02 December 2008

HS Football Championship Game. Carrier Dome - Syracuse University. 11•30•08

"Road trip...." In the previous post below this one, I kind of laid out everything I packed for the Monroe-Woodbury vs. Orchard Park Class AA State Championship game in the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University on Sunday. Let's just say it was a lot of gear and support items. No need to list it all here. I try to anticipate any sort of shooting challenges that I might encounter, especially on the road, so I tend to "pack heavy..." I've known for a few weeks that I'd be making the trip to cover this game if our team continued to win, and as of last weekend when they beat a powerhouse team from across the Hudson River in the frozen semi-final game, I knew it'd be a long weekend. Driving up to Syracuse again, this time with our web-video guy, I figured that we should hustle and get thru the 3+ hour drive and stop at the team's hotel, about 40 minutes south of Syracuse. That guess and/or gamble if you will, paid off, as the team bus was pulling into their hotel promptly at 5PM. I was pumping gas across the street when I spotted their bus pull in. Making those few images of players getting off the bus, and then being around in the hotel lobby with our sports writers allowed me to become a familiar face with the coaches, players, etc. the night before their game. This was a perfect time to wish the head coach good luck, offer my business card, and again make sure he recognized me. We had previously corresponded by email, as I'd asked for permission to photograph and record audio in their pre-game locker room. This game is a good example on how all the pre-planning in covering an event like this comes into place and allows the photographer to make intimate photographs, particularly behind the scenes of a game of this magnitude for these kids. This was their fourth trip in a row to the state championship game by the way; so you could really feel the tension when they arrived at the stadium two hours before game time. I knew this was all going to be special, so all I had to do was stay on top of my game, and make game-telling images.By the time I'd put up two remote cameras, and hustled back to the locker room with the team for their final talk & prayer with their head coach, I had to abandon the audio recording. I knew this game was going to take a lot out of me physically, not to mention worrying about running four cameras, editing a couple of hundred frames, and transmitting nearly 20 images before making the 3+ hour drive back to the office & home that night. Fortunately I had two days off to look forward to. This week it's a similar routine in preparing for the ARMY - NAVY Game this coming weekend in Philadelphia. Ah, the road beckons once again. Thanks for looking. Stay tuned. -cg.

Here's a slideshow of my take from the game:

*(Use the arrows at the bottom of the player or click the image to scroll forward through the slideshow. Enable full screen viewing by clicking the 4-way arrow icon above the credits button at lower right of the player. )

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