First, my apologies for not posting daily during the event. It wasn't that I was off helping to support Vegas's faltering economy in the manner it has become accustomed to by losing my shirt at some enticing but utterly quixotic gaming table--I left that to Jason. Nor was it because there just weren't enough hours in the day. Strangely Vegas has 24 hours each day like every other place--I think the problem must be too often you just can't remember a lot of the lost hours afterwards. No, my excuse is I was pondering a decision that probably should have already been made. As a consequence this will be my last post that is aggressively critical of any league a team I am affiliated with is competing in or may compete in in the near term. The simple fact is only the PSP is sufficiently professional to deal with criticism appropriately and I am convinced the views expressed here have had a deleterious impact on my team--which means I have to stop. (I also waited an extra day--to post--to make sure my comments are consistent with reality and not the result of frustration. I also wanted to review the webcast to make sure I heard and saw what I thought I heard and saw the first time around. And there was also the matter of some video offered for my use in illustrating some of the officiating incompetence (or bias) on display.)
But no matter. What's the point? I sound like a broken record to myself and since absolutely nobody else will go on the record--despite nearly universal private agreement--I'm done. Officiating remains a joke. The supposed oversight is apparently just another form of cover-up. Nothing has changed. It's too bad really because most of the refs are trying, I think. It only takes a few to taint the whole process. It's too bad as well for the teams that want so badly to compete and succeed to always have the taint of suspect officiating detracting from their efforts.
I must say though I found it more than a little amusing that one of VFTD's most vociferous haters got completely screwed in such an obvious and blatant fashion on Sunday. I wonder if I'm still the bad guy for pointing out the problems and if he still has his hands firmly covering his eyes, ears and mouth--a real feat with only two hands. (His team needed to get screwed in order to keep Damage from winning the series title--a fact discussed by some NPPLites on Saturday, including PA announcer Chris who said how bad it would be for the league, or words to that effect if Damage won given how critical the team [VFTD] has been of the league. A conversation that ironically occurred just before we lost our only prelim match on a major penalty called after we had received a point and the horn had sounded that retroactively took our point away and resulted in a swing point despite the fact the penalized player called himself out and was walking off the field and nobody saw him get hit including the ref who made the call and subsequently changed his version of events three times. But nevermind. It was surely just a coincidence.)
FYI with respect to seeding the governing rule is 25.01. I mention it because it was ignored in order to put Phoenix Contact into the same prelim bracket with Impact & XSV when, according to the rules, it should have been Houston Heat. No doubt that was simply an oversight.
In post-event news there's a rumor that the brand new to Vegas slippery as ice turf won't make a second NPPL appearance. Rumor also has it that's a $125K mistake but in looking at turf pricing I doubt that sum. Of course if one rumor is as "accurate" as the other it may be used at HB next spring too. Of course some pro teams were using metal spikes or studs to improve their footing. I was told--when I asked--that the league was enforcing the no metal rules but it was an uphill battle as more teams were attempting to use them each day.
Ed Poorman has departed the NPPL after two events. In his parting remarks (on Facebook) he took the high road but it's clear that something went wrong given how dedicated Ed was (is) to contributing to the game he loves.
The highest live viewer totals I observed on Sunday were 1583 viewers during the finals.
The webcast was the best the NPPL has offered to date. By comparison to the PSP it remained a modest effort that didn't reach the same levels as the last DPL (German league) webcast I saw. The Millennium's Paris-Disney webcast will be produced by the same crew so I expect, even with the improvements, the NPPL still comes in third among the big three.
Finally I would like to offer congrats to all the divisional teams that competed, win or lose. And I sincerely hope the tournament was a good experience for all of them. The same goes to the pro players who are, for the most part, just like every other paintball player, determined to live the dream whatever the cost.