It is only fitting that I finally write this post the week of the expected decimation of the New York J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets! Oh yeah… you know that’s going to happen (short of Tom Brady getting hit by the short bus).

So, the name of this post is Lensgate and I’m guessing you might wonder why. (Hey Ed, at least I procrastinated so long it is now “topical” again.) It does have something to do with the first Pat’s game against the Jets, but that was Videogate or Spygate or whatevergate. I actually hate that we name every conspiracy since Watergate — Contragate being the first I can remember — with a “gate” at the end. I just think it is media silliness… which is an oxymoron. Continuing on… naming this with a “gate” on the end of the title lends itself well to the preposterousness that is this story… and I am getting there, believe me.

So, I attended the Pat’s home opener against the San Diego Chargers. Of course, this was the game after the Jets game and everyone was excited to see how the Pats would respond, especially against a tough foe like the Chargers (and crybaby running back, but by all accounts on 60 Minutes this past Sunday, nice guy LaDainian Tomlinson). Well, as I had done for January’s Jets playoff game, I brought my camera and 70-200mm lens to get some shots of the pre and in-game action.

Short story long-ish, I am in the north endzone before the game — wouldn’t you know it, right before the cheerleaders where about to run off the field 😛 — and some guy starts pointing and yelling at me from the field. In fact, it was this guy:

Cuz I said so

Of course, it wasn’t clear at the start. After all, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I looked around and didn’t see anything up, so I look back at him and then realize he’s yelling at me, which he verified as after I pointed at myself. He then tells me to put away “that lens” or he’ll take it away.

“Take it away?!”

Of course, I’m not totally stupid and realized why, but I was pissed nonetheless. Thing is, it is the only lens I brought and I don’t have a bag to “put it away” in, so I just slung it over my shoulder and took off for my real seat.

By the time I got back to my seat I was really, really pissed about the thing and started wondering the following:

  1. Why was I allowed in the gate in the first place? As I said, I didn’t have a bag. It was out in the open when the security gate dude felt me up.
  2. The damn game hadn’t started yet. I don’t think anyone was signaling plays from the sidelines during the cheerleader’s routine (players already completed warm-ups and were off the field at this point).
  3. Does the guy look at the professional photogs on the sidelines (with their massive white lenses) and then look at me and assume I’m the same? Never mind that my lens is a third the size of their 400 or 500mm jobs, it was white dammit!

There were other questions in my head too, but really, I was glad to not have my lens confiscated or have to miss the game. Thinking back, I wish I just told the guy I’d put it away when the game started, but I didn’t totally think of that at that moment. Besides, the guy seemed douchey enough that he’d make an example of me or something, so I’m glad I didn’t, but really, what would be the harm?

So, I have been to two other games since then and I haven’t dragged my camera to either of them. Partly because I didn’t feel like it, but partly because this event was in my noggin. I’ll be going to the playoffs, so I’ll have to see what happens because I will be carrying for that, until I’m told I cannot.

Oh, and in an act of defiance, I continued to use my camera once I got back to my seat and bitterly took the above shot of Mr. Bluecoat Security Chief from said seat. I believe I taunted him as I did so too. I’m so brave.

Anyway, I’m glad I finally got off my ass to post this story. I know I keep saying I am going to try and be a better blogger, but stuff comes up — Call of Duty 4, Mass Effect, Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation to name a few — and the blog tends to come in second because it takes too much brain power. That said, I’m glad to have gotten off the schneid (again!) and yes, more to come!

It is also a load off my shoulders to finally get the photos associated with this story finally edited and posted to flickr for your enjoyment. Go ahead and check them out in slideshow fashion.

No, really… check them out dammit!

I’m serious.

Do it now and them come back.

If you are reading this sentence, you better have peeped all 77 of them. I know that’s a lot to go thru, but I can’t resist the ones that make up a play. Sure, I can probably remove most of those and then some of the already-seen-it-in-another-set-slash-game shots, but I can’t help it. I’m a sharer.

I tried to share less with the last Sox set, but I felt weird going back to look at it later. Seemed so… small.

Because there are so many photos, and because it is football, I have to edit pretty much all of them to remove some clutter. Sure, it is usually a simple crop, but it takes time nonetheless. Several hours of it in fact, so that’s why I want you to peep them… so I don’t feel like I wasted my time.  Otherwise, I could have been putting Jane Shepherd thru her paces on my second Mass Effect go-round.

Yeah, that’s right… I’m a chick this time. What do you want to do about son? Huh? Yeah, I thought so…

More about Mass Effect in another post, so expect that in Spring ’08 or so. Until then, go look at the slideshow again.

I said, AGAIN!