I took some time this week to sit back and reflect over the awesomeness that happened last weekend and I finally have put my thoughts together.
As of Sunday May 18th, I have left the paintball industry. This was my last Living Legends working behind the scenes and the event is left in good hands. I will still be helping here and there on the back side of things, but I plan on playing next year. I hope to be playing side by side with my friends that I have made over the 19 years I have worked in the industry, and what better way to go out then LL7.
What a weekend. There are always issues that affect logistics or game play that are always major to us, but these seemed to be minor compared to all the smiles I saw all weekend long. At the end of the day all we want is for you guys to have an amazing weekend and I think we succeeded. Watching my Facebook news feed I think is a testament to that. I have had several friends who were not there state that they have never seen so much sheer volume of posting after an event. The posts that really get me are the ones who say that is was the best weekend of paintball in their lives or even the best weekend of their life. Heck, Neil Chittendon of Team Akkadian actually got me to break down. (love ya buddy)
I have always put in everything I have into paintball. It was never for the money, the people I work for, or even my ego. The only thing I wanted to do was make people smile and make an impact on the ground level. Thank you for allowing me to do this year after year, and thank you for believing in CPX, Viper, and this event.
Living Legends is bigger than any one person. I want to thank Ray, Paul, and Mike Dagnino for bringing me on staff and moving my family from Argentina to Chicago. It put me in a position to where I could work for CPX Sports and Living Legends while supporting my family. I want to thank Darryl Nephew and Nick Hassler. These guys are the managers at CPX and they put in a TON of hours trying to get everything ready. We really got screwed on weather this year leading up to the event with rain, snow, and a very late winter. With all that said, they were able to pull it all together. I want to thank Viper for his commitment to the event and the passion to always be changing… to adapt. At CPX, we are dynamic. We never sit around playing catch up. We always push the envelope and Viper has been a main force of pushing the envelope for Living Legends. I want to thank the CPX Refs, Viper’s Texas Law Dogs, and the Blast Camp refs for doing an outstanding job this year. Absolutely outstanding this year guys, truly.
Thank you to all the media who support the event. We could not do it without you. You guys all make the event look awesome.
An event like this requires lots of time and planning on the command level. I want to thank Mike Phillips, Josh Saumure, Richard Rangel, Willie Galarza, Tommy Long, Chris Piering, Ryan Cook, Kevin Buchanic, Daniel Massey, DJ “HONU” Fox, Cris Nelson, Neil Chittendon, Mark Leatrea, and Andy Wofford. You all did a fantastic job and I would play side by side with any of you.
I want to thank the Paintball Industry. The guys in the paintball industry, who get it, are there. The purpose of Living Legends was to get these guys on the field playing and also put them in social situations with the players. Those connections that are created benefit everyone. It is true guerrilla marketing while making new friends.
Most of all, I want to thank you guys… the players. Without you guys, this event just would not succeed. You guys keep coming every year and bringing more and more with you. This shows we are doing something right. It has been my honor to have you guys out every year and I am looking forward to playing with you guys next year. I am going to make that hill my *****.
EDIT - And a special Thank You to Zac Arbuckle. He was one of the he guys who helped the the Predator Cocker and Automag RT Auction. Helped get Bud Orr to Living Legends. And he was the guy behind the Paintball Museum. Thank you very much buddy.
EDIT - And I would like to thank my amazing wife Ianina and our kids for tolerating me and my stress over the past few years. I hope to make it up to you all.