Wednesday, June 29, 2011

... and Tyler, Too

Well, we've certainly seen a spike in votes this week. How big? In the first 24 hours, we've had more votes than the previous four weeks, combined. We're not dumb. We know the only reason why we've had a spike this week is because the insanely popular character from the — okay, maybe not "insanely," per se, but definitely "very" — popular show is fighting.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Bartlet effect.
And, needless to say, none of this bodes well for Jed Bartlet's foe this week, John Tyler. We can't really blame our voters, though. We defer to Maeby Fünke on people's knowledge of Bartlet compared to Tyler.
And that's fine. We can't blame people for not voting for some lesser-known 19th century president over the guy from The West Wing. It's unlikely that neither of the HttCttD authors would say they like the life-long slave holder over any character portrayed by Martin Sheen. However, we kind of have to question the fact that over 90% of voters think that the guy with MS could win in a fight over the guy who doesn't have MS. He might do well against the guy in a wheelchair, who — if FDR's first fight is any indication — theoretically could meet Bartlet in the Marshall Bracket Finals.

While we wouldn't normally devote a Wednesday post to further argue one way or another, we thought it would be nice to give John Tyler a little more sun. After all, it's not like it's going to help him... at all.

Other things to consider about John Tyler:
He's got the genes of survival — Of the 15 children Tyler fathered (not including any illegitimate ones he may have fathered with his slaves), only one, Anne Contesse Tyler, died in infancy. All 14 others survived to adulthood. That's pretty good, considering no one has ever referred to the 19th century as "The Era of Low-Infant Mortality."
In fact, it was the Era of Post-Mortem Photography, which is as creepy as it sounds.

And despite the fact that he was born in the 1700s, two of Tyler's grandsons are still living today. Tyler's fifth child with his second wife — Lyon Gardiner, who was born when Tyler was 63 — had two sons when he was 71 and 75. The fact that someone born in the 18th century should have two grandchildren alive in the 21st century should count for something.

Doesn't have MS — Not to belabor a point, but...

Volunteered during War of 1812 — He didn't see any action, but the fact that he volunteered shows some bravery and fearlessness... right?

Look, don't get us wrong. Bartlet's great. We figured he'd have no problem advancing (whether he should or not is another issue). We just figured Tyler should get some credit where credit is due.

That being said, let's not forget that he owned slaves and that he was elected to the Confederate government. Both of these facts have nothing to do with fighting skills, we just want to make it clear that while we may sympathize with Tyler's situation this week in relation to the blog, we're not saying the guy himself was awesome.
Though the fact that someone born 221 years ago still has living grandchildren is quite impressive.

If you haven't already, please vote in this week's poll. Bartlet? Tyler? Who cares who you vote for, help us break our record for most votes in a week.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bartlet vs. Tyler

Josiah "Jed" Bartlet
Portrayed by Martin Sheen in The West Wing
Age: Sheen was 58 when the show premiered, and 66 when the show, along with his fictional presidency, concluded.

PROS: The (Almost) Complete Package — So, in Bartlet, you have someone with a pretty damn solid résumé. After scoring a 1590 on his SAT's young Bartlet decided to attend Notre Dame in the hopes of becoming a priest. These plans changed when he met his future wife, and though he dropped any further thoughts of the priesthood, he remained a devout Catholic for the rest of his days. Well, aside from that time he got really pissed at God and cursed Him out in Latin, but we won't get into that, much.

After graduating, Bartlet became an economist, and he turned out to be pretty darn good at it, as he eventually earned himself a Nobel Prize in that particular field. But Bartlet believed that he had a duty to help make life better for the less-fortunate, and being the old school Liberal he was, the only place he knew how to make that happen was: politics. He served three terms in the New Hampshire state House, then three terms in the United States House, then two terms as Governor of New Hampshire. It was at this last stop that an old friend, Leo McGarry, came to see him. Leo wrote down a little something on a napkin:
"Bartlet for America"
You see, Leo recognized that Bartlet was the complete package. Someone with legislative and economic experience, the passion to make things better, and someone who was strong in areas typically latched onto by the conservative right. In short, he was a man who would stand up and say, "Hey, I think it would be neat if we reduced the cost of milk so that children get proper nutrition," then waltz into the next room and deliver a smack down like this:
I believe, as the kids say, she just got pwned.

Bartlet's made a career out of kicking ass and taking names for the greater good. Sure, none of that has been actual fighting, but he knows how to transfer knowledge between fields. He's got this.

Popular as all hell — We here at HttCttD try to pretend that our voters will base their votes on the arguments we make here, not on any preconceived notions of the combatants themselves. Occasionally... it's less-than-clear that they're doing that, but whatever.

However, we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that, even for a fictional character whose television show ended five years ago, Bartlet remains astoundingly popular. How popular? Let's pull a recent example, shall we? A couple weeks ago, a lone CNN reporter idly wondered on Twitter who, out of anyone in the world, her followers would like to see run for president:
It didn't take very long at all for Bartlet's name to come up:
Eagle-eyed readers will notice Bartlet was one of the retweeters on this message.
Bartlet's new candidacy took off very quickly:
A day later, the results were in!
While Desjardines never released any official numbers for the poll, it was clearly a Bartlet landslide. And you'll notice he defeated Reagan, both in live and zombie form! Zombie Reagan is crazy-popular! Yet, he fell to the fury from New Hampshire.

What we're saying is, in a contest whose outcome is determined by votes, Josiah Bartlet has the support to garner a lot of votes.

CONS: Arrogant — The number one complaint lodged against Bartlet and his administration was they they were, collectively, a bunch of smug, arrogant, know-it-all sons of bitches. And, let's face it, they kinda are. And that leads to... confrontations.

(Okay, brief setup for this next link: it's from the pilot episode of "West Wing," and all you really need to know is that a) Bradley Whitford's character managed to shoot his damn mouth off on a political talk show prior to the events seen here, and b) the Mary Marsh character, aka, the only woman on the Conservative side of the room, was the one who goaded him into it. Oh, also, she's something of a Ann Coulter analogue. Oh! And the day before, while on vacation, President Bartlet ran a bicycle into a tree.)

Anyway, go see what I'm talking about, here.

