to relate to. Viewer relatability is clearly part of a good character journey from a viewer perspective. I don't feel that you've hit that mark like Magic did here yet. Final point is interesting. I think it would have been better if you define that the more popular character must have had the better journey at least from a viewer perspective. But you don't. To me this reads more Sansa is more popular and again isn't really comparing the storytelling quality of both character's journeys. Also until I get someone to change the formatting on hyperlinked text you might want to be aware that you can't see that you've hyperlinked sources to your text until you hover over them. You even kinda hit on a large reason for the poll results which is SOPHIE TURNER. Does more popular = better journey? Maybe but you never tell me why it does. For me you never really argue why one journey is actually BETTER, just that one is longer, involves other interesting characters more and is about a more popular character. None of them really convinced me that one journey was better like Magic's point about viewers relating to Sansa better than Theon did and I thought your debate suffered from not telling me why these factors defined better journey.

Winner - Magic

Bearodactyl
Magic

The opening paragraph both explains the parameters of the question to me, as well as provides me with an answer. I’m curious to see how you’ll go into further detail to cement what I feel is a solid stance.
The comparing of opening personas, as well as interactions makes a great point. You did ignore the Theon-Robb connection a tiny bit, but we’ll chalk that up to creative editing.
I really love the comparison of Sansa’s loss of childhood to “mere pain”. I find myself nodding my head as I read this debate. That’s a good sign if ever there was one.
The sheer numbers segment again backs you and your position up quite well. Very well done yet again.
Then the final segment with Sansa coming full circle and Theon not really keeping up, plus the summation, and I’m not sure how this could have been done any better.

Anark

The opening prologue provokes a chuckle, but spoils the “who’s who” of it all for me. Oh well, I’m nothing if not impartial when it comes to Magic so I guess thats no big deal when giving out my final verdict. Now let’s see what Anark’s got..

Okay this is a great debate. It’s funny, well written, and incredibly easy to read. You make some great points, but the whole section about who is liked more just kinda feels out of place. Outside of this I can find little flaw, you cover most of the ground debate A does and agree with him on the outcome, so there’s fairly little to critique.

Final Ruling:

Both debates were pretty close to being perfect in their own way, but in the end the winner isn’t the one that made me laugh more, but the one that by a neck’s length covered the most ground in convincing me of their stance. But damn close, I went back and forth a bit there.

The Winner is Magic

WOOLCOCK
Magic:

I thought your intro was very strong in outlining what criteria is applicable in creating a journey that is engaging and pleasing for the viewer, and you apply this into your supporting arguments which build a coherent structure that sees each argument build off of the last.

I loved the base of your argument relating to Sansa's journey having something of an epiphany in Season Four, as she slowly begins to understand what she must do in order to survive in a world that is not all love and childish dreams of romance. As you allude to, she has suffered heartache and then slowly begun to emerge from her despair and grow as a person, by contrast, Theon is still wallowing in pity and hasn't get mustered the courage to escape his plight. Sansa's journey therefore has a clear escalation, whereas Theon's is still stunted and progressing.

I liked how you built on the viewer's perspective by acknowledging Sansa's journey introduces important characters into the show. I thought that was a subtle but clever argument to argue why a viewer would prefer Sansa's story to Theon's, and rookie debaters would be to wise to note how the debater here cleverly manipulated the vague description of 'viewer perspective' to introduce the argument.

After that, you make concise and logical arguments which touch upon the key moments in the show and how Sansa has involvement in each of them, as well as breaking down expertly her character development and growth as a child into a weary and manipulative young woman.

If I could make one complaint, it would be that the debate was riddled with spelling/grammatical errors that were a bit irksome to read. It's not a game-changer, but proper proof-reading should have picked up on a few of these corrections. You focused more heavily on Sansa, and were more content to use Theon's story as more of a comparison by contrast, rather than delve deeply into his story. I thought the way you approached your arguments meant this still worked in your favour, as you argued passionately for Sansa with convincing arguments whilst still allowing for consideration of Theon to weaken his story by comparison.

Overall this was a very good entry and a good breakdown of the question to construct a varied and engaging debate with plenty of strong arguments and good employment of purposeful language.


