Seabs: I hate corny introductions so let’s cut straight to the chase. TDL is back and you better strap yourselves in for the long haul because we’re here to stay this time. The TDL Dome is packed and we’re ready to kick off the show. First line of duty? To introduce my co-host for Show 1.
Now some of you might remember reading on the TDL Twitter that we had booked a special guest host for the show that would “cost my family a fortune”. Well that blew up. Basically, Les Dennis is a twat, double booked and blew us off for a children’s birthday party with Fat Barry off Eastenders. His loss, our gain, because our replacement is worthy of such a prestigious position. He may not have fingered Amanda Holden at a bus stop but he’ll finger fuck your eyeballs if you cross him and that’s the type of personality we like around here. My co-host for TDL I - SHEPARD.
*Shepard comes out to a pleasant reaction and no pyro because we used all the budget and mine and the judges’ entrance*
Seabs: Wanna meet the judges?
Shepard: How are you gonna introduce the judges when you’re a judge yourself?
Seabs: Yeah there’s nobody worthy of being tasked with such a huge job since the commentary duo of Rush and Seb was laid to rest so I’m pulling double duty.
*The judging team enter to a ridiculous amount of pyrotechnics*
Shepard: Let’s go meet these fuckers. First up is i$e. What you looking for from a competitors on this show?
Next up we’ve got another TDL Legend. Some even say MR. TDL. Greg, The Lady Killer.
The Lady Killer: sup.
Shepard: so tell me what you’re looking for in a debate and what kind of judge you’ll be?
The Lady Killer: Passion. If I can’t see the passion in your argument then it’s time to hit the road kiddo. What kind of judge will I be? Well let’s just say if someone isn’t up to scratch, I won’t be wishing them a Happy Birthday anytime soon.
The Lady Killer: Anyone who’s only here for their 15 minutes of fame had better think again.
*a small section of the crowd boo loud on 15*
I wanna see people getting to the point and not wasting their time rambling on about something that has nothing to do with their topic. And people best not piss me off because just remember who’s running this shit. But most importantly, I’m looking for everyone to have fun
Shepard: Now we’ve met the brains behind TDL, let’s meet the respected figures that they’ve selected to sit on the star studded judging panel with them. First up because I sense he’s in a bit of a RUSH, it’s Rush
What you looking for in the debates?
Rush: I’m looking for attitude.
I’m looking for Excitement.
I’m looking for something brutal.
I’m looking for something savage.
Headliner: I’ve been looking for him for a long time!
Shepard: Well I guess the one who was really in a rush to talk was Headliner
Headliner: It’s a good job these debates are anonymous, otherwise I’d be handing you an instant loss.
Next to arguably the baby of the panel and I think the question on everyone’s minds is, will you keep your feedback brief enough for the show to finish on time.
WOOLCOCK: Well I think you have to put that into context. What use is feedback if it doesn’t mean anything. The definition of the word feedback tells us that feedback should be Information about reactions to a product, a person's performance of a.......
i$e: Cut him off. I’ve got other stuff to do.
Shepard: I guess that leaves us one more judge to meet, Clique!
Clique: Hi Shepard. How are you?
Shepard: Well it’s nice that someone asked, I’m very well thank you sir. And how are you?
Clique: I’m good thanks. I understand the nerves that our debaters will be feeling the nerves ahead of what is for many, their first debate.
Shepard: So you’re going to be the friendly judge then Clique?
Clique: On one condition.
Shepard: Which is?
Clique: They don’t produce a lousy debate because I HATE LOUSY DEBATES 2
Seabs: Should we get going with our first debate then?
*loud roar from the crowd*
Seabs: Let’s quickly go over some basic rules for those of you only viewing the show. There’s 3 divisions - wrestling, sports and social. All debates on this show are title tournament matches with one and only one debater progressing from each match. Minimum and maximum word count limits so nobody doing a 101 blog or a 101 debate. You act like a pussy and fail to show, you’re gone. Other than that, total freedom to do as you will with your debate.
i$e vs ThunderAngel vs GothicBohemian vs SrsLii Is advertising to children ethical?
*i$e and GothicBohemian make their way to the debate stage. SrsLii and ThunderAngel both bitch the fuck out on the first show. *
Seabs: Not a good start 2
i$e: That’s what happens when you pair rookies up with me.
Shepard: SCARED COWARDS.
*Your judges for this debate are Headliner, Rush & WOOLCOCK*
*Debates are presented on the big screen for judges to read with complete anonymity as to which debate belongs to which debater. *
Spoiler for Debates:
i$e Is advertising to children ethical?
'Won't somebody think of the children?!'
There's a strange force at work. Every time a controversial topic regarding the safety of children rears its ugly head, logic and reality get thrown through the window and the white knight ethics brigade kick the front door in, armed with their YouTube clips and tenuous links to whatever social problem is on the news that week. In reality, it's folly to suggest that the universal protection of children is desirable. It's the oppressive methods in which those 'protective measures' are obtained in the first place (passing dubious legislation) that cause the real damage, leaving children with a distorted worldview and a set of perceptions that are nothing more than idealistic fantasies. One of these fantasies is that advertising to children is in someway unethical.
Proponents of stringent regulation or even a complete ban on adverts targeted at children usually repeat the same tired tropes. They oft believe that materialism and consumerism is rife because of advertising, and that imposing a ban on Happy Meal and toy truck commercials will mean their kids will grow up to be lawyers and doctors with a strong moral compass and a body like a Greek God. Obviously, they won't care about money. This notion is absurd. Firstly, there's an unsubstantiated assumption that all children's advertising is inherently negative. This is overly selective. More importantly, the 'power' of advertising is being embellished to the point of it having a perceived dominance over proper parenting. Let me be clear, it is the job of the parent to educate their child to think critically about the role of advertising, not to meekly submit to a misunderstood concept.
It's far more beneficial to inure youngsters to the commercial nature of the world, because advertising is going to be an invasive part of their life until they die. It'll get progressively worse, even. As I write and research this, I've probably seen a dozen adverts all clamoring for my attention, and this poetically segues neatly onto my next point. Advertising is everywhere. Even if you take it out of the kids' TV channels, they're still going to be ruthlessly exposed to it on a daily basis. At school, in video games, in films, when walking down the street, when watching a game of football, when checking their email -- the idea that children are exclusively limited to the commercials that are aimed at them is embarrassingly naive. Is it better for a child to be 'subjected' to a 'targeted' advert trying to sell them a soft toy at home, or for them to see a scantily clad Beyoncé trying to sell a bikini on a billboard on their way to the shop? Is there even a difference? This is the nature of the world now, for better or worse, and the quicker you can educate a child about the advantages of thinking logically the quicker he/she can adapt and integrate into normal society. Shielding them for as long as possible is futile.
Taking a quick look around the world, it's obviously an issue which is somewhat divisive. Spain believe a ban is undemocratic, and I agree. Over in the UK, strict regulations have already been put in place. Greece have largely banned it. Sweden go back and forth on the issue. The problem is, most of these laws are based on emotion, not pragmatism. Fast food adverts don't make children fat, bad nutritional education does. Bad parenting does. Indeed, bad parenting is usually at the forefront of these type of issues. I'm sure those who oppose my view will quote skewed psychologist numbers and 'governmental findings', but all I know is that children's advertising wouldn't have that reported $1 trillion spending power if so many mothers and fathers didn't have the backbone of an adder.
Try this; type 'advertising' and 'children' into a search engine and scroll through the results. Notice anything? While a neutral page of guidelines (1) may appear, the majority of links will share a similar bias – marketing to children is unethical (2) . We accept this as common wisdom, but is it true?
Let's start with the current health scare – obesity. The image of pudgy children, waddling toward the counter for a Happy Meal to devour while they enthuse over a plastic toy that, save for McDonald's successful advertising, would otherwise lay ignored on a Dollar Store shelf is the stuff of modern parental nightmares (3). Research has shown childhood obesity rates growing alongside exposure to advertising, which young children appear unable to separate from regular programming. As little as one commercial viewing is enough to encourage product preference (4).
But wait; much the same holds true for adults – we too want the familiar (5). And so we arrive at the initial hurdle; before ethical judgement can be passed on advertising to children, we have to first determine if (a) building brand loyalty is mainly learned through ads or if it is passed down generations, much as social preferences often are, and then (b) if children are the targeted consumers or if it is instead the adults who care for them that companies have in mind.
What determines our purchasing habits? Familiarity, personal tastes and popular opinion. Of the three, the first and last are most susceptible to influence, but what is the primary source of that influence? For the very young, as already noted, advertising is quick to take hold but there is a mitigating factor - parental personal tastes. The purchasing power of a child younger than 10 is primarily at parental whim. For older children, peer influence rises to the top but, by this time, purchasing habits and brand loyalty are already partly established, leaving only a portion to be directed by social trends set via advertising.
Now on to establishing which consumer group advertisers really want to get spending. While many children have disposable funds of their own (6), few are able to buy large-ticket items without parental assistance. Think of the easily influenced child as a messenger, passing along a less cynical, unfiltered advertisement, the impact augmented by the adult's desire to please. Marketers know ads for general products and services featuring happy, popular looking kids encourage children to lobby their parents - and for certain parents to consider the 'cool' factor for their children even when making major purchases (7).
A second desire, one that spans all income levels, is buying items that will enrich a child's development. In attempting to grab customer attention, companies have put increased money and time into producing educational and productivity related toys (8). Are ethics violated by selling families on the benefits of owning a LeapReader?
Some will be quick to say yes, citing how any marketing encourages materialism, which then can lead to low self-esteem based on a family's inability or unwillingness to provide the advertised product (9). Of course it can be tough not to get what we want – even more so when we are young – but regulating advertising away from child-directed media won't shield children from the fact that some families have more money and more things than others.
That leaves us to examine age compression. What's that, you ask? Remember being 6 but wishing you were 10? Age compression is the childhood desire to accelerate 'growing up' (10). Advertisers play to wish fulfilment via ads featuring slightly older children than are age appropriate for products.
Age compression raises concerns about children maturing too fast in their quest to be older. Yet, here again, we need to look critically at the evidence. While there is no denying the emergence of the 'tween' and the accompanying earlier arrival of body image awareness and risk taking behaviours, what role does advertising play in this trend? One dwarfed by the paired influences of changing family dynamics (including 'absentee parents' - those whose work schedules often leave children at home alone) and peer group, the latter gaining power as parental supervision decreases (11).
So where does this place us in regards to ethics and marketing to children? First, we need to acknowledge that not all advertising ostensibly aimed at children is really intended for them, but there's more. While the easy conclusion is to blame advertising when a child exhibits undesirable traits, instead we must accept the more challenging, and honest, realization that, in a market-driven society, companies have a right to sell products and services. We have condoned that, made monetary success a virtue and, in so doing, and in questing for our own financial achievement, have chosen the moral principles we live and do business by.
Two very interesting and well reasoned debates. Both imposed intriguing themes and looked broadly at the issue of ethics in advertising and the ways in which other factors may pose more of an issue in the way children understand and perceive what they see on TV.
Whilst i$e’s debate concerned itself with the role of parental control and the greater importance parents have to educate their children, something I found to be very well written and thought provoking, I do feel it strayed away from the question in its approach. Whilst the role of proper parenting when it comes to adverts aimed at children is a relevant area to ponder, it doesn't necessarily tackle the ethical aspect. Its a commendable approach and written smartly, but it felt like an answer more suited to a broader question on advertising, as opposed to one concerned purely on the ethics in targeting children. I would also say there were brief instances where points were raised which I felt could have been expanded upon, but instead were dropped in favour of other avenues. Overall the answer was well written, posed interesting ideas but ultimately felt more applicable to a different question.
Therefore, I found GothicBohemian’s debate to be the overall superior answer. I was particularly fond of the coherent structure which tackled key issues in relation to advertising and the reasoning in targeting children and allowed for a natural flow with each paragraph building towards the conclusion and posing important questions and offering a concise yet intricate explanation every time. I felt the debate tackled the question more consistently and whilst again the debate approached 'ethics' in a broad manner, I never got the impression this debate would have befitted a different question. It smartly considered the true motivation behind advertising to children and what drives a consumer to purchase a product and the correlation between which ethics might be breached in achieving this.
Strong opening paragraph, established your position on the issue effectively.
Good flow to the debate, stayed on point
For the most part a logical argument, well supported with references
Strong closing paragraph which summed up your argument nicely.
Didn’t really delve into the ethics until that final paragraph.
Really hard debate to judge but i’m going with GothicBohemian. Did go slightly off topic but brought it home strongly.
Decision - GothicBohemian
GothicBohemian had a more well rounded answer while raising good points & questions at the same time. GothicBohemian had strong references to generational advertising and it's potential correlation to the way some parents raise their children. Another strong point was the reference to children wanting to be older which has an effect on the children's influences. I think he could have went further by telling us the psychology behind children wanting to be older (no limitations that children have, the coolness of being an adult etc) but overall he touched base on a number of questions and ideas relating to the topic.
i$e’s was a solid debate, but I was looking for a little more. Good points were made, but they were basic common points. Nothing made me say "good question, or good point, or I never thought of that before" like GothicBohemian did. You had opportunities to branch out but you never seemed to do it.
Winner via Unanimous Decision - GothicBohemian
Seabs: Now we know this show isn’t all about the debaters and the judges but also about the audience. That’s why I’ve sent Shepard into the stands to mingle. Shepard.
Shepard: Yeah I’m here in the crowd and the atmosphere is something else. I’m just walking around this section trying to spot some people out. Oh look, Craig’s just coming in. Craig!
Shepard: Hey, you just missed a great opener with a massive upset.
Craig: I’m just here to meet Andy
Shepard: Um.... kay. Let’s move along. There’s WAGG with.... who’s that you’re with WAGG?
WAGG: Um..... my sister.
Shepard: Wonderful. A true family occasion. The girls in blue just below me in the lower stand.
*Shepard does a terrible job of not getting caught checking Croft and Amber's cleavage out and bumps into Craig*
Shepard: Craig! Where you off to now?
Craig: I’m outta here. Can’t find Andy. Fuck it.
*Shepard gets pelted in the chest with litter as he walks past what appears to the TNA section of the crowd*
Shepard: Who the fuck threw that?
*waveofthefuture2.0 & nevereveragainu get out of their seats and confront Shepard*
Job Squad: Facist.
*waveofthefuture2.0 goes to slap Shepard but Shepard catches his arm and proceeds to beat the shit out of all 3. Shepard takes down his imaginary straps and puts all 3 into one big super ankle lock making them all tap like little bitches*
*As Shepard backs off, Theproof runs out his seat and starts stomping on nevereveragainu.*
Theproof: YOU MESS WITH ME AND I’LL WHIP YO ASS IN REAL LIFE BITCH.
*Theproof runs back to his seat*
*Andy3000 enters the dome*
Andy: Craig here?
Shepard: He was just here looking for you but then he left
*Andy walks out*
Shepard: Are you not staying?
Andy: Fuck that. I only came here to meet Craig.
scrilla vs Anark vs Makavelli vs Scorpion95 Are parents justified in using physical force to discipline their children?
*All 4 make their way to the debate stage*
Spoiler for Debates:
Using physical force to discipline kids always sparks a hot debate concerning ethics, effectiveness, and effects on the child. Quite honestly I think it serves the parents more in relieving their frustrations with a difficult child than it does discipline their kid. I know what it’s like to want to slap a kid across the face because of their excessively bad behavior, but what is that going to accomplish? Of course it’ll do wonders for me, relieving the tension and hostility I held for the kid, but what about the kid? In his mind, he didn’t get punished for doing something wrong or breaking the rules. He just got slapped. He’s not thinking, “Damn, maybe I shouldn’t be such a pain in the ass and maybe control myself next time.” The only things going through his head are the pain and shock from the slap and the fear of the person who slapped him. Some say that their parents hitting them worked wonders for them and set them straight. That they learned right from wrong very quickly and soon became very obedient to their parents.
What about the other kids? What about the ones who don’t turn out to be fine, upstanding citizens who were made better because of their parents hitting them? Some parents don’t know where to draw the line and what started off as a simple hand to bottom spanking can turn into being struck by almost object laying around the house or even punches being thrown. This can turn a kid against their parents and causing the kid to grow to resent the parents and even fear them and though fear is certainly an intensely strong motivator you must ask yourself if you want the relationship you have with your child to be based off of fear. You may get them to fall in line or obediently follow orders, but you can soon find yourself losing your child along with it. You’re getting results but at what cost? They aren’t helping you around the house or making curfew because they respect you enough to respect your authority. They’re doing it because they’re afraid of taking a belt to the back or slap to the face and while this gets you what you want now, how much good will it do you when you lose that authority and that control? When the child grows up, becomes an adult, and moves out? Will they still be there for Sunday dinner or stop by to see how you’re doing now that it’s a choice rather than the law of the land? Where will they even end up? Could all the tough love and physical abuse push the kid away from the parents and into dangerous and reckless activities like drugs, alcohol, and crime? Getting into the wrong crowd and putting themselves and others in harm’s way?
Now I don’t want to swing the pendulum too far because there are in fact cases where this stuff works and the more power to those individuals who it all worked out for, but I think there are better ways to raise a well-adjusted child. Building a relationship with your kids based off of trust and mutual respect will get you a lot further than building one based off of fear. Loosen up, stop being so strict, and allow your kids to make a few dumb decisions. Let them see for themselves the bad that can happen from poor decision making and allow them to learn from their mistakes. Smacking Johnny’s hand for trying to touch the hot iron isn’t going to rid him of the curiosity he has for it. It’ll only cause him to try harder to touch it out of spite for you. Let him touch it and find out it burns like hell and that’ll be the last time Johnny touches the iron. Rewards and punishments are tried and tested methods of good parenting. Give a kid money for good grades and the kid is more likely to work for good grades. Take away a coveted privilege and that kid is certainly going to think twice before breaking curfew. Physical force should never become an option. The risks outweigh the benefits especially when other discipline methods offer the same benefits without the risks of using physical force. In the end, different people react differently to certain kinds of parenting and I think it’s the responsibility of the parents to find out what methods work best amongst their kids. Though, I think as long as you instill good values in your kids, set a good example, and keep strong communication with your kids everything should turn out fine.
Are parents justified in using physical force to discipline their children? The answer to this question is simply, yes. This is not a justification for rampant abuse or brutal beatings of children without reason. Like all things in life, different parenting methods work for different people. For some parents, physically disciplining their child just doesn’t fit with their values. That’s fine because all parents probably should not smack their kid if he does something wrong. However, all parents should have that right assuming they know their boundaries.
There have been studies that show that physical abuse of children can lead to later crime, as well as repeat abuse. These studies are not being questioned in the slightest. A distinction must be made between physical force as intent to discipline and physical force with intent to do serious harm. If the force is used maliciously for no reason on a minor then it’s just wrong. If the force is excessive for punishment for misbehavior it’s also wrong. It would not be appropriate to beat a child to a bloody pulp for nothing whatsoever.
If a parent wants to spank their child or give them a smack with the belt for good reason, then it’s their right. There is a certain point where other forms of punishment might be more appropriate. Between the age of five and around twelve is probably the time when it would work most effectively. There aren’t too many things a child could do between the infancy and five years old that would warrant any type of physical punishment. Once the child starts school the capacity for misbehavior rises. Once a child reaches teenage years they are likely to rebel against their parents. This type of rebellion would only be fueled further by use of physical force against them.
If a child steals something, lies about something important, or causes some other problem while in school then a parent has the right to choose how to discipline their own child. In some cases grounding the child or taking away some other privilege might be appropriate instead. Those might also be alternative methods for parents that are against physical punishment. Others might choose to spank their child or give them the belt. If they believe that will work and is an appropriate punishment then it’s justified.
Whether or not physical force is a truly useful form of punishment is not the point. It probably does more harm than good. It might not be effective in the slightest, but a spanking isn’t going to kill the child. It’s doubtful it would do great psychological damage to most children. Of course that’s assuming that the child had done something worthy of punishment and the beating was not severe. However, it should not be ruled out that even small scale physical force against a child could do psychological damage to a child.
Just as different parenting methods work for different parents, different styles of punishment work on different children and have a different impact. Since everyone is wired differently it’s impossible to rule out physical force as a justifiable parenting method. Advocating for everyone to use physical force would be wrong. Advocating for anyone to use serious physical force on a child would be wrong. Advocating for no one to use physical force would be wrong.
There are people, who were punished with a beating every now and then in childhood, who turned out to be fine responsible citizens. There are people, who were never punished with a beating in childhood, who turned out to be criminals and drug addicts. There is no uniform “right” way to raise a child. Different values hold for different cultures. While sexual and harsh physical abuse should never be used against a child, minor force should be an option.
Whether physical punishment is an option that actually teaches a child a lesson and curtails bad behavior is for another debate. The question is not whether physical punishment is a better form of punishment than non-physical punishment. The question is not if physical punishment actually works to improve children’s behavior. The question is if it’s justifiable for parents. The answer to that question is a resounding yes.
Parents should remain very cautious in all aspects of raising their children, including deciding what is appropriate punishment. If the punishment is unsuccessful or causes psychological problems, those are consequences the parent has to live with for their actions. The possible failure and damage the punishment could have on a child is something the parent should be aware of beforehand. Most probably are not aware of the potential effects of their actions down the road, but that’s just being a bad parent. If being a bad parent was illegal then there would be a lot of children up for adoption.
