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Storytelling and the paintball soul


I know, I know . . . 2 posts in 1 day? Unheard of!!!

So I was reading through my list of industry blogs last night (current favorites are View from the Deadbox and The Paintball Agenda) when I tripped across an excellent story about where the paintball industry is in terms of telling the story and history of our sport. This is my response (it’s also a comment on that blog). Read this first for context: Part 1 of the story, Part 2 of the story.

Don Saavedra hit the nail on the head with this story, and it’s something that I have thought about a lot. If you’ve been around me at all, you’ve heard me tell stories from back-in-the-day. As a guy that’s played competitively since 93, I remember all the old stories . . . and

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no one tells them anymore. At least not to a mass audience. I agree with Don . . . that the history of our sport, and the stories that shape its soul are important to the future of the sport.

However, I think part of the problem lies in the media, but not necessarily in the way Don describes it. Mainstream sports have always had video (at least over the last 30 or so years), so it’s easy for

Bob Costas to point to classic Pete Rose video and compare it to video of the slugger-of-the-moment. Paintball doesn’t have the library of tapes that most sports have; we don’t have ESPN Classic . . . just dusty magazines talking about how someone smashed a 7oz tank over someone else’s face at a Lively event. Or how Bob Long was walking fields in Chicago with a dixie cup on a stick finding the

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the A’s were the first to get caught cheating on tape during the Reno open (I think ‘Shock was shooting typhoons back then). Or 2E and his crazy tattoos. Or Oliver Lang being the youngest pro player. But you are right . . . there are living legends in this sport, but no one is telling the story in a way that captivates today’s internet audience. Moreover, there’s no real history

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I suppose having a conversation like this across blogs will help, but the better question is: does our audience care? I hope so . . . I’d love nothing more than to see a MWAG video come out every year.

Finally, if you go to the PB Agenda articles and check out some classic pictures . . .I enjoyed the pic of Robbo being all skinny next to Jerry Braun :) I laughed.

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