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aaeamdar
08-12-2007, 12:17 AM
I haven't posted on Chief Delphi in a while, but a recent chat with my dad about something that's frustrated me lately has made me revisit the forums to put this issue out for discussion:

Is the song "We Are the Champions" (by 'Queen', a rock band) an appropriate choice of song to be played after the final elimination round (i.e. after the final matches are over)?

First, let me say, I have nothing against Queen or even this song in particular. Here's what I find questionable for use in this particular situation:

[From the song lyrics]
We are the champions, and you are the losers [emphasis on losers], no time for losers, 'cause we are the champions[...].

(I'm not sure I have that exactly right, but I think it's close enough to give you an idea of the tone.)

To me, this choice of song (if it were supported by the FIRST community) puts the lie to the entire concept of gracious professionalism. The feelings of the defeated teams ("losers") aside, can we truly say that we are "graciously professional" while playing songs that put the emphasis on winning and then mocking one's opponent?

I've never been in the position of being a "loser" (i.e. a finalist) or even making it into the semi-finals. I imagine that most if not all of the people on those teams shrug this off, saying "Oh, haha, well, that's just a song." Maybe no one feels hurt by this. However, even if that's the case, it seems to me that we ought to try to express our gracious professionalism in everything that we do, and not have that tainted by anything, ideally. And furthermore, it is important to consider the feelings of defeated teams. I could certainly see myself getting more than ticked off about this after losing a close match that would have qualified my team to go to the Championships.

Let me back off for a second here: I've been to a relatively small selection of tournaments so far: Annapolis in '06 and '07, Champs in '06, and a few off-seasons including most recently the first annual Battle O' Baltimore, which (shameless plug) was |awesome|! However, I distinctly remember this being played at Annapolis both years as well as (just today) at the BoB. I seem to remember it at Champs in '06 as well, though I wouldn't swear to it. And again, let me back off once more: I am not making any claim that the song is endorsed by anyone in FIRST (except, one would suppose, the person(s) who selected it). Maybe I've just run into one person who has requested/demanded/threatened/whatever to have this song played.

However, unless my trusty "search before you post" stratagem has failed completely, I don't remark on any CD postings directly on the subject, nor did I see an angry mob of FIRSTers storm the iPod and demand a song change. So, while it would be unfair to say that anyone necessarily likes the song (for this situation), what I've seen and heard indicates that no one particularly cares enough to make an issue of the subject. The general attitude is one of apathy.

So, what's the conclusion? Mine would be that people probably haven't thought a lot (or at all) about what our song choices have to say about our events. If this is the case, then we should all take a moment to think about the issue. If people have already thought about the issue and have reached the conclusion that the song is not in conflict with our GP ideals, this would surely warrant discussion. Maybe I'm proverbially making mountains out of molehills, but I would personally hope (as I think I said earlier) that we are able to exhibit gracious professionalism in everything we do. If this is a tradition (I don't know enough to say) let's take a long hard look at it, and if it isn't, let's keep it from becoming one.

I've talked long enough... what does everyone else think?

Thanks,
Paul Dennis
1719

P.S.: Please don't mis-interpret what I'm saying (I say this because I did use some fairly strong language on a subject a lot of people feel very strongly about). Here's a handy-dandy outline:

What I'm saying:
1. The song is inappropriate for the situation because it puts emphasis on winning rather than achieving "FIRST"ish goals that we all know so well.
2. It therefore contradicts our most basic idea of gracious professionalism
3. We should consider the song and perhaps conclude that it should not be played after elimination rounds.

What I'm not saying:
1. I hate Queen/this song.
2. No one is graciously professional.
3. The song is widely played.
4. Everyone loves this song and has no problem with it.
5. This song should never be played at a FIRST event.
6. This song makes us somehow not GP just by being there.
7. This is a big huge deal.

Josh Murphy
08-12-2007, 12:34 AM
As I do understand what you are trying to say, I really don't think that this is a big deal. It does not bother me one bit:) and I would not be offended if I was on the losing end, but I can not speak for everyone else.

aaeamdar
08-12-2007, 12:45 AM
As I do understand what you are trying to say, I really don't think that this is a big deal. It does not bother me one bit:) and I would not be offended if I was on the losing end, but I can not speak for everyone else.

Josh,

Clarification: you:

a) don't see a contradiction between GP and those lyrics or
b) see a contradiction but don't think it's important

?

-P

Billfred
08-12-2007, 12:47 AM
I'm afraid one of your underlying assumptions is false. I Googled the lyrics, and came up with the following chorus in multiple places:

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world - Given that FRC has long aimed to use the more desirable aspects of sports, I think a tasteful moment of celebration for the teams who find themselves at the top of their field is appropriate. If nothing else, it makes perfectly clear to those who might be less game-savvy in the audience that the on-field competition has, in fact, concluded.

I don't see any GP issue, and am all for keeping it.

Josh Murphy
08-12-2007, 12:49 AM
Josh,

Clarification: you:

a) don't see a contradiction between GP and those lyrics or
b) see a contradiction but don't think it's important

?

-P

Actually both A and B. I do see a contradiction between GP and the lyrics(A), but I don't see it as that big of a deal(B). As entitled, just my opinion, and I am with Billfred for keeping it.

CraigHickman
08-12-2007, 12:49 AM
I've never been in the position of being a "loser" (i.e. a finalist) or even making it into the semi-finals. I imagine that most if not all of the people on those teams shrug this off, saying "Oh, haha, well, that's just a song." Maybe no one feels hurt by this. However, even if that's the case, it seems to me that we ought to try to express our gracious professionalism in everything that we do, and not have that tainted by anything, ideally. And furthermore, it is important to consider the feelings of defeated teams. I could certainly see myself getting more than ticked off about this after losing a close match that would have qualified my team to go to the Championships.


Having been on the second place team for about 5 regionals in a row, that song gets old, and is slightly depressing by the last regional. I agree that it's a great song to celebrate for the winners, but it's not really the most forgiving song for those who are not as fortunate. (my saying is that second place is the first loser, which is why I always give every kind of competition my all...)

I wouldn't mind it too much if they kept it, but I wouldn't be sad to see it go either. (also because of what our team has up our sleeve for the coming season.... Unstoppable drive train, anyone?)

Karthik
08-12-2007, 01:02 AM
Hearing "We Are The Champions" after a victory is probably one of my favourite FIRST moments. The song has such historical significance in North American sports, that it's hard not to feel important and celebrated when it plays. FIRST is about celebrating Science and Technology. I definitely want to keep hearing a song that celebrates the teams that win our events. These teams deserve every minute of celebration and recognition that they can get.

Now, I've been on the losers side of the coin. Hearing WATC after a loss isn't exactly fun. But each time I've heard it after a loss, it's made me do two things:
1. Feel happy for the winners, knowing what a great feeling they must be having at that moment.
2. Inspires me to work that much harder next time, to ensure that I'm hearing the song from winner's circle.

So the song makes me recognize the champions, and inspires me to work harder. Sounds like a decent combination to me.

I would hate to see the day come where we downplay the celebration of victory to lessen the burn of defeat. I know there's more to FIRST than just winning on the field, but there's still a competition out there with winners and losers. As long as any sort of celebrating doesn't demean the losers, and is done with class, I see no reason to do away with it.

aaeamdar
08-12-2007, 01:03 AM
I'm afraid one of your underlying assumptions is false. I Googled the lyrics, and came up with the following chorus in multiple places:

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world -
Given that FRC has long aimed to use the more desirable aspects of sports, I think a tasteful moment of celebration for the teams who find themselves at the top of their field is appropriate. If nothing else, it makes perfectly clear to those who might be less game-savvy in the audience that the on-field competition has, in fact, concluded.

I don't see any GP issue, and am all for keeping it.

Billfred... I gotta say that I fail to see a large enough difference between the lyrics you quoted and the lyrics I quoted to warrant an underlying issue; both refer to one group as champions while referring to another group pejoratively as losers. Help me out.

Josh, I can't dispute the idea that from your perspective I'm making more out of this than actually matters, because that's your personal feeling about the matter. However, to me a contradiction between one of the most basic ideals of FIRST and /any/ of our actions is worth at least careful consideration (and I don't mean that in the Washington way).

InfernoX14
08-12-2007, 01:05 AM
That's like saying that defeating the other alliance is disrespectful and not GP.

I don't see a problem with it being played. I don't think it's not GP at all.

Shouldn't you be bummed more about the fact that you were simply beaten than the fact that the song is being played? Or shouldn't you be happy with how far you went?

Let the people who worked hard to win enjoy their experience. By complaining about the song being played, I see it as being selfish (we all are selfish at times, however). People should be more worried about how the finalist teams feel than how the champion teams feel?

I complain simply because I don't like the song (I find it unexciting and simply annoying) not because I am considered a "loser" and that the DJs are being disrespectful to me and all of the other non-champion teams.

Yeah, that's my stand.

aaeamdar
08-12-2007, 01:10 AM
Hearing "We Are The Champions" after a victory is probably one of my favourite FIRST moments. The song has such historical significance in North American sports, that it's hard not to feel important and celebrated when it plays.

Karthik,

You seem to have missed the fact that other significant parts of North American sports (and, well, almost everywhere else) include: the idea that winning is everything and acting in an unsportsmanlike manner towards your opponents and getting away with it/applauded for it. I would like to think, cheesy as it may sound, that we're all winners at first, and if we all recognized this song as applying to all the teams who built a robot, then really my entire argument collapses. But we all know that that's not the meaning of the song.

I'm glad that you feel recognized when this song plays. However, it's frankly unreasonable for the recognition of winning teams to be more important then (broken record sound) our most important ideals. If recognition has to take a back seat to respecting the entire idea of FIRST, then that's the way it needs to be.

JaneYoung
08-12-2007, 01:11 AM
Here I'm just going to say "They're Just Dots" cause I'm sure someone will give me some neg rep for speaking my mind.

This is a thread asking for opinions regarding a song.
If opinions are expressed respectfully, there is no reason for negative repping anyone. Healthy discussions are a wonderful thing, especially when they involve the celebration of FIRST competitions and the efforts the teams put forth.

CraigHickman
08-12-2007, 01:11 AM
That's like saying that defeating the other alliance is disrespectful and not GP.

I'm not sure I see the connection here. We're not talking about the fact that one team wins, and others lose. It's more of the fact that the song speaks of losers in a negative and dismissing manner.

And no one should neg rep you for speaking your mind, because having many honest opinions is an incredibly valuable asset to any debate or discussion

aaeamdar
08-12-2007, 01:17 AM
I don't see a problem with it being played. I don't think it's not GP at all.

Shouldn't you be bummed more about the fact that you were simply beaten than the fact that the song is being played? Or shouldn't you be happy with how far you went?

Let the people who worked hard to win enjoy their experience. By complaining about the song being played, I see it as being selfish (we all are selfish at times, however). People should be more worried about how the finalist teams feel than how the champion teams feel?

I complain simply because I don't like the song (I find it unexciting and simply annoying) not because I am considered a "loser" and that the DJs are being disrespectful to me and all of the other non-champion teams.

The responses to my original posting seem to indicate that I went a little off my intended topic. My biggest concern about the song is not that it would make anyone feel bad. My biggest concern is that the song is fundamentally not in tune with the FIRST credo.

Furthermore, I really have to ask, how is it selfish to say that we shouldn't play songs that take away central meaning from an organization in which I am one participant of thousands? You've confused me.

That's like saying that defeating the other alliance is disrespectful and not GP.

Playing a fair match and doing your best to win is of course fully within the scope of gracious professionalism. However, imagine the following situation: someone from the defeated team walks up to the alliance captain and says "Great game" and offers to shake hands. The alliance captain on the winning team says "Oh, sorry, I don't have time for losers." Is that GP?

Karthik
08-12-2007, 01:24 AM
Karthik,

You seem to have missed the fact that other significant parts of North American sports (and, well, almost everywhere else) include: the idea that winning is everything and acting in an unsportsmanlike manner towards your opponents and getting away with it/applauded for it. I would like to think, cheesy as it may sound, that we're all winners at first, and if we all recognized this song as applying to all the teams who built a robot, then really my entire argument collapses. But we all know that that's not the meaning of the song.

I'm glad that you feel recognized when this song plays. However, it's frankly unreasonable for the recognition of winning teams to be more important then (broken record sound) our most important ideals. If recognition has to take a back seat to respecting the entire idea of FIRST, then that's the way it needs to be.

You seemed to miss the fact that it's still a competition. If you take the competition out of FIRST, you are left with very little, and we've suddenly lost the source of inspiration, and the medium to achieving the goals of FIRST.

