Were The NERDS Shafted?

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Were the NERDS shafted in the finals? The show just aired in the US and, frankly, the results really turned me off.

I was very disapointed to see the team which appeared to be less suited to the task win, largely because of a running contest.

As a viewer of the US show, it appeared that the rules were changed after initial presentation (although I understand that they were likely not, but just poorly presented).

I found the episode especially disappoing following the prior harvester episode, where the 'Brothers in arms', again with an inferior device, won largely because the rules allowed manual gathering (a type of activity that is typically forbidden in other episodes).

So, have I taken sides without my own knoweldge? Or, is there something else I'm missing?

-- Gregory Maxwell (greg@linuxpower.cx), December 27, 2000


I have to agree with the confussion on this one. I thought that the point of the challenge was to put out the fire then return to the center. But at the last minute there was a mysterious foot race added in. The Nerds obviously had the better machine in this one, but I thought that picking Jeff to run was an odd choice {No Offense towards Jeff}. I really do think that The Nerds should have won the finals. The only thing that we can hope for is The Nerds to return in the next season and start over.

[Don't get me wrong, the Brothers in Arms are a really good team, but their fire boat was litte more than a good idea. {They made up for it with their dragster, that woulda worked if they gearbox didnt blow.}]

-- Fut (Fut004@hotmail.com), December 28, 2000.

Ever since I started watching the show the Nerds have been the coolest team I've seen. Not only do they quote star trek like madmen but they actually build machines. I was pretty pissed when they lost the finals, mostly because it rewarded physical instead of mechanical prowess. The nerds had a vastly superior machine, but got beaten out by superior rowing. Makes it a little silly to me. the nerds were screwed a bit, but hopefully they'll be back and dorkier than ever next season.

-- Ricky Goodrich (sq4ever1@hotmail.com), December 28, 2000.

why didnt they put thier hose in the water, that would have gave them V8 power lol, no seriously!?

-- Sean Durkin (seandurkin@msn.com), December 28, 2000.

The NERDS had the superior pump. It soaked the weak competition. The NERDS dowsed the competition. The NERD's machine won. However, the powers that be decided to turn this into an obstacle course. To be sure, the case containing the NERDS team flag, mysteriously, refused to open. The fix was in.

This show was fun to watch, ignoring the anomolies. However, I've seen my last episode. A team that lost its first challenge was handed the victory.

-- Keith Wortham (kwortham@mtco.com), December 28, 2000.

Yea it was too bad that the NERDS lost and it's even worse that the ones who beat them were the Brothers in Arms, who are the one of the weakest teams in JW. The NERDS should've picked Geo to fetch the flag. Also, when was the last time you couldn't open a box? I've never been unable to open a box unless it was locked. Seems fishy. I'd never stop watching the show though. Come to my message board. I have a junkyard wars forum. It's at: http://pub7.ezboard.com/brealworldroadrules

-- Richard Manahan (rjcyclesk8@hotmail.com), December 28, 2000.

I just can't get over how much water the NERDS pump moved. Jeez!!!! It flooded that fire!

They definitly got shafted. Hopefully, we JW comes to USA, the production staff will be a little more focused on the purpose of the contest.

-- Chris Shaffer (cshaffer@mindspring.com), December 28, 2000.

I totally agree! The nerds have always made superior machines and the fire fighting ship was no different. If they didn't have to make it a foot chase, send Jeff to get the "locked" flag, then get stuck in the mud, they would have won it by a mile. They should have put the hose in the water, or at least sprayed it at the brothers in arms leaking contraption. Then they would have won. Great job on the water pressure Nerds. Ever think of becoming fire fighters...or rocket scientists for NASA?

-- Tom Vogl (TJV1974@yahoo.com), December 28, 2000.

Hey - the pump was only part of the problem. They knew beforehand of the foot race portion and that they would need to propell the vehicle. Had they put a valve directing their pump to a water-level nozzle, they would have had a kick-ass jet boat. But they didn't! And while the Brother's guy was running, the others were turning the boat around and preparing for the paddle to the judge's boat. Whie the Nerd guy was running, the rest sat on board picking their noses. So when he gets back on, THEN they figure out that the craft needs to be reversed and that with all of them on it, it drags bottom at the shore.

It was merely a case of arrogance with the mechanical skills blinding them to the practicalities of the challenge. They focused so carefully on making the pump work that they didn't develop a game plan like the Brother's military squad did!

They lost fair and square!

-- David Allen (davida@airmail.net), December 28, 2000.

