Dear Diary, twas the eve of Origin #2 and I tried something different. I actually did all my pre-tournament stuff early and got to go to sleep at 10pm instead of 1am. The alarm sounded off at 3am and up and out the door to pick up Casey I went. We got to ASG 1 hour early. Better than last time when Casey forgot to set his alarm clock and we were an hour late.
The field took a while to set up but everything was going smoothly and it was going to be a good day.
UNTIL EVERYTHING WENT TO SHIT.
From out of nowhere, the field owner started screaming, “Get him off my field! Get him off my field!”
What the hell was he talking about? I was soon to find out. And now you will too.
The owner stormed over to me demanding that one of our refs that we hired, a guy who drove an hour to be here, get off his field. I asked why and he, in a very elevated voice, told me that our ref was being disrespectful. I talked to the ref and he told me he would sit out. But that was just the start.
Round 2 came when the field owner returned and told me to get our allegedly offending ref off the property. Here’s the funny thing about that. Our ref drove up with three other refs and was dependant on our ultimate ref for transportation. The owner, unfazed by this predicament, didn’t give a shit. “Get him a cab!” he belligerently suggested. (BTW, we were literally ten minutes away from starting the tournament when this shit was going down.)
In addition to the irrational behavior from the field owner, some lady I’ve never seen before got up in my face. First, she established that she was the owner of the property and then she started yapping, “Do the right thing. Do the right thing.”
Fair enough. The right thing would be to LEAVE US THE FUCK alone. We rented this field. This was not a charitable gesture where the management was letting us use the field free of charge out of the kindness of their apparently vacant hearts. We compromised by having the ref sit out – which was bullshit to begin with. But wait, there’s more.
Round 3 came with field owner returning yet again, threatening to eject the ref from the property or he would shut down the tournament and call the cops. CALL THE COPS. “You’ve got five minutes to get him off the field or I’m calling the cops. He’s trespassing.” That’s what this winner of a human being was telling us.
The random annoying lady resurfaced, saying, “Why can’t she drive him?” She was referring to our stats person. The person who keeps the scores. The person who runs the clock. The person who keeps track of who’s on next. Yeah, she’s totally the best candidate to make the two-hour trip to dispose of our exiled ref. Good call, annoying lady. Word of advice to you: Don’t try to run any tournaments any time soon.
So WTF? Owner is going to call the cops if we don’t get our ref out of here. Oh, life works in mysterious ways.
Before this shit went down, we were scrambling to get everything set up. The owner introduced me to some kid who was interested in the sport and wanted to know about the teams and what we do. No problem, I love talking to people about Almost Famous and how we can meet your needs. I just would prefer to do it at any time other than when we’re scrambling to get set up. I didn’t understand why the hell the owner thought now would be a good time to have this conversation. HOWEVER, you should always be cool with everyone because you never know when those strangers are going to save your ass.
And sure enough, the hero of this story comes in the form of that stranger, Andrew, who I begged to take exiled ref home. I sent him off with forty bucks and a handshake. Andrew, if you are reading this, please email us. You are our friend.
ASG, if you’re reading this, we’d like you to know a few things.
First, the behavior you demonstrated to us, your customer, was unacceptable. Fine, it’s your field. You’re entitled to demand respect, but frankly, we’ve seen toddlers act more diplomatically.
Second, we pride ourselves on hiring quality refs and you compromised our event. First you threatened to shut us down, and then you gave us a fill-in ref who was not in sync with the other guys (not his fault). We understand that it is your field, but our ref apologized to you for what was ultimately a misunderstanding. Threatening police action was insulting and if we didn’t have ten teams invested in this tournament, we would have walked.
We hope that a hallmark of the AFPL is a positive tournament experience and the negative energy that surfaced is absolutely unwelcome, as I imagine we are now at ASG.
After publishing this, I’m sure we’ll no longer be welcome at ASG. But we no longer welcome ASG either. And that’s okay. We’ll find somewhere else to run our tournaments. There are still plenty of people out there who believe in what we’re trying to do.
OK, let’s get to the rest of the day. Well, it was a great day of paintball. The weather was a tad hot with occasional heavy gusts of wind here and there. It was awesome to see the return of GAT Factory to PUMP! We haven’t see them on the field since 2010 during the days of OSOKO. They went undefeated during preliminary play – WOW. The debut of a new veteran team is always cool. Welcome to the big leagues, Team Exotic! You guys really had a great showing, impressing a lot of people. The games were all nail biters and there were lots of overtime matches.
The semifinal action came down to GAT Factory, Check It Factory, Blitz and LA Hitmen. I just got to say I am blessed to be in SoCal because the level of pump play is the BEST IN THE WORLD. Watching these games showed just that. In the end, after the dust settled, it was BLITZ coming in 1st, LA Hitmen 2nd, Check It Factory 3rd and GAT 4th.
In closing, despite the rocky start, it was an awesome event and I would like to thank our sponsor Gene Stein of Autocockerparts.com , my crew starting with David Diaz’s Ref crew. Thank you for sticking it out and doing a fantastic job reffing the day. Thanks to AF’s brave cameramen, Casey Cimins and, first time on video, Josh Bussard. Thanks to Mr. Al Gavi for rocking the mic and last but never least, thanks to J-Dub for working the clock and the stats.
See you next time!
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