Anark:

You approach the topic with remarkably similar arguments to your opponent, so I'll keep this condensed as there is little to pick at and most of my feedback has already been covered by my thoughts on your opponent's entry.

I thought your opponent bettered your initial argument where you pondered the beginning of Sansa's story. Your opponent dedicated more time to explaining the origin and growth of Sansa from perceiving the world as a naive child looking for 'true love' to the harsh realities brought upon her by travesty, and I felt their depth surpassed the brief consideration you applied by comparison.

Similarly, in terms of plot, I thought your opponent against just had the edge. Your breakdown of Sansa's maturity in overcoming despair and cruelty was superbly written, but I felt your opponent offered a similarly convincing overview of her tumultuous journey, but offered a greater consideration of Theon's journey by comparison in comparing physical vs emotional pain. Your closing sentence for this argument however was excellently written and beautifully constructed.

Your conclusion was strong but again I felt your opponent's was of a comparable quality. Where I felt your opponent edged past you concerns their consideration of Sansa's importance to key plots of the seasons, and how they tied this into 'viewer perspective'. I felt they satisfactorily argued for how Sansa's journey had more emotional depth and consequence than Theon's, but also looked at how 'viewer perspective' could relate to personal enjoyment of her scenes: and by highlighting her importance to defining moments in the series, her arc by comparison is more entertaining in addition to being more engaging.

Both debates were superbly written and gave great examples of arguing for Sansa. Magic however gets my vote.


Winner - Magic


Winner via Unanimous Decision - Magic

TDL Crossover Special Attraction Debate Part I
ZOMBO vs Hollywood Hanoi vs WOOLCOCK

The conclusion to Omar's story on The Wire. A fitting or a lackluster end?


Spoiler for Debates:
WOOLCOCK

The conclusion to Omar's story on The Wire. A fitting or a lackluster end?

Omar Little’s final scene is a beautiful moment that cements the legacy of The Wire as an all time force majeure. In breaking down the scene and its consequences, it relays a clear message that is consistent with the social commentary The Wire emphasised as a key component of its story throughout its duration. Omar’s final scene communicates a clear message that we as the viewer are to decipher and understand in remembering the character. It has a poignant and haunting callback to a crucial scene earlier in the series, and it relays a definitive message that applies not only to every character on the show, but crucially to Omar’s antagonist during Season Five, Marlo Stanfield. It is absolutely, a fitting end.

1) The social commentary and purpose of the scene:

Omar meets his demise at the hands of a child. Detractors of the scene struggle to be comfortable at the thought of a feared menace who danced with some of the most powerful villains on the show dying at the hands of someone so innocent and feeble, but this is too simplistic an interpretation to come to. A clear purpose is presented in Omar being killed by a child.

“The Game is the Game, sooner or later we all die” is the constant rationalisation of life in Baltimore by various characters. Omar’s death signifies that ‘The Game’ is the true ever constant in Baltimore, and life in general. It pays homage to the realism that was the centrepiece of the show, that human life is precious and that every character is vulnerable to the dangers of life. Omar is killed by a child to reinforce how children in Baltimore are susceptible to the charm and intrigue of ‘The Game’. Season Four focused primarily on the youth of Baltimore, and how four friends take different paths as they come to terms with life in Baltimore where The Game and its code is prevalent in social order.

In being killed by a child, Omar Little succumbs to ‘The Game’ and the show presents a chilling piece of social commentary in forcing us to watch a seemingly innocent child become a merciless killer. Omar Little becomes another victim of a game that brings misery, heartache and devastation of the streets of Baltimore on a daily basis. The viewer is now made painfully aware of the eerie realisation that nobody is above reproach from the perils of ‘The Game’. They are, quite simply, mere pawns.

2) The Historical Context that foreshadows Omar’s Demise:



The most philosophical and expansive scene The Wire ever produced. Bunk derides Omar for the destruction he brings, and crucially the glorification of his crimes by those most impressionable. Bunk relays the importance of community and ideals, and chastises Omar for how he allows children to view him as someone to aspire to, rather than to fear. Bunk’s message has frightening ramifications, as one of the children he mentions to Omar as ‘glorifying him’, would turn out to be Omar’s killer.