Perhaps we should stop giving out trophies and medals to the winning teams as well. Everyone should be satisfied with their bronze participation medals. After all, we're all winners.

If we come to a point where the celebration of the winners demeans the losing teams, then yes, we need to cut back. But in FIRST, we're not even close to being at that point. Frankly, I don't think we do enough to celebrate the teams that perform the best on the field. In my opinion this is one of the bigger problems in FIRST. It's almost as if people are ashamed to be competitive in this program. That we're so focussed on keeping everyone happy, that we've lost site of the competition.

Yes, there's much more to FIRST than winning. That doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with celebrating the winners.

aaeamdar
08-12-2007, 01:31 AM
You seemed to miss the fact that it's still a competition. If you take the competition out of FIRST, you are left with very little, and we've suddenly lost the source of inspiration, and the medium to achieving the goals of FIRST.

Perhaps we should stop giving out trophies and medals to the winning teams as well. Everyone should be satisfied with their bronze participation medals. After all, we're all winners.

If we come to a point where the celebration of the winners demeans the losing teams, then yes, we need to cut back.


You've missed my essential point here: it's not that the celebration of the winners demeans the losing teams; it's that the celebration of the winners in this way demeans FIRST itself. Another poster (Josh Murphy) mentioned that he saw a contradiction between the lyrics and GP. While he didn't think this warranted a song change (if I may speak for you, Josh), he still considered these things to be in contradiction.

I'm thinking at the moment that if you don't see the contradiction, then, no disrespect to you, but between us (and this goes for everyone), we don't have common grounds for further discussion. It's not my aim to convince you that the song is in conflict with the idea of GP. To me it seems obvious; to others, not so much.

InfernoX14
08-12-2007, 01:33 AM
The responses to my original posting seem to indicate that I went a little off my intended topic. My biggest concern about the song is not that it would make anyone feel bad. My biggest concern is that the song is fundamentally not in tune with the FIRST credo.

It's not as if this song is the aural representation of FIRST and it is completely contradicting the ideals of FIRST. It's not as if that one line in the chorus is completely twisting the minds of FIRSTers everywhere such that they become rude people. It's just a victory song. It has been for years. It has become a tradition to play that song at the end of a tournament/competition/etc.

Furthermore, I really have to ask, how is it selfish to say that we shouldn't play songs that take away central meaning from an organization in which I am one participant of thousands? You've confused me.

I'm sorry, I read your post and assumed you were specifically complaining about how the finalist teams must feel when they play that song.

Playing a fair match and doing your best to win is of course fully within the scope of gracious professionalism. However, imagine the following situation: someone from the defeated team walks up to the alliance captain and says "Great game" and offers to shake hands. The alliance captain on the winning team says "Oh, sorry, I don't have time for losers." Is that GP?

No, it isn't. But do we hear about that happening? It's not as if... I won't repeat myself.

There are other songs that go against the ideals of FIRST that get played at competitions. Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 comes to mind...

Bharat Nain
08-12-2007, 01:38 AM
While I did not read all the posts thoroughly, I think I really need to mention this. When the song says, "you are the losers" or mentions anything about "losers", what they are really saying is "the team that won deserves it because they have worked hard as anything and smarter than anything and winning is the most important thing to them and that is why they won". I have been fortunate to be on a team where we value winning and I am also fortunate to be associated with people in other organizations who value winning. This is why I understand that to be a winner in the real rough world out there, you need to have many things in your life in place. Or in the case of FIRST, you need to have many things in your team in place to win consistently. So that is why, if my team is a finalist, we're still a winner. We fought our way hard up there and we deserve it very well. If this song had a negative meaning towards the finalist or second place, then I do not think the world of sports would embrace it so much.

Billfred
08-12-2007, 01:45 AM
The alliance captain on the winning team says "Oh, sorry, I don't have time for losers." Is that GP?
It's been said before, it's been said again: GP is an internal yardstick. I can't (properly) judge whether someone else is acting in a graciously professional manner, only whether I see that action as GP or not.

The song overall is one of accomplishment. The references to "losers" can be associated with thousands of possible explanations (or so my English 102 professor drilled into my head over many a red-ink-covered paper). Same goes with the "we" that are the champions.

I agree with the Long-Named One--there is nothing wrong with celebrating the winners through this song.

aaeamdar
08-12-2007, 01:47 AM
It's not as if this song is the aural representation of FIRST and it is completely contradicting the ideals of FIRST. It's not as if that one line in the chorus is completely twisting the minds of FIRSTers everywhere such that they become rude people. It's just a victory song. It has been for years. It has become a tradition to play that song at the end of a tournament/competition/etc.

There are other songs that go against the ideals of FIRST that get played at competitions. Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 comes to mind...

Waitaminute.... the song is exactly that: an aural representation of FIRST. It's not an aural representation of the entirety of FIRST, but everything we do, including the songs we play at our competitions, represents FIRST in some way, however small.

You extrapolate from one to infinity in the influence any song might have on FIRSTers, and you may want to reconsider this, seeing how it's one of the most baseless arguments one can make. If the song has a negative influence that outweighs the positive benefit by any amount, it should be removed and we should find something better.

Tradition is also one of the lamest excuses for inexcusable behavior. Bad things don't get better just because you do them over and over again. In 1776, we broke tradition into teensy little pieces, because a group of people got together and realized that the tradition was no good.

What exactly is your response to the hypothetical I raised, which almost directly quotes from the song? I don't hear anything meaningful.

aaeamdar
08-12-2007, 01:52 AM
If this song had a negative meaning towards the finalist or second place, then I do not think the world of sports would embrace it so much.

That sounds nice, but you've honestly got to be kidding me. If you think the world of sports gives a darn about #2 compared to #1, get me some of what you're smoking.

When the song says, "you are the losers" or mentions anything about "losers", what they are really saying is "the team that won deserves it because they have worked hard as anything and smarter than anything and winning is the most important thing to them and that is why they won".

How does talking about the team that didn't win refer to the team that did win? I don't even know what to say here.

InfernoX14
08-12-2007, 02:05 AM
Waitaminute.... the song is exactly that: an aural representation of FIRST. It's not an aural representation of the entirety of FIRST, but everything we do, including the songs we play at our competitions, represents FIRST in some way, however small.

You extrapolate from one to infinity in the influence any song might have on FIRSTers, and you may want to reconsider this, seeing how it's one of the most baseless arguments one can make. If the song has a negative influence that outweighs the positive benefit by any amount, it should be removed and we should find something better.

Tradition is also one of the lamest excuses for inexcusable behavior. Bad things don't get better just because you do them over and over again. In 1776, we broke tradition into teensy little pieces, because a group of people got together and realized that the tradition was no good.

What exactly is your response to the hypothetical I raised, which almost directly quotes from the song? I don't hear anything meaningful.

My response is saying that the song wasn't written to go perfectly with the ideals of FIRST (it couldn't have been...). And what negative influence does it have? What I am saying is that we don't see people who are acting in a rude and non-GP manner because this song is played at the competitions.

I'm sorry I wasn't clear on this, but when I say "aural representation" I mean that it was written to be the song of FIRST. If someone asked what FIRST was about, you play this song for them. The songs are there for entertainment. They are there to make things a bit more fun, nothing more. Of course, they are appropriate songs because it is open to the public and families often bring their young children. Sometimes there are occasional matches without background music and they tend to seem quite boring without that music.

And I'm not saying that tradition justifies playing this song despite the so-called negative influence it can have. I'm saying tradition justifies why we play or would want to play the song.

I have a problem with what you're doing. You asked for what we thought about this "issue" and when we give our opinions you attack us for it. I tried being diplomatic but your incessant attacks have tempted me to turn the other cheek.

Edit: You are also completely overlooking the rest of the song. After reading the lyrics, the song is about the struggle these "champions" have gone through to reach that point. You can't say that designing, building, and testing a robot in a 6 week time period with weight, size, cost, and part limitations isn't a challenge or a struggle. Not to mention all the matches these champions have to go through and the tough opponents they have to defeat.

The song uses that "no time for losers" line a total of two times. There are two whole verses about how hard it was to reach the top.

So yes, this song is an appropriate song to be played after the elimination rounds.

aaeamdar
08-12-2007, 02:26 AM
Of course, they are appropriate songs because it is open to the public and families often bring their young children.


I would actually say that quite a few of the songs are not well chosen on this front. It seems to me that we don't give enough consideration to our songs. However, back to my main point...


I have a problem with what you're doing. You asked for what we thought about this "issue" and when we give our opinions you attack us for it. I tried being diplomatic but your incessant attacks have tempted me to turn the other cheek.

I read a newspaper article recently about online bullying in schoolchildren that described how bad online bullying was. At the end of the first paragraph (as I remember) it said something to the effect of: "And for kids with a computer in their room, there is no escape."

My point is this: sure, maybe I've gotten more into this than is appropriate. I admit that I'm a bit frustrated by the idea that songs that admittedly don't fit with (broken record) central FIRST ideals are not only tolerated but encouraged. I think for the most part I haven't attacked anybody - but if you feel that I have, you're welcome to stop playing. No one is forcing you to read this. I find the idea that the wide world of sports loves everyone to be pretty naive, though I may have been a little rude in conveying that. I don't think I've called anyone an idiot, a moron, a retard, or anything in that vein, which would certainly constitute the type of "attack" you're talking about. It is certainly true that I have challenged nearly everyone who has posted their opinions on their opinions, and if I've been overly aggressive in doing so, I apologize. But your #1 recourse should be to stop reading if you're no longer interested.


My response is saying that the song wasn't written to go perfectly with the ideals of FIRST (it couldn't have been...). And what negative influence does it have? What I am saying is that we don't see people who are acting in a rude and non-GP manner because this song is played at the competitions.

And I'm not saying that tradition justifies playing this song despite the so-called negative influence it can have. I'm saying tradition justifies why we play or would want to play the song.


I admit that overall I am surprised how this turned out. I expected to see a few people with "shut up I like this song (more diplomatically of course)." And while I didn't really see any of that, I expected more of a mix of people responding. I have not yet heard anyone fess up to thinking that a conflict between words and actions is meaningful. It's not about the results; it's about the process. The problem with President Bush's wire-tapping program is not that he's spying on people; the problem is that he's breaking the law. Of course I'm not saying that the songs we're playing are illegal. But, as quite a few people (including yourself) have admitted, it's not in tune with GP, which is as much our constitution as anything else. And no one has a problem with that?

aaeamdar
08-12-2007, 02:29 AM
Alright, in deference to a) my sleep cycle and b) vivi's concern, I'm going to let sleeping threads lie for the moment.

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts even if I "attacked" you :eek:

=Paul=

Cory
08-12-2007, 03:50 AM
It's a song...that's all. There's no subliminal message in it telling us to look down on the losers.

If we're going to go pointing out offensive lyrics, I'd be far more concerned about various rap songs that are played at competition, than something as minor as one word in an otherwise clean song.

Let's face it. Competitions are about winners and losers. There will always be winners, and there will always be losers. We dress it up and call the losers 'finalists'. Just because they lost doesn't mean they're being demeaned or that they didn't accomplish anything.

The day that FIRST competitions become as PC as everything else is nowadays, and turn into 3 days of patting each other on the back and telling everyone what good people they are will be the day FIRST stops being special.

$0.02

aaeamdar
08-12-2007, 11:07 AM
Edit: You are also completely overlooking the rest of the song. After reading the lyrics, the song is about the struggle these "champions" have gone through to reach that point. You can't say that designing, building, and testing a robot in a 6 week time period with weight, size, cost, and part limitations isn't a challenge or a struggle. Not to mention all the matches these champions have to go through and the tough opponents they have to defeat.

The song uses that "no time for losers" line a total of two times. There are two whole verses about how hard it was to reach the top.


So let's imagine this: if the song instead of saying "no time for losers" said "the losers are no-good idiots" would this be an acceptable song? Your 'argument' above would still apparently support the song, since it's just not a big deal because it only has this line two (actually three) times.

Cory, if you're looking for subliminal messages, you've missed the point entirely. "No time for losers" is not a subliminal message. It says, quite plainly, that winning is all that matters, and that losers are unimportant at best. Does this click with FIRST?

For the past two years, I've been a principle author of my team's Chairman's award submission. If my memory is correct, in at least one if not both years of our submission, we included some line to the effect of "We [try to] exemplify gracious professionalism in everything we do." Why should FIRST events be any different? Is the whole concept of gracious professionalism phony, just something we tell reporters?

