Thursday, January 12, 2012


Shadana isn't all that big but she's strong and determined.
I love the intensity of football.  The all out effort.  One team wants to do something, the other is determined to stop them. A battle of wills?  Yes.  But also a physical battle.  Intense.  

A previous post was titled "Intensity" and included photos like the one here, Shadana fighting for another yard, OKC tacklers determined to stop her, an Outlaw teammate struggling to help. 

Can't remembe the Dallas player's name.  Love the intense effort as she
refuses to give up, struggles for one more yard.

The photo at the right is similar. The Dallas runner straining with all her strength to escape the grasp of four outlaws, to gain one more yard.  I can't remember her name and she is one of my favorite people.  Off the field she is just a nice a she can be, almost shy.  On the field she's a  competitor.  Refusing to submit.  Fighting.

Football is a lot like fighting.  My money here is on Jill Elliott, #69.
Football is like a fight.   Individuals using physical force to control others, to impose their will over an opponent. 

Once in my high school playing days our coach formed the team in a circle and then called two players to enter the center of the circle and "fight".  It wasn't a fist fight but a wrestling match.  The point was that the game is a lot like wrestling.  The tougher player is going to prevail.  The tougher team will win.  (You'll be happy - and perhaps surprised - to know that I won my match.  I was a good wrestler.)

I love my sports photos because they capture some of the intensity of the game.  The contest reveals a lot about the competitors.  Sports writer/commentator Heywood Hale Broun said "Sports do not build character, they reveal it."  I've admired Outlaws players as the sport of football has revealed their character.  Their strength.  Their resolve.  Their intensity.

In the games and in practices, I've seen levels of effort, resolve, and emotion that inspire and sometimes amaze.  This post and at least one to follow capture some of that intensity. 

If you listen to NFL commentators, you'll hear them talking about teams having a good week of practice.  What does that mean?  Inensity in practice translates to intensity in the game.  There's a temptation to relax in practice.  But serious competitors work as hard in practice as in games.  They know the habits developed in practice will win (or lose) games. 

Sometimes this competitive resolve creates interesting photo opportunities for me.  In the photo series that follows, Tracey Suire thought Lucinda CPR Benitez was a little too aggressive in tackling the runner.  Tracey expressed her concern with strong words and a slap at CPR's helmet.  CPR took exception to that and... well, the photos capture the moment.

Just as in a game, CPR secures the tackle, bringing the runner
to the ground.  Forcefully. 

I missed the helmet-slap.  Tracey has told Lucinda in no uncertain
terms that the tackle was harder than necessary.  And CPR is
responding.  Note coach to the left.  This is practice but the
intensity is similar to what you would see in a game.

This is about to get physical.

Veronica Narvaez steps between the two competitors before
things get totally out of hand.

This was a near-fight.  No punches were thrown, no one was hurt.  Afterwards there were no hard feelings.  It was the kind of thing that can happen when strong individuals exert energy and effort and will to accomplish the goal.  All three of the players involved are similarly "assertive" on the field.  We've featured Veronica in a recent post to this blog.  We'll profile Lucinda sometime soon.  And Tracey, too. 

Their intensity, their willingness to put everything on the line, their strength of character - are why we have this blog. 

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