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|| News Item: Posted 2002-01-23

Leading Off: Bert Answers Reader Mail
By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashiro/USA Today

Photo by Robert Hanashiro/USA Today
I Got Mail!

As the publisher of the leading Internet resource for sports photography (and tangents there of), I get letters and e-mail frequently on a variety of topics. Here are a few that have found their way into my mailbox.

Dear Burt (sic),

I noticed in that rag you work for (US TODAY NEWS) that you covered the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in LA recently. Having attended one of those myself, I was wondering what a photographer like yourself who usually covers REAL SPORTS finds appealing shooting a sissy sport like figure skating?

Jeff Gillooly
Sing Sing, New York

Dear Jeff,
One word: SEX!

Since you've attended the Figure Skating Championships before, you know that Ice Dancing (AKA: lap-dance-on-ice) is worth the price of admission. Where else can you spend several hours watching scantly clad women, bumping and grinding their partners AND then tell the wife you were at the Staples Center watching a sports event?

I think if they wanted to pump up the (embarrassingly low) attendance at the Figure Skating Championships they should have changed the name of the building to the "Staples Cabaret," dropped a brass pole in the middle of the ice and changed the front row seats to lounge chairs.

Instant sell out!



Dear Sports Shooter:
I read in my local rag that your buddy Shaq O'Neal was suspended for three games for sucker-punching that All-Star-In-Waiting Brad Miller. What do you think the fallout from this incident will be on sports photography?

Photo by
D. Rodman
California State Correctional Institute
Hanford, CA.


Dear Mr. Rodman,
I was pondering that very same topic last night as I was watching "WWF Raw." Why shouldn't Shaq-Daddy give back to those who push, paw and punish him every time he steps into the key?

As far as the affect it will have on sports photography I think from now on I'll shove Peter Miller's 600mm every time I think he's about to take another one of those great photos for Sports Illustrated. Or when Jed Jacobsohn from Allsport eh hem Getty Images, is about to beat me on another play at the plate, I'll elbow him in the ribs!

Signed, Mr. Sports Shooter.

P.S.: I can probably hit 60 % of my free throws too!


Hey Now!
What's the deal with the Men's Figure Skating Championships? Explain to me how a guy can be in 5th place, fall three times in the final skate and jump up to the bronze medal and win a spot on the Olympic Team?

Hank Kingsly

Dear Hank,
I think the skater, Michael Weiss, explained it well after the competition: the judges gave him the benefit of the doubt lavishing him with marks for what they thought his potential would be at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

Now this is a pretty cool concept and one that maybe they could incorporate into Pictures of the Year or is it Best of Photojournalism? (I get so confused with photo contests these days!) Let's give me first place in Sports Action this year for a photograph I COULD have taken.

Certainly if this practice is good enough for selecting our best for the Olympics it's good enough for NPPA!

Signed, Bert.

P.S.: Honest to God I've seen Michael Weiss in practice hit those "quads" all the time. Maybe the Olympic (and POY) judges will watch the both of us in practice.


Dear Paparazzi:

I see you were amongst the masses of photographic imbecility in the "photo room" at the Golden Globe Awards. What is the difference between the crowded photo positions at the Olympics and an awards show "photo room"?

Photo by Robert Hanashiro/USA Today

Photo by Robert Hanashiro/USA Today
R. Gallella


Dear Mr. G,
Let's see now you're in a confined space with more photographers than it is meant to hold; everyone is screaming ("Nicole, Nicole how about a back shot!" or "Kiss the medal! Make love to the medal!"); most smell like they haven't showered in days; and after it's over I can't wait to get home to take a long, hot shower.

Naaa there isn't anything these two things have in common.

Signed, Mr. Paparazzi.

Keep those cards and letters coming!

* * *

With our last issue before the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Trent Nelson checks in with his final thoughts on "The Big Show"; Mongo completes his series on cold weather survival for photographers; Darren Carroll gives us the lowdown on the rough and tumble world of rodeos; we've got Rod Mar, Rick Rickman and surfing.

So sit back, adjust the contrast on your monitor, turn down the volume on the David Gray mp3s (thank you Mike Blake!) in that iPod, sit back and enjoy Sports Shooter v.39.


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