Everyone back? Cool. Now, it's obvious well before the President walks into the room that there's little love lost between those two sides. But Mary Marsh eventually puts her finger on the button:
They think they're so much smarter! They think it's smart talk, but nobody else does.
Of course, her people can't even get the Ten Commandments straight, so there's that. And it actually leads to a great entrance line for the President, so we'll allow it. Of course, this allows the President to show off, which, come to think of it, is something that he does in the other clip we posted, isn't it? It's not enough for him to show up a conservative radio host (and thin-veiled Dr. Laura stand-in), he has to rub her face in it. He needs everyone to know damn well that he's the smartest guy in the room.

Maybe his political opponents should remind him that the Bible says "Pride goeth before a fall." This would actually be a bad idea, because that's not in the Bible. However, we imagine Bartlet's heard it before.

To be fair, we should point out that the Republicans have a lot of dumbass moments in the series. When Bartlet comes up for re-election, and there's a fairly good chance to get him out of office (for reasons we're going to get to in a second), they run this guy:

Also, there's the whole MS thing — So the reason why Bartlet was so vulnerable when re-election time rolled around? Funny thing- he wasn't even supposed to run for a second term! Why? Because he made a promise to his wife that he wouldn't. And why did he do that? Because they both knew something: that Jed Bartlet had been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
"Maybe we should tell somebody about this? Eh... nah."
Bartlet didn't even tell his best friend and Chief of Staff (the aforementioned Leo McGarry) until a year into his term. Granted, for most of his term, the disease itself wasn't a big deal. Sure, he did faint that one time preparing for his first State of the Union address, and sure, by the end of his term, he could barely walk (with or without crutches), and sure, the revelation that he had MS and lied about it led to a continuous rolling shitstorm for the latter half of his first term, but other than all that, it's not so bad, right?

Well, if there's one thing I wouldn't want to drag into a fight to the death, it's a debilitating physical condition.

John Tyler
10th President of the United States
Served: 1841-1845
Ages served: 51-54

PROS: He’s a loner, Dottie. A rebel — Tyler was the only former president to have been elected to the Confederate government. He had been elected to the Confederate House of Representatives, but he died before he was sworn into office. As a result, he is considered to be the only president to die in a foreign country — the distant land of Richmond, Va., which was actually not recognized by the U.S. government as a foreign country — and he remains the only president not to be officially mourned in Washington.

He did his own thing as president as well. Tyler was elected vice president, under William Henry Harrison, in 1840. Harrison is the guy who’s famous for dying a month after taking office. Tyler really wasn’t interested in being vice president. In fact, he peaced out of D.C. before the Congressional session even ended, and he didn’t return until after Harrison’s death.
"Shit, I have to go back to that swampy hell hole?"
When he returned, he decided that maybe the Whig platform wasn’t for him anymore, so he went against the party. The party didn’t really like that, so they kicked him out of the party.

Whatever, he didn’t care. He’s a loner, Dottie. A rebel. You don’t want to get mixed up with a guy like that.

He won’t take your nonsense — The Constitution wasn’t all that clear on what happens if the president dies. All it said was:

“In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President.”

Okay, the vice president assumes the duties. But what’s his title? Is he still vice president? Is he acting president? Tyler was like, “Aww, hell no. I’m stuck in Washington with you yo-yos, and I’ve got presidential duties. I’m the president.” I'm paraphrasing, of course.

Some prominent members of Congress weren’t necessarily down with this. This was mostly for their own selfish reasons — they were hoping to use this opportunity to wield some presidential powers without actually being elected. Tyler shut this nonsense down and told Sen. Henry Clay to get back to the Capitol and do his job so that he could do his job in the White House.
Clay got told.

Congress eventually passed a resolution declaring Tyler the 10th President of the United States, which set an important precedent. Regardless of this fact, some people still refused to refer to him as president. Any correspondence addressed to Vice President Tyler or Acting President Tyler was returned, unopened.

The guy’s firm, and is in no mood to put up with any bullshit.

CONS: Prolific father — Tyler and his first wife, Letitia, had 8 children. She died in 1842 — the first first lady to die in the White House. A couple of years later, Tyler married remarried, and together, they had seven children. The dude raised 15 children! That must be tiring.
"Whatever, amateur."

To put that in sitcom perspective, in terms of children, that’s 3 Huxtable families (excluding Olivia. I couldn’t stand that girl.) Or, that’s the Bradford Family (Eight is Enough) plus the Lubbock Family (Just the Ten of Us), minus one. Let’s make it Willy Ames. Nothing personal, Mr. Ames, Zapped! was a wonderful film. You're just the only child from either family whose actor's name I recognize.

I can imagine a father of 15 children entering the ring and begging to be put out of his misery. Anything would be better than going home to that zoo.

Okay, granted, by the time Tyler was president, he hadn’t had any children with his second wife, so the number would stand at eight, but we know he has the ability to make at least 15. No disrespect to Tyler, but I wonder how long someone capable of fathering 15 children can go without humping something. I hope it’s longer than the duration of your typical fight in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena, because things might get messy and/or awkward.

Nickname says it all — People who were not in favor of Tyler being given the title of president bestowed a nickname upon him: “His Accidency.” Their opinion was that Tyler wasn’t brought to the White House by the will of the electorate, but by complete accident.

It actually wasn’t the first time his political career advanced due to someone's death. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1816 to fill the position of John Clopton who had died earlier that year. It actually thrusted Tyler into the national political scene.

Granted, he was elected that time, but only because Clopton died. Who knows how long Clopton would have gone on serving had Death’s icy grip not, ya know, killed him? Tyler just doesn’t advance unless someone dies. Granted, that’s the purpose here, but take a look at his presidency. Someone died, he became president. He couldn’t get re-elected on his own.

He’s in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™ because Harrison died, but there’s no reason to believe he can advance on his own.

The Fight
Tony: Listen, if there's one thing Bartlet does well, and I mean really well, it's righteous indignation. And if there's one thing that Bartlet respects almost above anything else, it's the sanctity of government, and the office of the Presidency. I guess that's two things. Whatever. The point is, if you throw him in the ring against a guy who disrespected the country by going off and joining the Confederacy? He's going to get angry. And I don't think Tyler is going to like him when he's angry.
Besides that, what does Tyler bring to the table, here? Oh, he didn't take any guff? Bully for him! Bartlet's going to wrap him up in guff like guff is aluminum foil, and Tyler's a stick of gum. And then Bartlet is going to transform that guff into ass whoopage. Q.E.D.