It is almost impossible to take an assertive stance on physical discipline when considering variables and situational issues. However, such a method of maintaining behaviour and obedience is largely unnecessary. Firstly, define discipline. It is the practice of training an individual or group to abide by a code, with punishment being used in response to potential disobedience. Are parents justified in their use of physical force? Theoretically, a child can be taught to obey rules, as well as what is (subjectively) moral and immoral, without being physically disciplined in the process. However, what is physical punishment? Commonly, one would refer to a typical smack over the head, a slap to the face, a spank, or in more severe cases, use of a belt. Firstly, the largest available concession must be noted: the attitude of children varies greatly from family to family. As such, some children are so disobedient and reckless that many would agree they need to be ‘taught a lesson’. In theory, violent discipline should be an absolute last resort. In practice, it has been rendered the most simple, efficient ‘next step’ to correct a child’s attitude. There is always an appropriate alternative, regardless of the absurdity of attempting to discipline a rowdy, insubordinate minor, most notably therapy and psychiatric evaluation.
This coincides with another issue with physical discipline, being a tragic degree of ignorance in a large majority of parents and guardians. Put into perspective the fraction of minors who suffer from medically legitimate psychiatric disorders. The National (Australia) Survey of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (Sawyer et al, 2000) found a collective presence of mental health problems in 14% of a sample of minors, similar to The Dunedin (New Zealand) Longitudinal Study’s (Silva and Stanton, 1997) finding of 17%. These issues range from depression, to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), to a plethora of phobias. More specifically, in the United States, 8% of the adolescent population suffered a major depressive episode in 2011. An especially alarming notion is that psychiatric evaluation attendance is minimal, meaning that a large portion of parents will physically punish their children on assumed grounds of disobedience, without being aware of the accompanying mental factors, and most importantly, the consequences.
The psychological, physical and social ramifications of physically disciplined minors are wrongly overlooked, and substituted with a greater focus on the assumed benefits. This is due in part to parents’ inadequate ability to distinguish between physical discipline and child abuse, a universal societal flaw. For instance, should a couple use force to discipline an otherwise amoral child, they are teaching him or her, be it deliberate or inadvertent, that violence is a suitable immediate remedy to a problematic situation. Parents often fail to recognise their accountability for this issue, and are then perplexed in response to their child(s)’ disconnection from them, as he or she matures.
The more severe and brutal consequence is inflicted upon the parents by the child, that being vengeful violence. Such was the case in murder of the Liewald parents, 43 and 24, by their son, Matthew Liewald, 15, who claimed to be retaliating to a childhood plagued with abuse masked as discipline. Ergo, parents should be wary of the stark contrast between the benefits which arise from physical punishment, and the unspoken, often tragic consequences. Physical discipline should not be necessary in the bulk of situations, and, in terms of being a method of remedying behavioural problems, it is made redundant by superior manners.
It is tempting to define physical force as smacking or hitting, but it has a much broader scope and the answer is not so simply answered by whether or not you agree with the smacking of children.
There is a line between force and abuse, but where the line lies is the subject of much debate, confusion and subjectivity. British Law, for example (as of the 2004 Children’s Act), has ruled that a parent may smack a child if it causes no actual bodily harm. Britain, though, is one of only five EU countries that haven’t introduced an outright ban, drawing criticism from the UN for its stance.
Perhaps more relevant than the legalities are studies which propose smacking children is actually ineffective, such as the US Report on Physical Punishment by Elizabeth Gershoff, PhD, who states: “Physical punishment doesn’t work to get kids to comply, so parents think they have to keep escalating it. That is why it is so dangerous.”
There is research, however, which argues the long term effects of physical punishment are relative to other factors, such as the study published in the Parenting: Science and Practice journal by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (NY), which notes the “perception of maternal warmth protects against antisocial behaviour.” Lead author, Dr Miguelina German, explains that the most important influence on happy, secure children is warm, responsive parenting that reaffirms the underlying love of the parent for the child, even during harsh physical discipline.
Complimenting that report is another study published in 2009 by London’s Institute of Education, in which the research indicates traditional authoritarian parenting using firm discipline combined with “warmth and sensitivity” will result in well-adjusted and competent children.
It is true that firm discipline doesn’t necessarily require physical punishment. The Parent4Success website lists a plethora of non-violent disciplinary measures, ranging from denial of privileges to variants of the Naughty Step. There is no evidence, however, that the smacking of children has ever been the sole reason for the social maladjustment of certain adolescents or adults, though it has been cited (in the studies mentioned above and others) as a contributing factor when other negative influences are at work.
But is it reasonable to avoid this potential contribution (which exists only among other negative contributory factors) by denying all justification of physical force in a parent’s disciplinary repertoire, especially from those who temper their physical discipline with warmth and reassurance of their love?
This is where the definition of physical force becomes crucial to the answering of the original question, for the entire spectrum of actions that exist under the umbrella of physical force must be considered.
Under the umbrella are actions such as clipping around the ear and tapping the back of a child’s hand as it reaches for something it shouldn’t. Consider that latter example, that of a toddler reaching for something very hot and the parent has an instant to react and quickly slaps the back of the toddler’s hand resulting in a mild stinging sensation which is unpleasant for the child. This action is an example of physical force and must be considered justifiable because it is a protective act which prevents more harm than it inflicts.
Consider a child that is refusing to move when instructed to, so the parent grasps the child’s arm, or picks it up off the ground completely, and moves it to the designated place by physical force. Even the essentially non-violent Naughty Step method will occasionally involve physically forcing a rebellious child to alight there.
When physical force and all that it constitutes is considered in its entirety, it becomes clear that it is nigh on an impossibility to raise a child without occasional use of varying degrees of physical force to guide, protect and discipline it.
The definition of discipline is, according to the Collins English Dictionary, “systematic training in obedience to regulations and authority,” while the Merriam-Webster defines it as “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.” Evidently, discipline is not entirely about punishment and cannot be defined only as thus, just as physical force is a separate entity to violence and is not entirely about smacking buttocks with wooden spoons. These definitions are vital because the debate question is not asking if smacking a child is right or wrong. The question only inquires as to whether there are any occasions where an undetermined measure of physical force is justifiable.
Understanding that discipline is the tuition of a child in how to behave, and that physical force encompasses many necessary actions to not only guide and teach, but also to protect a child, there can be only one reasonable answer to the debate question.
Yes, it is justifiable for a parent to use physical force to discipline their child.
First, I would like to say it has been a pleasure to take part in The Debate League and I appreciate the efforts every participant gave in this debate. I did not look at word count or grammatical errors. I am all about the argument and the content used for support. One thing I will say is in debates or arguments I prefer more use of statements, taking a stance, opposed to rhetorical questions posed at the audience. I understand the writer may want the reader to ponder on the argument but I'm just pointing out what grabs my attention more directly.
The topic of disciplining children is complex and this debate on parents using physical force to discipline, even more complex. I thought Makavelli had a compelling argument. He effectively brought up the issues one expect in this argument, but he also shed light on how physical discipline is an emotional reaction to serve a parent's frustration more than a learning tool for discipline. I liked how he argued that point. Scorpion95 and Anark both had strong arguments backed by internet research but the inclusion of how physical discipline affects the parent put Makavelli's argument at the top for me because the child is not the only party affect in the situation and he brought attention to that. scrilla’s is also very detailed in giving great examples but I thought the positive possibilities and especially the negative ramifications brought by Makavelli were the strongest.
Winner - Makavelli
Makavelli wins. He had a very convincing argument for why physical force may not be the best option. He asked many good "That's a good point" questions which is something I like to see in debates to strength arguments. It was well organized and each point went into the next point smooth. Good job!
scrilla’s was ok. While you provided good alternatives to physical force by providing different situations, I don't think it was needed if you were trying to establish why you agreed that physical force was necessary. I think you should have put more focus on why you think it's necessary instead of bringing up other options.
Scorpion95 presented a solid debate with factual evidence on why physical force isn't necessary. The debate itself was too short for the argument. I would have liked to seen you dig deeper into some topics to strengthen your argument. For instance, you could have discussed the actual moment when a child is first beaten and how the psychological despair behind the beating changes his relationship with his or her parents. Then discuss how it changes over time from a young age to adult to better establish your point of view.
Anark waited until the end to actually say his answer which strongly hurt his debate. While the material I was reading was informative, I had no idea which side you were actually on until the end. If you had defined your answer at the beginning and then explained the difference between force and abuse like you did, your debate would be much stronger and perhaps a potential winner.
Decision = Makavelli
The Lady Killer:
Big shock, another close one. Let's jump right in:
Makavelli - I think this one missed the mark a bit. I liked the compartmentalization of the topic into three prongs - ethics, effectiveness, effects - but the question didn't necessarily call for it. The debate began to stray from directly attacking the topic head-on - that being, are the parents justified in using physical action - not a more moral matter of whether or not they should, or whether or not its effective. Those are separate issues and aren't relevant to the topic.
scrilla - This debate, unlike the first, attacked the topic and supported the parent's justification by arguing, rather effectively, that it's their right. I really like how you drew the line between the parent's intent to disciple and their intent to do harm. I think making the distinction with emphasis on the parent's intention is a great argument. "Excessive" was also a key word choice. Very careful word selection - I liked it.
"If they believe that will work and is an appropriate punishment then it’s justified."
Scorpion95 - This debate, at least to me, seemed to succumb to the same shortcomings as the first. I think the opening was really strong, and had me believing that it could surpass the stellar second debate.
"In theory, violent discipline should be an absolute last resort. In practice, it has been rendered the most simple, efficient ‘next step’ to correct a child’s attitude. There is always an appropriate alternative, regardless of the absurdity of attempting to discipline a rowdy, insubordinate minor, most notably therapy and psychiatric evaluation."
Bravo. Very, very good. Then you started listing a bunch of stats that illustrated the adverse effects of physical punishment, which, although certainly accurate, fail to address the justification aspect of the question. So, you're saying that parents aren't justified in using physical force because of the adverse effects it has on the kids? I think? Earlier, in the section I quoted above, you seemed to think that the parents were justified to use force "as a last resort." I'm a bit confused as to which stance you're taking. Even in the opening line, you claim that it's almost impossible to take an assertive stance on the issue. Well, if it's almost impossible, that means it is possible, which weakens you argument. This is especially true given that you segue into defining key terms and making me believe you are in fact taking an assertive stance. Love the effort, though. You clearly did your research and submitted a thorough debate.
Anark - Very solid debate. I think the only thing that makes this effort fall a bit short is that I was unsure which stance you were taking until the second half of the debate. That last line should've been your first line, in my honest opinion. As a reader (and a judge), I want to know what side you are arguing right off the bat. That being said, your argument was very convincing and you obviously put a ton of effort into this and deserve to be commended for the research. I'd hate to not give this debate the nod, as I love to reward effort this strong, but I think I have to. Judging sucks sometimes.
Winner - scrilla
Winner via Split Decision = Makavelli
Shepard: I’m back in the stands and I’m here in the stands with Rah. Now earlier on, Rah was telling me about his aspirations to get onto the main roster.
Rah: I’d love it.
haribo: WHERE’S KEEGAN?
....yeah it’d be great. No idea which division I’d join though.
Shepard: So are you here for this show to do some scouting perhaps?
Rah: I’m just here to see CamillePunk’s debate.
Shepard: Just CamillePunk?
Rah: Yeah. I’m a big fan.
Shepard: What about the other 39 debaters on show here?
Rah: Just CamillePunk. I’m a fan. I’d love to see what he has in store for his debate.
CamillePunk vs SPCDRI vs TehJerichoFan vs GOON The Legend Does the constant media coverage that terrorism receives have a negative effect on society, especially on a psychological level?
*All 4 make their way to the debate stage
Spoiler for Debates:
Affirmative: Constant Media Coverage of Terrorism Is Psychologically Damaging
Yes, the constant media coverage of terrorism is psychologically damaging. It has embroiled the United States in a never-ending so-called Global War On Terror that has deeply damaged American values, trivialized non-American life, kept the nation in a state of low-grade fear and paranoia and in many aspects left it a morally bankrupt actor that creates its own worst enemies.
It is too easy to think of the media as merely the news media. Entertainment such as television, film and radio immediately argued America into rash wars of occupational neo-colonialism that have cost trillions of dollars and have no end in sight. America was so psychologically hurt by 9/11
there was a subgenre of country music devoted to calling for revenge. I’ll never forget how I clutched my M16 as I laid uncomfortably in my Army bunk bed during basic training and heard Toby Keith proudly proclaim that “We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way!” Emotionalism gripped the nation and kept rational thought to a minimum or even a nonexistence. Somebody had to pay!
Following 9/11, America was in a total blood lust and ached for revenge from pop culture to its highest ranking politicians. One negative impact of the incessant airing of 9/11 footage and the Never Forget fetishizing was that it made the pointless War on Iraq possible. Perhaps more distressing, 9/11 and media repetition of it has made it possible for odious legislation like the PATRIOT Act to pass. America and other nations such as the UK have essentially become surveillance states and the Bill of Rights has been subverted for over a decade with “terrorism” being the magical word to justify it.
At the same time countries like America fear terrorism, genuine acts of terrorism abroad that are caused in part by foreign involvement such as car bombings and political executions in Iraq elicit yawns from America whereas something like the Boston Marathon will be covered by a 24/7 news cycle for a month. This has led to a perverse, desensitized egotism that I have heard from people: dead foreigners are not “real” deaths. Those deaths mean little or are outright meaningless in comparison to precious American lives.
It is not just the PATRIOT Act that has been proposed and passed due to the media constant drum-beating about terrorism. Look at things such as the suspension of habeas corpus and due process of law in which all it takes is an accusation of “terrorism” for someone to be imprisoned for life without charges and legal representation. If they are lucky, all they will get is some form of a 3 man panel military tribunal. This fear of terrorism that has so gripped countries like America has it behaving in ways that are grossly contrary to their values and deeply immoral. “Enemy combatant” designation and legislation such as NDAA and the concept of America as “battlefield” imperils us all.
Finally, I can think of no such issues on which the media’s portrayal of terrorism has so colossally warped and depraved the American public than on the issues of torture and drone strikes. Torture has been reduced to mere partisan bickering and people argue about it as though they were at the bar talking about sports teams. Perhaps worst of all is the American policy of CIA “black sites” and the use of international airplane travel, so-called “torture taxis,” to ship prisoners abroad to be tortured. There is a cottage industry, a veritable army of creeps like Alan Dershowitz who have euphemized this international torture scheme as “extraordinary rendition.” It is extraordinary that a significant portion of Americans cheer this depravity on! Furthermore, these plainly terroristic tactics serve to create people who will seek vengeance and retaliation upon America.
Drone strikes, the use of missile-launching remote-controlled airplanes to kill people, is every bit as bad if not worse. American policy is that any military aged male in a country is a suspected terrorist and subject to execution via missile. The U.S. president has even signed off on the execution of U.S. citizens without due process and trial and has a “kill list.” This is so un-American and displays such psychological impairment and emotional damage from terrorism and the coverage of it that it can be persuasively argued that our current president orders the execution of U.S. citizens on account of “terrorism” concerns. This is a shocking display of sociopathy.
In summation, media coverage of terrorism created a war-mongering country that threw its rights away in fear, invaded 2 countries, tortured who knows how many people and currently uses missile-launching robots to murder U.S. citizens without trial. Talk about psychological damage. Christ!
The media's coverage of terrorism definitely has a negative effect on society. It's a two-pronged effect, not only is it the frequency which causes people to fear something happening to them which is extremely unlikely (and thus making them more willing to sacrifice liberties and privacy for the sake of "protection"), but it’s also the selectivity of the coverage which gives people a very misinformed and xenophobic world view. Attacks carried out by radical muslim groups get plenty of coverage, however attacks carried out by the US military are kept secretive and unexplored as a topic for discussion.
This creates a false dichotomy in people's minds that the faceless middle eastern people being killed overseas are terrorists, and the ones doing the killing are "heroes risking their lives for our freedom". When in fact, the US military has used tactics which it has deemed the "hallmark of terrorism" in its operations in the middle east. The tactic I'm referring to is called "double tap", wherein an initial strike is carried out, and then after some time civilians will respond to the scene of the attack to assist the wounded, and then a second strike will be carried out. Such an incident resulting in the injury of innocent children can be seen and read about here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010...my-iraq-attack
Yet US drone strikes receive very little coverage, despite the fact that their use radicalizes people and does a better job of recruiting for terrorist groups than those groups could ever do on their own. Take for example this article about people in Yemen, a country which is routinely bombed by the US: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...379215,00.html
Farea Al-Muslimi, 22, of the Yemeni village of Wessab explained how his village had been mostly pro-American, largely because of his descriptions of the wonderful year of high school he spent in the US. A drone strike in Wessab against a man whom Muslimi insisted could easily have simply been arrested changed all that.
"What the violent militants have previously failed to achieve, one drone strike accomplished in an instant. There is now an intense anger against America in Wessab. This is not an isolated incident – the drone strikes are the face of America to many Yemenis," he said in his testimony.
"I believe in America and I deeply believe that when Americans truly know about how much pain and suffering the US airstrikes have caused and how much they are harming the hearts and minds of the Yemeni people, they will reject this devastating targeted killing program."
The problem is that the US people by and large aren’t informed about the extent of the US drone program, aren’t informed about the criteria being used to determine targets, and aren’t informed of how US interventionism radicalizes otherwise peaceful people against the US.
The effects of this can be seen by the response to the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this year, in which two Muslims, self-radicalized by the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, carried out an attack which killed 3 people and put a city in panic. The media coverage was nonstop and the city went into lockdown while the police drove armored turret-mounted vehicles through the streets, conducting house-to-house searches. After the suspect was found (by a civilian), people cheered in the streets, high-fiving the police and repeating pro-US rhetoric. What they don’t know is that the US creates terrorists like the Tasrnaev brothers when it invades and bombs Muslim countries.
In the minds of the misinformed American population, these attacks are offensive strikes against the US by an impossible to understand foreign enemy with extreme religious views, in the minds of the people carrying them out, they are retaliatory attacks against an evil empire which has invaded Muslim countries, executed Muslim civilians (including women and children) without trial, and has the audacity to say it is fighting AGAINST terrorism. This is the extremely significant truth which is completely lost in the way the media reports on terrorism.
Rewind back eleven years to September 11, 2001, an eerie, grim day signifying a critical juncture in the political fabric of the United States. The September 11 attacks, consisting of four organized attacks in Washington and New York, resulted in nearly 3,000 casualties, making it by far the deadliest terrorist attack in American history. And while the death toll was alarming enough on its own, the media's sensationalistic reporting exacerbated an already chaotic situation. This revelation isn't exclusive to the September 11 attacks; in fact, the American media's proclivity to sensationalistic reporting becomes evident in the wake of many catastrophes, most recently with the Boston Marathon bombings. It really begs the question: does the constant media coverage that terrorism receives have a negative effect on society, especially on a psychological level? My answer to this question is a resounding yes.
An endless state of perpetual fear
Canadian political scientist Barry Cooper defined terrorism as the "intentional generation of massive fear by human beings for the purpose of securing or maintaining control over other human beings."(1)
Indeed, the instillation of fear is by far the biggest consequence of an act of terrorism. Lets take a look at the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The aviation industry endured great financial turmoil after demand for commercial flights dramatically decreased, further provoking financial distress in an already fragile economic climate. Moved by the support of his fellow Americans, US president George Bush sought to embark on a political crusade to contain the world of terrorism, to no avail. Congress passed the Authorization for the Use of Military Force to arrest those who were involved in the attacks. Pressure for effective airport security and tighter, more restrictive immigration policies became the topic of many debates. This mass hysteria added to the existing anxieties of many Americans; why did this happen? Who or whom are the culprits behind this elaborate attack? How can we prevent another catastrophe of this scope from happening in our country again?
I shall start off the next paragraph with a quote by Moustafa Bayoumi, an author and professor at Brooklyn College in New York, from a 2010 article for CNN.
Today, identity is too easily turned into a rallying cry for purity and violence.(2)
The media often perpetuates negative stereotypes—whether it be inspired by race or religion—in the wake of a terrorist attack, resulting in delicate relations amongst other countries and their citizens. And with such profound tension come unfortunate side effects such as violence and prejudice. We Americans are no strangers to persecuting others on the grounds of terrorism. Our government vilified and detained the Japanese into concentration camps following the Pearl Harbor incident. Presently, there is a growing intolerance and even hatred of Islam and the Muslim culture across Western civilization, so great that "Islamophobia" has been coined to describe the phenomenon. I really can't tell you how many times I've come across a rather disturbing comment suggesting that "all Muslims are pig", or demanding that government agencies should "send all the Muslims back where they came from" or something along the lines that evokes sheer ignorance and fear.
Bayoumi documented anti-Arab prejudices in his book titled How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America, where he asserts that a number of Arab Americans were wrongly deported and incarcerated as a result of the media reinforcing negative stereotypes about people of Middle Eastern descent.
In conclusion, I believe the constant media coverage on terrorism has a profoundly negative impact on society on the psychological level.
1. Lampinen, Stephanie. A Comparative Analysis of the Effects of Terrorism On Freedom in Forty-Two Countries. ProQuest, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 2008. p. 3
2. Bayoumi, Moustafa (April 5, 2010). 'Where are you from?' is not the right question. CNN. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
GOON The Legend Topic: Does the constant media coverage that terrorism receives have a negative effect on society, especially on a psychological level?
The answer to this question is a definite yes.
The constant barrage of media coverage that terrorist activities receive on a daily basis has created a culture of fear in the United States of America. This culture has created a citizenry that is dependent on the federal government to protect them from these “terrorists” by any means necessary, even if it means the sacrifice of the civil liberties and freedoms that we, as a nation, hold so precious and near to our hearts. The media’s fear mongering has created a culture that entirely subverts what the United States was founded upon.
