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Tuesday, 04 December 2012 00:00

Interview with Rob Montiero, Owner of SF Explicit

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How did the team begin, please give a history leading up to where the team is now?

RM - It all started by going to a birthday party for my son Ryan’s friend 8 years ago. After that day both of us got hooked and few months later Bay Area Explicit was formed.

We continued this every weekend streak of practice for two months before meeting friends that loved the sport too. As we grew together so did our knowledge of the game. A couple young gun tournaments here and there and we were ready. Explicit set out to our first big tournament with a team of 9. XPSL is one of the many leagues that were around for the experienced players. This introduced Explicit to 7-man style of play. XPSL Vegas ’06 was the unveiling of Team Explicit. Although we finished 23rd out of 74 teams we held their heads high. I was determined to make this team a top contender.  Practice schedules came soon after this tournament. We started practicing nonstop against the best teams around.  I kept saying “You only get better by practicing the best.”

What do you like best about paintball?

RM - The bond it created with my son and all the friendships I have developed over the years.  It’s something I wouldn’t trade for the world, my son and I shared it from the start and we’re still sharing it.

 

Do you also take on the coaching roles for the team?

RM - I use to take on a coaching role, but now with all the experienced players we have, I don't participate as much as I use too.

You, yourself, having never played Pro or having Pro players on the team what first made you make the move to Pro and did you worry about the challenges of running a Pro team without the background?

RM - I am all about competition and facing challeneges so I wasn't too concerned.  In 2009 with the USPL (United States Paintball League) coming into play as the new 7-man league rebranding the NPPL (National Professional Paintball League) every Pro team manager had met and chose to bring a select few divisional teams up into the big league.  I received the opportunity when I received a call from Rich Telford of XSV.  At one time, we were the XSV farm team and when the USPL started I received the opportunity to be a league owner and enroll my team in the Pro ranks, I think mostly thanks to Rich.  San Francisco Explicit was offered a spot to become a professional paintball team and as the entire team had learned of the news it was unanimous.  Explicit would be a new and upcoming pro team, this was a dream come true to every one of our players. We all played to get better and to one day get to the level of Pro. Becoming Pro came a little faster then we had expected but at least we got there.

What tips or advice could you provide for a young team who would like to do what you did in becoming Pro?

RM - Go for it!  It’s all about believing that you can make it happen.  I have always felt that if you want something bad enough, align your daily actions to achieve those goals and you can do anything, (laughing) but be ready to spend alot of money!

Do you feel you have made any mistakes along the way?

RM - Absolutely, we all make mistakes.  The only way you can ever become successful is by making mistakes... it’s all about growth and learning from the mistakes you have made.

Do you face any challenges having your son on the team?

RM - No not really, the expectations for him are the same as I have for any other player. Possibly, maybe even more since he is my son.  To be straight forward, I did this all for my son in the hopes to fulfill his dreams to play Pro and one day that he would realize what my wife and I have sacrificed was all for him and the love of the game.  Maybe he will…some day.

What is your wife’s (Jana Montiero) role with the team?

RM - She is the backbone of the team.  She makes everything happen!  In fact, she is the one that should be doing this interview.  Most people don't know that she is the one that makes things happen for us, she is the one who has kept this team going.

We all know paintball is an expensive sport, on average what do you put in financially to keep the team going?

RM - Approximately $75,000 per year... yeah crazy, I know.

You had some major roster changes for the 2012 season, I overheard someone say that Explicit has become a “guns for hire” team, do you think this is true or do you foresee the roster you currently have sticking?

RM - Guns for hire would mean that I pay my players and that's definitely not the case.  I always say that a dog doesn't bark at a parked car.  Yes, I do see the core guys staying on, possibly with a couple additions as we are planning to play PSP in 2013.

You recently held tryouts to start a D1 Explicit team, how did that go?  Do you have a full roster for the second team?

RM - Not yet, we still have some work to do but it’s really a team we are looking to develop for the 2013 season.

How do you foresee the running of the second team and what are your goals with the second team?

RM - I have 2 key guys, Steve Nabi and Bear Degidio, who will be running the D1 squad.  I’m really looking forward to this squad.

The paintball industry sees a lot of people coming and going, what do you attribute you staying in the industry to?

RM - Really and simply 2 things, first and foremost my son and second the pure love of the sport.

What do you think about the battles between the NPPL and PSP?

RM - We would like to see both leagues join and become one but if they don’t we will be participating in both leagues next year.

In your personal opinion, what do you think of the current state of the industry and where do you see the industry going?

RM - The current state, I would say is one of incline compared to last 3 years and the only way I can see the sport really growing is to have the big 3 (Millinium, PSP and NPPl) work together in the future.

You have a corporate career as well as other businesses, is that correct?  Could you please tell me a little about both?

RM - Yes, I have been in corporate America for 21 years and the last 7 years as the Chief Operating Officer for a logistics and software company.  Also, my wife and I are independent business owners in ACN; it’s with this business that we are global energy brokers.

Do you see any parallels in running successful businesses and running a professional paintball team?

RM - Absolutely, I actually feel that what I lack in knowledge in the paintball industry I actually make up with my buisness expertise.

Chicago was a great event for the team, placing third and making podium for the first time (as a Pro team), how did that feel and what do you attribute it to?

It felt fantastic! It’s all really attributed to the new roster of players and they worked as a team and just really brought the heat. Consistency will be the challenge and that’s what we are working towards now.

What goals do you have for Explicit and where do you see the team in 5 years?

Looking to consistenly podium and in the next 2 to 3 years to be the #1 Pro Team within the sport of paintball in every league.

Read 55394 times Last modified on Saturday, 29 December 2012 15:01

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