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Old 07-08-2010, 11:01 PM #1
Tim40
All-American Forever
 
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: DETROIT STYLE
Tim40 is a Professional paintball player
Tim40 plays in the PSP
Tim40 plays in the APPA Pro division
Blog Compilation

A New Beginning.

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
-Winston Churchill

The ominous gray clouds of the dreary winter afternoon hang over the cold cement parking lot as the boys sit outside the bookstore while anxiously and restlessly flipping through the pages of the magazine at a frantic pace. The teenagers point and comment with every turn of the glossy sheet dreaming of possibilities and hoping that their delusions can one day become a reality. The allure of becoming a professional football player, basketball player or baseball player has sputtered away leaving only the optimism of becoming a world class paintball player. Despite the peculiar looks and constant questions, society is intrigued by the game of paintball and the notion that someone can commit such a large portion of themselves to one goal and one objective with little to no monetary return. Nonetheless, such grand outlooks and sociological concerns are irrelevant to the boys as they admire the images of the professional paintball players and their shimmering trophies and oversized plaques. At 25 and about to turn 26 in a week and almost 11 years since I sat outside the Barnes and Nobles with my friends, my dream has been lived and the opportunities that life and God have provided within the game of paintball continue to be seized and consumed, further fueling my life and allowing a new door of prospects

For over 20 years, a large quantity of aspiring paintball players has dreamt of playing on the All-Americans. Despite the public outcries and opinions pertaining to certain players or sponsors, it was always hard to deny the intrigue of a team that had endured every transition of the sport and maintained the ability to remain competitive. Much in the way the Yankees or Red Sox have built a legacy in baseball with their staying power and ability to survive, the All-Americans had forged through the muggy intermediary periods of our game. Coincidentally, I grew up in the Midwest; therefore it was inevitable to hope for a tryout with Detroit Fusion or Chicago Aftershock, it was a right that came with location. But, I had always respected the All-Americans and their drive for victory and perfection that defined the team and its players and so I was able to still imagine myself waiving the All-American banner after a victory.

In 2004 I joined the team out of necessity when I had nowhere else to go and once I was provided a chance to leave I stayed because I didn’t want to go anywhere else. I do not consider myself too masculine to admit that a piece of my heart has been broken; but not in the way that a girl can strain a boy’s emotions or the loss of a family member evokes mourning, but similar to waking up from an amazing dream that seemed all too real and sadness arises because the harsh reality of daily life is overly mundane. Still, much like the players that came before us, the 2009 team all poured our sweat and tears into making the Philadelphia Americans a success, and we did it on our terms. Nonetheless, in the same manner that a proud parent observes their child begin college and embark on a new adventure, the players of the All-Americans will witness their careers in the game and in life evolve into something fresh and different.

To those that have asked, YES, the All-Americans will not be competing in the 2010 season. Nevertheless, I would be remiss to tell the futures of all the players because I do not know what everyone will do for this season or the next. Some players have moved on because they felt it was time to venture forth and some have moved on because they had to. It was an ending that I could never imagine because the book was too long and the conclusion appeared too distant. Nonetheless, it is not a gloomy day for me or the players because it is simply an unavoidable evolution of life. So, I no longer have to welcome a handful of teammates into town or fend them off my refrigerator or protect my beer like a new born child. However, the cliché that all good things come to an end holds true, it’s just a matter of when the end arrives.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone that made our dream a possibility; most importantly all of our fans, supporters, moms, dads, friends and sponsors that supported us not only when we were up but most significantly when we were at our lowest. For without all of you, our hopes would have remained unfulfilled and plastered between the shiny covers of magazines.

-Tim Montressor
Philadelphia Americans #40
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:05 PM #2
Tim40
All-American Forever
 
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: DETROIT STYLE
Tim40 is a Professional paintball player
Tim40 plays in the PSP
Tim40 plays in the APPA Pro division
Phoenix 2010: Better late than never

“Far too many people have no idea of what they can do because all they have been told is what they can’t do. They don’t know what they want because they don’t know what’s available to them.”
-Zig Ziglar

