A Crash Course In Excellence: Series Announcement

With the recent announcement by the FRC that all suspended events are now cancelled, I suspect many of us are figuring out ways to spend the summer. I know for myself, I am hoping to do a bunch of things to keep me occupied, some personal and some for fun. When it comes to things done for fun, I decided that since I am both an FRC fan and a history major that I would combine the two and share the results on CD in the form of a series of posts.

Before it shut down, the website Deadspin had a hilarious (albeit fairly profane) yearly column known as “Why Your Team Sucks,” in which the writer would talk about how every single NFL team fell short the previous season in order to count down for the next one. I want my column to be similar to that one, but instead of explaining why teams suck I want to highlight some of the reasons they are awesome and why other teams should look to them as examples. I want my posts in this series to be full of insight, yet also full of gracious professionalism.

Though I very much wish I could write about every team, I have decided to write on those that have qualified for Einstein at least once in their career. I realize this is a massive project, so in order to preserve my mental sanity and reduce my workload I have made the following rules for the series.

  1. Due to a lack of data for the stone age of the FRC I will only be writing on the teams that have qualified for Einstein since 2002, with the exception of the winners of the National Championship before then. If I were to write about every team that made the Championship from 1992-2000, this project would be a lot longer. Just as many baseball analysts really only focus on everything since the live-ball era and football analysts really focus on everything past the first Super Bowl, so I am doing with the FRC.

  2. This column will not be utilizing analytics or mathematical measures of teams’ success. As you will see, not every team to qualify for Einstein has won more matches than they’ve lost. These posts instead will seek to explain, in simpler terms, what makes these Einstein teams great looking at everything from their performance on-field to their contributions off of it. Of course, data is a big part of that. I will be using TBA and CD to research, but I cannot guarantee a full analysis of every single team if there isn’t much data. Consider this more as a history lesson than a guide on how to reach the Einstein Field.

  3. Since the format of Einstein has changed quite a bit since 2002, I’ve tried to arrange it all in one framework. For the round robin tournament, I consider being on the 5th and 6th place alliances as a quarterfinals appearance, and a 3rd and 4th place as a semifinals showing. On another note, the all-time win loss record includes eliminations and the championship, and does not include 2015.

There are 248 teams I have to get through on this list. This means I will be posting about three posts a day for every day of the summer, and maybe four on some days. I will be beginning with the team that has the fewest number of quarterfinals appearances, with the most recent being the longest time ago, and ending with the team with the most championship wins, with the most recent being the shortest time ago. Should be fun!

So, if you’re interested I will be posting the first few posts sometime this afternoon or evening! Up first will be Team 20.

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One other thing: If you are or were part of a team that made Einstein, feel free to message me any insight you have that would be good for your team’s post!

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