Concerned,
Paul

aaeamdar
08-12-2007, 11:17 AM
If we're going to go pointing out offensive lyrics, I'd be far more concerned about various rap songs that are played at competition, than something as minor as one word in an otherwise clean song.

Let's face it. Competitions are about winners and losers. There will always be winners, and there will always be losers. We dress it up and call the losers 'finalists'. Just because they lost doesn't mean they're being demeaned or that they didn't accomplish anything.

The day that FIRST competitions become as PC as everything else is nowadays, and turn into 3 days of patting each other on the back and telling everyone what good people they are will be the day FIRST stops being special.

I would agree that some of the songs played at FIRST events have questionable lyrics/themes, and these songs are, again, deserving of consideration. However, this doesn't mean that songs that go against basic FIRST principles are OK just because we have other inappropriate songs.

You're confusing political correctness with gracious professionalism. I'm not seeking to make anything more politically correct. In fact, if we are willing to acknowledge what the song says, that winning is all that's important, and we don't have time for losers, then the song is exactly what we should be playing at the end of competitions. However, if FIRST is about more than winning and losing, as everyone keeps telling me it is, then we should take a longer look at this song.

And, by the way, I seem to have forgotten. What's the highest honor that a team can win at a regional? Can anyone remind me? And what's the special song played when you win that?

JaneYoung
08-12-2007, 11:37 AM
Because you feel so strongly about the lyrics in this song, Paul, it would seem appropriate that you contact FIRST directly, expressing your point of view as you have throughout this thread.

--

As Billfred has said, there are many ways to interpret the lyrics and as Dan has said, the song was not written for FIRST. There has not been a winners song custom written for the FIRST competitions. This one comes close.

I just spent a summer encouraging my daughter to dig deep. She had a difficult time with one of her classes. Each time she felt frustrated or lost, we would find ways to help her dig deeper. One of the phrases: There are no losers or slackers here. None. Go for it.

No time for losers means that to me. The rest of the song discusses the difficulty of the win and the journey towards the win. To me, no time for losers, means - when on the field, get thoughts of losing out of your mind, and keep your eye on the goal - the win. Everyone on that field feels that. Everyone. The teams that emerge from the competition having won by defeating worthy opponents, enjoy the moment of celebrating their journey and their win. There is no time for losers in the moment. Only a time for winners and celebration. When you look in the stands you see that moment clearly. For the champions and for everyone who participated in the season.
And I also recognize that the Chairman's Award, The WFA, the Volunteer Award, etc., are each a part of the winning circle and enjoy that moment as well. I also believe the referees, the judges, the volunteers, and the event planners who participated - share that special moment. No, it does not go against GP.

InfernoX14
08-12-2007, 11:52 AM
The thing is, everyone knows that winning isn't everything. Regardless of what the song says, we all know that there is more to FIRST than winning and robots.

The song is 3 minutes long. And it gets played once in celebration of the champions. This is their 3 minutes, and naturally, because they won, they should have a prettier celebration. A big trophy, gold medals, and a 3 minute song.

I'll say it again. I think the the lyrics support what teams go through in building the robot more than how they would go against the ideals of FIRST. I know you're going to say that FIRST isn't all about robots. However, a great deal of FIRST is about the robots, When it comes to the field at competition, it is about the robots, but we don't let the competitive spirit get in the way of sportsmanship and Gracious Professionalism. This is why I don't see a problem with the song or with it being played.

If that line was "the losers are no-good idiots" then that would be a different story, but that's not the case.

In conclusion: My opinion says that this song does not go [strictly] against the ideals of FIRST (while those two lines might) and that it can continue being played at competitions (although I wouldn't mind seeing it go).

I keep reading cause I always love a debate.
Heh you refered to me as Vivi :p

Alan Anderson
08-12-2007, 12:22 PM
Yeah, what JaneYoung (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showpost.php?p=638455&postcount=27) said.

artdutra04
08-12-2007, 12:43 PM
No time for losers means that to me. The rest of the song discusses the difficulty of the win and the journey toward the win. To me, no time for losers, means - when on the field, get thoughts of losing out of your mind, and keep your eye on the goal - the win. Everyone on that field feels that. Everyone. The teams that emerge from the competition having won by defeating worthy opponents, enjoy the moment of celebrating their journey and their win. There is no time for losers in the moment. Only a time for winners and celebration. When you look in the stands you see that moment clearly. For the champions and for everyone who participated in the season.That's what I've always felt the meaning of that line to be. After working so hard to get to the competition - and after then making it so far - you don't have time to lose. You want to win.

The song is 3 minutes long. And it gets played once in celebration of the champions. This is their 3 minutes, and naturally, because they won, they should have a prettier celebration. A big trophy, gold medals, and a 3 minute song.That's all it is: a song that's three minutes long. It's just a song. A song with lyrics that can be interpreted in many different ways.

I know our FRC team has been to the semi-finals more times than I can remember, and our FVC team has been finalists twice. And like Karthik, I don't feel bad because of that song. It's just a song. If anything, it makes me want to try even harder for next year.

If we really want to cavil over single lines of songs played at a competition as being "un-GP", then that'll probably put everything but Sandstorm and the FIRST Theme Songs out to the pasture. Practically every song with lyrics ever played at a FIRST competition, could have the meaning of at least one of it's lines [mis]interpreted as being "un-GP", or against the "ideals" of FIRST. :)

David Brinza
08-12-2007, 12:49 PM
I would agree that some of the songs played at FIRST events have questionable lyrics/themes, and these songs are, again, deserving of consideration. However, this doesn't mean that songs that go against basic FIRST principles are OK just because we have other inappropriate songs.

You're confusing political correctness with gracious professionalism. I'm not seeking to make anything more politically correct. In fact, if we are willing to acknowledge what the song says, that winning is all that's important, and we don't have time for losers, then the song is exactly what we should be playing at the end of competitions. However, if FIRST is about more than winning and losing, as everyone keeps telling me it is, then we should take a longer look at this song.

And, by the way, I seem to have forgotten. What's the highest honor that a team can win at a regional? Can anyone remind me? And what's the special song played when you win that?
Maybe this thread can be redirected towards finding the "right" songs to celebrate the competition winners AND Chairman's winners. It's probably not as easy to do this as you might think...:rolleyes:

StephLee
08-12-2007, 03:55 PM
I am not presenting a personal opinion on this topic because I can see where both sides are coming from, but I'd like to add something: I have been on the drive team of a finalist team twice in the last two seasons, including BoB yesterday, and on a winning team once. I recall this song being played at all three events. I have to admit, the first time it happened it was a bit of a rub, because the finals were so hard-fought, but if anything it made me work that much harder at our next regional. Hearing it played yesterday, it didn't bother me in the slightest, because the winning alliance worked so hard to get there.

Mike
08-12-2007, 06:19 PM
get me some of what you're smoking.
I don't think that phrase ideally represents FIRST.

Tim Delles
08-12-2007, 06:37 PM
A song is what the person who is listening to makes it.

We could ask a million people the interpretation of a song and we could get back thousands of different answers? why? because people see things differently. Just because you hear this song one way doesn't mean everyone else hears it the same way.


I've paid my dues, time after time
I've done my sentence, but committed no crime
And bad mistakes, I've made a few
I've had my share of sand, kicked in my face
But I've come through

And I need to go on and on and on and on
We are the champions, my friend
And we'll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions, We are the champions
No time for losers 'cos we are the champions of the world

I've taken my bows, and my curtain calls
You've bought me fame and fortune
And everything that goes with it... I thank you all
But it's been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race
And I ain't gonna lose

And I need to go on and on and on and on
We are the champions, my friend
And we'll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions, We are the champions
No time for losers 'cos we are the champions of the world

We are the champions, my friend
And we'll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions, We are the champions
No time for losers, 'cos we are the champions

This is the entirity of the lyrics. If we are going to start bashing this song because it isn't Graciously Professional, we should look at it all not just part of it.

I've paid my dues, time after time
I've done my sentence, but committed no crime
And bad mistakes, I've made a few
I've had my share of sand, kicked in my face
But I've come through

So lets see. This is just what I see in the lyrics but it is about someone / or a team that has waited and waited, being knocked off from winning but have finally won. They have put there time into everything from strategizing, building the robot, programming, and driver training.

Also could be shown in the first community as: how some teams are looked down on by there school (particularly other students who think they are nerds or geeks that no one likes.) Sometimes it i snice to come through and be a winning team in that school, especially if they don't have anything else to celebrate

And I need to go on and on and on and on
We are the champions, my friend
And we'll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions, We are the champions
No time for losers 'cos we are the champions of the world


We could mean the entire FIRST community, the community that the teams come from, and friends and family who have helped them to where they are.

The losers could be those that didn't think they (the team of FIRST) could succeed

If you keep breaking this down there are many things that this song can mean.

Honestly do you think that this song is bad to play???

Try to find a song that is better to be played for the Regional Winners... But i doubt that any song could compare to We Are The Champions for a FIRST Event.

xzvrw2
08-12-2007, 07:17 PM
This song demeans the finalist team, we should remove it from every sporting event everywere. The red alliance is bad too, red makes people feel bad, we should get rid of that, maybe blue and purple teams. Losing also demeans the losing team, so we should take away the scoring. Well then one robot or team in general may perform better then one of the other teams, we should take out the game. And wait, one of the robots may look better then the other teams, we should take away the paint and the colors and stuff from robots and other sporting teams. Man sports are only about one thing, the winner, that demeans the losing teams. Man we should get rid of them all. Man i dont know about these sports. I feel demeaned just thinking about their demeaningness.




p.s. i think the song is fine, there are many ways you can look at losers and champions, one is that no one in FIRST is a loser, so therefore that line does not refer to any one in the compititon. Another way you can look at it is the same way that JaneYoung said it. That you have to put losing out of your mind. You could also look at it the way Karthik said, look at it for inspiration. For you to look at something to work harder to get, that next goal, that next step.

And as for finding a new song to fit in its place, i have found a great one:
We Are the Champions by Queen.

my $0.01

Steve

Richard Wallace
08-12-2007, 07:54 PM
Jane's view (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showpost.php?p=638455&postcount=27) is spot on, as it has been so often before.

I believe a poll of those who win Chairman's Awards, Woodie Flowers Awards, and Outstanding Volunteer Awards would reveal that all those folks LOVE to cheer for the winners at the end of eliminations.

The song in question here has been a traditional way to celebrate winners since my generation was in high school. When a better song comes along I hope FIRST will start using it, but until then the anthem that Queen gave us thirty years ago still seems to be working fine.

Andy Grady
08-12-2007, 08:13 PM
There have been alot of traditions that have died over the 13 years I have been doing FIRST.

I, for one, would say that there are some traditions that are better left untouched, even by the promotion of Gracious Professionalism. We Are The Champions is one of them.

Sometimes, all those old traditions can be important to us "old timers" out there.

Deacon Blues
08-12-2007, 09:45 PM
It is one line you can barely hear over the applause. It's an American sports tradition. No one actually gets offended. Calm down. Yes, there is a contradiction, but honestly, everyone gets the tradition of it and no teams are going over to the folks who didn't win and berating them because of a Queen song. FIRST has always enforced a wonderful attitude of gracious professionalism, and if someone forgoes this attitude because Freddie Mercury made one line of a now ceremonial song slightly against our policy, our concern should be more about realizing we're not talking up the policy more.

AdamHeard
08-12-2007, 10:45 PM
Sure you can say were all winners in FIRST, but the "winning" you are referring to happens long before the end of eliminations. That is knowledge and appreciation for engeering gained by the students during the build.

When it comes to the eliminations, it's a little bit different. When you are out on the field you should expect your opponents to;
a) Do everything thing they can to win.
b) Do a) with good sportsmanship and without cheating.

Since that is the case, celebrating the winner is not that big of a deal. It really doesn't put down the losers. And if the losing team is offended by the song, they really need some thicker skin 'cause the real world is not that nice.

It seems to me that sometimes people get so wrapped up in GP, that they forget there is a competition going on. In a competition one team wins, and the other loses; Just the way it is. Now, GP is still important in FIRST, but GP is not FIRST in entirety.

Beth Sweet
08-12-2007, 11:06 PM
Not that it was requested, but here's my 2 cents (always happy to chime in).

To inspire others to be the best, you have to exalt the best. That means to show that this is the goal. This is the best engineering. The ceremony, the medals, the lights, and yes, the superhero theme music. Yes, this song has a few... questionable lyrics, but honestly what do people remember of this song? (watch the singing bee, no one actually knows all of the words to songs) "Weeeee are the champiooooons, my friends", and "No time for looooooosin cuz weeeeee are the chammmmpionnnnnns... buh buh buh... of the worrrrrrld". That's pretty much what people know, or at least when I hear people chiming in.

