AWSI: Who’s the Tosser? Who’s Genuine?

Last weekend a bout took place featuring an undefeated champion. Don’t groan. It isn’t the one that you may be thinking of with a very expensive Pay-Per-View (PPV) package. In fact, it took place nearly 1300 miles East…in Omaha, Nebraska during Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting.

Battle in Omaha.

Battle in Omaha.

The champion defending his title was Mr. Warren Buffett. The event? A newspaper toss. Something Mr. Buffett has a bit of experience doing (something like 500k papers were delivered by him the old-fashioned way via a toss-to-porch).

Showing off his arm.

Showing off his arm.

Per a story in The Wall Street Journal the newspaper toss is an event where participants throw a specially printed copy of the Omaha World-Herald—folded, no rubber band—from a distance of 35 feet to get it to land, pages intact, on a home porch provided by Berkshire-owned Clayton Homes Inc., a maker of manufactured housing. The winner gets a Dilly Bar from Dairy Queen, another Berkshire company.

It has been part of the annual meeting since 2012. See for yourself in this clip below.

So What Happened?

From the write-up in Monday’s WSJ, it seems like nobody out-right won / took the title from Mr. Buffett. The story focused on former supermodel, Kathy Ireland who is a veteran of the newspaper tossing contest (Note: As a kid, she delivered 120,000 copies).

Mr. Buffett opted for 40-pagers, folded. His landed just off the bull’s eye.

This year, Dairy Queen (Berkshire company) Dilly Bars were handed out to those who did a good job.

Circling back to the origins of the event, make sure you check out the WSJ piece which focuses on the efforts of his second assistant, Carrie Sova.

We really like the playfulness that Mr. Buffett has incorporated in his annual gathering.

The Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/The Players Tribune)

The Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/The Players Tribune)

As for that Las Vegas event, we really think that Evander Holyfield nailed it in his piece (Boxing’s Fight for Relevance) which appeared on the Players Tribune website.

The concept of fighting is simple: Hit the other guy and don’t let the other guy hit you. Today, there’s a whole lot of trying not to get hit and not a whole lot of hitting. How can you have a boxing match if guys aren’t throwing and landing punches?

We like his suggestions which start with changing how referees officiate these matches.

Referees need to be more aggressive in enforcing engagement. If referees are told to hand down penalties for holding and not engaging the opponent — including early warnings, taking points away or in extreme cases, disqualifying fighters — guys will engage.

Clearly, he put serious thought into this list that totally makes sense about how rounds are scored.

The four things judges look for when scoring a fight:

  1. Effective aggression (moving forward and attacking, but also landing punches and avoiding an opponent’s blows)
  2. Ring generalship (controlling the action and pace of the fight)
  3. Defense
  4. Hard and clean punches

He thinks judges should have to present a scorecard for each round laying out how they scored that round according the the four major criteria. This would ensure that they are scoring based on all four criteria, not just awarding the round based on one aspect, such as defense.

The article is worth reading.

For us, the word that pops to mind is genuine.

The definition of Genuine.

The definition of Genuine.

Mr. Buffett went out of his way to make sure the newspaper toss event was a genuine replication of what he did as a kid (papers that were folded, no rubber band thrown from a distance of 35 feet).

Mr. Holyfield wants to return boxing to a truly genuine, athletic pursuit rather than have it be merely a money grab.

Now some detractors may think Mr. Buffett himself is all about the money grab, but is he?

Something to ponder.

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