Doug: If this were a debate or an argument, Tyler wouldn't have a chance. No one going up against a Sorkin-scribed protagonist has a chance. But this is all about Bartlet using his fists, and he doesn't have too much experience with that.

I will, however, point out in the earlier cited Mary Marsh scene, Bartlet makes it very clear that he does not have a very good record of acting with a clear mind while angry. If Tyler's rebel ways get Bartlet fired up enough for him to do something stupid, he should just keep the anger coming by telling Bartlet about how he owned slaves his entire life. That should make Bartlet slip up enough.

Then we'll see who's the aluminum foil and who is the stick of gum.

... Wait, why aluminum foil?
Tony: Look, I think we've got two dudes in the arena this week who lack a certain fighting skill set, so I think that's probably a wash. Therefore, it's going to be all about tactics, and Bartlet's got to have Tyler beat on that score. After all, Tyler's go-to move seems to be to flip out and go it alone. Well, he's already going to be alone when he gets dumped into the arena, so that go-to move will be gone. Advantage: Bartlet.

Oh, that seems like a winning strategy: get Bartlet fired up about civil rights. Seriously. Tyler might as well douse himself in gasoline and start waving matches around at that point.

The aluminum foil is the gum wrapper? You know? The wrapper on the gum?

Doug: I'm a little confused about your tactics here. You say Tyler is at a disadvantage because he likes to go it alone. How is that a disadvantage in the Arena, where you're expected to go it alone? It's not like he's going to have Leo McGarry there to offer words of encouragement, telling him that he can do it. So Bartlet is not with the advantage here.

And when I pointed out that Bartlet explained that he acts stupidly when he gets really angry (ex: taking out his garage door, riding his bike into a tree) and that Tyler could use this fact and get Bartlet angry, you make it sound like an angry Bartlet has what it takes to win and won't screw it up somehow.

Okay, I hear aluminum foil, and I think the stuff you wrap leftovers in. I guess some gum come wrapped in a kind of foil with paper. I'll give it to you, I suppose.
For the record, miniature Paul McCartneys are wrapped in paper.

Tony: I guess what I'm trying to say about Tyler is that he enjoys casting off his previous support system. First he's a Whig, then BOOM! He's out. First, he's part of the Union, then BOOM! He's out! It's like a basketball player's first step. Problem is, now he can't do that step, because there's no support system for him to shuck off. As a result, he's going to be discombobulated, and easy prey for pissed off New England Catholics.
You don't think Angry Bartlet has what it takes to win? Go watch that clip where he eviscerates the Dr. Laura stand-in, again. Okay, I'l grant that occasionally when he gets mad, bad things happen in the form of destroying garage doors or sudden arboreal stops. Other times? That happens. Tyler doesn't want any piece of that.

You wrap leftovers in aluminum foil? Saran wrap, Doug. Saran wrap.

Doug: Tyler doesn't need a support system. He spent nearly his entire presidency without a party. Did he go grovelling back when they kicked him out? No. Did he rush out and try to cozy up to another party? No. He doesn't need anyone. That's why he's perfect for the Arena; it's just him out there. This is what he does. He fights his fights all by himself.

Yes, I saw what he did to the Dr. Laura stand-in. He composed a very well-thought out argument that shut her up. That's pretty much all he does, and he does it very well. Bartlet's going to enter the ring and tell Tyler what he thinks about state's rights and the spread of slavery to the West. He's going to put Tyler in his place... verbally. This isn't a debate. You think Tyler cares about others thinking he's right? No, in fact Tyler will probably want to get down to business and start throwing punches just when Bartlet is feeling at his most smug and self-satisfied. And that won't be good news for the guy with the debilitating nerve disorder.

I don't use just aluminum foil. Only some leftovers get aluminum foil. You wrap hot food in Saran Wrap? That doesn't sound too healthy.

Tony: No, hot food goes in Tupperware, or whatever Tupperware knock-offs you happen to have handy.

Doug: Tupperware? Are you kidding me?

Tony: Well, what the hell else am I supposed to do with soup?

The Chief: Okay, kids. I think we can wrap this debate up. Polls close Friday at 9am MDT. Be sure to vote and comment.

Bartlet vs. Tyler

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sit Down, John

Gerald was certainly Fording the river towards victory this week.
Gerald Ford should consider himself lucky that he had John Adams to abuse, for no sane man would tolerate it.

Ford vs. Adams
Gerald Ford 12 (63.2%)
John Adams       7  (36.8%)

While Ford had quite the athletic past, a few voters seemed to think that that had been a long time ago and that he was too clumsy to pull it together. Others thought it was a toss-up and asked "What Would Feeny Do?"
Since Brent Spiner portrayed Adams in the late-'90s Broadway revival of 1776, another question to consider would be "What Would Data Do?"

What would we do? We'd reference the 1776 musical, just like Librahawk.

Gerald Ford moves on to the 2nd Round, where he's scheduled to meet Franklin Pierce Nov. 14. Next week, Josiah "Jed" Bartlet of The West Wing will face off with John Tyler.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes (or not)

John Adams served the shortest single, full term in history, and he will continue holding that distinction for at least another 90 years.

How is this possible? Adams served four full years, just like a bunch of other single-termers such as Jimmy Carter, Herbert Hoover and his own son. However, those guys were president 1,461 days, while Adams only served for 1,460 days. Adams got screwed over by leap years.

Having four-year terms means — almost — every term gets one leap year day. Every four years is a leap year, and these are years divisible by 4. So, we had one in 2008 and we’ll have another one in 2012. Easy, right?

Well, no. It’s a tad more complicated than that. Years ending with ‘00 are not leap years, except the years that are divisible by 400 are. So, you may remember 2000 being a leap year, because it’s divisible by 400. A vast majority of you reading this in 2011 probably won’t be around long enough to see that 2100 will not be a leap year. I’m also willing to bet that even fewer people reading this remember 1900 not being a leap year either.

Bill Clinton was president on February 29, 2000, and served for 2,922 days, just like James Madison, Dwight D. Eisenhower and even Grover Cleveland.

William McKinley was president in 1900, when there was no February 29th, so he served one of these shorter terms. However, he also won re-election, so his time in the White House kept going (though his second term was cut short when he was assassinated).
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo assassinate Buffalo buffalo.
This leaves Adams as the only one-term president to serve a full four-year term with no leap days. And will remain so depending on the outcome of the 2096 and 2100 elections.
Constitutionally not allowed to run, but could make a for a good Cabinet member.

