Sunday, September 21, 2008

Critical Mess

Not in Houston this weekend so I got's a Sunday free to watch some football and blog some paintball. So let's take a quick hop across the pond and kick, er, comment on the MS in a brief break from discussing serious paintball. (Yeah, cheap shot and completely unwarranted but I enjoyed it.)
I suggested in a July post if the teams in the locked divisions were unsatisfied with the way the league is operating--and there is some reason to believe there is a measure of discontent but the Eurokids are far less inclined to agitate compared to us--then those ridiculous divisional spots they paid for might be worth something after all. (For those not familiar with upper MS divisions this year the locked divisions worked kinda like seat licenses in a new NFL stadium where you buy the "right" to buy a season ticket. All the MS kids paid a license fee for the privilege of paying for the whole season in advance.) CPL has 16 teams. SPL and D1 have 32 (except D1 actually have 35 but 3 of them are reffing any given event unless somebody doesn't show. I think.) Anyway, how many teams would have to threaten not to show in a division before MS would have to pay attention? How'd you like 3 prelim matches of less than xball lite? (First to 4.) And how'd you like it when some teams are no shows, more often than not, because of league roster rules? Imagine training and traveling to potentially play TWO matches? There's lots more but so what. My point is those locked divisions work both ways and the teams in them have some power in numbers as long as they remain in the division. Or until the season's over.
But it gets better. Seems MS might be rethinking locked divisions. Don't know if it's true or how extensive the change would be if it comes but--
What's worse than paying for the right to pay for your spot in a division? How 'bout having the MS jack you up in the first place and then stripping you of any residual value the spot might have by opening the division up again. It's like a license to steal. And the MS didn't even have to pay for it.
Gotta admit it was a clever gambit though. Create "value" out of thin air by restricting the number of teams that can compete in a given division and make them pay for the privilege of paying for a whole season upfront. Of course it only works if there isn't an alternative and if there really are more teams out there than there are spots to go around. Let's see how many are put up for sale (if locked divisions are left intact) and where the price floor is. At a guess I'd say that market is pretty soft.
Oh yeah, the reason I'm rambling about the MS was that I'd heard, not for the first time, an undercurrent suggesting that (again) a move to more closely match the PSP brand of xball with the MS version. The two principle reasons given are a world format and more cost cutting this side of the pond. For starters the MS would have to start playing xball and not that emasculated not even xball lite most of them play. Can you tell I'm not a big fan?
The other thing was ROF. Apparently MS is also thinking of lowering the rof limit to 10 bps. This is a more serious subject as it has ramifications over here. Next post will be devoted to the subject.
I may also make an effort to do the MS circumstances justice if I can work up the motivation. Don't hold your breath.

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