Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bitburg 2012: Friday & Saturday

The law in Germany requires markers not to exceed 215 fps. For years tournaments were played on U.S. military bases to avoid complying with the law. With the DPL currently consisting of over 300 teams and fields open all across Germany I am reliably informed they are not all competing or even playing at the legal limit. I mention all of that as it is the most commonplace explanation for how the MS found this place and why we were there. Supposedly as a former U. S. air base it still conferred diplomatic immunity (or whatever) on all the otherwise “illegal” markers in action over the weekend. If that strikes you as odd and kinda silly on its face join the club--but hey, it's as good an explanation as any.
Vas ist ein air conditioning? Only available in your car as it turns out. This isn't anything new or out of the ordinary for Euroland (it's only warm a couple months of the year, right?) but it continues to amaze me--as does the cuisine--or lack thereof. Shouldn't small town Germany feature German food? Okay, there's a sampling but it seems like much of the (limited) menus instead tend to feature generic, dare I say universal (sorta) fare. Although, to be fair nobody in America is gonna put 'rumpsteak' on their menu. I know some Euro-types (and others) object to imperialistic American cultural hegemony--as well they might--but if y'all ain't gonna fight the good fight where it matters--on the menu--where will it all end? Mediocre pseudo-American food the world over. Want fries with that?
In checking the Sunday match-ups I've been scouting Group A teams. We also played a couple of matches today. We brought our pit crew and organizationally we're set. Is it normal for refs to high five each other when dishing out 2-4-1's? Sorry, that's verboten paintball talk.
After dinner I spent a pleasant evening in the Biergarten. The local Pilsner is a bit on the bitter side for my taste but the wheat beers are quite good. Not cold enough but good. As is the lemon infused Polish vodka a friend brought with him from--Poland. By midnight the room is reasonably comfortable with the windows open. It's simple but modern and reasonably sized--unlike the beds which were small singles.
Have I mentioned that the Eifel Stern operates on coupons? It's apparently a commonplace practice. Want to purchase a meal in the restaurant? A drink in the Biergarten? Buy a coupon at the front desk. With cash.
The weather remains ideal. Pristine blue skies and crisp breezes are the order of the day. Quite nice really and it's a good thing given that we're only playing 3 prelim matches of Race 2-5 over two days. There's time to do other things. Like a team autograph signing at the GI Sportz booth. The team signed free T-shirts and pods. Much of the time there was a small crowd around not in the waiting line because they didn't know how much the "free" stuff would cost. Once informed it was a freebie they were all over it.
We went into Bitburg today. It's a holiday weekend so most of the stores and restaurants are closed. Over here holidays are prime shopping opportunities. Not so much over there as it turns out. We ended up in a district of patterned brick and stone we thought was pedestrian only. Turns out a few adventurous cars including a couple of taxis decided otherwise but mostly the streets were empty. We found a tiny hotel with a first floor restaurant that was open. It promised more traditional German fare with real leaded glass windows and blooming Geraniums in window boxes. The kids had mostly been eating the ubiquitous ‘rumpsteak’ and spaghetti Bolognese. The bratwurst and smoked sausage I’d had the past two days from the event concessions were disappointingly conventional massed produced meats--I hope. While the kids continued to eat cheeseburgers and rumpsteaks with herb butter sauce I had a terrific pork schnitzel with a dark mushroom and onion sauce with a side of potato pancakes.
What, you want paintball talk? Tell the Millennium kids.
There are a couple of incidents I can relate. Rumor has it a Lisbon Benfica player punched a ref on the CPL field or in the pit area. The story has it the player grabbed the ref on the field and then later in the ref's area of the pits punctuated his objections with the aforementioned punches. Rumor also has it the league is backtracking to keep the lid on this by claiming the ref would have been more severely hurt if he'd been punched and in fact it was maybe more like a slap or something. Late Saturday a small group that included at least a couple of CPL field refs and a Millennium photographer accosted some of my players in front of the hotel. There are a number of benches in front and some of the guys were sitting around when this group approached them. They appeared to be drunk. The photog was identified by his league authorized jersey and the kids recognized a couple of the others as refs. They began by insulting my players and one ref in particular tried to incite a response by throwing elbows, punches and kicks--that didn't connect--at my players. they continued to insult and curse at them until my guys got up and left. (If the league wants a description of the refs in question I'll be happy to supply it--but I won't be holding my breath in the meantime.) Tell me again how fair and even-handed the officiating is again.


Sup said...

