In order to spice things up a bit here's a link to the Erin Andrew's peephole video. What, it's not working? What do you mean there is no link? Wow! Those Google guys are fast.
Okay, how 'bout we do things in reverse order instead? That should be pretty exciting, right?
The Grand Tour held their Graz Austria event last weekend and were rewarded with a torrential downpour on Saturday for their trouble. The rains left standing water inches deep everywhere. The organizers are claiming victory over the weather--unlike the MS in Malaga--but no scores are posted so I don't know if they managed to complete the event or not. I was told the organizers responded quickly and made alternative arrangements and seemingly did everything they possibly could. But forget the tournament, did the rains wash out the beach party?
I'm reminded of the typical German tourist in Florida. You can spot one a mile away. Close-cropped haircut, sunburned ears, expensive jewelry including big watches worn to the beach, skin tight T-shirts, short shorts (by American standards) and dress socks with sandals. Not that I'm passing judgment. It's just amusing.
Things are quiet in Millennium land as there is no event until the end of September and there is very nearly no registrations yet in the unlocked divisions. There is a team-based effort underway to push the MS to find a fair alternative to their having given reffing points to D1 teams for an open event that nobody else in the division could "score" series points in. Good luck to them but I'm not holding my breath. The largest reason the MS can operate so cavalierly at times is because there is a history of teams and players refusing to stand up for themselves.
The USPL's West Coast Open will be held this weekend. This is the league's second event of the season. The numbers and turnout have to be considered disappointing after such a long lead-in period and a Cali venue but depending on the number of vendors present and the deal the league made with SC Village it is conceivable they may come out of it a modest net plus. That is the happiest face I can put on it using speculative numbers. It also appears, looking at registrations, that the "success" of the WCO is holding the DC Challenge hostage as well. there are a decent number of teams signed up but few have paid and it looks like everyone is waiting to see what happens.
The PSP is gearing up for World Cup and making a big effort to make the transition from Disney to Fantasy of Flight as seamless and easy as possible for the few (if our VFTD poll was representative) who were put out by the change. So far there are 177 teams registered with nearly a month to go before the first entry fee deadline.
Fields that rely on tourney players practice are already anxious to see the WC layout released as most of the teams won't come out until they have the field available to them.
In checking the registrations earlier I noticed the entry fee disparity between pro and semi-pro. (How I missed it before I don't know. Maybe it's the new bifocals.) There's a fat G's difference between the two divisions which seems to me pretty substantial considering semi-pro gets the same number of games and also plays Race2-7 on the same fields with the same refs (except Wednesday in Chicago) and also gets some webcast love. The obvious answer to this will be the prize packages. However the pro package continues to shrink and as a percentage of entries it isn't even close with S-P getting back over 50%. Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating some equivalent formula. What I am suggesting is falling back on the prize package is just an excuse and not a very good one. You see, in the past the league always justified the entry fees the pros paid on all the added expenses of running a special field with more refs and a fancy scoreboard and so on. As if we were demanding all that stuff.
The other thing I found curious was the entry disparity in 5-man (Race2-2). D3 pays more (than the other divisions) no matter which days you play and D4 pays more to play their prelims on Saturday compared to playing them on Friday. At first glance this looks like a move to engineer registrations. I'll be addressing this in another way in tomorrow's follow-up post to 'A Measuring Stick.'