The long-sought apogee of American culture has finally arrived: you can now watch paintball on cable TV. You can, and I did. Nostalgic for that long-ago delight of experiencing a plastic spheroid fired into my left kidney at approximately the speed of sound, I tuned in to the US Paintball Championships on ESPN2. "US" is self-deprecatingly inaccurate, because the proceedings featured teams from around the world. I cheered as the Stockholm Joy Division trounced the Portland Naughty Dogs in regulation play.
And in case I couldn't grasp the competition's subtleties, an announcer and color commentator were on hand to guide me through. No doubt these were retired champions from professional paintball's long and illustrious history. As they so poignantly put it: "The Stockholm squad is calling out their strategy in Swedish, and that's really hard for the Americans to understand." Quite, gentlemen, quite.