Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Poll in Review

The initial conclusions I draw from the data (such as it is) is that the voters are xball centric generally and the results tells me it ain’t necessarily about results even when The Monday Poll–you people (Who you calling you people?)--says it is. As a group if a team plays xball it gets a passing grade from the majority. But if you are a 7-man team without a pro history, well, forgetaboutit. A significant majority isn’t prepared to consider those teams pro yet regardless.

Disclaimer: Cause some of you people can be sensitive about this sort of thing let me say in advance I have nothing but respect for all the competitors and that none of the following remarks should be taken to be in any way disrespectful. And if that ain’t good enough, well, you’re out of luck ‘cus the well of sensitivity has officially run dry.

Remember last week? Results was the overwhelming winner in how y’all determine whose really pro and who isn’t. Followed by a tie between major sponsorship and dedication. Then came reputation and making up the rest of the field was longevity, came up thru the ranks and having established players on the roster.
With that in mind let’s look at XSV. 25% say they shouldn’t be considered pro. That of course means 75% are still on board despite competing in semi-pro xball, mid-pack 7-man results lately and wholesale roster changes from their heyday.
Arsenal has won the last two 7-man events and 18% don’t choose to consider them pro. Now maybe that’s not too bad considering the bias toward xball but given the rest of the poll’s numbers results alone aren’t enough.
Blast won HB ‘08 and have done consistently well in the 7-man arena and yet 29% have booted them off the island. Does anybody remember last year’s win? Is it because this is a "new" Bob Long team compared to the old Ironmen or Assassins?
The Naughty Dogs have longevity and a history as a solid pro team with intermittent results the last two or three years and end up as the xball team with the highest not-a-pro-team vote at 29% matching Blast. (Still, 71% consider them a pro team so it isn’t the end of the world but in a comparison are we talking about results or a statute of limitations on results? Is it really more of a what have you done for me lately?) I can’t help thinking that with the demographic youth movement and the loss of much of the print media and feature advertising the larger hit the Dogs have taken is to their profile.
Aftershock weighs in at 11%--a comfortable number much closer to the dominant pro teams than the fringe but on what basis? I just finished arguing the youth movement doesn’t know the history but here Shock is anyway. One of the all time greats they may currently be seen as an up and comer (which they are) and a legitimately competitive team but there aren’t a lot of Sunday appearances in their recent past. Where are the results?
Impact sits at 10% which is a lot more respectable than it may seem at first glance but it does display a clear difference between how they are viewed as opposed to the top tier pro teams. In the last three years it’s hard to find teams with much better results and Impact plays both leagues and have always been competitive though results favor their 7-man efforts overall. Is it the Johnny-come-lately effect? Despite quality play and a run at a 7-man championship have they not been around long enough?
And then there’s Philly at 2% with a terrific ‘09 season but a recent past of failed 7-man efforts that apparently don’t matter at all to the voters. So on one hand if you’re only 7-man it detracts from this group of voters perceptions but doing poorly at 7-man is no big deal.
Bushwackers received 23% of the vote while playing in both leagues. A solid 7-man team that has struggled with the xball learning curve this season how does one account for their finish based on results?
Finally we have the example of X-Factor sitting at a minuscule 3%. Making a team to team comparison where is the difference between them and say Impact that accounts for the way the vote turned out?

I think there’s a lot more to name recognition and reputation than past polls took into consideration. It almost seems like once you make the "list" you’re good to go. And this from a more in touch, skewing more experience and insider audience. What would the numbers have looked like on PBN?
And perhaps more to the point in the current climate who gets the word out to the wider paintball audience and how much influence do they have on who will be accepted as Pro in the future?

1 comment:

anonachris said...

As I see it there are two ways to see pro. First you see it as in your playing classification, in which case pretty much everyone on that list is pro.

The next is the abstract comparison to what a "real" pro is like in other industries and trying to make the leap into paintball. This abstract thing is what you're measuring, and I'll say what I said elsewhere, the only "pros" I consider in this abstract sense (what the hell is that anyway and why does it matter) is:


Infamous is barely there. Just some quasi ownership by a huge corporate monster combined with LB running the team as part of his job (still right?) puts them there in this bizarro "truen pro" world.

In reality, everyone of us goes around telling people that there are "pro" paintball teams, while all secretely saying to ourselves, "ya but most aren't really pro".

So in this sense, you're true pro if you make your living, or at least significant part of your living playing and training to compete in paintball tournaments.

I'll take it a step further and wonder if you are only a pro if the "team" exists to make or support a highly significant contribution to a profit seeking entity.

What teams are there that fit this classification other than those I listed?

Most of the teams on that list, while very serious and dedicated play for fun. Once you start saying, I keep playing pro paintball even when I have a bad day because I have to, it's what I do to support my living, then maybe you're a pro.

Of course, none of this is concrete, just some thoughts I'm rambling through.