...there it is!!! Now, that football is over it's time to take to the hardwood and shoot some hoops. Love me some college basketball. Even though I wasn't feeling 100%, because this darn cold won't go away I decide to shoot both the Boise St. at TCU and Denver at North Texas games on Saturday. Although none of the teams are having great seasons I was entertained by two great basketball games.
Boise St. led 50-34 with just under nine minutes remaining and the game pretty much looked over. But someone forgot to tell the Horned Frogs that as they went on a 20-2 run to close out the game and win 54-52 in Fort Worth. I really enjoyed shooting Bronco guard Tre Nichols (#10) a senior from Killeen, TX. He sports dreadlocks and can jump out of the building, a darn fun player to watch. Love the pix of him with one eye closed driving to the basket....ARGG!
Then, it was time to drive up to Denton for a 7pm tip off between the Pioneers and Mean Green and once again I forgot how darn DARK the Super Pit really is. Patrick Green was shooting for U of Denver and had strobes set up. David Minton of the Denton Record-Chronicle was rocking the Nikon SB-whatevers! Me? Crank up the ISO and just shoot, bitches. It still amazes me what 6400 ISO looks like now days on the Mark 4 or 7D. I have to admit the first 10 minutes of the game I was in a fog! The action was fast and furious and I was in the dark. Until you shoot there you have NO idea how dark it is. Strobes or not, it's hard to focus, manual of AF!!!
After moving to the other end of the court during a timeout I seemed to get my act together as it was about a F-stop or two brighter at the other end and I was able to start making images. And I am sure glad I did!!! UNT features freshman Tony Mitchell a 235, 6'8" forward from Dallas, who was a man was among boys scoring 30 points and out muscled Denver inside the paint. The Pioneers featured an outside game hitting on eleven 3-pt baskets. UNT lead by 7 with under a minute remaining but Denver fought back to tied the game at 66 as time expired in regulation. In a wild finish North Texas scored on put back off a miss with one second remaining for the 75-74 OT victory. So two games won by a total of 3 points (2 is the minimum) and a very entertaining day of making images!!! Here's a few....
Monday, January 9, 2012
...over. It's January 9 and tonight the BCS Championship game will be played between LSU and Alabama ending the college football season. There are only 7 NFL games left; none in Texas. Thus, my year of shooting football ended on Saturday with the FCS Championship. (“FCS” what you say? Too confusing to explain so let us leave it at that) The game was played between Sam Houston State and North Dakota State at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, who both advanced thru a “playoff bracket” (imagine that concept) to the title game.
There was a standing room crowd of over 20,000 packed in to Pizza Hut Park and the stands on the east side were “hunter orange” filled with SHSU Bearkat faithful, while the west side was full with an eye popping neon yellow sported by the Bison fans from NDSU.
The past 5 months I figure I shot over 60 games which included high school, college and NFL action. I never look at any game differently…there were some NFL games that were really boring (Seattle vs. Cowboys), some high school games that were great (Southlake vs. Keller Central) and probably the best game all year was SMU vs. TCU which the Mustangs won in overtime 40-33 over the Horned Frogs.
But there was something really special about the game on Saturday. These aren’t players that are likely to go to the NFL or coaches making millions. These teams are rarely on TV; in fact they played most of their games in front of 6,000 fans of less. These are student athletes that play the game because they love it. But, the main difference Saturday than any other game this season was the fans! Most North Dakota fans traveled 18 hours by bus and car to Frisco to see their team win the NCAA Div I Championship 17-6 over Sam Houston. The passion, the energy and excitement was like no other game I shot all season long.
So when I look back at the fall of 2011 football season, what will I remember most? Will it be shooting LSU’s first victory of the year, the near miss by Keller Central vs. eventual UIL Texas State Champion Southlake, or Case Keenum’s record setting TicketCity Bowl Performance to name a few? Nah, hands down it was Saturday; Bearkats vs. Bison, not because of the quality of the game, but because of the excitement fans which made it so much fun to be there! Damn it was fun!!! Can’t wait for late August….
Did I mention the Bison hats that looked like something out of a Fred Flintstone cartoon? Here's 15.....