Just to put things in perspective, it’s quite likely that the parents of that president aren’t even born yet. Don’t go out and get yourself (or someone else) pregnant, because you’re very likely not the grandparent of this president. Instead, vote and comment in this week’s poll, Ford vs. Adams.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ford vs. Adams

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

PROS: Surprisingly athletic — So, Ford had a helluva football career at the University of Michigan. And mind you, this was back in the day when the Wolverines could actually play football. As was the custom in the 1930s, Ford played both offense and defense, and starred in both. He led Michigan to a pair of undefeated seasons (and national titles) in 1932 and 1933, which is not too shabby, really.
Also, he looked like this, which is similarly lacking in shab.
Ford was offered contracts by both the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions after he graduated, but he turned both down to attend law school. Ford's athletic career didn't end, though, as he decided that as a little side project while studying law, he would also coach the boxing and football teams (the latter as an assistant, but still). For some reason, Yale didn't think this was the best idea, and Ford was actually rejected in his initial application. But Ford would not be denied, and eventually graduated in the top 25% of his law school class.

He kept up his coaching while in the Navy during World War II. He spent a year as a Preflight School Instructor, where in addition to teaching subjects such as seamanship, artillery, and first air, he also coached all nine of the athletic programs offered.

Now, you could argue that all of this athletic glory occurred some forty years before Ford ascended to the presidency, and you'd be technically right. However, we would argue that this experience was invaluable, because as it happens, Ford was also...

Hard to kill — We mentioned that Ford served in the Navy in WWII, right? Well, not all of that time was spent stateside in teaching jobs. Ford was eventually assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Monterey, which saw constant action from 1943-44, though she was never touched by enemy fire. What did touch her? Well, there was this typhoon.
"Typhoon" is just another word for "Oh, f***"
Sailing as part of the Third Fleet, The Monterey was hit by a typhoon in mid-December, 1944. This particular typhoon was a beast, as the fleet lost three destroyers and around 800 men to its power. At one point, Ford was headed to his station on the ship's bridge when a swell hit the ship, causing it to pitch violently, sending Ford skidding towards the edge of the deck. Ford kept his cool, and managed to slow himself enough that, when he reached the edge of the deck, instead of plummeting into the Pacific Ocean, he did a little roll and slid into a catwalk below the deck. Pretty badass, if you ask us.

As President, Ford was similarly untouchable. This proved handy in September of 1975, when Ford came under fire (kinda) twice in the span of three weeks. The first attempt on his life took place on the 5th, when a Charles Manson devotee named Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme pointed a .45 caliber handgun at Ford and tried to pull the trigger. Bad news for Fromme; she was standing right next to a Secret Service agent, who grabbed the gun and managed to mash his finger between the hammer and the pin, preventing the gun from firing. Okay, so it turned out that the gun was loaded, but not chambered, meaning that it wouldn't have fired anyway. Not that the whole event didn't freak people out, a bit.
Fun fact: at her trial, Fromme threw an apple at the judge's face, knocking his glasses off. Oh, Squeaky Fromme. You're simultaneously the worst, AND the best.
Seventeen days later, Sara Jane Moore stood in a crowd waiting for Ford to emerge from a San Francisco hotel. Also, she had a .38-caliper revolver in her hand. This gun actually wasn't Moore's weapon of choice. The day before, she had been arrested on an illegal firearms charge, and had been forced to give up her gun to the San Francisco police. While she did manage to get her hands on another gun, what she didn't realize was that the sights were a bit off, and that any shots she would be firing at the distance she stood from Ford would be off by about six inches. So, Moore shot, and missed Ford's head by... six inches. Further bad news for Moore; she was standing right next to an ex-Marine, who managed to deflect her shooting arm before she could fire another shot.

The motives for both would-be assassins? Well, they essentially boiled down to the fact that they were both crazy-pants. Still, Ford managed to survive them, and World War II, and he lived to be 93, making him the longest-lived U.S. President. He's not going down like some punk in a steel cage match, we can tell you that much.

CONS: Managed to sabotage his presidency with a single decision — So, we should mention that Ford, unlike the rest of his real-life Presidential peers, was never elected to an executive office. See, after spending nearly a quarter-century in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ford had risen to the position of House Minority Leader by the time the Watergate scandal broke out. By 1973, it was increasingly clear that President Nixon's was not going to last his full second term, and Republican strategists faced a bit of a conundrum. Sure, they would normally just wait for Nixon's inevitable downfall and then swear in the sitting Veep, but there was a hitch in that plan. Vice President Spiro Agnew had already resigned, under an entirely different scandal, and the Vice President's chair was open. If something happened to Nixon, the presidency would potentially wind up in the hands of a Democrat.
"Wait, it would go to who? Aw, crap."
So, the party gave Nixon a choice: Ford, or Ford. Nixon wisely chose Ford, and the former football star became Vice President just in time for Nixon to bail, whereupon, voila! President Ford. Ford took the oath of office August 9, 1974. A month later, he made a televised address to the nation, saying that he was offering some conditional pardons to hippies who had fled to Canada in lieu of being drafted. Oh, and he was also completely pardoning Richard Nixon for any shady business that he had initiated as president. Why? Because America just needed to move ON, dammit.

Except, America wasn't entirely convinced things were on the up-and-up. What America saw was a crooked politician escaping ahead of the mob, hand-picking his successor, then having said successor get him completely off the hook. Ford's popularity plummeted, and never really recovered. While no concrete evidence ever emerged that the pardon was the result of a quid quo pro arrangement, America decided that if they couldn't have Nixon's blood, by God, they'd get someone. As a result, Ford only narrowly survived a primary challenge by some actor-turned-governor in the 1976 presidential race. Once he went on to the general election, Ford lost to... Jimmy Carter? Yeeeesh. So, let's be clear, when this guy made bad decisions, he made really bad decisions. Not good for an Arena combatant.

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer — So, LBJ had a little saying about Ford. As Ford was a key congressman during Johnson's presidency, the foul-mouthed Texan often found cause to gripe about the dumb jock from Michigan. His favorite gripe? "Ford's so dumb, he can't walk and chew gum at the same time." Actually, no, that was the press's favorite gripe. What Johnson actually said was that "Jerry Ford is so dumb, he can't fart and chew gum at the same time."