The above scene is frightening because it reinforces how the children of Baltimore have the capacity to become the next Omar Little, especially in a system where someone of Omar’s reputation and criminal past is revered and seen as an icon. Bunk’s tired and emotional outburst presents a message that consequences come from one’s actions, which culminates in Omar perishing at the hands of someone who previously idolised both Omar and the life he led. Omar’s death establishes a conclusion to Bunk’s message and a message the show was trying to impart on its audience, it therefore has crucial depth and meaning and a clear purpose for how his death was constructed.

3) Omar’s Death and its impact on Marlo Stanfield:

The most common argument by detractors of Omar’s final scene relates to the lack of ‘a definitive ending’ to the Omar/Marlo war that was prevalent in Season Five. This again stems from people who only believe a violent confrontation between the pair allows ensures closure in their story. This again is ill apparent and clearly not the case.

Marlo cares solely about his name, and consequently the power that stems from the value of his name. Marlo has a psychological compulsion to be known, feared and respected by everyone, and it is this that drives his every action. Crucially, however, Marlo is incapable of achieving the reputation and legacy of Omar Little.

In death, Omar is still discussed heavily on the streets. His legacy lives on well after his death, and is not lessened because he was killed by a child. When Marlo is offered a way out of the drug empire, only to return to the streets to display his dominance over two dealers, it is clear that Marlo will forever chase a legacy that forever eludes him. Omar recognised the importance of image to Marlo, and by cheapening his name by verbally challenging him, Omar achieved a moral victory over Marlo that is clear to the viewer.

Beautifully however, when Omar’s body is shown at the morgue, a subtle but deliberate scene unfolds that relays one final message to the audience, and which cements the magnificence of the conclusion to Omar’s story.

Omar’s nametag is originally put on the wrong cadaver. This simple but elegant moment again documents that Omar is truly just another victim in an endless ravaging of Baltimore by ‘The Game’. To the audience and those involved in ‘The Game’, Omar is recognised by everyone. But to someone outside of that life, he is unrecognisable and a nobody.

The final message to the audience, achieved by Omar’s death, is that ‘The Game’ is the sole constant in Baltimore. It is inescapable, its impact and subversion is contained to the youth of the city, as well as the adults. It is infectious, and to those like Marlo who crave immortality, it is all for naught as life goes on, as the broken bodies of ‘The Game’ never cease to exist.

Hollywood Hanoi

Omar Little is limping badly, he’s wounded but unbroken, we’ve never before seen his character look so vulnerable yet there is a sense he’ll persevere, after all he’s working his way toward a seemingly inevitable showdown with Marlo and his two most vicious enforcers Chris and Snoop. Omar enters a corner store, orders a pack of cigarettes …then BLAM! – he’s shot dead by an 11 year old boy he had no prior interaction with and only the most tenuous of links to. Surely this is a lacklustre end to one of the most beloved and memorable characters of The Wire?

NO – this was a perfectly fitting end and symbolic of larger themes running through The Wire, Let’s look deeper, Oh indeed:


All in The Game, yo

First we must note that above scene was merely the final shot, the real conclusion to Omar’s story runs all the way through season 5 as he falls victim to the curse of innumerable Wire characters – an inability to truly escape the game. “The Game” has numerous meanings in Baltimore, Stringer tried to escape his by reforming its rules and going legit, McNulty tried to escape his by foregoing investigation for menial police work, Wallace tries a brief spell as a “country ass n***a”, Carcetti wants to win an election without the use of bribes and backhanders. Even Marlo, seemingly a ‘winner’ at the end of the show, tries a different kind of game but can’t resist the pull of the streets he’s made his fearsome reputation in. It’s inevitable, the roles and structures are defined by social standings and the rules never change, those that try change them are headed for failure, and only a few who understand that succeed (Clay Davis, Prop Joe up to a point). Omar is drawn out of retirement by a sense of duty to his own “code” of his game and it proves to be his undoing.


A man got to have a code

For a violent criminal Omar is one likeable dude and oddly positioned as a ‘hero’ in The Wire. He’s funny, intelligent, fearless, badass, loyal and sticks to a strong personal moral code. In wrestling terms he’s one of the shows most protected characters, always emerging strong from his seasonal arcs and always in the form of revenge against an enemy. In S1 he avenges Brandon’s death at the hands of the Barksdale crew and leaves town unscathed from further attacks. In S2 he gets further revenge testifying against Bird and foils Brother Mouzone’s attempt at assassination. In S3 all roads lead to his final revenge on Stringer (and also avenging his grandmother’s hat!). In S4 he robs Marlo’s shipment in revenge for being framed and sent to prison and also double crosses Joe as revenge for his own duplicity.

