Saturday, March 17, 2012

Top 5 Worst MLP Events [*]

[*] Given the caveat 'within my memory.' Doesn't mean I was there. Only that I'm semi-confident contemporaneous reports told the real story. And before you start whinging--(tossed that in for our UK friends)--I know I promised it a day or so ago. If this is the first time in your memory I have failed to deliver a timely post you'll get used to it. Foolishly I decided to do a bit of research and make sure my list was impervious to challenge. First, it was taking way too long and second, somebody is always gonna disagree no matter what so there was really no point in over analyzing the possibilities. Instead I've decided to offer a list that not only delivers a Top 5 but also a few honorable mentions. And do it off the top of my head--which means, among other things, I'm not even exactly sure which year it was for some of the events. Y'all can fill in the details--or, of course, suggest your preferred alternative events. Instead of the definitive list consider this a conversation starter.
My criteria is simple. If I wasn't playing paintball when it happened it ain't on the list. Mostly. If I don't consider it to have been a major league event it isn't included. That's it.
I wanted to say that rain alone wasn't enough to get an event on this list but that's not quite true. I've been to so many events where it rained that I can't put a number to them but there's rain--and then there's rain. So without further delay--

Honorable Mention
Sometime in the mid-Nineties there was a Mayhem Masters? that I seem to recall was a massive mudfest.
It rained relentlessly at NPPL Pittsburgh in '98 leaving puddles and small ponds (and larger ponds) on the mounds field(s) and while not completely unplayable a snorkel would have come in handy.
A couple of Mardi Gras events not including Muddy Gras--I'll explain down the list.
It might have been the first NPPL (Pure Promotions) Miami held in a park not far from the airport. The rain came down in sheets and if it had continued for the duration there wouldn't have been a tournament.
NPPL Houston, cancelled in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike [?] which left the entire Houston area devastated. (Didn't make the list because the event never got started.)
PSP Texas in '06 when it dropped 50 degrees overnight and snowed turning the fields into mush and while not unplayable the conditions were singularly unpleasant.

The Top 5
5. There's a 3-way tie at number 5 'cus it let's me fudge the numbers a bit. MS Charleroi which saw high winds tear down field stanchions and enough rain to produce nearly knee deep mud. NPPL Jersey in '03 next door to the dragstrip was another massive rain and mudfest. And then there's Muddy Gras. I distinguish the various wet & muddy Mardi Gras events by two things; being a PSP-sanctioned season opening event and by the crazy winds that tore down the fields and sent some of the props into the bayou in, I think, 2004.
4. PSP Chicago at the Badlandz in 2010.
3. PSP Los Angeles in Pomona. I want to say '05. Rain, rain, rain and more rain. Mike Ratko on the NXL field digging runoff trenches. Mid-calf puddles at both starts. Players diving the snake literally disappearing.
2. MS Malaga Beach in 2008 [?] Only other event I can recall that wasn't able to finish play the Mills did the same thing as the PSP by carrying over pro play to the next event. Severe and sustained winds not only blew the inflatable net supports hither and yon they tore the traditional fields apart as well.
1. PSP Galveston 2012. Sustained high winds and a chilly rain flattened the majority of the venue and lasted long enough to make immediate reconstruction impossible. It also kept the PSP from completing an event for the first time in their history. (I think.)


sdawg said...

See you in Galveston next year.

sdawg said...
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sdawg said...
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Anonymous said...

As a player, Chicago 2010 was MUCH worse. The ridiculous parking situation, the deep mud and the stench. Chicago stimulated all the senses. It was the worst. Galveston was just a wet mess. I think people actually enjoyed the paintball in TX (I know I did). I don't there's anyone that would say they enjoyed anything at Chicago, haha

Nick Brockdorff said...

Malaga 2008 was awesome, as far as I remember.

2009 & 2010 both has big problems - 2009 saw the Pro & SPL divisions play out their remaining schedule at the next event (Bitburg) - same solution as for Galveston.

But 2010 was - by far - the worst:

First, the beach got eroded, so that on some fields, the pit had seawater above ankle depth, and on other fields, you needed scuba gear for playing the snake.... and THEN a storm tore down everything, and the entire event was cancelled (all divisions).

To add insult to injury, simultaneously, a volcano in Iceland chose to paralyze all air trafic in Europe, so that everyone was stuck in Malaga for 3 days further.

I have been to some pretty horrible events in my time - but for my money, that one should be at the top of the list, for sure.

(it was quite the party though... all those paintballers, with nowhere to go and nothing to play - Fuengirola has never been a more crazy place :D)

Baca Loco said...

Thanks, Nick. Excellent clarification. I stand (actually I'm sitting) corrected as I knew I would be. Euro events only get half, er, credit. :-)

Anonymous said...

Ya Malaga was by far the worst in history. The volcano thousands of miles away leaving paintballers stranded was just icing on the cake. It's a surprise the Mill. actually recovered that season after that disaster.