...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.....