in Riverside begins. It's Thursday. The team arrived in LA over the last fifteen hours or so. A few Wednesday night and most of the rest Thursday morning. My travel day is best forgotten, a fourteen hour hole in my life of delayed flights, stand-bys, mystery maintenance, changing flight crews, middle seats, downpours and two hours curbside at LAX listening to car horns and choking on exhaust fumes. Golly, I love paintball or else I'm just dumber than a box of rocks. Or maybe both.
In a few minutes we'll all be at our hotel and ready to roll for a final practice session with Heat at Action Star Games Paintball in Colton, California--wherever the hell that is. (Less than 5 miles from the tourney venue as it turns out.)This is our last chance to finalize our rotations and fine tune our game plans. It gets done now and it gets done right--or it doesn't. And you don't ever know until the first squad steps on the field for that first point and either executes--or doesn't. But even if everything goes to plan tomorrow the wars start in earnest. Everyone mindful not only of what a win means but also, and for some, more immediately, what the elevated price of failure will be. Missing World Cup--at least in the Champions division where most of the teams have competed for years.
The team has been doing real work in practice and we're feeling pretty good. Another reason this practice with Heat is important. It will reveal the truth--and it does. Early on the accuracy and precision Heat bring is a sharp reminder that competing against Champions is never an easy road and if we want to compete we nee to step it up. But this isn't really news. We needed the slap in the face to wake us up and remind of us of the effort required. Thanks Heat. We didn't enjoy it but we appreciated it. Between two hours with Heat and walk through on the event field we are ready to play some ball. Tomorrow is a day of waiting, waiting most of the day to play and then when the matches come, at 3 pm and 4:30 pm it will be a whirlwind of activity and effort. Realistically we need one win tomorrow to have a chance of competing for a Sunday semifinal. And like the old cliche we need to play one match at a time and see what happens.
Catch all the action live from PBA as the best division in all of paintball go to war in Riverside--and don't forget your umbrella and sun screen.