The most blatant example of the media’s influence on the minds of the American people was during the buildup to the Iraq War. I remember growing up during this time and I couldn’t watch a newscast without hearing about how Iraq has “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Whether it was CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC, you couldn’t view a newscast without them broadcasting over and over quotes that supported their claim. They would broadcast clips of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and others; all of whom were making the exact same claims when it came to the situation in Iraq. This barrage of war propaganda by the media worked. By the time the initial invasion of Iraq took place on March 20th, 2003, 72% of Americans supported the war.
Terrorists have essentially become the boogeyman under the bed. When a mother or father can’t get their child to go to sleep, they claim that the boogeyman will get them and the child, out of fear, obeys. The same analogy can be made with terrorism; if you don’t accept laws such as the Patriot Act, the terrorists will get you. When the federal government wants to accomplish something, whether it’s passing a law that would undermine civil liberties or attempting to convince the public to support a war, they use the media as a tool to promote their agenda and the media is happy to oblige. The politicians that go on these news channels to promote their agenda are appealing to fear. Their claim is always the same. It’s always a variation of the following:
“If we don’t pass (insert bill here), we leave ourselves open to attacks from (insert terrorist group or nation here).”
It’s obviously worded much more eloquently than what I typed above, but the message is still the same whether you’re using layman terms or words you learn while studying for the SAT. They use the culture of fear in America to their advantage and the media is happy to give them the platform to broadcast their message. Without this media-created culture, the United States might still be a nation where you don’t have to worry about the government spying on your emails or that there is a terrorist hiding behind every corner. The culture of fear has led to Americans accepting laws such as the Patriot Act and accepting the waging of endless wars fought under the guise of “keeping us safe.” This culture is destructive to any civilization and the more fear mongering the media partakes in, the more this culture will increase.
*The judges present their feedback and decision.*
Spoiler for Judging Cards:
SPCDRI brought up a number of difficult issues to take his stance unquestionable. He gave powerful imagery of a soldier hearing and experiencing the psychological turn of his country through a simple (minded) song on the radio. SPCDRI revealed the fear of terrorism has been used in media and by politicians to change the way a country thinks, reacts and values morally. That is a clear psychological change with the structure of the media and new laws from legislators as a result of "threat of terrorism" as the debater's proof. SPCDRI touch on so many heavy subjects that the word limit prevented him from delving into them even further. This did not hurt him because he keep the examples concise while answering the question. His thoughts were thought provoking without having to overuse rhetorical questions too. He set the foundation of his stance with a huge significant event and effects that were both actions and had psychological ramifications on the culture.
CamillePunk presented plenty of insightful information and articles for some compelling examples to examine. TehJerichoFan was the most formally written debate and I admire the professionalism. TehJerichoFan understands the importance of brevity in making a point, and his use of sources was effective as well. GOON The Legend’s was great as well. He addressed the issues excellently although he did not have as many as SPCDRI or CamillePunk. The metaphors he used were perfect. However, in the end I was most impressed with how SPCDRI's examples and points hit hard one after the other and left a lasting impression on me that wanted the argument to continue.
SPCDRI wins. Better space formatting next time plz. I like how you made references to the effect it had on pop culture and music. You did a good job of explaining how the US is just as responsible for the psychological damage in society as the middle east. I also liked how you mentioned the value of foreign life by their deaths being classified as "not real deaths" as if these foreigners are aliens. That's a great way to establish how terrorism has effected society psychologically.
CamillePunk’s was a good debate. The drone references were quite informative and I did like how you mentioned that a lot of US actions toward the middle east are swept under the rug. However, when you say the US creates terrorists by through it's invading and bombing, that leaves quite the open hole for counter argument. Is it fair to say that the US is partly responsible for the middle east feeling and actions toward us? Yes, is it fair to say the US creates terrorists because of these situations? No. I feel like that one line put a weakness in your debate.
TehJerichoFan’s was too short. The first paragraph seemed like a waste of text. You had some solid facts on the 9/11 attack and Bush's response, but that wasn't the only terrorism attack. I think if you would have made more references to different terrorism attacks over the world, and the influence it had over society would have gave you more weight on your debate. The stereotypes portrayed by the media was good. Once again I would have liked to seen you dig deeper into how it's changed the Muslims' perception of us, and how it may have contributed to the strained relationship between the Middle East and US.
GOON The Legend’s was a good debate but much like TehJerichoFan, it was too short and too general. More examples of how behaviors have changed as a result of terrorism coverage, digging deeper into different examples and situations along with a comparison of today's era vs yesterday would have made your debate much stronger. The more specific, the better the debate.
Winner - SPDCRI
The Lady Killer:
SPCDRI - A near perfect intro. Seriously.
"Yes, the constant media coverage of terrorism is psychologically damaging. It has embroiled the United States in a never-ending so-called Global War On Terror that has deeply damaged American values, trivialized non-American life, kept the nation in a state of low-grade fear and paranoia and in many aspects left it a morally bankrupt actor that creates its own worst enemies."
Take notes, everyone. I'm tempted to give this debate the victory based solely on this, but I'll refrain from being a gigantic faggot and carry on.
Well, I carried on, and this guy continued to nail it. Seriously, probably one of (if not) the best debates I've read. This reminds me of the all-out wars I used to have with Isaac and DDMac for titles. Really don't have many specifics to add, and if this debate gets topped, I'd be very surprised.
CamillePunk - Wow, another stellar effort here. A similar approach to the first debate, but perhaps not as strong in its persuasion. Very close, though. I didn't think anything could touch the first debate, but maybe I was wrong. This could take some thinking. I enjoy the use of quotes for support - to me having an external source solidify your stance is always key to being persuasive. Strength in numbers.
I suppose my only gripe, and perhaps what's currently setting this debate a tiny notch below the first is that the first stressed the "constant" modifier in the question a bit more, and really drove home the idea that the incessant media coverage is psychologically damaging, not just that media coverage is psychologically damaging in general. Really top notch effort, though. I wouldn't be ashamed submitting that one.
TehJerichoFan - Again, bravo. Christ, you guys aren't making this easy. I liked the approach taken here - it was a little different than that of the first two. You had a super strong intro then broke down your supporting paragraphs into subheaders. Makes for an easy and efficient read. Very easy to follow. Sometimes structure can be the deciding factor.
The downside with this debate, however, is that I felt it was a bit too narrow. The question asked about the negative effects of constant media coverage of terrorism on society, especially on the psychological level, not solely on the psychological level. This may seem trivial, but these debates are all so strong that I'm really having to analyze which addresses the entire question in the most persuasive manner. Again, keep your head up. No shame in this effort.
GOON The Legend - Well, I guess it wouldn't be a terrorist debate without 4 strong submissions. This one is short and sweet. However, as such, it needs to pack the strongest punch, and I felt that in the last paragraph, it became a tad repetitive.
“If we don’t pass (insert bill here), we leave ourselves open to attacks from (insert terrorist group or nation here).”
Definitely should've left it at that, and not went on to mention SAT words/laymans terms, but that's a small gripe and not what cost you the victory. What you said was very convincing, much like the others, and I particularly liked the boogeyman analogy. That was a really nice touch. I feel the debate, as written, could've ended after the quote above, and it actually would've been stronger. The last paragraph just didn't do much for me other than reiterate what was more persuasively written before it.
Again, this is gonna be tough. I really like this debate, the more I think about it.
Winner (solely because I'm not going to issue a draw) - SPCDRI
Winner via Unanimous Decision - SPCDRI
Seabs: Thoughts on that debate Shepard?
Shepard: Well for starters I’ve got a message for the crowd. I think you should all rise for that debate. I know I’d feel guilty about having to decide a winner from that one. It’s important now though for the losing debaters to breathe easy and just get down on it and if you come back make sure the next debate is too close to call and don’t let it just fly by past them.
Seabs: And thoughts on SPCDRI pulling out the win?
Shepard: When I saw that debate it was simply love at first sight. Didn’t expect that from SPCDRI so sorry for underestimating you.
Seabs: I concur.
Shepard: And Seabs.
Shepard: Saying sorry is the sign of a real man because as we all know, sometimes, sorry seems to be the hardest word.
Seabs: Anything else?
Shepard: Just that you bring out the best in me Seabs.
777 vs BULLY vs WOOLCUNT vs Frooot Are home-schooled children adequately educated?
*All 4 make their way to the debate stage*
Seabs: Let’s a quick word with BULLY ahead of his debate.
BULLY, thoughts on your upcoming debate?
BULLY: om driouinknhig ob shit n stuff.
*Seabs punches BULLY in the ear and kicks him toward the debate stage*
Spoiler for Debates:
BULLY Are home-schooled children adequately educated?
My background and experience with public schools and home-schools:
As a kid growing up in New Zealand, I struggled in the public schooling sector, always getting into fights and struggling to pay attention. I got expelled/ suspended from a lot of schools, and things looked dire to say the very least.
Trying to pay attention in class when you have a bunch of kids around you, talking, when you are trying to take in everything that the teacher is trying to tell you, can be a major barrier when it comes to learning . I found once I was home schooled it took away a lot of those barriers and I saw my marks steadily improve. Since then I have had successful careers as a manager of a successful franchise, the i.t. industry and as a carer.
It can take a while to adapt to this new way of learning, So your parents need to be able to motivate you and discipline where required. However I put it to you, that if they are willing to take you out of public school, then they care a lot about your education, and will take whatever steps necessary to make it work. If that requires a heavy handed approach, then so be it. I’m sure that any parent, worth their salt, will be more than happy to take the time and effort to nurture their child, and set them up for a prosperous career.
The following are some questions in regards to home-schooling and factual findings to prove that home-schoolers are adequately educated.
What about grades?
Dr. Brian Ray PHD of the National Home Education Research Institute research found that on average, children that were home schooled fared better than those that were tested in public schools. Tests have shown homeschooled students fared between 30-37 points higher than their counterparts. Here is a graph:
How do Home schooled students fare at college?
Very well, and fared even better than those that were public schooled.
"The homeschool students had a slightly higher retention rate, 88.6% compared to the counterpart at 87.6%.
There was a higher graduation rate from homeschooled students (66.7% compared to the counterpart at 57.5%).
The homeschooled students came in with a higher ACT score (25.0 compared to 14.7).
Slightly higher Grade Point Averages were held through-out the college years by the homeschooled students. (Fourth year previosuly homeschooled college students had a 3.46 average compared to the previously traditionally schooled students at 3.16)"
These findings were found by Dr. Michael Cogan, who studied homeschool students at a Mid-west college.
Are there any famous home schoolers in history?
Here are some names of some famous home schoolers in history: Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Pearl S. Buck (Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author) Woodrow Wilson (President of Princeton University, governor of New Jersey and 28th President of the United States, from 1913-1921) Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt and George Washington, Leonardo da Vinci, Joan of Arc and Whoopi Goldberg. To name but a few. So even the most renowned men and woman in history have been home schooled.
What possible disadvantages could there be to being home schooled?
One possible concern could be socializing, but in the age of social networking, that is no longer a major problem. Extra curricular activities and outings are still announced and are still organised. Another concern is that the parent will need to have some kind of teaching degree or experience but that is not true either. Studies have shown that whether or not a parent has been a certified teacher has no relationship to the child's academic success when homeschooled. In regards to myself my parents hadn't even finished school, yet I was getting good grades regardless. To those on a tight income costs could be a problem, but studies have shown that on average parents homeschooling their children spend on average between 400-599 on their kids education, as opposed to $4231 for public schoolers.
In closing, due to my own personal experiences, as well as Dr. Brian ray and Dr. Michael Cogan's findings, research, test results and famous men and woman in history, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that INDEED, home-schooled children are adequately educated.
Are home-schooled children adequately educated?
While on the surface, I’d be inclined to say that technically an adequate education were possible in a home learning environment dependent on the will and resources of the parents/guardians. However, the institutions ‘do’ serve their purpose and my official stance is that, in general, home-schooling is less likely to help create well developed children in ‘all’ areas. But like most things in life, it’s situational.
The statistical results point towards actual higher grades, it would seem. But (of course, there is always a but), this is given following a strict criteria along the same line as what is expected for children elsewhere. The more personal environment would likely see them getting ahead, as they don’t have to wait for their peers and receive more one-on-one aid, another somewhat unfair advantage.
We can also assume that many of the ‘home schooled’ aren’t following this set criteria. We’ve seen it before in the media, excuses like, ‘not enough religion’ or conversely ‘too much religion’ or whatever. The bottom line being that the bias of parents is affecting the child’s ability to experience the world similarly to their peers. Each situation is different of course, child-stars or ultra-competitive athletes often receive home-schooling through necessity but usually have the resources to ensure making the criteria.
Other children are forced to home school because they’ve been kicked-out or dropped-out. These kids are less likely to even be under consideration in statistical studies. They may not be receiving an education on any level and are certainly less likely to have the resources and will power to meet the criteria needed to pursue further education at a post-secondary level.
The social aspects involved in growing, learning and evolving are just as, if not more, important than the technical knowledge one acquires along the way. That concrete knowledge is stationary and can be sought out at any time for any mind interested in learning it. On the other hand, learning to politic, network and problem solve in real world situations, with a group of your peers who experience the same basic experiences you do, is ever important.
Thus, despite perusing concrete statistics showing higher grades heading into college/university, I remain unconvinced. There are a myriad factors not being taken into account here. The school systems have been put in place to ensure a simple baseline education, while also providing a more realistic environment in which they must operate day-to-day. Life is about much more than actual ‘grades’ and book-smarts will only get you so far. Stay in school, kids.
I’ll admit I had very little knowledge of homeschooling before this topic. I’ve never been homeschooled nor do I know anybody who has been homeschooled. So iwent into this not really having formed a pre conceived opinion. My main question, and the main question that I hope to answer in this debate is “Is a home schooled kid as smart or more smart than a kid in puplic school”
in my research of this topic it does seem like home schooled kids are adequately educated, if not better educated in some cases. I can’t speak for the other debaters countries but here in America our puplic education system is in a sad state. According to Forbes magazine in 2012 sat scores were at their lowest since tracking began(forbes) so any idea that improves on that is a good one.
It seems like if your homeschooling is structured and hasa good curriculum than you receive a better education than someone who is pupklic schooled (time) A small study of 74 students aged 5-10 split in homeschooled and puplic schooled groups done by some Universities in Canada showed that homeschooling may have led to higher test score in math and reading, than the scores that were apart of the puplic schooling(time)
while the students who were not home schooled tested at or above grade level. The home schooled students were better. They tested about a half grade higher in math while testing about two grades higher in reading and writing(time) So since the study found the students were doing better academically, why is they doing so well?
The reason, according to the authors of the article, are things like more individualized learning, smaller class sizes and a focus on the big subjects like math,reading and writing.(time) There is also a smaller teacher to student ratio, so instead of teaching 28 students the teacher is onkly teaching five or six students.(time)
One main argument against homeschool is that the children are less socialized than children who are educated in pulbic school. This was my first thought when I went into this debate, but it doesn’t seem to be true, infact it may be the opposite.According to A survey of over seven thousand people done by the National Home Education Research Institute, Adults who were homeschooled as children were mucbh more likely to participate in things like community organizations and were more likely to be involved in politics. Another study showed that no home schooled people were unemployed or living on welfare.(forbes) So if the kids are more socialed, what about those kids who don’t have a lot of money?
Often times deciding to home school your kids can put a strain on your budget, as one parent has to stop working and teach the kids. The researchers that did these studies adjusted their results for things like income and found out that it seems like the highest percentage of home schoolers is in the 25,000 to 75,000 income bracket(forbes). It also seems like income and budget does not have a signifigent advantage or disadvantage, since the study in the Forbes article held true whether their budget was above or below $600(forbes) so if the kids don’t lack social skills or aren’t at a disadvantage due to how much money is at their parents disposal, what about the different kinds of homeschooling having an advantage or disadvantage.
There are two types of homeschooling, the kind where the parent is the teacher and
“unschooling “ which is when the kids seem to learn on their free will, without books, tests or a teacher.(time) The small study I referred too earlier thought of this too, they farther split the group of kids into a group of 12 When the unschooled students were tested on what they knew, the tested much lower than their other home schooled counterparts, anywhere from one to four grades lower (time). So given that information I would never recommend that a parent or parents do that sort of teaching as it harms their child’s education.
So,going back to my original question of whether or not homeschooled are as smart ,or smarter, than public schooled kids, the answer is yes to me, and I hope to anybody else who reads this.
Recently I've been reading a story which details a family of three siblings who begin by living in extreme hardship and poverty in the city, and their eventual rise to fame in the entertainment industry. Early on in the plot, the eldest sibling, who at this point has taken on a parental role to his younger sister and brother often attempts to educate his brother on reading, writing and math (as a result of his parent's lack of budget for the most basic tuition) on a regular basis. He teaches him well, and subsequently, the younger sibling takes the information onboard and even effectively strengthens the bond with his brother as a result.
Now admittedly this anecdote is very context-sensitive, but it does make the point of one of the various ethical reasons as to why people may prefer to educate their children in this manner; some just didn't have a choice to begin with and/or simply want the best they can give for their young. This is a more complicated matter when bringing up the more popular reasons for homeschooling; often having something to do with the fact that parents believe they are above the system of education. This could either come across as entirely rational due to a genuinely lacklustre schooling system, or come across as juvenile due to the parent desiring independence and integrating said desires to shaping the lives of their children.
Thus, how a child performs at an early academic level ultimately falls to the efforts of these parents. Relating back to the reliance on specific context, how the pupil of this homeschooled house will emerge as a glimmering comet on the plane of our education, depends on the ethics, morality, intelligence and, as shown by our aforementioned poverty-ridden siblings, supplies of the parent. So with that in mind, one might think that understanding whether or not these children have received an adequate education comes down to how test results fare, when looking at homeschooling as a whole, and putting aside the differences of parents.
And it would be a very good assumption, with that. It's been shown on one occasion that a large amount of children are capable of outperforming their public school peers by almost 40% (1), in terms of results. This could most likely be allocated to psychological differences. Put it this way: a teacher's job is to educate pupils to the point that they will pass examinations of such. The failure of a student in the eyes of a full-time teacher can easily be shrugged off; which is not as easy a task for a parent, whose sole purpose is to ensure that one child passes. One that they love, and one that they would almost certainly want to see succeed and reach higher, instead of worrying about an entire class of such. If this child fails, it is a burden that will make parents suffer on a far greater level than the average teacher. So with that being said, who's to say that perhaps this 40% statistic was the result of a far greater motivation for the parents to ensure that the child passes?
But at the same time, are these children perhaps being sheltered to ensure said results? Two of the most common criticisms of homeschooling are that children are potentially disowned the ability to socialise more, and that the teachings of parents could be one-sided when it comes to forming this child's opinion on the fascinating outside world of which they are depicted to. These, however, can be allocated once again to the efforts and intentions of the parent, reinforcing that these are heavily context-sensitive ideas.
But overall, is this system of education an appropriate course is action, considering the futures of the children? How can we be so sure of it if every parent's intentions are different from the next? Well, by perhaps taking precautions on the part of the governments (perhaps a questionnaire for parents to see how they function as a teacher before beginning their child's education, regular check-ups by councils, etc.), we can fully ensure that homeschooling is made the most out of, and benefited in the long run. As it currently stands, this is simply a test of how capable and responsible a parent can truly be, with extremely high ramifications.
Good efforts all around. A few different stances/viewpoints, and some interesting support along the way. Makes for a tough decision, but I feel confident in my selection. For the feedback, continue on:
BULLY - Classic debate. Seriously, well done. Love the intro with personal experience in both environments. There's no better evidence than primary knowledge. I felt your support was very strong as well. The graphs showing how home-schooled kids achieve higher grades was very interesting. You also shot down a few counterarguments, namely the ever-popular socialization aspect, in convincing fashion. Social media is ever prevalent and eliminates some of the reliance on receiving an education with peers.
I also felt that the public school distractions impeding the learning process was a great touch, especially supported, once again, by your personal experience. One thing I felt you could've improved upon was the underlying factors governing the differing test scores. Were they inflated due to various circumstances? Are they being held to the same rubric as public school standards? Overall, very impressive.
777 - The beginning of your debate had me a bit confused. I really wasn't sure which stance you were taking. On one hand, you concede that home-schoolers achieve better grades because they have an unfair advantage of getting more one-on-one time with a teacher. OK, not looking good so far. That's a legit counterclaim. Then you go on to mention kids being forced to be homeschooled, yet assert that they are being withheld from the higher grades study. Where's your proof of this? It seems more of a baseless assumption rather than persuasive evidence.
However, your debate takes a positive turn when you begin discussing that grades aren't the only important aspect of an education. You touch upon the social aspects like networking and real-world problem solving. In the final paragraph, you mention that there are "a myriad of factors not being taken into account here." Well, like what? You mention the social aspect, but that's about it. I needed more here. The "public schooling ensures a simple baseline education" line was good, and probably should've been your thesis. You're right, there's more to an education than grades, but you missed out on proving it to me rather than just telling me.
WOOLCUNT - You began by mentioning that you really didn't know much about the topic. Not a good start. Even if this is true, as a reader longing to be persuaded by your stance, this isn't the start I'm looking for. How will you expect to convince me when you start your debate by saying that you didn't really know anything about the topic? Let's see where this leads, though...
You defined how you were going to approach the topic - being "educated" in this instance will refer to book smarts. I'm with you now. Clarity is always a plus. As I'm reading this, and somehow my feedback has turned into a stream of consciousness, I'm instantly drawn to the spelling and grammatical errors. You didn't even capitalize the first letters of some sentences. There's really no excuse to run your debate through Word prior to submission so as to minimize these errors. That being said, the middle section of your debate was really strong. You gave concrete evidence via an empirical study in support of home-schooled kids testing higher than public school students.
