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Old 11-03-2009, 08:42 AM #1
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Thread of the Week: Changing Landscape

Before I begin, three comments:

1. It is easy to bemoan the destruction of something known, but it is often only through such destruction that new opportunities are borne.

2. Whatever else may be true of him, Jon O'Keefe gave back more to the NE paintball community than most people who are involved in it today. Jon cared (cares?) about the state of the sport, about other teams, leagues and players. I appreciate what he put into the game, and I hope that his next endeavor brings him more personal joy.

3. Jonzo is going to hate this thread.

*******************
For those of you who are not aware, Crisis broke up after the NEPL. That makes the second established team to disband in the last 6 months.

That also means there are a lot of free agents out there, including not just players but also Georgie, who is a veteran at running teams. And rumor has it that Anthony Vitale is interested in running a team again, giving us anothe proven manager/captain/coach.

And there are opportunities to make money. With Crisis' army of refs gone, Boston Paintball will need to hire people to ref the NEPL and NEXL series and Fox4 may need to hire people for foXball. So if there is a team out there willing to hustle, there are opportunities to make money.

While Crisis is selling their AXBL spot, Tom Quick (Riptide) bought the All Americans' spot, so we'll still have multiple AXBL teams in the area.

And there is talk of a new team being formed out of Boston Paintball, combining the Ducks with some of the former Crisis players (Bloodline, by way of Crisis, I should say), to play in the PSP.

And that is not a MECE accounting of what's going on.

So, the off season is but 2 days old and we are already seeing lots of movement.

************

Understanding that this is something of a rehashing of earlier threads (Big Heads, Winter of Discontent, Bored at Work, General State of things), I wanted to put it out to people, a little differently:

What does the collapse of NEX and Crisis mean for the region? Is it just two teams, or is it something larger than that? What are the down-stream implications?

What lessons can we learn from what happened to Crisis and NEX and how should those lessons guide our decisions in the next year?
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:33 PM #2
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although it sucks that these teams broke up, i think they will rise one team a caliber of which NE has yet to see.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:33 PM #3
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If it can happen to these two quality teams, it can happen to anyone. This is why I have a gripe with 7 man being locked. Personally, I know I am looking for someplace to play 7 man next year without having to be locked into NEPL. Who wants to risk having their team collapse and be stuck mid season? There are a lot of players out there who have other obligations that are going to come before PB. Unfortunately, those players are going to be left without a home. The "casual" tournament player is being pushed away. After nearly a decade of playing ball in New England, I am sad to see that it will be tough to compete in the area without buying into the full season.

What does this have to do with Crisis and NEX? If these teams can collapse, it lowers my confidence in putting up the money up front for a season. Granted, I have played nearly every event for the last few years, but there was always the option not to. I think the leauges are going to find that much of the money coming in is from players who do this strictly for fun. It becomes less fun when you have to hold peoples feet to the fire to make every event, when in the past, you could pull a player from somewhere else if need be. Or just skip an event if you had to.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:46 PM #4
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its very surprising to see a team like crisis break up they allways looked like a very organized group of paintballers with good coaching. NE is lacking in teams like this and to see one go sucks.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:54 PM #5
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look at teams like synergy, neaa, 187, cape cod, section 8, and even identity

just because 2 big teams go doesn't mean they all will

there are still strong teams out there. strong teams will stay together weak teams will come and go. you see it every season.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:55 PM #6
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although it sucks that these teams broke up, i think they will rise one team a caliber of which NE has yet to see.
Canes?
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:04 PM #7
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Canes?
i knew someone was gonna say that lol.

i ment in a divisional setting
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:11 PM #8
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Well...I'm confused - because in an earlier thread George stated that NEX wasn't done - that they had had some players called up to the majors and he was rebuilding. My response to this thread will assume Jeff knows what he's talking about and that NEX has callapsed.

Without know the reasons for the two teams folding it is hard to come to any conclussion about the state of paintball in New England. Even knowing why it would be hard to draw conclussions about paintball in New England. I can only guess that in the case of Crisis one person became tired of the Bull and decided to revert back to what his initial intention was - to have fun. In the case of NEX, I can't imagine why they would collapse - unless George just decided it was time to try his hand at something else. I'm confident that George could/can find talented players to replace the folks he's lost to the Hurricanes. Heck - maybe he could even take some of the Hurricanes if the industry tightens up their sponsorship dollars and the folks at the bottom get cut out. Just how much does Jeff want to invest his own money into the Canes?

The fact is teams need an overseer - people like George and Jon help guide teams, help "Manage" teams, making hotel reservations, airline reservations, hooking up the sponsorships, etc.. Without people like Jon, George and Jeff involved teams don't stand a chance of going national. And if by chance they make it nationally they don't stand a chance of lasting. National teams need organization. National teams need a Father figure. National teams need funding.

How many teams from New England played World Cup in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - how many teams from New England played World Cup in 2008 or 2009. The number is shrinking - rapidly.

