Wednesday, October 17, 2007


ESPN recently had a poll online asking users what is currently the biggest sports story: a) The Patriots' domination over the NFL, b) College football upsets around the nation, or c) The Colorado Rockies' hot streak.

Users around the country have spoken, and they say that the Colorado Rockies are the biggest story in all of sports right now. This team was left for dead in the playoff race in the middle of September, but have been blazingly hot in the past 30 days, having won a ridiculous 21 games out of their last 22. And because of it, they will be playing in the World Series for the first time in franchise history.

Anyways, I traveled out to Denver this past weekend to cover what local have started to call "Rocktober." It was the first time I have shot baseball since the middle of September, but I did not feel that rusty. Baseball is a pretty easy to sport to shoot as long as you stay alert and always know the situation. If there's a runner on second base and there's a single, there is a potential play at the plate. If there's a runner on first base, always keep tabs on him to make sure he's not stealing, or if there's a hard grounder on the infield, there's probably going to be a double play at second. If the batter can tie or take the lead with one swing, be sure to get a picture of that at-bat. I can go on and on about baseball situations.

However, knowledge of the game cannot save you from the coach's/ump's/player's/camera man's ass. For those of you following this series, you know there wasn't a lot of drama on the bases for the two games in Colorado, so good action was hard to come by. However, I seemed to get extraordinarly bad luck (especially in game 3) where every time there was an important play, or simply just nice looking play in the field, I got blocked:

(coach's ass blocks a key double play for the Rockies)

(player's ass blocks my view of a ball dropped for an error)

(player's ass blocks shot of 1B reaching over fans for a foul pop)

(TV guy blocking home run celebration)

Oh well. Action is important, but you can argue that reaction is more important in the postseason anyways:

Next week, I travel to the World Series... I think I used up all my bad luck with umps and coaches on this trip to Denver, so I expect a straight forward shoot next time out with many great, UN-BLOCKED images :-)

Monday, October 08, 2007

I-L-L.... I-N-I !!!!!

I got pulled off of the Cubs NLDS choke job and instead made the 140 mile trek down to Champaign, IL to shoot one of the country's biggest college football matchups of the day: the up-and-coming Fighting Illini of Illinois vs the #5 ranked Badgers of Wisconsin.

In the kooky world that is college football this year, every team that has been undefeated and ranked #5 this year has lost, so beware Bucky, beware.

The Badgers always seem to play down to their opposition, and they struggled for consistency throughout the first half despite keeping the score close. Their star tight end Travis Beckum was pretty much the lone bright spot for Wisconsin, as he made several circus catches in traffic like this one:

However, in front of a packed house full of raucous, orange-clad fans, the Fighting Illini's powerful running attack eventually wore down the Badgers defense, as they rolled out 289 yards and three TD's on the ground.

With just about a minute to go, the Badgers had a chance to get the ball back to try to drive for the winning score, but the Illini converted a fourth-and-one to send Memorial Stadium into a frenzy, and giving coach Ron Zook his first signature win in Champaign.