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?
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:
- 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.
- It therefore contradicts our most basic idea of gracious professionalism
- We should consider the song and perhaps conclude that it should not be played after elimination rounds.
What I’m not saying:
- I hate Queen/this song.
- No one is graciously professional.
- The song is widely played.
- Everyone loves this song and has no problem with it.
- This song should never be played at a FIRST event.
- This song makes us somehow not GP just by being there.
- This is a big huge deal.