XXTnXX's Evil Twin
Join Date: Nov 2005
I’ve been thinking about this for a couple days, hoping someone would directly address what just happened to cause Chris and Tim to quit. Nobody did, and I can’t hold my tongue any longer.
The events that caused Chris and Tim to quit have confirmed what I’ve been feeling for a while – that AK is changing. I understand change is inevitable, especially in this sport. People get burnt out, grow out of it, or encounter other obligations. What troubles me is that AK is taking a turn for the worst.
I haven’t been on the team from the very beginning, but I’ve been on the roster since the team was reborn, and I’ve seen a lot. I’ve seen where the team came from, and it’s truly amazing. AK started as a group of friends who just loved to play paintball, to obtaining an amazing and supportive sponsor in Atlas. I can honestly say that I’ve seen the members of the team improve since we’ve started playing at Atlas, and practicing under the tutelage of the Jesters. Perhaps more important than knowing where the team came from is knowing where the team was headed. I know for a fact that AK had a bright future in front of it, but there are many dark clouds on the horizon.
What bothers me the most is that the people who put the hard work in so the team as a whole could make leaps and bounds are now being driven away by the selfish actions of a select few. Even more aggravating is that those select few are not original members of the team, but new pickups that got a taste of power and let it go to their heads. They will reap the rewards, while those who earned them are left standing with empty hands.
I understand why certain people were added to the roster. On the surface, a roster of great paintball players translates into a successful team. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. There are plenty of great paintball players, but very few of them have strong characters. In order for a team to succeed, it needs the latter and not the former. Players like Chris and Tim have strong characters. Tim, for instance, turned down a spot on the Chicago roster because accepting it meant screwing Chris and Dale over. Though I’ve only known them for a short time, I truly believe that they would both give anything for this team and were determined to see it reach its full potential. That’s a lot more than I can say for some members of the team, and the Chicago roster fiasco revealed a lot about people I *thought* I knew. People who truly care about this team are gone, and in their spots are people who claim to bleed AK, yet are trying out for other teams on the side.
I’m disgusted by the events that caused Chris and Tim to leave. It shouldn’t have happened, and they don’t deserve it. Whether or not they were given the choice of playing under a second AK squad in Chicago is pointless. What does matter is the fact that they were told they would not get screwed over, and lo and behold they log onto PBNation that night and find they did, in fact, get shafted. And the initial removal of Jake from the squad was also underhanded. I believe it was the result of frustration caused by Jake not showing up to practice. Although I was annoyed with Jake for the same reason, I do recognize that there is more to life than paintball (Gasp! Believe it or not, it’s true…). Whatever the issue, it should have been handled out in the open and face-to-face, not in a phone call and not on PBNation.
Regrettably, nobody is going to escape blame for the incidents leading up to this (myself included). This should be taken as a learning experience so that it does not happen in the future. I know Dynasty uses a voting system, where each member has a say in the affairs of the team. New members are not allowed to vote initially. A similar system may be useful to this team, as it seems it may solve several problems. I don’t want to place all of the blame on Jake’s shoulders, and he certainly doesn’t deserve all of it, but this should serve as a wake-up call that the captain needs to be a strong individual with the team’s best interests in mind, and the rest of the team should be comfortable with any and all decisions.
Just for a moment, everyone forget the politics and the problems. Forget about the drama, forget about who did what to whom. The only thing I want you to think about is why you play paintball. I hope that most of you play to have fun, because I know that’s the reason I play. I haven’t been having much fun lately, especially with all this nonsense going on around me. I think a number of people forgot about the fact that winning isn’t everything. Winning may get you to the top, but if you reach the top by stepping on other people, you’re going to find the summit to be a very lonely place.
The only reason I’m still here is because I have faith that AK can be restored to its original glory. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s going to have repercussions, but if it isn’t done then this team isn’t going to last. Perhaps the team grew too fast for its own good. I don’t know, I don’t have all the answers. However, I do know that to let it continue on the path it’s headed would be a disservice not only to the members (both past and present) who want it to succeed, but also to Atlas and everyone else that has put any faith at all into the team. The legs of AK are being kicked out from underneath it, and it’s about to topple over. If steps aren’t taken to prevent it, however, then maybe it’s best the name dies. The one thing I do know is that I’ll be out of the way if it finally falls.