I didn't get the impression at all that the OP was 'showing off' his gear. A lot of people have no understanding of cameras at all, and will think that any 'big' camera is something that only pros use. My first Canon was a 40D with a kit lens, and I have been approached by people thinking that I was a pro simply because I was carrying a 'big' camera.
I don't think the OP was showing off at that performance either.
This thread did take a bit of an ugly turn earlier, which I tried to explain a bit. And again, without saying I agree with the ugly turn or the brickbats the OP took, I think there is one last item that folks kind of miss here.
There are two possible things that people might respond to in a thread:
1) What you did.
2) The fact that you decided to start a thread about what you did.
And I think item 2) had a lot more to do with the brickbats than item 1).
Think of it this way. If you contribute to an important charity, that is a good thing. If you publicly announce your charitable contributions in a very public venue, you might actually get some negative reactions from your perceived back-patting.