Ungracious professionalism at internationals?

After an amazing experience at internationals, there are a few things about gracious professionalism that I found lacking, specifically something that happened in our division. A team whose robot was broken was with us in our last round . According to them, their drivetrain was completely broken after falling off the pyramid and they couldn’t get the shooter working. We lost that match by 5 points and because we still ended with enough autonomous points, it cost us the second spot in seeding. When alliance selections came around, one of the team’s coaches went around telling teams not to pick them because their robot was completely disabled. Then during selections, the first alliance captain selected them as a second pick. The majority of teams were confused at this selection and assumed their scouting didn’t pick up the fact that they were broken. The team then went on to finals in our division, performing as though they did not have any issues. I am not accusing any teams of stacking the odds. It is completely possible they did have an issue but, it does seem likely that teams were trying to bypass FIRST’s system where lower teams can have a chance to compete. I believe this is against the spirit of gracious professionalism and FIRST.

This was already addressed in another thread, and a response was made by the leader of the team in question:

I closed the other one because of forum rules violations. If this one gets out of hand I will do the same.

I know what you are talking about and me and another member of my team where extremly confused. This is not at all gracious and i was thrown off that a team so known whould do that. But to be fair i didnt believe it because they have not climbed all season

I don’t post on here very often, but this time I feel like I have to. First off, if we are talking about gracious professionalism, do you not think that it is the exact opposite to be posting rumors that could have severe consequences? Many teams that were also in this particular division have confirmed that they were told this one robot was broken, which was evident in their last match. Many have even said that they saw the kids packing up their pit, as they expected that they were done. Someone decided to take a chance on a team that is extremely highly regarded. Any team in this situation would do anything and everything that they could in order to perform for their alliance.

Of all of the places that vicious rumors occur, it is sad that the FIRST community is becoming one. Please, think of the consequences of what you are saying before you post. You are not only hurting the reputation of an individual with these accusations, but also an entire team. A team with great kids that do not deserve for their championship experience to be dampened.

I think the reason the poster of this thread started it was because they felt a face should be put on an alliance captain that noticed this, and he hopes it can be freely discussed in the CD community instead of being shut down after a few hours before anyone can chip in their 2 cents on what occurred even if it was in fact nothing, but false allegations.

I think the OP is showing a lot of courage by posting here considering 2 other users, posted anonymously even if one of them was indeed the OP. The people involved here are very big in FIRST and in the CD community, which makes it so hard for someone who isn’t, to say something, we have to remember that this is a program for kids, not adults. I wonder, would this situation be different if this was team 4XXX and a student coach? Should it be? I ask that the CD community limit the bashing and really think about the ethics of what might have happened here. Even if it didn’t happen, we as a community can learn from it and know how to approach the temptation of a world championship and maintain our gracious professionalism and keep in mind what it is most important.

And that’s why this thread is still open for discussion. As long as it stays civil and within the rules it will remain so.

I hold the Thunder Chickens in the highest regard and don’t think anything malicious happened.

I’ve read some of the really hateful and sarcastic posts, as well as Paul’s explaining the situation.

The only question I have left is why, if 217 was so disabled that they were telling teams explicitly not to pick them, why then did they not decline the selection? What they did in the pits was tantamount to the same thing as declining during selections so if they were willing to essentially decline, why did they not actually? The assumed (assumptions make an $@#$@#$@# out of u and me) conclusion is that either of their two alliance partners had some inside knowledge that no one else in the division knew that led to these two picking them.

I think the most likely explanation is that they didn’t think they would get their robot working and made some miraculous repairs, which coincided with the alliance captain either choosing foolishly or bravely. But it has to be admitted that it leaves some very interesting questions.

As much as I hate to admit it, this very thought is also on my mind. I too hold 217 in high regard, but all these stories are disconcerting. :confused: I hope Paul and others on 217 can look into the matter and see who, if anyone, was saying these things to teams.

It is also possible that they were told a slightly different version of broken than the other captains, bravery like mentioned earlier is the other main possibility. I don’t think stupidity or poor scouting would be part of it considering 1538 is a very smart very elite team that has been around the block.

Something that ran through my mind is that if the intent was to let 217 drop to the 1 alliance, a good strategy towards achieving that would be to say “we would accept if you picked us.” This way you cannot call a bluff without risking an immobile robot on your alliance. If it was said “if you pick us we would decline” it would make it really simple to call a potential bluff because you could just pick 217 and be rejected and move onto your next pick and select them after the decline.

That’s a very interesting point, I didn’t think of that.

Another possibility is that ‘we’re not working’ means one thing to 217 than it does to 1538/1986. To 217, them not working could mean missing shots in auto but still able to feed down the field. If that’s all 1538 wanted, then they may have asked for details about exactly what on 217 wasn’t working and made their decision based on more data than other teams but not because it was hidden from the rest of the division, because 1538 went out and took it. Of course, that is debunked if 217 went around telling the rest of the division what on their robot wasn’t working/to what level they were broken.

There are many, many different possible scenarios that may have happened.

Take for instance (and I’ve seen this happen before) where the exact situation happens. A team informs all the other teams in the top 8 that they are broken, and do not expect to have the issue fixed in time for elims. The interested alliance takes a look at their robot and says “hey, if we work together, we could just get that fixed in time!”. No one else attempts to pick the team, the interested alliance picks them, they get fixed in time, and all is good.

