Monday, September 14, 2009
Technology isn't always that wonderful....
This is west Texas, it never rains. The last three weeks at least one of the football games I've covered has gotten rained on. Including one game last week that got flat out canceled because of lightning (in 10 years that has never happened to me). I think it's been a few years since I've had to shoot a game when it rained for more than 30 minutes. So, I'm guessing this is the photo gods way of making it up to me.
One thing I do remember about shooting games in the rain long ago was mud. Mud always added something nice to photos. The problem now is, there is no mud. Since it pretty much never rains here most stadiums have put in field turf, which is pretty damn nice and doesn't have to be watered and the grass never dies. All of these are great, the other nice thing is water drains away pretty quick, but sadly there is no mud and puddles which always used to make such great photos. So now, rain is nothing more than a damn annoyance, which just makes shooting in it pretty damn miserable!
So, this week's high school game was the annual cross town football game between Abilene High and Cooper. For the past five years Abilene High has won pretty easily. Well, this year the teams were a lot more easily matched. The first half of the football game proved just that both teams' offenses looked like neither could be stopped. This games was starting to look like whoever had the ball last was going to win the game. Both offenses were moving the ball up the field. Abilene was was doing it with long plays and quick drives, while Cooper was moving the ball methodically up the field 4-6 yard a play.
The second half was a different story. Cooper took the opening kick off and moved up the field the same way they did in the first half but was stopped short of a touchdown and had to settle for a field goal. Abilene High scored not too long after that and didn't look back much after that. An onside kick after a quick score was pretty much the dagger that made Cooper lose their will and AHS took over from there to make it six wins in a row over the cross-town rival.
One part of the game that technology has not changed, well until high school stadiums start putting in domes (I give that at least another 10 or so years), is the fans. In particular, the student section. The student sections are always the most fun to watch since most adults, especially at high school games aren't very rowdy. The student sections, however, aren't afraid to show their true colors even if they have to pain it on their faces or chests. And, even if the rain is going to wash a lot of those colors away. Also, they aren't going to hide under an umbrella to watch the game.
Now, even though there wasn't any mud to speak of, since instead of dirt and grass it's rubber pellets and nylon "grass," there was still plenty of rain coming down... the whole damn game. The rain did make for some interesting photos that you just don't see much since it doesn't rain a whole lot around here. One shot, in particular, that I like was the one of a kid making a tackle and a splash of water flying off his helmet (above). It kind of reminded me of the boxing photos of the guys getting hit and the sweat getting knocked off their face.
There was one good thing that came out of the this weekend's nasty weather. The tempertures have gone from hotter than hell to mild, I'm actually able to drive around with the windows down on my car and when the sun comes back out, my sunroof open. Hopefully next week, though, I can not have to worry about rain in the forecast. As of now, it's supposed to be cool and clear. Hopefully that won't change, three weeks in a row is enough.