The blood poured from the fighter’s swollen mess of an eye as the loud ding of the bell signaled the end of the third round. The sweat mixed with the blood creating a crimson poison that blurred his vision and only fueled the crowd’s never ending thirst for suffering. The heavyweight champion of the world, Sonny Liston, was overcome by his opponent’s speed and ferocity. Struggling to regain his form and sight, the champion continued to endure a beating like nothing he had seen before. As the bell chimed to signal the end of the sixth round, Liston’s eye continued to bleed like an overflowing river and his shoulder emitted pain that became unbearable. Surprisingly, the champion remained seated at the beginning of the seventh round. His defeat and submission was heard around the world, but more importantly his loss signaled the beginning of a new era as the champion of old had been replaced by a new victor. The story of a young 22 year old Cassius Clay had finally begun as he hoisted his newly gained championship belt and ferociously shouted, “I shook up the world!” Indeed he did, as Cassius would later change his name to Muhammad Ali and begin the creation of the biggest legacy in professional sports, which may have never started if not for that enormous upset that occurred in the ring at Miami Beach.

To compare the beginning of Muhammad Ali’s career to the occurrences of the first event of the 2010 PSP season in Phoenix, AZ would be absurd, preposterous, and completely ridiculous. The magnitude of Muhammad Ali’s career trumps the numerous occurrences in professional paintball in a manner similar to the Yankees recent World Series win in comparison to the t-ball championship of the 5-6 year old division at the public park in Latrobe, PA. However, to grasp the significance of the 2010 PSP Phoenix Open the event must be viewed within a specific perspective and unique scope, as both events signaled the end of an era and beginning of a new epoch. To the outside world, no one cares about professional paintball. It would be incredibly naïve to believe, or even consider the fact, that Edmonton Impact’s victory at the tournament carries even a grain of importance within the general public’s interest. Nonetheless, to the paintball world, it was the beginning of a shake up within the professional scene. For sometime now, a select few group of teams and organizations have consistently changed their grips and reign within the podium spots. The LA Ironmen, San Diego Dynasty, Russian Legion and Philadelphia Americans created an insurmountable gap between the next tiers of teams. A mixture of enormous sponsorship, elite players and superior coaching allowed these teams to win event after event. But, as the great Bob Dylan says “The times they are a changin’.”

Change is often scary as it creates a sense of unknowing and peculiar curiosity that can often lead to havoc or disorder. But, this time, change is good. It’s beneficial for paintball to see a new champion. Without some sort of change at the top, tournaments begin to blend together and events become bland, monotonous and stale. One of the many joys about ten man tournaments was that the event was a true mystery. Sure, teams like the Ironmen, Dynasty and Aftershock won on a regular basis. However, watching Ground Zero, Strange, the All-Americans, Avalanche, and Lockout pull out tournament victories as well only created intense interest at each event of the circuit. It didn’t affect my life and pursuit of the game directly, but it added a renewed sense of attention to every tournament. Now over a decade later and competing as a professional player, I would be remiss to say that I enjoy watching a turn of events such as in Phoenix since I am a creature of habit, but it is truly good for all the teams as a whole. Having such an even balance now within the pro ranks makes the game more entertaining and each tournament becomes a new conquest.

On a more personal note, I have settled in quite well with Chicago Aftershock. The organization and squad is much different than the Philadelphia Americans, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of wearing a Shock jersey at the event. We did not win the tournament, but I felt we showed quite a bit of promise for the rest of the season. The team is not built on huge sponsorship or founded on well known and established professional players but the team is full of that never ending cliché known as heart and has a yearning for success and greatness. Nonetheless, it gets annoying to use those terms and descriptions, mainly because they are an easy out to use instead of saying lack of success or victories. Often it’s said in a statement like “they didn’t do well, but they showed lots of heart.” It’s old and played out from a media standpoint. But, truthfully when you are a player and you pursue the game as more than just a game, the term really does make sense. Even so, I don’t use the descriptions and terms because they’re trendy or sound cool, but mainly because a better term has not been created for the actions that it encompasses. Regardless of the truisms or terms that are used to describe the team, I am thoroughly enjoying the change of scenery and I am soaking in the new experiences and opportunities that I am provided.

On another note, despite the “peculiar” decision on overtime rules that was implemented last second (literally), the Phoenix event as a whole was of superior quality. I have always enjoyed the venue because there is nothing else that I could ask for besides some beer vendors. The grass is better than turf, there’s plenty of parking, the event is laid out well, the weather is perfect and there’s free bleachers provided for spectators. Camille Lemanski, Geoff Waterman and Lane Wright continue to do a near flawless job of hosting and promoting the events. Critics continue to knock the league, but truthfully I feel that it’s simply because paintball critics can rarely be satisfied. Their glass is always half empty to them, even if it’s pouring over the edge. The league provides us, as players, an outlet that is very difficult to duplicate. This off season, I pondered the paintball world’s existence without the PSP and it’s one that I would be very disinterested to be a part of for too long.

