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Can we get this sports thing straight now?
Remember when we baby boomers were young? There were three seasons. Baseball, basketball and football, of course there was track and field and cross country and volleyball, softball and soccer too, but the big three in 1976 (eighth grade y’all) were the above three. As I embark on my fourth decade of shooting professional sports, these observations are needed.
–Madison Bumgarner could take on Clint Eastwood and Chuck Norris and win. Doodly doo, buh wah wah.
–Bruce Bochy looks like a catcher. Don’t mess with a catcher. Even Chuck Norris would agree.
Roger Craig was always fun to photograph I never had to interview him, so I’m not sure what his personality was like. But he always made for interesting pictures.
–I remember watching the 1972 World Series in Oakland and my dad paying $12 for our tickets. True, they were nose bleed seats, but hey, $12 bucks?
–After Al Davis built Mt. Davis to accommodate the Raiders, the stadium now resembles something out of an Independence Day movie.
–Could you imagine what would happen if they had bat day still? I’ve hung on to my trusty Tito Fuentes bat complete with rock marks on the barrel.
–I like the confines of the Giants digs, but covering games at Candlestick was and adventure unto itself. Every night was like an Alaskan winter. You could SEE Mt. Denali on a clear night. Really. You could. I’m not kidding. Russia too.
–If you’re a photojournalist, you will remember certain El Nino 49er football games where actual kitty litter was used to soak up the foot deep puddles on the sidelines. Those were some of the worst conditions on planet Earth at the time. Maybe all time. Actually it was like that even when it wasn’t raining.
–Me? Exaggerate? Naw.
-Speaking of gnaw, the last season of shooting at the stick afforded me the great view of a rat chomping on discarded food in the photo meal area under the stands. It was a big sucker too.
–Oh, but the light at Candlestick could get really nice, especially in late fall.
–AT&T park is comfortable, and the views are spectacular. However, when the crowd gets rocking, the overhead shooting position basket actually sways and vibrates. It’s sorta like an earthquake.
–Is anyone else bothered by the little strike zone square that ESPN is using on their broadcasts? C’mon, it’s baseball. 900 million people know where the strike zone is.
–The Warriors fans are the loudest people on the face of the earth. Even with ear plugs, my ears ring for days.
–What did you say?
–Typical sports photojournalist day with a game time of 7:05pm (I’m talking World Series or Super Bowl type events) in 40 easy steps:
- Wake up at 6am
- Eat Breakfast
- Brush Teeth
- Take shower, dress in journalist clothes. No time to comb hair.
- Leave home at 6:05am
- Drive to coworker Chris Chung’s house to carpool. (fuel efficiency).
- Drive nearly an hour just to get out of Sonoma County.
- Drive another three hours just to get through Marin County.
- Walk to stadium with nearly 8,000 pounds of gear.
- Get credentials, set up computers in Photo workroom, which will eventually look like someone had a food fight at the end of the night.
- Look for photo spots on the field.
- Walk to upper level to place remote camera.
- Walk back down, worry about field photo spots.
- Set up online photo galleries.
- Commute back down to the field to watch batting practice and make pregame pictures.
- Get admonished by security for stepping on, horrors, the grass.
- Get admonished by network types for getting in their live, on field shots.
- Search for the almost impossible task of finding someone from Sonoma County attending the game.
- Shoot pictures of them eating, because it’s still two hours before the game.
- Transmit photos of people eating.
- Go to the restroom. Pee for the first time all day.
- Go back to the field, worry about field positions a little more.
- Take obligatory selfie
- Get blocked during National Anthem
- Get blocked some more by umpires or on deck hitter during game.
- Shoot more of the game.
- Walk back up to third level to grab remote camera.
- Transmit action from the game. People are already throwing food.
- Catch thrown food with bare hands and eat it.
- Pack up gear in to tiny suitcases.
- Walk back to the lot with 8,000 pounds of gear.
- Drive home. The Golden Gate Bridge doesn’t impress that late at night.
- Arrive home at 1:30am.
- Dog barks, waking entire household up.
- Decompress for three minutes.