I love watching sports on TV. College football is my favorite, but I watch NFL games, basketball, soccer, baseball and even sometimes golf. I usually tell people that I “root for the game” which means aside from a couple teams I always hope will win, I just want things to be close and exciting. That’s probably not much different than what most people hope for, but I also end up doing something different when I watch sports – I watch the photographers.
Sometimes I know a photographer who is shooting the game. I like trying to scan the sidelines to see what they’re up to. It can be hard to spot anyone since photographers don’t usually get much screen time unless they get run over by a player. Still, it’s oddly thrilling to see someone on TV plus it’s a fun game. It’s like a “Where’s Waldo” for sporting events.
When I’m looking for someone I know, I’m looking for moments that need to be photographed. If a player makes a spectacular play I’m looking beside him to see if a photographer is capturing the moment. Does he have the right lens? Is he too busy looking at the back of his camera to notice? I don’t mean to do these things but the photo editor in me can’t help it.
So when TV cameras showed Baltimore Ravens cornerback Chykie Brown making a snow angel in the confetti after his team won the Super Bowl, my first instinct was to see if any photographers were nearby. I wanted to yell, “Turn around! You’re missing a great moment!” Fortunately not everyone missed it AP photographer Charlie Reidel captured the moment in a photo that ran on the front page of the next day’s Washington Post:
I was thrilled to see that photo the next morning. With so many photographers shooting the game it’s almost impossible for a moment to be missed. Many of those moments – the touchdown catch, the kissing of the trophy – are expected. Chykie Brown’s moment of pure joy was unexpected and is one of my favorites.