At the beginning of S5 Omar is living an idyllic retired life on a Puerto Rican beach, when he finds out his beloved advisor Butchie has been tortured and murdered it’s obvious his code will draw him back for revenge. By now the audience is conditioned to expect he will be one to strike a decisive final blow against Marlo’s crew, surely where the arc is headed again right?


This is Baltimore, the gods won’t save you

Truth – there are no real heroic endings in The Wire, to think otherwise is to miss the point of the show, none of the games every really end, the actual players are expendable and replaceable. Even the smartest and most adaptable players in their respective games – Stringer, Avon, Bunny, Bodie, Freeman etc – are all undone at times by a bizarre mix of luck and chance as the chaos of the various games spill over into eachother, the ripple effect. Omar is the most romanticized outlaw on the show by far, but to let him escape this effect would do the greater theme a disservice. He’s given one last superhero moment when he survives a fourth story fall with just a busted leg. I get a feeling David Simon choose not have Omar die at the hands of Chris and Snoop both to protect the character from a sense of ‘losing’ a battle, and because the real killer says much more about the horrifying future of Baltimore.


That Omar? He’s just a cripple, man

In what turned out to be beautiful foreshadowing, Kenard is first seen in S3 playing in the street portraying Omar in a gun fight, hey every kid needs a hero right? By S4 things have gotten more sinister, even in a season based around the theme of the next generation of corner boys being even more hopeless and helpless than the current one, young Kenard stands out as more angry and lost than his peers, he despises any perceived signs of weaknesses, he sneers at begging junkies and steals Namond’s stash, an ass whooping by Michael probably does more harm than good, if this is the worst he faces then why bother changing. When he sees the limping Omar in S5 there’s no hero worship left, he just sees another weak broken man and an opportunity to assert himself. To amplify his sociopathic nature he’s even seen torturing a cat before following Omar into the store. There’s no code in his game, just mindless violence.

Of course in true hopeless fashion Kenard doesn’t even get a rub from taking out Omar. Maybe he bragged but who would believe him? He’s last seen being picked up by police but really it could be for any number of sketchy shit he’s up to. Omar’s spot as Baltimore’s ballsiest stick up man is symbolically moved to Michael. Meanwhile, in death as in life, Omar’s legendary rep just grows even stronger, we overhear corner boys ever more exaggerated tales of his death “it took 20 n****s with AKs”. Still a legend to the streets, a mystery to the police and a boogeyman to the corner boys. But no one really escapes the game. A fitting end.

ZOMBO

There are two possible conclusions to Omar’s story on The Wire, but they are so tightly crafted that either choice is without a doubt a fitting end. Whether you think Omar’s death or Michael’s evolution into Omar’s role is the conclusion to “Omar’s story”, each is brilliantly executed and fits within the greater story of the show itself. Let’s explore how it all fits together seamlessly.

OMAR’S CHARACTER

A professional robber of drug dealers, Omar’s feared reputation amongst gangsters is one crafted by his ruthless efficiency with weaponry but also his ability to lurk in the shadows, patiently following packages and explicitly planning to exploit any opportunity offered by a gang. We see this throughout the series, staging elaborate heists with a multi-person crew using props(1) or knowing the (lack of) weaponry and names of people within a stash house.(2) Omar’s reputation amongst viewers is bolstered by his moral code, as he repeatedly demonstrates that he only puts his weapon on those within the Game, instead of regular citizens. It is this moral code that elevates Omar’s humanity and ultimately causes his downfall.

OMAR’S WEAKNESS

Omar was not thinking clearly at the time of his death. Here he was, declaring open war on the street corner against Marlo Stanfield for the torture and execution of his trusted friend and advisor, Butchie. Gone was the patient, calculating figure in the alley shadows, waiting to strike. Instead, Omar was weakened by his emotions, an aspect of his character established earlier in the series.

