Friday, July 26, 2013

Malia; Faces

There's still a big game left in the Women's Football Alliance, and it features our friends the Dallas Diamonds.  Dallas defeated the Outlaws twice this season.  They also defeated everyone else they played.  On August 3 they'll play the Chicago Force for the league championship. 

The Outlaws haven't played in several weeks.  Is anyone still visiting this blog?  Anyone interested in football now that our season is over and the NFL hasn't started yet?  Well, the blog has had 165 visits since June 19.  That's an average of 23 per day.  And I've been letting you down, with zero new posts in that time.  Today I browsed my photos looking for a theme.  And found two.

The first theme is Malia Capers-Cristobal, #50.

I've admired Malia for a long time because of her grit, her constant striving to do better than the day before.  One day I'll post her profile (promises promises).  For now, just some shots of her in action.

When you play the line, every play is a physical battle.

You're assigned a defender to block.  You're goal is to be sure your
assignment doesn't get free and make the tackle.

Often the block is not straight on.  The would-be
tackler is trying to get loose.  Your job is to
contain, to keep her away from the runner.

In each of the photos I've posted, Maila's block was effective;
her assigned defender did not make the tackle.

Almost a fist fight.  Malia is only 5'4" tall, not as tall as many of her opponents.  But she's still big enough,
strong enough, and determined enough, that she is an effective blocker.
I like the expression on the face of #74.  Can you see the frustration?  She is not going to
get to the runner on this play.
The second theme I found browsing my photos today, is inspired by the last Malia photo.  I love when the camera catches the facial expressions of the players in action. I'm always fascinated when my little Nikon camera captures facial expressions.  I'm standing on the sidelines, maybe forty or fifty yards away.  But my camera is seeing the intensity, in some cases frustration (as in the photo above) of the competitors.

Houston's number 14 is the star in my facial photos.  She didn't make the tackle in these plays but
she must be a really good player because she's always near the football.

This and the following shot show my star being frustrated.  Above, she looks like she has a
bead on the runner, Deidra Holland.  But...

...Outlaws' #7, Laurie Cadena, stops her.  Often a block isn't pretty.  Doesn't have to be.
Just has to knock the tackler off balance enough for a speedy running back to zip on by.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Random Stuff

The Major League Baseball All Star game is playing on TV.  I'm not a baseball fan.  Too much idle time.  I've been neglecting the blog, because I'm having fun doing websites. 

So I browsed my Outlaws photos and picked a few that I like.  No particular message here, just some photos I thought you might enjoy.  As always, I'll save the action shots for later in the blog so I can post them extra large. 

Kincheon staring down an Arkansas player.

This is the Outlaws Patricia Kincheon intimidating an Arkansas player in the playoff game.  I'd be intimidated, too, wouldn't you?

One of my favorite Outlaws is Cookie, Marisa Rivas, quarterback.  I profiled her in the blog awhile back, got to know her just a little, got to like her a lot.  She was injured in the final game of the regular season, broke a collar bone, I believe, and couldn't play in the playoff game.  But she could influence the outcome of the game.  I captured this fun series of three photos as Cookie coaches Toni Fuller, who would take some snaps at QB in replacement of Cookie.

Here's how you grab the ball from the center.
See Toni practicing the correct hand position.

Take the ball, two steps back...
Toni laughing.  Cookie demonstrating how to
pass the ball, but the ball isn't in her throwing
hand.  Is she demonstrating a trick play?  Or
just forgot...?
What happens when charismatic Outlaws retire?  They get recruited to generate excitement dressed as Annie Outlaw.  This is Megan McMillan Riley, a former Outlaw who won some attention in my blog working at the Texas Chili Parlor, a restaurant that recalled some memories for me.  Megan promised to buy me a glass of wine on my next visit to the parlor but then she moved on to...?  I don't know where she is now.  But I will find her and collect my Chardonnay.

Add caption
If I were good at blogging I'd have these two photos of Megan side by side.  But I haven't figured out how to tell Blogger (my blog host) what I want.  I like the two shots.  Megan is a natural for the Annie Outlaw role.


I try to shoot a lot of the Outlaws because I think they like seeing their photos in the blog.  Some of my random photos are hard to explain.  What can I say about some players just standing there waiting for something to happen? 

Just some players waiting for things to get started.

Now for a couple action photos.  Note that I'm displaying them as large as the blog host allows. 

A long time ago I did some photos for a local theater group,  I noticed something interesting.  In every scene, every actress/actor was acting.  Even those on the side or background, who weren't part of the main focus of the scene.  I've noticed something similar in many of my Outlaw's actions shots.  One player may have the football but other players are acting as if they have it.  In the play below, I Shadana doesn't have the ball, Toni does, but Shadana is pretending.  The idea is that if the defense thinks Shadana has the ball, they'll tackle he and Toni will romp to the end zone. 

This faking is common.  Watch any NFL game and you'll often see the player without the ball trying to decoy the defense.

But this photo adds some interest.  See Arkansas number fifty?  She is Erica, one of the Arkansas stars and she weighs 280 pounds.  By comparison, Shadan is one of  the Outlaws stars and weighs 140 - half of what Erica weighs.  It looks as thought Erica is going to tackle someone.  If Shadana is a good faker, she'll get buried under 280 pounds of Erica.  If she doesn't fool Erica, Toni, who also weighs 140, will be Erica's target. 