Back to the topic of Chicago Aftershock…..I hate losing. I hate losing in ultimate Frisbee, Call of Duty, Scrabble, or tic tac toe. More or less, the concept of losing is not enjoyable, but as I’ve matured within the sport, I have become a very gracious loser. Not because I take pride in losing but because once the game is over there is nothing more that can be done for that match. Nonetheless, it was not fun watching the finals because I wished that I was playing for first or second instead of watching from the sidelines. But, it was awesome to see some of my friends compete. Jason Edwards and Ryan Moorhead were teammates of mine for a good while and watching them play was somewhat comforting. Not a comfort like a hot cup of chocolate on a cold day, but more like having at least a garbage bag to use as a rain coat during a thunderstorm. Regardless, I was happy to see Impact and Ryan win the event. Contrary to what some others might say , they practiced hard and were well deserved of their win. Plus it’s nice to see a local Latrobian and Philly American atop the podium.

Usually I can provide a writing of more “depth”, insight and emotional twists, but I don’t have a topic worthy at this moment. Nevertheless, regardless of the doomsday sayers and nayers that predict the fall of competitive paintball, I see the events being as strong as before. Maybe not to the same level of lavishness and extravagance as a few seasons ago, but still filled with the same quality of teams and competition. As long as there are teams, nets and fields, a continued drive for pride and respect will supersede any monetary prize or shiny trophy.

-TIM
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:06 PM #3
Tim40
All-American Forever
 
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Player Write up: Pat Roberts

“"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."
- George Washington Carver (1864-1943)

The lights, the glitz, and the glamour of Las Vegas is alluring and hypnotic, even if it is 3 a.m. on a cool, breezy Sunday morning in early January. We’re in a hurry to get to our next destination, the MGM Grand, for what I’m not too sure, but it sounds like a good idea at the time. The hoard of people that we brought with us to run through the streets and create debauchery has significantly dwindled down to a small handful at best. As we’re walking at a frantic pace swatting away the assortment of annoying club hustlers and call girl peddlers, I can only hear one loud, drunk and rambunctious voice over the gaggle of taxis underneath the walkway. “Hey! What are you looking at? You wanna get beat up?!?” Pat Roberts shouts vulgarly to every passing group of people, regardless of age, gender, and size. His logic and common sense ebbs in and out like the uncaring, ocean water beating against the beach, inadvertently his head also bobbles side to side so quickly I think it might break off. One minute he is completely functional and coherent, the next I have to survey the surroundings and fear for my safety and prepare to either get my head beat in or run for the casino entrance. It is this excitement and thrill for the moment that draws me to like Pat’s company and ask him to continuously join us on our adventures, despite what my rationale and commonsense repeatedly whisper into both my ears.

When onlookers and fans think of the Philadelphia Americans last NXL win in 2004, players such as Spesh Robinson, Frank Connel, Adam Gardner, Eric Dearman, Todd Hugo and Pat Roberts come to mind. Wait, Pat Roberts? That is correct, Pat Roberts defines ambiguity and anonymity to the fullest extent. To this day, many long-time professional players still ask when we picked up “the new kid,” despite the fact that he is one of only three remaining players from the Americans last NXL World Cup win almost five seasons ago. I do not know if it his selfless team attitude or quietness around strangers (when he is sober) that draws him to be overlooked, nonetheless, his mental tenacity has caused him to embrace the constant questioning and curious looks at paintball tournaments.

Pat’s rise to paintball vagueness and haziness is almost a fairy tale in itself. Five years ago his story unfolded, despite many apparent obstacles that attempted to prevent the forthcoming of an entertaining plot. This was because he had yet to commit his life to the sport, he did not come from a successful professional team such as Ross O’Rourke or Jason Edwards, he had no association with a farm team such as Chad George, nor did he even play X-ball before he came to the Philadelphia Americans. Instead, Pat was immersed in acquiring his marketing degree from Iowa State, playing “club” hockey and competing for a relatively unknown amateur 10-man paintball team based out of Minnesota named Cypress, who were known for their partying more than their performance on the field. However, Pat knew the right man, Danny Manning of OBR and Traumahead fame, which is enough to get you a tryout with a struggling NXL franchise such as Miami Effect.