Although your counterarguments are valid and well defended against, they strike me as irrelevant given your definition of the word "education" as you stated in your opening paragraph. If you're trying to convince me that home schooled kids are smarter than public school kids, why would I care about their social skills? Solid effort, and with a little polishing and focus could have been a real contender.
Frooot - I think you were onto something here. You took an interesting approach with the focus being on the intent of the parent. The entire section of your debate relating to failure in the eyes of a teacher responsible for multiple children and a parent responsible for their own child was great. Really great. However, I never really knew which stance you were trying to take. You mention the higher grades, then suffice it to say that maybe the parents' motivations were the reason for the inflated grades. What about parents who aren't motivated? If the entire onus is on the parent, an idea that you seem to be using as the crux of your argument, what happens when the parent doesn't have such high standards? Is home schooling still the best option then?
Great approach, I just felt that it struggled to get off the ground after the promising start.
Decision - BULLY
Nice mix of personal experience, backing up of points through statistics and examples.
Logical flow to your argument
Did mention some counterarguments. I feel you slightly glossed over the social element of education but overall, well done.
Loved how you brought the social element of education and schooling into the debate, rather than being purely about academic grades.
Felt like you were sitting on the fence slightly, pick a side and argue strongly for it. If you’re arguing against stats them explicitly mention why.
Only debate to mention various types of homeschooling, ie unschooling vs parent teacher
Brought up some good points on issues surrounding public schooling re. class sizes and curriculum which i liked and was a different take than the other debates.
Overall i feel that you had some good points but you could have elaborated on them further
Answer the question. I cannot stress that enough. You had some good ideas about the concept of homeschooling but i couldn’t see one sentence on whether you agree or disagree that homeschooled children are educated adequately.
Overall i have to give the win to BULLY.
BULLY wins. A good short debate with factual evidence to support his answer on the topic. The visual graph was a nice touch. Adding your personal experience not only strengthen your debate, but it added to the psychological challenging element of public schooling vs the peace of home schooling.
777 gave solid information on the different situation aspects of home schooling, but you never seemed to strongly debate one side or the other. I don't think you used the bit about home schoolers having an unfair advantage well. If you were to go into detailed direction on this so called unfair advantage (more like a positive advantage, not unfair) being a reason for adequate education due to less distractions, less public school drama and more focus, then perhaps you would have a stronger debate.
WOOLCUNT. While you presented good information to refute counter arguments, I felt the mention of counter arguments wasn't needed. You should make a debate so strong that people shouldn't feel the need to think of counter arguments. Also, I had to read this several times to understand what position you were taking since you didn't make it clear enough. Decent job on showing the advantages of home schooling though.
Frooot’s actual answer to the topic was hidden in a forest. I had to read the debate many times over until I could grasp where you were coming from because you didn't come out and pick a side. Pick a side from the start and strongly push your beliefs. I do think you did a solid job on the elaborating on the story of three siblings and how it relates to children at an early stage of development.
Winner = BULLY
Winner via Unanimous Decision - BULLY
*In the stands Joel and Redead are seen discussing the show*
Joel: Man I didn’t expect this many people here for the first show.
Redead: Yeah I bet they made a ton of money on this. Just look at the line for the hot dog stand!
Joel: Some serious green indeed.
Redead: Fair play to them.
Joel: I’ve had an idea.
Redead: Uh oh.
Joel: There’s some serious money to be made from this show you said?
Redead: Yeah. And...
Joel: Well what says that all that money has to be made by them?
Redead: Keep talkin.
Joel: I’ve got a plan to make us some serious green off these shows.
Redead: Is this gonna be like your other plans which backfired?
Joel: No! I told you, how I was to know it wasn’t a REAL Champions League winner’s medal.
Redead: Was a bit of a giveaway when they all melted outside.
Joel: Now you say that! No, just trust me on this. Safe as houses.
*Joel and Redead wander off into the toilets*
THE DARK ANDRE vs Sleeper vs Desecrated vs MetalX Was a 10 match ban for Luis Suarez biting Branislav Ivanovic justified?
*THE DARK ANDRE, Desecrated & MetalX make their way to the debate stage. Sleeper bitches out.*
Shepard: Where’s Sleeper?
*Seabs stares at THE DARK ANDRE*
Spoiler for Debates:
THE DARK ANDRE
Yes, Suarez’s ten game ban for biting Ivanovic was completely justified, there are plenty of legal, moral and systematic reasons which support the FA’s correct decision.
The first concept that must be considered is that if Ivanovic had pressed charges against Suarez a case could have been taken to court where Suarez would have likely been charged with actual bodily harm (ABH). A conviction for ABH would have lead to a medium length community service stint in a best case scenario for Suarez due to evidence of him having previous for biting footballers in Holland. In any other industry a person committing this crime in the work place would be put on suspension pending an investigation, leading to a possible sacking. With this information taken into consideration it is undeniable that the FA’s actions were morally correct because Suarez’s appalling behaviour broke the law and could have easily been reprimanded by the British Supreme Court with a punishment that would have been similar in seriousness to the FA’s.
Meanwhile, in terms of violence the bite incident was incomparable to the majority of straight red card ’leg breaking’ style tackles, many of which are clumsy rather than malicious, based on poor technique and don’t involve the intention to harm. A three game ban for that type of offence is generally given with good reason. There is absolutely no reason to maliciously bite another player during a football match or any other time whereas tackles are encouraged as a part of the game, yet unfortunately sometimes they’re mistimed. It’s true that some tackles can be overly violent without need, but that’s an unfortunate downside of a semi-contact sport which involves men wearing studded boots. When a tackle is proven to be motivated by intended assault an extended ban is dealt out, much like in the Keane/Haaland case in 2001. However, biting is always going to be viewed as a violent act within a football match, so it’s obvious why a ban for biting should generally be more severe than a ban for poor tackling which can be viewed subjectively.
Some will try to argue that Jermain Defoe’s lack of a suspension for a similar offence back in 2006 makes Suarez’s ten game ban seem overly harsh, but this isn’t actually true in this case where an inconsistency has occurred due to a ridiculous FIFA technicality. During the West Ham vs Tottenham game on 23/08/06 Defoe was bewilderingly just booked for biting Javier Mascherano, therefore the FA wasn’t able to retrospectively ban Defoe due to FIFA regulations which prevented them from doing so based on the premise that the incident had already been dealt with. The Suarez incident wasn’t noted by any of the officials during the Liverpool vs Chelsea match on 21/04/13, this allowed the FA to retrospectively ban Suarez based on FIFA’s law. The differences between the two incidents and their aftermaths were not based on favouritism for one player and the demonisation of another by the FA, but poor refereeing in the match involving Defoe and a flawed retrospective punishment system. The FA was powerless to give Defoe a similar punishment which he would have fully deserved.
The fact that Suarez was previously given a shorter ban for a race related incident doesn’t mean that the FA were being overzealous when handing Suarez his bite ban either, it just highlighted how inadequate the race ban was. A season long ban or a punishment of similar equivalence would have been far more appropriate for that race incident instead of the paltry eight game suspension. The insufficient length of the racism ban doesn’t undermine the legitimacy of the bite ban at all; instead Suarez’s eight game ban for racism confirmed that the FA doesn’t fully support its own ‘kick racism out of football campaign’. The reasonable length of the bite ban highlights why the FA should be admonished for giving Suarez an inappropriate length of ban for racist behaviour and not the other way around.
Suarez’s punishment for biting in England was also reasonably consistent with his ban for a similar incident in Holland. A ten game ban over a thirty eight game premier league season equals just over 26% of a season, whereas a seven game ban over a thirty four game Eredivisie season equals just over 20% of a Dutch season. A 6% discrepancy is far too minor to question and suggests that the FA didn’t go overboard in comparison to the KNVB.
Suarez’s ten game ban was justified based on the seriousness of his misbehaviour, any arguments suggesting that it was overboard due to some of the FA’s previously underwhelming and inept punishments are taking the situation out of moral context due to bastardised standardisations involving comparisons that attempt to make a reasonable punishment seem unreasonable.
In the past, he has brought the game into disputes with his antics, whether it's diving or card waving, he has bitten a player before in the Netherlands (Otman Bakkal), has (in the book of the Football Association) racially abused a player (Patrice Evra). He has now bitten another player (Branislav Ivanovic). This is the strongest way to tackle this kind of behaviour. Where would it stop if he was let off leniently? Slapping him on the wrist and warning him isn't enough, because he has been in plenty of incidents in the past, and hasn't learned his lesson. Putting the club in jeopardy of losing vital points and cash through position placement is the kick up the bum the club should need to sort out his behaviour and believe it's a serious problem.
With the ban he has now recieved, Liverpool Football Club must think of ways to curb his aggression, sort his temperment. While a part of his genius, there are plenty of players who have had a wild temper, and have learned to calm down in the heat of the moment. Luis Suarez, like any other individual, should manage the same. He should not be an exception to any rule. There are fans out there who believe he should be free of judgement because he has taken bans in other situations they believe he was vindicated, and has taken it with professionality.
There are people who use the excuse of xenophobia as an excuse for his ban, for example, his team-mate, Jose Manuel Reina, with the comment extracted from the Guardian below:
Reina told the Spanish radio station Cadena Cope: "I consider myself a friend of Luis. People in England are treating him different because he is Uruguayan."
To put the length of his ban down to xenophobia in a worldwide sport is reprehensible, and is actually believed amongst a good number of Liverpool supporters. What would the Football Association benefit from solely targetting a Uruguayan? The man, out of his own bare will, targeted a player who had forced the ball out of Suarez's touch, and with time to think, grabbed his arm, and took a bite. He could of punched him, he could of headbutted him, or tackled him. But no, he went through with biting him. Reina is undermining the integrity of the Football Association in an attempt to justify his opinion.
But to get down to the point, Suarez's 10 game ban is justifed on his past history, and the extreme nature of aggression shown. People have been saying "He is an adult, he knows what he has done is wrong", but if he knew it was wrong, why did he bite Ivanovic? Why does he find himself in trouble once again? His behaviour should not be tolerated by the Football Association. The suspension is thoroughly justified. 10 games is the proper punishment to send a message to both him and Liverpool Football Club.
Today ladies and gentleman, I will debate as to why the suspension handed to Luis Suarez on the matter of him biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic was justified. He has received a 10 match ban which I believe suited the offence, he bit someone an inexcusable offence in any league and was caught after the game based on efficient video proof. You can argue if you want that 10 matches may be too much but he is a repeat offender, he was suspended seven games in the Dutch league for biting and eight for racial abuse in the premier league, so not only is he a repeat offender for biting he also has been previously banned on another major offence in the Barclays Premier League, the question shouldn't be whether it was justified or not it should be if 10 matches was enough of a suspension. He has done major events warranting of a ban twice I personally would have given him more than 10 games. There was never an appeal made on the ban so it's safe to say 10 games weren’t too many.
As to the matter of whether or not he actually bit Branislav Ivanovic, I think this GIF is proof enough that he did it.
As you can see it was a clear bite. The only real disappointment on the matter was that the referee did not see Suarez bite Ivanovic despite protest from him. Suarez was not given a card for the act which would have meant his removal from the game and most likely would have given Chelsea the win and the 3 points, at a time where points were crucial for Chelsea in a race for a Champions League berth. Instead what happened was Suarez scoring in the extra stoppage team to tie the game and costed Chelsea the two points. You can argue that in the long run it didn’t matter as Chelsea has already clinched a berth for next season’s champions league, but in respect to the game, Luis Suarez should have been sent off on the spot.
In conclusion, Even though I felt like he should have gotten more games I think 10 was still sufficient. He did 7 games before for biting so it’s only right it goes up to 10 on a repeat offence. He should have been carded for it but at least the case was given a proper look into and has been punished.
*The judges present their feedback and decision.*
Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Winner - THE DARK ANDRE
With each of the three entries in complete agreement as to their stance on the issue, the winning debate for me had to be judged separately from the other debates I judged which had variety and more freedom for the individual to express their point of view.
MetalX’s debate was concise and narrow in its overview which in conjuncture with the topic is understandable. Admittedly I found the brief focus on Suarez not being sent off in the match and its subsequent effect on the result of the game as being largely inconsequential to the question, which made it easier to not consider this the winner. I would have appreciated a bit more evaluation and elaboration on the nature of Suarez' offences and why the writer personally felt such a course of action was justifiable and indefensible. The point of view was clear but I felt points which could have been expanded upon weren't and alongside the irrelevant focus on the result of the game this effort just felt weaker overall than the winning debate.
Desecrated likewise seemed to talk more about the necessity in banning Suarez and ridiculing those who dismissed anything otherwise but again whilst focused in relation to the topic it did feel narrow and brief in its analysis. A greater elaboration on certain arguments as well as perhaps concentrating more on the act itself and the laws of the game/past precedents would have been more beneficial than merely citing it as inexcusable behaviour without truly following up and providing additional context and evidence for the reader.
Therefore, should a debate be able to identify and clarify the reasoning for Suarez' ban being justifiable and more importantly educate the reader on context and expand upon those arguing against the ban and dismissing their arguments as poorly weighted, then it would be hard to overcome. That is precisely why THE DARK ANDRE was the victor here. The language and writing was articulate, the consistent focus and development of the overall theme of the topic always present and most importantly the particular focus on the Jermain Defoe example where he was not banned for biting an opponent was a very intelligent comparison to distinguish Suarez' case and justify the FA's contrasting decisions. The debate crucially took a very brief and concise argument and enhanced it through evaluating the law and precendent in the game and using it to simultaneously support the length of the ban whilst undermining the arguments of those against the ban. The additional context gave a sense of clarity and overall perspective to the reader which I felt gave the debate considerable weight and persuasion in its outlook compared to Desecrated and MetalX. A deserving winner.
THE DARK ANDRE - Great debate. Supports argument with precedence from previous cases very well and presents argument very well in a concise and persuasive manner. Good stuff addressing counter arguments too.
Desecrated - Good debate, not as strong as Debate A though. Try and be more persuasive in stating your argument. You don’t need a comma before every joining word like “and” by the way.
MetalX - Decent debate, lacks real strength in being persuasive though. Most of the debate felt like you arguing that Suarez should be punished, rather than debating the actual punishment given and if it was justified. There’s one really long sentence in the opening paragraph too that was tough to read.
DECISION = THE DARK ANDRE
Let me first say i’m incredibly disappointed that everyone argued the same way. Would’ve been enjoyable to read a piece for Suarez (:suarez ) rather than 3 against him but oh well. Onto specifics;
THE DARK ANDRE:
Only debate to mention the legal aspect of the bite
Covered Suarez’s recent indiscretions, including the similar offense when playing for Ajax
Compared and contrasted the similarities between Suarez and Defoe nicely
Effectively explained how a violent tackle should and is punished differently to a bite
Only point against that i can think of is that you could have mentioned that the FA isn’t supposed to take into account past indiscretions in other leagues when deciding on a ban and made a counterpoint on that. Although you did slightly touch on that point when comparing the relative length of the 2 biting bans. Other than that, great debate.
Covered Suarez’s recent indiscretions
Kind of justified why the ban should be 10 games (setting an example league wide and attempting to eradicate the behavior from Suarez)
Seemed to lose your way a little in the middle of the debate. The question is not about how it affects Liverpool as a club, nor about the reasons brought up in his defense from his teammates. Needed more on why the crime fitted the punishment ie why a bite deserved a ban of 10 matches.
Covered Suarez’s recent indiscretions
You almost drew me in, and you had the beginning of an entertaining point in that Suarez ban was more than justified, and that it deserved more than 10 games but you didn’t really elaborate on it. Like desecrated, you lost your way a bit and went a bit off topic. The fact it wasn’t carded could be a point brought up in terms of why it was justified in getting a lengthy ban but the fact he scored in the game against Chelsea to level the scores is a fairly irrelevant point in terms of the question.
Overall i have to give the win to THE DARK ANDRE. Had a nice flow to the debate, covered a lot of information in a concise manner, compared the bite to a similar incident and explained why it was punished more severely. Basically it was the debate which answered the question the best.
Winner via Unanimous Decision - THE DARK ANDRE
Seabs: I’m backstage now with the debaters who are preparing themselves for the debates which are on the horizon now.
Cal! Cal! Come over here for a second.
Cal: I’m called Big Z now Seabs.
Seabs: You’re not called Big Z now Seabs at all. That’s a stupid name. You’re Cal and no matter how hard you try and get away from it you are who you are you are Cal.
Seabs: Quick thoughts on your debate and what you’re looking to bring to the table.
Cal: Rush said he wants attitude. He wants excitement. Well I’m that guy. I’ve got the attitude. I’ve got the excitement.
Cal: Don’t laugh at me you stupid shed. I’ve got the attitude. I’ve got the excitement. I’VE GOT THE ATTITUDE FOR EXCITEMENT. I AM MR. ATTITUDE 4 EXCITEMENT
Seabs: I guess that would make you Mr. A4E then?
Cal: no no no no no no no no, I never said that.
Seabs: Back to the stage for the next debate.
Notorious vs Epididymis vs Perfect Poster vs Rush The Derrick Rose Saga: Is he justified in not returning to the Bulls despite being medically cleared?
*All 4 make their way to the debate stage*
Spoiler for Debates:
The torn ACL injury to Derrick Rose and questions of when he’ll return was probably the most talked about and controversial topic of the 2012-13 NBA season. There’s been a lot of discussion on what he should’ve, could’ve or if others were in his shoes would’ve done. But ultimately the question is, does Derrick have justifications for choosing to sit out despite being medically cleared? I say yes for a number of reasons.
For one, there’s a common misconception amongst NBA fans that medically cleared means that a player is 100% healthy and ready to go, but that just simply is not the case. There have been numerous times that players have been cleared to play despite not being healthy or recovered from their injury. See Dwight Howard getting cleared to play three months earlier than he would be recovered from surgery. David Lee being cleared to play a week after suffering a torn hip flexor that initially ruled him out for the season, Metta World Peace being cleared to play a week after suffering a torn meniscus that was supposed to sideline him for a month, Rajon Rondo being cleared to play a couple days after dislocating his elbow., Gilbert Arenas being medically cleared multiple times despite not being ready and him returning only to re-injure himself and in the end, shorten his career. Being medically cleared does not equal healthy or recovered. When the Bulls sent out the press release that Rose was medically cleared, it led to a lot of backlash for Rose and lot of people believing that Rose was 100% ready to go, which he wasn’t.
As many current and former athletes that have suffered torn ACL’s have said, the mental aspect is much more significant than the physical aspect of the recovery process. If a player isn’t mentally ready, then he shouldn’t play. Rose has been criticized and vilified because his mental recovery is taking longer than normal and he’s obsessed with returning playing at the high level that he was prior to the injury. The star player of the team is vilified because he wants to return playing at a high level and not returning early just to please impatient fans and ending up as a liability on both ends of the court. Sending a player out to play that isn’t mentally ready just spells disaster. How can you expect a player to come out and lead his team to the promise land that’s playing scared because he doesn’t want to re-injure himself. Let’s keep in mind that Rose tore his ACL on a freak injury. A routine drive to the basket for a layup, a play that he was accustomed to completing on multiple occasions during a game. What is the purpose of throwing Rose out in real games when his confidence is not up to par and he’s playing uncomfortably because he doesn’t want to get re-injured? Just to please some impatient fans that are being insensitive to the recovery process from a major injury such as the one he’s recovering from?
Possibly the biggest reason that Rose didn’t return during the season was because he wanted to come back playing at a high level. Rose became obsessed with coming back playing like the MVP caliber, superstar player he was before the injury. Can someone tell me, what’s wrong with a star player wanting to play at a high level? What’s wrong with a star player wanting to play at a level he’s accustomed to playing at? Possibly the biggest factor to Rose’s mental recovery was that he wanted to be “The old D-Rose.” He wanted to play like he did before the injury, be able to accumulate 25 points a game while dishing 8 assists, playing good defense and leading his team to wins. He didn’t want to come back as a player that would struggle to score, not able to be an efficient playmaker for his teammates, becoming a liability on defense, just for the sake to say that he returned as soon as doctors said he was cleared.
So the question comes down to was Rose justified for his reasons? Was a star player wrong for choosing to sit out because he wanted to make sure he was fully recovered mentally and physically from a major knee injury? Was a star player wrong because he wanted to make his return from injury playing at the high level that his teammates, coaches and fans were accustomed to seeing him play at? I say no, he wasn’t and isn’t wrong, and his play upon his return from injury and the rest of his career will prove as to why he made the right decision to not return until he’s recovered and ready to play at a high level.
Derrick Rose is clearly justified in not returning to the Bulls despite being medically cleared. The ultimate goal in the NBA or in any sports league is to win a championship. That means that every decision, every move, every play has to be in the best interest of the team in meeting this goal. That being said, Rose made the correct decision, a decision that had the most upside, and a decision not only was best for the team but best for himself.
First off, Rose himself said that he wasn’t at or near 100%. Not physically though, mentally, and mentality plays a huge part in sports. If you are not 100% focused and your head isn’t in the game then that could have a huge negative impact during a meaningful playoff game and can hurt your team, especially if you are the franchise player. If Rose did decide to play while not ready mentally, the huge amount of pressure can get to him which can cause him to perform really bad, which is a likely circumstance considering he would have made his debut against the best team in the league, the Miami Heat. This would cause his confidence to go down the drain and he will probably never be the same player again. By not playing he can use the whole off-season to continue to grow his confidence level and become better prepared and focused for the upcoming season. By not playing, the Bulls guarantee themselves a 100% ready and prepared Derrick Rose for next season, and this Derrick Rose will put Chicago Bulls in a great position to become a championship contender next year.