When Omar’s boyfriend Brandon was killed and mutilated in Season 1, Omar’s desire for revenge clouded his usually rational judgment. Stringer is able to manipulate Omar’s emotions and misdirect him to Brother Mouzone.(3) However, Omar's quick talk with Mouzone (after shooting him) clues Omar in to what really happened. You can SEE Omar's return to logical thinking in his facial expressions.(4)

Butchie’s death got the best of Omar’s emotions in the same way; the logical thinking disappeared. This leads to several uncharacteristic mistakes from Omar, including the botched ambush on Marlo’s apartment, not recognizing Michael on the street corner shortly after,(5) and not recognizing Kenard from a Stanfield corner either in the alley or in the store. All of these events enable Kenard's opportunity to shoot him in the first place.

THE KENARD FACTOR

Kenard is a psychopath. He has no sense of fear in the face of authority, swearing vulgarly and challenging anyone above him, be it the school system, his bigger friends like Namond, or police officers.(6) These fearless, disrespectful traits properly set up Kenard as the individual who kills Omar, the aforementioned legendary character in the show.

If Kenard has no fear of these anyone, why would he fear a clearly injured Omar? He doesn’t. He says so upon first seeing a limping Omar.(7) Note that he is the only child to NOT scatter upon seeing Omar afterwards.(8) You may also note that Kenard is pouring lighter fluid on a cat, further supporting the notion of his craziness. The signs are all there to see, but Omar missed them himself, dismissing Kenard as a kid.

OMAR’S DEATH AS HIS STORY'S CONCLUSION

Omar reaches almost mythological levels due to his ability to survive in the drug robbing business for “8 or 9 years”.(9) Even his best guess for how he’s been able to pull this off for so long is to shrug his shoulders and say “A day at a time, I suppose.” So, after this much time in the game, surviving gunshot wounds and diving out of a fucking apartment building, how does this “legend” get capped in a convenience store from a child’s bullet? This seemingly shitty, arbitrary death is one of the biggest complaints of Omar fans, but it is actually the perfect ending in a show set up like this. Why?

THE WIRE: CAPTURING THE REALISTIC BLEAKNESS OF THE WORLD

An ongoing theme throughout The Wire is the battle that individuals within an institution contend with the limits of those institutions. Think Daniels’ difficult ascent or McNulty’s freefall through the police ranks. Think D’Angelo being too soft for “his” world, or Stringer’s difficulties trying to escape the confines of the gangster world. Think of the children forced by unseen powers down the paths that mature characters struggles with. Dookie becoming Bubbles. Warm-hearted Randy being lost as a kid in the system. And yes, Michael into Omar. Watch the closing montage, and McNulty sees that all the work on this big, life-changing case changed nothing in the greater picture.(10) The drug hustle continued, arrests were still made, just with new faces. This show is DEVASTATINGLY REALISTIC in its portrayal that nothing matters in the end in the sense that the cycle perpetuates. Omar's physical death doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, as he's replaced by the next Omar.

THE CYCLE

The traits that I’ve discussed that make Omar who he is are also established within Michael. Scouting locations in advance? Saves Michael’s life from Snoop. Moral code? Check. A young Omar questions why he has to kill or rob someone.(11) Michael questions the reasons they have to kill someone for Marlo.(12) Michael can’t pull the trigger shooting a kid in that clip.(12) Omar dismisses Michael as “just a kid” seeing him meet with Marlo,(13) and dismisses Kenard entering the store, also just a kid. The fact that Michael steps in as the shows “new Omar” to continue the cycle makes perfectly fitting sense.

IT’S ALL IN THE GAME, YO

Omar’s story is a cyclical one, with his morality introduced in a Wire prequel clip, his strengths and weaknesses – his HUMANITY – displayed throughout the show until his death, and then the ascension of Michael into the void left by Omar. In the perpetual war between the blurred lines of good and bad, Omar and then Michael offered the best of both worlds – kind-hearted yet vicious, meticulous yet emotional. Omar’s story could not have been written more tightly, and the ending was perfect, indeed.

-------------------------

FOOTNOTES:

(1)

(2)
at 0:45.