They did not loose fair and square. Go back to any episode where the Brothers-in-Arms "won". They always "won" by cheating. When asked to build a bridge machine to bring all four members of the team over a ravine, they "beat" The Mothers Of Invention by cheating, their machine did not bring all four members across the ravine. One of the members had to get off, run across the ravine on foot, and guide the vehicle across the bridge. And on the episode where they "beat" the Techno Teachers by building a mowing machine, they cheated by cutting the hay with their hands, not their machine. How in the world are we supposed to belive that one lawn mower blade cad beat out on the incredible amout of hay the Teachers were cutting with their machine even after the clutch fell out. The Brothers went on the "beat" the NERDS in what was the shadiest match so far. The Brothers always build an inferior machine, and yet always come out on top, and always because of some little bending of the rules. By the way, they even cheated when they lost. A man in the audience told them how to fix their machine after the automatic gear box fell out.

-- ed (ed22778@yahoo.com), December 28, 2000.

I don't remember the camera showing the nerds picking their noses. If they did, they "picked" a heck of a time to do it. No pun intended.

-- Tom Vogl (TJV1974@yahoo.com), December 28, 2000.

Unfortunately , the NERDS were not nerdy enough. They did bodge up a kick ass machine which soaked the fire portion but lacked the discipline of the Brothers-in-pubs. However the end result both teams showed why they were in the finals and you all know there has to be one winner. Forget the 'there must of been a fix ' theory , it's just TV , isn't it supposed to be entertaining?

-- Coady Chi (COADYCHI@YAHOO.COM), December 28, 2000.

I feel that the NERDS did a very good job on their boat except for one area: the tires. If they had taken the rubber tires off and come up with some kind of paddle wheels, no only would they have won, they would have won before the Brothers even got to the mooring area to put out the fire!! In the Brothers defense, their boat was lighter (with them out of it!).

-- William Barrett (wildbill65401@yahoo.com), December 28, 2000.

Yes it is just entertainment, but I personally believe that part of the entertainment comes from the discussions afterwards, whether the discussions are negative, positive, or whatever, it's all in the fun. And, as with any entertaiment, people can become zealous. So talking about whether or not the brothers cheated or the show was fixed is perfectly reasonable.

-- ed (ed22778@yahoo.com), December 28, 2000.

Yes, the NERDS were totally shafted. It was another BS competition from the Brits. Phony fires and all. What did they have 15 bottles of LPG lined up, and the "fires" go out the instant the water hits them? More like they turned off the LPG. That lame pump the Brothers made couldn't have watered my garden, much less put out a real fire 50 feet away. So then the producers turn it into an obstacle course. The NERDS should defintely turned their monster stream of water onto that lame boat the Brothers made, and sunk their cheating asses.

Seriously, if they really were interested in the teams building water pumps, they would have set a couple of 55 gal drums on the beach and told the teams that the first one who fills the drum wins...

-- Jonathan (spiritflight@hotmail.com), December 28, 2000.

I don't know what you all saw but the rules were explained before and all was understood. They were to start from each side and go to the center around a buoy and then to the place where they would fight the fire. They were then told to go back to there start points and then run around to get there flags and come back then go to the center of the pond and place the flag on the judges boat, how hard was that to understand !! The "Brothers-in- Arms" are Army officers and are in shape. Dick is a big guy but still he is strong and can run. The gentalman from the "Nerds" was not used to that kind of exercise. He also had troubles with the flag box and figured out to late to just carry the box to the boat and then open it as they moved out to the center. I think the "Nerds" would have moved better if they had put the nozzle in the water.

-- Bill Donald (billdonald@ematic.com), December 28, 2000.

i like the BIA and NERDS, NERDS better, but the rules were to go back to the center of the lake after the fire is extinguished. in a real life situation, the boat that would get to the fire first gets a good start on the fire. The BIA won the footrace, but the nerds boat would have been better if they put the hose under water to propell them through the water faster. What im trying to say is the only reason the BIA won that one is on the technical rules of the race. The NERDS had the better boat, if only they knew how to use it correctly, they would have won the footrace. GOD THAT SUCKS, THEIR BOAT SMOTHERED THAT FIRE.

-- Sean Durkin (seandurkin@msn.com), December 28, 2000.

First a few points: Putting the nozzle in water would not have made a significant change in thrust, and would have increased the drag. Rockets work by throwing stuff backwards, not by pushing against the air or water.

In the case of paddles on the wheels, they wouldn't have been good for much speed. At the diameter they would have been, trying to go at all fast, they would have collected water, and thrown it forward. (thats what the unmodified tires did.) Had we been allowed to test our drive, (we wern't) we would have noticed this, and cut it away, saving almost 200kg.

