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|| News Item: Posted 2003-08-30

Photodude:Football season's coming up
By Photodude

The Photodude writes this from the after-party following the MTV Video Music Awards, where he claims the biggest kiss of the night wasn't between Britney and Madonna but the backstage smooching between one of the Olsen twins (he's not sure which one) and Demi Moore...

To the mailbag we go!

Dear Photodude,

Football season's coming up, and I'm jacked, stoked, amped, and ready to rock.

Any pieces of advice?

Fired Up Pennsylvanian

Dear F-UP,

The Dude admits to being a little rusty on his football, so he called his buddy Mongo, who took time from being an uncredited technical consultant on ESPN's "Playmakers" to answer some questions. Here are some Do's and Dont's for the upcoming season.

DO: Go early and stay late. Just like the old photojournalism axiom says. Many of the best off-the-field moments happen hours before, or with in the hour after, the game. In fact, access is sometimes better in the hours before kickoff, when most of security isn't on the field, and you might get some angles (think "inside the sideline area") that you won't during the game. Hell, the dude has seen shooters at midfield before the game. Go for it, dude,

DON'T: Sit in the media dining room for two hours pre-game. Are you one of the lame-asses who gets to the stadium, parks your gear, then heads to the media buffet to chill with your friends until the national anthem? If you are, then just know someone might be out there kicking your ass while you're being lazy -- and if you're a student, his portfolio will show extra effort while yours looks like everyone else''s like Jordan use to say, "if you're not working on your game, someone out there's working on his."

DO: Some homework. Read the papers, maybe pick up some game notes. Even the smallest schools have a sports information department that provides a weekly press release, either printed or on the web. Use it to your advantage. If a kid is going to set a school record for catches in a season, wouldn't you rather know that and be looking for it than to have some sports editor askyou about it later and then you go hopelessly searching back through your take?

DON'T: Just show up unprepared, unknowledgeable and uninterested. There are only seventeen weeks of the NFL regular season, fewer in college, and fewer yet in high school. Make use of those games. Especially if you're in college, working for your school paper. Because like the players, only a fraction of you will be "in the pros" next year. Word to your mamas on that one.

DO: Act like you've done this before. Even if you haven't. I mean, shooting football isn't like surfing, where the locals smell new blood faster than the sharks, and then promptly kick your ass on the beach. Show up early, watch, listen, obey the rules, and ask if you have a question that you can't
figure out by watching or listening. People will be friendly as long as you pick your spots (say, during a time out). Oh, and stay behind the yellow line. If you don't, a friendly man in a yellow jacket will gently remind you. Or, at certain stadiums, he might just kick your ass.

DON'T: Act like if it's the first time you've ever been at a game, even if it is. Thanks to the message boards, there's plenty of info out there about teams, stadiums, local stadium rules, etc. If you're new, or just nervous, there should be plenty of folks out there in cyberspace to give you the lay of the land. Heck, they can't spend ALL their time discussing meaningless crap like concerts and movies, can they?

DO: White balance.

DON'T: Chimp.


Dear Photodude,

I know you love the message boards --- so answer me this:

Everyone jumps on this one dude from the east coast about his incessant self-promotion, and I admit, it's a little insufferable much of the time, okay, most of the time. But then a pretty well-respected shooter comes on and starts a thread asking others to well, give some credit for loaning a camera or something. What do you make of all that? Is the one dude a good dude, or an insufferable self-promoter?

Confused in Cali.

Dear Confused,

Like most people, I too was perplexed by that one. First, why in the hell would anyone want (yet again, I might add) to brag about their page hits? He had to know what was coming, right?

And then, further perplexing, why the hell would someone else come to his defense? I mean, what the f--k?

I've thought long and hard, and here's my final answer: The dude started his own thread, got hammered, then someone else took pity and tried to give him some credit, but then get this, the dude in question "bumps" the second thread to the top of the boards not once, twice, but SIX F--KING TIMES!!!!!

As they use to say in the old N.F.L. sound bites, "You Make The Call."


Confidential to the seven people who've asked:

No, the Photodude is not Trent Nelson. Trent Nelson is way too cool to be the Photodude.

That's it for this month --- I'll be at the U.S.C/Auburn game for all those who want to have beers on the 'Dude. As usual, fire off those rants and raves to

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