Kickoff Feedback

Hey guys, I was wondering if there were things that we could suggest to FIRST for streamlining the kickoff event. For me, I know that I could’ve used the game about an hour earlier. While it’s understandable to get Dean, Woodie and Dave to speak, I didn’t understand the point of the FIRST Alumni speech, RIGHT BEFORE everyone is ready to get the game. When we came back to our lab, one of our alums remarked that he had woken up at 8:30 (PST) to check the challenge, and was shocked to find that it was still going on. Is it just me or was kickoff much longer this year? Also, I wish that very sad news about the bus crash had been broadcast. It would seem appropriate, and a great way to reach all of FRC.
While I understand that going to a kickoff is a way of connecting with other teams from the region, I think almost everyone at my kickoff felt that it went on way too long (even the rookie team sitting next to me!)
Despite this, I’m still grateful to FIRST for all the opportunities they’ve given me, and to the GDC for creating an awesome game!

So yeh, that’s my $.02, anyone else?

I think the way the Kickoff’s structured forces kids to pay attention to FIRST’s message and what the speakers are saying, and that is a very good thing.

While the “couch chat” was interesting to watch, it was a huge time drain and I didn’t learn anything from it, so I have no idea why it was in there.

I was rather disappointed that, given to the increased number of speeches, a lot of the game-explanation stuff (the sample game, the “quiz show”, whatever) seemed to have been cut out, probably to fit within the NASA TV window. Now I know that many of those people have important things to say, but over an hour and a half?

(Note: I can’t speak about all of the speeches-I went to a time-delayed kickoff that fast-forwarded through a lot of the speeches to fit within their own time window. Nevertheless, surely something could have gone…)

I think every speaker spoke a good amount of time. I Agree that the “Mentor chat” was a gimmick, but it lasted a reasonable amount of time, so it didn’t bother me.

If you don’t like the speaches, join the webcast 20 minutes before the end. It makes more sense.

I was falling asleep during the couch chat, in all honesty. Great for rookie teams, not so much for the vets who have heard the same basic things from their own alumni, or here on CD in the case of the newer veteran teams.

I did like the GDC preview thing, though. What an unconventional and unexpected way to introduce the game before the curtain was kicked down. I had to bite my hand to keep myself from screaming at an obnoxiously loud level, out of sheer excitement.

I believe that I heard that, by the time that those running the event had heard about it, it was too late to announce it. I am very glad that they sent out the email, though.

There were just to many details that were just speculation at the time. It would have been bad for them to make an announcement about something and not have the facts perfect.

The GDC video was great. I’m glad to see the GDC has as much fun designing games as we do playing them. Okay… maybe they don’t have quite as much fun, but they must have had some fun meetings!

And I don’t mind the “talking heads” who’ve put their time into FIRST getting a chance to say so. It’s great that the governors of New Hampshire, Hawaii and Texas are excited about this (maybe they could call our premier), and I am pleased that President Obama knows about and supports FIRST. Perhaps you could have him mention that to Prime Minister Harper sometime.

But the “couch chat”, just when I was expecting the game? Well, diplomatically speaking… it might have been better to have that as a seperate video released after the kickoff.


On the west coast you might have wanted it an hour earlier, but I sure would have liked an extra hour of sleep on a Saturday morning:rolleyes: Its hard to make everyone happy with a perfect time.

Funny, the “couch chat” was my favorite part. To each their own.

Obviously the “Couch Chat” was a big deal to my team beign that our lead mentor was in it but I wished they would have scheduled it earlier. I was really wanting to see the game by then and I felt they were delaying for some reason.
FIRST has this issue with speeches. When people complain about doing to many of them they add more. Maybe we should ask for more and they’ll do less.

I agree, I thought the Couch chat was unnecessary, as it had been preceeded by an hour and a half of speeches. Some of our new members were starting to get restless.

I do have a question though. For Dean and Woodie’s speeches, they also seem to slightly condemn other parts of society. This year it was sports, last year it was bankers. And I felt that both speeches were longer than they had to be.

