Tuesday, August 14, 2012

MAO Plus

This post should probably have been titled MAO Minus 'cus there's gonna be less MAO than y'all probably expected but I'm focusing on the positive. Cultivating my chi. Shuiing my feng. You know, all that mind body spirit nature in harmony crap. It's working like a champ. I'm so mellow you'd think I had a doctor's script for an unlimited supply of Kona Gold, but no. And, no more cycling tequila and Xanax for me. Listen to Baca kids, just say no to prescription anti-psychotics and mood elevators. Tequila on the other hand is a perfectly natural distillate of the blue agave plant.
As regulars to VFTD know I have a special soft spot on my head for paintball photographers and have had a few kind words for the guardians of our visual history. Not the way you remember those posts? Go with it anyway. It seems that in the brave new world of fewer photogs there's still at least one too many. Or so the photographers might have you believe. It seems one in particular has decided he has no need to follow either photographers field etiquette or common courtesy as he strides the sidelines stepping in front of his fellow travellers or simply brushing them aside with the sweep of his mighty lens. Taking no heed of their picayune efforts because he is the undisputed king of paintballphotography.
This was the first MAO not at the Paintball Central facility in Rock Hill SC. They should'a called it something else. I know, it's a dumb complaint but it wasn't the MAO. Of course it couldn't be the NJO either. It wasn't a bad venue either. In fact it was pretty good. The playing fields were good particularly considering the weather early on. The layout was okay. The parking ... meh. The free shuttle back and forth--priceless--(it was free.) It was isolated but not unreasonably so. Our hotel was less than forty minutes from the Philly airport with the venue about twenty minutes from the hotel. With decent accessibility to much of the east coast as well as several major airports not too far away it's a pretty good paintball field option. However, there's the question of timing. As the late summer event doesn't almost any Atlantic seaboard or northeastern venue risk seasonally unpredictable weather? (Rain last year in Jersey too.) Just saying. Bottom line it was a venue worth a second look and the league and competing teams received a lot of support from the OXCC staff & ownership.
Back when VFTD was a monthly magazine column I once wrote about paintball's untold stories. The personal stories. The team stories. The first timer stories. The unique stories and the shared experiences all the members of the tourney paintball family share in common, the highs, the lows, the moments of magic, the waiting--the list is almost endless. At a time when event reports were only scores and winners I wanted to remind people there was so much more than that to the world of tournament paintball. And there still is--unfortunately it isn't all positive. Traditionally most of the blame for the evils of tournament paintball have been laid on the doorstep of the pro ranks--and at times rightfully so--but some of the ugliness that occurs in the lower divisions not only among teams and players but supporters and worse, the parents of players, can make the worst outbursts from little league moms and peewee football dads seem tame and rational by comparison. It's not, btw, something new or unusual. I was simply reminded by a few stories I heard over the weekend. It's regular as the season schedule and maybe it's time to do something about it. There are unsportsmanlike and decorum rules in the rule book.
Congrats to Houston Heat for winning the pro event and Sacramento Damage for taking the D1 title. As well as the other winners (D2 Scottsdale Elevation, D3 DC Devestation, D4 Imperial) and all the teams that competed. This weekend they were the best and earned their titles, each and every one. Once again we had a layout that when push came to shove played slow with lots of games across all the divisions going to time. It wasn't terrible nor was it particularly exciting.
It seems the kids at Social PB are trying their hand at the rumorology game. It's not for the uninitiated as their first effort reads like a (weak) faux guerrilla ad campaign for the paintball industry. Trust me on this--if you're not making somebody angry you're not doing it right. I'm sure they'll get up to speed in time. As for the XSV rumor Mr. Curious will give you the real inside scoop. Yes, XSV is looking to play Cup in pro and they're using their sponsors to try and make it happen but it ain't that simple. Right now the league has 12 teams and a tourney formula that works given the time frame and the single pro field. Adding one team (that results in an odd number) complicates the process substantially so it isn't a done deal. And if you're curious about the real inside skinny start by asking yourself how many NPPL only pro teams (besides XSV) have inquired about a PSP pro spot. (Did you notice that Indy Mutiny played D1 at MAO?)
Lastly and certainly least it appears FaceFull is kaput again having missed at least three recent publication dates since its last revival. APG has even missed a publication date. On a similar note is the same fate overtaking Shooting Hot (online) paintball mag? Their last issue was May. (For those not in the know SH is the 'Deliverance' of paintball mags. "You've got purty lips, boy.") In a related note it seems Valken and LCP are hosting a scenario game the same weekend as World Cup and promoting it as an alternative event. Good to know somebody else in paintball has a sense of humor.

54 comments:

Mark said...

I noticed the increase in the percentage of the 3 point spread win-advantage Matty et al frequently mention (from 80% at the beginning of the season to 96% at the start of MAO), and intially thought it was due to more teams now being aware of the stat and digging in their heels that much more, but the layouts and the more "technical" snake seem to aid the team that makes it to that spread just as much as anything.

Yes the last 2 events have been exremely boring to watch the web cast IMO. Sadly the only source of excitement (for lack of a better word) has been whether a ref will throw a flag or not.

I would love it if someone would compile a year long video of "Spectator Halls of Shame" so as to spotlight these wackos and give them all the attention their actions deserve. Then rent a huge open tent at WC and run a continuous, non-stop loop on 6 80" flat screens with max'd out 1000watt surround sound.

