Sunday, December 11, 2005

Stanford Peanut Gallery

Stanford A-holes
Originally uploaded by mdt1960.
The Peanut Gallery at Stanford. After pointing the camera at an injuried Stanford player on the sidelines, this is the group who told me I had no business taking his picture. The guy with the cute white gloves asked me if I'd like to have the camera rammed down my throat. A modern day lynch mob of sorts. Please don't consider these clowns as typical Stanford folks.


Caleb Gee said...

Mr. Morgan, I was a player in that “game” in 2005 where you were so wrongly “harassed by the Stanford Peanut Gallery” and in the Stanford vs. Drummond game in 2004. You talk about how badly Stanford was blown out in both games. Maybe, in all your thoughtfulness, you should consider that Drummond had as many players on their team as we do in our high school. You talk about the lack of respect our community treated you with, and then you degrade our fans, town, and game over the internet. What makes you more respectful than the people you’re complaining about? The next time you decide to act like you own our sideline maybe you should have more respect for the areas you aren't a part of (sideline; which is for players, coaches, and trainers).

Morgan said...

I mentioned that you guys were soundly beat (big deal, who wasn't by Drummond?), I didn't belabor this outcome.

If the number of players on Drummond (or any team) is such a factor to a guy of your caliber... as I remember you were in the all-star game... why bother showing up for the game?

Read my origial post again. As pointed out to others like yourself, I went out of my way to be clear that this was about a few individuals... not the entire community of Stanford. If you interpret it as something else, that's your problem.

I wasn't "acting" like I was on any sideline. I was there to photograph a game at Stanford, period. And it probably wouldn't have been very memorable or fitting to write about if it hadn't been for a couple yahoos who made it such a "special" day for me. It could of happened anywhere I suppose, but by some luck of the draw, it happened in Stanford.

caleb gee said...

First off I never said anything about their number of players effecting my thought process or how I planned on playing that day, so that was an irrelevant comment. Also, you have to be mentally slow or just really stubborn to admit you’re wrong. I asked what made you more respectful than the people you so easily degraded over the internet? We were in an important game and it meant a lot to everyone who was a fan of ours. Not to mention you were standing in front of paying citizens who wanted to watch the game, and you were strutting around like you owned the place (whether you admit it or not). Why couldn’t you have photographed the game from somewhere else? Also, you tell me to “read your original post again” as if you thought I didn’t understand it. Maybe you should re-read the title or your article and the title of your picture of our fans. They are titled “STANFORD Hospitality” and “STANFORD Peanut Gallery.” Neither of them leaves any room for alternate interpretations. They both read that it’s the town’s hospitality and the town’s peanut gallery, not a select few. Most people aren’t going to read the argumentative blogs, they’ll only read the article, and possibly only the article title. So, maybe you should change your titles so that you aren’t insulting our town so much.

Morgan said...

Mr. Gee,

If your comments are "irrelevant," than why state them? Why waste your time?

Here's what makes me more respectful than the people I "degraded" (as you put it so eloquently) on the internet—I didn't threaten them! Do you get it? Perhaps I'm not a very respectful person compared to most in this big ol' world, but I certainly win out over those bozos. I think the idea of threatening an individual ranks a little higher in the disrespect department than taking the piss out of them.

I paid to get into that game too. Most press people don't. I paid nearly $20 for admission alone (family included) and certainly contributed to concessions there as well. Regardless, if some authority of Stanford told me I had to leave the field because I wasn't working for some local rag newspaper, I would have left. The few shooters that show up for a game in places like Stanford are few—certainly you've noticed—even at a playoff game. I doubt there are many complaints that the photographers on the sidelines are blocking any fan's $5 views of the game.

"Strutting around like I owned the place…" So you took notice did you? Gosh, a tough guy like you in all that protective gear surely could have come over and given me the boot. You make me sound like some wedding photographer who directs the entire event. Spare the drama and save it for your creative writing class.

Well, since you asked, why couldn't I have shot the game from some other angle: I chose the Stanford sidelines to photograph from (but not entirely) for three reasons. First and foremost (the oldest reason in the book for any shooter worth their salt), the angle of the sun for that time of year and that time of day. Shooting from the Drummond sidelines would have produced a lot of glare, flat contrast and poor colour. And although it wasn't a sunny day completely, the sun did appear now and then to justify shooting from that angle. As you surely know, the Stanford field is a north-south running field, so that time of year, the sun is toward the south end zone and most importantly, at that time of the day, the sun is on the Stanford sidelines (even for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff). For any shots taken toward the south end of the field from the visitors' side, I would have been shooting into the sun. Case in point: the "peanut gallery" shot would have been much better had they been on the other side of the field with the sun illuminating their sour faces. As it turned out, I had to overexpose a bit and even by doing that, the results were mediocre but acceptable for my intended use.

Secondly, from the Stanford sidelines the background clutter is minimal. One of the things I'm always attempting to do is provide a sense of place (as I'm not a true "sports" photographer) in my images. A wide open prairie or mountains in the background are important. In fact, when I had scouted the Stanford field two years earlier (when there wasn't an actual game taking place), I thought the view to the southeast was the "cleanest" shot. In fact, when I saw that they allowed cars to park over there for the game that day, I was disappointed. It was still a better angle than any other.

The final reason for shooting from the Stanford sidelines was that I'd never been to a Stanford game before (home or away), and I wanted to get some images of the Wolves and their sidelines. Further, I'd been to enough Drummond games over the years that I really didn't need any more imagery from that side of the gridiron—BTW: Drummond is a great location for a football game when one is attempting to photograph a sense of place as well.

Did you think I really shot from your sidelines just to stir things up?

Remember, you asked.

Regarding headings and titles of articles. I'll concede to you on this point. If that's all one reads, than that's what they come to understand. However, if that's all they read, they probably don't care that much. Even if they don't have time, but care, they'll return to read it later or print it out. Further, the term "peanut gallery" suggest a select few and does not come to represent any group that is greater.

Nevertheless Caleb Gee—to be fair—you propose a suitable title for these pieces that are representative of their content and I'll use them if I like them. I'll even run them past our journalism class. Deal?

Anonymous said...

Yeppers, you found some bullies that is for sure and they do exist in Stanford, Montana. They also exist anywhere and everywhere.

I was doing a search for "Stanford Wolves" and this article came to the top of the page. It saddens me to find this kind of information online; but realistic to the fact that some of what your concerns are in fact are quite true.

What I find interesting is that it appears no one in their comments made towards your blog took responsibility for their actions.

I live here in Stanford and at times I am very disappointed in news items such as this; makes me want to leave the area and take my kids with me. But I do know that there are many decent folks here; unfortunately these nice folks tend to go into denial which makes the ever-so-present day "bullying" factor even larger and more apparent.

So if you are ever out our way again, hopefully you will encounter a better environment. Especially since this year's team (2009-2010), of which the majority are seniors, will be graduating. They did a very good job against Drummond, despite being on the non-winning end. They have been by far the best team ever to play here in Stanford - both on and off the field. They have been gentleman indeed and I attribute this quality from their parents who have done a great job with their kids. Hopefully it will stick and passed on down to future generations.

For the record, I am not an advocate of bullying and have worked hard, along with friends of mine here in the area, to bolster an "anti-bullying" theme across our County. It will take time, and progress is being made. But as we have all figured out quickly - bullies do not like it when they get it shoved back at them and tend to crawl in a hole when they get caught.

It is a shame that your previous encounter here in Stanford ended up on such a sad note. And hopefully, Stanford won't leave a bad taste in your lense forever.