2015 Races

nbonaddio
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Re: 2015 Races

Postby nbonaddio » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:54 pm

McCue wrote:I would suggest that the absolute fastest pushers are those who know a lot about and train for buggy, but it's a motivation thing. Except for a couple feet on hills 2, 3, and (specifically the last foot of) 5, 95% of performance improvements are athletic and not technical. You can see this yourself by watching me push a buggy ever.


Yes.

No amount of effort or preparation or practice was going to make any of the kids I saw on hill 5 suddenly be able to run 200m in less than 26 seconds. It was like watching the world's nicest person trying to ask out Kate Upton.

PHG
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Re: 2015 Races

Postby PHG » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:54 pm

nbonaddio wrote:
PHG wrote:Would it be terrible if no one ever beat the course record?


Yes, for the same reason no one gives a shit about women's basketball.

The people who play women's basketball probably care about it. The difference is, they're not playing it for themselves, they're playing it as part of a professional sports league.

As long as the people participating in buggy are getting what they want to get out of it, I don't think alums have any right to criticize.

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Re: 2015 Races

Postby nbonaddio » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:55 pm

PHG wrote:
nbonaddio wrote:
PHG wrote:Would it be terrible if no one ever beat the course record?


Yes, for the same reason no one gives a shit about women's basketball.

The people who play women's basketball probably care about it. The difference is, they're not playing it for themselves, they're playing it as part of a professional sports league.

As long as the people participating in buggy are getting what they want to get out of it, I don't think alums have any right to criticize.


Of course they do. How many Fringe alums do you think are cutting checks to watch them lose to CIA?

In the abstract sense, I'm on board with the idea that ultimately it is about student involvement and anything that gets those ragtag bunch of underdogs out of bed and onto the hills is a good thing. However, I'm sure you would agree that a lot of terms are essentially bankrolled by their Alumni, and watching many teams dramatically underperform this year relative to the weather and the weakened competition is not a good thing.

To put it another way: Fringe (and by extension, Sweepstakes) is fundamentally healthier when they are pathologically competitive and not building things with nine wheels.

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hvincent
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Re: 2015 Races

Postby hvincent » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:13 pm

nbonaddio wrote:To put it another way: Fringe (and by extension, Sweepstakes) is fundamentally healthier when they are pathologically competitive and not building things with nine wheels.


I think buggy is fundamentally healthier when people realize that it's totally fine to build ridiculous things regardless of whether or not it'll bring them a trophy. What do teams even get for winning? It's not like this is a national-level competitive sport with billions of dollars of corporate investment on the line (nor should it even begin to approach that). If there are going to be rivalries and grudge matches and competition, it should be because the student teams feel the urge to egg each other on, not because some alumni with a boner for nostalgia is disappointed about how their investment isn't causing the right teams to win.
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PHG
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Re: 2015 Races

Postby PHG » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:16 pm

nbonaddio wrote:
Of course they do. How many Fringe alums do you think are cutting checks to watch them lose to CIA?

In the abstract sense, I'm on board with the idea that ultimately it is about student involvement and anything that gets those ragtag bunch of underdogs out of bed and onto the hills is a good thing. However, I'm sure you would agree that a lot of terms are essentially bankrolled by their Alumni, and watching many teams dramatically underperform this year relative to the weather and the weakened competition is not a good thing.

To put it another way: Fringe (and by extension, Sweepstakes) is fundamentally healthier when they are pathologically competitive and not building things with nine wheels.

If Fringe alums are anything like CIA alums, they'll contribute whether or not Fringe wins, because buggy's about more than winning. I didn't participate in buggy to win (if I had, I wouldn't have joined CIA. Of course we won anyway, but that's icing on the cake), I participated to learn and have fun. That alone is something worth contributing to, in my view. Of course you can have a different position for your organization, that's fine.

I like that Fringe is trying new things. They will learn something from it. If it works, well they learned something quite interesting. If it doesn't work, well they learned something then too. Personally, I'd like CIA to try to make dropping pushbars work on a monocoque. Might make the buggy go faster. Might not. I would hope that alumni of any organization would wish more for their successors than narrow focus on record breaking, instead of taking advantage of the unique opportunities buggy provides.

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Re: 2015 Races

Postby buggypusher » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:19 pm

To be fair to Fringe they built a 9 wheeled buggy and a conventional 3 wheeled buggy, the latter of which ran pretty decently on Raceday.

The 9 wheeled buggy was more of a fun side project is what I've been hearing.