There was no big upside of Rose returning. Would there have been a difference? Would the Bulls have made it farther? Would the Bulls have defeated the Heat and go on to win a championship? The answer to all those questions are no. The Bulls were already banged up since the start of the playoffs. Noah wasn’t 100% in the first few games of their first round series. Deng and Hinrich were banged up against the Heat. With these guys not playing at their best level there was no point in bringing Rose in. The Heat defeated the Bulls in 5 games. If Rose played would the outcome have been different? Maybe. Instead of the Heat winning in 5 they probably would have won in 6. If Rose played maybe the Bulls don’t even make the second round because that amazing performance by Nate Robinson would have never happened. Why play Rose when effective teammates and himself are not at 100%. Why not wait until next season when everyone will be in better shape and when the Bulls will have a better position in the standings which will make them more likely to make it farther in the playoffs which in turn makes them more likely to make the Finals and win a championship?
The Bulls and the Heat faced each other in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011. They may have lost 4-1 but Rose played amazing in that series. He was the leading scorer for the Bulls for 4 of those wins including a 103-82 win in Game 1 where he scored 28 points. He also dunked all over the Heat in numerous occasions. That Rose was not going to the one playing against the Heat this year. If that Rose did return to play this year, pressure could have amounted and resulted in that 2011 Rose never coming back. With Rose not playing, there is a bigger chance that that Rose does return and have a way bigger impact on the Bulls next year than this year. The payoff of him not playing can be huge. He will be back next year. He will be at 100% He will help bring this team deep into the postseason next year. And just maybe, he will help win them a championship next year, when there was no chance whatsoever of that happening this year.
The Derrick Rose Saga: Is he justified in not returning to the Bulls despite being medically cleared?
Despite many fans clamoring for Rose to come back and even turning on him for missing what is now over a year with his ACL injury, Derrick Rose is completely justified in not coming back this year. Rose suffered his ACL injury April 28th and had his surgery on May 12th. While he has been cleared to play since early March by his doctor, it was speculated early on that his recovery time could be anywhere from 8 to 12 months. It only now has reached that 12 month mark.
The main reason why Rose is justified by not returning is because he is a huge asset to the Bulls for the future and he shouldn't jeopardize his his health by trying to play in the playoffs if he isn't 100% ready. Rose is still only 24, and according to Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus “It was the first ACL tear suffered by a current All-Star – that is, Michael Redd doesn't count as an All-Star in 2009 – since Danny Manning in 1995. To find a player of truly comparable ability suffering a torn ACL, we'd have to go all the way back to Bernard King in 1985.” (http://www.basketballprospectus.com/...articleid=2261 )
That is to say, there really isn't much precedent set for a superstar and MVP caliber player to return from a season long injury in the NBA. While this may sound harsh, it's not as big of a deal if someone like Iman Shumpert comes back early compared to Rose because of what is invested in the two guys. The Bulls signed Rose to a huge extension a few years ago that runs through the 2016-17 season, so they have to protect their asset from reinjury as much as possible. If he's not comfortable returning just yet the Bulls just have to wait and be patient. They can't throw him out there to the wolves and hope he doesn't get hurt because that is what could result in another bad injury. He's too good of a player for the Bulls to be risking his health like that. If he were to fall apart because he returned before he was ready, the franchise would probably be set back as a fringe playoff team for a few years.
If you want an example of a franchise player doing the Anti-Rose and returning too early, look at Gilbert Arenas. A multiple time All-Star before he suffered an injury, he returned earlier than anticipated in the 2007-08 season to try to help the Wizards make a run in the playoffs. However, since he wasn't fully healed, he had to shut it back down after the 3rd game of the playoffs. He would only play 2 games the following year because of the injury, hasn't played in more than 49 games since, and the Wizards haven't made the playoffs since.
Rose isn't making excuses when he says he doesn't feel mentally ready, either. Let's just see what Jamal Crawford, another recipient of a torn ACL during his NBA career, said was the toughest thing about coming back from his injury: “Can I still do that move? Can I still do that cut? The actual injured leg ends up being stronger that the leg that’s not injured, but you don’t believe that at first. You’re scared. You doubt.”
While one could argue the only way Rose will know for sure if he's healthy is to come back and play, playoff basketball isn't the place to start. Since he hasn't played all year, the chemistry between him and the other starters wouldn't be there like it should be in the playoffs. Rose returning now would likely hurt the Bulls more than help since he couldn't play up to his caliber right away.
The Bulls should be willing to sacrifice one missed year of Rose if that results in 4 years of All-Star/MVP Rose. Only a player knows how his body is truly feeling. If Rose isn't comfortable with where he's at in his recovery, he shouldn't be blasted for not returning. His teammates are backing him up and taking his side. Nobody on the Chicago roster has gone out and called him out for sitting on the sidelines because they know who Derrick Rose is. If he could return and help them, he would. Right now, though, he doesn't believe he can. If his teammates can accept that, so should the fans and members of the media.
Derrick Rose is absolutely justified in not returning yet after his ACL injury. Tearing a cruciate ligament is a serious injury and the recovery from that is more than just being physically repaired. Surgery can fix your ligaments, rehabilitation can rebuild strength in the knee but being physically capable of standing, walking, running and jumping doesn’t mean you are mentally ready to return to action.
The mental aspect of sports is huge, there is always media coverage on who is a “clutch” player, who performs well under pressure and its the same deal for injuries. If you’re not confident in making your plays because you’re fearful of re-injuring yourself then you can be doing more harm than good in returning to play. Rose is a very athletic point guard. His game revolves around being explosive, agile, quick and athletic. He needs to be confident in making quick changes in direction, big leaps, and he can’t have his mind concentrating on what could happen if this jump goes wrong, or if i bang knees with my defender.
People always like to compare similar injuries between players and look at their recovery time. Ricky Rubio and Iman Shumpert are 2 young guards that both tore their ACL around the same time as Rose. Both of those players have returned to play since the injury. Both players took some time before getting up to speed, and Shumpert is still not quite at his best but for the most part they’re doing perfectly after their injury. Does this mean we should also apply this to Rose and say “those guys are back, so you should get back on the court”? Of course not.
Medical research is always advancing. Surgeons have newer techniques, physiotherapists are armed with an increasing depth of knowledge on how to efficiently rehabilitate injuries. Players are, in general, able to physically recuperate more quickly from injury nowadays than even 10-15 years ago. However, despite the potential for full physical recovery, many athletes are unable to return to their pre-injury level of performance (Taylor & Taylor, 1997). There are exceptions of course, Adrian Peterson had a career year after suffering an anterior cruciate tear. That is a clear exception to the norm but it poses the question why? Why can some athletes return at their, or even surpassing their best while some fade away never to reach the same heights? This comes back to the mental aspect of injury. It has long been acknowledged that psychological aspects of injury affect the prognosis and recovery time of the athlete. Feelings of anxiety, self doubt, and lack of motivation can all impede in the recovery process. A serious injury like an anterior cruciate tear needs to be properly managed with proper rehab with physiotherapists and psychologists. If Rose is feeling unable to return a year after the injury then it is either a failure on the part of the rehabilitation team or an indictment on his toughness, mindset and desire to return to sport. In either case its a matter between Rose and his team.
I understand why people might think Rose should be back on the court. I understand that Rose is a leader in this Chicago side, he’s a former MVP winner, he’s their main star and best player. He is one of a handful of players in the NBA that can make the difference between a NBA finals appearance and getting knocked out first round of the playoffs. However he is still young, and at 24, he could do more harm to his career and the Chicago Bulls franchise if he returns when he’s not ready. Some would argue that Rose is doing his teammates an injustice by sitting on the pine and not helping them out when they’re in need. I feel that he would be doing an injustice to his teammates by returning to play when he doesn’t feel ready to be out there playing. As a fan you want to see the best players on the court and its frustrating to see Rose on the sidelines. However the onus is on the player to decide when he is ready to return to play. Its his career, his life, and his body thus he is always justified in taking as much time as he needs.
Taylor, J., & Taylor, S. (1997). Psychological approaches to sports injury rehabilitation. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen.
*The judges present their feedback and decision.*
Spoiler for Judging Cards:
The Lady Killer:
Another great debate. Really, really solid effort by everyone. I think I'm gonna be splitting hairs to choose a winner here, but that's the drawback of having a 4-way debate. Once these get down to 1v1 contests, it'll be much easier to decide a winner. That being said, nobody should feel any shame in losing this one. All 4 are capable, winning debates. Very similar in structure and stance, but I think I have narrowed it down to the winner.
Notorious - Awesome debate. Love the setup with dissection of the phrase "medically cleared" and giving examples of other basketball players who have returned from serious injuries too early despite being medically cleared. That's a page outta TLK's playbook right there. I also thought it was smart to pinpoint who the opposition to your stance is. Clearly, it's the "impatient fans" as you suggested, and you gave a convincing argument against their counterclaim.
Everyone touched upon the mental aspect of the topic, but you took it a step further by adding that he wanted to return only if he could play at a high level. Although this argument can be pigeonholed by detractors, I felt you were very persuasive. The only suggestion I would have is to provide more examples as evidence for your supporting claims. For instance, maybe find a quote or two where Rose says he's not mentally ready, and that he wants to return only when he thinks he can play at the level to which he's accustomed. Great stuff.
Epididymis - Another solid effort. I felt this debate in particular lacked supporting evidence. It seemed based on many assumptions, such as "The Bulls wouldn't even beat the Heat even if Rose was playing," then a few sentences later, "Rose killed the Heat when he played." I see what you were getting at - Rose playing is irrelevant given how strong the Heat seem to be, but I would've liked some facts to back this up. A lot of the debate seemed to be stated on a "what if?" basis. Your argument itself was fine, but I felt in came up a bit short relative to the others.
Perfect Poster - Awesome debate. Like the others, you really drove home the mental aspect, but added the intangible in that this is the first time a player of Rose's caliber has been sidelined with a major injury, so perhaps he shouldn't be held to the same standards as those who have suffered a similar fate. Loved the Jamal Crawford quote to qualify and strengthen the mental toughness piece of the argument. Nice touch.
Something that set this debate apart from the pack was the idea that even if there wasn't as much doubt about his readiness to compete, the playoffs might not be the best time to make a return given the intensity and potential affect on team chemistry. The icing on the cake was the concluding sentence about how if Rose's teammates support him, so should the fans/media. LEGIT effort here.
Rush - Again, great stuff. You took a more scientific approach to the topic, and really drove home that even though surgery and rehab can repair a torn ligament, the psychological aspect is often the toughest part of an injury to fix.
I also really liked the final paragraph where you basically turned it into a personal affair - almost as if "what would you do?" I like that you turned the topic on its side and took the moral high road by suggesting, "Hey, it's Rose's life. Let him do as he pleases." I think your competition missed out on this. Great conclusion to a very solid effort.
Winner - Tough call, but Perfect Poster.
Notorious - Great debate. Very persuasive and I could feel the passion in your argument just reading it.
Epididymis - Another really strong debate. My only nitpick would be you present your argument on some assumptions that could fail to happen, e.g. “the Bulls guarantee themselves a 100% ready and prepared Derrick Rose for next season”. Guarantee is a bit strong for an assumption like that, even if it is likely to be true. Like I said, only nitpick in a strong debate.
Perfect Poster - Great debate. Examples used for precedence were great.
Rush - Oh look, another great debate. Fuck this match was strong.
4 great debates of a level that probably would have won most matches on this card. The lack of feedback is more to do with how strong all 4 debates were as I tend to type more when I feel there’s room for improvements or weak points. If I didn’t address it then it means I thought it was good, hence an awful lot of good stuff in these debates. Hard to pick faults with any debate without nitpicking. Use of past examples again was great. All 4 debates were brilliantly written and very easy to read. Crazy hard to pick a winner but I’m going with my gut instinct after reading all 4 for a second time to judge them. None of you lost, you just didn’t win.
Decision = Perfect Poster
The Derrick Rose debate was a bit more difficult to judge compared to other debates I read because all four debates were strong. Everyone brought up the mentality factor in a basketball player returning to perform after a serious injury. That point was at the core of each debate, actually. I believe everyone but Epididymis brought up other players' injuries and how it affected them which I thought were great examples to build some familiarity with the Rose situation. Rush did an excellent job going further than anyone else on the mentality factor by providing medical evidence from an internet reference.
What ultimately separated the winner from the others for me was this closing point "Nobody on the Chicago roster has gone out and called him out for sitting on the sidelines because they know who Derrick Rose is." That really drove home the argument in favor of Rose's justification because as pointed out the extended future of the team is more important than a couple of games in the present. Add that with the potential of risk outweighing reward and this debater made a convincing argument.
Winner – Perfect Poster
Winner via Unanimous Decision - Perfect Poster
Seabs: Thankfully I’ve got rid of that twat of a co-host who’s now back in the stands with the bitches to scared to debate. Over to you Shepard!
Shepard: Thanks SEAN. I’m here with King Kenny. Should I call you King or Kenny or...?
King Kenny: I’M HIGH.
Shepard: Is that what you want me to call you?
King Kenny: I’M HIGH.
The next debate is.... Who are you tipping to win that debate?
King Kenny: I’M HIGH.
You’re in the sports division but you didn’t make the tournament, any thoughts on missing out or about THE DARK ANDRE VS Perfect Poster for the title?
King Kenny: I’M HIGH.
..... next match.
WOOLCOCK vs greendayedgehead vs DualShock vs obby Has The Rock's comeback run hurt his reputation in the pro wrestling business?
*All 4 make their way to the debate stage*
Seabs: SI, you’re virtually everyone’s hot favourite for this debate but who do you see as your main competition here?
WOOLCOCK: Anyone but DualShock.
*someone in the crowd shouts a loud BAAAAAAA out*
WOOLCOCK: SHUT UP
*The baaaaaa cry seems to catch on*
WOOLCOCK: NO! NO! NO! NO!
Spoiler for Debates:
My instinctive response to this topic was an unequivocal ‘yes’. However, upon further consideration it became clear that basing my reasoning on my eclectic taste would be grossly naive and short-sighted in this matter as to do so would substantially marginalise my viewpoint and ignore prevalent areas that were attributable to the formation of The Rock’s legacy in the wrestling business. Therefore my position is a resounding NO.
To clarify my initial stance, as an individual who foremost regards the ability of a worker (in ring performance and every facet it entails) as the greatest indictment of a wrestler’s talent and ability to entertain me I was left disappointed by The Rock’s return. However, is it fair to judge The Rock’s reputation firmly on this one area of his work? To argue his lethargic performances primarily lessened his reputation would in my mind be a poor oversight because in doing so you are ignoring what made The Rock a magnifying and polarising megastar that transcended the wrestling industry prior to his initial departure.
To successfully evaluate any supposed detriment to the reputation of The Rock you have to quantify the attributes that brought him the reputation initially. The primary motivation in everything The Rock did was to draw a reaction from the crowd. The Rock was never tasked nor expected to produce the best match on any card. Instead the attraction in The Rock’s matches focused on his connection and instinctive rapport with the fans which created a palpable atmosphere reverberating around the arena.
The WWE Main Event style of wrestling has to be distinguished from the expectations and conventions of the Independent Wrestling scene populated primarily by Ring of Honor. WWE aspires to be more than a professional wrestling organisation. The ethos and image of Vince McMahon Jr. has always strived to create an intimacy and connection between the viewer and the wrestlers that resonates with the viewer at home whilst inspiring and capturing the ultimate live event experience even at the expense of great wrestling.
Thus whilst The Rock’s matches in his comeback may have fallen foul of those like myself with an eclectic and alternate perception to that of a casual viewer, to remark that this alone significantly undermines his reputation would appear a marginalised viewpoint which loses focus of what The Rock as a character and performer was tasked with achieving as a worker. Whilst Fit Finlay, whose prowess as a worker cultivated a profound respect amongst those who appreciate the succinct and intricate aspects that define a great worker can be subjected to an enhanced scrutiny with respect to the quality of his output determining his reputation, applying similar scrutiny to The Rock fails to appreciate the broad nature of his appeal.
The true appeal of The Rock is unequivocally the unrivalled presence he possessed whenever he was on the screen. He became the quintessential WWE Superstar for a reason. His attraction and immersion with audiences worldwide was never concerned with his ring output, but rather his infectious personality which became impossible to overlook. The Rock was an entertainer, a man who lit up an arena through an overwhelming presence which established an everlasting connection with those in attendance which would prove impossible to regress.
As evidenced even after a near decade away, the connection and emotion between The Rock and the fans was never in danger of dissipating. The WWE has forever looked not to be contained within the medium of professional wrestling, but rather to create a richly rewarding and indescribable experience and in The Rock they found a character who became ingrained in the hearts and minds of a diverse demographic.
Wrestling like any form of entertainment is tasked with making the audience emote and react, to become part of the show and to ultimately care about what they see before them. For every gifted worker who could gain the respect and admiration of the fans through his ring-work, you had a character like The Rock who was just so much more. His legacy is not contained to merely his matches; it incorporates a greater spectrum dominated by his personality which could never be deterred or broken. A presence and personality unrivalled and capable of creating the lasting memories and empowering visuals that many people long for in their continued obsession with wrestling.
The Rock’s reputation was not damaged by his comeback run, his matches whilst subpar only ever represented a niche aspect of a broad character whose connection with the audience was attributed to so much more beyond the parameters of ring performance. For as long as this connection remains apparent, his reputation will never be sufficiently tarnished when you consider the true purpose of the character of The Rock.
An individual’s reputation in the wrestling industry is based on three things: in ring ability, talking ability and overall conduct backstage and elsewhere. Comparing Rock’s WWE run 2011-present with his former self as well as that of his contemporaries makes it clear that, overall, his reputation has been hurt by the return.
So far, The Rock has faced CM Punk and John Cena in singles matches since his 2011 return. His matches against Cena have been the most promoted we’ve seen in a long time, but once the hype is stripped away from them, the wrestling quality is not much more than average. It’s the same story with CM Punk, except with less of the hype.
But Punk and Cena, when facing each other instead of The Rock, have put on some of the best matches seen this decade, so the problem clearly isn’t with them. Even someone like Brock Lesnar – very similar in that he had not seen the inside of a wrestling ring for nearly a decade – could come back and put on what many feel was 2012’s best match upon returning. There’s always an abundance of high quality wrestling at the main event level, and the 2010s have been no different. Ten years ago you could count Rock as contributing to that quality, but these days, the muscle-packed physique he maintains for his movies prevents him from achieving what he was once capable of in the ring.
During the Attitude Era, Rock became known as perhaps the greatest talker of all time for his quick wit and sharp tongue. Whether due to lack of effort on The Rock’s part, or the semantics of him being made to fill long TV segments with just talking, the rose tinted glasses came down quickly once he returned. How many times can a person show their goose-pimples to the camera before it becomes redundant? Nobody can blame him for the dick jokes and nonsensical insults because they’ve always been his thing, but the rambling stories Rock has grown to love have rarely served to promote matches or further storylines. They’ve been long-winded, roundabout ways for him to deliver a punchline, and nothing more.
It was a given from the start that The Rock would not be able to commit himself fully upon returning to wrestling; he’s clearly a busy man. But there have been times that Rock couldn’t even pretend to care about the industry he claims to love. It’s hard to believe that he couldn’t make time in his schedule to show up at any of the Hall of Fame ceremonies before the Wrestlemanias he has attended. Perhaps the most important night in all of wrestling, made to honour the sweat and blood that has been given by individuals to the wrestling business, and the accomplishments that shaped the business. He wasn’t there to represent the company as its champion, and he certainly wasn’t there to see his dead cousin receive his honours. He brought his championship along with him to interviews and appearances when it was convenient for him to talk about his hobby on the side, and it’s this nonchalant attitude that has made The Rock appear above the company, as well as the entire pro wrestling industry in the public eye. It evidently has not sat well with those backstage, and with good reason.
Ignoring the drawing aspect of this would be foolish; it can not and will not be denied that The Rock brought in business for the WWE. But ultimately, who does this benefit? Vince McMahon, definitely. His stock-holders too, and perhaps those fortunate enough to make it onto the Wrestlemania card would see their ‘Mania bonus padded. But it’s of little circumstance in the bigger picture. We are no longer in the territory days or the Monday Night Wars; those digit figures do not mean the difference between company death and survival. They don’t mean the difference between an undercarder being able to pay the bills for his family. It’s some extra money for a company that’s of no risk of going under, and has more money to burn on underwhelming budget movies and unadvised political endeavours (god forbid.) What the industry really needed was excellence to best show the current and future generations how to be the best – just like Rock was, at a time. Instead, quick cash was made from a name and the memory of what he used to be. The Rock returned in 2011 with ability and concern so diminished it makes you wonder if it was worth him coming back at all.
[quote=Court Bauer, former head writer]
I think everyone’s going to look back and have a lot of regrets about this partnership. I don’t think John Cena is anymore over for quote unquote being endorsed by The Rock at all... From day one in 2011 to the last few weeks going into WrestleMania, there was no sparkling great moment ever.
On February 14 2011, Dwayne Johnson returned to professional wrestling. It was the undisputed biggest possible return at the time, and it completely blew wrestling fans everywhere away. It was a time that was exciting for casual fans, internet fans, classic fans and all the like. But, as time has gone on, people have begun to be increasingly critical of The Rock’s return run to WWE. As this is being written, it has been just over a month since The Rock walked out on the company just after competing in an underwhelming WrestleMania main event, angering many fans and company officials. It has gotten to the point that the question has to be asked – has Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s return to the WWE been detrimental to his reputation?
