The Instigator
ktimbes1983
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
mmadderom
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points

The Patriots undefeated season should have an asterisk on it.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/17/2008 Category: Sports
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,479 times Debate No: 1923
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (9)

 

ktimbes1983

Con

The patriots have a superior team this year, arguably the best of all time, and should not be punished for mistakes of the past. I think if the patriots finish the season it should go down in history, as it should, as the best season in NFL history.
mmadderom

Pro

"The best season in NFL history" is completely arbitrary and open to interpretation. I'd suggest that if you want it recognized in such a manner and asterisk would be necessary to denote that some entity in charge of such determinations (if one actually existed) decided it was, indeed, the best season any team has enjoyed in NFL history.

However, in the real world, such things are subjective. You will be unlikely to convince a Bears fan, for example, that their season was better than the '85 Bears season or a Dolphins fan to accept it as a better season than the '72 Phins. This is one of the great things about sports, they aren't fixed by such things.

You may feel it was the best season in NFL history, and can probably even give all sorts of legitimate reasons for that viewpoint. It will still be an opinion, not a historical fact. That they WERE indeed caught cheating in the very first game of the season provides someone who feels different than you substantial evidence to contradict your opinion.
Debate Round No. 1
ktimbes1983

Con

The opening argument was put together poorly. I want to debate whether or not there should be an asterisk next to the patriots record for this year. I apologize. If you don't want to debate that we can just end it. My bad.
mmadderom

Pro

O.K. by "an asterisk next to their record" I assume you are talking about something akin to the one that was added to Roger Maris' single season home run record to denote he accomplished the feat in more games than Ruth had?

While the Patriots certainly won't get an official, physical asterisk attached to their season in the record books, historians will always note that they were found guilty of cheating and severely punished for it in the first game of the season. In that respect this season will always carry a figurative asterisk for the Patriots.

While their overall record (wherever it finishes) will be a historical fact, so will the cheating conviction. I think you are saying that their accomplishments shouldn't be stained by the fact they were caught cheating in a game. I'd submit both will be historical facts and we can't pick and choose which parts of history to retell. Any historical mention of the 2007 Patriots team that doesn't mention the cheating conviction would be factually lacking and hence not solid history.

Yes, the cheating conviction should and will be remembered just as much as the perfect season. In that regard, the figurative asterisk must be acknowledged. How that affects any individuals view of the team is a personal matter, but is a conclusion that should be come to with ALL of the facts available to them.
Debate Round No. 2
ktimbes1983

Con

"O.K. by "an asterisk next to their record" I assume you are talking about something akin to the one that was added to Roger Maris' single season home run record to denote he accomplished the feat in more games than Ruth had?"

This is actually not the same thing. We can, without any doubt at all, say that it was easier for marris to hit the record because he had more games and thereby more opportunities to hit home runs. The asterisk next to Marris is really there to give credit to Ruth, not discredit marris. An asterisk next to the Pats would serve only to discredit them.

"While the Patriots certainly won't get an official, physical asterisk attached to their season in the record books, historians will always note that they were found guilty of cheating and severely punished for it in the first game of the season. In that respect this season will always carry a figurative asterisk for the Patriots."

A figurative asterisk, or historical criticism is not the same as having a physical asterisks next to their accomplishment. The difference between the two is similar to the difference between most people thinking OJ Simpson to be guilty of murder, and OJ being found guilty and thrown in jail. One is a hit to the reputation, the other is a guilty verdict.

"While their overall record (wherever it finishes) will be a historical fact, so will the cheating conviction. I think you are saying that their accomplishments shouldn't be stained by the fact they were caught cheating in a game. I'd submit both will be historical facts and we can't pick and choose which parts of history to retell. Any historical mention of the 2007 Patriots team that doesn't mention the cheating conviction would be factually lacking and hence not solid history."

That is true, but it still does not justify the physical asterisk. I'll go back to the Marris-Ruth thing. I don't know the numbers exactly but I am sure you could take the number of games ruth played and check Marris's numbers at that point in the season and he would have less than 60. An asterisk next to marris says that Ruth accomplished the most in that given number of games. Again the asterisk give Ruth credit, it does not discredit marris.
mmadderom

Pro

No, the asterisk was put there to discredit Maris' achievement. See, NOBODY wanted Maris to get that record, including the commissioner. Maris was an unpopular player in NY and considered an unworthy hick by MLB.

