Saturday, February 21, 2009


But seriously, when it did go, 1 minute in... 20 min out, it was good for that moment.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gator Tamer

I can remember the little fat kid with glasses that didn't quite fit in, asking to mix up some games with us at SC Village. I was building a ten man team for the NPPL at the time and we were having a sort of tryout. That team I built went on to win it's first NPPL event and then subsequently dismantle and eventually spawn into the Check It Factory team where myself, Rusty Glaze, Cowboy Roy Richards, JP Augustin, Anson Hong, Shane Harrison and that little fat kid with glasses, Gator Glaze, all played together. We all pretty much stuck it out growing up together playing paintball on the same teams, going from Check It to the Bushwackers, where most of us got picked up by separate pro teams until we all finally met up again under the Miami Effect/Infamous flag.

I've known Gator for a long time and I've watched him grow up and go through a whole bunch of things. That little fat kid with glasses, went from the nerdy outsider, to the cool nerdy kid, to the thin cool kid with glasses, to arguably one of the most recognized paintball players to ever play the sport. He created his own style and fashion and became a god like figure to all his fans. Gator Glaze became a business and it was selling product. He was making stickers, shirts, headbands, you name it. Gator Glaze homemade gear was in popular demand. It seemed liked every little kid that played paintball wanted to sport some of Gator's style. Kids were even paying to stay at his house ( The HK House) in Fullerton Ca. during So Cal paintball events just so they could say they slept on Gator's floor. It was pretty insane. I can honestly say, as much as you can be a rock star in paintball, Gator was.

Besides a wild fashion sense and a bit of a rep for playing the "gray area", Gator also had a wild way of living. He knew how to let loose. I've shared quite a few wild and memorable moments with that guy. Some of which are PG rated and some that R He is the guy you thought would just always be crazy and wild. It kind of seemed at the time that Gator was just born to live free and roam. He didn't really seem to have a plan, he just lived. Paintball was like his outlet and maybe even an excuse not to grow up. But one day, something changed and you could instantly tell there was something different about him.....not bad, just different. He always had a bit of a "I don't care attitude", even with his friends he could be unpredictable. But not anymore. Something had made him stop and take a look at things. That something was his soon to be wife, Sophia.

Gator met someone who walked a different path than him but still had so much in common with him. I think he was amazed that you could still have fun and enjoy life without walking the edge of the earth. It was a new way of seeing things for him and it was having a huge impact on his life. He started going to church with Sophia where he became very active within it. He was attending youth groups and eventually started teaching his own Sunday school classes. He bought a paintball store in Rancho Cucamonga Ca. and started finding direction in his life. The Gator was tamed and he was happy. So happy that he wanted to make it permanent, and he did.

I attended his wedding this past weekend February 14 2009 (Valentines Day). I'm not going to make claims but I think he did that just so he could never get in trouble for forgetting his anniversary....hahaha. Either way, it was a free meal for me and mine..... =) It was a very nice wedding and reception. A lot of the old crew made it out and it was nice to see them all again. It was kind of sad seeing Gator grow up in a way, because it was just another reminder of real life and how paintball just doesn't fit into it anymore. We all became friends through paintball and I will always have an interest in it and try to stay a part of it as much as possible, but it will never be the same as it was when we first all started. When all we did was live during the week in preparation for the weekend and what it brought. I'm glad you found your happiness Gator, and I hope we all don't grow up too much and forget to get out and play once in awhile.

Congratulations on your marriage and good luck in everything that you do.