Johnson wasn't the only one to pick up on this. Chevy Chase's impersonation of Ford on Saturday Night Live often centered around Ford's supposed bumbling, slow-witted nature. And while Ford usually kept it together in public, he managed a major slip up during a debate with Jimmy Carter, when he said, "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford Administration." Which was nice, except for the fact that the Soviets had dominated Eastern Europe for... oh, about thirty years at that point. Ford followed that up by delving into the psyche of Poland, when he declared the he did not believe that the Poles, Romanians, or Yugoslavians "consider[ed] themselves dominated by the Soviet Union."
You know you've fubared when the guy asking the questions at your debate can't help from pulling a "Seriously?" face.
So, yeah, look. Ford was a hell of an athlete. And he had some rather tricky waters to navigate while president. But that right there? That is not the kind of on-your-feet thinking that will serve you well in the Arena.

John Adams
2nd President of the United States
Served: 1797-1801
Ages in office: 61-65

PROS: Was always fighting something — No matter how unpopular any of his causes were, he had a long history of fighting as hard as possible, no matter what the cost. And you know what? He had a pretty decent record of winning these fights as well.

As a lawyer, he was hired to defend the British soldiers who opened fire and killed five unarmed civilians on the streets of Boston one March evening in 1770. Defending the British in Boston in 1770 was about as popular walking around in a Derek Jeter jersey in Boston today. But he took the job, as unpopular as it was, because you know what? People shouldn’t throw rocks and ice chunks at people with rifles, daring them to shoot back. Because they might shoot back.

Just a few years later, he was one of the first people to suggest that maybe the colonies should declare independence from England. This idea wasn’t met with the greatest of enthusiasm, but he debated tirelessly for it, and he eventually won everyone over.
I guess you can say that if it wasn’t for him, we’d all be speaking English right now. Wait, no. That doesn’t make sense.

And then, as president, he stood up to the French in the Quasi War. “Hey, thanks for the aid during our revolution, but that was the Kingdom of France, you guys are the Republic of France. We don’t owe you guys anything. What’s that? You’re going to attack our trading vessels? Okay, we’ll revive our Navy and take care of this.” 
I guess you can say that if it wasn’t for him, we’d all be speaking French right now. It wouldn't be true, but go ahead and say it anyway.

Maybe some of his fights were unpopular because they were bad ideas, like the Alien and Sedition Acts, which critics say was just a way to silence critics. As hurtful to his political career as it was, he fought for it.

Dude doesn’t care. He’s up for a fight.

Good at avoiding death — Adams lived to be 90 years old. He actually died on the same day as Thomas Jefferson, which also happened to be the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the Declaration of Independence, which is kind of a crazy coincidence, but besides the point.

Back to the 90 thing, yeah, he lived to 90. Living to see 90 today is a pretty sizable achievement. Imagine doing it in a time when you could hear doctors say, “Oh, you’re sick? Let me cut your arm and bleed the disease out of you.” He died the year before Joseph Lister — the guy who suggested that maybe surgeons should use clean instruments — was even born.

It’s not like he had that much of an easy life, either. The guy was president, and that was a stressful job. Other stressful jobs include “Guy who defended those British soldiers who killed Boston civilians” and “Guy who would have been one of the first sent to the gallows if we hadn’t won the war for independence.” All that stress, yet it didn’t seem to shorten his life any. Or maybe it did, and he was supposed to live to be 130.

The Arena is shouldn’t be too much of a problem for Adams. He’s been through the wringer and got through just fine.

CONS: His Rotundity — In his first year of being vice president, he was insistent upon the idea that the President of the United States be given a more grandiose title. He favored titles like “His Majesty the President.” Members of Congress disagreed. We had just rebelled against a king, why treat our president like a king?

In response, certain members of Congress dubbed Adams “His Rotundity.” I may be reading way into this, but I’m getting two things from this:

1) He was overweight. Not just a little pudgy, but full-fledged overweight. Maybe not Taft-Cleveland-McKinley proportions, but still probably not in good enough shape to fight very well.

2) Even well into his 50s, he was subjected to schoolyard-esque teasing. To me, that says that he doesn’t have that long of a history of quashing such childish insults.
The esteemed senator from South Carolina proposes to launch an exploratory inquiry
as to why the vice president keeps hitting himself.
 I bet no one called Theodore Roosevelt “His Rotundity” twice.

He probably wants to lose — Adams always came off as one of those martyr types. He always bemoaned the idea of his role in the American Revolution will be forgotten. He's slightly more popular now because of David McCullough's biography and the HBO miniseries based on it starring the guy who played Pig Vomit in Private Parts.
I could see him blowing this fight just because he thought that not enough people wanted him to win. He would go on believing that he deserved to win and that would be enough for him. He would take solace knowing that years from now, everyone will look back and realize that they were wrong for not giving Adams enough credit.

And I bet that kind of attitude does nothing but further anger his opponent.

The Fight
Doug: Okay, Adams doesn't have the athletic game, though both of their bodies are tough. Let's remember that though Ford lived to be 93, Adams lived to be 90. The difference here is 180 years of medical improvements, which Adams didn't need to reach 90.

Tony: Sure, Ford and Adams both lived long lives. And sure, modern medical technology probably has something to do with that for Ford. But you shouldn't overlook the luck factor. Seems to me, Adams didn't have people gunning for him his entire life. Like, literally gunning for him, not just talking smack behind his back.

Doug: Ford sounds like he could be outsmarted if he were fighting an intelligent enough person. Luckily, Adams was a Harvard grad and one of the brightest legal minds of his time. These are not the circumstances Adams is used to, but he isn't one to give up a fight just because the deck is stacked against him.

Tony: This is the thing with Adams: he's all brains, no brawn. Ford, meanwhile, is all brawn and... well, let's just say the man was on the Warren Commission and signed off on the Magic Bullet theory. It's the Unstoppable Force versus the Immovable Object!

Doug: Adams knows that Ford should have never become president, thus he has no place in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena. By pardoning Nixon, he made a mockery of the office. Adams is, once again, going to do what he thinks is right. He'll do everything in his power to get rid of Ford.

Tony: Look, it's not like Ford swindled his way into office, or anything. If he had gotten to the presidency straight from the House Minority Leader's position, then you might have an argument for that, as I'm relatively certain that post is not part of the Presidential Line of Succession. But he was confirmed as Vice President before Nixon resigned, so whatcha gonna do?

