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|| News Item: Posted 2005-01-03

Photodude: Predictions for 2005
By Photodude

Photo by Brad Mangin

Photo by Brad Mangin member Paul Cunningham of MLB Photos, right, shags during batting practice at the 2004 MLB All Star Game at Minute Maid Park in Houston as Scott Clarke, left, and Kevin M. Cox look on.
The Photodude returns from a joyous holiday in which he skied in Aspen with Bode Miller, surfed in Hawaii with Bethany Hamilton, played poker in Las Vegas with Phil Ivey and traded presents with Paris Hilton. Waiting for de-icing on the tarmac at Logan, he comprised the following predictions for 2005...

Jan 1: At the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Sports Shooter founder Robert Hanashiro wears a black armband in honor of his best pal Ronal Taniwaki, who does not attend for the first time in recent memory, having moved from Southern California to Denver, Colorado. When asked why he is crying, Hanashiro dabs a tear from his eye and says, "Don't get me wrong -- I miss Ronal, but what I really miss is the dim sum he used to bring to the game."

Feb. 6: At the Super Bowl in Jacksonville, Atlanta's Michael Vick leaps over a trio of Indianapolis defenders for the game-winning touchdown. Before the extra point is kicked, five members post message board threads asking "Who do you think got that photo?". Henry Hsu is one of the five members posting.

Feb 16: The first-ever Sports Shooter Academy begins, with 25 students and pros gathered for an intense weekend of shooting and learning. Determined to make sure that the "Sports Shooter Academy" is seen as different from the very successful "Sports Shooter Luau and Workshop", founder Robert Hanashiro insists that each participant wear a sombrero instead of a Hawaiian shirt. Jeff Snyder of Penn Camera donates sombreros with the "Sports Shooter" logo.

Feb. 18: members jam the mailbox of store manager Joe Gosen, wanting to know when they can buy sombreros.

Mar. 1: Joe Gosen announces that a new shipment of bucket hats has arrived. Immediately the message boards are filled with requests for Sports Shooter-labeled compact flash cards to laptop computers.

Mar. 17: The eve of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. As photo assistants from Sports Illustrated hang strobes and remotes for their photographers all over the country, Sporting News staffers Albert Dickson, Robert Seale and Bob Leverone climb rafters themselves and are heard muttering "damn S.I. again with all their money". Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated's Robert Beck searches Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho for donuts in the press room.

Mar. 21: "Photo day" at the Houston Astros spring training facility. member Karen Warren of the Houston Chronicle shoots 108 mugs including the team's mascot, "Junction Jack".

Apr 3: Opening Day of baseball season. Baseball freelancer Brad Mangin comes out of hiding from bill collectors who have camped on his doorstep since late October.

Apr. 4: Despite hanging 46 remote cameras and having four shooters at the NCAA Championship game, Sports Illustrated runs a photo from a Hasselblad floor remote on the baseline as its lead photo. Again.

Apr. 16: Sports Shooter founder Robert Hanashiro announces plans for the first-ever "Sports Shooter Graduate School" to be held at Loyola Marymount University. While shooting surfing and beach volleyball under the tutelage of Robert Beck, Darrell Miho, Eugene Tanner and Aric Crabb, participants are required to wear caps and gowns and flip-flops. Jeff Snyder of Penn Camera donates surfboard leashes with the "Sports Shooter" logo.

May 7: The Kentucky Derby. Legendary photographer Bill Frakes sets up 131 remotes cameras, one for each year the race has been run.

June 28: In anticipation of next month's MLB all-star game, Paul Cunningham of MLB Photos starts warming up his glove so he can catch fly balls during batting practice and protect the lights and backdrops of MLB photo boss Rich Pilling.

July 11: Sports Shooter founder Robert Hanashiro announces plans for the first-ever "Sports Shooter Med School", to be held at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Participants are required to wear surgical masks and scabs while shooting. Jeff Snyder of Penn Camera donates Sphygmomanometers to each member accepted to the program.

July 30: Green Bay Packers training camp begins in 90 - degree heat. In anticipation of the icy winter weather at Lambeau Field, member Dan Powers shoots the first practice at Clarke Hinkle Field in full thermal underwear, two sweaters, snow parka and boots. He fits the wheels of his Lowepro RoadRunner AW with studded tires and chains.

Aug 6: First NFL preseason games. Shooters bored with meaningless midseason baseball shoot meaningless frames of meaningless preseason football games.

Aug 7: Nikon releases its new Nikon D3 flagship camera, featuring 14mb, 18 fps, and 100 - frame buffer. Street price rumored to be $1900.

Aug 8: Canon users ponder switching to Nikon, spawning a message board war on

Sept. 3: Sports Illustrated photographers are seen using prototypes of the new Canon 1d Mark III, which is rumored to have 16mb, 20 fps, 120 frame buffer and full frame capability. Street price rumored to be $4900.

Sept. 4: Nikon users assault the message boards, wailing, "When will Nikon DO ANYTHING as well as Canon?

Oct. 1: Sports Shooter founder Robert Hanashiro announces plans for the first-ever "Sports Shooter Pre-Marriage Counseling Course" held in conjunction with Dr. Phil. Participants are required to wear a ball-and-chain while photographing. Jeff Snyder of Penn Camera donates balls-and-chains with the "Sports Shooter" logo.

Oct. 15: guru Grover Sanschagrin gets his annual haircut.

Nov. 13: Henry Hsu surpasses Steven Frischling's all-time record of single season message board posts set in 2003. He celebrates breaking the record by creating a new thread, titled, "What are you doing right now?"

Nov. 14: After Hsu's thread reaches 50 posts twice in 24 hours, Caleb Simpson creates the third follow-up thread to Hsu's, titled, "What are you doing right now, Pt 3", and writes, "Chilling. You?"

Dec. 1: Sports Shooter founder Robert Hanashiro announces plans for the first ever "Sports Shooter Naked Lambada and Limbo Escuela" where participants are not required to wear anything. No one applies. Jeff Snyder of Penn Camera is relieved and cancels order for "Sports Shooter" fig leaves.

Dec. 25: The now - annual "What did you get for Christmas?" thread on the message board begins. In eight hours, a new record is set with 194 posts, including Henry Hsu's admission that the most mysterious present he received was a "mute button" for his computer...

As always, rants, raves and cuss-words are welcomed at

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