So personally, I don't have a problem with it. Yes, FIRST is about GP, but GP isn't being as quiet as a church mouse and hiding behind a shield. GP is about interacting in a way that is functional, helpful, and universally beneficial. One line in a song, to me, does not break that mold. It helps to build the aura of excellence, and that is the goal of the whole "winners ceremony" section of awards.

AdamHeard
08-12-2007, 11:19 PM
So personally, I don't have a problem with it. Yes, FIRST is about GP, but GP isn't being as quiet as a church mouse and hiding behind a shield. GP is about interacting in a way that is functional, helpful, and universally beneficial. One line in a song, to me, does not break that mold. It helps to build the aura of excellence, and that is the goal of the whole "winners ceremony" section of awards.

Great point.... You can only get so many kids really hooked with the technical aspects alone.... It takes that admiration and appreciation of the elite teams to get some kids motivated, and they realize, they love this stuff (Now maybe, just maybe that happened to me after watching Newton in '05 from the sidelines).

Tom Bottiglieri
08-12-2007, 11:26 PM
I've been thinking about this topic for a while, and I think it's kind of funny that this thread popped up today.

One of the main problems I have with FIRST is the status quo of mediocrity. Well prepared and practiced teams are not rewarded enough for their efforts, IMHO. I think there is a problem when students brag about how they built a robot using a hacksaw, hand drill, and pair of hedge clippers, and this practice becomes perfectly acceptable. It seems that alot of the people who compete in FIRST want to escape the burden of competition. Yes, it is not a conventional sport. And yes, we can strive to improve the spirit of the competition by encouraging sportsmanship, but it is still a competition. In any competition, there are always losers. If you cannot handle losing, don't compete. It's that simple.

Just another note.. It seems that the people complaining about "the bad spirit of a song" that is usually played in celebration would probably never have a problem with it if they were on the other side.

Deacon Blues
08-12-2007, 11:55 PM
Also, just to throw something else in here, most of the losers don't even care.

For example, yesterday, 2199 has a horrible, horrible showing at BoB. Like 0-6-1 if not worse. Our arm had to be taped up to even be of use as blocker.

But the whole drive home and for another couple of hours sitting in our future chief engineer's basement, we were still talking about how awesome the day was and what other teams did right. There was of course talk about how we screwed up, but all of it was just seeing what we could do right next time. Honestly, we didn't much care we lost so much as it would have been cool if we had won. And we're a rookie team. Experience teams and players will already be used to this sort of thing.

We lost, badly, but it doesn't matter. No one cared about We Are The Champions, because it's tradition and anyone who has grown up in this culture knows it. It's celebratory for the winners, and the losers know it's directly aimed to offend them. It's tradition and that's all it is.

Koko Ed
08-13-2007, 04:39 AM
I find the actual on field competition part of FIRST to be it's least Gp part of it. It can be pretty ruthless at times, especially with the upper eschelon teams who everyone wishes to emulate. You don't always make it to the top by sugarcoating everything you do. Sometimes you have to give some "tough love" to get your point across.
If the competiton was 100% about GP then it wouldn't allow teams to turn down alliance invitations from anyone. Is there any worse feeling than having a team tell you basically that you are not good enough for them? But that is part of the landscape as well and thank God for the 3 team allaince structure that allows teams that would usually not be in a position to get on the podium to actually make it there.
That alliance strucure is FIRST's masterstroke. It makes it unique in the sports world and allows GP to show through on the field as much as it does. I don't think you'd see anywhere near as much if it was everyone for themselves.
I personally never gave the song a second thought really. I get more annoyed about a competiton that is so much about innovation recycling the same stupid songs in the playlist 20 times at an event.

Al Skierkiewicz
08-13-2007, 07:53 AM
OK, here comes my two cents...As with so many things these days, we tend to look at the minutia instead of the big picture. If you started this thread by asking "does anyone know the lyrics for "We Are the Champions"? Your responses would be "we are the Champions, la la la, do do do, We are the Champions of the World!" After all of the years I have been to competitions, (that's 40-50 events) all this song represents to me is that the final teams are on stage to be recognized. Stand Up and cheer! There is no hidden meaning, no subliminal message, just a popular song with recognizable lyrics to trigger a response and signal the next scene in the script. So that you don't forget in the future, we are not the "the glass is half empty" group.
Ed I have to disagree with you about GP on the field. This is a competition to highlight design, construction and strategy. To go on the field and not put forth your best effort every match is a failure to act in a gracious manner. It will not improve robot design or inspire students to do better. When Wildstang helps a team we expect that team not to hold back. We tell them that we expect them to use their repaired robot to the fullest. Anything less does not improve either team or the organization as a whole. If we didn't bring this competitive spirit to the field we would still be running with wired robots on a table top.
OK so that's more than two cents worth but I am crabby after 6 hours between shifts.

JBotAlan
08-13-2007, 08:11 AM
This year, we had a pretty good machine towards the end. We made it to eliminations every competition this year. And we never made it past finals--that was the highest we went. So I have had many times to think this over.

Depending on how you look at GP, 'We are the Champions' could be considered a bad choice for a "victory" song. HOWEVER, in that same light, we should not have a recognized winner at all.

Yes, I do see a break in gracious professionalism, BUT I think that a) the winning team deserves it, and b) it keeps the rest of us striving to become a winner.

Yes, I think it hurts to lose...for a moment, and then I realize that if I get to work, the robot will perform better at the next regional. That losing is where I pulled my energy and inspiration from as I worked all of those late nights. All of those hours in the workshop I thought of being in that winner's circle. And we came close, coming in second at IRI.

I believe that while 'We are the Champions' is a violation of GP in my book, we need it to push us along. What would make you want to win if the winner was not celebrated?

JBot

Tim Delles
08-13-2007, 09:05 AM
As many of you keep saying "we should not have a winner... the competition is the least GP of all...".. However without the competition there is no FIRST. Honestly, what would teams do if they were told here is the game but we aren't going to have winners. How many do you think would actually want to participate?

FIRST is a competition. You have winners and losers on the field. You must keep this to drive people to be innovative.

Heck every year when the game is unvieled, i know i always think hmmm what would beatty, wildstang, and cheesypoofs do... If you take the competition away then you lose that part of the game.

Carol
08-13-2007, 09:34 AM
When we won Chairman's at Philly they played "Simply the Best" (I think, I may be remembering it wrong. But it was played for some award). Would you considered that un-GP? Someone could take that to mean that their team isn't as good.

I remember when We Are The Champions played at the BOB, and my first thought was why now and not after the finals? Yes, it can be considered a slam to the losers but in my opinion a minor one. Remember who organized the tournament - a group of volunteers, unexperienced for the most part in this type of organizing. I don't know who selected the music but it was being played by a student (using an IPod which I thought was interesting.)

P.S. When we won Chairman's at Atlanta they played "Ain't No Stopping Us Now". About 50 times in a row, until we all got up on stage. It's burned in my memory.

JaneYoung
08-13-2007, 09:46 AM
This is taken from the FIRST website under 'who we are'.
I like the part about fierce competition and mutual gain not being separate notions.


Gracious Professionalism

Dr. Woodie Flowers, FIRST National Advisor and Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, coined the term "Gracious Professionalism."

Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.

In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.

InfernoX14
08-13-2007, 11:23 AM
With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.

That's basically a fancy way of saying what I said in an earlier post. :p

When it comes to the field at competition, it is about the robots, but we don't let the competitive spirit get in the way of sportsmanship and Gracious Professionalism.

aaeamdar
08-13-2007, 03:06 PM
It seems that the people complaining about "the bad spirit of a song" that is usually played in celebration would probably never have a problem with it if they were on the other side.

I'm hoping to make this my last response to this thread, since it seems to me we've mostly reached an impasse. I felt particularly compelled to respond to what I felt was, frankly, a fairly snide ad hominem attack.

In 2006, when the mentors on my team went off into a room to decide our team's strategy (instead of letting the students decide/vote/have input) on the overall design of the robot. Some students on the team thought we should go for the low 1 point goal; others thought we should go for the high goal. The mentors came out and told us that we would be building for the low goal. While I thought that this decision strategically best, I was extremely unhappy that the mentors had made the decision rather than the students, and in response, I wrote a six-page e-mail to the entire team expressing my concerns, even though I agreed with the decision. I c

It seems to me that there are two eminently reasonable arguments to be made for keeping the song:

1. "I acknowledge that the song is in conflict with the ideals of gracious professionalism, and I really don't care, because GP has no meaning for me."

2. "I acknowledge that the song is in conflict with the ideals of gracious professionalism, and I do care, but I choose to look the other way, considering the fact that most of the song is unobjectionable."

Argument #1, of course, has its own issues, and I doubt anyone would be willing to make this argument (when I say "reasonable", I mean purely from a logical perspective). Argument #2 is, while not my own personal opinion, is certainly in most ways reasonable. As others have pointed out, the line "No time for losers", however you interpret it, appears only three times in the song.

However, as much as I found Tim Delles' more complete reading and analysis of the song to be interesting, thoughtful, and a good read, it doesn't click for me. For one thing, while looking at the song in its entirety is an interesting exercise, and can provide a useful context, analysis of the whole cannot brush away objectionable parts (if we acknowledge them as objectionable).

Furthermore, in relation to the "thousands of different opinions": everyone is welcome to their opinion, but that doesn't mean that everyone's opinion is equally valid. Imagine someone saying, "I think the 'losers' are actually the people who won the competition, because winning is bad." This is an obvious mis-interpretation of the song lyrics. To have an force of reason behind them, interpretations must have evidence.

To me, both the words ("No time for losers") and the tone/notes (a clear reference to the "nanny nanny boo boo" child's taunt) indicate a lack of respect for one's opponent which is counter to the spirit of gracious professionalism. Am I saying that this is the only possible interpretation? Absolutely not. Personally speaking, it's the only interpretation that clicks.

Anyway, this time I really have talked long enough. Thanks again to everyone who posted here, and I apologize for any comments that were (or you felt were) objectionable. I was a bit tired and should have gone to bed sooner =).

Thanks,
Paul Dennis
1719

meaubry
08-13-2007, 03:19 PM
It's just a celebration song.
Let it go at that, and quit trying to read into it and rationale why it should or shouldn't be played.
There are alot bigger problems to deal with than if this song is GP or not.
Let's move on to those.

Mike Aubry

seanwitte
08-13-2007, 03:23 PM
I always figured the "We" in the song meant everyone at the event, not the winning teams. I, personnally, have no time for losers. Not winning is different than being a loser.

JaneYoung
08-13-2007, 03:32 PM
I do agree with meaubry (Mike) regarding moving on -
but...:)

I looked up the song in Wikipedia and kind of waited to see if anyone else would post this.

It was written for sports events. (one thing to remember is that Queen was known for rocking the house - engaging the audience/fans in the stands. Another song is, We Will We Will Rock You - go for it, Beth.)

Wikipedia:

Queen about the song

“ Certainly it's a relationship that could be, but I was thinking about football (soccer) when I wrote it. I wanted a participation song, something that the fans could latch on to. It was aimed at the masses; I thought we'd see how they took it. It worked a treat. When we performed it at a private concert in London, the fans actually broke into a football (soccer) chant between numbers. Of course, I've given it more theatrical subtlety than an ordinary football (soccer) chant. You know me. I certainly wasn't thinking about the press when I wrote it. I never think about the British music press these days. It was really meant to be offered the musicians the same as the fans. I suppose it could also be construed as my version of "I Did It My Way." We have made it, and it certainly wasn't easy. No bed of roses as the song says. And it's still not easy.
-Freddie Mercury (1978)[1] ”
“ I have to win people over, otherwise it's not a successful gig. It's my job to make sure people have a good time. That's part of my duty. It's all to do with feeling in control. That song "We Are the Champions" has been taken up by football fans because it's a winners' song. I can't believe that somebody hasn't written a new song to overtake it.
-Freddie Mercury (1985)

AdamHeard
08-13-2007, 04:08 PM
There is another arguement a lot of people are making that you unfairly lumped into #1 and #2.

#3 Aknowledge that There is in fact no conlict because celebrating the winners in a sportslike fashion has been one of Dean Kamen's goals (he's trying to make it popular like sports right? Well, then you have to celebrate the winners in a traditional, well known way) and anyone offended really needs some thicker skin because people lose, and no one will allways win.

