[eDebate] DCA Debater #4: Brent Culpepper
Mon May 14 16:20:49 CDT 2007
Brent was 4th, with 88 points?87 from his wide array of different gmail accounts.
I decided to post his bio today, instead of yesterday, out of respect for his mother.
Five (or six or seven) long years ago, a young Naveen was making one of his usual hourly trips to the University of Georgia library. Eyes blood-shot, he was exhausted from a long night of partying and being a social butterfly around campus (well?the blood shot eyes part is definitely true). Either way, as he walked up the steps of the library, he experienced the most painful flash of bright light he?s ever experienced. Trying in vain to shield his eyes, Naveen wondered what could possibly be the source. A natural disaster? an angel? God himself? The light moved closer and suddenly began speaking: ?Hi Naveen?you wouldn?t happen to have any extra hair gel would you?? Confused by the question, Naveen finally brought himself to look directly at the source of this bright light. He found himself looking directly into the radiant, bleached blonde tips of campus heart-throb, Brenton Tippett Culpepper. That?s right, Brent Culpepper?s studly approach to impressing the ladies of Athens, GA in his freshman year involved undeniable charisma, a wicked sense of humor, the tan of a seasoned farmer that could be produced only in Warner Robins, Georgia (pronounced: whiter than anywhere in Oklahoma) ? all topped off with bleaching the shit out of select regions of his hair (as well as lots and lots of hair gel?tons of it. Unlike the tips, however, the gel trend continued all 14 years of Brent?s debate tenure at UGA. We frequently had to make special accommodations at the airport for Brent?s giant bottle of maximum strength hair gel which he refused to abandon just in case a crowd of women was waiting for him as he got off the plane.) Anyway, Naveen convinced Brent to debate at that encounter by explaining that debate could be a fulfilling endeavor that will complete him spiritually and emotionally ? as well as the concept of GDS, which Brent was not familiar with at the time. It took a few vicious months of ridicule on the team for Brent to stop bleaching his hair like a middle schooler with damaged self-esteem/standard Oklahoma CJ fan and finally become his natural self (except for the max strength hair gel part). Luckily, pictures were still captured, which you can view here.
Other highlights of Brent?s Iftimie-ish reign on debate fashion include:
- Wearing a turtleneck approximately 4 days per week during his sophomore year around campus (even when 85+ degrees outside?was he hiding something?) (No.).
- Placing in the ?euro-trash? contest at Fullerton despite swearing that he didn?t dress up for it
- Almost getting into a bar fight last year because he was hitting on some guys 14-year old sister?not a fashion story but it had to be in here somewhere.
I?ve already gotten ahead of myself ? there are a few funny things to know about Brent?s days of high school debate prior to his lengthy tenure at UGA. Debate wise, things were a little different then for young Brent. For example, on the WMD topic ? by far one of the best topics of all time in the eyes of my generation ? Brent?s affirmative was to teach kids about nuclearism. On a topic where we were given free reign to read advantages that claimed more victims than Josh Hoe on edebate, Brent chose to read one advantage ? deterrence bad?lame. The neg strat? Spanos?Just Spanos. Needless to say, the high school debate experience was not kind to Brent (and blonde tips surely did not help the cause). Still his favorite stories involve epic showdowns with Josh Branson ? who he claims only got the best of him in a ?few elim rounds? (right, cause we?re sure you owned him in the prelims, Brent). When asked to comment on these classic high school throwdowns, Branson responded like most: ??who the fuck is Brent Culpepper??
Not knowing who Brent is was common five years ago, but you better believe he knew who you were. As a matter of fact, Brent single handedly changed the nature of all arguments with his unique approach to communication in the squad room?an approach riddled with name dropping. My freshman year, Brent would never fail to add credibility to his precise and well thought out comments by prefacing every statement with ?I was having this long conversation with John (Turner), Jon (Sharp), Ace, Shawn, Ken (Strange or Rufo), the Pope, etc..)?and we decided (insert random insight along the lines of ?if the plural of goose is geese, then the plural of moose MUST be meese?).? It didn?t take long for me to realize that most of Brent?s statements should be taken with less credibility than a Blake Johnson 2AR (that shit was not in the 1AR?ever).
Flashback: September 2006
Georgia State, first tournament of the year ? We win our quarters debate and are asked to move to the top floor of the hotel to debate Fullerton - not an easy debate as Brent and I were one of the more?vulnerable teams debating Fullerton. Always the tricky one, Brenda hit us early ? minutes within walking into the room. She stared right into Brent?s fragile eyes and said ?You look a lot like Alex?very euro.?
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a meltdown.
