Monday, November 9, 2009

Wildcats are Bengals and Bears... Oh my!

So, I'm about 2 weeks behind again on my posting... The paper sent me to Cincinnati for the Bengals game against the Bears on Oct. 24th. We were doing a story on the 3 players from Abilene Christian University who were playing in the NFL. And, this was the one game that they were all playing in together. It's been a few years since I've covered an NFL game so it was kind of cool to go.
The three players, Danieal Manning, Johnny Knox and Bernard Scott were all standouts at ACU. And now two of them, Manning and Knox are making a big impact for the Bears. Manning is the Bears starting safety, Knox is returning kicks and the #3 receiver. Scott is the #2 running back for the Bengals, the problem with that is, Cedric Benson is having a great year. And, he was playing his old team, the Bears, which there were obviously some ill feelings towards.
Going into the game I was really nervous about what I was going to get. At least when I go to shoot the local kids playing in the college games I can still shoot the whole game since there is a vested interest in the game as well. However, with this game it would normally be no more than a box score in our paper. So, I was literally there to shoot only three players. Luckily, things worked out really well for me.
The Bengals won big. Which meant Knox got plenty of kickoff returns and Scott got put in in the fourth quarter to run a couple of series, as well as getting in for a couple of plays during the game. Manning wasn't as hard to get since he was a starter on defense, he was in during most of the game.
After the game the three got together to meet with the ACU officials who had gone to the game. It took nearly an hour for all of them to get together. One had to get treatment for an injury, and another was looking for his family who was also at the game. But, it was all worked out in the end, it made for a nice photo to get a shot of them talking together with the empty stadium in the background. Overall, Things turned out a lot better than I had planned and I was able to make a nice little slideshow from the game.
One thing I did notice about this game compared to Cowboys games that I have shot are the fans. To be blunt, the Cowboys fans that go to the games on a regular basis are nothing more than a bunch of wine and cheese fans. From seeing the people tailgating in Cincinnati and the type of people in the stands, you notice a much more blue collar-type fan. The passionate people that dress up in outrageous costumes and aren't afraid to show their true colors. Not the stuffy suit-wearing worried about their image type that are normally at the Cowboys game. Now, I'm not going to say there are no blue-collar passionate Cowboys fans. The problem is, they just can't afford to go to the games. I know the Bengals aren't just giving away their tickets, but they are certainly cheaper than the Cowboys, who's owner just shelled out a cool billion dollars to build his new palace for the team. And parking is certainly cheaper, $30 to park across the street from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati vs. $100 to park at Cowboys stadium.



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