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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by CaseyLS, Aug 20, 2004.
Which way does the saying go:
Best offense is a good defense or
Best defense is a good offence
The best defense is a good offense.
Not the other way around.. the idea is "you won't have to be on the defense if you keep the other side playing defense against you"
makes sense... coz, if all you're doing is defending yourself, how are you supposed to score?
When it comes to sports, you'll most often hear it the other way around: "The best offense is a good defense"
The theory is that if you play defense well, your opponent won't score so you won't need your offense to win for you.
It goes hand-in-hand with a well known NFL axiom "defense wins championships".
See Baltimore Ravens and the 2004 Detroit Pistons.
The Ohio State Buckeyes football team as well.
This would only be true if your offense can dominate the other teams to the point where your defense doesn't have to do any work. In most sports, this is almost impossible.
But when it comes to the military arena, whence the saying originally came, it is clearly "The best defense is a good offense" - since "The best offense is a good defense" simply doesn't make any sense in military terms. You can deter an attack (defend yourself) by having such strong offensive capabilities that no one would dare attack you. But you cannot defeat someone else's army or take his territory or what have you simply by being able to defend yourself. A burglar alarm is a good home defense. It would do zip to help you take over your neighbor's home or beat him up if he came on your property and made threats.
But if they know your defense is top notch they will be afraid to attack
Well, I would say the quote is used more in terms of both sides being quite equal (like with sports teams). If your offense sucks, than yes, your defense (no matter how good it is) is going to get hammered. I think what it really means is that it's best to put your strengths into defense while still maintaining a very strong offense.
When I played hockey, we put a big emphasis on defense because even a bad offense can score "fluke" goals. As long as the defense can shut out the other team, the offense only needs to score one goal.
Personally this whole "best defense is a good offense" thing never made a lot of sense to me. I understand the idea that you wipe out your enemy's ability to make war on you with a good offense. But as far as a battle goes - there's a reason that people built castles, walls, etc...and put catapults, boiling oil, and archers behind them. Ditto (to a lesser degree) with similiar fights involving bullets.
The comment is never consistently makes sense (as the sports examples were pointed out). So I think both of them are bull. How about "the best offense + defense wins the war".
Not so much dominate such that defence doesn't have to work, but your offence is so potent that it'll outscore whatever the other side manages to score against your relatively feeble defence. In football (the version actually played with feet, known to you lot as "soccer"), this is also known as the Brazilian way of playing football, Pele's "beautiful game" -- doesn't matter if you concede 3, as long as you score 4.
As an aside, yesterday the English champions Arsenal did something similar, they went 1-0 up against Middlesbrough, conceded 3 in short order to go 3-1 down, promptly got one back for 3-2, then hit two in a minute to lead 4-3, and ultimately won 5-3.
I guess this only works in relatively low-scoring games like football, where getting even one goal is not a sure thing.
edit: I see that I skimmed too quickly and the following points have already been made. I'll leave my post as backup to them. :b
I have never ever heard it used this way.
I have heard that defense/pitching wins championships, but this expression goes beyond sports which is why it is used as The best defense is a good offense.
It means beyond the sporting world that you can avoid having to defend yourself/your home/your land/whatever by attacking theirs instead.
If they are busy fighting you off they aren't attacking you, therefore you have already "defended" yourself by preventing the attack in the first place.
Goes hand in hand with preventative first strike. Hit them first and take them out, then you don't need to worry about defense.
I suppose in the rope-a-dope Ali style you could sort of say the best offense is a good defense, but that's pushing it.
You could never take another country by just staying home and defending. You could wait them out till they quit, but sooner or later you would need to invade.
However, as I said, you can force them to use all their attacking resources on defense fighting off your own attack, thus defending you from their attack by default.
It has been brought into sports (as have many war metaphors) and tends to mean that if you score enough it doesn't matter what they do (think Indy Colts), as well as the idea that if most of the game is spent with you on offense then by default they aren't on offense attacking you.
Hockey and soccer are better uses of this than turn-based sports like US football, baseball, basketball where sooner or later you will need to give them their chance on offense anyway. If the ball/puck is always on their end of the field/ice then your goalie is "playing" pretty well.
Sure. But doesn't this just mean that the "best defense is a good defense".
I don't think they would be so afraid that they wouldn't try to DEFEND themselves against your own attacks.