Category Archives: Tampa Bay Damage

Pro Paintball Documentary: “Damaged”

Pro paintball team Tampa Bay Damage has unveiled a new feature length documentary project that is in progress. “Damaged” is being filmed and produced by Full Sail Productions & DFM Pictures.

pro paintball documentary

pro paintball documentary

The documentary has launched a facebook where you can subscribe for the latest updates.

In a related update, Tampa Bay Damage has unveiled a new promotional video for the pro team.

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Tampa Bay Times Features Alex Spence

Tampa Bay Times Features Alex Spence

The paintball world has proudly stood behind Alex is his fight against Leukemia. The Tampa Bay Times recently featured Spence in this human interest piece and with good reason. Alex has been fighting Leukemia while staying true to the competitive spirit we’ve seen him showcase on the field. Follow his story as the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith highlights and recalls the personal fight Spence had been going through.

This is an article you don’t want to miss- We wish Alex the best this year and look forward to his unshakable spirit and presence on the field as he returns to professional paintball.

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/humaninterest/article1218586.ece

BELLEAIR — The moment Alex Spence got a paintball gun for his 12th birthday, he was hooked.

An “adrenaline junkie,” the Clearwater native has wakeboarded and raced dirt bikes, but paintball became his passion. He played every weekend he could, and, with some buddies, helped start the Tampa Bay Damage, a professional team coming off a world cup victory last season.

Spence, 24, has traveled around the country, as well as overseas, to compete in tournaments. His picture is in trade magazines, and a showcase in his Belleair home is filled with medals and trophies.

Paintball is his life.

“It’s his driving force,” his father, Bob Spence, said. “It’s what keeps him going.”

And paintball is partly what drove Spence to stay alive last year during a recovery from acute myeloid leukemia, a very aggressive form of cancer with a bleak mortality rate. Even with a successful bone marrow transplant in May, Spence had two infections that forced him to learn to walk again.

“Three different times, they gave me less than 10 percent chance of survival,” Spence said. “It was a wild ride. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.”

But thanks to the support of doctors, family and girlfriend Alexandra Fuller, Spence is back doing what he loves.

This weekend, in Galveston, Texas, he will participate in his first paintball tournament since being declared cancer-free.

“It’s unbelievable,” Bob Spence said. “He had two close brushes with death, and to see him get out, and reach the level he’s reached and dedication he’s shown, it’s inspirational.”

• • •

The warning signs showed up in November 2010. Spence always seemed fatigued and sore but thought it was because of paintball season and his classes at St. Petersburg College.

But when an infection led Spence to get his wisdom teeth taken out in December, and he continued to feel worse, he got checked out at Mease Dunedin Hospital. Lab results revealed he had 96 percent cancer cells.

“We didn’t know anything about (acute myeloid leukemia) at the time, I didn’t know a single person who had cancer or anything,” Spence said. “I had no idea what it was. I was like, ‘Okay, well I’ll stay in the hospital for a few days, get rid of this and get back to life.’ We were in for a shock.”

Dr. Ernesto Ayala, from Tampa’s H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, said Spence’s leukemia was more aggressive because of a chromosome abnormality. “It’s a very poor prognosis,” he said. “The chance of long-term survival is very low, probably 15-20 percent.”

Spence went through two rounds of chemotherapy in the hospital, and his cancer cells decreased to 7 percent. His body took care of the rest, as he was cancer free by February 2011. Fuller, Spence’s girlfriend of four years, never left his side, compiling a book of medical records and pill schedules, communicating with doctors, and often sleeping in his hospital bed.

“Out of the entire ordeal, she probably wasn’t there maybe four nights,” Spence said. “She definitely saved my life.”

• • •

In early March 2011, Spence woke up with a 103-degree fever due to an infection, which temporarily paralyzed him from the waist down. Fuller called Moffitt, which had no beds available, so she drove him to Mease Dunedin Hospital. By the time he got there, Spence’s temperature was 106.1.

Doctors told Fuller that if she had driven the extra 30 miles to Moffitt, he would have died.

“Everything happens for a reason,” she said.

Spence wasn’t out of the woods. Nurses and doctors told Fuller to prepare for the worst, start making arrangements.

All around after Spence moved back to Moffitt, there were reminders of tragedy. Several other patients on his floor — his new friends — had died.

“It was very scary,” Spence said.

