Bullet Ball

As some of you may know, on occasion I enjoy a little dose of reality via reality TV. Tonight after a 11.5 hour day coding I sat down with Lucas and watched the second episode of American Inventor. In case you’ve never heard of the show, basically it involves an American Idol like process where an inventor shows his invention and then the judges vote on whether to give them seed money to further their invention.

Often the episodes focus more on the outrageous inventions and the more emotional stories. On episode two they had Marc Griffin on the show to explain his game of “Bullet Ball”. Basically this game involves a table with two raised sides and a player at each end. Then the players try and push a ball back and forth using their forearms and the back of their hands. The game looked like quite a bit of fun. Marc was a gracious and warm presenter who showed that he really had a passion for the game. And, heck, I wanted to play! Marc revealed that he had sold all of his possesions to get there that day and to pitch this idea. His wife even sold her wedding ring and they sold their home. He has spent the past 26 years thinking about this game and perfecting it.

Now, admittedly, that is going a bit far. But, if any of you could watch him make his presentation and see the grace, ease, and confidence with which he presented his game then you would understand that this isn’t any old crack. This is a man with a vision and a quite fun game to play.

They told him no. Every single one of the judges said no. He kept himself from breaking down. He walked away a broken man. And his last words were “Nothing is going to stop me from bringing this game to the world.”

Literally, it emotionally devastated me. I had to stop the program, unsubscribe from further downloadings. I will never watch that show again. It aboslutely broke my heart. I haven’t really been able to talk for about an hour now.

I think its even more disturbing because of the obsession that getting thesynk.com going is for me. Like, I spend at minimum 10 hours a day. Its my passion.

And here is this guy, and he was just torpedoed. Bagh. Please don’t watch American Inventor. Boycott!

Anyone want to play a game of Bullet Ball?

9 Responses to “Bullet Ball”

  1. Adam Says:

    i’ve told you time and again: you have to laugh at other people’s anguish and despair! he lost everything! how could it possibly cost that much to make a game out of a table?! it doesn’t even have a diamond encrusted paddle?! i could make that out of plywood, some 2 by 4’s, and a wiffle ball/tennis ball/bouncy ball!

  2. Phill Says:

    I too saw this episode. Though I too (and continue to do so) thought “bullet ball” had potential, it did not cause me anguish that they did not vote it to the next round. I thought that there were other ideas that also were disqualified, that if they were further refined could have market potential.

    It has been interesting to see what people dragged in, and certainly better fodder (to me at least) for TV than people stuck on island. I think you are over reacting.

    If people’s ideas have merit. they still can find a market, regardless of what a handful of people vote /do not vote fore.

    I think that the presentation for bullet ball could have been more effective as well.

  3. Zonker Bonk Head Says:

    I thought it was cool. I actually will buy one, this will help kids with hand and eye cordination. Can we plug a website where this guy can sell some bullet ball tables you know help him out. There jsut miight be a millionair out there to hel him.
    BTW i want to watch and see if the baby car seat guy wins ! he is the best one by far.

  4. mike Says:

    I think you watched a different show then me because I saw a guy who obviously had mental problems. His obsession with this idea ruined his life and his marriage. Also he said he sold his “Ex” wife’s ring. She had obviously left him along time ago. Although I can say that the only difference between crazy and genius sometimes is the amount of success you achieve with an idea. If he had made millions on it then he would have been seen as an innovator and a genius, however he made nothing and lost everything. On a side note I can respect his determination. Personally I can’t see anyway that game would have mass appeal. My first thought on watching it is man you would really bang up your hands swinging them like that over the hard edge of the table if you missed. Also come on man don’t spike it on the judge when giving a demo everytime!

  5. Luke Says:

    bulletball really didnt look very fun at all.

  6. Marc Griffin Says:

    Read the article about BulletBall at www.realitytvmagazine.com dated March 30th. It will shed some light on the game. After they edit the show…nothing appears as it truly was.

  7. Shylock Says:

    When I first watched the “Bullet Ball” episode, I too was taken by this guy’s tearful testimonial.

    But after watching the episode again, I have to say that either this guy is a few fries short of a Happy Meal… or he’s lying about all the sacrifices he made for this game.

    How do you spend 26 years working on a game that consists of a table with wooden rails… and a ball? It would take me 26 minutes to put wooden rails on my breakfast table and have my own bullet ball arena.

    I think this dude should win an oscar for an excellent job of lying about his committment to his invention. I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought of the idea for “bullet ball” AFTER he heard about American Inventor auditions.

  8. mako Says:

    He really shot himself in the foot with the presentation. Instead of presenting it as an (old) idea with a desire to spruce it up (by the way, he in no way showed how he planned to make this very mundane game into something actually entertaining), he played it off as some sort of revolutionary table-top game.

    He compared it to soccer and other team-based, full-body sports… and even wanted it to be in the olympics!

    Think about something like ping-pong, which is much older, and still more complex/entertaining, not to mention quite entertaining to watch (No one wants to watch a couple of guys hunched over a table pushing a ball around).

    The judges were right in voting this boring concept, which entirely lacked in innovation, down. The guy was obviously a quack of some sort.

  9. gee Says:

    I think everyone in the world has invented “bulletball” at some point in his or her life… but honestly, I believe this man is using “bulletball” as an alibi for the misfortunes he’s suffered in other endeavors which may have led to the lost of his job and the ruin of his financial situation.

    Bulletball is essentially an under-developed version of any other game played with a ball on a flat surface. I do however hope he recovers and goes on to further develop his game concept into something more interesting and sophisticated. I think he has gained a good sized audience of sympathisers that would very likely ensure the success of his new product.

    Call it the william hung effect, but I think this guy has the chance to do well if he recognises his failure on the show as an opportunity.

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