How can make a blog look super outdated? Try writing about the Super Bowl in late March.
Anyway, on my way back from the UK in January, I had planned to shoot a race up the Empire State Building staircase. Not really the most unusual of sports, but thought I’d give it a go.
Plus, it was an excuse to visit NYC. And isn’t that what these “assignments” are all about, excuses to travel??
My timing was great. I arrived the day before the Super Bowl. When I booked my ticket to NY weeks earlier, who knew the Giants would be playing for a title? Not them, not anybody.
While the game was played in Arizona, I watched the game on TV at my friends’ Brooklyn apartment, with their teenage son and his posse. This was the first time I was in a city cheering on a local team for a championship since the Blazers, back in 1990 and 1992.
But when the Giants came back for the improbable win, they were dancing on the couches.
Looking for trouble (photo ops), I split for Times Square. Sure enough, there was a decent group of Giants fans going nuts.
The cops backed up fans to the curbs so that traffic could pass. But that was stupid because all the drivers were there to join the celebration, waving flags and honking horns.
I pity the bus drivers.
I think New York was lucky the game was not played there in the city, otherwise, you’d have potential for violence with the streets packed with drunk fans from the game – like in LA when the Lakers won the NBA title in 2000. There was definitely a sense of jubilation, though there weren’t many guys with dad issues looking to start troubles with the NYPD – a la anarchists in Eugene.
NYC is a very opportunistic city. If there is money to be made, it will be made. I shot this sales dude at Foot Locker the next morning on my way to the Empire State Building.
The race was not that photogenic, but it has a home in my project.
I cringed when I saw the local shooters there popping a flash carelessly, blinding runners passing by. I use my flash about once every two years for editorial work. If that. Instead, I used my fast wide lens and shot available light. I caught a strobe on this pic.
I went from there to the ticker tape parade downtown for the Giants. I had mental images of war heroes in the 1940s in the back of convertibles being blinded by office paper. And while there was a fair share of confetti, it wasn’t that amazing sight I had envisioned. I may have been in the wrong position for it, too.
I did convince the cops to let me in with the press, flashing my credential from the Empire State Building when asked for a pass. All it said was “Media.” I could have made a nicer version at Kinko’s. But it worked. Usually acting like you belong there goes a long way.
I found myself right in front of City Hall, the final destination where the players were being unloaded from the parade. Again, good timing: got there just in time to shoot MVP Eli Manning and Strahan.
Normally, I cringe when I see members of the media ask for autographs or free shit while on duty. And I cringed again when I saw a couple local photogs go up and touch the Super Bowl trophy as it passed by.
But then I said, “Fuck it.” And I touched it, too. Just for luck…