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Are you kidding me??

Dinkytown Skirmish

by on Apr.11, 2014, under Are you kidding me??, hockey, non-sports, UMN Riot

It wasn’t a riot.

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But it could have been.

The Gopher fans have a history of supporting their hockey team in the championship. They rioted in 2002 and 2003. I was living just off campus in 2003 and decided to stay home. I regretted that, as a photojournalist, ever since. This year as I was leaving the pub I go to every Thursday evening, where I witnessed 40-some people erupt in jubilation when Justin Holl scored the game-winning goal with 0.6 remaining, I saw a number of police vehicles with their lights on heading towards Dinkytown.

I made the decision, around 9:45pm, to head to campus, park somewhere “safe” and head into the danger zone to document the event.

The police were civil, the students… unruly. While it never escalated into what I would call a riot there were a dozen or so that climbed up on top of a squad car and chanted “USA” until a half-dozen of Minneapolis finest fired off bean bag rounds to disperse the students and take back the vehicle.

IMG_1016There were about 200 students in the street when I arrived at 4th Avenue SE and 14th Street SE around 10:00pm. By 10:30pm the police had established a perimeter, redirecting traffic and allowing the students to celebrate. Around 10:45pm the crowd grew to twice that size, with some revelers climbing the stop light outside of Goldy’s Locker Room.

 

By 11:00pm, however, the students were throwing water bottles, firing of bottle rockets and even threw beer and liquor bottles at the police line.

A Minneapolis Police sergeant got on the bull horn at 11:06pm and informed the revelers it was an unlawful gathering and I overheard one officer state that they were waiting for “word from command to clear the streets.”

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Chants of “USA”, “Fuck the Sioux” and “We hate Iowa” came from the group gathered. Students were crowd surfing, more bottles were thrown and nine members of, I believe, Minneapolis’ riot squad had arrived on the scene in an armored vehicle waiting for orders to disengage the party.

One of the local news outlet’s videographers said he had been hit with pepper spray and even arrested during the RNC riots in 2008 but added that “they [the police] are much better prepared, trained and very calm” with the students approaching them. Many were chanting the same statements as earlier, a few were taking photos up close of the officers on the scene (which at this point numbered more than 50) and a few, even, went as far as to pose for selfies.

As they started to push the line through the intersection the MPD PIO came over to me and two camera operators and told us to move out of the way and directed us down 14th towards the retaining line. As they swept through the intersection and arrested a few revelers I decided it was my time to get out of dodge.

On the way out I found the garbage can ablaze that you can see at the top of this post.

Regardless of Saturday’s outcome I fear the worst for Dinkytown. I will be there, with my press credential and gear, but also a bottle of water and (in the car) a change of clothes. University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler sent an email to the entire campus yesterday, before the game on Thursday night, stating that there would be zero tolerance for “destructive behavior”.

There will be 300 officers in Dinkytown on Saturday, regardless of the outcome of the game.

Media Coverage
Pioneer Press Star Tribune
KARE-11
KSTP-TV

 

140410-Riots at UMN – Images by d3photography.com

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Sideline Ettiquette at Football

by on Sep.21, 2013, under Are you kidding me??, d3sports, football, How it's done, NCAA Tournament

NCAALimitLinesFor the last five years we have been trying to get schools and officials to standardize their enforcement of the NCAA limit lines rules. You have to be a minimum of the four yards (12 feet) off the side of the field, you cannot go in the team area (which is between the 25 yard lines), you can’t be right up on the line of scrimmage, don’t cheer for your team or a play, etc.

But there have been officials just this year kicking our photographers (who have years of experience covering the events, carry liability insurance, pay attention to the entire game going on around them) back to soccer and lacrosse lines at stadiums, claiming “new rules” that don’t exist, etc.

Why? Well, because of a few bad apples at games. Last year Larry Radloff and I witnessed one of those photographers (in this case a Wisc.-Stevens Point parent) so close to the field she was rolled by one of the sideline officials. Her camera hit her in the face, she bled, went to the hospital and came back for the fourth quarter.
That official ended up with a few injuries of his own and, as I was told later in the season, was not able to work the rest of the year.