(3)

(4)
at around 2:00

(5)
Michael realizes the good fortune of this at 1:20

(6)
School system at 0:05, cops 0:10-0:40, Namond at 1:40

(7)
at 1:10

(8)
at 4:00

(9)
at 1:45

(10)

(11)

(12)
These moments both happen back-to-back, beginning at 9:30

(13)
at 2:20


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
I'll preface all 3 debates by mentioning one thing that I felt would have been a difference maker and that is if any of you had explored the alternative option more. You all do a great job illustrating the beauty of what happened and how fitting it was but I felt there was room for all of you to look more at the lacklustre part of the question. Could the conclusion have been less lacklustre in a different form but equally as fitting? Obviously you'd argue no but by doing that I feel you would have had something the others didn't and given yourself a foot up to an easier vote. I guess I'm saying maybe you could have also eliminated the alternative ending which is a more big movie shootout ending intertwined with the same delicate intricacies that you all detailed. All 3 debates seemed very focused on one stance which left room for a difference maker in a match where there's very little actual difference in the debates to pick a winner from.

WOOLCOCK - As a piece of writing this is brilliant. Wait that sounds like it will be followed by it isn't a great debate though. It's a brilliant debate too. As far as detailing the little things that made the storytelling so brilliant you nailed it. Really other than the preface I have nothing significant to add to this.

Hollywood Hanoi - I felt this one was a step below the other 2 debates due it reading more descriptive than the others and thus lacking the persuasive element they had. The actual point and direction of the debate is the same but I felt their journey with their debate was better and due to them having less description they got to the why more often and thus could go into more depth on it whereas you stuck around with the what like a clingy ex when the why was already halfway stripped ready for you. For instance the “A man got to have a code” part I thought was just too descriptive to compete with WOOLCOCK and ZOMBO here. Also I think S4 as opposed to Season 4 doesn't look very good in a debate.

ZOMBO - Honestly I could give you reasons why I'm voting for WOOLCOCK's debate over yours but I could also do the same vice-versa. Right now I'm voting for your debate but I have changed my mind when typing out feedback before so let's see how well I convince myself here. I think WOOLCOCK's debate is more expansive on the detail but at the same time your debate being more concise allows you to hit more points. As far as same points go WOOLCOCK probably has the edge but that also comes at the expense of giving up quantity to you. So I guess the decision comes down to which margin is bigger. I thought the focus on Kenard's involvement in this was a strong plus in your favour. In terms of how "fitting" it was the idea that Omar was finally taken out by an unperceived threat, a kid, rather than a big name mastermind with this genius plan to take down the legend known as Omar is a big argument against how it ended. "It was just a kid!" but you brilliantly argue why it wasn't just a kid and why it wasn't just random and surprising for the sake of it. I think WOOLCOCK covers this a little less directly but I'm favouring your approach. Neither is right or wrong and I think that's important to take away here, this is really just preference. Both debates reach the same point from a different angle. The other part that I think gave you the edge in my preference was the " THE WIRE: CAPTURING THE REALISTIC BLEAKNESS OF THE WORLD" part. I felt this came the closest to detailing why a more hollywood ending wouldn't have encapsulated the show. I do feel though at times you could use an extra sentence to just spell out a little clearer your overall point after each part that links back to the actual wording of the question. Very nitpicking but a couple of "and this shows how fitting it is"'s might have made this even better.

Giving ZOMBO my vote as I think the extra ground covered was significant and I felt he packed the strongest punch from all 3 debates regarding the realism of the show relating to the real world.

Winner - ZOMBO

1st = ZOMBO
2nd = WOOLCOCK
3rd = Hollywood Hanoi


Bearodactyl
WOOLCOCK

Truly poetic choice of words, but the emphasis on Kenard being “feeble” somewhat fails to do that character justice. I realise you’re not really saying he was feeble and are speaking more in general, but the contrast could’ve been made more apparent, and as I kept waiting for you to go there, you never really did.
I really liked the Bunk stuff as well, but I really wish that, having already mentioned him so much, his response to Omar’s demise would’ve been included in your debate. Seems like a missed opportunity to me.
The emphasis on the children as well as Marlo’s story in particular again was extremely well put in both choice of words and phrasing, but looking at this debate in its entirety I’m not sure it’s the topics I would’ve chosen to go with when faced with a mere 1000 words. (EDIT: having read Hollywood hanoi at this point, I can say that it more closely resembles the choices I would have made in content to make the most effective point towards answering the question).
All in all though, a marvelous piece of writing.

