If this post is sub-standard blame Texas. Apparently it didn't want us to leave as our flight Sunday night was delayed a number of times until we didn't get off the ground until around midnight--which meant I didn't get home until close to 4 am. Not a complaint, it just means I might not be my usual clear-headed incisive self, so cut me some slack, slackers.
This week's The Monday Poll asks, "What state should host the PSP's season opener next year?" It may be a wee bit premature but it's timely. It's also not a no-brainer. For years the PSP tried to source an early season event in Cali (mostly LA) only to be the recipient of bad weather more often than not. And it should be obvious the PSP likes the idea of a Texas event regarding it as something like a centralized location--but we've also had some rough experiences with Texas venues. [Btw, not all the choices in the poll are states within the United States.] While we were waiting for our flight last night a friend suggested the PSP take a look at the way Nascar schedules their early season. They are competing in outdoor venues and have to be cognizant of the elements just like the PSP does. It may seem a little redneck but it has a logic about it as well. Another consideration, especially when you're attempting five events and want two of them in the summer it's hard to begin much later than sometime in March--which limits your likely fair weather options. And then there's the concern about mixing the venues up enough so that teams from some parts of the country aren't 'penalized' by the required travel involved. All in all there are no simple answers--except those you supply when you vote for The Monday Poll! No complications. No repercussions. Vote with a clear conscience and vote today. Do it right now!
It's unfortunate for fans, players and the league the first event posed such hardships all the way around. In the future some will recall the adventure, the hurdles overcome. (It's easier to be nostalgic when you're warm & dry and actual events are a receding memory.) Others will find excuses for what went wrong and either blame the PSP or forces beyond control--except of course for those who did fight through it and overcome. And that includes the PSP's efforts to complete an event in the midst of terrible conditions and a decimated venue. Ultimately however the league chose to return to Galveston after high winds created havoc last year with disaster barely averted--and then there's the small matter of the event not quite actually being completed. The Pro event remains incomplete.
During the event there was talk of beginning a day early in Phoenix and finishing Galveston for the Pros. That would certainly be my preferred solution--and it was imperative the divisions were completed in Galveston--but this solution poses a new set of logistical concerns. All the remaining pro teams still in the hunt will have to come in early. If the PSP is going to webcast the matches they will have to be played on the Pro field that will used for both Galveston's completion and the Phoenix event. It will also be a lot of games to get done on one field in one day. There are 6 prelim matches to be played followed by 2 quarterfinal match-ups, 2 semis and the finals. Half the bracket is done. The morning session bracket is decided. Afternoon session teams could play as many as 5 matches the day before Phoenix starts. Then there's the roster issue. Completing Galveston has to be done with the Galveston rosters, doesn't it? Look, none of it is insurmountable but at the same time it won't be as easy as saying 'make it so' either.
From the little I heard and saw the webcast appeared to deliver better than ever lines of sight across and up & down the field. I didn't see or hear enough to know how well the new stats introduction worked or whether or not commentary remained Matty & His Friends or not. (Don't get me wrong. Far as I'm concerned Matt Marshall is the Voice of Competitive Paintball but that isn't enough anymore. If the goal is to professionalize the pro event and its broadcasting the commentators need to know who the players are--not just who their friends are--and be prepared to talk not only about the players but also the teams and the strategic flow of the matches to be truly informative. Nor will all of that happen overnight but it ought to be the target they're shooting for.) It was probably a near miracle there was any webcast at all.
Congrats to all the teams, winners and losers alike. Winners, remain humble and hungry, losers make no excuses and re-double your efforts. There are four more opportunities coming this season to compete and win in the PSP and a season title to be contested in every division.
I look forward (hint, hint) to hearing from the divisional correspondents and when I do I will post their thoughts, reactions & observations on Galveston.