Palm Beach News

Break Up for Bad Boys of Pro Paintball

Of course there's a pro paintball league! And as with more traditional sports, there are hazards for those whose talent (free time?) allows them to go pro. The Palm Beach Vipers wrecked against these treacherous rocks, at least judging by a statement released yesterday by the team's owner, Ken Bryson. (I'm gonna guess that's him in the video's first few minutes, gettin' all Bobby Knight on one of the players.)

Seems that a recent trip to a tournament in Chicago gave rise to acts of debauchery that could not be tolerated given the solemn responsibilities entrusted to the players.

Says Bryson:

I am not willing to continue to financially support players who put little, if any effort into the advancement and success of the team. All of the players on the semipro team were paying very little or nothing at all to play paintball for the last 2 seasons, or longer. In return for that financial support some of those same players (who are no longer with the organization) treated the events as nothing more than a vacation. Drunken beer parties, vandalizing hotel rooms, basically anything other than making effort to ensure that the team would have any chance of performing on the field.
Wow! So he was providing a kind of paintball scholarship? Back to Bryson:
If those players, who in their defense are probably some of the best players we had and are exceptionally talented, can find someone else willing to provide that same "free ride" with no effort on their part and no expectations of hard work, maturity, commitment, loyalty and performance, I welcome and encourage them to go find it.
After some of those players took shots at Bryson in the comments thread, he offered a little more detail about his generosity:
Only people on the inside know the real me. The one who allowed some of these same ungrateful, selfish, children to live in my home for free, fed them, allowed them to play paintball for next to nothing, put some of them thru school and provided for just about anything they asked for. And what did I expect in return? Effort, maturity, commitment, loyalty, integrity and maybe on occasion a simple thanks.
OK, so now it's sounding like some kind of paintball orphanage. Crazy. At any rate, it appears the Vipers are no more and that Bryson is placing the team's remaining players on other teams in Florida while the naughty ones will now have to pay for their own paintball expenses and drunken beer parties.

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Thomas Francis