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hits since 8/12/03

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Dania scratches    Magic City scratches
Re(3): Has Miami made an official announcement they are done with jai alai ?

I appreciate the positive comment about my announcing by history Andrew and I completely understand that Magic City is, as I say repeatedly herein & elsewhere, not for everyone. So no offense taken.

I will take issue with your use of "legit" & "real" amateur players. When reading please keep in mind that I spent my entire youth in and around amateur Jai-Alai. I am in no way an authority on amateur Jai-Alai post 1995. That being said, the sense of entitlement of many amateur players has always been a little astonishing - and I'm talking about going all the way back to my childhood in the 70's. Amateur Jai-Alai was not a welcoming community of like minded individuals following some goal of bettering the sport. It was as cliquish as any community I have encountered. This one wont play with that one, that guy should not be in this group, "he's an A-B-C player," etc., etc.

For the record Calder chose its players the way you suggest - from the same pool of amateur players that was available to Magic City in 2018. And it went about how you'd expect. Many scratches, many complaints and as much focus on superfluous issues as on the Jai-Alai with the players who focused most on the sport dominating and others bitching and complaining. Things seemed better this past year.

There was not a rejection of "real amateurs" by Magic City in the beginning. There was a desire to build a program free from the bull shit and attitudinal nonsense that has plagued this sport for almost as long as I can remember. Senior Magic City management believed that individuals with some kind of formal sports background would bring something new to the sport. I'd say this has proved to be about 60-70% accurate. What is true is that they did not bring Jai-Alai baggage with them or a sense that they were entitled to anything. How they (we) were treated that first year by many in the Jai-Alai community is a testament to just how unwelcoming and un-inclusive the Jai-Alai community can be. For those who were and remained open-minded, I think anyway, they have been able to enjoy watching an evolutionary process with some unexpectedly positive results.

I'll conclude this post with a story that I think illustrates my point. When I was a kid I used to go to Orbea's & North Miami Amateur with my father to watch he & others play. On weekends (Saturday or Sunday in the offseason) we would go to Miami Jai-Alai in the morning and my father and 3 to 5 others would have access to the court. I was 5 or 6 at the time (so around 1974-75) and would run around the auditorium (LOL - in a way that I would have never permitted as a manager myself). We were the only ones in the building. FAST FORWARD 25-or-so years. I am an Assistant General Manager at Miami and I ask one of my superiors who had worked in the building in a variety of capacities since the mid-70's why he never took-up playing / practicing Jai-Alai. He commented that he'd thought about it but the few amateurs he came into contact with when he was working security acted like self entitled asses. Its ironic that one of those guys could easily have been my father but the impression was lasting.

This is my history and the "amateurs" that I've come in contact with over the past 10-or-so-years have been pretty friendly and appreciative actually. I know that Matt & Luis have dome some tremendous things for the sport and have kept amateur programs alive at great personal expense which I appreciate and applaud.

There is just something about this sport that I can't quite lay my finger on that does not always bring the best out of people.


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