Doctors told Fuller one of five things would happen. He could be paralyzed from the neck down. He would have organ failure. He’d suffer brain damage. He could die. Or, as it was put, a miracle could happen.

“Thankfully, it was the miracle,” Fuller said.

Spence was hospitalized for a month, slowly learning how to walk. When he was released, he cleared his mind by taking strolls with his dog, a playful 90-pound Doberman called Dozer, his “pride and joy.”

“He wouldn’t let me die,” Spence said. “Because who else would pet him?”

With no family members a bone marrow match, an out-of-state donor was found for a transplant May 17 at Moffitt. It succeeded — but 20 days later, Spence suffered veno-occlusive disease, a blockage in some small veins in the liver. His liver was failing.

But through weeks of treatment, Spence got better, with Ayala sensing a fighting spirit.

“He has a will,” Ayala said. “He really is a persistent type of person. He would do everything I told him to do. And he has something else, a wonderful person by his side, his girlfriend, she would always be by his side. She is a very special person, and was critical for his recovery.”

• • •

Spence had to spend 100 days in an adjacent hotel after the transplant before going home. The day doctors said Dozer could visit, Fuller rushed home to bathe the brown, boyish Doberman, and brought him back.

When they were five minutes away, Dozer began to bark, and bounced in the backseat. Spence, wearing a surgical mask and hat, was immediately recognized by Dozer, who jumped on him.

“It was the most amazing thing ever,” Fuller said.

In August, Spence was allowed to come home. The leukemia could return, but after being in remission for 14 months there’s a good chance it’s gone, Ayala said.

When Spence was cleared to practice paintball again a couple months ago, he was so happy, he couldn’t sleep the night before. “He had the biggest smile on his face,” Fuller said.

“I felt like I was a kid going to Disney World,” Spence said. “Getting back to paintball is a huge milestone for me. It gives me something to look forward to.”

Spence is thinking about going back to school, possibly studying accounting, like his dad. He’s looking forward to May, when he can find out the identity of the marrow donor. All they know is it’s a woman, and she sent a letter to Spence at the hospital.

“It says, not only did she save his life, he also saved hers in a way,” Fuller said.

But first comes paintball, with Spence joining the Damage’s semipro team for a while until he gets his strength and skills back. Sponsors pay for his team’s equipment and travel, and Spence supplemented his income by running a T-shirt printing business out of his house. Winning teams split cash prizes at tournaments like October’s Paintball Sports Promotion world cup. Back then, Spence could only coach. Now he can play.

“I have to earn my spot back,” he said. “But I think I’ll be okay.”

After what Spence has been through, it’s hard to doubt him.

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@tampabay.com.

J-Rab signs with Tampa Bay Damage

Tampa Bay Damage, winners of the 2011 PSP World Cup, have taken a crucial element of the Russian Legion’s starting line. Only minutes ago, Tampa Bay Damage and Justin Rabackoff inked a deal for the 2012 pro paintball season. Prior to signing his deal with Damage, J-Rab played with PSP World Cup runners up, the Russian Legion. ProPaintball insiders speculate that once the Russians learn of J-Rab’s departure, the team will rapidly look to fill the void.

Justin Rabackoff signs with Tampa Bay Damage

Justin Rabackoff signs with Tampa Bay Damage

In 2010, Justin Rabackoff was selected as SplatMagazine’s paintball player of the year. In recent years J-Rab has split his time between two teams. In the PSP, he competes with the Russian Legion. In the NPPL, with DC Arsenal. ProPaintball has confirmed that Justin Rabackoff will play exclusively with Tampa Bay Damage in both the NPPL and PSP series throughout the 2012 paintball season.

Justin Rabackoff has left the Russians

Justin Rabackoff has left the Russians

This won’t be Justin’s first time playing with Tampa Bay Damage. In 2010, J-Rab joined the team to compete in the NPPL and contributed to the teams win in Chicago, Vegas, and the NPPL 2010 Series title.

Tampa Bay Damage is a DYE Precision paintball team. As such, Justin Rabackoff will be wearing head to toe DYE paintball gear and shooting a DYE Damage DM12 paintball gun.

Damage was already a great team and this pick up only makes them stronger. Will Tampa Bay Damage take the 2012 Paintball Series?

