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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Black Friday Event Kicks Off Atlantic Season

Tippinators, Milsim Maniacs, Vindication, Team Proboho and 276 players gathered at Mersey Road Paintball in East River, Nova Scotia, Canada on March 21, 2008 for the 7th annual Black Friday scenario game. Many consider Black Friday the unofficial start of the Eastern Canadian paintball season, after long winter hibernation. The game draws woodsballers, speedballers, milsim teams, xball teams and rec players back to paintball's origins, in the woods, for a day of camaraderie, sportsmanship and fun before players gravitate back to their preferred style of play.
Climatologically prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of six additional weeks of winter back in February was right on the money as snow, high winds and sub freezing temperatures greeted the players on the early spring game day. "When we saw the forecast this morning, we thought the day would be a bust." said Howard Langlois, co owner of Mersey Road Paintball, "We were really surprised to see so many players come out considering the weather." The attendance was lower then previous years due to the weather, but the spirit of the players was just as high. One shivering player was overheard joking, "I'm going to drive to Pennsylvania and slap that damn beaver if it doesn't warm up soon."

Tippinators players Justin Landry was pleased with the attitude and high spirits of the players who attended. "It was good to see players from both woods and speedball backgrounds coming together, to celebrate what has become an annual tradition." Landry continued, "Players from across the province stopped by to shoot the breeze, and their friends, at the 2008 season opener despite the weather."

The game started promptly at 11:30, players were eager to, not only start the season, but to run around to keep warm. Once the opening horn blew players forgot the inclement weather, rushed forward to shoot paint and bang the rust off the skills that have lied dormant all winter. Ferocious firefights and spectacular individual efforts were commonplace all around the field, with players giving it their all throughout the day. After four hours of play, the game ended as an unqualified success. Smiling faces with rosy cheeks walked off the field and exciting retelling of the day's events were heard throughout the parking lot as players began packing to leave.

Black Friday 2008 showed that the resiliency and high spirits of hard core paintballers (woodsballers and speedballers alike) can overcome less then ideal weather to make any day at the field a day of fun and excitement.

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