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|| News Item: Posted 2006-12-20

The Photodude is BACK!!!
By Photodude

Well, dudes and dudettes, it's been a long time since The Photodude has spoken, and now I'm back after months of partying with my boy K-Fed, helping Isiah Thomas with player personnel decisions, sharing spitting tips with T.O. and giving fighting lessons to Carmelo.

Here are my predictions for 2007

Jan. 1 -- USC's Dwayne Jarrett hurdles two Michigan defenders into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown in the Rose Bowl. member Wally Skalij captures the moment with a remote camera mounted on Jarrett's leg with a super-lightweight carbon fiber super clamp that is mounted to Jarrett's left shoe, aptly named, the "Air-Wally-Zoom-Cam".

Jan. 2 -- Traditional basketball powerhouses Louisville and Wake Forest face each other in the Orange Bowl. NCAA. executives mistakenly assign a three-man basketball officiating crew to the game.

Jan 3 -- members Dumb and Dumber post Fun Pix of themselves from the Fiesta Bowl, which they say "sucks".

Jan. 8 -- In the BCS championship game, Ohio State soundly defeats Florida, 40-20. The Buckeyes immediately begin practices for an NFC playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys after the NFL decides every team in the NFC sucks.

Jan.14 -- Ohio State defeats Dallas in the NFC Playoffs, and Terrell Owens spits in the face of Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.

Jan. 21 -- Ohio State faces the Chicago Bears in the NFC title game with a chance to advance to the Super Bowl. Troy Smith out-performs Bears' quarterback Rex Grossman, throwing for three touchdowns and running for two, before Chicago's Tank Johnson pulls a gun on Smith at the Bears' four-yard line, ending the Buckeyes' Super Bowl dreams.

Feb. 4 - members Dumb and Dumber pay their own way to Miami to shoot the Super Bowl for free, but complain that the halftime show "sucks" because Prince performed, not the Backstreet Boys, n'Sync or 98 Degrees. Dumb and Dumber post Fun Pix of themselves wearing Speedos on Miami's South Beach, then call each other "Ninja's" on their cute MySpace pages.

Feb. 10 -- Of the roughly 3,000 members, 2,500 schedule work or freelance jobs on February 14, not remembering that it's Valentine's Day.

Feb. 14 -- 2,500 members buy flowers for their loved ones in lieu spending time with their loved ones, yet still have to sleep on the sofa, in the doghouse, or worse.

Feb. 26 -- member Brad Mangin runs out of gas on his annual "Can't go to Spring Training Without Running Out of Gas" trek from Pleasantville, CA to Scottsdale, AZ.

Photo by Brad Mangin

Photo by Brad Mangin

Bob Binder enjoys a night at the Italian Grotto during 2006 spring training in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Mar. 10 - members Brad Mangin, Rich Pilling, Michael Zagaris, Bob Binder, Chris Covatta, Martha Jane Stanton, Eric Risberg, Deanne Fitzmaurice and Darren Carroll dine at the Grotto, in Scottsdale, AZ. Three things of note: the meal marks Mangin's 12th straight dinner in a row at the Grotto, Carroll spends the entire night again denying that he is The Photodude, and Pilling wishes Rod Mar was there so he wouldn't be the shortest guy in the room.

Mar. 15 -- First round of the NCAA tournament begins. The NCAA erects a six-feet tall brick wall around the court so photographers will not rush the court as they did last year at the end of the UCLA vs. Gonzaga game in Oakland. Also, Sports Illustrated begins three straight weeks of running floor-remote Hasselblad shots and overhead remotes, undergoing a vast change from last year, when they ran three straight weeks of overhead remotes and floor-remote Hasselblad shots.

Mar. 19 -- In "The Shot Seen Around the World", Sports Illustrated runs a photo from the NCAA Tourney shot by a photographer actually holding a camera and pressing the auto-focus and shutter buttons.