Alan Anderson
08-13-2007, 04:21 PM
It seems to me that there are two eminently reasonable arguments to be made for keeping the song:

1. "I acknowledge that the song is in conflict with the ideals of gracious professionalism, and I really don't care, because GP has no meaning for me."

2. "I acknowledge that the song is in conflict with the ideals of gracious professionalism, and I do care, but I choose to look the other way, considering the fact that most of the song is unobjectionable."

I choose #3: "What ungraciousness? What lack of professionalism? I don't see how it's putting down anybody who didn't end up in first place."

We are the champions. We put forth the effort to face our challenges and try to overcome our limits. Regardless of the outcome of the competition, we did our best, and we're not losers!

To me, both the words ("No time for losers") and the tone/notes (a clear reference to the "nanny nanny boo boo" child's taunt) indicate a lack of respect for one's opponent which is counter to the spirit of gracious professionalism.

What tone/notes are you alluding to? I don't recognize the "nanny nanny boo boo" reference. I looked it up, and it's from a song released in 2004. Queen's "We are the Champions" is from 1977, ten times as long ago. I think you have your belief about which is a reference to which backwards, even granting that such a reference exists (I didn't see one, but I have never heard the Le Tigre song). Maybe there's something in your personal history that makes you extraordinarily sensitive to this particular song? It sounds like you see the phrase "no time for losers" as dismissive instead of inspiring. (I once had a protracted and heated online discussion with someone for whom the word "patronizing" evoked extremely bad emotions. Once I discovered where he was coming from, and once he discovered that it didn't mean quite what he thought it did, things made much more sense to both of us.)

John Gutmann
08-13-2007, 04:37 PM
Ok this is my first reply to the thread, after reading most of the responses. First off let me say I think this is a ridiculous discussion. I think it is being blown way out of proportion. My opinion is kind of the who cares one, in my eyes it is a song. If you don;t like it then don't listen to it. or if you don't like it get out of FIRST. FIRST may be all about GP, but it is a competition. A competition is about winning. People know there will be winners and people know there will be losers. They should know that coming in. Besides it isn't like the winning team is playing the song. So if you really must interpret it, then the person playing the song has no time for losers and they are the champions which means the DJ won and the DJ has no time for losers.

If we ban this song I might as well complain about announcers saying that once alliance won the match, because by the saying someone one is saying that the other team didn't do as good, and it made me feel bad. But there will be losers, if we want to have no losers we might as well just have 20,000 people play tag. If you here that song when your on Einstein and you just lost, and you feel bad then ok, that is understandable, but seriously if it makes you feel bad enough that you forget about the fact that you are second place in the WORLD and that you just became finalists then maybe there is something more wrong then the song.

Give me as much negative rep as you would like but we are all mature sensible human beings. The horse it dead, just let it be. [/rant]

-John

Travis Hoffman
08-13-2007, 05:23 PM
What tone/notes are you alluding to? I don't recognize the "nanny nanny boo boo" reference.

Alan:

Not that I want to prolong this thread, but I believe he was saying that the rhythm and accent of certain syllables in the "losers" line is very similar to the manner in which children typically deliver the mocking line "na na na na, boo, boo".......

NOOOOOOOOO time for LOOOOOOOOOO-sers
NAAAAAA-na naaa-naa BOOOOOOOOOO-booo *sticks thumbs in ears, sticks out tongue, wiggles fingers*

To be fair, I've always thought of this same children's expression whenever I've heard this song in the past, but it's never really bugged me, especially in relation to its use during a FIRST event.

aaeamdar
08-13-2007, 05:37 PM
There is another arguement a lot of people are making that you unfairly lumped into #1 and #2.

I really didn't expect my last posting to evoke yet more criticism, but...

I didn't lump anything in with anything. You've either misinterpreted what I said or chose to read very selectively. Yes, a goal of FIRST is to celebrate excellence. Yes, I'm all for that. Yes, I realize that some teams will win and some teams will lose. However, if you think (as I do) that the song takes a taunting tone towards the losers, then its "celebration" of the winning teams is no excuse. I said specifically that there were two "eminently reasonable" arguments to be made.

And no, Alan, there is no personal history that makes me extraordinarily sensitive to this song. Even your anecdotal reference doesn't really help me understand where that came from. If you don't see how the song puts down the losers, take another listen.

To both Adam and Alan, I must say again that we seem to be at an impasse over something very simple: what, exactly, is meant by "losers" and "champions" in the phrases "No time for losers" and "We are the champions"? If (in the context of FIRST) we define losers as teams who didn't try, had a defeatist attitude, and we define champions as every team who came to the competition and participated positively, then you are both exactly right, and my argument has no basis.

However, if this is really what we mean by "champions" and "losers", then explain to me, if you would, why this song is played right after the final elimination round, when there is both a clear "champion" and "loser" (or regional winner and finalist, if you will). If we use this broader definition of champion and loser, then why not play this song, say, at the beginning of the competition, to celebrate all the teams that were able to build a robot and make it to the regional? Or at the end, to celebrate all the teams who stuck through to the end, regardless of whether they won or not?

The bottom line is this: the "champions" in the song are the regional/championship winners, and the "losers" are either (take your pick) everyone else, OR the finalists, and neither one of those choices is conducive to the argument that this song is anywhere [I]near clicking with gracious professionalism.

Alan, I was not making any sort of reference to "Le Tigre" as I have never heard of who/what that is. The tone/notes I was referring to were the notes of "No time for losers" which constitute (_approximately_): starting note, minor third down, perfect fourth up, major second down, minor third down. The "taunt" I was referring to was something a little child might say before/after sticking out his/her tongue. I'm not sure how to more completely express this.

Paul

*EDIT*: Yes, Travis, that is exactly what I was talking about. Didn't see your posting until I had already posted mine. Does that clear anything up?

Tim Delles
08-13-2007, 05:51 PM
The bottom line is this: the "champions" in the song are the regional/championship winners, and the "losers" are either (take your pick) everyone else, OR the finalists, and neither one of those choices is conducive to the argument that this song is anywhere near clicking with gracious professionalism.

Wow.................

once again it goes to your views... Honestly, how do you know what every single person at an event is thinking??? have you asked every single person in FIRST what they think the words champions and losers mean?

i doubt it...

This makes me very sad for you, espeically when you say that this is the bottom line. This may be the bottom line for you, but everyone is entitled to their thoughts about the song.

Also this is something that has been playing as long as i can remember (8 years in FIRST).. I myself am one of the sorest losers (i can admit that because i get very grumpy when i/my team does not win) and this song has NEVER bothered me. The reason is because they were simply better than me/my team, and that is just one way to help celebrate that they out smarted or built something better than me/my team.

Honestly how would you celebrate the winners of an event? Because if you don't celebrate them what would make a team want to win? If they don't want to win what would make them want to build the best robot they could? if they don't build the best robot they could why would they build a robot? if they didn't build a robot why would they be in FIRST???

Bharat Nain
08-13-2007, 06:24 PM
However, if this is really what we mean by "champions" and "losers", then explain to me, if you would, why this song is played right after the final elimination round, when there is both a clear "champion" and "loser" (or regional winner and finalist, if you will). If we use this broader definition of champion and loser, then why not play this song, say, at the beginning of the competition, to celebrate all the teams that were able to build a robot and make it to the regional? Or at the end, to celebrate all the teams who stuck through to the end, regardless of whether they won or not?

The bottom line is this: the "champions" in the song are the regional/championship winners, and the "losers" are either (take your pick) everyone else, OR the finalists, and neither one of those choices is conducive to the argument that this song is anywhere [I]near clicking with gracious professionalism.


I see the tone you are talking about, but I still do not agree that it is taunting.

I will never forget this one experience. Back in 2005, we competed at IRI. It was only our drive team(Myself, Corey and Vishal). We adopted coaches and pit crew members from other teams(Jess Jank, Greg Needel, Jeremy Roberts). So as you can see, we were a small group and had little hopes of winning or even doing well. However, luck had it so we ended up with an alliance of 71, 1114 and us(25). We could not have asked for a better alliance and it was a pleasure competing with such high-profile teams since we were only students at that time. In the first QF match, a wire came lose somewhere in our arm system and none of us could figure out where! We all hunted the whole system, in and out and finally found a place where it was lose. Engineers from 71 and 1114 were in our robot hunting and doing their utmost best to fix it so we could compete. We won QF1-1. During the 3rd QF match, our arm broke and we clearly lost the match. It was not the only factor but it was a major factor. We weren't necessarily disappointed. In fact, we were very happy because we knew we did our best. Right after that match, Mr. Beatty came up to us and said "Don't worry about it guys. We did not lose. We broke. We're all still winners and this alliance could take any competition anyday."

This might come off as arrogance to you but it is the attitude of a winner. We did all that we could to put everything in our favor. We put forth the best strategy possible but the other alliance simply had better robots(I think it was 233s alliance). In times where our robot broke, everyone put forth their best to help us get it repaired. They knew there was only one person with technical knowledge(me) so they had to help. I remember 1114 letting us all borrow their tools since they brought their tool cart.

I guess what I am trying to say is you have to see winning as an attitude rather than a status. Queen is absolutely right in saying(even if it is in a taunting tone) "No time for losers". There really is no time for losers. Even in FIRST. In fact, it is against Gracious Professionalism to be a loser. The reason is if you were picked in an alliance and you did not do what you had to in order to win, then you let your alliance down. And this is harsh, but you are a loser. Now, of course, things happen and you are now always at your peak performance. That's okay and it's not what I mean.

Due to the nature of the competition(and life), you cannot predict that you are going to win every competition even if you have the best robot. In order to be a team that wins consistently, you have to have so many things in place every single year, year after year, it is incredible. Beyond that, these teams are also most likely to go start and mentor other teams. If you do not believe me, ask 111, 365, 71, 1114 etc. To win every year, you need strong engineering support, strong team leadership, active and inspired kids, funding, parental support, skillful communication, and so many more things. Now, if you look at that carefully, its anything in life. So, do you see what goes into being a "winner". I am not putting down any team that does not have this. But what I am saying is if a team is making the best out of its resources and is fortunate to have many things in place for them, then that's good. They are a winner too, just on a different scale.

In sports, FIRST, life, the winner usually is the team/alliance that has put forth the absolute best they possibly could. Winning has a lot of value. When you have struggled and gone through the "crap" of life, then winning does feel good. That's why a song like "We are the champions" means so much to some people. I do not want to define what a loser is because it is negative talk and I tend to stay away from that. But understand that "loser" is an attitude or even lack of an attitude(good attitude). It is easy to be a loser. Even if you have the support, you build an average of below average robot. Even if you have the man-power, you do not put any effort into starting and mentoring new teams. Being a winner requires a little courage and guts. It requires the team/person to step out and put work into building a good robot, starting new teams, and thinking about the game enough to win a regional/championship. Being a winner requires you to stick your head above the crowd and take a few eggs and tomatoes thrown at you. You could be the finalist and be the winner. The finalist is definitely not the losing team/alliance. They are winners because they have gone so far and probably put in a lot of effort into their robot and game.

If you are not open minded, you will fight every thought I said in this post. I really request that you be open-minded and see what we all are trying to say. I choose to fly with the winners and not hang out with the chickens. What about you?

AdamHeard
08-13-2007, 06:33 PM
To both Adam and Alan, I must say again that we seem to be at an impasse over something very simple: what, exactly, is meant by "losers" and "champions" in the phrases "No time for losers" and "We are the champions"? If (in the context of FIRST) we define losers as teams who didn't try, had a defeatist attitude, and we define champions as every team who came to the competition and participated positively, then you are both exactly right, and my argument has no basis.


Even if;
Champions = the Winners
Losers = EVERYONE else.

my arguement still stands the same. It's a tradition, no reasonable person should get offended, and if you are offended just get some thicker skin.

Also, I'm not saying this with no experience. Just a few months ago we were in the finals against 696 and 330 (2 best teams at San Diego) and beat them the first match, but they had an awesome trick strategy to earn the last two wins for the regional. I am a sore loser, I didn't enjoy losing one bit. But If (I don't even remember if it was) the song was played, I wouldn't take any offense. Their alliance beat us, and to beat someone you have to be better at scoring points.

//Final post of this thread. If you're offended by the song, a competitive event isn't for you.

JBotAlan
08-13-2007, 06:53 PM
This thread brings up another valid point that must be explored before we can come to agreement here:

Is it appropriate to celebrate the champions of an event here in FIRST? Does this celebration conflict with GP?

That question leads to this question: Should FIRST remove any possible non-GP element from the games?

