Is the Dream Over?
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Is the Dream Over?

Photo by Phillip "Stretch" Baker

Photo by 1904 Photography

The most dominant, storied, respected team in paintball appears to be in shambles. Dynasty has made the top four podium but twice in seven events this season. They have gotten blown out 0-7 in two straight PSP tournaments — an embarrassment you would expect from CEP or Thunder or Aftershock but sure as hell not from Dynasty. And this past week the fiery and esteemed Mike Hinman quit as the head coach of the team based out of Southern California. The team promptly responded by going 1-3 in the prelims at the NPPL’s DC challenge, failing to make Sunday again. It seems as though the greatest team in paintball history is stumbling to an ugly end.

The implication of any head coach quitting mid-season is dramatic. The coach is the cornerstone. The coach pulls the seams together. The coach calls the play in overtime. But this is not just any coach it’s Mike Hinman. People talk about how 187 has been impressive their rookie season in pro? Hinman took the San Diego Aftermath kids and had them placing 2nd in their fourth pro event in the PSP and winning their fourth event pro in the NPPL during their rookie season in 2008. It is debatable whether it was the presence of Mike as head coach or the return of Oliver Lang that lead to Dynasty’s absolute tear at the beginning of last season, but Mike’s résumé is indubitably solid. If there is a head coach capable of controlling and capitalizing on the ego and experience levels on Dynasty, it’s Mike Hinman.

And he just quit.

The implication is disquieting. How bad must the Dynasty camp be for Hinman to hang it up before Cup?

Many people seem to think that the problem is that Dynasty is just too old to compete. The original core players that remain, Oliver Lang; Alex Fraige; Ryan Greenspan; and Yosh Rau are all 29 or 30 years old. This explanation runs into some problems though. If you watch any of these four players play, it is not like they are playing the game slower than everyone else and they can’t keep up. All four had moments of greatness this season and Rau and Greenspan are in the top 25 in the PBA player rankings. The shelf life of a paintball player is not concretely defined.

On the whole Dynasty is not even significantly older than other pro teams. Based on 2012 PSP rosters, Dynasty is the second oldest team in paintball with an average age of 26.9 (X-factor is oldest with an average age of 27.3). The correlation of older average age to poor performances is deeply flawed. Firstly because X- factor has made top four in two tournaments and won the DC Challenge today and secondly because Infamous, the second ranked pro team, is third oldest with an average age of 25.5 years. So simply saying Dynasty is old doesn’t solve the puzzle of how the best team in paintball became mediocre in one year’s time.

The more plausible thesis is that they just do not want to put in the hard work necessary to be successful anymore. Maybe the Dynasty practice regiment is laughable compared to those of Heat, Damage, Infamous and the Russians. The core of Dynasty has won literally everything there is to win in paintball and maybe as a result they are just over paintball and its exhausting grind. Maybe Mike Hinman got frustrated with being unable to motivate a core of guys who have won too much to remember what it is like to play with a chip on their shoulder.

The slide is continuing and it is becoming difficult to watch. The speculation of whether this is Dynasty’s last season is intensifying with each event that they under-perform.

This is not how I imagined their last season going. I always imagined that Dynasty would end with a preseason announcement, “This will be our last season.” That year would be their victory lap. There would be t-shirts and autograph signings and maybe Paintball Access would start the paintball Hall of Fame with the legendary Dynasty players as a part of its inaugural class. Shane Pestana would be there. When they played the Russians it would be like that great rivalry in 2003 and 2004. They would meet XSV in the 7-man finals at Huntington Beach. The hometown crowd would erupt after they won. That blue dragon mascot would reappear. At World Cup all the Iron Kids would come back to watch the last tournament. Dynasty would win, 7-6, against Damage; Oliver Lang would bunker Justin Rabackoff at the A, and hang the flag as time expired. The ovation would be deafening, requiring CNN coverage to define the significance. They would sweep the Millennium tournament series. One last Triple Crown for the greatest paintball team ever.

