Sunday, June 26, 2011


Gotta love them fans. 

I've been doing photos of Outlaw games since 2004.   Whenever there's a break in the action on the field, I like to turn my camera on the stands. I get some cool photos this way, photos of people who don't know I'm taking their pictures. 

Or sometimes I get cool photos because they DO know I'm pointing the camera their way.   Something about a camera brings out the... ah... well, you tell me.

The one in the back is Alex Allen, former player
for the Outlaws.  I don't know her friend's name.
They're acting up for the camera - they don't
always act like this.

I don't know names but I loved the enthusiasm of these fans.
On thing is clear.  They're enjoying being a part of the Austin Outlaws experience. 

Outlaws games are fun.  Fans enjoy the competition on the field - some of these players are outstanding athletes.  And fans enjoy sharing of a good time with other Austinites who have discovered Women's Professional Football.

It is unfortunate we don't have more home games.  Four regular season games with an occasional post-season contest doesn't give the team enough exposure to build a really large following.  But even with that limitation, the Outlaws fan base has been growing.  I did a "crowd" shot at one of the 2004 games and another a few years later.  You can see remarkable growth in attendance.

At the old Yellow Jacket Stadium - is that the right name?  Maybe
fifty or so fans in the stands.
In 2004 there were a few faithfuls.  If you look closely near the top left you may see the tie-dye group.  They were fans of one or two specific players and always came dressed in tie-dye shirts. 

But just a few years later the crowd grew to justify that "crowd" description.  In the second crowd photo, you can't see the tie-dye club but they're there way to the left. 

This stadium bunches the spectators together and was good for showing the strong following the Outlaws have earned

An Outlaws tradition early on was an after game up-close-and-personal greeting; fans would line up along the front of the bleachers and the players would walk along high-fiving their supporters.  This tradition is a little more difficult at the current Westlake stadium because the stands are elevated, making it difficult to slap hands.

After game reception line, players marching by the stands greeting fans.
I used to do a featured player article for the Outlaws website and now I'm doing this blog - with the idea that as potential fans get to know more about the players and the team, they'll become genuine fans.  You know, fans who wear Outlaws gear and come to all the home games and maybe even make it to an away game (Dallas and Houston aren't that far away.) 

It has now occurred to me that I shouldn't limit my focus to players. If I feature fans in my blog I'll take this getting-to-know-you theme one step further.  The trouble is that I don't know much about the fans.  With my player profiles, I meet players at a coffee shop and conduct an hour-long interview.  So I have a lot more information to share when I blog about a player than when I feature a fan. 

In most cases, the only thing I know about the fan is he/she caught my attention when I focused my camera on the stands.  And survived my editing when I studied my photos for "keepers."

Maybe that's enough? 

Yes it is!  Starting soon - starting now- I'm going to post fan photos.  One or two at a time. 

I do know this fan.  Kinda. He is
 one of the original tie-dye fans and has been
to practically evey game I've covered.  We've
met, chatted,  but I don't remember his name.
And this is Mrs. Tie-dye.  I feel like she and Mister
are my friends but I can't recall their names.  Please
refer back to my post titled "A Personal Note" and
you will understand my namelessness.  Note she is
helping me get an interesting photo by acting up for
the camera - as any friend of mine would do.

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