If you were Shadana, what would you do?  Let someone else win the Oscar?
Shadana leading Toni, pretending to have the ball so 250 pound Erica,  #50 will tackle her and let Toni
escape for a big gain.  I checked - both Shadana and Toni eluded the big Arkansas star.

Another of my favorite players is Rubi Reyna.  I think she's every body's favorite.  She's one of if not the smallest Outlaw but she has all kinds of fire on the field.  I'm posting this just because I like Rubi and I think it shows her looking good on the field.
Rubi Reyna handing the ball to Maine Jackson.

All Star game.  Someone just scored.  I think it was Cabrerra, a Detroit Tiger.  Did you know I'm a native Detroiter?  End of four, American league leads 1-0.

Did you know I'm becoming a website creator?


Friday, July 12, 2013

Tackle by Precious CPR; Update on the blog

First the update on the blog.  I love doing the blog and plan to continue as long as I have material and you drop in for a visit from time to time.  But I'm engaged in another fun activity, website creation.  Websites are easier to create now than when I first explored them a few years ago.  I've done one for myself and I'm working toward doing websites for money.  This has  been occupying my time and attention so much that I've almost forgotten about posting to the blog.  I think I can do both, websites and blog.  We'll see.  

Here's the link to my first ever website:

She doesn't look mean, does she.
I'm beginning to think I'll never have a face-to-face interview with Lucinda "CPR" "Precious" Benitez.  She lives south, I live north.  I don't travel much and she's busy busy busy. 

I'm sad about it, about not interviewing and featuring Lucinda.  She is one of the most interesting personalities on the team.  I know because I did have her do a pre-interview information form.  And I've been following her exploits on Facebook.  Sorta.  I think she's been utility poles for Time Warner?  I'll save player profile information until I get to interview her.  Right now I just want to show her in action, 

CPR is an outstanding player, an eight year veteran who is always hanging around where the football is, often hanging on to the opposition running back.  I have lots of shots of her in action but today I'm just featuring a single typical play.  With one cool bonus photo at the end.

Number 14 is in trouble.  CPR, number 21, is coming up fast.

You can just see CPR.  She has a hold on the runner.

Little better shot.  Runner looks bigger, looks like she may be
able to muscle her way free.  No way.

Grab the legs, always the best way to bring a runner down.

Jumble of players.  Key point - the runner is down.

Different game.  Another CPR tackle.   I asked her by email if she remembers this play.  Looks painful.  But got the job done. 

CPR on another tackle, another game.  Sometimes making the play
involves awkward body positions.  

I've been watching CPR for years.  I love her style of play, her hustle, her determination to get the runner down.  And her effectiveness.   Who knows, maybe someday she'll meet me over a Starbucks and we
can profile her for the blog.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

QT Preston in Action; New Look for the Blog

New look to the blog.  Changed the banner photo to something more recent.  The new photo was shot at the 2013 playoff game, Outlaws vs Arkansas Wildcats.  What do you think?

I liked QT Preston, #55, before I met her, before I knew her name.  It was her smile!  At one of the tryouts I noticed how she smiled through it all, even the hard parts.  A nice smile, a beautiful smile;  suggesting a beautiful person behind that smile.

QT plays in the line, blocking, protecting the quarterback and running backs from defensive line-women with ill-intent.  Serious business.  Just ask the backs who rely on her blocks. 

QT does a pretty good job of it, as you'll see in the photos in today's post. 

Line play is a fight.  A test of strength. Every play a struggle to control a big strong opponent.  Somehow QT, with her delightful smile, doesn't seem a likely person to be getting engaged in violence on the football field.  But that's her number,  55, waging war against frustrated and annoyed defenders.

Elbow to the chin, slipping under the helmet face mask.
I don't think #74 is going to make the tackle on this play.
Note #74 has her right fist aimed at QT's jaw.

Rubi Reyna, quarterback, relies on QT to keep the Arkansas
defender at bay.  And QT is doing it. 


Note that QT's helmet isn't on quite right.  Note Arkansas #69 is attacking the helmet with both hands, shifting it from the proper position.  If she grabs the face mask, that's illegal, but
sometimes officials can't see what's happening in line play.

When I interview Outlaws I always ask how strong they are.  I don't get very clear answers because few measure how much they can lift.  But these ladies are physically strong.  Football is a battle of strength.  It is difficult to see just how strong our athletes are because opponents are strong, too.  When we see standoffs, we're seeing a lot of energy at work.

The roster lists QT at 6 feet tall and 240 pounds, so she is generally a match for opponents.
Once in a while the defender is bigger.  But I doubt many defenders are any stronger.
Maine Jackson, #22, relying on QT to contain one
big defender.  But there is trouble coming from the
left... (QT can't be everywhere.)

Every play, our offensive line takes on the defensive line, a battle of strength, skill,
quickness.  They protect the quarterback and  running backs.  This season the
Outlaws scored a lot of points, won a lot of games.  Apparently our offensive line
was effective protecting our backs so they could score.  They don't always get the credit they
deserve.  I'll keep trying to feature them in my blog so you'll be able to see just how good they are.

 When I see QT in these serious battles, I wonder: is she smiling?