Going down that path makes me ask: Will removing any possible non-GP element from the games make FIRST a better organization--will it be able to better inspire students to value scientific and technical knowledge (which is, after all, the very heart of FIRST)?

I must come to the conclusion that FIRST will lose much of its inspirational power if it no longer features a sport-like structure. No longer will we be able to relate to teens with no interest in engineering. No longer will we be able to attract non-nerds. FIRST needs its non-GP elements to appeal to the masses--something we will need to do to continue expanding and pursuing our mission.

Removing this one song will make absolutely no difference, but removing all non-GP elements will make a huge difference--for the worse.

Please realize I am not attacking; I am just trying to communicate my opinion more effectively.

I look forward to your response,
JBot

JaneYoung
08-13-2007, 06:54 PM
I would like to thank Bharat for an amazing post.
If we ever have a way to spotlight whole posts, I will remember this one - most of it.

I will stop after this thought, hopefully. :)
We are in the year 2007. In thinking along the lines of Koko Ed and Al Skierkiewicz, we are unique with our alliance partnering and the way we play the game, win, lose, or draw, as we compete. Our program is not a typical sports program.

The song that has traditionally been used to celebrate the moment at the end of the competition, recognizing the champions, is this song.

This song and We Will We Will Rock You were both written for stadium performances. To rock the huge crowds -

Edit: since I have sort of promised not to post in this thread again *cough* - I would like to thank Paul for introducing this topic as an opportunity for exploring the areas that many posts have touched on. Areas such as winning/losing, words/communication and GP.

mtaman02
08-13-2007, 07:04 PM
Hrm While FIRST is all about GP, The "We Are The Champions" song seems to fit the end of the Championship by saluting the Champions who have competed for months to win it all. I don't see a conflict with the song being played in a FIRST event. Besides what else would you play that would be so fitting and salute the Champions of the event(s)?

Maybe I'm mis-interpreting the thread title?

AdamHeard
08-13-2007, 07:18 PM
This thread brings up another valid point that must be explored before we can come to agreement here:

Is it appropriate to celebrate the champions of an event here in FIRST? Does this celebration conflict with GP?

That question leads to this question: Should FIRST remove any possible non-GP element from the games?

Going down that path makes me ask: Will removing any possible non-GP element from the games make FIRST a better organization--will it be able to better inspire students to value scientific and technical knowledge (which is, after all, the very heart of FIRST)?

I must come to the conclusion that FIRST will lose much of its inspirational power if it no longer features a sport-like structure. No longer will we be able to relate to teens with no interest in engineering. No longer will we be able to attract non-nerds. FIRST needs its non-GP elements to appeal to the masses--something we will need to do to continue expanding and pursuing our mission.

Removing this one song will make absolutely no difference, but removing all non-GP elements will make a huge difference--for the worse.

Please realize I am not attacking; I am just trying to communicate my opinion more effectively.

I look forward to your response,
JBot

I know I said I wouldn't post in this thread again.... but I couldn't exist.

You are exactly right. If we remove these things that some overly sensitive and zealous people are saying are non GP, then we will be even worse off in terms of attracting the public.

We still need to advance in that area, taking any steps back would be awful.

aaeamdar
08-13-2007, 09:05 PM
Wow.................

once again it goes to your views... Honestly, how do you know what every single person at an event is thinking??? have you asked every single person in FIRST what they think the words champions and losers mean?

i doubt it...

This makes me very sad for you, espeically when you say that this is the bottom line. This may be the bottom line for you, but everyone is entitled to their thoughts about the song.

[...]

Honestly how would you celebrate the winners of an event? Because if you don't celebrate them what would make a team want to win? If they don't want to win what would make them want to build the best robot they could? if they don't build the best robot they could why would they build a robot? if they didn't build a robot why would they be in FIRST???

Tim,

While everyone is entitled to their thoughts, this doesn't make their thoughts interesting, valuable, correct, logical, or valid. How would I celebrate the winners of the regional event? If I had to pick a Queen song (I like Queen, as a matter of fact) I might go with "Don't Stop Me Now" (despite "sex machine ready to reload"). Though I'm sure I'm not as conversant with either Queen or this song as many of the people who have replied to this thread, I can say that to me, this is a high energy song with an extremely positive attitude that does a much better job of celebrating everyone who has participated. Are there better songs? I would bet there are; however, my knowledge of music in written in the last 100 years is overall very lacking, and I wouldn't try to pass myself off as a music expert.

"Don't Stop Me Now" does lack some of the elements that specifically celebrate the winners. I agree (as I said before, which you apparently missed) that creating strong incentives to win the competition is important... but let me ask you this: do you really think these incentives are not in place? Do you honestly think that there are significant numbers of teams who don't want to do as well as they can (and I don't mean being happy/unhappy with their performance)? If you do, I challenge you to provide evidence or stop putting out FIRST doomsday scenarios about teams not caring.

Part of the great strength and great weakness of the "sports world" (if there can be said to exist one) is the idea that winning is everything. You do everything you can to win, because the winners get everything - more money, more fame, more girls. And if this is the way we want FIRST to be, then you're absolutely right, we should have this song.

I think after reading all these replies and thinking about them and discussing them with friends and family for a few days, I've come to realize the problem here. We're all indoctrinated into the cult of gracious professionalism (and I don't mean that pejoratively). This isn't a bad thing, in general. This means that we tend to behave with a lot more sportsmanship and have a lot more fun. However, the problem (which I think we're experiencing now) is that we have become blind to the fact that the world is not actually like FIRST. To me, Bharat's comments earlier in the thread ("If this song had a negative meaning towards the finalist or second place, then I do not think the world of sports would embrace it so much.") are especially indicative of this (though I over-reacted in my response). We're so caught up in our GP bubble that we fail to see that not everyone believes as we do. One doesn't have to reach very far back into sports history to come up with examples of this, but reaching back farther to something that is familiar to most, the Black Sox come to mind.

Jbot, while that may be a question that you would like answered, I just would like to clearly state that that was never the question I was asking. To answer your first question:


Is it appropriate to celebrate the champions of an event here in FIRST? Does this celebration conflict with GP?


My answer, as well as FIRST's answer (see Jane's posting about a page or two back) is yes, it is appropriate, and of course not.

Your second question is more complex:


Should FIRST remove any possible non-GP element from the games?


While the answer to this question is not as simple, I would again have to say yes, FIRST should remove non-GP elements. Gracious professionalism is such a central tenet of FIRST that the organization should do its best (and in most cases does) to remove non-GP elements. However, if you take another look at Jane's post (specifically her quote of... Woody I think it was?) I hope you can see that gracious professionalism and strong competition are not in conflict.

There's more to say here, but I'm having browser problems and I've talked enough anyway.

-Paul

AdamHeard
08-13-2007, 09:18 PM
While everyone is entitled to their thoughts, this doesn't make their thoughts interesting, valuable, correct, logical, or valid.


You're not winning anyone's favor with that arguement.

I would like to point out that you are not omnipotent, nor do you know everything. So stop acting like any disagreement to your arguement means that their thoughts are not "interesting, valuable, correct, logical, or valid"

Just stop all ready; Your blowing the song way out of proportion and to say we should remove all non GP things from FIRST is kind of ludicrous (well, at least by your definition of non GP). Right now, the events are fine; There is no glaring non GP event happening that is offending any reasonable person.

In fact, more people (people who believe in GP, whom you'll just write off as having thoughts that aren't "interesting, valuable, correct, logical, or valid") would be upset by the absense of the song, than by it's presense.

andyhoyt911
08-13-2007, 09:20 PM
I don't think that a song (especially one who people listen to for 4 words in the whole song) could possibly affect anyone's take on FIRST or GP, because thats all it is, a song! Sorry if this seems rude, but FIRST wasn't made just so everyone could be perfect little angels. We're allowed to have fun, and if that means listening to a song you don't like, then so be it.

No hard feelings, I hope.:]

Tim Delles
08-13-2007, 10:18 PM
This is the last thing i am posting. And just so you know you have lost my respect (it may not seem like a lot but it takes a lot for me to lose respect for anyone)

While everyone is entitled to their thoughts, this doesn't make their thoughts interesting, valuable, correct, logical, or valid. How would I celebrate the winners of the regional event?

Yes everyone is entitled to these thoughts, but who are you to decide if they are interesting, valuable, correct, logical or valid? You were the one posing the question, and as far as i have read almost no one if anyone has yet to agree with you that this song is degrading.

But now going back to the song. Ok you have picked a song that celebrates everyone, ok now play that for everyone NOT THE REGIONAL/WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!

The song is played for the Winners of an Event, not for everyone...

Or have i missed what a Regiona/World Champion is???

Anyways this is just a waste of time debating this when you have no sense to think about this as anyone else does... You don't even try to think about it in any other light, so until then i hope you have fun.

aaeamdar
08-13-2007, 10:57 PM
I feel that I have to respond to this, since I have been misinterpreted. However, this time it's almost no one's fault but my own; I said something that could easily be construed to have more meaning than that which I meant for it to have.

Yes everyone is entitled to these thoughts, but who are you to decide if they are interesting, valuable, correct, logical or valid?
While I may have unintentionally implied that I think I am the person who gets to decide these things, that is neither what I meant nor what I said. Here's what I did say:

While everyone is entitled to their thoughts, this doesn't make their thoughts interesting, valuable, correct, logical, or valid.

Here's what I was responding to:

once again it goes to your views... Honestly, how do you know what every single person at an event is thinking??? have you asked every single person in FIRST what they think the words champions and losers mean?

My point was this: the correct answer, if there is one, does not come from an "Ask the Audience" lifeline. I never claimed to know what everyone is thinking, but opinions must not be deified simply because they exist. Interpretations require logic and evidence. Without these two things, they are just so much blah blah blah.

I once saw an utterly silly discussion in a forum relating to a certain graphic in a video game I play. There were essentially two camps; those who were arguing that the graphic closely resembled Thing A, and those who were arguing that it resembled Thing B. The discussion was pointless and I couldn't have cared less which it resembled, but the people discussing it were offering evidence instead of just laying down opinions as fact.

So, if I say that the song mocks the losing alliance and you say no, it celebrates the winners, it would seem reasonable, if we were to have a discussion about this, that both of us would offer some sort of evidence for our respective subjective claims. If you're not willing to do that, say so, and move on.

And, in relation to song choice, as I said, I'm not a song expert. I personally think "Don't Stop Me Now" has elements that celebrate the winning alliance. And again, as I said, I'm sure there are songs that do this better.

-Paul

P.S.: Adam, though I chose to respond to Tim because he had the last post and voiced his concern most strongly, I was also responding to your post as well.

InfernoX14
08-13-2007, 11:11 PM
The thing is, Paul, you asked for our opinions. Now you're saying opinions are no way to discuss something.

You ask for our opinions, and what do you do? You come back with explainations as to why our opinions aren't valid.

Don't ask for anyone's opinions if you aren't going to accept them fairly.

Tim Delles
08-13-2007, 11:53 PM
Paul,

Have you ever lost an event when it has been o so close -say like an alliance member knocking down a stack of tetra's that you had just put up to make sure you won the regional?

Have you ever been that alliance member who has pushed your alliance over the top and got the regional win? - say like a 3rd round pick who dominated on defense?

Have you ever been that team who didn't even make it to the elimination matches even though your robot was very similar if not better than other ones that were picked? - maybe a spot at nationals (back then yes it was nationals cause it was held in disney) but they didn't need another robot that could do the same thing as them they just wanted one to go score the extra points on the other side?

I have experience all 3 of those situations, as i am sure almost everyone here has as well... I know for all 3 of those situations hearing that song came as a relief. It signifies that the regional is over, and there are no more nights (atleast for a week or 2) that you have to stay up all night analyizing other teams.

Did losing to the number 1 alliance at GTR in the semi-finals because of robot failure make me less willing to cheer for 1114 (whom we both won our FIRST regionals together) No it did not. When there team was brought up for there medals and trophies i stood proud and clapped for them, i knew that they had just been a better team that day than we had, but in my eyes our alliance members (217 and 4) were the best alliance partners at that regional.

So it all boils down to this. With the enormous amount of clapping and cheering that should be going on for an event winner, should you even be able to hear the song being played?