Paintball as a whole is going more regionally - support your regional leagues - such as the AXBL, foXball, etc. Grow paintball regionally and the national scene will eventually come back around.
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:20 PM #9
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danbob1088 - you have to ask yourself - "Will the Canes survive the current down turn in the paintball economy?" Keep in mind that the Canes don't have a company behind them like the Ironmen (DYE) or a marketing engine like Dynasty or a successful field like Damage or the Bank of Russia like the Legion or even a winning record like the ALL A's.

Why do sponsors want to sponsor the Canes? What's in it for them?
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:35 PM #10
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danbob1088 - you have to ask yourself - "Will the Canes survive the current down turn in the paintball economy?" Keep in mind that the Canes don't have a company behind them like the Ironmen (DYE) or a marketing engine like Dynasty or a successful field like Damage or the Bank of Russia like the Legion or even a winning record like the ALL A's.

Why do sponsors want to sponsor the Canes? What's in it for them?
Dave, while I understand what you are saying, I believe we may be on different tracks. I am simply stating that it would be very difficult for a divisional team (the point Nick was getting at) to rise above the Canes as a New England team. The only way a team will rise "to a caliber above that which we have seen in NE" is if another pro team starts up with an extraordinary system in place, which would be extremely difficult given the current NE climate.
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:36 PM #11
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For the people who have been around a long time we see this happen to lots of teams that we never expect it too. Highly talented teams break up (PTI), ridiculously well funded teams break up (NE United). It can happen to anyone.

To the original question, does it have long term implications? I don't think losing someone like Jon O'Keefe benefits the New England paintball community is any way. I think it hurts. I would say the same for Georgie, who has been a part of more successful teams in this region then almost anyone, except I believe he will be leading a team next year. I think there certainly are implications for losing one, or both of these people.
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Old 11-03-2009, 05:20 PM #12
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Just to clear the air I will be back next year with a new team. Looking more to play local events and a few nationals. My big question is what do I commit to....foxball,nepl or nexl? That should be the name of this thread, not how 2 people leaving will change things. If I leave tomorrow, paintball will still be around. Jeff as heart broken as you would be to see me leave, things would still flow fine without us here. If you never mentioned JJ leaving I dont think too many people overall would even notice. Anyway how about we forget this bull**** and get down to some important stuff. Like what tournament series is gonna offer me the best value for my money? and by the way anyone notice how many axbl teams are for sale?
I think you talk about almost everyone involved in NE paintball right now from a team owner perspective. Fields have a little more pull because you need them, so when an owner goes off the map it has a greater affect.
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Old 11-03-2009, 05:44 PM #13
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I think you talk about almost everyone involved in NE paintball right now from a team owner perspective. Fields have a little more pull because you need them, so when an owner goes off the map it has a greater affect.
owners come and go overnight. An experienced one may be harder to find, but even the new owners learn from their own mistakes. The good ones build on it and the bad ones go away. I was a little lucky because I've been around good teams for a long time, but I have made some huge mistakes along the way. You cant just expect to be around for a year or 2 and think your gonna have the answers to the paintball communitys problems. I have seen alot of that crap over the last few years. I delt with maybe 60 players over the course of the last 6 years. I effected them directly with every decision I made. My effect on paintball in NE overall is minimal in the grand scale of things. I would say the same for JJ and mostly any other owner.
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Old 11-03-2009, 05:52 PM #14
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re-read the first post and to the last question. no i dont think that this will change anything that the teams broke up. for the most part the players are going to find other teams and either make other teams stronger or group up again and form another team under new management. technically the only person leaving is jon. and from what i've heard most of the players on crisis are already finding new teams...
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:02 PM #15
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owners come and go overnight. An experienced one my be harder to find, but even the new owners learn from their own mistakes. The good ones build on it and the bad ones go away. I was a little lucky because I've been around good teams for a long time, but I have made some huge mistakes along the way. You cant just expect to be around for a year or 2 and think your gonna have the answers to the paintball communitys problems. I have seen alot of that crap over the last few years. I delt with maybe 60 players over the course of the last 6 years. I effected them directly with every decision I made. My effect on paintball in NE overall is minimal in the grand scale of things. I would say the same for JJ and mostly any other owner.
I agree with you. I think the overall effect anyone has on the PB community is very minimal because the community has such a high turnover. Even if George, Jeff, and I all formed up, made a super team for three years, then quit, in all honesty it wouldn't matter because this sport doesn't have a huge sense of tradition. George and Jeff have been around for a long time, done a lot of great things, but the next group of kids who pick up guns and Tree Trunk Sandanas honestly won't really care.

We all try and leave our mark. This is not a sport where that is easy to do. It changes very often and very much up and down. People come and go, hopefully the game will stablelize. I'm not leaving the sport, I'm just leaving the serious side of it.

When I was arguing with Roger, George, and some other people, it dawned on me that no matter what anyone does, this sport is always going to be 99.9% for fun. It should be, it is rather silly after all. We shoot paint at each other, scream a lot, then get tired from running 100 ft. This is not going to be the sport of kings. So no more crusading for paintball. No more schilling for BP. I'm gonna do this for myself and my friends.

