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|| News Item: Posted 2008-10-03

Leading Off: Slap Shot, F-Bombs and Surviving the 70’s
By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashio / Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashio / Sports Shooter

Two of Hanashiro's prized posesions: His DVD of "Slap Shot" and his new 3G iPhone.
We're gonna win that f***in' championship tonight. But we're gonna win it fair and square. Old-time hockey, none of this wrestling shit. You know? What the hell? It's my last game. I'm gonna go out with style! Play it straight!.
- Reggie Dunlop, Charlestown Chiefs player/coach

During my years attending Fresno State in the 70's, there were a lot of defining moments: Getting my first photograph published in the Daily Collegian. Being named the editor of the journalism department's feature magazine Mélange. Buying my first Nikon. Covering the Bulldogs' PCAA football championship in 1977...

Probably the one thing that has stuck with me through the years was watching Slap Shot with my buddy Steve Cavallaro. Neither one of us was a hockey fan, by any stretch of the imagination and we just sort of wandered into the theater on a Friday night. We laughed hard for 90 minutes and loved the film so much we went back the next night!

Through the years Slap Shot has made it's way on many of "Top 10 Sports Movies" list (always #1 in my book --- sorry Bull Durham fans) and the movie's lovable goons, the "Hanson Brothers" are still an attraction in hockey rinks around North America.

But the character that had the most influence on me was the aging player/coach Reggie Dunlop.

It wasn't just the wardrobe --- platform shoes, fur collared full-length coats, the polyester shirts and the bell-bottom plaid slacks --- it was, well, his language.

Reg knew how to motivate his players and he knew how to use the f-bomb.

I have to admit that bell-bottom slacks, platform shoes and a polyester shirt or two made it into my closet. Heck, it was the 70s!

But the creative use of the f-bomb was one of those little things that helped me survive my days on the staffs of the Fresno Guide and later at the Visalia Times-Delta.

There was many a staff meeting that I imagined myself in the Chief’s locker room and I needed a turn of a phrase to make a point and I would ask myself “What would Reggie Dunlop say?” So I’d throw in an f-bomb ---or two or three --- into my talk just for a little emphasis. As the old joke goes, the f-word is the world’s most versatile…verb, noun, adjective, preposition, conjunction … and heck even interrogatives!

In this politically correct age the use of the "bomb" does not pepper my language like it used to, at least outside of my home office or when I'm talking to Rabbi Bob.

If you haven't watched Slap Shot or it's been a while, dust off the DVD or put on your Netflix list and take a nice trip back to the swinging 70's!

Thanks to Reggie Dunlop and the rest of the Charlestown Chiefs for helping me survive the 70's.

"Violence is killin' this sport. It's draggin' it through the mud. If things keep up the way they are, hockey players'll be nothing but actors, punks. Well, I'm not playin' my last game that way."
- Reggie Dunlop, Charlestown Chiefs player/coach

Reggie Dunlop (AKA: Paul Newman)
1925 - 2008

* * *

A few notes from the past month:

• Anyone that tells you "taking a break" from your cellular phone/BlackBerry/PDA is a "refreshing experience" is either a monk, friendless or a total loser. Having gone a weekend without my mobile phone--- during the Sports Shooter Academy Boot Camp no less! --- I can attest that "taking a break" from using it is a definite NO-NO. When my 2-year-old Treo died an undignified death, I thought I could make it a few days without a phone. WRONG. The feeling of being totally disconnected not only from friends and colleagues, but from the WORLD, was horrible but had a happy ending: I'm the proud new owner of an iPhone 3G! (Now if I could only resurrect my address book from that dead Treo!)

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

The sidelines at the Ohio State vs. UCLA game were a LITTLE crowded.
• Everyone that covered the recent USC - Ohio State showdown at the LA Coliseum will tell you right at the top: That was the WORST sidelines EVER. How in good conscience you could allow the sidelines of a football game to be that packed is beyond me ... not from the perspective that it makes my job all that harder it's a safety hazard. Most of the fans/boosters/hangers-on that clogged the sidelines was more interested in being seen, making calls or using their camera phone. USC made one consideration to those of us really working the game and the front line was suppose to be for photographers and the rest had to stand behind us. Of course when I looked at over at SI's Peter Read Miller about 20 yards down from me in the 2nd quarter, I saw that he was kneelling on the line, sandwiched between two "photographers" ... one using a cellphone camera, the other a small point & shoot.

• Thanks to Paul Meyers, Joe Gosen and Brooks Institute of Photography for having me in this week as part of their regular speaker series. It was a bit of a departure for me and I talked about covering the entertainment industry for USA TODAY, particularly backstage at the Academy Awards. The turnout was a lot more than I expected and the questions were very, very good. Thanks to all of you that took time off from work or your studies to come see The Kahuna in Ventura!

• And lastly, stay tuned to for an announcement very soon on ... Sports Shooter Academy VI.


* * *

This issue two features two great contributions, one by baseball fan Keith Birmingham, recounting a trip he made with three other photographers to New York to pay homage to Yankee Stadium and the other from Allen Murabayashi who takes a 180-degree approach in discussing how to succeed in the photography business.

Greg Cooper writes about the importance of turning the camera on yourself and your colleagues once in a while. Myung Chun writes about the new Nikon D90 digital still and video camera. Recent grad Zach Honig writes a very personal piece on finding work in this tough economy and moving away from photography. Our regular "Ask Sports Shooter" column tackles a common question about breaking into photography through assisting, written by Shawn Cullen and Jordan Murph.

Sports Shooter continues its search for cool assignments, this one written by Jared Dort. Donald Miralle tells us what's in his bag when he covers football and David McIntyre tells us about covering the Olympic Games that were staged AFTER the Olympic Games ... the Paralympics Games.

* * *

This month's reading material you'll find on my nightstand is: Tuna: A Love Story by Richard Ellis (recommended reading Grover and Allen!!!) and Kirby: King of Comics by Mark Evanier. What's on heavy rotation on iTunes: Rambling Boy by Charlie Haden family & Friends and Sweet Spot by Sugarman Three.

As always, thanks to Special Advisors & Contributors: Deanna & Emma Hanashiro, Brad Mangin, Rod Mar, Trent Nelson, Jason Burfield, Grover Sanschagrin, Joe Gosen, Paul Myers and Bob Deutsch.

Thanks this month to: Keith Birmingham, Allen Murabayashi, Myung J. Chun, Greg Cooper, Donald Miralle, Shawn Cullen, Jordan Murph, David McIntyre and Zach Honig.

I welcome any comments, corrections, suggestions and contributions. Please e-mail me at

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