Ban those facking refs! It's embarrasing for us Euros if people insult our paintball friends from the states like that! And it's even worse that the refs do it. Sorry to hear Baca, but be damn sure the majority of euro paintballers love having you here!

Tiffany said...

At the top level, the Millennium series seems to understand the need to attract world class teams (the majority are from the states). To be one of the premier leagues they must get some of the biggest team "brands" to show up. At the same time it feels like the rank and file participants/officials/refs etc are driven by a bit of slow smolder under the surface angst. Why do we need these ugly American teams? Why aren't millennium series winners considered the best teams in the world?

Most everyone would like to see locals win events. This is true both regionally and nationally. A few rule changes always can help. Dropping the rof by 20% reduced the dominance of the more technically skilled teams and adds more chances for run first type play. Combine that with a more rigid reffing code which requires less sharp proactive decision making and they've found a way to swing the odds.

Just some thoughts......

Full Bore said...

I was present for the CPL ref incident, leaning on the railing by the refs pit area at the time, though my head was turned away at the crucial moment by a colleague asking me a question. All I can say is that it was a cowardly sucker punch. On the subject of food, the EifelShizen is a 'party' hotel, the choices are limited. I have eaten well in Bitburg town and the surrounding area, but mainland Europeans take the holidays seriously, they take time off. There are decent hotels and food available in the area, I am sorry my hotel said "not possible" to your requests to dine there on Saturday.

If you are disappointed by the food so far be prepared for further disappointment in 'BazVegas' the options are fairly limited and the usual chain fare.

As for the US Territory theory that was widely expounded at this event, how did the league get away with 2 years at Nurburgring, a race track that has no affiliation to the US or other overseas forces or governments. If the site is governed by US law, how come the German police were looking for the slugger on Sunday and not the US military authorities. Paintball in Germany is an open secret, it's not just the velocity that is 'illegal', the fire mode is too.

Anonymous said...

Neat. Baca may not be able to comment on all the dirty secrets at Bitburg/MS, but the commenters can sure come in and share their thoughts. For a little while I was worried there wouldn't be much 'dirt'.

Heck, Baca or a friend could even post as one of the numerous 'anonymous' commenters.

Baca Loco said...

I'd like to believe that but I have yet to see much evidence for it. The league wants to silence me and some percent of the CPL refs plainly have it in for us. How am I to know that it isn't an institutional decision at this point?

Even so I appreciate the kind words. Thanks.

Thanks for the comment. I say that now 'cus I'm gonna disagree with you and don't want you to think I don't appreciate your general comments. :)

By your own admission reducing the ROF reduced the need for technical proficiency thus helping to "level the playing field" by making it easier for less skilled players and teams to be successful. Is that really what paintball as sport should be about? And while we might argue the merits of the current officiating standard in the MS they DO NOT encourage run thrus. That is completely counter-intuitive. Euro players do it because they all believe it's the slam dunk of paintball--and the crowds always cheer.

Bad luck and bad timing this time around on the cuisine front.
Does BazVegas have any Welsh Elvii? :)
Thanks for the reminder about the past 'Ring events. I'd forgotten about them.
As for the incident would you say the player has a reputation that might match his behavior at this event? I ask because everything I've ever heard would suggest the opposite. (Why I didn't post his name.)

Fingers crossed.

Nick Brockdorff said...

I was greatly surprised when I heard who threw the punch.

He has always been widely regarded as a friendly and upstanding individual.

Which leads me to believe something really odd must have occured, for him to behave that way.

Anonymous said...

Either that or Nick is not a good judge of what's "widely regarded" :)

Full Bore said...

Not sure on your Elvii query, if you are referring to the culinary delicacy, if you take a trip 25 miles or so west in to the East End of London you could find a Pie & Mash shop for some jellied eels, if a vocal talent, a quick Google search reveals you will be a week out for the tribute night to the King at the local Holiday Inn.

BazVegas is the local nickname For Festival Park, where the Hotels, 'restaurants', bowling ally, cinema and nightclubs are, where most will be staying and mainly populated by Essex Boys with their pimped out hatchbacks trying to be extras from a Vin Diesel movie and their would be, vodka fuelled, mates falling off their heels and out of their tops. If you need further research in to Essex culture, search YouTube for "TOWIE" but hide any sharp, or blunt, instruments that you may use to remove your eyeballs first, and don't for a moment think that this reflects at all on the rest of the UK.

As for he who remains unnamed, he has shouted, screamed and threatened others before, but on realising off field their physical stature (and reach) far exceeds his own has usually reverted to meek mode, however; when your opponent is sat at a table filing the paperwork for your suspension I guess these differences are reduced.