Missouri lost to Nebraska, 27-12.
Where to start?
It was cold, rainy and windy.
Tons of sloppy play.
And I shot a lot, learned a lot and tried not to worry a lot.
A power outage that initially left the entire stadium in darkness 30 minutes before kickoff eventually meant that the game was stripped of its bells and whistles — and nobody could hear Sara Evans sing the national anthem at the opening of the game. As Jeff noted,
…there was no $3.8 million scoreboard with special effects, no blaring music, no ads and not even a public address system. Even the play clock was out, and referees resorted to hand signals. There was only The Game; the players and a marching band. Actually, two marching bands, which competed against each other pretty much the whole game because no one could come on the PA to stop them.
Whereas Jeff and other photographers I know seemed to relish the situation — in Jeff’s words, “the overall purity and rawness of the game” — I started out the game with extreme anxiety. I can’t deny that I walked into this game after undergoing the following thought process:
- I’m shooting college football. At night. (Given my not-so-stellar history of shooting football, my apprehension was no small thing.)
- But HEY — I got this. Unlike last time, I’m used to the equipment, and I’ve shot some high school JV for practice. (Granted, high school JV football is nothing like NCAA Division I, but it’s better than nothing.)
- But wait. It’s been raining all day, and it’s going to keep raining.
- Whatever. This is my job and my assignment, and nothing can stop me from doing good work.
- …Except, I really need to take care of all the expensive equipment I’ve borrowed.
- Okay, I got this. I’m going to stop worrying, and no matter how soaked I get, I’m going to get the best football photos I’ve ever shot.
So I stopped worrying. And I got the best football photos I’ve ever shot.
Last month, when I walked off the field after shooting the Illinois game, I was not confident that I’d gotten enough shots, annoyed with the crude fans and generally discouraged.
Two nights ago, when I walked off the field after shooting the Nebraska game, I was soaked to the skin, pretty muddy after I’d fallen to get some fans’ names and worried about how all the borrowed equipment had held up in the rain.
But despite all that, and more importantly, I felt good. I knew I’d gotten better shots than before, and I’d done it under some of the most daunting circumstances I can expect to face.
So take that, Nebraska.
As always, you are entirely welcome to view more photos.