Brent wouldn?t shut up about the comment. Despite all efforts at getting him focused for the debate, I?ve never seen such a collapse. He was out like Bard in the?prelims. Shocking as it is, a majority of our ?strategy talk? prior to a Fullerton debate included a very thorough and involved back and forth discussion about whether or not to ?go fast.? In this debate, we decided to go fast?or at least I thought we did. Brent must have still been on cloud 9, because in the middle of Louis?s 1AC, Brent turns and asks ?Kevin?are we going fast in this debate?? My answer an obvious yes, Brent immediately flipped the belligerent switch that most didn?t get the privilege of seeing until he was owning Arnett in a ?who can be more drunkenly belligerent contest? after the Harvard tournament ? a contest Arnett won by being silent while Brent relentlessly bitched about the rules. During the 1AC, the following exchange occurred:
Brent: But?what if they read a speed K
Me: Then we?ll read more answers than they?ll --
Brent: Did you hear her say I look like Alex?
We ended up winning through a divine act of a higher power. Thank you La Llorona, you?ll always have a shoulder to cry on.
This may shock a lot of people we?ve debated, but Brent is actually one of the nicest people you?ll ever meet outside of debates. He?s always thoughtful of others (sometimes too thoughtful for his own good, like when he offered to walk a girl home from a bar and ended up sleeping in the bushes ?alone- next to an All-State building) (okay, that?s more being a stupid drunk/having no game than thoughtful, but you get the point). Despite his courtesy outside of debate, Brent was notoriously one of the biggest douches in the community when it came to debates. I?ll let the funniest debater in the community do the work for me here, take it away Osborn: (by the way - Osborn got robbed in the ?funniest? DCA category?Gabe isn?t even funny unless its measured on the Unintentional Comedy scale ? in which case the clear choice is Dan Luxemberg ? that guy is hysterical) Back to Osborn:
bandana: haha the debate community thinks yr fast
that must be so embarassing
they think brents faster
maybe they mixed up "Fast" with "jackass"
Osborn has reason to be sassy ? he was probably victimized by Brent as much as anyone in the elims of Wake when Brent sat down and started eating a sandwich while Osborn was asking him questions ? informing the audience that he?d answer when ?asked a better question?. Since Osborn was conducting the cross-ex, Brent was never in a position to stop eating the sandwich.
Surely that was only one unique instance of Brent being an ass, you must be saying to yourself ? Brent is such a kind, southern gentleman ? there?s no way he could turn into a dick so frequently?oh how wrong you are. Brent?s dickish-ness transcends anything this community has seen for decades. Allow me to elaborate:
- Prelims of Northwestern, a team went for ?Brent is a dick? for 6 minutes of the 1AR. It was such a compelling argument that I was forced to impact turn in my 2NR due to the strength of the link. Even though the round blew, I?m glad this happened during my debate tenure?everyone should have to defend their partner?s shameful conduct in a debate at some point.
- Prelims of Kentucky, Brent went out of his way in CX to inform a young debater that it is ?highly unlikely? that the two of them could ever be friends.
- Elims of USC, Durkee interrupted a relatively heated CX with Brent to whine ?Dude, stop treating me like a child!? Brent?s response, ?well then stop acting like one?
- Dartmouth RR, Gabe told Brent ?I can play the douche game too?, to which Brent responds ?What do I get when I win?
- An official ?Douche Off? was scheduled to occur between Brent and Blake Johnson at the NDT. Although it never occurred (we made an early exit to prepare, but Oklahoma didn?t reciprocate), I?m convinced that the event would have eclipsed the drama of any Osborn-Kernoff ?Fro Off, but Brent would have prevailed when Blake inevitably started getting emotional at the mere mention of lifemate Malcolm Gordon.
Other examples are probably better left off of a public forum accessed by employers. I?d hate to improve Brent?s life by ruining his chances of getting his soul purchased by a slave-driving law firm.
It wouldn?t be right to assemble a bio about Brent without including his passion in life: alcoholic beverages. Some of Brent?s finest moments have been under the influence of 12-13 Jamesons. Many of you might be curious about the story behind Brent?s ?performance? at the awards ceremony at last year?s NDT ? an event that Ed Panetta later described as ?the most embarrassing moment of this millennium for Georgia Debate.? In all honesty, Brent would have been fine in the absence of one of the following two factors: (1) the bottle of red wine that he stole from the bar and chugged for about 30 seconds, or (2) Mike Davis. From the bar, Brent went to the awards ceremony and sat at our table, demanding that one of the members of the hotel staff bring him a plate of food from the self-serve buffet, which they were kind enough to do. He then chugged approximately 11 cups of coffee (not a joke). At the handing out of the NDT cups, Brent had a few kind words for select members of the community, calling some ?cheaters? while screaming at others ?what have you done for the community?? He got lost in his quest to make it to the front of the room, but made it a point to hug Elizabeth Gedmark no less than three times. After that, it was back to the bar.