While they read off the rules, and showed the course, what they read to you had some noticable differences from what we were read the morning of build day. In particular, the fire line was far closer than we designed for. And there was a bit more over water movement than we designed for.

The biggest difference was fire size. They didn't present us with a well burning structure. It was supposed to be gasoline soaked, and wasn't All that flame was just the propane. We didn't "knock the fire down", the SFX crew turned it off. There wasn't enough of the stucture ablaze to notice. (for those with tapes, notice the lack of scorching. For those with mis-spent youths, notice the distinct lack of signs of accellerant.)

Since Steve was talking about needing more than 100 gallons/minute, we figured that the shed would take more than a minute to put out. And we needed a big pump, to get the distance. We were told 15 meters from shore, what we got was under 10. Had we known the actual conditions there were some other alternatives we passed up, that would have met the challenge we actually faced. (we wouldn't have fitted the big blades to the disk rotor, just used the vent slots)

The box was someone on the crews idea of national pride. It took tools to open. It didn't have the full effect, as I didn't stay and fumble with it, I just dragged it away. (I tried to carry rather than drag, but it was too floppy for the soft sand I was running in, I very nearly fell on my face). It did slow me down.

We wern't allowed to use our most athletic member (Steve) as the runner, and both Crash and Geo were nursing injuries, so it fell to me.

-- jeff - the nerds (dp@the-nerds.org), December 28, 2000.

isnt that how a wave runner works though, doesnt the waverunner blast water backwords into the water, and what is that water stream that flies straight up out the back of a waverunner and was that hose hard to hold and approximately how large is the scrapheap? Sorry for all the questions but im just a big junkyard fan and a big NERDS fan

-- Sean Durkin (seandurkin@msn.com), December 28, 2000.

I watched a TV show about the riverboats the US military used in Viet Nam. They had fiberglass bodies and were waterjet propelled. The waterjet could be turned for steering and the boats were extremely maneuverable.

-- Richard Manahan (rjcyclesk8@hotmail.com), December 29, 2000.

Jeff- As I watched the show, I saw that you had trouble with the box... however, I didn't realize how much trouble! They kind of glossed over that in editing! You really needed tools to open the box? That is totally not fair. I still like the Brothers, and don't think *they* cheated, but if it looks like a rat, and smells like a rat... well you know. Somebody was playing unfair! If nothing else, you guys are owed an invitation back! Why was Steve not allowed to run? I love this board, and wow, I feel like I am talking to a real celebrity!

-- Rhonda Maxwell (mxrs@zianet.com), December 29, 2000.

Well Jeff (representing the NERDS) has done one very outstanding thing. He has given us some good insight into the fire boat episode - but you know he didn't try to make any excuses or lay blame.

I think the NERDS represented the U.S. well and enjoyed the spirit of the competition - and when all was said and done, they congradulated the winners like nobelmen. That speaks better of them than any contraption they could bodge! They are truely winners!

-- David Allen (davida@airmail.net), December 29, 2000.

I wonder if they didn't soak the shacks with gasoline because they thought the teams wouldn't be able to put out the fires if they did. Anyway, everyone knows the NERDS are the best team and the BIA are a bunch of wankers.

-- Richard Manahan (rjcyclesk8@hotmail.com), December 29, 2000.

i think some are getting too focused!....this isnt a us (or U.S.) against them thing.....its all about teamwork and visualizing, understanding the obstacles and overcoming the problems!....people..lifes not fair!...neither is most competitions..wether it be football(yours or ours) boxing.......so on and so forth. rule books are meant to tell you what you CANT do...that leaves alot to interpetation.....from what ive seen, this is sort of in the spirit of a neighborhood competition for bragging rights....not for some outlandish high dollar prize!....and therein lies some of the purity of the shows success .its in the simplicity!!! . at least thats my opinion

-- tim (milehiharley@hotmail.com), December 29, 2000.

I agree that the simplicity of the show is great. But, we Americans don’t like to see such favoritism as the Brothers were shown. (I thought we got this from the brits…our roots?) They got a break on the distance to the fire; a break in subjective judging of the fire and a big break when the NERDS’ box was stuck shut. Name any rules that or breaks that ever (in any challenge) went in the NERDS favor? I don’t blame the Brothers; I admire their effort and organization. However, the producers of the show, in their zeal to produce an exciting race, unfairly aided one team and sandbagged a far superior team causing them to fall sort of victory. That’s a shame!

