It's done. I'm talking of course about the Chuck & Bart Show. Or was it the Bart & Chuck Show? Does the money or the mouth get top billing? I don't know. Anyway, the fickle finger of fate has writ and that's all there is to it.
Okay, it's not official and I have no secret knowledge that an announcement is coming anytime soon or ever even but come on.
There's been lots of talk and lots of questions and lots of whispers going around about the fate of the NPPL and its pro teams and all the early returns seemed to be saying business as usual--but a few press releases do not force reality to conform to the dream. Hardly ever. Internal communication has virtually stopped, actively committed teams have dropped out, others are balking at paying more cash into the league kitty, nobody is claiming the league made a cent last year, some teams are practicing the format-formerly-known-as-xball and talking openly about maybe playing both (hah!) and Camille has bailed and taken a job with the PSP. And it's worse than I'm making it sound.
Last year the league launched (re-launched?) amid a lot of fanfare and hype with the leading owners sitting around a table projecting such grotesquely unrealistic participation numbers it was laughable. And some of them had to know it. But they wanted to believe. This year that's no excuse. The numbers are in. So what's left? Outside money. The pipedream of some high rollin' non-paintball crew coming to town to drop some large on tournament paintball. And not just tournament paintball but specifically the league with a record of failure running a dying format for a fraction of the players playing tourney ball elsewhere. It's practically in the bank. (/sarcasm) Elements of the NPPL have been selling the Big Score for the whole of the league's various iterations and while there have been some minor successes the Big Score has always been around the next corner, taking the next meeting, making the next phone contact. Look, if the Big Score wasn't there when money was easy and banks were begging everyone to take out home loans what are the odds now?
So what about the teams? At a more basic level than "owning" a league paint is once again the great divide and fewer teams than last year are gonna get any kind of deal. It's extra hard to own a league when you can't afford to finance a team. A lot of teams, regardless of league, are gonna struggle to compete. My advice is if you love the game focus on playing.
Hey, it was a swell idea. Ten years ago. The opportunities to make it work have come and gone. They may come back again--but not now.