*sorry getting tired. going to go to bed, but if you wanna reply go ahead, im sure i will reply in the morning*

Alan Anderson
08-14-2007, 12:19 AM
If y'all will forgive my continuing the musical tangent:


NOOOOOOOOO time for LOOOOOOOOOO-sers
NAAAAAA-na naaa-naa BOOOOOOOOOO-booo *sticks thumbs in ears, sticks out tongue, wiggles fingers*


Okay, I recognize what you're talking about now. I've always heard it as "nyah nyah-nyah nyah nyah!" Yes, the notes are similar, but not the same, and I think it's a stretch to consider the similarity intentional. The chant's G E-A G C doesn't sound to me like the song's G D#-G# G D#. The next line in the song does have the same pattern of notes as the finger-wiggling chant, though -- and it's the title line "We are the champions."

Or maybe the "nanny nanny boo boo" chant is a recent variant of the one I know, using different notes as well as the different syllables, and it is an intentional musical allusion, but as the song was composed before the students posting here were born, I suspect it's just in the ear of the listener.

Travis Hoffman
08-14-2007, 12:43 AM
I keep hearing references to "intent" of the songwriters and the DJ, and I can't help but draw parallels to a FIRST referee's ever-present challenge - intent is an almost impossible thing to gauge. Not having any real insight into an operator's mind, refs are left with the responsibility of assessing penalties based solely upon what happened on the field. They don't know why the driver *wrote the song*, but they can certainly react to the outcome once it was *played* on the field.

With that being said.....if there was any doubt as to the power of the positive connotation of this song - the Tim Delles version - I invite you to watch the following and see how Freddie Mercury connected with the 72,000 people in the crowd while singing "We are the Champions".

Live Aid, Wembley Stadium, London, 1985. Widely considered one of the best live performances in rock history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn1w3kLoOuA

Yes, he was singing about himself and the personal obstacles he overcame, but he was also singing it WITH the people.....for the people....and the crowd was swept up by his emotion.

Imagine if those 72,000 people were actually FIRST team members, and this was the Championship Event. Whether I was part of the winning alliance or *merely* an event participant, I could think of no more awe-inspiring collision of spectacle and passion for the FIRST program we all possess.

It is this image of this performance I will remember any time "We Are the Champions" is played at a FIRST event. Every time I hear it, I will associate it with the goal of living to see 72,000 members of our FIRST family singing along with it, celebrating the unique obstacles we've all had to overcome to make this program succeed and grow together.

...But that's simply my own opinion, and I'm sticking to it. Much like everyone else will stick to theirs, which is ok! Moving forward, if anyone is still in a mood to debate this topic, let's please shift it from a public debate toward private channels. It seems many have become frazzled by hearing individuals try to break what is obviously an impenetrable stalemate.

"Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure
That burns a building down
Splits a family in two"

...

"Insanity laughs under pressure we're cracking
Can't we give ourselves one more chance?" :cool:

John Gutmann
08-14-2007, 01:41 AM
OK just for the sake of not seeing anything else come from what in my opinion I think is a stupid discussion. Can a Mod please lock this thread?

Thanks,
John

Madison
08-14-2007, 01:57 AM
OK just for the sake of not seeing anything else come from what in my opinion I think is a stupid discussion. Can a Mod please lock this thread?

Thanks,
John

We'll take action as is necessary and appropriate.

GaryVoshol
08-14-2007, 07:44 AM
Beside reffing FLL, FRC and FVC, I also ref soccer. There we have the concept of a "trifling" foul. Yes, the action was technically a foul - but it had no effect on play and to whistle for it would be a bad thing.

"No time for losers ..." - yes, techincally it's anti-GP. But in the overall scheme of things, it's just a trifle. Such a little part of the song, with such little effect on anyone, we just let it go.

Al Skierkiewicz
08-14-2007, 08:05 AM
Is it appropriate to celebrate the champions of an event here in FIRST? Does this celebration conflict with GP?
Jacob,
Without a doubt, celebrating those who have demonstrated their best is GP at it's finest.

That question leads to this question: Should FIRST remove any possible non-GP element from the games?

I don't think there is anything non GP in our games. That said, I think it is important to point out that GP is one of those states that you strive to achieve, to shoot for and sometimes you hit the mark. A lack of hitting the mark doesn't make you a loser, not trying is the loss.

We have been going on for six pages now talking about a song that was written before First came into existence that was chosen by someone because it had a recognizable theme and lyrics that would help recognize the best of the best. If you want to tear the lyrics apart as if they were written specifically for First then let's do that. All of us are blessed because we participate in a great undertaking, FIRST. There are many who would like to participate who can't and there are many more who don't even know what FIRST is. Are any of these people losers, I don't think so. So WHO is the loser? I think the losers are those who know about FIRST but think it's beneath them. I think losers are the people who stand at the door and shout in that we're the stupid ones. The losers are the people who down through the centuries have kept the thinkers and doers from accomplishing great tasks, improving our culture, making great strides for humanity. A loser is the patent clerk who in the 1890's said all that could be invented already has been, or the clerics who said it was blasphemy to think the world was round and the earth was not the center of the universe. It was the losers who put Leonardo and Galileo under house arrest. It is the losers who do not think that education is important, that drugs are the answer and that gangs can solve all. So if this is the definition of losers than the song is appropriate for FIRST events, I have not time for losers. Bring on more songs justs like them.

JBotAlan
08-14-2007, 08:07 AM
[...]FIRST should remove non-GP elements. Gracious professionalism is such a central tenet of FIRST that the organization should do its best (and in most cases does) to remove non-GP elements. However, if you take another look at Jane's post (specifically her quote of... Woody I think it was?) I hope you can see that gracious professionalism and strong competition are not in conflict.

I'm still not sure I understand your definition of GP. As someone earlier in this thread said, "GP is an internal ruler." It's different for everyone. So I must ask, how do you find this song, which seems to celebrate the winners--not mock the 'losers'--not within GP? Before you jump on the "Quote" button, read the rest of my post.

Here is some hard evidence for you--that song was not requested by the winning alliance. That song was not played by the winning alliance. In fact, I remember it playing with no influence from my team, or any other team, at competition. The teams are not acting in a non-GP way towards each other--they still shake hands, exchange the phrase 'Good game' with other teams, etc. They are not mocking the other alliances--the 'losers'.

FIRST, as you say, does not tolerate non-GP elements. Therefore, the intent behind the song must be considered. Would FIRST play this song with the intent of mocking teams that did not win? No! In fact, I'm sure they have a celebrate-the-winners playlist--"We are the Champions" is one of many songs that get played during awards.

Nobody has a non-GP intent, so there is no breach in GP.

JBot

//I really should stop posting here, since it seems I am providing fuel for a flame war. This is my last post.

Bharat Nain
08-14-2007, 08:39 AM
Jacob, I'll post my perspective on GP and maybe you will understand what people like Woodie Flowers think. I know this because I have been fortunate enough to have a couple discussions with him. Gracious Professionalism is an act, internal ruler, anything you want to call it to teach the students(and leaders of tomorrow) how to be friendly, ethical, moral, firm, competitive, smart all at the same time. The world out there does not practice Gracious Professionalism and therefore there is a lot of unethical and immoral practices that need to be stopped. If we teach the students today how to practice Gracious Professionalism, then tomorrow we will have a better world of free enterprise, better jobs and better neighbors. You get where I am going with this? As Dean Kamen and others say, "FIRST is a microcosm of the real world". That's why FIRST does not have to be perfect, fair or in complete submission to gracious professionalism. If they did that, then our games would be boring and would contain no element of defense, pushing, or anything really. It would be a simple game pure offense which is not really fun. Gracious Professionalism also builds character. What do you do when the team in the pits next to you tells you that your robot sucks? Do you make a big deal out of it or do you understand that they are still probably new to FIRST or have not embraced the ideals of FIRST and let them be.

Many teams demonstrated Gracious Professionalism this year. We all know that in the first couple weeks of competition there were problems with the scoring, sometimes referees, robot inspectors etc. Teams did not make a huge fuss about this even though they could have. Everyone makes mistakes, including FIRST. Forgiveness is another trait of people and teams who practice Gracious Professionalism.

So all in all, we do not need to eliminate every little thing in FIRST that might threaten to be anti-GP. It is okay for these things to be there because not everyone can win the competition, chairmans award, WFA, website award, inventor award all at once. Sometimes, you work hard for an award and don't get it. That's okay. Someone else worked harder. Sometimes there is a radio issue in the final match of the regional. You know your robot was disabled and it is not your fault. That's okay. Is it anti-GP from the field crew or IFI? I don't know, maybe. But you have to deal with it with GP. When you are the finalist and they play a song like Queen's-We are the champions, you really should be happy for the winning alliance and never accept defeat in your mind. Your alliance very well could have been the winning alliance. Sometimes, there is only so much you can do and the rest is left upto the environment, high power, anything you believe. Okay, enough. I have just tried to put my unorganized thoughts down. But I hope you see what I am trying to say about GP.

Pavan Dave
08-14-2007, 11:07 AM
Before I start let me mention that I hate all of this GP talk. I understand being courteous etc., and being a gracious professional, but completely changing everything to achieve that "GP" status is not practical at all. You can't be GP in the business to be very successful.
Now...On topic:
Ditto what Karthik and the others said above me but I have to add that it is a song, and although it does say champions and losers, it is very fitting. Losing is not always bad. It points out your (personal and team) weaknesses and design flaws which help you learn and become a better engineer.

Peace.

aaeamdar
08-14-2007, 12:52 PM
I'm still not sure I understand your definition of GP. As someone earlier in this thread said, "GP is an internal ruler." It's different for everyone. So I must ask, how do you find this song, which seems to celebrate the winners--not mock the 'losers'--not within GP? Before you jump on the "Quote" button, read the rest of my post.

Here is some hard evidence for you--that song was not requested by the winning alliance. [...]

Nobody has a non-GP intent, so there is no breach in GP.

Jbot, I'm not sure why it matters who requests the song. If you think, as I do, that the song takes a dismissive attitude towards the losing alliance - 'mock' may be too strong - (if you agree that "No time for losers" refers to the team that just lost), it should incredibly obvious how this song is not GP. If you don't agree with that, and you realize that I think differently about this song, then why would you bother asking how I find this song un-GP? I'm confused here.

Now, it's perfectly legitimate to say that the non-GP elements are minor and can be overlooked. But if you acknowledge that the "losers" in the song are the teams that just lost, it's fairly hard not to see parts of this song as (at least in minor ways) exhibiting qualities that are diametrically opposed to the concept of gracious professionalism. And again, if you agree that the song is dismissive of the losing alliance, how does gracious professionalism being "an internal ruler" have anything to do with it? I'm not saying this is what the song says, but if I walk up to a losing team and say "your robot sucks and I'm glad you lost," would you say "Oh, well GP is an internal ruler, and I guess for Paul, that was GP"? No. We may not be able to describe the entirety of possible actions that fall under the 'GP' label, but to paraphrase Justice Stewart, we know it when we see it, and being dismissive of losing teams is not gracious professionalism.

AdamHeard
08-14-2007, 01:18 PM
Jbot, I'm not sure why it matters who requests the song. If you think, as I do, that the song takes a dismissive attitude towards the losing alliance - 'mock' may be too strong - (if you agree that "No time for losers" refers to the team that just lost), it should incredibly obvious how this song is not GP. If you don't agree with that, and you realize that I think differently about this song, then why would you bother asking how I find this song un-GP? I'm confused here.

Now, it's perfectly legitimate to say that the non-GP elements are minor and can be overlooked. But if you acknowledge that the "losers" in the song are the teams that just lost, it's fairly hard not to see parts of this song as (at least in minor ways) exhibiting qualities that are diametrically opposed to the concept of gracious professionalism. And again, if you agree that the song is dismissive of the losing alliance, how does gracious professionalism being "an internal ruler" have anything to do with it? I'm not saying this is what the song says, but if I walk up to a losing team and say "your robot sucks and I'm glad you lost," would you say "Oh, well GP is an internal ruler, and I guess for Paul, that was GP"? No. We may not be able to describe the entirety of possible actions that fall under the 'GP' label, but to paraphrase Justice Stewart, we know it when we see it, and being dismissive of losing teams is not gracious professionalism.

Wow.... Well, that's like saying stepping on ant and genocide are the same thing because they're both killing.

The song is fine.... If it wasn't I'm sure Dean Kamen, Woodie Flowers, or Dave Lavery would've put an end to it a long time ago.

Elgin Clock
08-14-2007, 02:54 PM
http://www.lyrics007.com/print.php?id=TkRJNE1qY3k

If you look at the rest of the lyrics, and not just the chorus it actually applies more to the overall goals of FIRST than just a song to play at the end of Finals.

But it's been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise -
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race -
And I ain't gonna lose -


What's the challenge before the whole human race we are accomplishing within FIRST? Is it a win in the final rounds of a competition that won't mean anything a year from now when we start over again?
No.