So how did Brent make the transition from reading spanos in every debate and going 4-4 at the NDT to suddenly becoming the speediest debater (in bed) that this community had to offer? The answer is simple: Jarrod Atchison. Brent wouldn?t do ANYTHING without the direct order of Jarrod. When Jarrod said jump, Brent made his dinner, fed his dog, kissed his feet, did his taxes, and then asked how high. Jarrod told Brent to write a big-stick Morrison Aff, so he wrote one. Jarrod told Brent to write two affs going opposite directions for the elims, so he wrote them. Jarrod told Brent to beat Idaho State with our shame aff, and he?well, I guess Jarrod?s influence did have its limits. To be honest, the only original idea that Brent had all year was our Shame Aff?which he wrote last year.(While we?re on the topic, its important for everyone in the community to know: please stop blaming me for the shame aff and accept my heartfelt apology?it was not my idea)
The best part about debating with Brent is his unshakable confidence. And by unshakable confidence I mean painfully pessimistic, zero self-esteem, wouldn?t bet on himself to win in a race with Barbaro (too soon?) style confidence. Whenever given the opportunity, Brent was always sure to put his money on the opposite of him/us. It wasn?t just his insistence on flipping Neg in every debate, regardless of if we had a strat. It wasn?t even his habit of betting against us to win any debate that was reasonably close (note: if you judged/debated us this year and saw Brent talking to me while we were waiting on the decision, theres a 75% chance that he was outlining the terms of how much he would wager that we lost). Indeed, the tell-tale sign of Brent?s utter lack of confidence could be found immediately after the 2NR ended in any Aff debate when Brent would look at me with the ?shit, we?re fucked? look, even if the other team had dropped 3 add-ons and conditionality bad. (This is the only possible explanation I can come up with for why he wasn?t voted one of the best 2A?s in the country. Don?t you people know anything about Aff win percentages?)
Despite a consistent lack of confidence, Brent had no shortage of self-righteous ?I?m Keith Hernandez? moments in any given debate. In the quarters of Kentucky, against Missouri State KO with a panel of Brad Hall, JP Lacy, and Michael Klinger ? I gave Brent explicit instructions to kick the K in the 1NR. When he didn?t include it in his order, I said aloud, for the room to hear, ?Brent, kick the K. We won?t win the K with this panel?. Without a flow, Brent exclaims ?Fine, K on top??he proceeds to go for the K for the first minute of his 1NR, dropping 2 shitty internal link arguments at the bottom of the 1NR on the disad that he was supposed to be extending. Not satisfied with figuratively kicking me in the balls, he was sure to bitch about me ?giving him too much in the 1NR? at the end of the debate?and every other neg debate this year. Speediest debater my ass.
Outside of debates, Brent took a unique approach to his 2nd greatest passion - women. On our flight to the Dartmouth RR, Brent was (un)fortunate enough to sit next to a 55 year old woman, who didn?t look a day over?54, but she had dyed blonde hair so Brent insisted that she was hot (a bond was formed harkening back to Brent?s blonde tips days). This was a conversation I just couldn?t miss. At the *ding* of a No Smoking sign, Brent?s game was on like monopoly. Topics of conversation included: Brent?s recently terminated relationship (lie), his passion for salsa dancing (lie), his favorite hair gel brand (truth), and his upcoming business convention in Hanover (lie). It was clear that Brent had experience hitting on (much) older women ? one of his favorite stories involves the middle school teacher that he swears he dated while taking her class. But on an airplane? That?s a whole new ballgame. Through the course of the flight, he bought her two crown royale & cokes (classy) and even dropped one or two arms touches. He escorted her off the flight, mere seconds from closing the deal?until she ran into her ?boy?friends arms (I use the term ?boy? loosely?this dude looked like a mix of Senator Robert Byrd and the president of the AARP, but what do you expect, she was 55). I would have been disgusted if I wasn?t so busy keeling over in hysterical laughter. Better luck next time Brent?there?s always GDS.
I guess I should say something nice...Brent's always been a good friend and a hard working debater?except in his sophomore year when he just ran the K all year, but he was still a good friend then. I can?t tell you the number of times that I?ve dropped a bunch of shit in my 1AR and forced Brent to make me look good by waxing poetically in the 2AR. Indeed, he?s come a long way from going 4-4 at the NDT and getting owned by Branson on deterrence good. There?s no doubt in my mind that Brent is going to excel at whatever law school he goes to and be incredibly successful in life. Congratulations on being a top 5 DCA debater, Brent ? you deserve it. I'm sorry you got beat by Conor. I wish you the best in continuing with all of the success you?ve had up to this point. Now please, just graduate already?
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