Getting my personal opinion about the Rock out of the way, I honestly think that his return to WWE has been almost unwatchable in terms of actual entertainment value. A lot of the people here would agree with me, and the fact that fans on the internet are all swiftly turning on The Rock is what seemingly begs the question, “Is the guy digging his own grave?” To be honest, the answer here is rather obvious. No, Dwayne Johnson's reputation has not been damaged by his 2011 return. Opinions be damned, it’s plain to see that, if anything, The Rock’s much anticipated return to the WWE has elevated his reputation, and added to his legacy. They depend on him to such an extreme extent for a reason. He gets the biggest reactions, he sells the most merchandise, he draws the biggest numbers, and they NEED him. If Dwayne Johnson is on the card, you had best believe he’s closing the show. Wrestling fans on the internet will always have their designated recipients of hatred. We rag on Cena, we rag on Hogan, same old shit. This will never change. But in the eyes of the general wrestling audience, as well as those who are growing up with this era of wrestling, Dwayne Johnson is not only a successful movie star, but the greatest wrestler OF ALL TIME. Why else would he be getting all that he is right now, in kayfabe terms?
Before The Rock returned to the WWE, many fans considered him a “deserter” of sorts. The general mindset was basically that he thought he was too good for his former business. If he had never appeared for the WWE again until the day he died, he may have taken a slightly worse reputation from the wrestling community with him to his grave. Since his return, however, those fans all believe that he has “come home”, and that he will always be one of the all-time greats. At this point, it doesn’t really matter how bad his actual work gets, the fans are convinced. Vince himself seems to be totally convinced himself, considering that he lets The Rock get away with doing nigh on whatever he wants when he gets on the mic. His actions could be seen as justifiable too, if you take a look at the numbers. Wrestlemania 26, the last Wrestlemania pay per view to date that didn’t close with The Rock, received a buyrate of 885,000, while Wrestlemania 27 and 28 received 1,042,000 and 1,217,000 buys respectively. Obviously, The Rock garners results.
Let’s quickly take a detour, and look at someone that’s legacy may have been damaged by a “return” run. Hulk Hogan has been appearing under the TNA banner for over three years now, and he hasn’t exactly prospered. Back in his glory days, Hulk Hogan WAS wrestling. Now? He’s just another one of the “big” TNA names that do little to help the struggling company prosper. The same just can’t be said about The Rock. He WAS wrestling then, and he essentially IS wrestling now. Fans will love him until the end of time, because he’s The Rock. He’s the people’s champion. He’s developed an almost indestructible legacy for himself in wrestling, partly because he has become bigger than the entire art himself at this time. He is a franchise, one of the few competitors that the WWE absolutely cannot afford to lose at this point. He was always going to go down in history as one of the greatest of all time, but since coming back he’s established himself as something more than that, both inside of in the ring and out. The biggest name in professional wrestling since Hulk Hogan, and possibly of all time.
Wrestlemania Buyrate Source – PWInsider
Pro wrestling is a weird type of entertainment, with weird fans, rules and expectations. Only in pro wrestling can a huge star make a name for himself in this business, proving that he can bring it elsewhere, returning after 7 years, winning a world title after more than 10 years by beating one of the stars of the current era twice for the belt and be considered a failure and that his reputation is damaged.
Since his return in 2011 he took the win for his team in the same year at Survivor Series by pinning the guy who not only headlined but also won the WrestleMania main event. Months later at the next WrestleMania he pinned the star of this era who never lost clean only to announce that he will compete for the title. He has not only won but also successfully defended against one of the longest reigning champions in history who defended the title against strong challengers like John Cena, Chris Jericho, Big Show, Kane, Daniel Bryan and many others.
Adding one more title to your collection and pinning clean three superstars who were all featured in the last 2 years main storylines at big shows and who won world titles is not hurting your reputation and every neutral pro wrestling fan or a non-wrestling fan who reads The Rock's WWE statistics in the last 2 years will say so.
Some people also bring up the point that it's not the championships and wins that are the problem, it's how he „changed“, the new Rock, Dwayne Johnson playing The Rock, being almost like a John Cena #2.
Yes, they are right in some way or another but being a PG version of The Rock in the PG Era shows only the true talent and greatness of Dwayne Johnson instead of ruining his reputation. He proved once again that he can successfully adapt to every era and not everybody can do that, Stone Cold Steve Austin for example would be very limited. He returned as a PG version of himself and proved that he was the most entertaining PG superstar. He only proved that if he debuted even today he would be just as great as 15 years ago.
Losing the title after only 2 months, being pinned by and hug and salute the guy who is perhaps the most hated guy in this business, especially by The Rock fans means nothing and will not affect him and hurt his reputation because he delivered so much great moments while at the same time the WWE creative with John Cena as face put WWE in such a irrelevant state so that the WrestleMania main event and the ending was just that, irrelevant. What is relevant and what the fans will remember in 10 years is that a man accomplished everything in an era only to come back after to reclaim gold and to prove how he deserves to be on top even in a different era and therefore his return made his reputation even stronger.
*The judges present their feedback and decision.*
Spoiler for Judging Cards:
The Lady Killer:
Extremely tough debate to judge. All put forth great efforts in their TDL debuts - I was actually very shocked at how well these turned out given some of the DUDS we witnessed in TDL's initial run. That being said, I can safely narrow this down to three potential winners, forcing me to analyze each a bit further to pinpoint the unanimous victor.
WOOLCOCK - Clearly well written, and flowed nicely.... I've read it over a few times, and am on the fence about a few things. At first, I felt that your debate was a tad narrow - focusing solely on the struggle of separating your wrestling purist philosophy with sports entertainment success. It seemed that although you touched upon the aspects of what made The Rock a success during his initial run, your argument ultimately resumed the idea of The Rock's in ring shortcomings. However, what you did argue was done persuasively, and I can buy into everything you said, which is the goal of a debate.
I think that if the topic had been stated a bit differently - something to the effect of: "Do The Rock's awful matches during his return impair his overall reputation/legacy?" your argument would've been spot on, as it focused on The Rock's legacy being defined by something that isn't his value as a worker. I also felt that more time could've been spent diagnosing The Rock's current status, as you spent a lot of time discussing what made The Rock originally so great. Nonetheless, great debut debate.
greendayedgehead - This debate kind of solidified my stance on the above debate. Reputation was segmented into three categories. Right away, we know that The Rock's reputation isn't being judged solely on shoddy ring work. Do I necessarily agree with the categorization? Not really, but let's see if I can be convinced otherwise. There was a good balance between setting up pre-2004 Rock and contrasting that with post-2011 Rock. However, I felt there was a slight blemish in the paragraph that focused on his reputation as a talker. I felt this paragraph was a bit too opinionated. Likening his childish humor to what he'd commonly spout in his prior run in the WWE at first seemed like a nice touch, but I feel that put a few holes in your argument. You say he used to be known for his wit and ability on the mic, but since he's come back he's stunk up the joint even though he's using the same material? I think I see what you're getting at, and perhaps I missed the boat on this, but I felt this was a glaring contradiction.
However, you rebounded nicely in the paragraph about The Rock's commitment to wrestling, capped off very nicely with the quote about The Rock's return meaning next to nothing in the grand scheme of things. The Hall of Fame mention was also a nice touch. Again, though, I think there are holes in the logic that it only benefitted Vince's wallet. What about the paying fans? Clearly if they're paying to see The Rock, they're getting something back, no? I think you may have left yourself open to a few convincing counterarguments. Overall, a very strong debate that could've been stregnthened by filling in a few gaps.
obby - I was poised to give this debate the nod before I read it over a few more times. While it approached the topic from a different point of view - one which sees the Rock in a negative light prior to his return - I think it becomes a bit muddled trying to separate the casuals fan's viewpoint from the hardcore fan's viewpoint. You start off by saying that hardcore/internet fans have more or less shat on The Rock's return. You counter this by saying that the general viewing audience has enjoyed his return, and supported that with WM buyrate numbers. Excellent. Clearly people still want to see the guy. I get it.
Then you kinda flip the debate on its side when you mention The Rock's reputation as a "deserter." Again, this seems like a hardcore fan's POV. You counter this by referencing The Rock "coming home" and being welcomed with open arms by the casual fans. While all of this may be true, it almost seems like you're comparing apples to oranges. You say he has earned a bad reputation with the hardcore fans, yet is still loved (if not moreso) by the casual fans upon his return. I definitely see what you're trying to say, and admire your different approach to the topic, but I ultimately feel that you're countering his perceived reputation with a competely different perceived reputation, if that makes sense. Had you defined whose POV was relevant (the casual fan or the hardcore fan) from the outset, I think it would've cleared your stance up a bit. Maybe, "The Rock's reputation wasn't tarnished in the eyes of the casual fan. Here's why:"
DualShock - The weakest of the bunch, and that's not a knock on the quality of the debate, but rather a testament to the strength of the bracket. I feel this debate suffered from contradictions. You spent the first half of the debate talking about how The Rock comes back and cleanly pins three main eventers as if it was a bad thing, then go on to say that it doesn't hurt his reputation without even really establishing what his former reputation truly is.
The next part of the debate was spent praising The Rock for being able to adapt to the PG environment. At first I thought this was slightly irrelevant, but then I realized this would've been a great opportunity for expansion. Had you stated that The Rock earned a reputation for insulting people during the Attitude Era, and is able to do the same thing in the PG Era, and perhaps provide some examples, I think that could've tied into your argument nicely.
That being said, I felt your concluding paragraph was ironically your strongest.
"What is relevant and what the fans will remember in 10 years is that a man accomplished everything in an era only to come back after to reclaim gold and to prove how he deserves to be on top even in a different era and therefore his return made his reputation even stronger."
That is basically where you should have focused your argument. There was so much potential in this sentence, and I felt you basically saved the best for last when you may have had a winning debate had you expanded on this a bit, and qualified the kayfabe aspect of this topic.
Decision - greendayedgehead
WOOLCOCK - Really strong debate and superbly written. I thought this was a wonderful debate on why Rock should be held in high regard but it lost track of the actual question at times which asked for the impact of his return run. You definitely addressed the topic at hand but there were certain times that I thought you steered away from a bit. I thought you could have looked more at the impact Rock had on the business and backed up your argument up with his impact on buyrates for example. It was definitely very strong as a critical evaluation and in acknowledging the opposing side of the debate and looking past your own bias of the topic.
greendayedgehead - First of, I disagree in fans reaction and drawing power not affecting a reputation in the industry. I also thought you seriously undervalued the impact his drawing power provided and focused a little too much on your own personal opinion rather than taking a wider look at the topic outside of your own bias to strengthen your debate. I’d be careful using quotes that just offer opinions too. One opinion that correlates with your own doesn’t necessarily make it valid. Aside from them qualms, I thought this was a good debate.
obby - Great work looking at the topic from a wider viewpoint and not focusing on your own bias of The Rock. FACTS to support your argument are always a plus and I’m glad someone pulled that card for this debate. Acknowledging the impact on multiple audiences was good too and I liked the Hogan comparison to round it off. Concise, read really well. Great debate.
DualShock - Another good debate. Great match. Interesting that you chose to look at the topic primarily from a kayfabe point of view. I would have brought up crowd reaction and buyrates to support your argument too and look at it from another angle. Good job addressing some counter arguments too.
Probably the strongest all round debate in the Wrestling Division on this show. Tough call between A and C but I thought C supported their argument a little stronger.
DECISION = obby
"Reputation in the pro wrestling business." Obviously the answer or argument to this question did have to be reserved to your own personal tastes as a wrestling fan. I liked how all of the debates extended their argument further than just the point a view of their own because otherwise argument could be limited to that of one person when you are considering the reputation of a figure millions of people form an opinion about said person's reputation. Some debates did so more than others and I believe that was one major factor into my decision. The debate topic may not have specially required you to take a broader perspective and examine the totality of Rock's reputation nationally, internationally, or with "the masses," but when you speak of a global superstar's reputation it always helps to widen the scope.
WOOLCOCK’s was so well-written and just fun to read your use of word choice throughout. Technically the best written argument in my opinion but filled with examples that were rich in analysis and imagery, especially when he spoke about the purpose of WWE's form of entertainment and how that relates to The Rock's reputation inside the ring as a performer. WOOLCOCK gave reasons why Rock's reputation has come into question and delivered even stronger reasons why it has not been tarnished. Debate A brilliantly refers back to goals of WWE presentation and its appeal to general audiences versus any "marginalized" opinion of "just being a wrestler."
WOOLCOCK exquisitely talked about Rock's appeal as far as his charisma, personality, and presence before a live audience. The only thing I would scrutinized about this debate is I would have liked for WOOLCOCK to talk more about Rock's promo work as that is a big part of his legacy. WOOLCOCK clearly stated in the opening of his argument that he looks at wrestling performance before anything, but Rock's live delivery cutting promos is just as important to his reputation as a live performer if not more as his wrestling performances.
greendayedgehead made a persuading argument bringing up the redundancy of The Rock's work creatively and how it has negatively impacted has entertain value. greendayedgehead is arguing that Rock's reputation as an innovator has been tarnished and with the examples he has presented from a wrestling fan's perspective is a huge indictment. greendayedgehead used a tremendous quote at the end to add also add in the opinion of someone from wrestling media. I liked how greendayedgehead reflected back on the Rock's return run and dissected how the reputation has been affected professionally (opinions on part-time schedule), creatively (ring work; mic work), and personally (the mention of missing deceased cousin's HOF induction; actions and words about relationship with fans in question).
obby initially brought up personal frustrations with the Rock's latest run but then looked at "the bigger picture" of how the overall audience may view how. I thought it was a nice transition in the argument that displayed obby was going to be objective, personal biases aside. He featured a great use sources with the WrestleMania PPV numbers for his argument that a substantial amount of fans are buying what The Rock is selling and coming back for more. obby's argument was very strong from start to finish.
The opening paragraph of DualShock’s was the perfect setup for the argument. Throughout the debate you made some excellent points similar to obby but I thought the former's position looked more convincing with the facts and numbers included to back up his claims.
Overall, everyone did very well arguing their position but I think will have to give this argument to WOOLCOCK. His writing style is gripping to read.
i$e - FOURTH JUDGE VOTE:
WOOLCOCK - Generally well written, but the introduction seems a bit wishy-washy. I can see you were trying to add weight to your current stance, but declaring that you've gone back and forth on the issue seems redundant and detrimental to your ability to convince. Likewise, your opening of 'to clarify my initial stance' is defensive. You shouldn't have put yourself in a position this early that requires any clarification. Be assertive. Things pick up as you go on and your points about The Rock's character transcending in-ring ability are solid. My main issues though are as stated -- a little bit too worried about self-clarification and a little bit too formal. Probably went on about the whole emotional connection with the fans too much.
greendayedgehead - Good concise introduction. That's always important. Strong point about the physique, I think the other two guys missed that. You're assertive, good. This is strong, valid point made about the repetitive nature of his comeback. Hard hitting paragraph about all the extra shit that he's missed outside the ring -- I think that's a super important part of the debate. Good closer, nice to see a narrative that considers different angles. Well written and punchy closer. Top job and written with confidence.
obby - That intro can suck a dick. I don't care about lengthy context without a strong position at the end. You have to establish that early on. Why are you 'getting your personal opinion' out of the way too -- your strength of opinion and how you put that across to make you seem beyond reproach is the core of any good debate. Yield it like an axe. Taken you way too long to tell me where you stand and stop talking about other opinions so much. Picks up half way through -- good points about Vince and the buyrates speak for themselves. Much more assertive now. Good closer, even though it's a little hyperbolic. Better than than to be defensive though, so fair enough. Good effort.
Vote - greendayedgehead.
Winner via 4th Judge Vote - greendayedgehead
Shepard: Wow, first match requiring a 4th judge. EXCITING.
WOOLCOCK! Any words for the winner?
WOOLCOCK: Best debate won. Well done.
Shepard: Were you happy with your debate? Did you think it was baaaaaaaaad?
*WOOLCOCK punches Shepard in the throat and leaves*
Big Z vs Takers Revenge vs wrestling_junkie vs Bullseye Who should TNA build their promotion around for the long term future?
*Cal makes his way to the debate stage.*
Seabs: Cal everybody!
Cal: IT’S BIG Z!
Seabs: Mr. A4E!
*A phone starts ringing with a generic ring on the stage. Cal picks a Nokia 6410 out of his baggy pocket and answers. There’s an awkward minute of silence with Cal muttering yes every now and again. Cal puts his phone away and runs out of the dome. *
Cal: I don’t need you anymore! I’m off to water some fucking plants.
Shepard: I’m confused.
Seabs: Normal service resumed then
*The other 3 make their way to the debate stage*
Spoiler for Debates:
TNA Wrestling is in a unique position right now in terms of talent and who is a clear cut number one in the promotion. Over the past year and a half many have made significant cases to be the number one wrestler in the promotion and the focal point moving forward. James Storm, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries and Bully Ray have all had significant pushes bestowed upon them in the last year and a half. One person who has shown promise since his debut in TNA has been Britsh wrestler Magnus. At 26 years old Magnus has not even hit his stride yet and when the prime of his career is upon him TNA will have something special. Magnus has the look and the skills but the fans are still unfamiliar with Magnus due to only seeing a little bit of him. At a young age obviously he still has alot to learn so start pushing him now get the fans more familar and behind him so when he gets to the top he has credablity behind him. To be a succesful main eventer you need credibility and Magnus has a good start with his look and well rounded skills in the ring and out of the ring. But having the look and skills doesnt get you any where if you are booked to look like a smuck.
TNA's opertunity to make a star out of Magnus is right now. With Roode, Storm, Styles Bully, Angle and Aries all being 35 years of age and older the company needs to make a move with one of the better potential superstars on their roster. The possibilities are endless with a talent like Magnus and with the proper booking and build the company will have a superstar in their ranks.
Who should TNA build their promotion around for the long term future?
Interesting question, this is something I have thought about before – and I personally believe that the man who truly is able to lead this promotion is Bobby Roode. The longest reigning TNA World Champion, and a man who has also been succesful in the tag-team divison with James Storm as Beery Money Inc.
One of the reasons why I feel Bobby Roode is the guy who should have the promotion built around him is because he has the complete package that has been raised in TNA since 2004 when he debuted in Team Canada. Roode to me has the look of a champion, he has the wrestling ability to put on phenomenal matches with matches like Final Resolution when Roode drawed with AJ Styles in a 30-Minute Iron man match, his feud with Austrin Aries which led to great matches between the two especially at Destination X in 2012. And also many more involving the likes of Kurt Angle/Jeff Hardy and Sting. There was a reason why this guy was ranked #2 from PWI as one of the wrestlers in 2012 because he showed he had the ability to put on amazing matches.
Aside from his wrestling ability, comes his microphone skills. Let me show you a promo to show the passion that Roode has for the business and can make you love him If hes a babyface, or make you hate him because hes such a jerk. Here is one of his face promos when he was part of Fortune:
Look at the intensity in that promo, this is when he was a face in Fortune and also part of Beery Money Inc. a hugely popular tag-team. They were PWI Tag Team of the year in 2008 and 2011. What a great accomplishment for a tag-team that isnt apart of the WWE. This shows how diverse Roode Is, that not only is he capable of being succesful in the tag-team division but also became a succesful player in the Main-event run. Look at how vile, vicious his character became when he attacked Dixie Carter as the World champion:
Once again Roode shows how capable he is to pull of what it takes to be a really popular good guy, and a really hated bad guy. What more could you want from a man to become the main attraction of your promotion? There is a reason why this guy had the longest-reigning title history, outlasting AJ Styles reign… because he is that just damn good. He can make you love him, he can make you hate him, and all it took was a beer bottle to the head of James Storm to start that.
Some people will argue and say the likes of Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles. In my opinion, I completely disagree with Jeff Hardy because although he probably sells a lot merchandise – he is not reliable, this is obvious with how he has acted before e.g. his match with Sting which was atrocious and leaded him to suspension. Austin Aries is around the same age as Roode, and also has the wrestling and technical ability to be invested in –but for me Roode looks more like a champion in terms of the guys charisma, and overall physique. While guys like Kurt Angle, Sting are much more older and you cant bet they will still be wrestling in the next few years to build the company around them.
AJ Styles is anoter popular opinion, but he has been with the company so many years that he has become a house-hold name that is already established within the company. Bobby Roode has worked his way through the ranks, to achieve the success and to have the company built around him whether he is needed as face to take on Aces & Eights, or be the heel to battle the likes of Hardy/Aries/Styles/Sting. Styles has dropped in and out of the main event scene for years, you need to concentrate more on building your other talent like they did with Roode and as the saying goes ‘took the ball, and ran with it’ to become the longest-reigning TNA champion.
Ultimately TNA are still invested with Roode, I have no doubt that once his tag divison ends he will be put straight back into the main event, and being diverse like Roode is – he can enter the main event as a hero or the villian while the crowd will still be invested in him because of his ability to perform as a wrestler, and his ability to get the crowd to love him or to get under the their skin.
When asking who TNA should build their promotion around for the long term future, it is important to look back through the history books to see who has been the focal point of building a promotion, or era, around.
In Vince McMahon’s monopoly of the WWE, he has always been able to find that one person with the special something to build his promotion around – the 1980’s saw Hulkamania running wild, the 1990’s saw the rise of Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and The Rock. In the new millennium, a brash kid from Massachusetts, John Cena, became arguable the biggest superstar in the business. It wasn’t just WWE though, as WCW was built around the phenomena of Sting, and ECW was built around the cult icons of Sandman, Raven and Rob Van Dam. What all of these men had going for them, was a unique personality, something that connected them with the audience, something that gave them the momentum to launch their respective promotions into the wider populous and to gain increase the fan base of their company.
