Prisoners' debate team trounces national champs from Harvard

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Great that they are getting the education that challenges and brings out their talents. Sad that they had to end up in prison to get it.


Good on them. I attended a no name commuter uni in Ohio for a few years and was on their collegiate Model UN team and we routinely trounced the Ivy Leagues, West Point etc during debates. It’s all about preparation. Our prof/handler made us travel to libraries in 3 different states to do our research. The rich kids often just showed up with attitude and privilege.

Of course those academic posers we whipped now probably run the world and I’m an over-educated bum. Spare a dime?


This story was so entertaining the first time - why not repeat it?

Harvard historically hasn’t had a very strong debate program compared to the elite programs at schools like Bates College in Maine. There are other long standing prison debate programs. The inmates often win.

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This is one of those “man bites dog” stories that are really just “dog bites man” stories in disguise. This comes as no shock to anyone who is continually appalled by our cultural propensity to throw people away.


Cons won arguing pro.


Deadbeats Defeat Petite Elites?


The twitter byline was so good: “I guess they lacked conviction”


Discreet Deadbeats Defeat Petite Elites


Cromulent cons conquer contest?


Harvard-0, Yard-1.


Many years ago, the Georgia prison system held the “Prison Door” debate tournament, where college debaters were invited to go against the prisoners. I went up against a team that had come in from Chicago. One the debaters that did not make the trip was Jimmy Hoffa.

I do feel focusing on the fact that one team is from a “school for the rich” is taking away from the winning team’s achievement. They beat the national champions and they did it while studying in an environment where book learning might not be valued, and when most of society has pretty much given up on them.
And just because the other team is from Harvard does not mean they are rich, privileged kids who didn’t bother doing any preparations.


But it’s the way to bet.


Technically, there’s no way to know whether or not he made the trip. So we’re looking for some concrete boots in a Georgia swamp, huh? (It’s as good an explanation for his whereabouts as any other!)

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Exactly. They didn’t win by default, they won by working harder and smarter than a group of (supposedly) the brightest and best. Probably every person on the Harvard team had twice as much formal education as the prisoners. That’s a major achievement on the part of the prison gang (hah!).


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