Tampa Bay Damage wins 2011 PSP Paintball World Cup

The paintball world cup was an amazing success. Over 270 paintball teams converged in Polk City, Florida to compete against the best 5 man teams in the world. According to the PSP, event spectating was at an all time high with all 1900 grand stand seats sold out and fans from across the world tuned in to the free paintball webcast. After four days of competition and an entire season of preperation, the 2011 PSP World Cup Results are in.

Professional Paintball
1st Tampa Bay Damage
2nd Russia Boston Red Legion 3rd Dynasty
4th Vicious

Division 1
1st Upton 187 cRew 2nd T1 Topgun Union
3rd VCK
4th New Jersey Jesters

Division 2 RaceTo-5
1st Distortion
2nd Boom
3rd Grad Moscow
4th Static

Division 3 RaceTo-4
1st Revo
2nd PR1ME
3rd Atlanta Breakout
4th Royalty

Division 4 RaceTo-4
1st Revo II
2nd Central Florida Paintball
3rd Imperial
4th PG Rise

Division 2/3 RaceTo-2
1st PR Crew
2nd CCS Fusion
3rd New Jersey Jesters Silver
4th Infusion

Division 3 RaceTo-2
1st Lastcall
2nd Plan B
3rd Gainesville Gridiron
4th Seek and Destroy

Division 4 RaceTo-2
1st TKO Blackout
2nd 406s Finest
3rd POSTAL
4th DBS Supersonics

Division 5 RaceTo-2
1st Sick n Twisted
2nd CPz!
3rd Average Joes Blues
4th Edge Army II

Masters
1st Fluffy Bunnies
2nd Capital Edge Hitters

Update from Alex Spence of Tampa Bay Damage

Pro paintball player Alex Spence of Tampa Bay Damage has been sitting out the 2011 season while he recovers from cancer. Alex discovered that he had Acute Myeloid Leukemia shortly after he and Tampa Bay Damage won the World Series Championship. Spence shared an update today on his recovery.

I am sorry I have left many of you in the dark about my health, I got a little side tracked since I am doing much better and able to enjoy life a little more again. I have greatly improved and am starting to be my normal self again. Although I am still on several meds and have a few procedures left (mostly biopsies and things like that) my life has started to return to how it used to be. I am very thankful of my girl friend, Alex Fuller, who has been a major force in my recovery along with my family. I didn’t want to post anything due to the fact that I didn’t want to jinx anything but about two months ago the doctors let me move back to my house. This dilemma has tested Alex and I’s relationship again and again and since we have prevailed so much we decided to move in together with my brother and his girl friend which has been amazing. I am still on several meds and have to return to Moffitt every other week but things are going much better with every visit. I have started riding my bike to gain strength back and will begin practicing to rejoin my paintball team for next season soon.

I would like to thank every one that has helped me, prayed for me, and has stuck by my side, you have all saved my life. I am greatly in debt to you all. Thank you so much and everything you have done for me is greatly appreciated.

Alex Spence

As you can tell this is very positive news. Everyone at ProPaintball wishes Spence a quick and speedy recovery. Hope to see you on the pro field soon Spence!

Pro Paintball Stats & Poll for PSP Chicago Open

The Chicago pickem and the Pro Paintball poll (right hand side of the page) have opened up for you to place your bets on the winners and losers of the PSP 2011 Chicago Open. Cade Coleman, the PSP score keeper and ProPaintball are proud to share several data points for your consideration and general paintball knowledge. Hopefully these data points will help you increase your odds of winning the PB Pickem grand prize. Study up and place your picks!

Pro Paintball is an intense game of capture the flag

Data is based on PSP Pro Paintball matches between 2007 to 2011

PSP 2011 Chicago Open Stats:

  • 2007 – Largest Margin of Victory: Legion (23) vs. Ultimate (1)
  • 2007 – Finals: X-Factor (7) vs. Ironmen (6)
  • 2008 – Finals: Damage (5) vs. Aftermath (3)
  • 2009 – Finals: Legion (7) vs. Aftermath (1)
  • 2010 – Finals: Infamous (7) vs. Damage (5)

PSP Pro Paintball Team Facts and Win / Loss Records:

Chicago Aftershock:

  • 31 Wins (36%) / 56 Losses (64%)
  • Looking for their first Pro win of the 2011 season, shut out 0-4 at the 2011 Texas Open.