Hollywood Hanoi

Some annoyances with sentence structure and choice of words, especially after reading WOOLCOCK right before.
However, this debate does somehow seem to be able to truly keep my train of thought focused, moving from one point to the next in seemingly flawless fashion.
I just honestly wish you could’ve made it all the way to the cop’s responses as well, maybe shortening some of the lead up in the first couple of sections in order to do so. That, to me, would’ve perfectly rounded off this debate.
I really liked the use of quotes, as well as the occasional wrestling lingo too. In the end, it’s a very enjoyable read. Slightly inferior to WOOLCOCK’s almost prozaic approach, but through its fluidity comparably more enjoyable to read.
Both of you thusfar have covered a lot of ground and shown some serious insight, but neither have made “the perfect case” just quite yet.

ZOMBO

Ok again beautifully written. Everything you say is spot on, and all the details to remind us of why the Wire was such a great show are right where they’re supposed to be.
My major beef with this is that for all intents and purposes, the sentence “This seemingly shitty, arbitrary death is one of the biggest complaints of Omar fans, but it is actually the perfect ending in a show set up like this. Why?” makes EVERYTHING leading up to that point feel like it’s been one long introduction.
The two quick points after that, as well as the conclusion that follows to me is what the meat of your discussion was supposed to be, so the balance of this debate is what worries me. But the descriptions and comparisons really hit home, and much like WOOLCOCK and Hollywood Hanoi this one is again QUALITY.

Oh god, a choice…

Final Ruling:

This debate was so well written by all three competitors, that even going into minute detail I kept finding myself comparing apples to oranges in such a balanced fashion that I found it tough to declare a clear winner.
Instead, I eventually chose to go back to the heart of a debate competition, namely which debate convinces you the most of having giving the right answer for the question. And out of these three, there was one debate that simply struck the best balance between choice of content and narrative to me personally.

The winner is Hollywood Hanoi. But ever so well done all three of you!

1st = Hollywood Hanoi
2nd = ZOMBO
3rd = WOOLCOCK


Anark
WOOLCOCK
The intro was beautiful. Within a few sentences I was not only already convinced that you were right but that you had a real passion for this subject which I was excited to continue reading. As a set up to what was to follow, this really couldn’t have been done any better. This debate shows the importance of an intro, that yes it is the stance reveal but it can also be used to set up your following arguments in a way that opens up the reader and makes them ready to soak those arguments up. A true masterclass in intro writing. Poor use of a comma in the final sentence though. Tsk tsk.

Social Commentary section was pretty good, showing that one of the main themes of the show was aptly represented by the manner of Omar’s death. Historical Context section was okay, in terms of showing the foreshadowing that preceded the manner of Omar’s death. The Impact On Marlo section really picks up the pace though. It was very astute and includes worthy points that neither of your opponents picked up on. The potential for viewers to feel dissatisfied at the arguably anti-climatic conclusion to Omar and Marlo’s feud was revealed as a farce very well, and the additional point re: “Omar’s nametag is originally put on the wrong cadaver,” is pretty damn satisfying to read. The way it leads into your conclusion is also rather lovely.

The intro and conclusion are so good in this debate that I’m having trouble figuring out if the middle sections were genuinely lacking or if they just appear so because of the amazing bread they’re sandwiched in.

Hollywood Hanoi
Awful lot of set up before you start making your convincing arguments. It’s all written very well, but (I’m writing these notes after several reads of each) both your opponents get into the meat of the sandwich much quicker than you do. Not sure if this is going to turn out to be sandwich-themed judging yet, but hopefully so.

Both your opponents expanded their repertoire of supporting arguments a little further than you did, going into more detail in more areas while you focused a lot on descriptive back story for your arguments. You may have been better served assuming the selected judges were all Wire fans and thus didn’t require as much setting up of each argument.

I can’t criticise your writing, as it was definitely a good read. As a debate, it probably would have beaten 70/80% of efforts. But all your arguments together just don’t quite match up to those of your opponents. The arguments you do use are all used by your opponents but more succinctly, allowing them to include further points like WOOLCOCK’s Impact on Marlo Stanfield section, which included the symbolic mislabelling of Omar’s corpse, or ZOMBO’s tying in of Kenard and Michael as ‘just kids’, thus showing the link between Omar’s killer and his successor.