The day Pat came to tryout for Miami Effect was no different than any other day of practice for the Philadelphia Americans. As usual, Miami was searching for some talent to fill out their spotty roster. However, some injuries heading into the World Cup had the Americans worried about the roster depth that was previously required to win a rigorous tournament such as the NXL finals. Those concerns and apprehensions would provide Pat Roberts with a life changing opportunity. Actually, was it Pat or was it Paul? I could never remember. It took me almost a full day to realize that Pat has an identical twin brother of similar talent. For the eight hours of practice, I simply believed that Pat was capable of playing every point of the practice, when in fact it was his twin brother rotating with him. Regardless, much to the dismay and disheartenment of Miami Effect, we decided to ask Pat and Paul to play with the Americans for the upcoming World Cup. Paul was unable to oblige as a result of a prescheduled European trip that conflicted with the same date as the tournament. But for Pat, he had to choose to play with the last place, winless NXL franchise, or the reigning NXL titleholders. I am quite sure he mulled over the decision for some extended length of time.

Fast forward to 2009 and Pat Roberts continues to linger around the team. He has a wealth of experience and two professional paintball wins underneath his belt. His determination and heart is often overshadowed by more flashy and well known players, but its his belief and happiness in the team itself that magnetizes the members of the Philadelphia Americans to his eccentric and animated personality. After a few recent winter practices, I have firm beliefs that this will be a breakout season for Pat Roberts as his approach and preparation for the game has evolved. He may not ever be Oliver Lang or Konstantin Fedorov in the eyes of the paintball media, but I think he is okay with that. The self-assurance that he did everything he could do to help the team compete is enough acknowledgement and accolade to make him feel satisfied. I became confident in this notion, when at some point during our farewell trip for Fatty in Las Vegas this offseason, we were sitting at the bar conversing. Nevertheless, despite the consumption of a smorgasbord of beers, an honest and sincere look overtook Pat’s facial expressions. “There’s no other team in the world that has this kind of friendship or camaraderie and I’m happy I’ve been a part of it.”



-TIM
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:08 PM #4
Tim40
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Is THIS the dream?

“It is an enduring truth, which can never be altered, that every infraction of the Law of nature must carry its punitive consequences with it. We can never get beyond that range of cause and effect.”
-Thomas Troward

The annoying sloshing of car tires against the wet pavement outside my hazy bedroom window quickly gave way to the bright sun that poked its steamy rays out from underneath the overcast clouds and onto my weary face. The annoying combination of both occurrences awoke me from my deep slumber as I rubbed my sandy, dry contact lenses against my blood shot eyeballs. What time is it? Better yet, where am I? The thoughts immediately increased my alertness, as these questions had been asked repeatedly for the last month. Nonetheless, I was finally lying in my own bed with a solid week of normalcy to look forward to before hopping another plane to some other foreign destination. However, my internal clock forgot to wake me and I stepped onto my cool, scratchy carpet looking for breakfast only to discover that it was well past lunch time. So as I clumsily scraped through my barren cupboards looking for sustenance, I realized that I hadn’t been grocery shopping in almost a month, the last time that I was at home for a prolonged period of time. Eventually, I sat at my kitchen table, eating some stale chips and stabbing at some oat meal that I think I purchased a few months ago, contemplating not what to do, but what I already do. I wish it was a simple answer, but the truths are so much more complex. What have I signed up for? How have I gotten into the situation that I’m in? In the long run, are my actions for better or worse? The questions sound like the beginning of some awkward psychoanalysis that Freud would conduct on me, however they serve as truthful queries that every seasoned and traveled paintball player encounters. But, all of the torturous and deep pondering matters can be summed up with one simple question…..Is this THE dream?

The elements of the dream are different for everyone that picks up a gun and watches all of the videos and movies. The dream is defined by various actions, abilities and opportunities. And yet, the dream is somehow the same for everyone. It’s the hope and desire to live out of a suitcase, to travel the world, to get paid at least some money to play the game, to fill up a passport with stamps and collect enough stories and anecdotes to last a lifetime of bar encounters. However, as one who has had the opportunity to live the proverbial “dream” I have to admit that it’s not all tales of happiness, debauchery and glory. Other’s writings and documentary plots portray the splendor and grandeur of partaking in the lifestyle. However, if I had even a small iota of knowledge about producing movies or films, I would create a story that portrays the trying and tiresome times of living in the “grind.” Personally, it has nothing to do with some sort of self loathing, depressed or down in the dumps mood that I’m in at the current moment. Instead, it’s an honest fact that I’ve grown tired of avoiding and juking around.

