Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tom Cole: Hobby Traitor?

Who'd a thunk it, right?
Right what?
Didn't you hear?
Apparently not.
It seems Tom Cole--
The Tom Cole?
Yes, of Bad Company fame. And creator of the UWL. Long time promoter for Kingman & Spyder. Original NPPL guy even. Now works for PALCO. Makers of an enormous line of, ahem, airsoft products.
Airsoft?!
Yep. And they are a major sponsor at the upcoming IAO, er, Paintball Festival where Tom is going to show paintball field owners how to supplement their income by encouraging airsoft play.
Wow! Okay. Let me see if I understand. Tom wants to sell paintball fields on the benefits of providing airsoft at the same time the industry is trying to disassociate paintball from airsoft and its look-a-like toy guns.
In a nutshell.
Wha'dya call that?
A hobby traitor?


H/T to the Big Bullet. Here's their story.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good for him. One of the rare times I'll save my conspiracy theories for private use.

Tom's a good guy. He's got a great head on his shoulders.

ScotchMonster said...

No, I would say he's a business man. Face the reality that you have to adjust/change if your current clients are having to adjust/change. What else would a field owner do? Where we play, they offer both and laser tag (who knows, maybe nerf is soon)! Customers have different thresholds (cash, safety fear, etc.) Tom is likely trying to play to those who pay. We all have bills, especially the folks who live in the USA.

Baca said...

Anon,
I agree. Tom's a good guy and a nice guy. Who better to help airsoft infiltrate and undermine paintball? What if Jerry Braun were working for PALCO?

Anonymous said...

I don’t know enough about Jerry to make any sort of judgment about him or his work.

What do you mean “undermine”?

Baca said...

Geez, Anon
You're a tadpole.
Airsoft and paintball draw from overlapping pools of potential players for starters. So does promoting airsoft pull players away from paintball?
What if a Cali senator tells a staffer to look deeper into paintball and the staffer reports 50% of paintball fields also operate as airsoft facilities. How does paintball creditably claim to be a separate activity? Throw in pictures of the latest guns from BT & Tippmann and the jigs up.

Anonymous said...

You should reconsider your axis, you’re sounding crazier than I usually do.

But since you mention such a scenario…

The founders and financiers of Save Paintball in California got close enough to touch pee-pee’s with DeLeon and after a few sweetheart dinners and favoritisms were shared between them, paintball was suddenly “exempt” on S.B. 798.

What happened? The “industry” (KEE, Dye, Kingman, etc.) put their trust in the same few people who let them down time and again and whom they claim to challenge as well as support.

A week or so later after the victory dance (and after no information was shared with the public mind you), the newly amended bill included paintball under the same provisions as airsoft even after all that phonetically disdainful cock-sucking was shared between Chuck, Gio, DeLeon, the NPPL and a few of your favorite crowd.

More to the point, in this instance, what did airsoft do? They organized their industry on many fronts, constructed a grass roots effort to dismantle S.B. 798 with fans and players (who actually showed up more than once) and have since been the only ones to provide any material gain for their hard earned efforts with tenacity and non-entitled view points.

Don’t be fooled by the banner of “professionalism” when those who preach such limp wristed finesse can’t seem to protect or define their own investment.

Publically marginalizing the situation isn’t going to help anyone. Airsoft is doing better than paintball because they aren’t run by a bunch of sissy wanna be soldiers who can’t accept their role in ballistic sports and where the organizing of competitive play isn’t monopolized by a card system that only exists to afloat a weak minded eccentric and keep his ugly wife happy.

If you wanted the attention that’s one thing, but don’t pretend to give the lesson without understanding the test. We all shoot guns, some of us are better with our words. Call it vandalism politicism. It would be an honor to watch this industry implode. What credibility do you speak of? The ones that tried to bribe a public official or those who wish to keep a faux-industry alive?

Because neither sounds very tempting to me right now.

Baca said...

Wow, Anon, that was long. Huff paint thinner much?
On my best day I have never sounded crazier than you. Reading your screed is like taking a hit of acid--not that I'd know what that was really like you understand.
Thanks for commenting and keep up the good work.

