Sunday before last I woke up at the crack of dawn to drive to East Rutherford, N.J. to cover the Eagles game against the New York Giants. It was the second time I was covering an Eagles game at MetLife Stadium in the past two months, but the last one was the final preseason game of the season against the New York Jets.
The Giants were trying to avoid an 0-5 record, the Eagles were trying to avoid falling to 1-4. Who knew that by the end of the game, the Eagles would have a share of first place in the division.
As NFL games go, I had one of my best days shooting. When Michael Vick was injured in the second quarter, I was in the right place to grab the shot. When Jason Avant decided whiff on a touchdown reception, sending safety Antrel Rolle careening into a photographer, I was in the right place not to get obliterated.
Probably the oddest event of the day, though, came just as I was walking in at halftime to transmit images. Across the PA system came the introduction of the halftime performance: The Ohio University March 110. I couldn’t believe what I had heard, until I heard the signature rolling drum beat of the 110 as the marched on to the field. It brought a tear to my eye to see my college marching band I hadn’t heard since covering my last football game at OU in 2009. I snapped a few shots to have, and rushed in to send images. I still have no idea what they were doing there, but it was a great surprise.
Overall, the game was a fun one to cover. The Eagles came away with the win, I came away with some solid shots that fit our stories well, and for once a gallery from an NFL game did decent, but pro sports gallery numbers on out site.
Just a few Super Bowl notes: MetLife is a nice stadium, and should be a good host for the Super Bowl. I can warn you now, though, they need to make some serious internet upgrades before they’re ready for 100 photographers trying to transmit at once. Getting images turned in was a major challenge. The sidelines also aren’t the deepest in the league, so I’m wondering how they’ll stack up with that much traffic. The light in the stadium, though, is super bright. Any photographer shooting a night game like the Super Bowl (while they’ll be freezing) won’t be complaining about lack of light.