Pro Paintball team: Chicago Aftershock

Chattanooga CEP (PSP Pro since 2011):

  • 0 Wins (0%) / 4 Losses (100%)
  • Looking for their first Pro win ever, also shut out 0-4 at the 2011 Texas Open.

Chattanooga CEP Pro Paintball Team

Tampa Bay Damage (PSP Pro since 2008):

  • 51 Wins (61%) / 32 Losses (39%)
  • Wins and 1 OT Loss during the Texas Open, they were knocked out by Legion (2-4) in the Semis.

San Diego Dynasty:

  • 59 Wins (58%) / 43 Losses (42%)
  • 3 Wins (7-0, 7-1, 7-1) and 1 Loss (Legion) during the Texas Prelims, beat Infamous in the Semis, and Legion (7-2) in the Finals.

Dynasty Paintball

Edmonton Impact (PSP Pro since 2008):

  • 38 Wins (52%) / 35 Losses (48%)
  • 2 Wins (both 5-4) and 2 Losses (both 1-7), looking to advance out of the Prelims in 2011.

LA Infamous:

  • 49 Wins (51%) / 47 Losses (49%)
  • 3 Wins (2OT) and 1 Loss during the Texas Prelims, they were knocked out by Dynasty (2-5) in the Semis.

Los Angeles Ironmen:

  • 70 Wins (65%) / 38 Losses (35%)
  • 2 Wins (1OT) and 2 Losses in Texas, looking to advance out of the Prelims in 2011.

Boston Red Legion:

  • 82 Wins (75%) / 28 Losses (25%)
  • 3 Wins and 1 Loss (OT Loss, Ironmen), beat Damage in the Semis and Lost to Dynasty (2-7) in the Finals.

Russian Legion Pro Paintball Team

Omaha Vicious (PSP Pro since 2010):

  • 7 Wins (37%) / 12 Losses (63%)
  • 2 Wins (1OT, both 6-5) and 2 Losses (1OT) in Texas, looking to advance out of the Prelims in 2011.

San Antonio X-Factor:

  • 44 Wins (49%) / 46 Losses (51%)
  • 2 Wins (7-3, 7-2) and 2 Losses in Texas, looking to advance out of the Prelims in 2011.

Does the Win and Loss record effect your loyalty to your favorite pro paintball team? Or, is there more to a pro team than winning? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

MLB And Paintball: TB Rays Closer Farnsworth Does X-Ball

Tampa Bay Rays closing pitcher Kyle Farnsworth took time off from tacking up K’s on the mound to see how many G’s he could rack up on the field. Accompanied by an extensive television crew from FSN’s Florida station, Farnsworth took to the fields of Blitzkrieg Paintball in Tampa, Florida to run through a couple points with his local team, the Predators.

Fox Sports Net Logos

Along with a mix-up of local players, Tampa Bay Damage heavy hitters Mike Carthy, Timmy Propst and Chad Busiere were all in attendance to play with and against Farnsworth’s squad. Paintball has been a hobby for both Farnsworth and his young son, and they seemed to be relatively versed in all the basic strategy and mechanics of X-Ball play. Filming of this took place on May 26th and it is to be used for an upcoming episode of Inside the Rays, a television show aired throughout Florida that focuses on the current happening of Tampa Bay Rays players. Paintball’s presence in Florida is particularly strong, and this is just a testament to that. For any players living in Florida who want to catch it, the production crew estimated that the episode should be shown sometime around June 16th on Fox Sports Florida (Sun Sports).

Pro Update: Tampa Bay Damage

According to ProPaintball insiders, Jason “Fat Kid” Edwards of Tampa Bay Damage recently joined the police force and missed the first two events due to work. Although he missed HB and Galveston, Jason will be returning to the pro field for the Chicago paintball tournaments and playing the rest of the season with Tampa Bay Damage. Scott Kemp of the Los Angeles Ironmen filled in for Jason at Huntington Beach and will continue playing 7-man with Tampa Bay Damage.

ProPaintball caught up with Jason who had this to say;

“I’ll be coming back as sweet as ever, missing those events was more fuel for the fire, and bringing TBD back to the podium wont be a issue.”

Jason Edwards playing pro paintball - Photo by Jeff Stinson

Jason Edwards playing pro paintball - Photo by Jeff Stinson

Be sure to check out Jason Edwards paintball PRO*File.