We had a slow day at the field last Sunday. I didn’t realize until Sunday morning when the crowd was much thinner than usual, that it was Super Bowl Sunday. I forget this every year, as I’m not a Football fan and every year I get caught by surprise at how many less customers we have. Maybe next year I’ll clue in beforehand.
At the height of the day we had 11 customers. We lost money that day, but that’s not why I’m writing this. This has to do with the diversity of the group. We had only two renters who were about 13 years old, the youngest players there. They told me that they had been up the week before, but once we started playing, I very quickly realized that they were very inexperienced. We had two pump players who ref at the field occasionally, and then a variety of other semi-auto gear owners.
Since it was a slow day and we were over staffed, I decided to jump in on some games. I call it quality control research, but in reality, mostly I just do it every once in a while cause it’s fun. The extra person also bumped the numbers up to 12, which made it easier to divide the teams up, sort of. The two renters wanted to play together on the same team. We try to accommodate our customers in this regard as much as we can, although in this case it “weakened” the team quite a bit (don’t tell them I said that, they were actually really good kids).
We divided teams up as evenly as we thought we could. Our team took the two younger renters. One of the players on our team was obviously into the Milsim look. I don’t really know exactly what he was shooting other than the fact that it was big, black, looked heavy, and made a loud fast rat-tat-tat sound when he shot. Anyway, we were standing at our starting base on our Grog’s Nest field, just about to start the game when he wandered over and asked if anyone was going up into the tower. The tower is a strategic point as it can slow down the other team’s progress quite a bit. I said that I was intending to go into the tower. He looked at me, then looked at my phantom and asked, “You got a Pump? as if it wasn’t obvious.
I said, “Yes I do”.
He said, “I better go with you”.
I said, “Sure”.
Moments later, the game started. I sprinted up the ramp and heard that he wasn’t far behind. Once in the tower, I stepped to the left to take a look out the first window. He went past me and went to the next window. The other team was advancing as far as they could off the break and I was snap shooting to either eliminate them or at least slow their progress. My teammate in the tower with me (I’m embarrassed that I didn’t ask him his name) was hailing paintballs down at the other team with a fierce rat-tat-tat. He wasn’t really even making an effort to use the wall to protect him. Within about 15 seconds he raises his arm, turns around and starts heading towards the tower exit. On the middle of his lens was a single fresh orange splat. Now I know that the only other person other than myself shooting the X-Ball Gold with orange fill that day was one of the other pump players.
I dueled it out that game with the other pump players pretty much oblivious to anything else. Eventually one of them shot me and they ended up winning the game. After the game was over, I strolled over to the sidelines and found my former tower mate on his way into the staging area. I said to him, “You didn’t have much luck up in the tower this game.”
“No” he said. “I don’t even have a clue where that shot came from”.
I informed him that it was Dale, one of the pump players on the other team.
“Oh”, was all he said after that.
The moral of the story? Equipment doesn’t make the player. The best players will be the best players, regardless of equipment. Don’t make the mistake of writing other players off just because you think they have inferior equipment.