Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Grand Entry

Julie Wilke, #1 leading the team onto the field.  Look real close
and you may see the Frost Bank Tower in the background.
A few years ago the Outlaws played at a field at 15th and Lamar.  There was a cool skyline view behind the scoreboard.  I thought it was a great photo-op and I spent considerable time setting up for the team's grand entry.  Camera low and looking up, scoreboard and flags near, fancy bank building beyond that.

Total flop.

The lighting came out all wrong. Background washed out. You can't see the bank in the background unless you really strain your eye.  The focus isn't quite right.  You can see #1 Julie Wilke leading the team onto the field - was that intentional, to have #1 first in line?  Right behind her is #4, Mary Nguyen.  What happened to #2 and #3?

Marisa Rivas heading the line.  Boring.
This grand entry is a team tradition.  The lead photo to this blog is part of the grand entry.  Honestly, it isn't much of a photo.  I used it because I wanted to get lots of Outlaws pictured on the blog and it seemed to do that.  You can make out six or seven faces.  But overall it is a boring shot.  Just a bunch of ladies in football uniforms jogging past the camera. 

In no particular order.  In one shot #2, Marisa Rivas, leads in my photo but to make that happen I had to crop the players in front of her and there was no #1.  Do you find this photo boring?  Compared to the action photos in my other blog postings?

#78 has the idea.  Lets add some interest to the
grand entry.  Even if it just raising a fist.
Sometimes players try to help me out with the "boring" part by doing something, anything, that is interesting as they make their way to the bench.  I seriously appreciate their help salvaging otherwise dull in-action shots.

I think Lily is sticking her tongue out at me.  She really likes me.
This is a gesture of affection, helping make a boring photograph interesting.

I know CPR is sticking her tongue out at me.  I don't know if she
likes me.  We've exchanged friendly emails from time to time.

Actually this came right after the procession line.  Lily
is my friend.  She knows I want interesting photos and
she made this one interesting for me.  (Photo used
with her permission.)

I have tried to add interest.  When the Outlaws played at the Texas School for the Blind, I tried another shot with the skyline as a backdrop.  I like a low angle because it helps portray these ladies as bigger than life - which they are in my mind. 

I really like this one.  The Outlaws are bigger than life in my mind and this angle helps make that statement.
Having the team in the foreground makes them appear larger than the officials.  I like that.  I only
regret I didn't do better placing the skyline in the photo.

Another bigger-than-life shot.  I like it.

I like these photos a little more than those straight line shots.  But you may have already noticed these aren't grand entry photos.  These are the ladies coming on the field for pre-game warm-ups. 

A few years ago I read about a college coach who orchestrated the grand entries.  Now I've never seen a college team trot out on the field single file.  They kind of swarm out there in a bunch.  This coach always kept his team back in the tunnel under the stands until the other team was at their bench.  Then coach would race his team onto the field with the 100,000 fans roaring their approval.  Theory was it intimidated the other team.  I don't know if it worked.  But it was more interesting than single file...

In one game a couple years ago someone at the Outlaws came up with an idea. 

Cool sign.  Made of paper.  Wonder what is behind it?

They created a huge paper sign and they positioned it between the locker room and the field.  You know what happened next, don't you? 

Looks like they're having fun, doesn't it.  Tore through that sign just as if it were made of paper.

Compare the energy of this grand entry photo with those
single file shots above. 
Much more interesting than the single file, don't you think?  Expressions on players' faces suggest they're energized by the action, breaking through the barrier to the delight of fans.

It was certainly more fun for the photographer.  At least there was some action. 

I'm pretty sure the Outlaws won that game.  Can't say for certain but they must have won with that kind of dramatic entry.  That kind of attitude setter.

I've said before that I couldn't coach if my life depended on it.  I have total respect for anyone who can take a group of ladies, some who have never played the game in their lives, and make a football team.  With that disclaimer, I would like to suggest we abandon the single-file-orderly-entry. 

Lets go for disorderly!

Gather the team near the gate and then let them charge out onto the field a disorganized gang, screaming and yelling at terrified opponents, inspiring the fans, getting the adrenaline pumping.  The other team might just pack up and go home in fear.   Or they'll be so shaken by the spectacle they won't be able to focus on the game until well into the third quarter and by then they'll be way behind.

And I might get some interesting photos.

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