It's been a slow week; what can I say?
The series formerly known as The Grand Tour is on hiatus (maybe) or taking a (dirt) nap. Anyway, they do not appear to be promoting events this season. (The new Champions Series out of Italy appears to have a modest Pro division, of sorts, but since they have their own dedicated website--the recently revised and still butt ugly Paintball.com I'ma give them this season to settle in and see if it lasts.)
In PSP news the big news is the formation of Paintball Access and the new expanded webcast and stats roll out. Viewer numbers remain a fairly closely kept total--and last I heard they are still trying to calculate all the viewers from the variety of viewing sources--but rumors abound that the totals are well above last year's World Cup. It all seems quite positive but until we start seeing ads from outside of paintball clogging up the time between points I will continue to keep my fingers crossed. (Has anyone ever been glad to see advertising? That's some cruel irony, that is.)
The PSP is also leading in the stats race--by default so far--the default of the NPPL not posting anything yet from their HB event. As an observer I want dueling stats! As a coach I think it's a damned distraction. Probably good for the game and annoying as hell. (No, I'm not schizophrenic--I just play one on the internet.)
The one thing nobody is talking about so far is PSP event turnout and how things will shake out this year with 5 events. Galveston had very strong season opening numbers (150) and Phoenix fell off considerably with 114 teams. The question is: Why? Did the swampfest put off some teams? Is a fifth event gonna cut numbers at other events? Were they scheduled too close together? Is the Left coast draw weak given their other tourney options and the recent (then) HB event? It's hard to know but a review of the first two events over the last six years shows Galveston had the highest team attendance for a first event and Phoenix had the lowest--despite the popularity of the venue. Current Chicago registration is at 147 teams with approx. 6 weeks to go. Those numbers are ballpark with recent attendance figures but would still trend down unless they improve 10-15 teams between now and the event.
Who knows what's going on in the NPPL. Even with the relocation at HB (north of the pier) and the inclusion of the extra format option (Race 2) team turnout was well down over 2011. Since the NPPL doesn't actually release those figures--for all I know they may not even know for sure--the only way to get a reasonably accurate count is from post event rankings and/or making a team count from the event schedule. Numbers for HB this year look to be right around 100-ish, give or take. The good news for the NPPL is that Chicago may be up over last year. No telling just yet as registered teams aren't paid teams but even with virtually no impact made by the 5-man Race 2 option and the collapse of the previously modestly successful pump division Chi-town turnout may be up. Maybe it's the return, by popular demand no doubt, of the Ms NPPL bikini contest. (It's getting harder to keep track of all the data because the website pages from past seasons aren't all available anymore--or have been renamed.)
NPPL-USPL's Facebook page says event registration closes tonight. It ain't on the website. ID cards from HB will be mailed or available at Chicago. Stats too. The delays are blamed on a broken printer, software issues, a security breach (whatever that means) & the dog ate their printouts. (I made up that last one up but come on. Really? Security breach? Quick, call Homeland Security.) Whatever, we'll know soon as the event begins in a week.
Over in Millennium Land I'm informed our happy little blog was a bullet point on the agenda of an MS board meeting. That's very exciting news though upon reflection they might not have been altogether pleased. (Can't please some people. If they had wanted nothing but adoring coverage they should do what everybody in the industry does, pay for it. Kidding. No I'm not.)
Meanwhile Bitburg is a sellout at 156 teams (with the possibility of 4 additional D2 teams.) I'm privately told all the time that lots o' Euro teams are dissatisfied with the MS and I used to believe it but it's wearing thin. Look, if teams keep showing up in big numbers I'ma start believing the numbers. And good for them. The MS does do a lot of things well.
This is gonna be another "typical" Millennium layout pushing wide open fast play. I'm gonna try to get enough video in Bitburg to illustrate my point about the outta control chasing greased pigs style of paintball played by a lot of the Euro teams. Should be interesting & fun. Will I have to set up a secret courier service to get the video off site and out of Germany?
Oh, and the MS has finally discovered Facebook. Whoopee. Wanna buy a Mills field cheap?
The MLP Update movie version tomorrow.