Monday, November 14, 2011

Pierce vs. Ford

Franklin Pierce
14th President of the United States
Served: 1853-1857
Ages served: 48-52

Arena Experience: Pierce was neck-and-neck with John Quincy Adams in the 1st Round, but pulled ahead in the final day of voting, finishing with 64.7% of the vote.

PROS: Pierce has fighting experience; he fought in the Mexican-American War, and even stormed Mexico City. Plus, he was a drinker. You shouldn't fight a drunk guy. They can't really feel pain, so they're not going to stop handing out the pummelings. They're in for a hell of a hangover. But hey, that's tomorrow.

CONS: Pierce was deliberate in seeing his ideas through, even if they were terrible ideas. He signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which essentially led to people killing each other over whether or not Kansas should be a slave state. And though his handsome face probably served him well in life, it could serve as a bull's eye in the Arena.

Gerald Ford
38th President of the United States
Served: 1974-1977
Ages in office: 62-65

Arena Experience: Ford drew a first-round match against John Adams, and blew the Founding Father away with 63.2% of the vote.

PROS: Ford was an athletic specimen throughout his life, and proved himself to be hard to kill, dodging both typhoons in the Pacific during WWII, and multiple assassination attempts during his presidency. He also lived to the ripe old age of 93, which... daaaayum.

CONS: Few presidents manage to destroy their presidencies within weeks of taking the job, but that's exactly what Ford did when he pardoned Nixon. Ford also had a tendency to shoot his mouth off, leading many to realize that he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Stupid decisions + general stupidity = bad times in the Arena.

The Fight
Tony: Ford! He may not be that bright, but he's a wrecking ball with an unstoppable thirst for blood. Ford! He's dodged bullets and typhoons. Ford! He pardoned Nixon. Okay, that last one was a bit of an oopsie. Moving on...
The point I'm trying to make is that it's going to take more than your average Arena brawler to take down Gerald Ford. Franklin Pierce? He's just a drunk with a pretty face. Meh! Ford is gonna break Pierce in two, and he's probably not going to break a sweat, doing it.

Doug: Pierce kicked some serious ass during the Mexican-American War. If you live in the Southwest (and you do) he helped make sure the site of your future home would be under an American flag. That drunk guy with a pretty face should not be underestimated.

And when Pierce is done in the Arena and he's through cleaning the Ford parts off of himself, he's going to celebrate. And that's not a party you're going to want to miss.

Tony: Have I mentioned that Ford lived until he was 93? 93! And this wasn't exactly a tranquil 93 years. Ford survived the universe throwing all sorts of crazy shit at him, but you know what? The universe knew Ford could handle it. And whaddaya know, he did.
Pierce has never faced an opponent quite like Ford. He's going to bounce attacks off Ford's rugged torso, and he's going to go into a funk when those attacks don't slow Ford down. When he gets into a funk, he's gonna want a drink, but he won't have access to anything in the Arena. He's going to fall into despair, and Ford's gonna crush him.

Doug: Yes, I understand that he was athletic, but he was also a bit of a stumblebum. Maybe not to the degree as portrayed in Saturday Night Live, but still. It seems that all Pierce has to do is wait for Ford to make some major mistake and pounce.

Pierce knows that the sooner he gets rid of Ford, the sooner he can get out of the Arena and have a drink.

Tony: You know how on Futurama, Bender starts falling apart when he's not drinking? Pierce is going to have the same problem. When alcoholics stop drinking their body gets flooded with toxins. Seems like that could possibly hinder someone, doesn't it? So, Pierce is obviously going to be operating at less-than-peak capacity, meaning that Ford's got some leeway to play with. Not that Ford, the presidential tank, needs leeway, mind, but he'll certainly take it if it's offered.

Doug: How long are we expecting this fight to go on? Days? Because it's not going to last for days. I mean, if they're in the Arena long enough for any of those problems mentioned to hit Pierce, they would have dropped from starvation and dehydration first.

No, Pierce will have alcohol myopia on his side. Normally, this isn't an advantage. Alcohol myopia is what tells someone having unprotected sex with a stranger isn't all that bad of an idea, and that getting in a car and driving somewhere will probably end fine. It's shortsightedness, completely ignoring any long-term effects.

But it also makes someone hyper-focused on a single task. It puts people in "the zone." If Pierce had to duck swinging axes and fireballs like in a Super Mario Bros. game while fighting Ford, I'd say that it may not end well for Pierce. But Pierce only has one thing to worry about: Gerald Ford. Pierce is going to be hyper-focused on him. He doesn't have to worry about long-term effects. The task at hand is getting out of the Arena alive and toasting to how worthy of an opponent Ford was.

The Chief: Last week, there was mention of a grand piano being suspended by a rope that could be dropped on someone. This week, it's swinging axes and fireballs. I should really be writing this stuff down for next time around.

As always, polls close Friday, 9am Mountain time. Vote! Comment! Take part in democracy!

Pierce vs. Ford


  1. Chancellor of the ExchequerNovember 14, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Got to go with Jerry here. The dude played football at Michigan back when people still died playing football. What did Pierce do? Get drunk and complain about various minorities, that's what. Ford certainly geared up his fighting skills after he moved in across from the Simpson family. Ford wasn't just eating nachos and watching football, he was practicing boxing on Homer's super-thick skull.

  2. Pierce has more than alcohol myopia on his side. Pierce also has the loosening of inhibitions that comes with alcohol use, and the effect of alcohol-induced aggression. I should know, one of my best friends just wrote a kick-ass paper in a really prestigious journal about how (taken from the abstract) "environmental factors, such as early-life stress, interact with genetic variations in serotonin-related genes that affect serotonergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. This leads to increased amygdala activity and impaired prefrontal function that, together, predispose to both increased alcohol intake and impulsive aggression." (Heinz et al., 2011) Don't argue with science, people. Science tells us that Pierce is an impulsive, dis- inhibited super-focused fightin' machine. And that I am a super dork for putting a citation in a blog comment.