In the land of TNA, there are several potential candidates, men like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, and Christopher Daniels. All of these men are quality athletes, and have an amazing repertoire of manoeuvres at their disposal to hook in the following, but, they just don’t have what it takes for the company to invest in them for the benefit of the future. These four men that I have nominated are old, they are established superstars, they are notarised as ‘TNA grown’ wrestlers, but they have never, in spite of countless efforts, been able to be viewed as THE big star that a fan base can be built upon into the future, for the greater benefit of the promotion.
When asking who TNA should build their promotion around for the long term future, the answer for mine is plain and simple. That answer is the “Cowboy” James Storm. Hired to the company in 2002, Storm was primarily utilised as a tag team competitor, and was a member of the highly successful America’s Most Wanted tag team with Chris Harris. As the AMW tag team found their feet within the fledgling promotion, it was a sign of things to come. For four years, the AMW ran through the tag team division, and people started to take notice. When the AMW ended, Storm came across another tag partner – Bobby Roode, and they formed Beer Money. Beer Money would rise to prominence much like AMW, but it also had its ending.
In his singles career to date, Storm has failed to capture the success and momentum of his tag team days. However, in his favour, is the abundance of potential. Storm has a unique gimmick for his promotion, and most of the promotions in the world. That gimmick is of a beer drinking, ass kicking redneck who just wants to fight. To some, me included, he is a hybrid of Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin, but lacks the fluidity that they possessed. It’s simple – TNA push Storm as the cult hero that they need. Have him overcome the great heel threat of Aces and Eights, and then embark upon taking the promotion into the future. Focus on his badass attitude. Focus on his love of a fight. Focus on his will to win, and his humility within the ring. In time, with enough exposure, Storm can attain a stronger following.
Rather than being subjected to as the clumsy beer churning mug that he has the past year, he should be presented as a legitimate force. It’s really simple to get behind as his Last Call finisher can effectively be implemented on anybody, which makes it believable that he can defeat anybody. His catchphrase is unique and can also get a following. Perhaps not on the levels of Austin 3:16 (and I struggle to think of one that can), but one that can assist in the sales of merchandise. The whole notion of building the future of TNA around Storm, however, ultimately falls on the TNA power brokers. Do they take the chance on building a unique megastar that can appeal to the masses? Or do they maintain the comfort booking of the last 10 years? Time will tell, and one could question if one superstar is enough to build the future of a promotion on, because every great hero needs an equally great villain to sell the story, but that is a case for another day.
*The judges present their feedback and decision.*
Spoiler for Judging Cards:
The Lady Killer:
I was particularly interested in this debate since I know next to nothing about the topic. This was a perfect chance for the three who turned in debates to be as convincing as possible. Let's get to it.
Takers Revenge - I admire the effort, but it's clear that this is your first shot at debating. How I would've approached your stance on a current midcarder like Magnus is to first shoot down why the current main eventers should not be built around. You alluded to it in the last paragraph where you mentioned age being an issue, but there are plenty of 35+ year olds who are still the focal point of the business. I think if you were going to take a risk on an inherent unknown, you had to first convince me why they wouldn't stick with the current cream of the crop.
wrestling_junkie - Great debate. I'm completely convinced that Roode is a great choice. You gave great support first by stating how diverse Roode is, giving links to a few promos and referencing some good matches, and also qualifying your stance by highlighting his media achievements (PWI awards/ranking).
As aforementioned, I believe that this topic lends itself to a process of elimination approach. You handled this perfectly by stating who else could be in the running as viable counterarguments, and shooting them down with concrete reasoning. Brilliantly done. This is the type of effort that will make TDL a household name for a long time.
Bullseye - A solid effort here that took a hit from a lack of focus and a few contradictory segments. First, I enjoyed the intro where you outline how rival promotions built themselves around a particular superstar. Off to a good start. Then, you list a few options and shoot them down. OK, again, a smart move. However, by this point you're halfway through your debate and I'm still not sure who you have chosen.
Finally, you name James Storm as your choice, and then go on for a bit with a summary of his career. OK, that's all well and good, but in a debate with a word limit, you're running out of space to convince me why Storm is the right answer. You briefly get into why he could be successful, but then weaken your argument by saying "Well, he may not be as good as Austin was" and so on. I don't think you were ever really convinced that Storm was the right pick, and hence neither was I. Appreciate the effort, but it came up a bit short.
Winner - wrestling_junkie
Takers Revenge - For starters your debate was 2 words short of the minimum word count so make sure you meet the minimum requirement next time. Your argument didn’t really persuade me that Magnus was the guy. You mention his age and look as positives but reading your debate I never felt compelled to strongly consider Magnus being the face of the promotion based on the lack of persuasion in your debate. Remember, spell check is your friend.
wrestling_junkie - First of, Beery Money Inc would have been a much better name for Roode and Storm. Good stuff addressing the alternatives and trying to discredit them to support your own argument. I thought your point about AJ Styles was odd though. You mention how he’s an established “house-hold name” that’s synonymous with TNA but present it as being a reason against choosing AJ when it reads more like a reason for AJ then against. That bit was odd but you did a good job addressing why Aries and Hardy shouldn’t be chosen. You chose Roode and you ran with that selection very well in your argument of his case. If you get another topic like this then consider addressing the faults of your chosen argument too, e.g. did Roode’s long title reign really change TNA’s positioning.
Bullseye - Very strong debate with lots of great points. Great stuff addressing the qualities that past stars have had and relating them to Storm, along with Storm’s attributes that make him a strong choice like his character and finisher. Thought you could have done a stronger job of discrediting the main competitors such as Hardy and Roode but you had this debate easily won for me anyway. Ending note about the bookers and especially noting that every star needs a dance partner were fantastic.
DECISION = Bullseye
Takers Revenge, I felt, needed more depth to his argument for Magnus. The debate need more reasons why he should be promoted as the top talent in TNA Wrestling. I wanted more specific examples of his talent to back up your choice of Magnus.
wrestling_junkie did what I wanted and more with video evidence for his choice of Bobby Roode. What really strengthened the idea of the Roode as the top promoted star were the examples Debate B used of talent and versatility. wrestling_junkie gave excellent examples of Roode's ability to play a babyface, play a top heel, run as tag champion, run as World Heavyweight Champion. wrestling_junkie brought up TNA has invested time in building Roode, and Roode has also improved over that time to become a high performing wrestler in and out of the ring. Everything about this argument made for a very convincing case for Booby Roode.
Bullseye’s was an interesting read because I immediately picked up a contradiction in the argument yet I the historical foundation used was so powerful that I almost forgot about the minor flaw in the debate. The minor flaw I am referring to is the argument that AJ Styles and Austin Aries are "old" and "TNA Grown" wrestlers as reasons to not to be considered for the spot of top promoted star. However, and I will give Takers Revenge credit for this pointed out - Styles, Aries, and Storm are all the same age at 35 years old. Also, as Bullseye pointed out himself Storm has been with the company since 2002 and the "Cowboy" character is a well-established character to TNA fans so he would not be any "newer" than "The Phenomenal One" or "Greatest Man That Ever Lived." I do not want to break down the argument bit by bit but those points stuck out when I was reading it.
Now for the good that outweighs everything else here, Bullseye did great fleshing out the uniqueness of James Storm's persona a potential plan that creatively could work for a main event staple at the top of TNA. I will state again using historic and even present examples of how other wrestling promotions thrived in various eras with their own special 'face of the company' at the helm of the movement. Bullseye's examples with James Storm presented a look at the possibilities the company could have if they use the persona along with the talent of Storm to create that connection with the audience and attract outside of the TNA bubble if thy follow what has work. The proof is in history and Bullseye used the proof well.
Winner - wrestling_junkie
Winner via Split Decision - wrestling_junkie
Seabs: Back up to Shepard in the stands!
Shepard: I’ve been mixing around up here and I’ve noticed that Green Light’s been sat with a seat next to him empty all show. He doesn’t appear to have shat himself so what’s the story with the empty seat?
Green Light: Well my Uncle was supposed to be coming to the show with me but he hasn’t showed up yet.
What’s your Uncle called?
Green Light: John
*Shepard shouts out Uncle John at the top of his voice like a plonker thinking that Green Light’s Uncle John would just show up on his call. Sadly his throat crumples as a result of WOOLCOCK’s swift punch to the throat from earlier on*
Obfuscation: Not really convinced by the selling Shep.
Why is your Uncle late to the show? Didn’t you travel together?
Green Light: Well he is coming all the way from Jamaica to Vertical Scope to see the show so that’s probably why he’s late. He’s been calling every day recently to go and see him so I thought he’d be right up for this.
adrian_zombo vs Chain Gang Soldier vs FluxCapacitor vs Lane Can Drew McIntyre be rebuilt as a credible main eventer after 3MB?
*All 4 make their way to the debate stage*
Spoiler for Debates:
Credibility in the WWE distills down to two main ingredients: time, and the confidence of the guys running the company. Given enough time and opportunity, nearly any individual can be built into a credible WWE main eventer. This includes Drew McIntyre. The combination of McIntyre’s youth, his strengths as a performer, and WWE’s ability to build up anyone regardless of his past enables the possibility of McIntyre being a main eventer in the future.
Time is on Drew McIntyre’s side. McIntyre turns 28 this June. A lot of guys don’t break into the upper-echelon before that. Cena was in his late-20s when he began appearing regularly around the main event scene. Edge and Sheamus were over 30. Mark Henry was well into his 30s. Stars like Orton and Lesnar are exceptions to the rule. Wrestlers generally have to put in plenty of “WWE-time” before earning the chance to solidify their spot atop the ranks within the promotion. As long as McIntyre is able to appear consistently on TV and remain employed by the WWE, he’ll only be more readily available to be promoted if the opportunity presents itself.
What are McIntyre’s strengths? He’s a big dude. He’s billed at 6’5”, 250 pounds. I usually don’t go by what a wrestler is “billed” at. Instead, I ask myself, “does Wrestler X look like he BELONGS in the ring with his opponent?” When McIntyre faces off against the likes of Sheamus, Kane, or some of the other larger-sized main event guys, he fits right in.(1) Additionally, McIntyre’s facial mannerisms during a match are excellent; he possesses one of the more distinctive scowls in the WWE. Combine these mannerisms with his moveset, and he becomes a compelling aggressive heel.(2) McIntyre’s “Sinister Scotsman” handle is astute. The Future Shock DDT finisher looks credible and painful, as any great impact finisher should.
Something that may hold Drew back is his mic skills. However, a distinction between a “credible main eventer” versus a “champion” is important. Champs can get away with average-to-poor ring skills if they have the look, psychology, and charisma. McIntyre’s weakness, if anything, is his lack of charisma when he speaks. His promos are passable enough, but none of them are particularly memorable. However, guys CAN get main event runs without having to speak often. Ken Shamrock briefly main evented against guys like Rock, and Jeff Hardy will never be confused with Jake Roberts on the mic. McIntyre’s speaking ability – or lack thereof – may prevent him from becoming a champion, but should not restrict him from WWE’s main event scene generally.
Opportunities arise with some regularity in the wrestling world. There are injuries. There are retirements. There are wellness violations. Guys switch companies. The longer McIntyre remains with the WWE, the more opportunities he’ll be considered for. It’s simply a matter of Vince, HHH, or whoever is calling the shots providing McIntyre with the opportunity. This means having a legitimate feud with promo time. This means having and winning singles matches of decent length on TV and PPV. By not only accepting his role in 3MB, but embracing the goofiness that comes with it, McIntyre is showing that he’s a company man doing as the WWE asks.
Goofy gimmicks don’t kill a wrestler. Mark Henry was referred to as “Sexual Chocolate” for a year, developed a romantic relationship with a woman in her upper-70s, and eventually fathered a hand with this woman. Now, Henry splits wigs because THAT’S WHAT HE DO. HHH was a Connecticut Blueblood, rehabilitated his image with DX, and then dubbed himself The Game. It can take years to ascend from a joke to legitimacy, but there is plenty of precedent. This is why McIntyre’s youth is such an asset to him; there’s plenty of time for him to transform into a main eventer.
The fact that Drew is on TV regularly only maintains his familiarity with the WWE audience. Getting destroyed by Lesnar, Hell No, or The Shield on Raw is better than falling into whatever bottomless pit Mason Ryan did. Being recognized internationally is a commodity. It helps that WWE only acknowledges the history of a superstar as needed. Upon returning to legitimacy, McIntyre will always be a former Intercontinental and Tag Team champ. That’s exactly as many titles as Roddy Piper won in the WWE, and he was a main eventer on the biggest stage of them all. Given proper time to rehabilitate his jobber image, McIntyre’s stint with 3MB will in no way inhibit his role as a main eventer some day if the WWE picks him as their Chosen One.
Chain Gang Soldier
Can Drew McIntyre be rebuilt as a credible main eventer after 3MB
Simply put. Yes. But I think there is a much bigger issue at play here
When Drew McIntyre re-debuted in 2009 it seemed as if he was destined for big things. Huge matches, big feuds, future world titles the works. Even given a huge rub from Vince McMahon as his personal “Chosen one” and a “future world heavyweight champion”. From here he went on to become an intercontinental champion a few months after by beating John Morrison at TLC 2009.Despite having a good push early on and seemingly the backing of the boss things just never really got better for the guy after this.
When you take a look into his early days you can see that he did have the potential to go somewhere. His beatdown of R-Truth not long after his re-debut was brilliantly done and showed some real intensity. He had pretty good matches against the likes Of Morrison. He was at least half decent on the mic even though I do feel he could have improved there but still at a young age he had more than enough time to improve and most importantly he just had the look of a legit main star. When it’s all said and done he looked great and wasn’t even close to being in the prime of his career. It does make you wonder then, where did it all go wrong? As I mentioned in my opening statement that I feel there is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed.
In the last few years we have seen many characters that were seemingly destined for big thing just fizzle into nothing. MVP, Vladmir Kozlov, Chris Masters and just recently Tensai just to name a few. While I don’t feel any of these guys (aside from MVP) were treated as a joke to the same extent as Drew has I do feel the one thing they all have in common is that once WWE dropped the ball they seemingly didn’t care to pick it back up again, and even more now, especially in regards to the younger guys on the roster, WWE are just seemingly happy to watch guys fizzle out into nothinh. Remember Ted Dibiase? Alex Riley? Both guys at one point were working alongside main event guys. The former of which was even a final four in a Royal Rumble match. Now your lukcy to even catch them on Raw or Smackdown. Does say a lot for WWE when this can seemingly happen so easily.
On the flip side of this however there have been many cases whereby WWE have actually managed to turn a seemingly joke character and make them into a legit main eventer. The best example of this in recent times has to be Mark Henry. How many people 10-15 years ago would have thought Mr. Sexual chocolate would go on to become such a huge beast and such an important star in the company? Same can be said for the once male cheerleader Dolph Ziggler, Not many people would have thought he would one day become a World Champion after he and the rest of the spirit squad were “shipped” to OVW by DX. It does show that when WWE want too they can build someone else quite well and make them a success again, just a shame that it doesn’t seem to occur as often as it should.
So in closing, as I mentioned before, I do believe Drew McIntyre can be rebuilt as a credible main eventer after 3MB despite being seen as a joke for quite a while now. The bigger question is do WWE know how to rebuild him. End of the day the guy is only 27 years old. Outside of your odd exception (Orton, Cena, Lesnar etc...), most wrestlers don’t hit their peaks or get huge pushes until they hit their 30’s. So there is still more than enough time to turn him into a serious character again. Part of me does have my doubts they can but at the same time they do have a slight track record of carving out niches for guys and making them stars even when no one would have believed it years beforehand. There’s absolutely nothing stopping McIntyre from being the same.
Drew McIntyre can not be a credible WWE main eventer after his run in 3MB. Drew has been part of the WWE system since 2007 when he debuted on the Smack Down brand with a fan friendly gimmick and after a few matches was sent back down to developmental.
In 2009 Drew resurfaced on the main stage once more on the Smack Down brand as the chosen one hand picked by Vince McMahon himself that went virtually no where. Vince even went as far as to go on wwe tv and proclaim that Drew would be a future world champion. As of my writing Drew has only held the WWE Intercontinental title and the WWE tag team championship with then partner Cody Rhodes. Whenever Drew was gave mic time he failed to bring the crowd into what he was saying proving that he could not be a draw for the WWE and its market as a heel. Hes decent enough in the ring but has no charisma and while having the chance to become a main eventer fell flat on his face. The best wrestlers can make the best out of a bad situation which Drew did not do and has to leave you wondering if in the heat of the moment if you could only make a bad situation worse instead of better as a main event caliber talent. He holds wins over such talents as John Morrison, Fit Finlay, and Kane all proven to be reliable mid card-main event talents and those wins did nothing for him. WWE already has an established foreign heel in Antonio Cesaro who can get a reaction from the crowd while having great matches with established potential future hall of famers in the likes of Chris Jericho and Randy Orton.
Drews visa has expired in the past which has led to him being left off of tv. This could happen again and if put in the main event picture could put WWE in a bind if they are in the middle of pushing him. Drew was drafted to RAW in 2011 and lost his debut on the brand to Kofi Kingston. Drew then only began to work dark matches and Superstar tapings showing that he has not been able to draw or have people gain interest in his work despite the two titles he has held, the pay per views he has worked with established stars, or televised matches he has had against main event wrestlers.
Drew McIntyre has only proven himself to be a under card talent or a talent to establish other wrestlers by having them squash Drew in matches. Now with his gimmick in 3MB he is nothing more than a comedy performer yet he has found a role that allows him to be on the main show every week and work with established talents. It is a comfortable position for Drew as people react to the group. Drew by himself can not gain interest from fans but when tossed into a group he can. There is no way Drew McIntyre can become a credible WWE main eventer after being in the company since 2007, being hand picked by the owner of WWE himself, and having chance up on chance to prove his worth.
Can Drew McIntyre be rebuilt after 3MB? The simple answer is it depends on whether the fans will accept him or not.
He has the talent, there's no doubting that whatsoever. His ability to work a compelling control segment, as well as his ridiculous bumping and fun transition spots make him a perfect heel, as shown by his matches with Chris Masters, Kofi Kingston, Christian and Matt Hardy, amongst others. He is also passable on the mic, but that would improve when/if he gets more mic time, more time to develop his own gimmick and begin to settle as a main-event worker and as a character. However, another man who has a lot of talent, like Drew, is a man by the name of Tensai.
On paper, the Tensai gimmick isn't exactly bad. Yes it has a few flaws and yes it is very shallow, but he has a gimmick and a character (I'm talking about before he was Sweet T). However, due to his history in the WWE, the fans simply will not get behind him as much as they should, and Drew McIntyre is in the exact same predicament. On the other hand, another man in a similar situation is Mark Henry. Now we're all more than aware of his Sexual Chocolate gimmick, and yes, he still does get the chants from the crowd, but the fact is that he has the immense talent and ability (more than Tensai), so he can still portray his character and get himself and his opponent over, as well as progress the storyline or angle.
If McIntyre is able to channel his inner Mizark~!, which I am 100% confident he can do, then he will have no problems whatsoever, but if the fans don't accept him, he will forever be associated with 3MB, which despite being a fun gimmick, has a very low glass ceiling.
*The judges present their feedback and decision.*
Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Winner - adrian_zombo.
adrian_zombo’s debate was the strongest in my mind because of the depth found in the debate. The format and structure was well polished and read superbly but most impressively in my mind was how it pondered several aspects that relate to a performer and a push: namely the aspects and talent of the performer himself, the environment and precedent of which other wrestlers have ascended from mediocrity to success and crucially what WWE look for in a performer. I was particularly enamoured with the paragraph which outlined Mcintyre's weaknesses on the microphone and through his lack of stage presence, but offered an alternative approach in how such an issue could be compensated for. That in addition to the regular comparisons with other wrestlers kept the debate consistent, focused yet always offering new and intriguing analysis into the question. A tremendous opening effort.
Chain Gang Soldier was the closest out of the remaining three in usurping adrian_zombo before ultimately missing out. Similarly to adrian_zombo, I enjoyed the approach that was taken here with consideration and focus into WWE management and how often the performer can be hindered of progression regardless of their level of talent. The persuasive aspect of WWE management's notorious indecision raised an intriguing view that was hard to ignore. If I could make one small critique, it would be that after making smart observations that WWE management was the problem the sudden shift and focus on WWE management's success felt a little bit hesitant and couldn't live up to the initial approach. I think the early persuasion and well raised points hurt the eventual shift towards speculating on how Mcintyre could concede, as the persuasive aspect of the debate declined. I think opening with a promising approach, before deviating into a more cynical overview only to eventually put together a final promising argument just overall hurt the flow of the debate which ultimately allowed adrian_zombo to be a more suitable winner.
Lane’s debate personally suffered in lacking in persuasion. The brunt of the debate felt more like the writer outlining and describing Mcintyre's career without ever really expanding or offering a greater evaluation when considering where Mcintyre in their eyes had failed. Given the level of persuasion and analysis prevalent in adrian_zombo and Chain Gang Soldier’s debates, a more descriptive debate was unfortunately never going to be able to be viewed as more suitable as a winner since persuasion is the name of the game in a debate. The writer of this had good ideas but ultimately suffered in the execution and not elaborating as much which hindered their chances when their competition satisfied this particular criteria.
FluxCapacitor’s debate was far more concise and shorter than the rest and raised interesting viewpoints. I did enjoy the focus on the crowd's importance in reacting and accepting Mcintyre as being necessary for him to truly succeed. However, whilst a debate of any length can win if it is persuasive and analytical enough, I personally felt this represented a more narrow overview which struggled to read as more convincing than its counterparts adrian_zombo & Chain Gang Soldier which were far more analytical and layered in their dissection of the question.
adrian_zombo - Great debate. All the points you made were really strong and I was glad you acknowledged some arguments for the opposing side of the debate. Only part I disagreed with was looking over fans involvement in making a wrestler credible.