The amount of people that actually travel hardcore and jump from airport to airport, plane to plane and country to country is actually quite minimal. There are some that do it every weekend. There are some that do it a few weeks out of the year and there are some that do it quite a bit, but not enough voyaging to be classified as a lot. Regardless, even if you total all of the lots with the littles, it’s still a very small number. Why would there be so many qualified and skilled players who are more than commanding of the opportunities provided but who choose to sit on the sidelines of this incredible prospect of trekking around the world? I can’t answer that question for everyone, but I can respond to the matter from my personal accounts and questioning of others. The answer is because, for some, the loss does not even come near the reward. Such a drastic statement does not serve as my personal testament or as a deterrent to others that choose to engage in the journeys. It is simply an answer to a question that I have been asked by other people and that I have asked myself on a very regular basis. You might be asking yourself “What the hell is he babbling about?” Nonetheless, I simply felt it was time to state that sometimes the other side of the frosted flake is quite dull and lacks enticement.

I’m finishing this blog a few days removed from the Germany Millennium event. All in all, the event was actually quite nice. Granted the location is very far from a major city, but the event as a whole was very smooth. In fact, they finished TWO pro tournaments at the same event. Weird, huh? Regardless, I’m dying of jetlag. I fall asleep early, wake up early, in Europe I didn’t really sleep and felt like a stunt double from Night of the Living Dead most of the days. The truth to this “dream” that we all discuss and ponder is that sometimes it’s more about the story, the opportunity to play or the simple notion of being able to state that one is a “world traveler.” At the age of 16, I read about pro players going to Europe and living the lives of rock stars. Maybe they really did operate in fifth gear the entire time. But, my theory is that they bottled all the amazing stories that were sprinkled between the boring times and created a yarn that appealed to the reader and promoted the hopes of the dreamers.

I should have prefaced this blog by stating that I thank God for the opportunities that I have been given on a daily basis. The possibility to live the life that I partake in seemed unfathomable when I first played this peculiar game we called paintball during my freshman year of high school. I’ve seen places and occurrences that could fill a Tucker Max style book and potentially be made into a much more entertaining movie. I’ve won tournaments in places that I could only imagine about when seen on the Discovery channel. However, it all comes with a hefty price tag. I’m not a naysayer or cynic of this lifestyle. But, I felt that it was an interesting topic and a somewhat avoided subject. Simply put, YES, you sacrifice your financial future, your real life and probably smash most of the solid relationships that you have built in your existence by becoming a participant in the modern day version of Gulliver’s Travels that a select few on the circuits currently live. That’s probably not an answer or statement that most hopefuls and visionaries want to hear. But delusions usually only get seasoned with a small dose of truth and eventually snowball into a messy reality, which is often just a big let down.

Probably once every week or two I get facebook messaged a question that asks about advice for success in paintball. Often I state that it does take hard work and significant sacrifice, which is the truth. However, when I have the time or feel extra helpful, I do my best to promote a sense of multi tasking and future envisioning. With that, I HIGHLY recommend considering the long term effects of every decision that is made. Personally, I enjoy being a trigger puller and being that type of spontaneous person that doesn’t contemplate the reaction to every action. But, usually it doesn’t work out so hot for me. Therefore, I have to revert back to being the overzealous and fanatic plotter and schemer. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad, maybe it’s right, maybe it’s wrong….. I don’t really know and I don’t feel it’s necessary for me to decide anyone’s ambitions and methods of approach.

In closing, I started this blog with no particular topic, simply out of jet lag and sleepiness. I haven’t had a life changing topic to really discuss lately, so this seemed to suffice. Nonetheless, it is a reality. We’re shifting into the third or fourth generation of “Pro” paintball players (notice the quotation marks to emphasize the fact that I use that term loosely), however there are no pension plans, there are no retirement funds and there are very few resume fillers that can be used from the sport. So, as I see all of my friends slowly drift away and fade into an existence without excess and overindulgence of life’s exciting opportunities, it forces my hand to write the questions that I ponder. Is this the dream that I signed up for? Is this what I had hoped to receive out of my time in the game? For me, the answer is a solid and emphatic yes. I’ve done my best to prepare myself for the next phase of life whenever it comes and it makes my current situation much more enjoyable. For some, they take each day as it comes and it works out well for them. Simply put…..it’s just a topic to ponder and varies with your point of view.

-Tim
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