Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Divided We Fail

No, no, no. This is not about reunification. How often do I have to say it? On that front I remain an obstructionist.
It does NOT follow that reunification does anything but institutionalize the same old problems. For example, when exactly before the league split was cooperation, unity and foresight part of the program? Working for the greater good? And after the split which league stepped up to lead Paintball? Was it the guys beggaring themselves making the play for the TV cheese? Yeah, that’s what I thought. And in the meantime PBIndustry has been fast-tracking cooperative standards and practices and pressing forward where common ground exists. Oh, wait. That’s just what everybody says they want when they aren’t whimpering about the coming calamity while sitting on their hands.
This post is about the failure to cooperate where common ground exists. Or even acknowledge any common ground. Everybody wrings their hands over the present state of affairs but everybody also wants what they want and so far short-sighted ambition has prevailed over anything and everything that might be called vision.
To date swinging for the fences and aiming for walk off victory hasn’t produced any unequivocal advances much less success. So how ‘bout a longer look at a different strategy? One where PBIndustry finds whatever common ground exists and begins at that point. Sure, continue to compete but also lay a foundation that all of Paintball can build on. And yeah, I know, it’s been tried before (sorta) and part of the general chatter forever but that remains a far cry from actually doing something.
Here’s a freebie, just so it can’t be said all I do is criticize (it’s just mostly what I do)–if PBIndustry would like to get away from the status quo (and reduce the influence of the major leagues) form a competition committee for standards and practices, stand behind it, and make the leagues deal with a unified front (or thereabouts) on issues where unity is possible. Of course I realize the likelihood of certain key PBIndustry holdouts but that's okay. Taking the first steps offers an "answer" and also, incidentally, applies pressure to the holdouts. And, yes, I know about the lawsuits and animosity and all the rest of the crap that makes the course I'm suggesting about as likely as snow cones in hell but one of these days one of y'all are gonna decide enough is enough--hopefully before there's nothing left to fight over.
And just in case you're not getting it here's how it plays out, simplified. A PBIndustry supported Comp Committee doesn't need the leagues for leadership, they need the leagues for enforcement. Like checks and balances. Industry individuals can't be relied on, a lesson already learned, but if they make the rules (not game rules but standards & practices) and use the leagues to assure uniformity there is a chance to lay a useful foundation of consistency, integrity and some measure of unity. The formulation is sure to be much more complex and there has to be something in it for everyone but those are solvable problems, not road blocks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am more likely to support a paintball players union that can be the ultimate check and balance on the leagues, and indirectly the industry. The only people in my mind who truely have players, and sports best interest in mind is infact the players.