I can almost feel the hate already. You see, I checked out SavePaintball after seeing the Nicky interview over at ProPaintball. And instead of being uplifted by a noble effort it left me feeling vaguely suspicious. I know, I ought to be ashamed of myself but I'm just not. What can I say? About all I can promise is that no puppies and only a few kittens were harmed during the writing of this post. Well, that and I contacted the savepaintball peeps to give them an opportunity to offer their side--and they made a dent. A small dent in the soft melon I call my head. Let's say I'm not totally convinced yet but ... we'll see.
Right about now (if I were you) I'd be asking myself the rhetorical question: Who appointed this guy Guardian of Paintball and why should I care what he thinks? The simple answers are nobody and no reason why you should. Nor do I expect you to. However, this is what VFTD does, question any and everything related to competitive paintball.
Here's the thing that bothered me right away: the sum of the site as it exists now is a few pithy paragraphs of virtually substance free emotionalism wrapped around a campaign to generate email addresses. The site consists of 5 pages and those 5 pages provide 16 opportunities to sign up for the newsletter, connect via Facebook or become a fan. The home page proclaims (one of ) their purpose(s)--"a movement to educate players to grow paintball in their community" and for the slightly thick educate and grow are in bold. But I couldn't find any content that seemed directed at accomplishing either education or growth. Well, except the growth of SavePaintball.org. The educate page makes unsubstantiated claims, acknowledges the numbers may be wrong but claims it's too serious a concern not to act. And how do you act? By signing up. By joining the movement. On the join page SavePaintball is about sparking conversation and providing a platform for exchanging ideas. Okay, so where is it? This platform. Is it gonna be a forum or what? At best the change page seems like a mixed message--Are we saving paintball or taking the sport of paintball to the next level? And while I'm at it how 'bout a clue as to what sort of change does anybody (somebody?) have in mind? Sign up and find out. We are the change we have been waiting for. See, I can do it, too.
Try as I might all I found was a concerted effort to convince ballers to join SavePaintball. There aren't any answers. Not even any suggestions. Or even a consistent message.
There's nothing sinister about any of that and I might be misreading it completely. One might reasonably give the project the benefit of the doubt, despite reservations, and consider it a work in progress. Where's the harm? I may not be impressed by the wrapper but that's not really all that important anyway. So that's what I'm going to do. Give the project a chance. From their emails the guys doing this have some potentially productive ideas--some concrete plans--although they don't seem to be altogether on the same page yet. Assuming the work in progress status let's wait and see what actually happens. After all, it's not what you say that matters, it's what you do.