I too hold 217 in the highest regard and have personally never seen anything at a competition that would make me think differently.

That said, the one voice I would very much like to here regarding this matter (because I don’t think anyone from this team has said anything yet pertaining to the subject) is that of team 1538, The Holy Cows; the team that actually drafted them. If anyone would know about how much 1538 actually knew about the Thunderchickens’ damages, I’d be 1538 themselves.

<speculation> My initial guess is that when told the robot was irreparable, someone from from the 1538 camp went over and investigated exactly how bad the damages were and personally assessed the probability of a successful repair (I mean, that’s what my team would do, and were not even close to Chairman’s caliber). If anyone could fix said fallen robot in time for the playoffs, I think the current World Chairman’s Award Winner might be on that short list. [sidenote: Congrats btw on said achievement]
That would personally give me the confidence to make such a risky selection.

Sadly, I did not personally see the match where said fall occurred, however I did see the last match where they sat dead in, and I hadn’t the clue what was going on.

Conner from the Holy Cows did post, in the thread Jeff linked to. I suggest people read that thread before posting in this one. Overlapping arguments are annoying.

If other teams ever face situations like this, I think what Joe said could be valid. Take the chance and pick the team. If you think you need them to win. If they are the ideal bot. You pick them, and you get their bot functional. Take the risk.

As Paul said in the other thread, if you have something to say, say it with a real account like the OP did. Do not hide under the veil of anonymity. People can not trust an anonymous source for information usually, and the person/team in question doesn’t really have to answer.

That said, I hope whatever went on, if anything, can be resolved within the team. To the other captains; don’t dwell on the issue, it won’t change anything, and in the end if “ifs and buts were candy and nuts…”

Since clicking over to the other thread before lobbing base and offensive accusations seems to be too much trouble, I’ll just copy two highly relevant posts over here:

Note that Paul said he wasn’t commenting more in that thread. Chances are that goes for here as well. I won’t blame connor at all if he doesn’t want to bother wrestling this particular pig*.

I’d just like to point out that you’re accusing the 2013 CCA winners and a former WFA (Paul Copioli) of pulling a ridiculous stunt that anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows is wrong. Do you really honestly think that the Thunderchickens want to win THAT badly? The explanation offered by Paul is more than adequate and is, frankly, something that happens a lot. My team was the beneficiary of a similar 1 pick in 2007. We weren’t working a bit all Friday but pulled some magic that night and had a perfect double lift Saturday morning. We actually didn’t bother telling anyone anything cause we were certain we wouldn’t be picked, and 1114 snatched us up as a sleeper. I’d love to say we went on to win the regional, but we had some unrelated mental lapses that dropped us in the semis, but still. To anyone not paying attention, a completely busted robot magically works flawlessly come elims. The 217 situation was only a little more extreme in the timing of everything.

*Because when wrestling a pig, everyone gets muddy, but the pig likes it.

Especially when you’ve already picked 1986 who had numerous mechanical issues over the course of champs, and got that robot back together after the gremlins had their way.
By that point, fixing 217’s robot before eliminations was probably like business as usual for 1986. :rolleyes:

Whoops. Didn’t catch his post on my initial read through. Sorry about that.

Still, doesn’t say a whole lot, but it does at least confirm my initial thoughts on the matter.

From the same thread, I want to point out the most unsettling post there (at least for me).


Now, that post is from a valid account, a mentor, and someone who did not offer an angry post.

All that can be done at this point is to let 217 to worry about 217. As I said, I hope they do look into it on their own and can find out what was up. And I’ll repeat, other captains should forget about the incident. Move on and have a fun offseason.

I have nothing else to add. To reiterate my earlier post, the pick offered both huge risk and reward. We were gutsy to go for it, and we ended up getting our butts kicked in the finals for it (no disrespect to 217).

One thought that hasn’t been said in these threads is that 1538 made an extremely risky pick with some very high level teams still on the board. 180(last years champion), 1985, and 2439 were all there. These three teams had all been major players in a regional championship and they were all working at full force. The fact that 1538 would pick a broken 217 bot over these three teams probably cost them a major shot at Einstein because as Connor has said 217 did rebreak during eliminations. The fact of the matter is that 217 told everyone that they had a major problem and the cows took a chance on it and it cost them. Does anyone from either 1538 and 1986 want to explain the thought process EDIT: (after rereading please know that this question didn’t mean to sound this acusing: I just want to learn how elite level teams go through a tough decision like this) that went into the pick and if you also considered bringing 2439 in as a backup during finals? I think that would ease the minds of many people. I also think there was no “backroom” field playing going on I actually apuald 217 for being honest with the top 15 instead of telling teams “we are 100%” like most teams would do going into alliance selections. I truly believe that they didn’t know if they could get their problems fixed.

While this is an important issue to discuss, accusing others of “Ungracious professionalism” is both cliché and rather inflammatory. Perhaps I shouldn’t be the one to throw stones, as I’ve put my own foot in my mouth a large number of times, but while you have an important point to raise, I don’t think that was to way to do it. GP is thrown around a lot now, usually in the context of “I’m more GP then you.”

I agree that the situation seems a little fishy at first glance, but I’d be inclined to believe the respected mentors who gave their first hand accounts of their experiences.