The challenge laid upon us all by FIRST is to inspire, and educate kids about science & technology.

If this is the challenge that Queen is talking about when analyzed to apply to the FIRST world, then I sure as heck don't want any losers bringing us forward into the 21st century and beyond when it comes to educating our kids.

I've paid my dues -
Time after time -
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime -
And bad mistakes
I've made a few
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face -
But I've come through


What's the "sentence" we've all had to pay? Is there a reason we all call it (sometimes jokingly) the six weeks of he-double hockey sticks? lol

We have commited no crimes, except when we have excluded people from participating in FIRST (but none of us would think about doing that now would we?) :p

Bad mistakes? Sure. Every year. Ever thought about the competition at the end of the year, and said to yourself, or to your teammates, "what if we had only had this feature, or what if we had only made this improvement on our bot like team XXX has done?
Then would we be more famous this year and made it to the "big show"?
Would we be recognized more?
We all as individuals have ego's to feed, and even as a team we strive to feed our ego's and do the best we can, but small mistakes along the way happen.
It's human nature, and the nature of competition.

We've all lost matches. We've all had "sand kicked in our face" by a loss. It's not intentional, but it's the nature of competition, there are winners, and there are people who go home without winning trophies.

But in the end, we've all "come through" better people from this experience, haven't we?

Have you ever lost a regional, and then just given up with your team, or with FIRST in general?

If you have spent the time to read all of this, then I'm guessing your answer to that question is a big NO.

It's not about winners, it's not about losers, it's about inspiration, and all that comes with that.

The only losers in FIRST are those who can't be bothered to teach the new generation of students coming through the program a little something before they leave their teams behind and move on.

Leaving knowledge behind to the younger generation, even if it's only someone a year or 2 younger than you, is truely making you a champion, and in the end securing your legacy.

Those who fail to do that and don't share their knowledge before they move on... well... that "L" word that is in question within this song can certainly come into play in that situation imho.

Alan Anderson
08-14-2007, 03:59 PM
If you think, as I do, that the song takes a dismissive attitude towards the losing alliance - 'mock' may be too strong - (if you agree that "No time for losers" refers to the team that just lost), it should incredibly obvious how this song is not GP.

There's the issue in a nutshell. You think the song is dismissive, apparently because of a single line that's repeated twice, and regardless of the rest of the lyrics. Having listened to it in its entirety many hundreds of times over the past three decades, I don't agree.

Again, I find nothing unprofessional or ungracious about what it says. It's about having a winning attitude, not about putting down other competitors. If you take it in a negative way, I believe that's due more to your readiness to interpret it that way than to the intent of the song itself.

dlavery
08-14-2007, 04:02 PM
The song is fine.... If it wasn't I'm sure Dean Kamen, Woodie Flowers, or Dave Lavery would've put an end to it a long time ago.
Dang. And I was SO hoping to stay out of this whole tempest in a teapot. But since my name was brought up, I will make only two points:

1 - There is absolutely no inconsistency between the song "We Are The Champions" (and by that, I mean the ENTIRE song, including all the lyrics) and the concept of Gracious Professionalism. There is no need to "acknowledge that the song is in conflict with the ideals of gracious professionalism, and ..." because the conflict just does not exist. And the choice of the song certainly does NOT "put the lie to the entire concept of gracious professionalism."

To me, the song is one of triumph and celebration, of recognizing a job well done, of superior performance, and of acknowledgment of a fierce competition. There are no implicit put-downs of the other competitors and no denigration of anyone else’s efforts. Read the lyrics from the standpoint of someone talking/singing about themselves and their own team. Read every word as it applies to that team, and see if you understand how this is so. When I read the line "no time for losers" and apply it to myself, it becomes my own statement about how I refuse to succumb to the forces that are trying to prevent me from succeeding. "No time for losers" means that _I_ have no time to be a "loser" and that _I_ will not give in to those pressures. It has absolutely nothing to do with how I look upon my competitors or a form of condescension. It is all about introspection and how I look at myself (which then, at an entirely different level, does become a factor in how I do treat my competitors, but let's keep it simple and not get into the meta-effects for right now).

As Sean Witte said so very well earlier, "not winning is different than being a loser." There are a lot of teams that may not "win" a FRC competition. But very, very few of them are "losers" by almost any measure that you choose to use. And I would submit that the corollary is also true - "winning is different than being a champion." I can win a competition a lot of different ways, through hard work, intense effort, etc. But I can also "win" a competition through the use of unethical behavior, working outside the rules, cheating, etc. (are you listening, Barry Bonds?). Tell me someone is a "winner" and I know nothing of HOW they "won" a competition. Tell me someone is a "champion" and I know they compete while doing their very best, with honest values, integrity, respect, fierce determination, and dignity. It is very easy to be a "winner" and a "loser" at the same time. But it is almost impossible to be a "champion" and a "loser." The song celebrates those that are "champions." And I believe that is entirely in line with the very best interpretation of Gracious Professionalism.

2 - It is the end of the summer. The academic year is about to begin (and in some cases, has started already), and with it the preparations will begin for a new FRC season. There are new team members to recruit, new teams to create, new sponsors to find, new corporate executives to brainwash, new grants to write, new mentors to indoctrinate, and new technologies to develop. All of this must be done before the formal kick-off in January. So don't we all have something better and more productive to discuss?

-dave

Brandon Holley
08-14-2007, 07:50 PM
dave is 100% right


there is absolutely nothing wrong with this song. if you truly find it offensive than i think you might want to leave the building near the end of the final match so you do not have to listen to it. honestly this topic is ridiculous...

DonRotolo
08-14-2007, 08:21 PM
You can't be GP in the business to be very successful.
I beg to differ, GP works well in real life, too.

Don

JaneYoung
08-14-2007, 08:33 PM
promise broken -

---
All threads provide an opportunity for each of us to sharpen our communication skills, present our perspective, practice spelling and punctuation, experience others' viewpoints while stating ours. It's a glass half full opportunity.

And - some 'side' topics have risen from the initial post regarding the song that I will spend some time thinking about.
For example, without this thread, we would not have received a post from Mr. Lavery discussing a view on champions and winners. How golden is that? I would not forfeit a single post of this thread that lead to that kernel of wisdom, shared with the whole of the CD community.

.02

Alivia
08-15-2007, 12:40 AM
I understand where you are coming from with thinking that this song might not be in line with FIRST's credo.

But here's my spin on it (and this is just my own thoughts)--
Whenever I hear that song played, I don't think about there being a distinct winner/loser. Rather, I think about how hard each and every team has worked to get where they've gotten. I see the song as more of an ode to all the teams--we are all champions because we all work hard. Sure, they play the song at the end of the competition, but why can't it be a song for everyone to enjoy equally?

Look at all that everyone has done in the FIRST program--we are ALL champions.

Jane n Mike
08-15-2007, 01:17 AM
Wow! Taking on what seems like the whole FIRST community, including someone with Dave Lavery's credentials, seems more than a little Quixotic. But here goes...

First, a word of advice to people who find this thread ridiculous: Stop Reading! Almost 90 posts later, there appear to be a lot of folks who find the subject worth talking about.

Second, some acknowledgments up front. The playing of this song at FIRST events is not of earth-shattering importance, even in the scope of FIRST issues. Whatever else we conclude, it certainly does not "put the lie to the entire concept of gracious professionalism" in the overwrought rhetoric of the original poster (to whom I happen to have a close personal relationship). Obviously many people like the song and find it a fitting paean to the champions of FIRST events and indeed so many other competitions that we could fairly call it a cliche. But analyze the lyric "No time for losers" dispassionately, and its dissonance with the finest ideals of FIRST is simply inescapable.

On its face, the line has a mocking, denigrating tone. Yes, it is possible to read the words as meaning something else, as many in this thread have tried to do. But listen to the musical figure to which the words are set. It is unmistakably the "Nanny nanny boo boo" taunt of the school yard, rhythmically and tonally. It is also true, as some have pointed out, that the song celebrates many faces of winning, including hard work, perseverance, and overcoming adversity, and these are all virtues that we rightly associate with successful FIRST participation. But in that lyric, repeated as part of the chorus, the ugly face of the taunting victor is an undeniable part of the message.

I have only been associated with FIRST for a couple of years, but I am afraid I may have caught the bug. Certainly one of the things I have found deeply appealing has been the concept and practice of gracious professionalism. In a culture in which taunting, trash-talking, cheating, and trying to find an angle are all accepted parts of competition, the idea of GP seems almost quaint. Dave, Woodie, Dean, and the rest of the FIRST leadership deserve tremendous credit for fostering a FIRST culture in which such an idea can flourish, and the willingness of so many competitors to embrace that ethos gives me hope for our future. Playing "We are the Champions" won't change that, but I do think that it is a betrayal, in a small way, of what we claim to stand for.

Mike Dennis

Alan Anderson
08-15-2007, 08:21 AM
...analyze the lyric "No time for losers" dispassionately, and its dissonance with the finest ideals of FIRST is simply inescapable.
I can escape that dissonance just fine, though I think it's hard to consider any part of the song dispassionately. By the way, that word does not mean "in isolation" or "out of context" the way some seem to want to read the word "losers". It means "without strong emotion", and the whole meaning of the song is lost if you try to remove the emotional part.

On its face, the line has a mocking, denigrating tone...listen to the musical figure to which the words are set. It is unmistakably the "Nanny nanny boo boo" taunt of the school yard, rhythmically and tonally.

On the contrary, I think those who hear it that way are mistaken. It doesn't have the same number of syllables ("nanny" vs. "no"). It doesn't use the same notes (minor vs. major intervals).

But in that lyric, repeated as part of the chorus, the ugly face of the taunting victor is an undeniable part of the message.

It's hardly undeniable. I'm denying it right now. :)

Seriously, I'm going to repeat what I told Paul upthread. If you think the song "We Are The Champions" goes against the ideals of FIRST, it seems to me that it's because you want it to be that way. If you don't like it, you can easily choose otherwise, and interpret it as being perfectly consistent and uplifting instead of as an ungracious slap in the face. That's what I do.

Alivia
08-15-2007, 12:50 PM
..., you can easily choose otherwise, and interpret it as being perfectly consistent and uplifting instead of as an ungracious slap in the face. That's what I do.

I couldn't have said it better myself!

I believe it's all in interpretation.

InfernoX14
08-15-2007, 12:54 PM
I couldn't have said it better myself!

I believe it's all in interpretation.

Exactly.

All songs are that way.

This is why the thread was started. Paul interpreted the song to be disheartening to those who didn't win, thus in violation of FIRST's greatest principle: Gracious Professionalism. He asked what everyone else felt, and we all have had our own opinions about it.

This thread has gotten much better now that the ugly arguements are over.

Alivia
08-15-2007, 12:58 PM
Exactly.

All songs are that way.

This is why the thread was started. Paul interpreted the song to be disheartening to those who didn't win, thus in violation of FIRST's greatest principle: Gracious Professionalism. He asked what everyone else felt, and we all have had our own opinions about it.

This thread has gotten much better now that the ugly arguements are over.

We Are the Champions definitely has a lot of different ways it can be interpretted, which is why this thread has had such as vast array of responses. I totally understand everyone's interpretation, and have the utmost respect for what they think. :)

And I definitely agree...I like having conversations that are thought-provoking, but in a respectable way. :)

artdutra04
08-15-2007, 01:21 PM
If everyone's opinions and interpretations of the song are relative, then it's impossible to expect everyone to come to an absolute, either "black or white" stance on the song. And trying to pick single lyrics out of a song doesn't do any good.

It's like looking at a robot at a competition who is definitely in the running for the Engineering Excellence award, and then deciding that because they used X kit item instead of custom fabricating their own, that they aren't worthy of the award. It's issues like this that one must look at the whole picture, to see the integration, purpose, and/or excellence of the entire thing.

Just because there is one small object which one may have issues against, doesn't mean they didn't carefully calculate and engineer out the entire assembly. Who knows, the one small part which one may have objection against may have been exactly what they needed to complete the assembly as a whole, in the most efficient manner.

I think at this point, the thread has come to the level of "Let's all just agree to disagree", and move on to more important issues. After all, the FLL and FTC seasons kickoff in only a few weeks, and I'm sure there are teams in your area which would love to have additional mentors. ;)

Brandon Martus
08-15-2007, 02:54 PM
This thread just got way out of hand, and I've only had to read one post.

Someone PM me in a day or two if you have anything productive to add to it.

Madison
08-15-2007, 02:57 PM
...