Introducing the Co-Main Event Podcast White Elephant Essay Contest (Rules + Guidelines)

Welcome to the maiden voyage of the Co-Main Event Podcast’s White Elephant Essay Contest, an undertaking we believe to be the first of its kind in the wily and wacky world of mixed martial arts. Hell, maybe the first of its kind anywhere. The concept is fairly simple: Below you will find two essay prompts. Pick the one you like best and compose a formal essay of between 500-1,000 words, spellcheck it, make sure it conforms to our submission guidelines and then email it to us just as you would one of the rambling, often impenetrable queries you routinely submit for our weekly Listener Mail segment.

The winner – or winners, as we hope the case will be – will receive fabulous, mostly MMA-related prize packs from the “personal collections” of Ben Fowlkes and Chad Dundas. We can also almost guarantee that at least one entrant will receive a Baskin & Robins gift card. Don’t you want that person to be you? Of course you do.

The grand prize winner will additionally have the extreme honor of getting their essay published here at Cool, right?

All entries must be received by midnight (mountain time, naturally) on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. That means you have two full weeks to get this shit done. Only one entry per listener, please.

Below, you will find the prompts as well as more specific instructions for our submission guidelines. Read them. Read. Them. After doing so, if you find you still have questions, email them to us. We’ll do our best to guide you.

For now, go forth and as the 18th Century ploughman poet Robert Burns once said: “Dare to be honest and fear no labor, (you guys).”

The Prompts

Respond to one of the following prompts with a five paragraph essay between 500-1,000 words.

1) The Persuasive Essay (a.k.a Not Just Saying Stuff): Begin your essay with some hardly tenable MMA related claim, then craft a convincing case for it using the formidable powers of your own reasoning and argumentation, as well as some credible outside sources. Bonus points will be awarded based on overall ridiculousness of topic and corresponding convincingness of argument.

2) The Compare and Contrast Essay: Who is the most underappreciated fighter in MMA history and who is the most over-appreciated fighter? Draw upon the formidable powers of your own reasoning and argumentation, as well as some credible outside sources. Bonus points will be awarded for originality, strength of argument and general compare-and-contrast-i-ness.

Formatting Guidelines

1. To make it easy on everyone, paste your essay in the body of an email and submit it that way. As you know, the email address is We won’t be fucking around with attachments, so essays submitted as such won’t be reviewed. Make sure the subject line of your email says “Essay Contest.”

2. First things first, put your name, address and a return email address at the top of your email, so we can get in touch with you when you win.

3. Give your essay a cool title, obviously.

4. Since this is a five-paragraph essay contest, make sure your essay is in five paragraphs, including an introduction boasting a rad thesis statement, three body paragraphs and a conclusion that leaves no room to question your argument.

5. Remember, we said between 500-1,000 words. Don’t go under. Don’t go (much) over.

6. Yes, spelling, grammar and punctuation count.

7. Include a properly formatted bibliography listing a minimum of three sources. Be advised, failure to properly cite and credit sources can constitute the serious academic crime of plagiarism and can result in severe sanctions according to the student conduct code.

8. Is that it? That’s it. If we left anything out, email us your questions.

9. Thanks for your continued support of the Co-Main Event Podcast.

10. Our panel of judges may or may not include the world’s leading theatricalist, Sir Nigel Longstock, so keep that in mind as well.

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