You all go out and do it however you want to do it. I'm gonna do me first this time
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:01 PM #16
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I agree with you. I think the overall effect anyone has on the PB community is very minimal because the community has such a high turnover. Even if George, Jeff, and I all formed up, made a super team for three years, then quit, in all honesty it wouldn't matter because this sport doesn't have a huge sense of tradition. George and Jeff have been around for a long time, done a lot of great things, but the next group of kids who pick up guns and Tree Trunk Sandanas honestly won't really care.

We all try and leave our mark. This is not a sport where that is easy to do. It changes very often and very much up and down. People come and go, hopefully the game will stablelize. I'm not leaving the sport, I'm just leaving the serious side of it.

When I was arguing with Roger, George, and some other people, it dawned on me that no matter what anyone does, this sport is always going to be 99.9% for fun. It should be, it is rather silly after all. We shoot paint at each other, scream a lot, then get tired from running 100 ft. This is not going to be the sport of kings. So no more crusading for paintball. No more schilling for BP. I'm gonna do this for myself and my friends.

You all go out and do it however you want to do it. I'm gonna do me first this time
May be difficult. Just saying, not sure if that is biologically possible.

You've gotten to the point that I've had for awhile though - people think paintball is what it is not, just have some damn fun. That should be first for everyone, because playing paintball isn't going anywhere real fast "big picture".

See you around Jon!
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:21 PM #17
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George is a Sucka....had to get that out of the way.

I personally believe NE paintballs biggest problem is weather and real estate. You can not play year around in NE. Add to that the lack of real estate in which you can have an indoor (or outdoor) facility as well as the cost to maintain it. So basically you are SOL. Now my reasoning behind the weather being the biggest problem goes back to the issue that every team has, and that is money. With paintball only able to be played outdoors for what 7-8 months out of the year. That cuts down on the amount of money that goes back to stores and fields. Which in turn goes back into the teams in the form of sponsorship.

Now in regards to the players and captains. I have to agree with JJokeefe in that their is no loyalty anymore. 6-7 years ago teams were teams. Not just a group of players that showed up at tournaments. Anyone remember formula? Yeah they could be dicks but they were loyal to each other and they played as a team. Now kids just want to look for the better deal.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:58 AM #18
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While the weather is a factor in limiting the amount of time we can practice outdoors, the bigger factor in my opinion is the limitations put on teams to only practice at certain facilities. 187 cRew practiced at several different facilities this year. I’ve never put a limitation on where they can practice or who they can practice. The same can’t be said for all the teams out there. Some teams are bound by a “contract” to only practice at a certain facility or possible limiting them to where they can’t go. This behavior stunts the growth of competitive paintball.

From a business perspective I can understand the practice, but I don’t currently support it. The overall goal is to use the sponsored team(s) to draw more teams into your facility while not supporting any other facility out there. Unfortunately support is a two way street and I may have to change my view on this practice going forward – which will only serve to further limit the growth of tournament paintball teams in the area. It’s a shame we can’t all get along and support paintball as a whole.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:26 AM #19
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Which divisional teams were bound by contract to play at only one field? Just curious.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:51 AM #20
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Which divisional teams were bound by contract to play at only one field? Just curious.
while there's probably no teams who are "bound" to play at a field......for example saying Crisis could only play at BPS and Maynard......i believe what Dave means is that for certain teams, it's alot cheaper due to sponsors n what not to play at certain fields

obviously it must cost the 187 guys more to go play at maynard or camelot or matt's outback etc. than it would to stay home at fox4 and play. though there's nothin sayin they can't go to any of these other fields to practice, when budgets of the team and individual players come into play, decisions need to be made.

what's more important, having 50% of your team attend an away practice or 100% attendance at a home field?
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:57 AM #21
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While the weather is a factor in limiting the amount of time we can practice outdoors, the bigger factor in my opinion is the limitations put on teams to only practice at certain facilities. 187 cRew practiced at several different facilities this year. Iíve never put a limitation on where they can practice or who they can practice. The same canít be said for all the teams out there. Some teams are bound by a ďcontractĒ to only practice at a certain facility or possible limiting them to where they canít go. This behavior stunts the growth of competitive paintball.

From a business perspective I can understand the practice, but I donít currently support it. The overall goal is to use the sponsored team(s) to draw more teams into your facility while not supporting any other facility out there. Unfortunately support is a two way street and I may have to change my view on this practice going forward Ė which will only serve to further limit the growth of tournament paintball teams in the area. Itís a shame we canít all get along and support paintball as a whole.
do you believe that teams are bond by contract or that price played a factor into it? I understand that businesses need to make money to survive, I'm in that same boat. But I always have to look at the cost associated with nex playing at a different facility as compared to playing at our home field which was riptide last year. Do I tell my players hey we have to dish out and extra 30 bucks per person to play at Maynard/fox4 or do we stay at riptide and spend the extra money on paint and play the canes all day? I do agree with you Dave that having all the best local teams together playing at one field will attracted more local teams. I thought that it worked out very well for boston back in 2008.
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