Missy Q said...

I love Anon, as crazy as he sounds, I would still like to hear more of his extremism. I just don't get the 'it would be an honour' part. Sounds like he's real bitter at paintball, but has a newfound love for Airsoft...
I know you said Tom's a nice guy, and I agree, but maybe he lost it, big-time, and is now hate-posting anonymously to preserve his cred in the industry in case he wants to return someday? Perhaps his new position's responsibilities include the systematic destruction of Paintball as an entity, and he intends to start here, at VFTD?
Also, I can confirm that while his post left me dazed and confused, acid packs a much more powerful punch. If you had thought his post made total sense, THEN you would have had an idea of the full force of an LSD trip.

Come on Anon, explain why you would be so honoured to see the industry most of us rely on to feed our families crumble. What happened? Share it with us. A problem shared is a problem halved, right?

Reiner Schafer said...

I'm with Missy on this one. Although a little harsh, I actually agree with much of what Acid Anon had to say. The wish to see paintball implode is a little perplexing.

I was less than impressed by the way the "industry" disassociated itself from other shooting sports like airsoft in the first bout of California's S.B. 798. To think that we are so much different (and better) than others is quite snobbish of us.

Anonymous said...

Having been a former “hardcore” drug addict who has lived with undiagnosed disorders which lead to such addictions and actions, do not confuse my conviction within paintball for some impulsive thrill or dysfunction. LSD and/or huffing would make these posts seem more intelligible and would probably limit my disdain for such widespread manipulation. I’ve never posted here high. Believe me, it would help. The review of my statements will point clear to the direction of nominal change, one that is necessary without violence or panic.

With that said, and having experienced many of the backroom deals that do occur in paintball on a daily basis in one way or another, planned to purposefully put the players and small business owners on the short end of the stick, I cannot stand to have such high expectations for the commentary posted on this board as well as disappointment in the lack of depth they involve.

It’s droning. It’s worse than getting high because it sounds like you believe in these things as if they were precipatory of some grouping of facts.

The only fact that truly remains from the mouths of these men is in taking your money by any means necessary. That is not the sort of community I wish to see, which is advertised, it does not reflect the hard work of players or employees where the taking of investment from well-wishing paintball enthusiasts without regard to the results is a practice of practitioners. We’ve seen the results, we are living in a profitless and defunct design for the masses while the few "wallow" in their extravagance.

The fear mongering produced by the individuals aforementioned and many others must be neutralized in some way and this is my aim. My deflationary comments are meant to be questioned. I could come here and tell you the grand scheme the folks running the show openly wave to one another, but it would do very little good to attempt putting ideas in your head. That wouldn’t work and to attempt such would be a fool’s errand. You know this already but reject its basis.

To see a grand exodus of our current leadership would be a welcome change. To do so, there is only one way with any certainty and that includes a confirmed destruction, implosion. These industry heads are not interested in compromise. They do not care of their honor less existence. I say “fuck that” because paintball means more to me than that and life requires compromise. I can accept that you do not care, but pretend time is over and no dramatization would match the horror of the truth.

These actions you’ve lifted as celebratory which have produced no benefit affect real people. I am one of those people. These "kings of paintball" have abused their power for too long. To allow them another inch would be suicide.

Missy Q said...

I like your style, for the most part, at least the part where you're not personally attacking people who have in truth done much for the game, and the part where you omit your rather cruel and clearly partizan personal bias.

Unfortunately though, the destructionist approach does not work.
The barbarian hordes were among the first to discover this after sacking Rome. The Dark Ages followed, and I don't think anyone would claim that those years were a barrel of laughs. You suggest throwing the baby out with the bathwater. That's always a bad idea.
Newsflash - The Kings of Paintball are broke. There are no kings anymore, and those that still pretend have very little real power. I don't know what these people did to you, but I hope you find some ointment that will make it better for you real soon.

Anonymous said...