Chain Gang Soldier - Strong debate. Use of past examples both for and against was neat, although I would have tried to discredit the examples that go against the point you’re arguing and further emphasise the examples in favour of your argument. Looking at both sides of the argument is great but don’t forget which side you’re arguing for.
Lane - Well you certainly ripped Drew to pieces! I like that type of passion in a debate though to support your argument. Could have been improved by acknowledging previous characters that have been rebuilt to be main eventers. Point about the visa was very good and original. I totally disagree on the fact that he had the chance to be a main eventer and fell flat on his face though because he never really got pushed to that level in order to validate that argument.
FluxCapacitor - Well I’m glad someone finally acknowledged the fans in this debate. I liked this debate but I wished you had developed your argument further to really compete with the stronger debates. The points made were good but they needed developing further.
Strong match but there was one debate that stood out as the best on both reads.
DECISION = adrian_zombo
Decision = adrian_zombo
adrian_zombo touched on a variety of aspects that made his debate hold good weight. Touching on his look, how his weaknesses can be covered, the continuous opportunities in the wrestling world, wrestlers who went from bad gimmicks to main-eventers, etc. All of this together made for a solid well rounded debate.
Chain Gang Soldier’s debate seemed like a more compact version of adrian_zombo’s. A solid debate all around but the part about wrestlers fizzing out and never being pushed again wasn't needed in your debate if you were trying to prove the point that Drew can be rebuilt as a main-eventer. Like adrian_zombo you did make reference to guys who had crap gimmicks and ended up making it to the main-event. More focus on that would of gave you a stronger debate.
Lane’s debate felt like an opinion rather than a debate. There wasn't much facts, and the 1 or 2 facts in that debate seemed to to used to further your personal opinion rather than a historic, researched opinion.
FluxCapacitor’s debate seemed like an ordinary post in the wrestling section. No facts. No in depth review. Nothing. I would like to see you dig deeper if you participate in the future.
Winner via Unanimous Decision - adrian_zombo
Seabs: Fuck. The guy who wasn’t even originally entered into the tournament coming out of nowhere to pick up the unanimous victory. Impressive.
The Lady Killer: HA! I guess Chain Gang Soldier won’t be embarrassing me anytime soon then. HA!
Seabs: Hard for someone to embarrass anyone when they spent over half a decade with their name spelt wrong
*The camera cuts to the crowd and catches WAGG making out with what appeared to be his “sister”. WAGG is pounced on by security, quickly followed by theproof. theproof gets thrown back by actual security. WAGG is dragged out of the dome kicking and screaming.*
MoveMent vs CRIMSON vs Evolution vs ThatWeirdGuy Should WWE book Randy Orton in another main event run after two wellness violations?
*All 4 make their way to the debate stage*
Spoiler for Debates:
Should WWE book Randy Orton in another main event run after two wellness violations?
No, they shouldn't.
WWE had groomed Randy Orton to become the solid #2 face on the entire roster just after John Cena once he turned face in early 2010, even trusting him with carrying Smackdown after the 2011 Draft and bringing the main starpower to that brand. But the man who I believe was going to become the other big face on Raw was the man Orton was feuding with at the end of 2009; Kofi Kingston. The program between Orton and Kofi was enjoyed by fans and it was becoming clear that Kingston's stock was rising fast. However, Kingston unfortunately made one mistake in a match with Orton and Orton humiliated him live on Raw and since then Kofi has been stuck in midcard hell whilst Orton has gone on to win the WWE Championship once as well as having two World Heavyweight Championship reigns in 2011, killing the majority of the momentum Christian had. These are two extremely good talents that WWE have put Orton over, only for him to squander everything they have put into him by getting himself suspended twice, whereas neither Kofi Kingston or Christian have ever violated the wellness policy.
Even now in 2013, Orton is constantly put over promising midcard talents such as Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow. WWE are probably just trying to appease Orton's need to be relevant by putting him over these guys because they don't want to risk including him in a main event feud because he'll be fired straight away if he violates the wellness policy for a third time. But, the name Randy Orton has name value, and he is still extremely popular with the younger fans, which explains these wins he is being handed for no reason. Despite being only 33, Orton has been with the WWE on the main roster for over 10 years and someone with his name value and starpower should be used for elevating the midcard, not “burying” them with these victories that lead to nothing, but had it not been for his violations, he could be used for main event filler feuds.
Orton was part of the WWE roster when the Wellness Policy was implemented as well as during the Chris Benoit tragedy; he of anyone, should know how seriously the WWE takes the Policy, his first violation coming mere months after Eddie Guerrero's death.
He's used his backstage pull to end Kofi Kingston's push after one small botch in a match and humiliated him live on Raw. Since then Orton has gone on to win the WWE Championship as well as the World Heavyweight Championship twice. He then squanders all of this by getting suspended for a second time, whereas Kofi Kingston has never violated the wellness system.
In conclusion, SHOULD they give Orton another main event run, no. There are other, much more deserving Superstars that have been held back by him, and still to this day younger stars that he is preventing from moving up to the next level.
In one word, yes. Why shouldn't they? After spoon-feeding him for years and making him the star that he is now, should they just let him go float in the mid-card because he violated the wellness policy? No. And no, I'm not saying the wellness policy means shit. Its just that Orton's better than that. He has the ability to pour dollars into Vince's pocket, and at the end of the day, that's what matters.
Being a part of one of the Evolution alongside legends like Ric Flair and Triple H, becoming the youngest WWE Champion at that time, becoming the 'Legend Killer', which even to this day is remembered as Randy's best gimmick/run, and facing and humiliating the likes of Vince, Dusty, Harley Race, Jake Roberts, Foley, Michaels, Hunter, Hogan and the Undertaker and more, winning the WWE title 6 times and the World Title 3 times - would you let all these things which built 'The Viper' go in vein just because of two strikes? Well, no. He's too big of a name to be wasted.
Just when things were looking bad for Randy after he suffered an injury and was sidelined for months, it got even worse as he was soon suspended for 60 days for violating the company's wellness policy for the second time. Now by the time Randy returned, the main event scene was already flooded with new blood as the likes of Sheamus, ADR and Ryback had taken over. Throwing Randy into the main event right away wouldn't have made sense as the upper-card was already stacked. Then, there was always that risk of a third strike that might've been haunting Vince since then and I guess it still does because if they do put him back into the main event scene and he violates the wellness policy again, he'll have to be fired. I'm not saying Randy would be stupid enough to do it again and lose his job, but we never expected him to get a second strike either, so who knows? But if I was Vince, I'd have taken the risk of a third strike and would've still booked him in the main event cause it would be worth it. He was then put into mid-card storylines and he's been floating in there for quite a while now, for almost a year and a half infact. His contract with the company expires in 2019, so there's six years still left on his contract. He certainly won't be in the mid-card forever as he clearly has much more to offer. So you know its coming, its just that they're just waiting for the right time to pull the trigger.
You can teach a guy to do a Stunner, but you can't teach him to be Stone Cold Steve Austin. Apart from being good in the ring and on the mic, one has to have the ability to connect with the audience, grab the viewers' attention and have them emotionally invest themselves into what they're seeing. That's what makes you a complete package. The 'it' factor as they call it in this business. And Randy has that 'it' factor. Even with no real direction behind his character right now, Randy still manages to outpop other superstars each and every week at each and every arena. Although he's not the best on the microphone, he can certainly back it up with his psychology. He can tell you a story without even speaking a word, just with his mannerisms and his body language, and not everybody's capable of that. And I don't really need to tell you a lot about his ring work, Hunter once said that he's as smooth and swift in the ring as Shawn Michaels was, and that says quite a lot. And we all know how good of a heel he can be, he's definitely at the top of his game when he's a heel. Have a look at his work from the 'Legend Killer' or 'The Age Of Orton' days and you'll know what I'm talking about.
He can be that intimidating, dangerous, legit heel, which is exactly what the current main event scene needs. You turn Orton heel and BAM! You just got yourselves that mega heel. WWE likes to give us a major angle every summer, and an Orton heel turn can definitely turn out be huge if booked right. He can be that one heel who (again, if booked right) can go toe to toe with any major babyface and look like a legit threat. So when the company has such a valuable asset in their palms, why should they him go instead of using him to the fullest? Should WWE book Randy Orton in another main event run after two wellness violations? I don't see why not!
The Wellness Policy started because of the passing of Eddie Guerrero and subsequent investigation of the WWE with the discovery that he and other wrestlers were obtaining steroids. Eddie was a man who received a second chance and made a lot out of it becoming a main eventer and helping rising stars like Batista and despite his steroid use and troubles his legacy hasn’t been effected.
Randy might not be as respected as Eddie Guerrero but he is definitely has been held in high regard amongst the WWE. Orton’s backstage problems can be dated back to 2006 during his second quest for a World Title he was first suspended in April for what was originally reported to be backstage misconduct later revealing to be marijuana related. Nonetheless this 60 day suspension did not affect his standing on the cards he was a part of one of the Wrestlemania main events and upon returning he participated in a program with the legendary Hulk Hogan. It was actually during this program Orton received his first official Wellness violation but he was not suspended instead he was pulled from House shows and allowed to continue his program with Hogan. The WWE was grooming Orton to be the next top guy in the company along with Batista and Cena so keeping him on the show to finish his program makes sense but was it worth hurting the integrity of the Wellness Policy? Orton answers that question for us. Or rather Sports illustrated who revealed in August 2007 that Orton was receiving anabolic steroids from the Signature Pharmacy from 2004 to 2007. The WWE stated he was already punished for this so this did not go against him on the Wellness Policy. You might be asking yourself when he was punished for this. Well, so are we. His first suspension was for marijuana which at the time wasn’t on the Wellness Policies list of offenses. His second one being his “first” offense and now his third big mistake revealed but no real punishment is known of. Finally his latest offense coming during May of last year.
Orton is a talented and athletic wrestler, his family is three generations deep into the business. I see why they initially had faith in him and wanted him to be a top guy despite early troubles, but what has he shown them since? He is a 9 time World Champion and during none of these runs has he shown the capability to be the top guy they so desperately need. He doesn’t have the mic skills necessary to be a top guy. His best work comes from when he was a heel and his good moments were shown through actions, not words like a John Cena, a Stone Cold, a Rock, a Flair etc is capable of showing. During his face run where his move set and character has been dumbed down futher he’s had to be carried during the buildup of feuds by the likes of Christian and Mark Henry. He has never made a significant impact on ratings like they would hope so and his “star power” wasn’t enough to where the WWE had to unofficially end the brand split recently to keep Smackdown’s ratings from crumbling. At this point, we really have to ask ourselves does Orton deserve another main event run after his THIRD possible violation rather than his second because we still haven’t received proof he was punished for one of them. Orton isn’t stranger to second, third, fourth etc chances and at this point in his career it appears the WWE realizes it isn’t worth it and rightfully so as he hasn’t been World Champion in over a year and is looking to put new people into the World Title scene, again rightfully so. Orton still has a lot to offer to the WWE. He is over with the crowd and could help younger stars in the company, but he’s shown us despite his “look”, athleticism, the business being in his blood. He just doesn’t have what it takes to be THAT guy and it isn’t worth further ruining the integrity of the Wellness Policy for him.
When asking myself whether the WWE should book Randy “Unprofessional Conduct” Orton in another main event run despite his two wellness violations, my own uncontrollable dislike and personal bias towards him comes out to a screaming “NO!” (cue the Daniel Bryan gifs). I could think of nothing worse than another WWE or World Heavyweight title run with Orton in the drivers seat.
But that’s not the question is it? The question is whether the WWE should book him in a “main event run”, with the alternative being to let him play out the rest of his career in no-mans land where he currently resides. In theory, by definition of the question, the WWE could book him in several more high-profile feuds higher up the card including a few WHC or WWE title matches on some PPV’s without actually giving him a title reign couldn’t they? It doesn’t say anything about booking him in the main event with his gimmick in its current incarnation does it? Good. It’s for these reasons that I for one would have to agree with the idea.
Whether I like to admit it or not, Randy Orton has maintained an inexplicable amount of presence within the WWE roster despite his almost frequent disappearances from the show. His ability to remain over with the crowd no matter what is something that is beyond my humble understanding. It may have something to do with him having a Hall of Fame-worthy career by the time he was just 30, or it could be because the fumes from his baby oil-addicted body intoxicates the audience upon his entrance, it’s impossible to tell.
Despite this phenomenon his value on the roster is something that isn’t being utilised properly by the WWE, which is frankly ridiculous. Given the current lack of depth in the roster given older stars retiring or reducing their working schedule not to mention the post-wrestlemania slump in programing. It almost begs the question as to what the WWE are doing especially if they’re trying to establish new stars for the future.
I don’t think there would be many people that would argue against Randy being more entertaining as a heel. Look at his some of his best work promo wise as well as character wise (Legend Killer, “Eddie is in hell” phase, Legacy and Evolution). It would also gives the WWE a unique position of comfort if he was to shit the divas luggage again and be fired. Wellness policy violations are not something that simply drop off your record after a certain period of time. With him changing to a heel there is much more breathing room on the ‘E’s part if he does find himself in hot water for suspension and/or firing. He can be written off TV in any number of ways, which can be used to give a promising up and comer the rub they deserve while not having the kid/senate-friendly kayfabe image of the WWE baby faces being embarrassed by an indiscretion on his behalf as the “top dog” and any media coverage that may garner.
There shouldn’t even be a debate in this. For every reason that one might have for Orton staying where he is now there is a way to work around it so that the product can benefit from what he brings.
With Orton’s most memorable work involving him being the “chaser” in the angle (Triple H/Orton/Stephanie, Orton/Taker and Orton/Rey all ring bells), it being widely regarded that he is more entertaining as a heel than as a face (the success of his championship runs as a heel far outweigh those of his babyface runs), turning him heel and updating his character to increase the breathing room for the WWE from possible repercussions of his actions behind the scenes and the ease with which they could write him off the screen while solidifying one or more babyfaces in the process if he were to fail again the WWE would be crazy not to change his character and push him into the main event and at least utilise his talent and name value.
What’s the alternative? To continue to book him in a random, directionless area of the card where he has little-to-no momentum? His current position in the company is not only a waste of money on the WWE’s part given his 10-year contract but also a waste of one of the biggest star names on a WWE roster that thinning faster than Zack Ryders hairline.
*The judges present their feedback and decision.*
Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Winner - Evolution.
Evolution earns my vote for the deconstruction of the question and the focus on Orton's effect not only to business but the product as a whole. The debate considers that in the WWE environment, the ability to consistently make money and make a difference to the product will always prove tempting and hard for WWE to ignore, regardless of behavioural and disciplinary problems. The particular focus on Orton's consistent presence and connection to the crowd, the way in which his character and name recognition can be utilised to greater effect in giving a rub to a younger opponent and how WWE can develop a greater sense of comfort and work around Orton's potential departure due to repeated wellness violations gave a greater sense of depth and consideration for all intangibles necessary in balancing Orton's influence to the company against that of his more undesirable tendencies. The debate flowed well and had a clear developing narrative that stayed focused to the question and consistently gave in depth analysis and smartly allowed the reader to infer how Orton's shortcomings could be compensated for and how WWE would be wise to not waste someone capable of adding to their product.
ThatWeirdGuy was too narrow in its outlook imo. The debate focused on Orton's inability to be completely reliable and hard to justify consistent exposure at the top of the card in light of regular unprofressional conduct. However I felt there was considerable room to expand and really elaboate on Orton's behaviour and its detriment to WWE as a publicly traded company. I also felt for a debate which aimed to highlight Orton being undeserving of such exposure compared to other individuals on the roster, that these 'more deserving' individuals weren't outlined or covered enough in order to infer a more persuasive response by the reader. There was plenty of potential contained within the answer, but potential alone won't be enough when others make smart observations but crucially outline and look to heavily analyse these observations in order to become more persuasive.
CRIMSON’s was a very hard debate to not cite as the winner since many of the themes and positive attributes contained in Debate D were prevalent here as well. The debate strayed closer to demonstrating Orton's worth to WWE through his connection to the crowd, ability in the ring to wrestle the style WWE craves for in a Main Event Superstar and how he represented a potential becon of creativity, able to be used in a way that would be overwhelmingly beneficial to the company and mitigate his behavioural discrepancies. The structure and flow was a pleasure to read and couldn't have been improved imo, but there was just something more comprehensive and nuanced in Evolution’s debate that pushed it above CRIMSON as the overall winner for me. A very commendable and impressive effort so early into The Debate League however and one the writer should be proud of.
Movement’s debate sadly suffered in terms of layout. The lack of a more readable format and separation between paragraphs was disappointing and something I'd advise be corrected for future reference. As for the actual debate itself, my thoughts mirror that of Evolution personally. The argument against Orton had merit and was interesting to read, however again it was too narrow and not explored in enough detail imo. Shorter and more concise debates can certainly be better than their more in depth counterparts, but here I found the concise overview just too brief to be more persuasive than CRIMSON & Evolution. I'd also advise the writer reconsider his approach for future use, as I found the early text far too descriptive and telling us about Orton without really expanding upon this area of the debate. It could have been condensed or removed and I don't believe it would have affected the debate at all. When the focus become more analytical and centred on Orton's actual contributions it improved considerably, but for now this represents a good effort which with improvement and adjustments could have represented a stronger challenge than it ultimately did.
ThatWeirdGuy - I’ll have to make a rare appearance and debate you on why you Kofi Kingston should never be allowed to wrestle it seems. Can’t deny that there was plenty of passion in your debate, even if it bordered on bias against Orton at times. Bordered. You brought up Orton’s name value and star power but then never really developed how that could be the basis for the other side of the argument and then discredit that to further support your argument. It didn’t hurt this debate but try to present your argument critically and acknowledge that there’s another option to the one you’re arguing for.
CRIMSON - DQ’d for being over by 1 word! Strong debate. Presented your argument well and it was easy to read. Didn’t think it was great though but I’m struggling to think of a definitive reason why. I get the sense that just experience through reading and typing more debates will probably turn your debates from strong to great.
MoveMent - LAYOUT. Just looks like a big wall of text at first glance. Space it out so it’s easier on the eye to read. If I’m reading a debate and it’s not presented very well then I’m immediately less enthusiastic about it. Debate is good though and did a good job of arguing why Orton’s untrustworthy. Some weird punctuation though like at the very end.
Evolution - Well this fucking ruled. RULED. Best debate in the wrestling division so far and this is the gold standard for sure. Argued the heck out if his viewpoint and did a great job discrediting the opposing argument like it was their little bitch. Looked at the question from different angles and presented a debate completely out of the box. Out of the box is good if you make it work. Presenting a solution to if he does fuck up again to actually further validate your argument was mesmerising. Great to see some personality shine through in a debate too. I’m gonna be a dick and point out some typing errors. Gotta rain on your parade somehow.
via crucifixion of their opponents.
DECISION = Evolution
Evolution wins. Evolution & CRIMSON were the best debates of this match. Evolution & CRIMSON were quite similar debates. I think Evolution's ability to connect the current roster situation to Orton's value may have gave the slight edge. Both did a good job explaining Orton's value to the company.
ThatWeirdGuy’s is too short, and there was nothing in this debate that convinced me that Orton should not be in the main-event again. You made reference to Orton ruining Kofi not once, but twice! Repeating yourself with such irrelevance makes your debate worse considering it nothing to do with the argument and it made you come across has having some type of personal vendetta against Orton. The only thing in the entire debate that had any relevance to the topic at hand was the mention of Orton's understanding of the seriousness of the wellness policy because he was around during the beginnings. I'd recommend focusing on facts, the positives and negatives of a given topic if you participate in the future.
MoveMent’s layout made me tune out quick. It's a big wall of text. Please use basic space formatting next time. I think the overall debate was ok, but you needed more and there was a few lines where you were completely off base. It seems like you were trying to blame the brand split's end on Orton's inability to raise Smackdown ratings which is not fair considering spoiler access, a history of poor ratings before Orton, wrestling on a friday night (a time of night recreation), and not having the best network for the show. Also, you should have made your answer to the topic early in the debate. I felt like I had to swim to the deep sea (and us blacks can't swim) to find your answer so that was quite irritating.
Sweet Jesus that's a hell of a post. Brilliant efforts by everyone - TDL staff and participants. Congrats to the winners of their respective brackets, but don't get too down if you wound up with a loss. Judges notice the good debates, even in a losing effort.
The Lady Killer: HA! I guess Chain Gang Soldier won’t be embarrassing me anytime soon then. HA!
Seabs: Hard for someone to embarrass anyone when they spent over half a decade with their name spelt wrong
Fuck You TLK and Seabs....Bruh.... I thought you was cool
Crazy how similar me and adrian_Zombo's debates actually were. Nontheless I didn't have 100% confidence but seemingly still being 2nd best I can live with. Congrats to him and all the winners and a good effort from everyone involved.
Said a million times already but still worth saying again, everyone can be proud of their debates. Some more than others obviously but none were a waste of time, especially for so many virgins. I bet everyone is horny now. Hi. Vindicated my selection for the title tournaments. Now up to the others to prove their worth in their debates. I've got nearly everyone else on Show 2 bar a handful and change.
Show 2 will have:
Wrestling Title Tournament:
Evolution vs adrian_zombo
greendayedgehead vs wrestling_junkie
Perfect Poster vs THE DARK ANDRE
Social Title Tournament:
GothicBohemian vs SPCDRI
Makavelli vs BULLY
I'm sure there's other stuff I needed to address but my brain is dead right now. I'll answer any questions of course.