For the record, that asterisk was later removed and is the only record in the history of major American sports to have a physical asterisk put next to in an official record book. That being said, there is no basis for your argument if you are saying the asterisk you propose would denote something differently from the Maris asterisk. There is no precedent for such.

"That is true, but it still does not justify the physical asterisk. I'll go back to the Marris-Ruth thing. I don't know the numbers exactly but I am sure you could take the number of games ruth played and check Marris's numbers at that point in the season and he would have less than 60. An asterisk next to marris says that Ruth accomplished the most in that given number of games. Again the asterisk give Ruth credit, it does not discredit marris."

Again, this is completely wrong. Ford Frick, the Commissioner of baseball who made the unilateral decision was also a good friend and the ghost writer of Babe Ruth. If you ever read a book authored by Babe Ruth, it was actually written by Frick. He further refused to attend any games as Roger neared the record. The entire thing was a sham to protect his friends record. Frick was not exactly a neutral arbiter on the subject.

The claim that it was intended to to show Ruth accomplished the most HR's in a 154 games season is beyond ludicrous. No other record was treated in this manner, ONLY the home run record. Many other season records fell after the season was increased, for obvious reasons. None were afforded an asterisk to denote the number of games accomplished in. It was put in solely to diminish what Roger achieved, to the delight of Yankees fans, BTW.

Here is a quote from Roger before the asterisk was lifted:

"They acted as though I was doing something wrong, poisoning the record books or something. Do you know what I have to show for sixty-one home runs? Nothing. Exactly nothing." (Roger died never knowing that MLB officially recognized his record as the asterisk wasn't removed until a few years after his death)

That asterisk is the only one we have when referring to a physical asterisk in any sporting record book in the history of sports. If that's not the sort of asterisk you are talking about, then you are making something up out of whole cloth only to dismiss it. We typically refer to that as a straw man argument. I've never seen a straw man set up as the basis for a debate before, though.

Your OJ argument doesn't work, either. Fact is they did cheat, they got caught cheating, and they were punished for cheating. Using your own analogy as basis for whether or not they should receive an asterisk the answer would have to be yes, because they WERE convicted.

The asterisk, whether physical or figurative, is the same from a historical perspective. What you are trying to do with this debate is absolve the Patriots of the cheating conviction so their legacy isn't tainted. That's not possible, nor should it happen.

(To answer your questions about the # of games in the Ruth-Maris thing, Ruth played in a 154 game season while Roger played in a 162 game season. It's true that Maris didn't hit 61 in the first 154 games, however, he also didn't hit his first until the 11th game of the year. If you take the games played from his 1st to his last he actually did it in 3 fewer games than Babe did.)
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by righty10294 9 years ago
righty10294
greatdebator- u say the patriots were dominant in all of their games, I no there good, but they weren't dominant dwon the strech. GO BIG BLUE!!!!
Posted by ktimbes1983 9 years ago
ktimbes1983
I didn't know about the 11 homerless games at the beginning of the season. That certainly adds a twist to the argument over whose accomplishment was more impressive. Thanks
Posted by thegreatdebator 9 years ago
thegreatdebator
as much as i hate the patrioits, they did go the regular season 16-0 and were dominant in all games they deserve all the credit that they are given
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
The patriots might have cheated against the lowly jets in the first game, and shame on them for it. But remember, they overcame the Colts cheating against them when the pats played them in Indianapolis. I'm not a Pats fan, but not only do they have the best record in NFL history, the records they broke also justifies not having an asterisk next to their accomplishment.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
Patriots 18-0 on to the Superbowl :) Enough said :)
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
Eh. I always figured those patriots to be a pack of cheaters.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by righty10294 9 years ago
righty10294
ktimbes1983mmadderomTied
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Vote Placed by sdcharger 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by MattMan1 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by mindjob 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by thegreatdebator 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by jeffmem38017 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by ktimbes1983 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by kels1123 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by mmadderom 9 years ago
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