That is how I always imagined Dynasty ending. My gut tells me it is still going to happen. My brain tells me otherwise.

Average Age of Paintball Teams:
Damage: 23.880
Heat: 23.9
Russians: 23.4
Infamous: 25.5
Dynasty: 26.9
187: 23.75
X factor: 27.3
Thunder: 23.78
Ironmen: 25.2
Vicious: 22.55
Aftershock: 24
CEP: 21.875

Photo by Phillip “Stretch” Baker, 1904 Photography.

  • James Moeller

    i believe they are still great just need younger players its time to retire some

  • Jack Sully

    Only reason why xfactor is up there is because Alex Martinez is 48 years old

  • Andrew Rigsby

    This is no different than in the mid-2000′s after Ollie left. Dynasty only won a handful of tournaments in the space of a few years and people thought they were nearly finished as a team.
    They may be done, but I highly doubt it. Dynasty has come back out of worse ruts before.

    • trevor

      dont believe anything this website says. their not done after this year. the only TRUE rumor is that they might only play psp next year. they cant travel every week any more. playing and traveling every week takes the will out of you. i dont about alex and oliver but yosh and ryan aren’t planning on retiring. and if the team Do fold (like this idiot thinks), look for yosh and ryan to go to impact. their really tight with those guys and they played together in the millenium. fun fact. yosh and ryan both played with the phillies in the nxl in 03

      • http://socialpaintball.com Israel L.

        This is an editorial piece… not a rumor report. This is the personal opinion of the writer.

        Definition of editorial: A newspaper article written by or on behalf of an editor that gives an opinion on a topical issue.

      • @trevor

        you dont read a whole lot do ya brah? SMH.

        • trevor

          my laptop keys weren’t working that well

          • @trevo

            so because your keyboard wasnt working well, your reading comprehension drastically went down?? SMH X2.

  • http://www.care-bears-uk.com Bluey Care Bears

    I don`t know why you lot go on about age as I know for a fact that age has nothing to do with it, In fact if anything age should improve a players ability with defence,and experience. I think everybody that plays now is leveling out in the way of skills and expertise especially with the top players showing everybody with their video`s how to play the right way.probably showed too much, It`s always better to stay at the top to keep something in your favour so you can stay number one. In other words Don`t show everything you got just because you play professional . If any team plays hot on the day showing they`ve got good accuracy and taking players out on the break, What chance does Any team have, regardless of whoever the team coach is

    • trevor

      agreed. look at lemanski and martinez

  • Peter

    Might be game over…….

  • Mike Jeffrey

    Read the article closely. The argument does not say that they haven’t played well because of age. I hope you all realize that I don’t perpetuate that as a reason for their lack of success. @ jack sully: I know Alex martinez throws off their age average dramatically, but a lot of teams (e.g. Ironmen mike paxson) have one or two players that have the same effect, so I didn’t go into that discrepancy

  • obviously

    Obviously half of the posters didnt actually read the article. Mike stated: “The correlation of older average age to poor performance is deeply flawled” – meaning, OLDER DOESNT MATTER.

    Haters need to quit hating and actually READ the article before discussing it!!!!!!

  • ferdo

    Would be sorry to see that happen… :(

  • James Buchanan

    I don’t understand how you can quite on your team in the middle of the season. Not to add that world cup is 1 month away.

    • trevor

      ya hinman is a glory seeker. i lost ll respect for him. i dont ink its a coincidence that aftermath folded and now possibly dynasty.

  • What?

    How can you say Hinman is a glory seeker? He paid for Aftermath out of his pocket. He also has never been paid to coach. With that being said he seeks wins. And the Dynasty guys will use anyone they can. Without Hinman they wouldn’t have Mouse, Dalton, Mesa, Ray, or McCormick. Dynasty should be thankful for everything he did.