This weekend one of our photographers shared a photo of a parent right up against the sideline, well beyond the posted limit line on the field, who later went into the team area to take photos.

Please parents: stay off the sidelines at games. It’s a dangerous environment and we’re seasoned professionals working the games.

When officials come to us and tell us to move they explain they’ve been injured by parents on the sidelines being too close – we understand the safety aspect of their concern but we pay attention to what we’re doing. Yes, we still get hit on the sidelines, but we’re the last people they should be concerned about.

So to my point:

Parents: Please follow the rules when you are given sideline access.
Schools: Please enforce all the rules on the sidelines equally and work to keep the sidelines to those people who have a reason to be there (parents and boosters should not be allowed on the field during competition)
Officials: Please do not make up rules as you see fit. The NCAA has the rules set and unless the lines are painted differently on a field the NCAA’s rules take precedence. A limit line is not a yellow soccer or lacrosse boundry, a media limit line is defined as “12-inch lines and at 24-inch intervals”.

We all have a job to perform and if you (parents, other photographers, officials) ignore the rules it makes the rest of us look bad.

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Are you kidding me, again?!

by on Mar.11, 2013, under Are you kidding me??, baseball, Dome Ball, Insights, MIAC, WIAC

Ok, so umpires are fallible. Now matter how much we like them when the calls go our way they are still fallible.

But the first tilt between No. 25 Wisc.-Stevens Point and Saint John’s was a complete disaster.

First off – the bases were loaded in the 5th (I would use player names here but I was shooting and the box score is not online yet). Two outs. A hot chopper was hit to third, the third baseman for Stevens Point did not have control of the ball and dove in to third to tag the bag to force the third out of the inning… but he either missed or was too late. The Johnnie runner overran third. The runner that was on third to start the at bat crosses home, the runner is then tagged out at third. The umpires disallowed the run. The inning ends in a 5-5 tie. (continue reading…)

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Safe or out? You tell us

by on Apr.17, 2011, under Are you kidding me??, baseball, Insights, MIAC

Safe or out?Watching the Yankees-Rangers game on ESPN right now seeing Gary Pettis’ ejection over a close call at first (I think the umps were right) reminds me of today’s St. Thomas/Gustavus matchup. Cody Sukalski hit a slow chopper to second and I put the photo in our gallery of his foot on the bag with Firstbaseman John Means’ foot on the bag, stretched out and the ball is still at least two feet away from making contact. [box score: play-by-play]

He was called out. It won’t change the outcome of the game by any means now – it wasn’t the last play of the game with the bases loaded and Gustavus wasn’t even threatening. But check out the photo.

Umpires are fallible. Mistakes happen. Close calls are forgivable, but this one wasn’t. Close that is.

As photographers we’re all about the freeze-frame. That single snapshot (pun intended) that defines a moment and this was one of them.

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Week 4 – September 22 – September 28

by on Sep.21, 2010, under Are you kidding me??, conferences, football, IIAC, Liberty League, MIAA, NWC, SCIAC, soccer, sports, WIAC

We’ve got a fairly well packed week ahead of us.

But before I go there, you should go here and vote for Thiel: http://www.post-gazette.com/polls/default.asp?pollID=3829. Thiel vs. a High School football team – who will win? I’m going to file this under the “Are you kidding me??” header.

Football
No. 4 St. Thomas vs. Concordia-Moorhead (Scott Pierson) [gallery]
No. 9 Coe vs. No. 7 Central (Ryan Coleman) [gallery]
Augsburg vs. No. 19 St. John’s (Caleb Williams and Tim Ward) [gallery]
(RV) Wisc.-Stevens Point vs. Albion (Larry Radloff) [gallery] – the first Pink football game in college football history
Union vs. Rochester (Matt Milless) [gallery]

Soccer
St. Thomas vs. St. Scholastica (Ryan Coleman) [gallery] – Sept 21
Hamline vs. Cornell (Ia.) (Ryan Coleman) [gallery] – Sept 21
Methodist vs. Shenandoah (Bruce Lee) [gallery] – Sept 25

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