NML Pickleball Podcast Ep. 10 – Do the Best Teams Win at MLP?

After a long four days of pickleball, we recap the biggest stories of MLP Dallas. We also answer some of your mailbag questions and Producer Allissa joins the party for another segment of Girlfriend Corner.

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1:00 DC vs. Orlando Rematch

10:02 Do the Best Teams Win at MLP? 

21:13 Ben Johns and the Chicago Slice 

25:48 Player Motivation 

32:01 Utah and Anna Leigh Waters

37:48 Were We Wrong About Brooklyn and Dallas? One other

44:58 Columbus Sliders Surprise 

48:25 Premier vs. Challenger Margins 

55:17 Mailbag 

1:11:08 Girlfriend Corner

8 thoughts on “NML Pickleball Podcast Ep. 10 – Do the Best Teams Win at MLP?

  • November 7, 2023 at 9:12 am

    I think it’s unfortunate that they did away with the Premier/Challenger and relegation model for 2024. Players improve quickly, but I think there are still concerns about depth. If we’re seeing pouty Ben now, imagine what it’ll look like when he starts off each match playing with the 48th male drafted lol. I also think it takes away from the storylines of this season too. I mean we should be talking about how DC, the Squeeze, and the Hard Eights are furiously playing themselves into a Premier spot after a bad Challenger season, but it just doesn’t matter anymore.

    • November 7, 2023 at 9:02 pm

      Definitely unfortunate from our perspective too. It will be very interesting to see what it looks like next year. There may be a lot of teams out of the mix early and not sure how they will deal with it

  • November 7, 2023 at 9:18 am

    You said the Irina refused to allow her PPA paddle to be tested after a challenge by Braverman. What you mean by her “PPA paddle”? Was that from an earlier PPA event? What happens if a player refuses a allow a paddle to be tested?

    You said ALW had a “bunch” of paddles fail this weekend. Fail for what reason? How many is a bunch? What happens when a paddle fails? How did you learn about this?

    • November 7, 2023 at 11:51 am

      Good questions.

      I’m not hearing anyone think critically. “ALW had a bunch of paddles that failed” means nothing.
      Zane has openly stated he brings a bunch of paddles to get tested, knowing some will fail, and with the intention of cherry-picking the ones right on the ragged edge of the rules.

      • November 7, 2023 at 9:05 pm

        Why would it mean nothing? Zane’s paddles are known to push the limit of legality and openly that is the case. Not so for AL.

        • November 8, 2023 at 3:50 am

          Now it sounds like you’re endorsing a double standard – it’s okay for Zane to flirt with illegal paddles but ALW can’t get the same consideration?

          Continuing in the double standard vein, what about Iggy? Suddenly the 002 is under scrutiny, and strange pictures are surfacing about that paddle after testing, and James’s team and James himself didn’t have the results we expected. Are we going to say that his failure to meet our expectations is a result of his dependence on an illegal paddle?

          What about Tyson? Here’s a guy who won a triple crown recently, but he certainly isn’t setting the MLP world on fire. Are you also going to accuse him of cheating, because there is some history there from Red Rock…

          The point is that the players should play with legal paddles. The fact that some paddles are tested and fail is a Good Thing, not evidence of cheating.

          One could argue that it implies they are more likely to be playing with legal paddles because the population of illegal paddles was reduced during testing.

          Rumors, innuendo and gossip make for fun podcast fodder, but we should be more careful not to confuse them with facts.

          • November 8, 2023 at 7:15 am

            It isn’t a double standard at all. Nothing confirmed but the concern is ALW is customizing her paddle. If she is not just being provided with whatever the stock version of her paddle is, that’s a problem. Knowingly modifying a paddle would be considered cheating whether it is on your own or in conjunction with your sponsor. Knowingly playing with an extra hot paddle, like a heavily delaminated one, would be considered cheating. There’s a difference between what players could be doing and that is what matters. The performance of players without the 002 is a good example and could have been discussed further, but then again someone be like James did go 5-1 on the weekend. It’s fair to push on these things from your perspective, but there is a difference in why a person’s paddle may or may not be illegal

    • November 7, 2023 at 9:01 pm

      Jillian Braverman goes into far more depth on her recent podcast. It was the one that was challenged by two separate teams. Apparently nothing happens

      We’re not sure why it failed. It was deflection last event. The paddle just gets taken out of play, but we are talking about 20 plus paddles here from what we understand. We can’t say where we get our information from as is always the case.


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