I don't really know where to start with this one. Maybe this post is too soon because it just happened yesterday as I type this, but I wanted to get something down so I don't forget anything that I want to say or what I've experienced. Maybe this post is unnecessary to begin with, but as it directly involves my photography I think it's important that I have something that at least acknowledges it. So here's the background of it and my side of what's transpired in the past 24 hours.
Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals between the Dallas Stars and the Minnesota Wild came to an abrupt halt for Minnesota as they failed to tie the game after storming back from a 4-0 deficit. Dallas leading 5-4 with under a minute to go, the Wild are able to get the puck to the net and Nino Niederreiter tries to slam it home and mass chaos ensues on the play as Stars players come in trying to keep the puck out while Wild players try to fight their way to get the puck in the net. Whistle blows and they end up going to review. So where am I in all of this and why don't I have a photo from ice level of this happening? Well, I was in the opposite end of the ice, so I was watching all of this happen on Xcel's video board while I was hammering away on my Pocket Wizard, hoping that my remote that was firing was going to get something. Now, when this happened I thought that Demers put his hand over the puck, which would've given the Wild a penalty shot since it's illegal for a player to cover it with their hand in the crease, so I didn't even know how close the puck was to going in. They show the crossbar camera up on the video board and what do you know, puck isn't in, good call.
Like any game I cover, I go back to the press lounge and start going through my photos to send to my wire and I was anxious to see what my remote was able to get. I see the photo. THE photo. The photo that looks so damning but wasn't. I zoom it into 100% and crop it to just the puck view and linked to it in a post on Reddit's /r/hockey community that already had a topic about how close the Wild were to tying it. I posted the frame, said it was from my camera and also included an edit in my comment saying that the angle isn't absolute and that it's not going to show 100% if the puck is in or not. That's when I started to have my doubts as I looked at it more. And maybe (it probably was) it was my bias, but there was just a small part of me that wanted to believe that the NHL got it wrong and that it was a good goal. That's when I posted it to Twitter with the comment of "I'm not going to say that puck was in, but...you know..."
This is the frame.
I live in the Northwest suburbs of Minneapolis, for me it's about a 30 minute drive home and I usually leave Xcel about an hour to an hour and a half after the game has ended. So I get home, unpack, and start transferring my photos to my main PC. While this is happening, I decide to look at the goal again and really start digesting what it is that happened. So I convinced myself that yeah, it's not a goal no matter how much I want it to be. Why wasn't this a goal? Parallax angle/view. I had no idea what it was actually called and didn't really think much of it, even though it pops up into my photos all the time when I set up a remote. Basically since my camera is shooting at an angle relative to the goal, things aren't always true. While the puck does appear to be in the net, since I'm at an angle and not a top down overhead, it's going to look like it's in net because it's not touching the ice and is slightly elevated. This gives off the illusion that it's in the net. Erin at Defending Big D did a great write up on this with a visual representation, I suggest you check it out.
That frame in particular blew up. I should've expected it, but I didn't. I thought it was just going to be big in the /r/hockey community and that was it, but it's dominated Wild/Stars Twitter and according to a few of my friends, has been plastered all over their Facebook feeds. Then it really took off when Jarret Stoll tweeted out the image, and Nino Niederreiter and Matt Dumba both retweeted it to their timelines. What was funny to me is that I was a phantom, nobody knew where this picture came from at the time, they just had the frame and that was getting tweeted out and chaos was going on. I have a pretty small Twitter account, it's less than 200 followers. It had been retweeted but anyone that did know that it was me was in a very small percentage. NHL Trash Talkers on Facebook got a hold of it and immediately everyone was claiming it was a poorly done Photoshop job and that that's not where the puck was in relation to the video review. At first it was hilarious to me and it honestly kind of still is, because I went on there and said it wasn't Photoshopped while I posted the original photo (above), yet some people were convinced that I was lying. That's the funniest part to me. All of the Photoshop experts came out and said that it was 100% Photoshopped, which people believed no problem, yet when I disputed it with proof, the evidence wasn't good enough for most people.
Once my original tweet with the photos started circulating with some people a little more, that's when I started facing some backlash. I was accused of trying to "stir up shit in Minnesota", I was trying to get everyone riled up, I was apparently trolling for likes and RTs, and I'm a bad photographer for not knowing what Parallax Angle is, etc. I've since locked my account and it's going to stay that way because apparently some people are still pretty unhappy with me, although I expect this to go away within a week or so. Before this I had maybe 1 or 2 Stars fans following me on Twitter, most of my Twitter followers are people I know personally through reddit. I had no idea this was going to take off like it did and when I made my tweet it wasn't to incite the Stars fanbase or to start an "NHL is wrong" campaign. I was just commenting at the time that yeah, I thought it was a goal and later I corrected myself yet people seem to gloss over that fact.
So to the Dallas Stars fans that I've angered, I'm sorry for the tweet and I'm sorry that this has taken off like it has, but please believe me when I say that it wasn't my intention. I know this may seem hollow coming from someone that lives in Minnesota and still wishes the North Stars were here, but trust me, the last thing I intended to do was cause a big uproar.
If you've made it this far, thanks for reading, I really do appreciate it. I'll see you hockey fans in September for the Wild's 2016-2017 campaign.