ProPB: What can you tell us about the NPPL-PSP Merger? Is this a “for sure” thing?

Lane @ PSP: The merger is another hot topic. It’s hard for us to get very excited about it. This the 4th or 5th or 6th time we’ve been through it. But, I will say we have never been through it in the current state of  the industry. And I will say that both sides seem to see the need to do what’s right for the industry as a whole. I hope ego’s don’t get in the way, mine included. With that said, it is a business. It’s not as simple as two 3 man teams joining to be a 5 man team.  It has to make business sense. It has to be viable and capable of sustaining employees and the business model. We would do no one justice by putting something together that would never work, under the guise of “doing the right thing”.

Lane @ PSP: I hope the merger talks work out. I hope we can find a way to take some of the talents that each side has and put them together in a complimentary fashion. I can see where taking the best of both worlds could be a very good thing for everyone involved. But, we have to agree on the business issues first. Then we have to agree on what is actually “best” on the two sides. Then, and only then, can we even start into an actual merger. There’s a lot of work to be done. We’ll see what happens.

ProPB: If a merger were to happen, what type of format would we be competing in? Race-To? 7-man? Or, something else entirely?

Lane @ PSP: No one. ABSOLUTELY NO ONE knows what a format would be if the the merger happens. There are two types of people who are spouting off about a merged format – idiots who have no clue and people with agendas who don’t want the merger to happen for personal reasons. I’m not anonymously hiding behind a fake name when I say that. There is not a single person on the planet who knows what a new format will be. If ANYONE tells you differently, they are lying.

ProPB: The original idea of contacting you regarding an interview came from the constant misinformation being discussed in the ProPaintball Smackbox. We’ve all read the same messages, “the NPPL is going to be the only league alive next year” “Race-To is the new universal format”. What are your thoughts on the Smackbox? Is anonymous discussion having an impact on the merger discussions?

Lane @ PSP: The whole “anonymous” postings on the web is absolutely ridiculous. It is a huge problem. Every time I see someone post anonymously that something “is the reason paintball will never make it big”, I want to find that person and shake them. One of the biggest challenges [competitive] paintball has is that we are made up of 15-24 year old males. They think they know it all. Most of them actually know very little. They are the most flighty, most confrontational, least likely to think before speaking or doing, most trouble making, biggest complaining demographic in existence. That’s one of paintballs problems with getting [mainstream] acceptance. And some of these guys do nothing but add to the already existing issue with their ignorance. It helps no one. No one wants to support or get behind paintball when the people who actually play it don’t even seem to like it.

Lane @ PSP: And even more unsettling than that, is when you actually find out who the people are who post a lot that stuff. They think they are incognito. They think no one knows who they are. They are stupid. The wonder why they don’t get respect from anyone else in the industry. They are grown men who could have influence on the game in a positive way if, yet they choose to “anonymously” post stupid, harmful, agenda based gossip on a smack box. Then they wonder why no one really listens to their position on things. Here it is — I don’t listen to your ideas because I realized you were an idiot when I found out it was you posting the “anonymous” crap about my business, my employees, myself, this game, my partners, and our sport. These same people will say I’m unprofessional for saying things like this. They never like it when I tell the truth. Just a word to you guys — you aren’t undercover. Lots of people know exactly who you are, every time you post. Even when you try to hide it by using your phone or logging in at the coffee shop. You guys are a joke. Just the nonsense that was going on last week is enough to prove the point. It was 3 people. It was 3 grown men from the industry. Everyone knows these people. If their names were publicly announced, their position on subjects would be much easier to understand. They pretend they are players in one league or another and spew out nonsense in some warped idea that it will swing the public opinion in their favor. Actually, I don’t think that’s really it. They are weak minded people who think of themselves and their ego above all else. The harm they cause by trying to tear down other peoples effort is immeasurable. It’s almost comical to read what they post when you know who it is. But, then again, it isn’t funny at all. It’s scary and harmful.

Update from Lane regarding the following paragraph: “At no point did I mean to imply the 187, Jesters, LIFT, Top Gun, or Assault guys were posting about themselves. I meant to refer to the nonsense that goes on with those teams names as what other teams come into anonymous forums and try to copy just to see their names in print. Not sure how or exactly what I did.”

Lane @ PSP: Then we have the idiots with the LIFT, Top Gun, Jesters, Assault, 187 crap. It is in some cases the very team guys themselves talking smack about their own team just to see their team name up in print. I guess they sit back and see if someone else will talk about them so they can feel important, But when someone says something to go along with the bad thing they posted, they think it’s one of their rival teams and off it goes. It’s so childish. Then when some of their industry sponsors also get involved in the Smack Talk, it’s really just unbelievable. If people knew how many times people post bad smack about themselves anonymously and then come back as themselves and refute it, they’d get a good laugh. The number of 10 post arguments that are really just one person pretending to argue so that he can get his opinion out there is amazing. I guess it’s good to care so much that you’d do things like that. Some of them think any publicity is good publicity. They’re very wrong. I have had two separate kids tell me they were put up to [posting] by grown people one, of which was a sponsor. It’s astounding.

ProPB: Does this bother you?

Lane @ PSP: In the end, I guess people are going to be people. It doesn’t bother me much anymore. I guess over the years as I have actually found out who it was posting the things, and some of the nonsense behind the posts, it’s made it less bothersome in some areas and more scary to know what we’re dealing with. Some of it still bothers me. Some of it is bothersome in one way, seeing that people I thought were my friends write. Some is bothersome in a completely different way, people with agendas on the web saying PSP is broke and going out of business, etc. How on earth would anyone know? I think I’ve always been pretty honest about things. When times are bad, I say so. When times are bad or heading bad, we make changes to off set what we see and always pretty straight forward about it. PSP has had, quite possibly, the best year we’ve ever had. We made some changes that helped with costs, I think we’ve done a pretty good job of implementing those changes without issue as no one has even seemed to notice. That’s a good thing.

ProPB: This has been an eye opening interview Lane. We truly appreciate you setting the record straight, your openness on several key issues and your perspective on paintball. Do you have anything else to share with the paintball community?

Lane @ PSP: Thanks for the opportunity to clear up some misconceptions and hopefully shed some light on the happenings in tournament paintball.

Lane @ PSP: For the record, there have been absolutely no discussion at all about PSP not running events next year. ZERO. There has been absolutely no reason to have that discussion. We are doing fine. I hope the merger works out. I think it could be beneficial. But, if there is no merger, there will be PSP events next year. For those who like what we do, you can rest assured we’re not going away anytime soon. If anyone tells you otherwise, they’re confused.

ProPB: Right on, Lane! We look forward to the future of paintball. On behalf of all of the staff here at ProPaintball, we would like to thank you again for your work in competitive paintball. Please keep doing what you do!