Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Postgame - Lethbridge

Stupid Rules...



On our continuing travels around Alberta, my brother and I got tickets to the Hitmen game on Sunday which pitted them against the second best team in their division, the Lethbridge Hurricanes (Calgary is obviously the top team in the division)...

Before I really get into the game, which I will, I'd just like to set the scene a little bit, by telling you that we were sitting five rows behind the players benches, at centre ice (so we were actually right behind the 'professional' photographers). Oh, and I have a pretty decent camera of my own...

The first thing that I noticed heading into the game was the overabundance of children, which makes a fair bit of sense when you think about it in terms of the price of the tickets and that many of them are probably too young to know the real difference between a WHL game and an NHL game. There was also a large number of Lethbridge fans (it seemed like half the city was there, as one group of them took up the better part of one of the sections), which meant for a loud game no matter which team did anything...

The first period was a bit of back and forth, with Lethbridge opening up the scoring only to have Calgary tie it up shortly thereafter. Then the Hurricanes scored again late in the first, only to have the Hitmen knot it up before the end of the frame...

The second period continued the pattern of back and forth play, with neither team really looking like it was owning the other, although if I had to give the edge to one team, it would probably be the Hitmen. That is, until a massive defensive breakdown right before the second intermission, when the Calgary blueline was nowhere to be seen as a Lethbridge player skated in alone and gave the Hurricanes their third lead of the game heading into the final frame...


Which is where I take a brief sidestep from the game itself. Throughout the first two periods I had been predominantly using my telephoto lense, since my regular lens doesn't give a whole lot of an advantage over a regular digital camera. At the beginning of the second intermission the usher for my section came up to me and asked how many millimetres my camera was, which I thought was a little odd, but I was in a pretty good mood, so I told him, '300'. To which he responded 'How many?', followed by 'Can I see it?'. At which point I probably should have said no, as I'm not overly fond of people I don't know touching my camera, but I handed it over to him after which he told me 'You'll have to come with me...'

Over the course of the walk to Guest Services, he told me that there is a restriction on lens size due to some licensing fees for professional photographers. Apparently the RCMP tours the arena as well, and if they had caught me I could have been arrested. For using my camera. In a public place. To take pictures of hockey players. Seriuosly...

Apparently they are worried about people taking shots during the games and selling the photos. They have obviously never seen any of my pictures. Nor have they ever tried to take pictures through the glass...

When we finally got to guest services, which was on the opposite side of the rink (with the usher carrying my camera the whole time, which Im still a little ticked about), the nice people hanging out there (all 7 or 8 of them), seemed to be impressed with the size of my, uhm, lens. After finding out that I also had a regular 18-70mm lens, Carla, the nice young woman in charge, told me that I didn't have to check my lens for the remainder of the game as long as I promised to not use it anymore. And if my usher had a problem with that, he could take it up with her (apparently Guest Services people are better at dealing with people than ushers, although I know that he was just doing his job...

This was the first time I'd ever heard of this though, as I walked in with my camera bag on, and nobody checked it. I've been to numerous Jays and Argo games with no problems. I even went to a Hamilton Bulldogs game last week with no issue. I'm actually thinking it may have had something to do with being behind that one tiny photographer guy and him noticing my camera and pointing it out to the usher. Must have small-man syndrome as I think my camera was bigger (actually his was probably worth about 5 times as much as mine, especially judging by how much he cowered everytime the play came anywhere near him)...

Luckily I didn't end up missing any of the game, as that all took place in a span of about 10 minutes...

The third period started of simlar to the end of the second. No team really controlling the play, until the Hitmen defence disappears again leading to a 4-2 lead for the visitors and some very vocal Lethbridge fans. In an effort to tie the game late, the home team pulled their goaltender, leading to a 6 on 5 advantage which potted a goal with just under a minute left. Unfortunately, and despite some good chances, the Hitmen couldn't tie the game and Lethbridge walked away after gaining a little ground on the divisional leader...

And since I am typing this in the car on the way up to Edmonton to catch the Oiler game tonight, I'm wondering something. Am I the bigger geek for blogging about a hockey game on a laptop while riding in a car, or is it my brother who actually checked the odometer accuracy on a rental car and reacted like it was going to be close every time he passed one of the markers?

Oh yeah, so to those of you thinking of taking pictures at a hockey game, try to stay at 200 mm or less (that's lens size... get your mind out of the gutter)...

2 comments:

walkinvisible said...

wow....

i went to the guggenheim in bilbao spain once and was taking pictures of the ceiling in the entranceway. i hadn't even paid to go into the museum yet, and this guy was grabbing for my camera and scolding me in basque. ie: i had no idea what was going on. so i split.

my brother informed me later that they have a camera-check kinda situation (like a coatcheck) and the dude was just trying to get me to use it. i thought he was gonna break my camera or take the memory card.... anyhow. weird.

MetroGnome said...

Clearly you are both terrorists gathering info. Im just glad there were people nearby to stop you in your nefarious tracks.