Why I’m disappointed in what happened on Einstein
To start off, this has absolutely no impact on the way I view FIRST. I still see them as a great organization inspiring the future of our nation, and I will defend that opinion to the death.
That out of the way, Einstein was a horrible, horrible mess. First off, there was a loss of communication with the Red Alliance robots throughout the first two matches. Those, I will forgive the field crew for. It couldn’t be foreseen that it would happen because the field is freshly prepared and unplayed upon. And even after the second match, the problem was looked into, and supposedly fixed, and neither of those matches counted. All of this is perfectly understandable. Shit happens.
However, even after it was announced that these problems were supposedly fixed, the Red Alliance still repeatedly lost comms. At this point, it became absolutely unacceptable. This is Einstein of all places. This shouldn’t happen. This wasn’t in any way, shape or form fair on any level. The winners of the competition should win based on their merit of skill versus a complete and functional alliance, and that was not the case yesterday.
Now, hear me out, I did consider during the first ‘official’ match the possibility that it was the teams themselves that were at fault. My entire team was talking about this. However, as soon as the next match started, with still the same problems, it became abundantly clear that Einstein was the problem.
The worst part of this was was that everything continued as if there was no issue anymore. As if announcing that everything was fixed magically took the blame off the field. There was absolutely no justification for this. Both the Archimedes and Newton Alliances deserved a fair shot at Einstein (and quite honestly, I firmly believe this would’ve changed the bracket). I was absolutely mad. I stopped cheering for the field I wanted to win. I stopped enjoying a game I actually liked to watch. Half my team felt that way. Hell, a volunteer sitting two rows in front of us started smacking a seat with his ref jersey, screaming til he was red in the face.
This never should’ve happened. There were four other fields that were proven to work. Sure it would’ve been a minor inconvenience to some 9,000 people who had, but I would’ve gladly given up my seats right behind the judges to watch a fair game of 12 robots who painstakingly earned their right to be there.
I especially feel terrible for 4334, the only rookies that made it there. Sure its great that they got to win their division in their first year, but it must’ve felt terrible that they go home knowing that they lost, not because another team proved to be better, but because random chance happened and they were the ones thrown under the bus.
This being my senior year, it sucks that these were the final matches in my last FIRST competition, and it won’t be the same in the upcoming years being in an alumni position. Even though I loved the venue, and I loved the area, and I loved visiting the pits, and I loved meeting all the new people I did, and I loved playing Mahjong with MORT, and I loved my time on the team, I have to say, these were the worst competition matches I’ve ever forced myself to watch. And that is why I’m disappointed in what happened on Einstein.