-- El Kid (sizzl@minspring.com), December 30, 2000.

The NERDS were ripped off! But Jeff is wrong about a couple things. One, paddles on the wheels would have greatly helped as long as only the bottom half of the wheel was in the water. That may not have been predictable given the small diameter of the tires. Two, the vehicle would definitely have had more effective thrust if the nozzle was under water. That is if the "bogged" together pump held together against the greatly increased pressure… Sorry Jeff. Jouz guyz are great! You did a magnificent job of creating that team. I also admire you and your team mates restraint under the circumstances. The producers are soooo lucky that there is no big cash prize and that jouz guyz have class! I notice that you are taking unusually long to do your write-up on the final. I assume it’s hard to write anything that does not highlight the screwing you guyz got at the hands of the show’s producers. Let us fans do the talking for you. Keep up the classy work!

-- el Kid (sizzl@minspring.com), December 30, 2000.

Jeff is right, he explained it to me. If you are in space, how do you move? Retro Rockets! There is very little if not no friction in space, but rockets seem to work equally as well in space as they do here. The boat wasn't pushing off the air, it was pushing off the water that was in the hose. The water shoots away from the point it originated as a result of kinetic energy. (im not sure i explained it correctly). I didnt beleive it my self but the top speed of the hose being above and below water would have been the same,

-- Sean Durkin (seandurkin@msn.com), December 31, 2000.

Also I would think if they'd figured the tires/paddles wouldn't have worked efficiently from the start, they might have used the front drive to house the impeller, and used the rear drive to mount a PROpeller, perhaps also freeing up a third crew member for paddling. Plus, it seemed an awful strain on the back and a slightly less efficient way to paddle from a standing position than perhaps kneeling or straddling the pontoons

-- Ryan Gavigan (gavigan@soyokaze.biosci.ohio-state.edu), January 04, 2001.

Interesting that Jeff told everyone that the box that held the flag was jiggered to their disadvantage. The NERDS are a good, not great team (some of their physics mistakes are laughable). Even with the fix on, IMHO the nerds deserved to lose given their piss poor planning. Unless someone was crippled, having their least athletic member do ANYTHING that required running was, frankly, stupid. In any of the contests that required moving as part of the challenge, the fastest team ALWAYS won, irregardless of the task. The BIA were clearly not the brightest lot, but their military discipline and teamwork won through, which wasn't a terrible thing.

-- cool star (coolstar@yahoo.com), January 06, 2001.

if you saw jeff's answer, he *was* the only healthy legal member of the NERDS to be able to do the run. Geo & Crash both had injuries they were nursing, and not allowed to use the expert.

my only disappointment was with the relatively inefficient paddling of the nerds compared to the BIA. Maybe they coulda made ol riverboat-like poles :)

-- Ryan Gavigan (gavigan@soyokaze.biosci.ohio-state.edu), January 06, 2001.

"cool star" - I tried to send you a private message. Please send me a message, so I have a working address for you

-- Jeff - The NERDS (dp@the-nerds.org), January 06, 2001.

If all that has been said by Jeff (Ya, u guys rock!!!) was true, (and frankly, I believe so), Then the Nerds were definetely put at a disadvantage. This is sad, because it shows some of the worst things television can offer. Coolstar must not have read all the history of the board, and is obviously biased in some way or another. One question though... Why did't they let u send your fastest runner, and why didn't they light a real fire? Or at least make the fire act like a real one? The puny pump of the BIA isn't strong enough to push a water bottle over!!!

-- gwing (gwing_02@hotmail.com), July 27, 2001.

Oh, and by the way, u don't make fun of someone when they're reading the message board, just like u don't make fun of someone when they're looking over your shoulder

-- gwing (gwing_02@hotmail.com), July 27, 2001.

I wanna say that al games of scrapheap seemed fixed. Its ALWAYS like those "Rocky"-movie. First one (team) is winning very big, than, miraculieusly, the winning team has a setback and the race ends in "photo-finish". A bit obvious.

But I like the Nerds, all of them. Jeff, It was BS when the show focussed on the "switch-incident". I am sure things were taken out of perspective. A shame u guys didn't win, I hoped for a surprise; the competition being won by the only US-team. BTW, for me it WAS a US- against-the-rest-thing, and I am quiet objective, as a Dutchy.

I wonder what teammembers are doing nowadays. Are you stille a team? Nerds? Or did you loose contact. Hope to here more, one way or another.

Nils van Teijlingen

-- Nils (nils1973nl@hotmail.com), December 17, 2003.

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