Oh silly me, thinking that I had adequately conveyed my intentions and that I was trying to be a nice guy instead of a scumbag. Before I get around to that part I do need to add additional points that readers have added in the comments as well as those that I have received via email.
Also, thank you to everybody that posted and emailed. It’s great to see how passionate we are about our sport and it will continue to be my intention to encourage conversation.
Amongst the many things that I missed include:
- Magma is widely considered to be much stronger than my lack of mention implied. They have benefited from the shakeup in Quebec and should surprise teams this year.
- CHAOS is no longer active and generally disbanded to enjoy retirement on the northern plains.
- Storm continues to be strong.
- I have passable grammar.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty of it now. I seem to have offended many of you and you have criticized me in a public manner much like I have criticized many teams. I completely accept the criticism mainly because I see it coming from people that I know and those that know me.
Before you read too much into my posts let’s clarify something quite important: I am making predictions for top four in each division and outlining concerns I have with specific teams in making the top four in their division. Teams being discussed as National level teams (and some cases International level teams) and my comments should not detract from them being considered CUC teams.
Now, let’s look at the absurdity of making top four claims this early in the season. My information has been limited not due to a lack of sources but a lack of tournaments. Many of my comments relate to chemistry and not athleticism. How can teams bond with such a short season especially when they’re new teams? I outlined those concerns.
During the past few months I have had no shortage of sources. In fact over the past ten years I’ve had no shortage of sources. I continue to have no shortage as I take great pains to protect my sources. When you speak to me in person I ensure I get your permission before I mention something and I also ensure I don’t quote you. This is part of gathering information and writing. I apologize that I lack the writing skills that others have but I’ve concentrated on other things in my life. I apologize primarily as I wish I could be more witty and sarcastic. I digress, sources are confidential and there is much I haven’t written because I err on the side of safety. The results are some deliberately vague articles.
Geographic proximity allows me to make statements about some teams harsher than others. That’s why Toronto teams, Maverick, and MuD have faced more criticism than others. The statements concerning PPF are a compliment. There are things the local teams are doing that they consider wrong that I believe are correct and I haven’t written about those. Perhaps I could mention things like the younger and newer Mephisto handlers are being rewarded for risky throws and it has already come back to bite them against top teams (13-11 Feed the Geese); but I don’t see the relevance of it.
If there is one time in the season that I feel it’s not only appropriate but should be encouraged to criticize teams is in the pre-season. Almost all of the teams I mentioned will make CUC. In the lead up I will have a chance to see the teams in touring form, not practice form. After Regionals the tone of articles will be entirely different as we’ll be watching teams getting better with each tournament. Some teams will struggle and their struggles will be written about; but, at least somebody is writing about them.
Finally, I have had some level of conversation with the captains of each team I’ve written negatively about. If I didn’t make it clear in my communication I will now. There is nothing but respect for captains, organizers, and players. We all play a game that we love. We work hard to burn money to get to tournaments, buy jerseys, shoes, and equipment. The level of dedication we each have is not in question. In particular, the job Butler and Loic did with Grand Trunk over the last few years is commendable and should be recognized. Captains and team managers do not get enough credit while they get the teams share of the blame.
What I do question is our spirit and our attitude. I’ve played with players from every continent and seen a variety of attitudes. All teams that I’ve played on have done well but not all of the teams have been fun to play with. Across it all the teams that do well are ones that play together and share responsibility. An ownership in the team means an ownership in losses and not just the wins. In Toronto there’s a general trend towards a lack of ownership and the helplessness that comes with it. Team unity is of utmost importance now, in the pre-season. After this weekend you’ll know whether you have it or not.
After this weekend I’ll start writing nice things, until next year.