Doug: True, Adams wasn't much of a physical fighter. But he knows that this is the Arena. He knows that he won't be able to get a win through sound legal arguments. He needs to take some of that fire within and use it, physically. The best way of doing this is to get him angry. And nothing would anger the insufferable elitist more than news of some former model and dumb jock who wasn't even elected by the nation got to be president. You think Adams risked neck by signing the Declaration of Independence so that someone like Gerald Ford would eventually be put in the same category as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson?

Tony: I like how it's somehow Ford's fault that he became president. I mean, what the hell was he supposed to do, say "no" when Nixon resigned? Also, you would think that someone harboring so much resentment over how Ford became president would maybe think about that sort of scenario when, I don't know, he was fathering the country. Maybe they should have rigged it so that the moment the presidency was vacated, new elections had to be held! Oh, wait! That's what they do in Britain! And Canada. And other parliamentary systems. Huh. Adams and the other founding fathers eventually figured out that the American system didn't involve bringing the government to a halt every two years. If he can't handle the consequences, that's too damn bad.

Doug: Normally in this case, Adams would calm himself down by writing a letter to his wife, Abigail, and relaxing with a beer. No quill pens to be found. Ditto for ale. His only choice, right now, is to think on his feet for the best way of defeating this bumbling idiot charging him at full steam ahead. Adams will probably start by taking a single step to one side and sticking his foot out by tripping him.

Tony: You admit right off the bat that Adams isn't much of a fighter. So how is he going to win a fight? He's going to trip Ford? Come on. Ford wasn't tripped up by a freaking typhoon-powered storm surge, and he's not going to be tripped up by some irritable law nerd.
Doug: Adams was an irritable law nerd. Okay, I can't really dispute that. He got that way from being prepared for anything that might be heading his way.

Ford, on the other hand, reportedly showed up to his own wedding wearing two different colored shoes. No, he wasn't trying to rock the Punky Brewster look 40-something years early. He was just nervous and his usual absent-minded Ford self.
He was trying to summon up Punky Power, which was not to be discovered until 1984.
No, I'm not arguing that having mismatched shoes spells certain doom in the Arena. I'm just saying, this is a poor indication that he's going to show up prepared. Say what you will about Adams, he will be prepared to do anything in his power to win.

Tony: Hey, good for Adams for being Mr. Prepared and all, but I don't see how he's going to fit a lifetime of physical and martial training in before getting shoved into the Arena to face Ford. It's going to be more "punches are things that people do, right?" and then he's going to get clobbered.

See, here's the thing: you're noticing that Ford was occasionally absent-minded. Perfectly true. However, his propensity for screwing up grows in proportion to the amount he has to think. How much does he need that ability in a one-on-one death match? Less than anyone thinks, I would guess. It's going to come down to physical ability, and unfortunately for Adams, his opponent? Is built...


Ford tough.

Ford vs. Adams

Friday, June 17, 2011

Three Sheets to the WIN

First Mexico City. Then Winifield Scott. And now John Quincy Adams.
Handsome Frank was able to pull out quite the win.

Adams vs. Pierce
John Quincy Adams      6  (35.3%)
Franklin Pierce11 (64.7%)

Adams and Pierce were pretty much tied all week until the last 24 hours of voting, when the Pierce contingent woke up and gave him nearly two-thirds of the vote. That would sound much more impressive if there were more than 17 votes this week, but what are you gonna do?
We were intrigued by this new name in the commentariat. Firstly, because it's a new name. Secondly, was this person born in late-September to mid-October, or are they just into books? We don't know and we probably don't want to know. We like the mystery.

We also liked the link, the interest shown in a presidential biography and, most importantly, the phrase "combat-hardened sexbomb."

We'll meet Franklin Pierce again in the 2nd Round Nov. 14. Next week, Gerald Ford takes on John Adams.

Don't want to wait until Monday for Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™ fun? Visit our store, Hail to the Merch, and be the first one on your block to have authentic Hail to the Chief... to the DEATH apparel.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hail to the... Merch?

If you've been following the blog for long, you already know that, on Wednesdays, we usually take the time to drop in something historical/smartassed about one or both of the week's contenders. Well, not this week! This week, we're announcing a new feature on the blog! What is said feature? We'll give you a hint:
Figured it out?

That's right, your Hail to the Chief to the Death co-authors have succumbed to their base, capitalist instincts, and have opened a little shop where you can but official HttCttD merchandise! This is clearly exciting news. How exciting?
GIF from here, if you were wondering.
Yup. Just about that exciting.

Anyhoo, if you want to check out the store, you can do that one of two ways. You can head directly to our Spreadshirt store here, or you can check the new "Hail to the Merch!" page, above. Either way, we look forward to providing you with high-quality HttCttD merch so that you can gird your loins with style!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Adams vs. Pierce

John Quincy Adams
6th President of the United States
Served: 1825-1829
Age during term: 57-61

PROS: Dude's been around — JQ Adams is one of those presidents whose string of accomplishments prior to becoming president (and even after becoming president), make you go, "Really? Goddamn!" You know how Wikipedia articles on famous people include sidebars listing all of the prominent things they did, with the dates, and the predecessors and successors and so forth? Adams' sidebar just goes on and on and on.
"Ladies, that's not the only thing that goes on and on."
What all did Adams get up to? Well... He served as Ambassador to the Netherlands, Ambassador to Prussia, came back to America, was appointed Senator from Massachusetts, then left again to become Ambassador to Russia, then Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He then returned to become Secretary of State under the Monroe Administration (where he helped the U.S. take Florida and also drafted something that would eventually be known as the Monroe Doctrine). Then, he decided to ditch amateur hour, and became president. And once his presidency was up, he still wasn't done. He returned to politics as a Massachusetts congressman, where he served for nearly ten terms. And while he was in Congress, he managed to successfully argue a little case before the United States Supreme Court.
Although, let's be honest: the only reason you've heard of said case is because they made a movie out of it.
John Quincy Adams. Getting stuff done. And with all that experience, you'd best believe he probably picked up a little something about winning a fight to the death.

Prognosticator — Adams' breadth of experience often led to his making a prediction or two. How did those predictions pan out? Well... as Secretary of State, Adams watched from afar as Greece led a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire. As it involved the birthplace of democracy (an experiment that America had recently decided to renew), there was some interest in getting the young nation involved. Adams opposed such intervention, and nothing much came of it. However, Adams did predict that the war would mark the beginning of an extended conflict between Islam and the West.

