So while I’m still super behind for bloggin about Phoenix Comicon (more posts to come this week), I’m finally able to put down some thoughts about what was for me one of the biggest moments of the convention, this year, and possibly my life. Now normally even though this blog is full of my opinions, I try and keep myself out of it. However I needed to get thoughts down about this event, if only so I’d have a coherent way for showing/explaining to my parents what I mean when I say I’m a geek, and why I go to conventions (also, as I’ll explain, this contest came with “bragging rights”). So be proud Mom & Dad, be proud.
So, what is P.U.G.S. you ask? It stands for “Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown”. A simple description is that it takes 16 contenders who have to debate nerdy topics, and they don’t get to choose which side they get, because according to Jeff Moriarty, the MC, a true geek should be able to know enough of a nerdy topic to debate either side.
And if you don’t know enough about your topic/side, then in the words of Jonathan, who runs Lightning Octopus, just BS your way through the argument.
Now this debating event is not in some quiet little room at the Phoenix Convention Center, during the first few nights of Phoenix Comicon, it’s in a huge room with 300-400 people. And the audience is encouraged to participate by laughing, cheering and shouting both to and at the contestants.
So, now that you know what it is, let me just say, before I continue, that I had a blast being there, and even if I’d lost, I’d be posting how much I want them moving into a bigger hall next year.
So, on to the specifics, and the types of “Fierce Battles” that took place. On Thursday night it all began with 16 of us (nerdvana has a whole gallery of the competitors, some of which are shown below. ) (photos with a Phoenix Comicon watermark, are from the Phoenix Comicon flickr). And the topics and battles were as follows (or at least as far as I can recall)
My 1st battle was against 2013’s champion, I nervously asked for a trial by combat, which resulted in Jeff Moriarty doing something that made the whole audience go “oooohhh”. After announcing that our battle was over who had the more fearsome cranium Red Skull or Skelator he said “Shannon since you’re the newb, I’ll let you pick”. This is shocking because in these battles, you NEVER get to pick. So what did I do? I waffled because I was put on the spot and conflict… and this was how I felt (btw thanks Jonathan, if you read this, you’ll know I got this gif from you):
Because I panicked and waffled, and couldn’t decide, Jeff said, “ok you’re taking too long, you get Red Skull”. I breathed a sigh of relief, not only did I no longer have to make a choice I felt like I’d gotten the better end of things.
As it turns out, I definitely did. My opening argument was “Hail Hydra”! The crowd cheered, and I felt ok from that point on. I built my whole case on the fact that Skelator was laughable, and had no stealth (even giving the audience my version of his “Myaah!”), and that Red Skull was bigger than his cranium, because his ideas and beliefs lasted. I won, and then (thanks again for the awesome gif Jonathan!), by the end of this, when I got the bigger cheer from the audience, I felt like this:
(I don’t recall the other battles off hand, but again, Nerdvana has the breakdown, go check them out!)
By Friday night, there was just eight of us who had to go through the quarter, and semi-finals.
Again, all the battles were pretty fierce, (one of the topics, which wasn’t mine, was who was the better scientist of the 1980’s, Doc Brown or Dr. Egon Spengler). The others are all pretty sharp, either because they were mine, or just because they were hilarious. Brad (who had Doc Brown won)
One of them was who had the better sword He-Man or Link, again (you can tell by all of his arm and hand gestures, Ben beat Alexis, one of only three girls on Friday, including myself).
For my debate, I had a topic that I’m ashamed to say I was caught off guard by (I couldn’t remember who the Gentlemen from Hush were and I’m sure this audience member could tell… shame on me, because I actually love that episode). Here’s the battle below (thanks to one of my fellow moderators Miguel for filming it).
Next up was my battle, with the argument over who was the more helpful red head, Dr. Beverly Crusher, or Zoidberg… let’s just say I used Copious BS as much as possible… and was able to progress to the next round!
The next battle I watched was spectacularly hilarious. The topic was, which was the more romantic line “As you wish” or “I know”. While this debate would have been tough to call (as a chick I’d swoon for either line if well delivered), the best moment came when the friend of Richard, arguing for Han Solo, who happened to be dressed as Princess Leia, stood up and shouted “I LOVE YOU” which prompted the reply “I know”. In the end though it was so close that Ben’s 20 sided die came in handy, as they had to roll to see who progressed. It was Ben, who had a 10 to Richard’s 2.
For this battle (and some of the others I didn’t include, you can check out my friend’s YouTube Channel, where he posted all the videos he recorded! )
After that was the FINAL BATTLE… Who has “More devastatingly killed your loved ones? George RR Martin… or Joss Whedon”… Well as I’m sure you can guess since the picture at the top has me with the trophy, all I can say is the phrase “I am a leaf on the wind”, came in incredibly handy… BEHOLD!
And there you have it, I was so victorious that the audience chanted my name! As I said before, be proud mom & dad, be proud!
Thanks for reading!