And the Obama cut-off was hilarious.

I work right above them on the 2nd floor of FIRST. You should hear them singing along with the radio when they have it blaring. Its a little muffled through the floor but still funny nonetheless. =D

Try to be the one who was sitting to the left of the podium for nearly 2 hours on the bleachers…and even the people in the crowd that were sitting on bleachers as well. But I like hearing what they have to say every year. Some of it is the same, some of it is new, and for the most part it’s inspiring…except for the couch thing. Gotta admit that.

I liked the GDC video in the way in that they showed us the process of how the GDC created the game. But I would not have showed it before the game and animation were released. For me it ruined the actual field reveal as I had seen and decent field in the video. Yes, they showed you the field a few seconds later, but in my mind I would have shown the video as teams were looking at the field and such. It kinda made the reveal less surprising in my mind!:o

Please pick five wf winners and five students and show them the game and rules before it starts. Then have a q&a with them and gdc at end of show.

I personally really liked this immediately before the field was revealed. It gave me a lot of time to go “WHOA What is that???” right before I saw the field. Considering how very different this game looks to be, it kind of warmed me up for the heart attack I had right after.

They have always condemned the negative aspects of sports competition and “financial engineering”. Dean has made comments about it for the last 3-4 years about how moving money around to try to make more of it doesn’t help society in the slightest. Likewise, he’s always pointed out all the issues with sports and how they are presented (just like reality TV). Anything for a the almighty viewer rating and dollar. Guns in the locker room, pretending to bribe officials on the field with cash, carrying a sharpie and pretending to autograph something after a touchdown… showboating and NO gracious professionalism.

I got sick of the politicians speaking. Not to be callous, but I don’t really care about New Hampshire’s women’s ice hockey team…

The only time I wanna see a governor talk is if they plan on doing what Michigan did with FRC.

IMHO, FIRST/Dean should be trying to elevate society by elevating themselves, not by bringing other aspects down. Professional sports are a positive force in society - they encourage children to get active. Things such as robotics encourage kids to exercise their minds, sports encourage them to exercise their bodies. Both are extremely important. We have a dearth of both healthy minds and healthy bodies in our society right now, and I shudder to think of kids in FIRST refusing to play sports/get active because of these comments Dean makes, because all they want to do is build robots. Balance is key in all aspects of life, not just designing a robot.

Being my first time in NH all the fanfare was pretty new to me.

Honestly, I liked the couch chat, I do agree that it could have been done a bit earlier (maybe replace one or two of the speeches), and/or could have been a little bit shorter… but I was really impressed that they got a professional reporter to help out, and it was a really good intro for the new team members. Every year when I hear people complain about how boring the kickoff is, I want them to realize this is the first kickoff for a lot of members on our team, as well as all the new rookie teams. And while Dean and Woodie may seem long-winded at times, their points are always very valid, and they want to make sure that we don’t get sucked in by what we initially emulated, that we continually hold ourselves to high standards.

The only thing that caught me a little off guard was when John Abele introduced the Chairmans team video… You would hope the Chairman of FIRST would know the team that won the Chairmans Award if Chairmans is really that important…

I completely agree. As a big sports fan, I was really rubbed the wrong way by Dean’s speech. If I was a rookie and this kickoff was the first experience I had with FIRST, I’m sure I would have a very different view of FIRST than after having 4 years of it before hearing his speech. It came across as “sports only teach you how to dribble a basketball but FIRST teaches you not only engineering but teamwork, time management, communication…”. Unless my experiences in team sports is different, sports do teach some of the similar lessons such as teamwork, the value of hard work, deadlines, etc, while providing excersize (which is another problem in this culture). I think it is a shame that Dean failed to recognize these benifits to sports.

In response to Tom Line, are you aware that off those examples of showboating and ‘bad things’ resulted in fines or even suspensions? It seems that the leagues are like FIRST in trying to act more gracious and professional.