He predicted this in 1821, by the way.

Adams also predicted that the question of states' rights slavery would eventually lead to the dissolution of the Union (check), that slavery itself would be abolished by presidential fiat (partial check), and that an independent South would be torn apart by massive slave rebellions (erm...). That's a pretty good track record. Not perfect, but pretty good. Being able to read the Long Game could prove an invaluable skill in the Arena.

CONS: Tactically unsound — John Quincy Adams was a man of principles, and he stood by those principles no matter what. Which is nice, I guess... except that the "what" in this case meant that his presidency amounted to... well, pretty much squat.

To explain: Adams' run for president came in 1824. The initial party system that had dominated American politics (originally titled the First Party System) had collapsed, leading to a bit of a free-for-all. When the dust settled, the main candidates were Adams, a couple of other guys no one cared about, and a rather popular ex-general from Tennessee, named Andrew Jackson. Jackson ended up winning the popular vote and gaining a plurality of the electoral college votes, though he did not have enough electoral votes to win the thing outright, so the vote went to the House of Representatives in a three-way runoff of sorts (Jackson and Adams were joined in the runoff by William H. Crawford, who had finished third despite suffering a stroke in the middle of the campaign, and thus dropping out). Now, remember when I basically decided not to talk about the other candidates in the race? Well, one of those candidates was Henry Clay, who was then... the Speaker of the House.

Long story short, Clay really, really didn't like Jackson, and liked Adams' policies enough that he threw his support behind Adams. This gave Adams the presidency, but there was one little problem: no one liked him. Okay, that's a slight exaggeration, but for someone who had essentially served as a lifelong diplomat, Adams was strikingly undiplomatic in person, was unable to drum up public support for any of his policies, and refused to play any political games, because again: to do so would go against his personal code. This last point was a big problem, as Adams refused to replace any of the still-pissed-off Jackson supporters who were dotting the Federal government.
There were some... harsh feelings, still.
The end result was that Adams came into office with a lot of great ideas, but ended up accomplishing jack-squat, especially after the midterm elections, when he lost what little congressional support he had previously enjoyed. He essentially spent the last two years of his term as a lame duck, then got annihilated in the 1828 election. All because he couldn't play the game. If he refuses to bend in the Arena, it's not going to go well for him.

Politically Flighty — Non breaking news: The political landscape of the United States has gone through a few upheavals from the nation's inception to the present day. While today it's rather rare for major political figures to switch parties, it used to be a little more commonplace. Still, that's no excuse for John Quincy Adams. Adams started out as a Federalist, but when the First Party System (remember that?) started to crumble, JQA bolted for the Democratic-Republican party.

The election of 1824 put some serious cracks in said party, with Jackson's supporters eventually splitting off and forming the Democratic party; Adams' group, meanwhile, morphed into the National Republican Party, but after getting smacked down by Jackson, the National Republicans folded up their tent and joined the Whigs. Adams, however, did not join them; instead he took up with the Anti-Mason Party.
More than a little ironic, given the number of Masonic presidents that have been in office.
Would it surprise you to know that the Anti-Mason Party was something of a single-issue party? No? Well, despite bringing some interesting innovations to the political scene (the notion of nominating conventions, for one), the Anti-Mason Party wasn't long for the earth. When this party collapsed, Adams finally joined the Whigs.

See a pattern? That's a lot of jumping on losing bandwagons. Do you want to be on a losing bandwagon headed into a fight to the death? I'm guessing you don't. Adams, on the other hand... looks a bit screwed.

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

PROS: Drunk — We’ve had our share of drunk presidents. Maxim says it, so it must be true. Pierce was a bit of a pro in that category. He sank into alcoholism when life dealt him some shit snacks. After losing his first two children, his 11-year-old son was killed in a train accident two months before inauguration. As a result, his wife Jane, who hated life in D.C. to begin with, became very distant.
His children were dead, his marriage was on the rocks and his presidency was less-than-stellar. When he left office, he reportedly said, “There’s nothing left but to get drunk.” That, along with telling haters to hate elsewhere, pretty much summed up his post-presidential life.

Wait, this is a pro?

Of course! I have two words for you: Zui Quan. It’s a concept of traditional martial arts that literally means “drunken fist.”
When a fighter is a little drunk, their movements are a little more fluid, no pun intended. The fighter can even use falling as a way to avoid getting hit or to pin his opponent. The opponent even gets a false sense of security. “Hey, this guy’s drunk and vulnerable. Easy!”

Maybe you’re not into Jackie Chan movies, but consider that if you hit a drunk guy, he won’t really feel it until the next day. Pierce is going to wake up with a hell of a hangover, but the other guy isn’t going to wake up at all.

Stormed Mexico City — Pierce was in his 40s when he volunteered to fight in the Mexican-American War and was eventually appointed to the rank of brigadier general.
He was injured in battle, but he returned the following day. Apparently the pain was so excruciating, he passed out and needed to be carried off of the battlefield. He sat out for a bit, but was back in time to lead his brigade to help capture of Mexico City, ending the war.

Five years later, as an encore, he defeated his commander, Winifield Scott, in the 1852 Presidential Election. So, he’s not scared to get hurt and he’s willing to fight anyone.

CONS: Not good with decisions — Pierce had broad appeal in the 1852 race because he was from New Hampshire (which Northerners liked) but he sympathized with the South (which Southerners liked). However, this doesn’t really translate to a successful presidency.

His biggest flub was the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The act undid the Missouri Compromise of 1850 and reopened up the slavery question for the West. Granted, the Missouri Compromise was just a Band-Aid slapped onto the ugly, gaping wound that was the national mood of the time. It wasn’t a permanent fix, but it cooled tensions a bit. The Kansas-Nebraska Act ripped that Band-Aid off of America’s very hairy leg, poured salt and flecks of glass into the wound and then began mashing the salt-glass mixture deeper into that wound with a dirty stick.

Part of it said that Kansas could become a state, and the voters themselves can decide if they wanted it to become a slave state or a free state. Sounds like a good idea, until you realize that both sides were willing to kill each other so that their side would win the vote, which is exactly what happened.
Pierce was deliberate in seeing his ideas through, even if they were terrible ideas. This didn’t do him any favors in the White House, and it won’t do help him out in the Arena.