Really good effort, but you were up against two fucking amazing efforts, and really good just don’t cut it against fucking amazing.

ZOMBO
The intro was a little wasteful, as there was no need to present the extension of Omar’s story (Michael’s evolution) as an alternative possible conclusion. The other debates assumed Michael’s evolution was just part of the story and worked that element in better.

You wrote some awesome exposition in terms of how it related to the rest of your debate; first with Omar’s overall status, then his current predicament at the time of his death, and lastly the fleshing out of Kenard as a worthy and thus fitting assailant. I really liked the point about Omar’s statements about both Kenard and Michael, that each of them was ‘just a kid’. The cyclical angle was excellent, as it was ultimately the cycle that did for Omar. The cycle keeps turning, and it will catch everybody up eventually. Excellent debate.

VERDICT: The winner is WOOLCOCK, but damn this was close. I’d call this a photo-finish between WOOLCOCK and ZOMBO, with Hollywood Hanoi only a couple of steps behind. I can easily see another judge voting for ZOMBO as the winner, but for me WOOLCOCK was consistently great from start to finish, while ZOMBO had a relatively poor start and didn’t do enough in the rest to warrant the victory. What a fucking match though.

1st = WOOLCOCK
2nd = ZOMBO
3rd = Hollywood Hanoi


Winner via Points Decision - ZOMBO

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post #2 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 10:20 AM
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re: TDL XXVII: CROSSOVER PART II - THE RESULTS

I honestly have no idea what 'via points' means, but thank you for the results.
Edit: Nevermind I figured it out, lol.

Congrats to the victors.


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post #3 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 10:21 AM
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re: TDL XXVII: CROSSOVER PART II - THE RESULTS

That change of heart by Baxter

Congratulations to all the winners, especially Curry

Gutted my relatively short streak is over but oh well.

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post #4 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 10:30 AM
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re: TDL XXVII: CROSSOVER PART II - THE RESULTS

Ooft, that was a close one then.

Unlucky RAB, hopefully we'll still be here when a Crossover III comes around and I'll take a trip to social so you can get your win back
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post #5 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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re: TDL XXVII: CROSSOVER PART II - THE RESULTS

FYI Points go 1st = 3 Points, 2nd = 2 Points, 3rd = 1 Points for a 3 way debate and 1st = 4 Points, 2nd = 3 Points, 3rd = 2 Points, 4th = 1 Point for a 4 way debate.
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post #6 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 10:39 AM
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re: TDL XXVII: CROSSOVER PART II - THE RESULTS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curry View Post
Ooft, that was a close one then.

Unlucky RAB, hopefully we'll still be here when a Crossover III comes around and I'll take a trip to social so you can get your win back
Well done man.

To be completely fair to you this was quite a mixed topic so I wouldn't put my loss down to the question having a sports element, you deserve it

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post #7 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 10:44 AM
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re: TDL XXVII: CROSSOVER PART II - THE RESULTS

Well done to Bulk, worthy winner. I think it's time for me to stop chasing the big boys.
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post #8 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 10:54 AM
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re: TDL XXVII: CROSSOVER PART II - THE RESULTS

Well done, Magic. Genuinely shocked tbh. My confidence in knowing what judges want is shot to pieces. Two technically superior debates (imo at least) beaten twice in a row. Back to the drawing board I guess.

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post #9 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 10:58 AM
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re: TDL XXVII: CROSSOVER PART II - THE RESULTS

Wow, incredibly shocked at that tbh. Unlucky Seabs, was pretty convinced (and kinda still am) that I was well beaten there.

"I think I'd have gotten Baxters vote if I was more thorough with my football part"; so do I RAB. Sorry, that was a really tough call to make in the end. Well done Curry tho, as well as all the other winners.


also FWIW there's an I missing from XXVII in the title.

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post #10 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 11:09 AM
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Re: TDL XXVII: CROSSOVER PART II - THE RESULTS

Happy with my result considering my prep for this debate was literally the first time I've watched a full AJ Styles match

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