Tuesday, October 14, 2014

World Cup Recap

Friday was another brilliant day ... is as far as I got during the event to adding daily updates. I'd apologize but you knew there wasn't much of chance to begin with if you're being honest. Unfortunately this working at World Cup thing meant being on site by around 6:30am with little chance of leaving before 7pm didn't leave a lot of time for posting. And of course I had fantasy football teams to keep up to speed for the weekend clashes--and that's all I got for excuses so take 'em or leave 'em.
Turns out the whole weekend was spectacular weather-wise. Perhaps a bit hot mid-afternoon for some but practically balmy for Florida in October. It doesn't get much better than Cup weekend and we deserved some lovely uneventful weather for a change. Ironically as I (finally get around to) write this post it's pouring rain outside and has been for a couple of hours--which is what the local weather was doing for most of the three weeks leading up to Cup.
Once again the venue was Flight of Fantasy near Polk City Florida which is less than an hour from Orlando and a little more than an hour from Tampa. The attraction is no longer operating daily but the site remained available as a Cup venue and the layout this year was similar to last year's with all the fields and vendors set-up in a triangular area between the back of one airplane hanger and an access road. On the other side of the access road was the larger of two parking areas. The biggest difference from years past was limited access in the back--closer to the lake and where the 10-man field was set-up. In the past there was parking back there with the paint trailers parked between the divisional and pro fields. Due to very soggy ground during initial set-up the paint trailers were parked at the top of the divisional layout instead and parking close to the pro fields was barred with limited access only given to the 10-man competitors.
By now you've seen the scores and know who the winners were so I won't recount all of that other than to congratulate the winners and remind all the other teams to enjoy the journey. Certainly take from the experience lessons learned that will hopefully help your team improve but don't become so narrowly focused on winning or losing that you fail to take pleasure in the process. It is too easy to get caught up in the competition to the exclusion of all else and the reality is only one team will win and for the rest sometimes even your best isn't good enough to take home the prize. Play hard, give it your all but remember that in time the memories you will carry with you are of friendships and family and the people and places you knew when. Win or lose the journey is its own reward.
I'd also like to take a moment to thank all the referees who put time in this season making the PSP possible and the operations crew working behind the scenes to deliver the biggest and best competitive paintball tournaments anywhere. While less than perfect--aren't we all?--the vast majority of the referees perform a largely thankless job for the same reasons we all play (or have played) this game--because they love it and it gives them an opportunity to be part of the traveling circus that is major league paintball--and share it with friends. And a special thanks to the operations crew who are hard at work days before each event begins and for days afterward and who are constantly busy during the events keeping things running smoothly. Sure it's their job but it's a testament to how well they do it that we so seldom notice.
For those interested in the latest cool stuff introduced at Cup VFTD is, as usual, of no help whatsoever. I spent all of five minute the whole event in the vendor's village area delivering packages UPS brought to the boneyard by mistake and I foolishly signed for without checking addressees. I saw a few of the latest guns on the field and they all seemed to work as advertised. (I know, I'm no fun at all.)
The kids at PBA added a new feature to the webcast this time around by hooking up pro field head ref CJ with the ability to explain penalty calls in real time and add to the information available to the viewers. (I'm looking forward to checking it out asap.)
There was also a banner on the stats scaffolding at the pro field opposite the bleachers that I found amusing. It read: Come and watch paintball for free. Of course it was only visible to peeps in the bleachers and VIP who had, for the most part, paid for their seat. In reality it was probably meant for the webcast audience and there are plenty of fields where you can watch the action for free--but it's still funny.
Even before the event ended the rumors were flying fast and furious about big changes coming on the off season. What with the paint giants planning on some sponsorship changes and some pro teams outright calling it quits the pro team landscape could change considerably before next spring. Word is that Vicious is calling it a day and disbanding. (In fact that rumor has been around for months and it may or may not be true that a final decision has been made.) Additionally it's rumored Art Chaos will not be returning to the PSP Champions division next season. And there were some rumors last year that Heat would call it quits too but that didn't happen but with the certainly disappointing season this year similar rumors are likely to surface. As have rumors about the principle KEE Action Sports teams, XSV and to a lesser degree, Infamous. At this time there doesn't appear to be a definitive word yet. And in the last few months there have even been some Damage disbanding rumors which I'm told by a usually reliable source isn't true--but once again, paintball's silly season is impossible to predict. What I will say is if a bunch of teams fold it will be a buyer's market for talent next season and the handful of bigger player contracts we've seen in the last two or three years will likely shrink.
The 2014 season is in the books. 2015 will be here before you know it.


Sean Ponder said...

Vicious has been removed from the empire page now.

J.Stein said...

Yeah, but does Vicious need any outside sponsorship?

MissyQ said...

Webcast changed hands.
Buy-outs, fall-outs.

This was a decent World Cup in terms of sh1t going down.

Anonymous said...

it is funny but i have the feeling to do not have been to the same event as you guys

Baca Loco said...

And to what event do you have been? :)

Anonymous said...

What's this about the webcast changing hands? Someone else own it now?

MissyQ said...


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