Handsome — Pierce was a good-looking president back before having good looks was necessary for being a president. This list I found on the Internet puts Pierce in the Top 5 on the list of sexiest U.S. presidents, so it must be true.
This means most combatants would enter the ring and want to beat on Pierce like Ed Norton’s character beat on Angel Face in Fight Club.
He was too blond, anyway.
If someone has to catch up on their Project Mayhem homework, or just feel like destroying something beautiful on their own time, Pierce is toast.

Toast that used to be very, very handsome.

The Fight
Tony: Listen. As you well know, I'm all for a good bout of drunkenness. Hell, it's about the only state in which you and I can stand one another. However, you can't tell me that being bombed would be a good state to be in, Arena-wise. Yes, yes, you've got your Zui Quan to point to. Except for one thing: practitioners of Zui Quan only act drunk. They don't actually get drunk to fight.

Think about it. When have you ever seen a successful drunken fight? If people could fight well drunk, wouldn't you see boxers slugging down booze before stepping into the ring? Sadly, booze makes for bad fighting. This is sad, because drunken boxing would probably be fun to watch.

But I digress: the only way Pierce is turning his addiction into a plus is if he somehow comes up with a way to make something spark inside the arena, thus to set his 90-proof breath aflame.

Doug: Fire-breathing Pierce? Awesome! It's also fun to imagine watching actual drunken boxing. Though I would think that, like a Gallagher show, things would get messy in the first few rows. You'd definitely need to bring a tarp.

Tony: Well, I'm glad we've figured out what our next project will be after this blog wraps up.

Doug: If the Zui Quan argument isn't winning you over, look at Vodka Drunkenski from the Punch-Out!! series. 
These games were created years before the term "politically correct" was uttered. Drunkenski was a Russian guy who drank vodka like he was created only to be a stereotype. When the Punch-Out!! series went to the NES, Drunkenski's name was changed to Soda Popinski because, well, do I really need to explain why? Even though he was a supposed soda freak, it was clear that they just switched the alcohol for soda as if they both had the same effects on his body. So, even though he drank soda all day, we know that he was actually a boozer.

You know what? Soda Popinski was difficult to beat. I remember as I was trying to get through the game the first time, Popinski gave me a really hard time. Now, I can beat him no problem, but that's after years of practice. Adams doesn't have that luxury. He's got to get it right the first time, and I don't think he can do it.


Pierce won't get full-blown drunk, just drunk enough to get loose for the fight. An experienced drinker like him would know how to get the proper level of drunk to prepare for the fight.

Tony: So, your argument has moved from a real style of martial arts to... a video game? Really? I mean, let's be clear: Punch Out clearly belongs in the cannon of classic video games, but your premise that the game has any bearing on this fight between two dead presidents has some serious holes.

Doug: I'm not moving from the Zui Quan argument to the Popinski argument. I'm adding it to the argument. And I see nothing wrong with that. I've brought up a real-life use of drunken boxing and I've brought up a fictional instance of drunken boxing. This is a fictional fight between real-life people. I see nothing wrong with this argument, and it's up to the voters to decide if it holds water.
... or vodka.

Tony: No, see, you can't add to your Zui Quan argument because there simply is no argument, there. You can't call it a "real-life use of drunken boxing" because they are not actually drunk when said boxing takes place. As for your "fictional" reference, I'm going to say that mayyyyyyybe it doesn't have a great deal of bearing on what is clearly a very realistic scenario: two long-dead presidents fighting to the death in a barren arena.

Was Soda Popinski a difficult character to face because he was drunk (or "drunk," depending on your level of PC), or because he was five times the size of plucky ol' Little Mac? While Adams is a bit older than Pierce, Pierce isn't five times larger than Adams, so I think the physicality is a wash.

Doug: I can't tell you why Popinski gave me such a problem. I don't think size was an issue. He's about the same size as Bald Bull, Piston Honda and Super Macho Man, and I wasn't stuck on them for as long. Mr. Sandman, on the other hand, would be a different story. Was it the alcohol that helped him? Who knows? It could be. Maybe it's a package deal.

Speaking of package deal, in addition to this factor, Pierce was a military man. He was in his 40s when he decided to volunteer, and he was injured while in battle. He kept going until he passed out from the pain. He's a fearless, drunk fighter who won't give up until his body literally gives out.

Adams is ineffective and flighty. I'm not sure how that translates to a good fighter.

Tony: Oh, Pierce keeps going until he passes out, does he? Boy, that doesn't sound at all like a potentially debilitating strategy. You mean, all Adams has to do is show up? Yeah, I think he's going to do just fine.

If a lifetime of PSAs has taught me anything, it's that buzzed fighting is drunk fighting. Pierce may think he can get himself to an appropriate level of drunkenness to be an effective fighter, then he's going to take a swing at Adams, trip over his own feet, and eat the deck. Whereupon Adams will drop the people's elbow on Pierce's kidneys. It'll all be downhill for Pierce after that.

Doug: You're comparing buzzed/drunken fighting to buzzed/drunken driving? How is fighting like operating a complex piece of machinery while following traffic laws? It's a fight. No machinery, no rules. Completely different.

Tony: You know why they say "buzzed driving is like drunk driving," though? I mean aside from the fact that "they" are killjoys. It's because once you get buzzed, your reflexes immediately start going to shit. And let's be clear: Pierce may think he's going to be able to ramp up to an appropriate level, but someone as alcoholic as he is going to have absolutely no idea when to stop in order to maintain a "proper" fighting buzz. He's going to shoot WAY over the line, and will spend his time in the arena being battered mercilessly.

Doug: While you argue semantics and put all of your eggs in the "Pierce is going to get too drunk to fight" basket, you haven't uttered a word about what Adams has going for him and what makes him a decent fighter. So far, all we've got is the fact that he was diplomat for many years in many countries, but people still thought to be an unpopular dick, and the fact that he's pretty good at predicting the political future.

The tenacious brigadier general — who has more fighting experience — will know not to overdo it before a fight to the death. When he enters the ring, Pierce will paraphrase Mr. Popinski, "After you lose, we'll drink to your health! Ha, ha, ha!"

Wise words, from an 8-bit stereotype.
The bottle says "POP," but I'm willing to bet all of my W.V.B.A. titles that there's booze in there.

Adams vs. Pierce