I however, do agree that when teams are approaching records it is better. The issue with saying as long as teams are competitive between themselves and having fun it's fine is BS in my opinion because Buggy, unlike most sports, is still heavily technology reliant. The United States (or Jamaican) olympic sprinters couldn't win with some of the 4 wheeled buggies+wheels from the 50s against the top buggies+wheels today. While the athleticism of the top push teams can vary year to year, we expect that the fastest buggies won't be getting slower.

So when teams are rolling 2:12s to 2:14s on buggies which have, just a few years ago, finished at 2:03 to 2:05, it's concerning to me. I'd chalk up 3-4 seconds to the road conditions on the back hills and the chute, but make no mistake, the top push talent just isn't there right now.

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Re: 2015 Races

Postby hvincent » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:31 pm

Why, exactly, is it so scary that the 'top push talent' isn't up to spec? It's not like this is a varsity sport. No one outside of some buggy alumni is evaluating the athletic performance of Sweepstakes as a whole. What are we actually losing here by having a year of tiimes that are slower than expected?
Vincent Zeng

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nbonaddio
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Re: 2015 Races

Postby nbonaddio » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:36 pm

hvincent wrote:
nbonaddio wrote:To put it another way: Fringe (and by extension, Sweepstakes) is fundamentally healthier when they are pathologically competitive and not building things with nine wheels.


I think buggy is fundamentally healthier when people realize that it's totally fine to build ridiculous things regardless of whether or not it'll bring them a trophy. What do teams even get for winning? It's not like this is a national-level competitive sport with billions of dollars of corporate investment on the line (nor should it even begin to approach that). If there are going to be rivalries and grudge matches and competition, it should be because the student teams feel the urge to egg each other on, not because some alumni with a boner for nostalgia is disappointed about how their investment isn't causing the right teams to win.


In the interest of commonality, because I'm arguing black and you're arguing white when the reality is grayer than Pittsburgh in November, and because you do make good points and do so in a well-written, cogent yet attacking style, I will say that I hear and understand your viewpoint while respectfully disagreeing.

buggypusher
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Re: 2015 Races

Postby buggypusher » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:39 pm

I think it could be said that top push talent as a barometer for campus excitement/involvement in buggy.

If teams aren't able to recruit the pushers they want for their A team, then it's reflective of the fact that the university as a whole isn't that interested in buggy.

Furthermore, just like competing for first is a motivation to be more involved/obsessed with buggy, so is breaking records, so when teams are both competing for 1st and for records (like 2008), buggy excitement was at a relative peak (look at the size of the crowds from 08-11 near the finish line compared to these days).

Anyways, this argument is probably going nowhere, so I'll do the same as Nik here, and respectfully agree to disagree with you on this.

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Re: 2015 Races

Postby hvincent » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:54 pm

nbonaddio wrote:
hvincent wrote:
nbonaddio wrote:To put it another way: Fringe (and by extension, Sweepstakes) is fundamentally healthier when they are pathologically competitive and not building things with nine wheels.


I think buggy is fundamentally healthier when people realize that it's totally fine to build ridiculous things regardless of whether or not it'll bring them a trophy. What do teams even get for winning? It's not like this is a national-level competitive sport with billions of dollars of corporate investment on the line (nor should it even begin to approach that). If there are going to be rivalries and grudge matches and competition, it should be because the student teams feel the urge to egg each other on, not because some alumni with a boner for nostalgia is disappointed about how their investment isn't causing the right teams to win.


In the interest of commonality, because I'm arguing black and you're arguing white when the reality is grayer than Pittsburgh in November, and because you do make good points and do so in a well-written, cogent yet attacking style, I will say that I hear and understand your viewpoint while respectfully disagreeing.


As long as there's going to be someone on either side of this gradient to acknowledge that, I'm okay with this.

On a whole, I really don't think that the university-level interest in buggy is really dropping that much; there's been a few hits to greeks that's certainly lowered that side of the field (I miss when SigNu was more of a presence, man), but independents have been stepping up to fill in. 08-11 was a really exciting period just because of a bunch of record-breaking suddenly happening, but in the 20 years or so when there weren't expectations of records set every year, was buggy really in that much worse shape?

I'm optimistic for how this year is going to affect future years, because the barrier to the podium looks like it suddenly dropped down a notch. This means more of the underdogs are going to feel like they have a chance to push hard and break through, while anyone who's on top knows that they're going to have to work way harder to increase their lead. That's why I don't buy anyone's claims that this is a sign of impending failure. The students are going to work this out however they feel like, and I see my job as an alumni as encouraging them to be safe, have fun, and work their asses off for what they want.

At the end of the day, someone's going to walk home with a trophy; I really do not give two shits who it is or how fast their roll was. This is a ridiculous made-up sport with made-up rules and made-up awards, so I have a pretty hard time getting super worried about performance.
Vincent Zeng

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