You would think that if the football team you’re sent out to cover is head and shoulders above its opposition that they would be easy to shoot. But sometimes that’s not the case.
Several weeks ago, I shot the Millennium High Falcons of Tracy as they took on the first-year Emery Secondary School Spartans in a varsity football game at Kimball High in Tracy. As photographers, we don’t take sides, but seeing as Emeryville, the Spartans’ hometown, isn’t in our coverage area, the main focus of my photos would be Millennium.
Emery’s football team is an inexperienced first-year program and was outmatched by the Falcons in every facet of the game. Almost every time Millennium took possession of the ball, a score ensued.
And it wasn’t on dramatic scoring drives down the field. It was often just one play that resulted in a touchdown. That meant just a single opportunity to get a shot of a Millennium ballcarrier often running unopposed to the goal line.
Football is a game of conflict, and you want to get shots of players going head-to-head or one beating out the other, but in this game, Millennium steamrolled over Emery. You’d think that it would be easy to get shots of the Falcon’s offense in such a lopsided game, but actually most of my pictures were of their defense.
Emery actually had possession of the ball longer than Millennium, because the Spartans would keep it for all four downs (well, at least when they weren’t turning over the ball through fumbles or interceptions). They didn’t punt at all, even when they were down at their own 1-yard line, which led me to guess that maybe they didn’t have a punter.
After a while, it became painful to watch. Millennium continued to dominate even when the Falcons showed compassion and put in their reserves after the first quarter called more conservative plays. All of the Falcons’ 54 points were scored in the first half.
Everyone wants his or her team to win or to make a good showing, but in this case, at least photographically speaking, this was an example of being too good.