I just got off the blower with Top Shot contestant Paul Marinaccio, eliminated from the competition in Tuesday’s episode. As I suspected, the NJ Detective’s chances of taking the Top Shot title came a cropper thanks (in part) to the Corner Shot’s video screen. “The glare was so bad [that] I didn’t know I’d hit the target until Colby called it out . . . Jake [above] was wearing a hat that shaded his eyes so he could see the screen. But in any case he slammed it.” When TTAG asked the critical question—are Colby’s teeth really that white?—Marinaccio laughed for a good fifteen seconds. And proceeded to change the subject. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to let it go that easily . . .
“No seriously. Are they really that white?”
“Are they the whitest teeth you’ve ever seen?”
“Let’s just say there was a lot of off-camera discussion about Colby’s dental hygiene.”
“So is that a yes?”
“I couldn’t say.”
“How would you describe them?”
“They’re brilliant white.”
“Does Colby ever take his hands off his hips?”
“Yes. But a number of people on set imitated his stance.”
Marinaccio had more important matters to discuss (once I let him). Specifically, he defended Sara Ahrens’ piss-poor performance in her elimination contest. The Rockford, Illinois SWAT team member famously declared that she failed to get rounds on target because “I’m not used to shooting next to people.”
“She misquoted herself,” Marinaccio insisted. Huh? “She’s a soldier, police officer and SWAT team member; it’s impossible that she’s hasn’t shot next to someone.” And the truth is . . .
“Sara had an officer-involved shooting that had a fatal ending for the suspect. The competition had friend and foe targets. She was afraid that if she hit a friend target on national TV and [then] had an on-duty shooting again they’d use it against her.”
Involved how? “Sara pulled the trigger.” Which is not to say that Ahrens threw the match to avoid legal liability. She was frazzled by the prospect. Wait; a SWAT team member who gets frazzled?
Marinaccio takes the point that perhaps Ahrens should have been able to shoot under pressure, anyway. He quickly leapfrogged to a larger point: the general inadequacy of police firearms training.
“We don’t put our officers under enough pressure when they train,” the cop and firearms instructor revealed. “The State’s more concerned about political correctness than they are about an officer’s ability to handle stress in an actual shooting situation. We’re still using FBI Q targets with bowling balls.”
Sounds like the foundation of a Top Shot challenge to me. Anyway, you’ll be pleased to know that Marinaccio supports Garden State citizens’ Second Amendment rights “absolutely. One hundred percent.” In fact, “everybody she be able to carry a gun if [they’re] qualified to do so.”
Ah yes, qualified. “I don’t think people should be able to walk into a gun store and walk out with a gun in their waistband.” Of course not. They should put it in a proper holster.
At this point in the convo the Schnauzers went wild, testing my ability to interview under high decibel stress. Let’s just say I was eliminated even more quickly than Marinaccio. But after talking to Top Shot’s most recent reject (sorry Paul), I can’t wait to do it next week with the next eliminatee.
[Click here for Top Shot Fantasy Game: The Gauntlet]