"Having been a former “hardcore” drug addict who has lived with undiagnosed disorders which lead to such addictions and actions"

How do you know you're living with undiagniosed disorders? This line has cost you buku cred my insano-friend. If you are going to tell us, unprovoked, that you're a former junkie (the first part is implied at least), at least nbe honest about it.
In fact, be more honest period. Your posts show a semblance of intellect, but the above statement kinds proves otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Past tense; as in "I was living under these conditions".

I have been nothing but honest.

I've said enough for this topic. Thanks.

Missy Q said...

You havn't really said anything, to be fair. You've posted anonymously, hinted at a history at the top of the industry, thrown everyone under the bus while mentioning only a few unfortunates that don't actually fit the descriptions you provide of them (professionally or personally), and you've told us you're a junkie, who quit (congrats).

So, if that's it, and you're now retreating, I guess there's only one thing left to say....



...Cool Story Bro.

Don Saavedra said...

If Anonymous could change his name to Hyperbolic, that would help me keep track of who is saying what. kthx.

Anonymous said...

Might I suggest a second opinion on those diagnosis. Or 3rd or 4th, as the case may be. And if you are indeed satisfied with the diagnosis, maybe the prescribed treatment should be called in to question or possibly just adhered to.

One way or another, something is amiss. You seem delusional and possibly dangerous, perhaps even to other. Either way, there's help out there. Spend your time looking for a cure.

And, if all else fails, you can always go back to the drugs dude. I've been there. It's not good. But it wasn't nearly as bad as what seems to be going on with you. I don't want to go back to drugs, but I could. I'm certain I could not live in your condition.

Good luck. We're here for you.

raehl said...

I'm not sure, but did someone just call me an eccentric with an ugly wife? I'm surely guilty on the eccentric charge, but the wife is kinda hot. She's definitely much hotter than me in any case, which is all I can ask for. Maybe were I more attractive or personable I could aspire to marry a woman like Missy, but alas it is just not in the cards.

I object to the notion that Tom Cole is a traitor. Everybody has the right to eat and if Tom has talents and experience people are willing to pay him for that don't involve illegal activity or grossly unethical behavior, more power to him.

More importantly, I don't see that helping an airsoft company is bad for paintball. Mainly because I don't see much overlap. The vast majority of people who play paintball do it as a form of glorified hide-and-seek/tag. Airsoft seems to be the domain of military simulation/gun nuts. About the only people I can see airsoft "stealing" is the milsim section of the scenario crowd. Anyone else would already be playing laser tag. Airsoft equipment is simply inferior to paintball equipment for the kind of play we use paintball equipment for (with, again, the exception of some of the milsim folks. But I don't think we're worried about losing players to civil war reenactment, are we?)

More importantly, isn't teaching paintball fields how to increase their revenue by offering airsoft as well a GOOD thing for paintball? More revenue for paintball fields - even if not for paintball - helps people in the paintball business. That should lead to more and better locations. Maybe some people who would have bought paintball stuff will buy airsoft stuff instead. But maybe paintball fields who would have closed otherwise will remain open. Maybe they'll have enough revenue to make their toilets flush. Paintball fields offering airsoft isn't any different than putting a paintball field next to a go kart course.

As far as SB 798 goes, and this is a bit directed at Reiner, Paintball is *NOT* a shooting sport. Paintball is tag or hide and seek or whatever we want it to be that has nothing to do with the gun issue in this country. We gain nothing by being associated with "shooting" - sure, some people who are on the pro gun side will support us - but then people on the anti-gun side will oppose us. And some people on the Pro gun side still won't support us because they don't like the idea of shooting at people at all. It is far better for us to be removed from that conflict entirely. We want paintball guns to be treated like baseball bats, not firearms.

The goal of shooting sports is to shoot things. The goal of paintball is, usually, to capture the flag. The means of doing that includes movement, communication, teamwork, sometimes stealth, and, yes, eliminating other players by shooting them. But the shooting isn't the point. Just ask Ritchie White.

Reiner Schafer said...