Baca Loco said...

Mark
If you have a minute tell me about this 3 point spread thing. It's news to me and I am, as always, curious.

Mark said...

The stats guys seemed to have found that the first team to go up by 3 in the pro div (race to 7) wins 96% of the time, and like I said at the beginning of the year (might've been around PHX tho) it was 80%. Matty has quoted it extensively during the webcasts.

Nick Brockdorff said...

I was bored with the webcast for the first time this weekend.

But, that was to be expected when the layout had the strongest back line in recent memory, and 50 yard line bunkers with very limited production.

I am also seeing a tendency to increasingly making layouts that can only really be attacked on the wires, when I think a playable centre (and beyond!) would make games far more diverse to watch.

Missy Q said...

according to the stats-guys, teams that go 2 up first, win 80% of the time, and 3 up first win 96% of the time. These are the stats generated for the hosts at the start of the event.

Mark said...

@ Missy
Guess that was what I heard then.

@ Nick
For Chi and MAO I don't know if it was bad camera work or bad layouts but things were just really boring action-wise to watch on a screen.

Anonymous said...

that 96%
stat seems mind boggling...or unusual to say the least ....that fubars the adjust and go hope ...

Anonymous said...

up by 3 means 3-0, 4-1, 5-2, 6-3. Hopefully it doesn't count 7-4, as that would be a worthless stat.

So you'd expect teams up 6-3 or 5-2 to win. The question is, how often does a team leading 4-1 or 3-0 win?

And how often does a team go up by 3 at all? How many matches go the whole time with no team leading by more than 2 points?

Anonymous said...

Re: up by 3. If you go up 4-1 or 3-0, you are likely to be much better than your opponent and eventually win. Even if you are lucky to get up by 3, you are going to force your opponent to push more and take more risks.

Gary Baum said...

Well what a weekend it's been, on PROPaintball I learned that I somehow have the power to help teams win from the sidelines and now on VFTD I learn I am the "undisputed king of paintballphotography" and in past VFTD posts I learned that I actually control the media in the PSP. Wow I never knew I was so powerful, thanks Baca, but actually I was basically relived of my duties as the PSP Media Liaison for letting too many photographers on the field. I guess I must have been looking for more people to push out of my way

First of all I am not sure how I became the most known photographer in our sport, perhaps it's due to my longevity but clearly not my talent. But as the most visible photographer I guess I should expect people to take shots at me and I am a bit surprised at this one. Baca has posted in this blog that he "welcomes my comments anytime" and he has described me at as "A friend to VFTB" is this how he treats his friends ? Wow I guess it's always good to stir thing up a bit to generate some attention and traffic to this blog. I am surprised that there have been no comments about me to this post, perhaps you picked the wrong paintball personality to pick on as evidenced by the lack of responses, perhaps you should try someone else.

Interesting photo you choose of me taking a team picture of Vipers, yes I frequently take team pictures which the PSP uses in their e-mails to promote the sport and they have use several I have taken of Damage. I choose who I point my camera at and I one of the teams I have chosen to follow this year is Damage, I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

There seems to be a new generation of paintball photographers entering our sport, many of them very talented, but unfortunately only a few are likely to survive for long because today , in the post collapse of print paintball media, you cannot make enough to cover your expenses. We are so frequently unappreciated for the huge effort in takes to photograph and post our work from multi day event with no tangible return for our efforts.

So I am the "undisputed king of paintballphotography", or the best photographer? I think not I am just an amateur photographer that happens to love our sport and have spent years promoting it and I have no interest in promoting myself. I learned from some of the great photographers when I started such as Miguel Cruz, Romain Maniere, Brandon Showers, Michael Neveux, Michael Wise to name a few. I was humbled by their drive and creativity, but never intimated by them and I always approached them with questions and they were always helpful to me as I was starting as I now try to be to other photographers.

The reality of paintball photography today is we are all a bunch of amateur photographers shooting a sport that very few people care about and the only real professional photographer in paintball today is Helen Grose, who is someone I admire and hopefully will continue in our sport.

Baca, I always I enjoy reading this blog and I look forward to our friendly and enlightening conversations in the pits.
Gary Baum -always a friend and proud loyal supported of VFTB :-)

Baca Loco said...

G"King"B
A couple of minor corrections. Nowhere no how have I ever suggested you control the media. (But not for lack of trying.) There have been some mildly contentious comments following past posts about paintball photography but comments aren't screened, endorsed or much of anything else and unless it has my name on it I'm not responsible for it.
Picking on? Really? Did you notice how I opened the para? Tongue in check making fun first of myself and past pb photog commentary. Hey either it's good to be the king or it isn't. Choose one.
However while I treated the topic with a light touch I heard it--and saw it--from numerous photographers at MAO--and illustrated their point. Now if you'd like to go on the record saying they's just jealous little petty picture takers I'm okay with that.
And I'm a bit surprised not to have heard from more of them too.

PS--you know you love the attention.

Lawrence said...

Must be lonely at the top.

http://adriandayton.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/michael_jordan_trophy_rings.jpg

Wilemon said...

that 96% stat seems mind boggling...or unusual to say the least ....that fubars the adjust and go hope ...

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