Doug Bruce Can’t Kick

    Advice from the pros: If you’re going to kick a photographer, you’ve got to kick him.Given the opportunity, who among us could resist kicking a photographer? But State Rep. Douglas Bruce (R.-Colorado Springs) has demonstrated that this is not a sport for amateurs.

    Photographer-kicking has a long and august history in the pantheon of American pastimes, stretching back to at least 1997. In fact Tuesday, Jan. 15, marked the 11th anniversary of the date the sport’s founder, NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman, kicked television cameraman Eugene Amos in the groin during the third quarter of a Chicago Bulls-Minnesota Timberwolves game.

    Rodman and Bruce had similar reactions to the incidents. Bruce thinks the photographer ought to apologize for impeding Bruce’s foot. Rodman, seeing the television cameraman carried off on a stretcher, scoffed:

    ”It’s one thing to be hurt, but don’t pretend you’re more seriously hurt than you are,” Rodman said. ”Maybe I’ll send him some roses on the floor — Love, Dennis.”

    But the similarities end there. Rodman kicked like the pro that he was, getting the cameraman in the groin, knocking him out of action. As any professional photographer-kicker will tell you, you’ve got to deliver a punishing blow. What’s the point in kicking the guy if he’s just going to hang around clicking away, mocking your technique?

    In the video replay, Rodman hauls back and swings from the hip, getting a solid thwack to Amos’ midsection.

    Miraculously in this YouTube era, apparently no one caught Bruce’s assault on video. But it seems that the new legislator only got in a little weak ankle action – Bruce described it himself as “more of a nudge or a tap” – at the knee of Rocky Mountain News photographer Javier Manzano.

    This is amateur work. The difference between the pros and Bruce can be seen in the price paid. Rodman was fined $25,000 by the NBA and suspended for 11 games, which cost him about $1 million in salary. He also had to pay Amos $200,000.

    Bruce hasn’t even been forced to apologize. The House leadership had to do it for him.

    Bruce is a disgrace to photographer-kickers the world over. Would Tom Cruise do it this way? Would Britney? They would not. They’d deliver a kick that the paparazzo would remember, even if they had to do it during the morning prayer.

    We strongly recommend that Bruce spend some time working on his technique before he enters the lists again. He can start out by kicking puppies, which would seem to be more suited to his skill level, then work up to old people, small children and perhaps a cripple. When he feels capable of kicking a teenager or two, then we will consider welcoming him back into the athletic ranks of serious photographer-kickers.

    Meanwhile, don’t bring that weak s*#@ in here.

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