Chris, I realize, and have publicly said many times, that paintball is basically high tech ball tag. It's a game. Nevertheless, we still "shoot" projectiles at each other, just as the kids with nerf guns and airsoft guns do. There is no hiding that. Some of our paintball markers also look a lot like real firearms, just as the airsoft guns do. So in some ways, we are very similar. There is no denying that.

I do believe we should disassociate ourselves from real firearms, as those can be used to seriously harm or kill people, which of course paintball, nerf, and airsoft are not likely to do.

I don't know where you play recreational paintball, but at our field (and every other recreational field I have ever played at), most players could care less about the objective of the game (ie Capture the Flag). They just want to shoot things; namely other people. You can sugar coat it all you want, but that is the reality.

When I practice and concentrate on improving my game, it's shooting skills that is the main area of practice, not grabbing flags.

raehl said...

Interesting - shooting skills is the last area of my game that I practice. I spend a lot more time on field awareness, movement and communication. I find I can shoot most things, but getting shot too much is my problem. ;)

But, the vast majority of paintball is not about looking like we're in combat. Airsoft seems to be very centered on the guns looking real. It's that focus on real-looking guns, coupled with reasonable people thinking it's OK to use those replica guns in a public situation, that gets airsoft in trouble. Paintball's legal status depends on establishing a very clear line between airsoft equipment, which has those problems associated with it, and paintball equipment, which does not.

Here's a question: Would you consider NERF a shooting sport?

Reiner Schafer said...

Practice for competitive play, I would agree that those things you mentioned are probably just as important as shooting skills, but for recreational play, those things aren't nearly as important to me.

Ok, so airsoft is 90% focused on milsim and guns that look realistic, while paintball is only 25% focused on that (estimation). The energy of our projectiles is much higher than that of airsoft projectiles. If anything, that would put us closer to the realm of real firearms than airsoft.

Our legal status is dependent upon allowing citizens to have fun playing games that are relatively harmless. If the apparatus (markers) that we use look too much like the real thing and people start using them for criminal acts (or get shot by police because they are mistaken for the real thing, than I personally would have no problem with some common sense laws that will decrease the chance of that happening. That goes for paintball markers and a airsoft guns alike.

raehl said...

We'll have to disagree on the value of skills - I would actually find shooting skills to be even less valuable on a woodsball field than on a speedball field. Most times on a woodsball field, the ability to get an elimination is far more based on position than accuracy. Precision is a lot more important on a speedball field where both players are working with an edge of an inflatable bunker.

To the legal status issue, the higher kinetic energy of paintballs actually works in our favor. Most reasonable people would not conclude that it is OK to be shooting paintballs on the street. Many reasonable people would conclude that there is no harm in shooting airsoft guns on the street. Thus, it us unlikely that an innocent party finds themselves in a harmful situation as a result of their paintball gun, but far more likely that an innocent party finds themselves in a harmful situation as a result of an airsoft gun.

Put another way, no rational person could find shooting paintballs in their neighborhood to be harmless. But plenty of rational people could find shooting airsoft guns in their neighborhood to be harmless.

raehl said...

I should add that the legal risk to paintball is not currently from the potential of paintball guns to be misused, but due to the potential for law enforcement to be in a situation where they think something is a real gun. And the risk of law enforcement confusing something for a real firearm is nearly entirely limited to airsoft guns as oppossed to paintball guns.

Anonymous said...

Mark said:
I think I may have a somewhat unique take here. I play(ed) paintball and I shoot real guns. The only thing from the former that aids (i.e. crosses over) to the latter is the movement, field awareness, and communication Chris mentions. Oh, and it really does not go the other way at all. Not sure if that makes them more or less different, but if the question is whether paintball is, or is not a "shooting sport" I'd have to say no. Funny since we do actually shoot the most.

Missy Q said...

While I agree that I may not be as conventionally hot as Chris's wife, I make up for it in enthusiasm, and a varied sexual skill-set learned on the toughest Harlem street-corners.
You'll know when you've been Missy'ed. That's a fact.

Anonymous said...

Anon #2 says:-

I bet Tom loves Nerf as well. Hell, I bet he's organising a Nerf-PPL league right now.

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