OK, here is where I get to tell a quick story that illustrates why these guys are WFAs.
On Saturday afternoon at the Championships on the Galileo field, the Red Alliance of 45, 217 and 2272 was up against the Blue Alliance of 93, 116, and 1595. It was the third match of Quarter-finals #4, both alliances had one win, and whoever won this match would go on to the Division Semi-finals.
After a very hard-fought match, the final score was Red 22, Blue 80. The Blue Alliance moves on, and the Red Alliance is out of the competition. But during the course of the match one of the gas springs supporting the arm of Team 1595’s robot had been damaged, and it was not clear if the arm could be made operable again.
I walked back off the edge of the field and around the curtain to see what the Blue Alliance was going to do to get their Alliance Captain back into the game. I fully expected to see the three teams crowded around the robot, working feverishly to fix the problem. And that is exactly what I saw – except there, right in the middle of that crowd, were Paul Copioli and several other members of Team 217. Not thirty seconds after being knocked out of the competition, Paul was there helping the team that had just beat him get back on the field. And in possibly one of the funniest moments of the whole weekend, he was fuming and getting all angry – not at his opponent, but at himself for not having exactly the right part that he needed to fix the opposing machine!
It was, without a doubt, one of the best displays of good sportsmanship and inter-team support that I have seen. When people ask “what are the attributes of the really exceptional mentors?” this little event is exactly the sort of thing I think of. The grace, poise, and behavior exhibited by Paul, his team, and the rest of the WFAs set a standard that the rest of us strive to emulate.
-dave (Salmon) lavery
I was wondering if anyone else saw this the same way I did. While coming around the curtain with Team 1712 to play in the next quarter-final match, I was all ready to pause and congratulate Paul and 217 on a great run, when I saw no one anywhere near the 217 robot. So I glance up and I see Paul standing at the 1595 machine holding a gas spring. The one he had was obviously different from the damaged 1595 part, but there he was TALKING to the parts, trying to will them into compatibility. It was in that moment I realized Paul didn’t need to hear from me at all, he was obviously already hearing from several voices in his own head and he was too busy being who he was - the kind of person we should all aspire to be. All I could do was stand there chuckling to myself at this wonderfully bizarre scene. I nearly forgot my own team was ready to play match three of the quarter-finals.
I have to say that spending Saturday time with Paul and Ken (who shared wisdom with me all weekend) on the field is one of my fondest memories in all of my FIRST experiences. Thanks for setting the example for the rest of us.
There is a reason (actually there are countless reasons) why the people who are WFA winners are WFA winners.
Stepping on soap box…
All the more reason why these people need to be recognized and better promoted within FIRST - such as having a WFA winner Wall in the Hall of Fame with a plaque and write up for each winner. These people are too impressive and have done too many exemplarily things to not be promoted more by FIRST as the true role models they are and should be to everyone who strives to be a mentor in FIRST.
Many of us have recommended and requested such a display in the Hall of Fame for a few years now (and a similar dedicated page on the FIRST web site), to no avail. I know there seems to be consensus for such a display amongst most here on CD.
My hope is that if we can get enough team members (AKA the FIRST customers) to urge FIRST to create such displays at the the Team Forums and in direct emails, then next year we may see the WFA and the winners be promoted more as the role models they are for everyone.
stepping off the soap box now.
Back to the discussion - Kudos to Paul (and all the other WFA winners) for, well basically, being who they are.
Watching Paul yelling at his toolbox full of parts “WHY AREN’T YOU WHAT I NEED??!!?!!” was one of those truly classic moments that I will never forget.
Or stop worrying about…
Thats definately sounds like Paul
Can anyone even find a list of the WFA winners (or HOF teams for that matter) anywhere on the FIRST website?
HOF teams are here (I had it open in the other tab)
No WFA site that I can find on the FIRST site, another thing they should add.
Someone who knows should add it to the FIRSTwiki Woodie Flowers Award Page
WFA’s are here:
I forgot about that page. I updated the wiki, some bios were already there.
my goal is to get this on video
Now that you point it out, I realize I should have searched for “chairman’s award”, not “hall of fame”. Incidentally, the apostrophe is important, usfirst.org’s seach engine doesn’t return anything for “chairmans award”.
I guess the history section is a reasonable place to look for past winners. Still, with the emphasis both awards have, you would think there should be a top-level or near-top-level link - like there is for the Board of Directors.
Well, I see FLL is the poor little sister once again - their award winners don’t even get listed.
Why aren’t the WFA winners in the HOF? The Chairman’s is the prestigious award for an exemplary team. Isn’t the Woodie Flowers Award the prestigious award for an exemplary individual? I think the WFA winners deserve equal, if not more recognition and representation in the hall of fame. These are people who represent all the aspects and benefits of FIRST. We all look up to these people, and I think they as well as the FIRST community, deserve to be able to see them in the hall of fame and in an easily accessible location on the FIRST website. I think this would be a great way for those outside of FIRST to see what FIRST accomplishes in our lives.
Just my opinion.
Now that I think about it, I’d be willing to, and I think I might, start emailing FIRST to try to see if we can push this. Clearly, as we’ve all said, we feel that we need this. So, let’s try to make it happen. If we all send emails, I’m pretty sure they would have to at least give it considerable thought.
It would be incredible to have the WFA recipients with the HOFs. The HOF is manned by the teams involved but something could be worked out for the WFA winners - maybe something like WFA ambassadors. They are such a vital part of the history of FIRST, past and present - ever promoting the standards of excellence and hard fun.
In a way they are but just putting the award in there is not enough in my opionion. I want bios! Who are they? Why are they the best? How have they (and their teams) grown with FIRST? These are the types of questions that not just a trophy can answer.
The WFAs definitely deserve to be in the HOF. I agree, we should contact FIRST to make it happen. Would it include all past WFAs as well as new ones? I think it would be a good idea.
I really want to contact some people in FIRST about these ideas and encourage everyone else to do the same.
However, I don’t know who I should start with.
Does anybody have any suggestions on where to start and places I could find contact information?
That would be great. Thanks.