Apr 1. -- Baseball's Opening Day. A record 379 "Fun Pix" are submitted from ballparks all over the country of guys holding long lens, wearing ball caps and heavy jackets.

Apr. 4 - Sports Shooter Academy IV begins in Southern California. New faculty member Rod Mar of the Seattle Times talks about his kids for four days straight, forcing seven Academy students to throw up in their mouths.

Apr. 8 -- Tiger Woods wins the Masters by 56 strokes over his nearest competitor, Phil Mickelson. Sports Illustrated's headline reads, "Masterful".

Apr. 15 -- Tax Day. 3,000 Sports shooter members incorrectly file their taxes, conveniently "forgetting" that one cash payment for a freelance job back in February, all the while "remembering" to write-off their subscriptions to "Maxim" and "FHM", which they read in order to "study lighting techniques".

Apr. 26 -- Churchill Downs Workshop begins. 8,000 frames of steam rising from the backs of horses and 7,000 panned blur shots of horses vie for the coveted "Front Page" of

May 19 - WNBA season opens.

May 22 -- A sports fan in Duluth becomes the first fan to notice that the WNBA has begun play for the year.

May 27 -- 91st running of the Indy 500. Google searches for "Danica Patrick + bikini" surpass those for "Britney + no + panties".

June 5 -- Kansas City Royals are mathematically eliminated from the baseball postseason.

June 6 through July 27 -- Nothing in sports happens except for regular season games in Major League Baseball and the WNBA so no one cares.

Photo by Brad Mangin

Photo by Brad Mangin

Major League Baseball Director of Photography Rich Pilling, right, and Sports Illustrated baseball picture editor Nate Gordon at Comerica Park in Detroit before the 2006 World Series.
July 28 -- NFL football training camps begin. members Dan Powers and Steve Apps cover the Green Bay Packers first practice like it is the Super Bowl, and then battle like Liston and Ali to see who can update their member page first. Each posts nine photos of Brett Favre, and one of an overweight lineman riding a bike with a little kid.

Aug. 8 -- The inaugural "China Bowl" is played in Beijing between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. members Dumb and Dumber pay their way to China to shoot the game for free, but complain that it "sucks" that there are no Chili's restaurants in China, which "sucks".

Aug. 18 -- Little League World Series begins. Boston Red Sox win bidding war for the "posting rights" to Japanese Little Leaguer Go Matsumoto, a 5-10 pitcher, offering $60 million for the right to negotiate with the 13-year old.

Sept.1 -- College football season opens with the annual rites of autumn. Classified posts searching for used 400mm/2.8 lenses, message boards posts about "which monopod", "which belt bag", and "which roller bag" dominate.

Sept. 8 -- A student on offers to trade a kidney for a red monopod cover.

Oct. 26 -- Pro Bull Riders tour hits Las Vegas for the championship meet. Sports Shooter member Donald Miralle carves a hole in the back of a live bull and mounts a camera with a fisheye lens into the bloody gap, then wins contests with his photo of a rider hanging on for dear life covered in blood.

Oct. 28 -- World Series concludes, but no one is sure who won because the television camera guy running onto the field after the final out trips over Major League Baseball photographer Rich Pilling, whom he mistakes for third base.

Oct. 31 -- NBA's season begins with a new basketball designed by Spalding.

Nov. 6 -- General Election Day. In a stunning upset, Democratic nominee Oprah defeats Republican Charles Barkley.

Nov 23 -- Black Friday. Numerous members flood the message boards to complain about having to get up at the crack of dawn to shoot shoppers at malls. Others complain that at least those people have jobs at all. members Dumb and Dumber agree that malls and photographers other than themselves "suck".

Dec. 5 -- After numerous complaints by players that the new ball "gives them cold sores, psoriasis and hangnails", the NBA reverts back to the leather basketball.

Dec. 21 - member Robert Beck follows the lead of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and officially adopts his trusty assistant and sidekick Kojo Kinno.

Dec. 31 -- The Photodude starts worrying about his next year's predictions...

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